Glass Eyed

I have a heart who
would believe it since
my eyes are white with salt.

I have died too many
times before to miss the warm
regret of blood. Now you know

whose voice will call
to others in the night.
Wave goodbye my darling, wave




It all began no
it didn't. I can't find
my shoes to take me there.

I know I am an animal,
yes and I can choose which
one I want to be-

a wolf, a bird or snake
with yellow eyes. Will I
bite? do stars, do stones
does prayer?

Finally it ends no
it doesn't. I have just
arrived like snowflakes
on the windows.


The Shape of Eternity

There are no edges in life
but curves; no corners
but imperfect angles like
the cartileged joints where
wings are attached to
the keel-shaped sternum.

This means the world is round,
gravity is not final until
the wind dies down and the hollow
light-blue spirit leaves its body
to settle into the ground. Then,
like an arrow shoots skyward.


What Falls Through the Cracks

There are questions
in every creatures mind-

what is dew, why is the moon
yellow and round, how do oysters

build a pearl, who is God?

Everyday, the answers
are different. Once,

I caught a firefly
in my palms, it glowed

shining through
cracks of my fingers;

I thought I held
a star, at least

a fragment of one;
when I opened my hands

its light was gone.

A Cold Existence

It's colder now, in California
where a walk on the beach requires
a coat and scarf, where the sea
looks angry and dark as winds fingers
snap and pop its metallic surface.

It's colder now, in my heart, sky
a great grey blanket, puffed up clouds
as if it gathered the feathers of birds
who flew into its mouth and sewed them
to its jacket.

In the morning, the fog gallops in,
a ghostly herd of wild horses whose
hoofbeats are the wind, whose nostrils
steam with exertion. Up they stride,
to a point of no existence and quietly


The Mist

His voice was like a memory of sound;
the electric spark that turns a word

into fire or water to boil. When he
paused to take in a breath, I measured

the present from past, the past from future,
an audio-door whose hinges were stressed

and loosened. And then, it was gone like
the foghorn cry carried away by the sea

into a silent world, a wall of mist.



My heart is in
my eyes. Why else
the rain?

My wound erodes
to bone; cracks white
like lightening.

Far off, in the woods
wolves raise their voices
through cold darkness

as if to warn me,
a storm is coming.

Even the Wolf

How often do you check yourself?
I asked the dog. Expecting no answer,
I watched him carefully lick his fur.

Oh if humans would be so fastidious
in their observations; if they cared
enough about themselves to care about others.

And then, butterflies, their delicate form
of mating as the female clings to leaf,
the male flitting so quickly upon her

you could not see them touching. They fly
away at last, dancing joyously through air
lightly, loosely entertwined with eachother.

Even the wolf, sharp teeth and ferocious
hunting instincts, brings home his prey
and shares it with his lover.

Pillow Talk

I am talking to you
in the middle of the night
about death and light and
stars and deathly things.

You can hardly bear it,
begging me to silence as if
silence would put a pillow
over our heads and ears,

as if silence will buffer us
from mortality. You call me
morose as if I invented death,
as if I haven't learned to see

beauty in black flowers
that open only at night.

The Country of Soul

When I was born,
this was not my country.

Once you leave the womb
it takes awhile to claim anything-

anything at all.

One must learn to use
the senses: first, touch,

then smell followed by the eye.

Some time later, the heart
begins its lessons, claiming

joy, love and sorrow.

When I was born,
this was not my country

until the soul,
burrowed in the body,

clawed its way closer
to the surface like

an angel shivering
in a deep, dark well.



It is difficult to tell
the frauds from the real thing.

Am I a ghost caught on tape,
choreographed to walk through

time's dark tunnel, a ray of light?

Am I tired of life and all its beauty,
hands pressed desperately against thick glass?

We are separated from each event
by courage; who survives the night,

who prays despite desire.

In the window the candelight
lures the moth; it too is fooled

by imitations.


The Wild

Tonight the world is wild
and I am wild like the rabbit,

the red-faced fox, the trembling
field mice. When the summer rain

taps on the roof top like needles
hitting aluminum, I am rain;

a small grain of something
is the skeleton of everything.

And then, the architecture
of owls, wings are opened,

feathers turned out, the body thrown
on the wind in a wild, wild ride.


As It Should Be

I rise
in the morning.

A sparrow
flutters through

my room
like a heart

in fear,

against windows,
clutching, panting

on the curtains.

And I am
like a ghost

to this poor bird.

When I was
sleeping, I was a tree

or a large
agate stone or

even a very quiet
stream traveling alone

through the hillside.

Again, I laid
back into my bed,

holding my breath;
once again his world

was calm
as it should be.

The Supper

He is the author of what
we see. When we see nothing
even that belongs to him.

