to float here
for invisible manongs
goes tick tick
-- after Lorenzo Thomas
Maybe grave hucksters
selling ancient wisdom
will gossip on my doorstep.
Maybe the Sunday papers
will deliver ten fat sections,
orthodox as Deuteronomy.
Before, we scowled, backpacking to Fallujah,
ransacking shoe stores on random corners,
tuning out the babble of customers and clerks.
We'd muse along the cemetery fence
before the pace of shelling picked up
and a battered Abrams clunked onto the field.
After a long time
nobody was silent
Baghdad was a nowhere
where they never have tomorrow
and yesterday was once upon a time.
-- after W. H. Auden
their sons, skins
signed for shields.
lonely columns. Grief
loiters in another's boots.
The .mpg pitch
flicker on fatigues
congregating for music
and sweet shoulder meat.
glide where olive
girls manage concrete
and the thin-lipped
help can never
stomach air power.
A pile, a layering, a gathering of more than one kind of trust.
Learning to sleep belly up, without fear of a large angular object such as a bookshelf or a park bench or a giant brick landing on my stomach as I lay sleeping.
Letting my mouth hang open in my sleep, without fear of a peculiar sort of spider crawling inside and laying eggs and causing a mysterious disease to appear seven years down the line.
Letting the dog out of the yard, believing it will know where to return to when hungry, cold, or lonely.
previously published by One Less Magazine
From a collection titled "Texture Notes," forthcoming 2009
excerpt from (under traces of you)
6; murmurous estandartes, eternities speaking over drowning waterbugs; near explosion at dark ellipse or, blue shirt in spectacles, always spectacles; blue bug, afterward blue sky & fickle light clouds, sweet kisses, and light licking small turquoise bit.
6; blue bug, brown eyes & curly white tresses trouncing over sleeping baby, dreamy pajamas for lactase and little sister; long proof, hard chair, long red blood & wet breath:
sleeping alone of late and strange, sleeping pills & sleepy eyes touching light; mourning midwifery with wet moaning, soft giggle trees; coyotes crying on or in; tissue drying tears everywhere, tears for mothers, mothers of dead children, tears for mothers.
5 something writing and watching the Brave awaft in cavernous mists of song & hymnal pleasure, lines with penitence over pulpits; fist back furry fast, purposeful gack for gabardine cloths; empty on stash for ten miles of pills & wet waters; blue water and sky, scattered cumulous clusters:
Two for one, always, when short eyes ask for turquoise rapture.
6ish; your sweaty breath to recognize, and hold me a while.
6; consciously causing sappy blood drip; urinary obstacles in saffron tract & promissory notes, like gail o’grady and silver broaches; buzzing about byaetta in larynx somewhere.
7 and sleepy; spectacles gather bun; the wearinesses of the writing of light and such; parents switching babies, and holding and tears—but butter & freshest ingredients may aid the letting out of breath and make me breathe that way; sleeping somewhere, sleeping someone; inning & out, oh yes, oh you.
linger persist recede
I want to say, hey, theory, stop.
pots e-roth eh as ut naw eye.
cold clatter rocks and I
a man calms, is calming, around me
and telling me, I should e-roth
say and be, around others and him
pots and’t…and’t naw
a savior acts this way
wants us all to be that
a savior books and another
writes ‘Savior Theory’
me and the wall
clatter clock and e-roth
a savior acts this way and
fuck and find me
I want to say, hey…
fuck and find me
find me and I’ll raw, gnaw and e-roth
pots stutter shot and shame
Lit Finch Sounds; My Bong Noises
finch, fit, flight.
cracker carrot cattle cut
shitty shell shear
kitchen, coffin, crypt corner
Sex In An Underwear Drawer
It wasn't clear what I was looking at. The paper was creased and tattered on the corners and the people drawn on the paper looked strange. What were they doing? Their naked bodies were mangled together in a mess of pencil and ink on half-a-sheet of notebook paper.
Michael held his picture up with confidence. "I copied it from a book I found in my mom's closet." He beamed with pride. His work was wild. It was art at a primitive stage. It was sex.
I can still see the crumpled paper every time I think of my first encounter with sex. Not my first sexual encounter, but my introduction to those proverbial birds and bees. I think about Michael's excitement with the rumpled secret he hid in his underwear drawer. I think about the misshaped breasts and funny penises adorned by the picture's participants. That day, Michael introduced me to more than erotic art – he introduced me to hot, scribbly, kama-sutra sex.
By the end I had my conclusion. If this was art, I still had a lot to learn. If this was sex, I had adoption to consider. Sex didn’t look comfortable. Sex didn’t look fun. Sex was an ugly, messy, crumpled bit of fantasy that was better left in an underwear drawer.