Thursday, April 30, 2009

don't dig
their pink hooves
into the steadfast heart

while the women drink
and men
don't talk

because of doubles
i am never sure
how the seasons
make me feel

like a hustler
among the hyacinth
a crossed eye

so i made a nest
in a story,
howling down
the ending

in the trough of
exposed self,
the dirt is laughing
at the moon light.

Whiskey and Snow

Whiskey and Snow

Autos trundle by
Like tanks encased, snow
my own head,
to your

Deep flesh
of the
Dining room walls and a
On your
finished face
While my cheeks
With early
night flush. You,
Stomping your

Then out
Night flash street lamp
Dusky hollow
Light to
catch up. Run
breath so hot and
sour mash
you and I
on the rocks,

or neat.

The Country Weddding

The Country Weddding

Dry crack
under my feet
Sounds of cars
dusk settle into
seems like
I knew
The silhouettes
of trees were the
in a severely
Midwestern summer
the leaves
bride and groom
peach fuzz sky heart

We went away
from the wedding
you said
using your
treasure hunting voice
and slid
into the backseat.
I stared at the
of an old school house
you could hear
me breathing
under the apple tree
before the
best man’s toast
just listening to the
ebony body
of a cricket
and the marriage
of smoke to air
we cannot know
until we stand there

Pencil black bark
Crisp dry
dry to dry to
thank him for your child today
and the fact
that you weep
mean it.

Summer Elegy For Americans

Summer Elegy For Americans

What do you say
To the end of summer
When you feel the grass dead
And your tenderness
Off the edge.

That feeling like
Sweating in the marrow
Of your swollen
You came home too late
to see the sun
Passing the weary
It was too much
Like minerals
And earth pressing
Against your skin.

Dredge up
The motion
Deep from the
Bottom of a
Low lying
The valley telling stories
That you thought
You knew.

Called the air down
Around you
Laden with open windows
Lashed with temptations
Listening to the end of the world
Tom Waits
Waiting to play
Your funeral
Lost nation
On the side of the road,
Your hair spilling down your
Dirty back.



White-tail ghost eyes,
You ask me to be a sentinel
in my time
on winding back roads.
It is dusk.
I am watching for you,
at all the turns.

I once found in Montana,
a talisman of your kind
lodged in a ridge,

Yes, lodged in a ridge
like the bend of a knee.

The stand of poplar trees was
barely audible,
the words “shed-antler”
grazed the back of my neck.

White-tail ghost eyes,
I’ve known your gentle
all of my life.
When I die and go to heaven
I will ride you.
we can pass
into the great leaping beyonds
of ourselves.
I will be free with you.

Then headlights scream:
Maybe my hopes are too slender, too brittle
like your legs.
Maybe my heart parts in two
like your hooves.
Maybe I am hard cut bone
like your antler.

Is that you there
in the ditch?

My White-tail ghost eyes,
I always see you on walls
betrayed martyred pious
your expression is not angry,
and I cannot pity
your rigid stare.

just clear my car in one Olympic vault.
See your lover
on the other side
waiting for you
in the next alfalfa field,
blinking out her devotion.

Ride Out West

Ride Out West

Speaking through gritted teeth,
The mountains
Early in September called to say
That you were missed;
You should come home.

On my way out there,
I looked back twice.
When I looked forward,
I was carving through
The badlands,
Like mars,
Looking for water
To put in some whiskey.

I saw then
The ghosts of Souix warriors
Riding war ponies
In my headlights
Under the ripe cherry moon.

That I knew you,
Gentle wrath,
How you followed me
Across my country.



Royal blue talons, you
Boastful dog, smiling cur,
Ranging through the filth of modern smiles.
Listen roadkill:
Whisper the transit, mindful of endings
Clacking and singing
Guns discharging
their ember hearts
into flaming flowers
that soak up grief
And are conduits of culture, they say. So they say
And they’ll always say. You
The glugg-glugging one in the corner
Leering the leer of kings common, white and pallid
With hospital eyes
And a stiff nostril, you the charmer
Of the fragile,
Scour the sour crumbles of roads
For the stash of gilded lily yesterdays, and the
Hoary sunrises, only a pocket of daylight
In an everblooming night.

History in Hair

History in Hair

Just before you left
I laid your hairs
End to end
For three

The map
Of the edge
of time,
My Darwin,
it became
a map
for the edge
of you:

north to your brain
south to your guts
east and west to the
steppes of your hands

the strands were shimmering
wires with
all communications
sprinting along them
sunlight on
the first copper
to stretch across
a new and disconnected

You emerge
An emulsion of time
Tumbling toward me
On the floor,
The gold and silver
Of under the bed
dreams glinting
over the ages
of us.



Narrative gone supine,
DNA a fugitive of the
You’re longing.

Concentrating hard on
Daytime hotness,
Don’t ask me what the
Matter was,
I’m already off to

It’s a shower curtain
Syntax of caress,
Plucking the hairs
Off your coat.
Intimate was the ultimate.

Never understanding why
Ghosts linger
When god waits,
An elegy suspended in liquid,
The stars make it difficult.

I am passing,
And it is most important
To relearn your smell,
Your shirts stiff
With you inside.

The DNA of love,

The Hardest Part of Spring

The Hardest Part of Spring

The ragged edge of new field,
An egg:
A hollow bone.

A noticeable sagging
Of skin under eyes,
The economy of

Pinch of salt,
Mashed and muddled
My inability to get
To the root of things.

A long,
Low-slung day.
The world is never new,
As if the rituals of ancients
Were caught in our teeth.

Dab the knife but a little,
Beat your retreat.
The scorekeeping
Of our endless
Country drives.

Sore thighs
Wrapped around modern
The strides of ghosts
Down the backroads
Before the wet ditch,
A pink graveyard
Of hearts.

A Report On The Year Thus Far

A Report On The Year Thus Far

Italian Earthquakes,
Avalanche of antiquity
Creased eyes
The same thing worn

Open and honest
make me sick,
And seek.

World banks
Icelandic problems
Cradles in India
Madonna and children,
Celebrity only a dollar.

Hidden mornings in the café
A time of gathering
No one talks
The same fifteen songs
Over and over.

Banks of skin
Crests of hair
Stock in nipples,
Laughing in the car.

Your CEO and my CEO
Sitting by the fire,
100 days away from

Victory, a little seed
Splashing in the atmosphere.
Yes, bring me a pan full
of pandemic.
920 W Liberty, #2

The wind is open.

An age of letters has fallen
near the doorstep.

Words can only be folded
Seven times in half,

While your mouth
Can only listen when it is tired.

The birds get in the way
Every time I try to speak,

And the car makes no noise
In the snow.

A life is lived
Everywhere but a home,

While your mouth
Kisses only when it is hungry.

The kitchen is lonely.

The spoons beg a touch,
Plates ache in the cupboard.

The edges of talk
Are strewn with jagged tender,

A description is never enough
To contain the meaning

Which runs rampant
In every home,

And no one can keep
An eye on it.