Open your eyes and let them burn.

So many things belong to him, yet
every man, a witness to his fury
when stones are thrown, blood is
spilled or hearts are bitter.

In the shadows of early evening,
he comes cool, forgiving with
baskets of fish and sweet wines

for those who know him.

The Last Red Hill

Before you go,
I need to tell you
I did not expect longevity.

Like holding onto
the last dark cloud,
the nearest star drowning

in its liquid purple,
I knew your absence
would change me.

While far into the night,
a lone black wolf gallops
over smoldering fiery hills

to greet the sunlit
meadows, newly crowned,
I knew that I would miss you.


The Opposite of Woe

Something heavy falls. You know
the feeling. We fell together,

a large iron ball and still
we're falling; if I knew what bottom
awaits us, it would make no difference.

Someday things will be contrary;
we will be winged and weightless.

Windswept in Darkness

We cannot retrieve what we have lost. Darling,
as I watch you sleeping, I add to my souvenirs.
What spider's web caught in sunlight shines like
your white blonde hair or sea contests your closed
blue eyes as it roars, windswept in total darkness.

Beneath the bones of your chest, faithful muscle
beating to an ancient rhyme, whose redness shames
the roses, whose sentiment ripe with joy. We cannot
lose what we have gained and I will hold what I have
earned long after you're awakened.

Nothing In This World

I am building a perfect life, unconscious
and grateful. A life's story which begins
and ends with breath or more importantly,

the heart, what it spills when shattered.

And what of constant struggle, the search
for love in a wilderness of love, a desert
of illusion, a sacrament of triumph?

Nothing in this world is apparent.

In cold rain, darkness traps silhouettes
of stars, yet leaves them blinking for
children peering out their windows.



From a place outside the womb
twin wolves were conceived-

life and death.

And in a dream, a long necklace
ribboned like the grape vine

fed them.

To live among wolves,
one must know how to resemble them:

to look away,to bow and roll,
to bend without breaking.

In the air above them, falcons stare
as if what struggles on the ground

below them

is senseless.


about you,
what about

the serpent

for field mice

or a voyager
caught in a storm?

Where is my peace
of mind; has darkness

consumed it?

I know that my love
for beauty will be

my inferno, my source
of constant grief; yet

I cannot remember
the last time you

kissed me.


Like an object falling
through dark water-

where are you?

My devotion to you
was certain as something hidden
stays hidden.

If you were to be saved
like light in a bell jar
or a large glass house-

what would you be?

The dream moves faster
than the dreamer; the small
silver fish darting away

from Goliath will live
only to escape. Once,
I caught you

like a burning stone
in my palm and just as quickly
dropped you.


What He Imagined

Each morning
Icarus flies up,

every afternoon
he touches the sun.

By evening,
his body afloat

in the sea and
the sea cradles him.

His face,
white and green,

his golden shoes

His arms still
stretched as if

he'll try again.


The Sacred

When you win a heart, you win
a faith. O let my fingertips
know a stone from flesh!

There is no abyss, the ground
is flat and honest; the weed
allowed to flourish. I've loved

you like a socket in the soil
demanding less than roses.

Everything is sacred when
its tragic. The butterfly
who cannot tell the difference

from fresh or dying flowers,
the spider who creates a masterpiece
of silver ruined by flies, a bird

whose feathers are destoyed by
fire trembling in the boughs.

Who is Worthy?

Give me your hand, the morning said,
its head on fire, I will walk you through
the valley, up into the hills.

Are you patient, are you gifted,
do you know where heaven is?

My hands are rough, they are not worthy;
though, even lizards have a purpose
scuttling over blazing sands.

Now on creaking hinges, evening brings
its pen, scrawling words of darkness
with sure, immortal script. Are you

worthy of the stars, are you worthy of
the faithful moon? And I, alone
and stricken in my quiet room

cannot answer.


The Pauper's Home

With a grain of dirt I bless
this house of mud and bones.

My language is not eloquent
but broken like a stolen kiss

hastily yet sweetly held.

I will never be a city. Never
be a castle, regal in its stone.

Instead, this handful of ashes,
this field of common flowers
brilliant in untended form

will suite me more.

Worlds Away

On some far mountain, now I know
what it means to be alone
, the white tiger
suckles her cub in a roaring blizzard.

Her mind is silent, absorbed by snow.
Her eyes are sharp like two steel swords.
Inside her chest, a heart keen in the way
of a mother.

Further up the slope, searching
for sprouts, a white-tailed deer
who cannot know his life is over.

Autopsy of an Angel

First, you must find
the spine, splay it wide,
examine the vertebrae.

Here is where the teeth
of sunlight rip open
the sinewy shadows, flesh

becomes divine.

Secondly, wrapped around
the bones like barbed wire,
an ivy made of fear. How tall

it grows, what bitter blooms
it harbours; we had hoped for
pity, rather than consequences.

And it dreamt in burning white,
wings unfastened from their joints,
quickly up a mountain, flight

with no return.


In a Trap

In the beginning
(who is aware of
that mythical place?) maybe
the beginning started at the end,

caught up with itself
and just became a threshold
of journey.

Yes, I'm alive
(what does that mean?)
inside of four corners
with a window looking
out. A furnace loudly

rumbling, boiling
(some call it heart)
a room where memories
flutter like moths.

"I don't want to be normal"
she said, in her blue silk blouse,
her father building fences
to keep in the child.

And it was perpetual,
her mind on fire, all season
the seasons were one,
the skin over her eyes,

her feet bleeding
in a trap that caught wolves,
foxes and fallen stars.

A Winter Grave

Once you were mine,
like a handful of snow,

you slipped between my fingers.

Perhaps,if I'd been more cold,
I could have perserved you.

Now, like a frozen carcass
fed upon by many, I visit

the site where you fell.

The Messenger

Who are the prophets;
have I seen them
and not known?

A small bird flies in
my open window everyday
when I'm not home.

Despite the wolves,
the knives, the picked-over bones,
it settles on the indoor ferns

as if it knows the future.



Days are shorter now, colder;
rust builds up in the bones.
What was new today, is not,
even snow is recycled.

I say to magnolias "you too
will fade and drop". They have
no sense of sadness,no memories
of loss. They are so unblemished,

such strangers to sorrow.

Down We Go

Low-light in the tunnel;
self and its many limbs
reach out for something
to hold onto. The voice
a siren's song calling
its victims- pray for us.

When we turn away from
the mouth, we are left with
hunger. Zipped up, eyes
are like stones weighing heavy,
smooth and silent. Tell us
this is not final.

Down we go like a forgotten
language. Down we go swallowed
by the gold-lined gullet. How does
the grape feel in our throats
or the small piece of apple
that nearly destroyed us?


Some Things are Better Left

Not one of the things you'll notice
would have stayed with you forevor.

Forevor is a word like immense,
like powerful, like possession.

At night, the trees whisper "forevor"
or is it the winds who do not stay
but move towards the mountain.

And I am left, hovering in the doorway,
a piece of darkness, a shadow without
substance, a bird locked in an iron cage.

But even if you could have stayed, fixed
like stars, daylight would have hidden you
in a big blue cloud-filled sky.

You Never Healed

At the end of the day,
I can still hear you, though
I'm blind, I see you
walking away. Like a recurrent
dream, I've lost you again.

Would I suffer that my paradise
was tending your garden, pleasing
to the sun, roses, their fiery faces
stretching upward?

And how I cared for you
as if each blade of grass
was sweetness; each new
branch and sprout delight!

It is not clear when
you left me. One afternoon
your hands mirrored mine
scratched and bruised
from thorns and stones

by evening you were gone.



Deep auburn, brown
old blood. I'm so
over you

I'm coagulated.

Sometimes It Is Enough

When you pray
do you hear God?

When you love
is it harmless?

Have you ever
seen a ghost?

Do you believe
that stars are dead
before you see their light?

Did sorrow ever
break your heart?

What I know
at each sunrise
is that I am ALIVE.

And So I Remember

These days,
for the most part,
are spent between
remembering and

When we are young,
we want to forget.
Without understanding
we want to saw our wings off

and leap into darkness.

With age, remembering
is what separates us
from worm or mole.
It is light. It is wing.

It is fire.

Manhattan Beach

A walk on the beach,
barefoot holding our shoes,
the winter sun still warm,
waves still bright, houses
line the sand, their windows
reflecting water. An old man
sleeping in a chair on his porch
like a gnarled tree leaning
at the joint where some traumatic event
(maybe lightning or wind)struck him down.
His body grown into the house,
weathered shingles, chipped blue paint
and quiet as sleep disturbed only by
the angry cries of gulls wrestling
for crabs, a flock nesting silent
in the sands as the sun begins to sink,
a blazing face looking down,
the old man wakes and like a dream
disappears inside.



If you look behind you, a trail
of gulls means something ominous-

a dog disturbed their nests, perhaps
a dead whale washed ashore or dolphins
hunting for fish in the shallows.

I prefer to think they are
just traveling the world

with long, white wings.

The Shot

He was the bullet
through the skull.

He never said "goodnight".

There was nothing left
of me but shattered pieces

of a brilliant red.

Through an Attic Window

We can only know what we are
given. Where is the soul within
its body? Or does it watch us

from the outside like a stranger?

All day long my heart beats stronger,
at night it searches for a corner
like a frightened child.

Are souls more beautiful than dreams
or do they vanish like the stars?
Through an attic window, what watches

from afar, a lonely human being
seems nothing more than what they are.

The Storm

Like a slow storm, love comes
over the horizon, grey at first
then black. The smell of grass
and earth, the clouds like wet
linen dancing on the clothesline.

The way hills seem to flatten
down, a mouth against a mouth,
streaks of lightening, splendor
of thunder. And just as suddenly
still, beads of sweat on flowers
opening, closing, falling.



So many mountains
covered with brush,
dandelions and rubble.

Above ground, a nest
of some small bird;
I have never seen

such blue-specked eggs
of perfect symmetry.

Nearby, a swollen sparrow
capsized by death, frozen
in her eyes, her prayer

like tiny beads reflect
the blueness of sky.


Now, the sun is gone, I am at peace;
another continent lit-up, blessed
but I am steeped in darkness.

And the world, without warmth reminds me
of him and how I've lost him.

Outside, the world continues; sparrows
chattering, the lone wolf howling,

the wind turning the house edges,
balefully whispering, so beautiful
while final, cold as death.

Only the sky remembers how I loved him;
each star infinitely glowing, traveling
constant flame, oblivious to who may wish

to capture, own or listen to its
intoxicating, sweet-white dreams.

When Death Dives Down

No one can destroy a man like a man.
What is God's gift for such a creature?

From the heavens he must look small,
like a snail, leaves glittery paths

in the garden or quickly falls prey
to large, black crows carried away

and eaten.

Who Do You Love?

No, when you ask me
"who do you love?".

I have not kissed the one
who will undress me.

At night, the wolves come down
to lay beside the fire,

black-fur silvered with light,
the smell of earth in their claws.

And I know the secrets
of their well-earned love-

the darkness, trees, catching
the flickering moon.


Mainly at night, the heart
breaks through its chest,

the same odor of flesh
cut open, acrid like

burning hair.

If it weren't love, I would
call it wreckage; then stone,

lying on the path, unknown
even to the feet that crush it.

And love tosses and turns,
stiffens with its memories,

empties itself of light,
of stars, of longing.


To and From

The walk was dark; the small dog
a shadow. He at least seemed sure
where we were going. Cruel to tell
him we would end up where we began.

So it is for man, continual journey
towards light, away from light,
a white blanket, tall, black wings,
a tether digging deep around the throat.

What does it mean to leave the body
like some reptile shedding its skin?
Is there a path, a ladder, stairs to
follow, climb, ascend?

At Night

I am happy to be alive; if
I weren't I would be dead.

In another tongue, the night
sings for its victims, the cold

dark air, the wind dancing through
poplars, the far off sea hushing them

back to sleep. No one asks how old,
how tired, how often one grieves.

The only word they are allowed to
whisper: goodbye.


He Said No

Can an orchid ever bloom twice
when left like a crooked willow
stick. Is love so difficult once
the bloom is gone?

So I led him into darkness
through a swarm of moths
mistaking moonlight-saturated
tulips for flames. And we

walked across the purple stones
whose lives are more simple
than ours and honest. They only
weep during thunderstorms.

When I asked you to make a wish
sitting on the dampened sand,
you shook your head like seaweed
sliding up the shore-

no, you said, no.

The Dark Side of Love

I had given you everything
I had- remembered the nights
whispering in your ears;
you said it was ocean?

But the strange catch
in my breath, when heart
pounding, raspy and quick
resembled death or happiness

or some dark, unseen creature
lying shaking in an iron trap.
Even then, the wolf would chew
his leg off, without a single prayer

he hobbled away with blood in
his mouth, searching for water.



Mist, hanging over
the sea. The sea's breath
like milk; its eyes dark-grey
and brooding.

I can't help but wonder
what it's hiding with
sneaky fingers pulling away
the shores small gifts.

Spare the Rose

With a mind always
on the prize, most of everything
consumed like kindling. Outside,
the sounds of earthliness-

a lawnmower, the chirping
frantic birds squeeking
out an invisible existence
for a seed or scrap of bread,

even inanimate creatures of moss,
of stones, of trees stripped bark
and bare reaches only emptied ears;
no one seems to notice when beauty

is devoured; not one rose, leaf
or blade of grass is spared.
Someone should ask the others
what they are waiting for.

And Then the Rain

Who can say that stars
are dead; when I weep
the light, fragmented.

I can name one man
whose heart I swallowed;
absolute light never wavers.

The terrible separation
of soul from body occurs
when we are dying.

At night, peals of thunder
sound like prayer, like losing
you and then the rain...

and then the rain.