30 April 2010


First, the picture is of my father's maternal grandfather, a tenant farmer of Pownal, Vermont, and father of nine. He was a big fellow, but he was crushed to death by a bull he let out of the pen so it could get a little air.

Second, this has been harder and more fun than ever. I am glad it's over.

Third, what came today:

What Came Today

It's hard to think in this green and black
breeze, though thinking never helped. How
it's always you and me and that which cannot
be got round. If yesterday was exciting, why.
Sitting at the edge of the bath, bathing at the edge,
sins washed clean, secret sins amassing like dust
in the far corners of the closets, all these sins
of the puppy. This is high church, puppy church,
the climbing, the pawing, the gnawing,
when all you longed for was interaction.
Or the main thing. (Even puppies refuse absolutes.)
As the Greeks said, or the Chinese, or maybe Will,
Conscience can make slaves of nobles of long lineage.
What I mean is Look up now. Come.

29 April 2010


Greetings from the Girl-King of Crazy

Consider St. Monica, the nag who did not cause
the conversion of Augustine but bickered
for it, lowing always, leaving post-its.

Keep your shirt on! I was a victim
of my unconscious, a lithe boomerang
with a hell of a sharp edge. I couldn't
know what I was grumbling for, rumbling,
purple waiting (misunderstanding that, too)
for the strepitus to snap us all out of it.

And once in a while, you followed along.

18 April 2010

17 on the 18th.

The beginning is a popular movie, the one from last year. The color is dinner party. The philosopher is (also) homeless. The title is cumin. The art is orange. The sorrow is a streetlight on the northwest corner. The handwriting is architecture. The rules are corrosive acid. The church is packed. The rules are actually salt. The salt is Irish. The music is sentimental. The middle (also) is sentimental. The sentiment is rage, and no one sits to the left or the right of it. The calendar is gold, but not like the metal. The arc of time is flat and small. The ending is the village, but no one told you. I'm telling you.

13 April 2010

13 April, 13th NaPoWriMo

I wish I believed in the soul

I wish I believed in the soul
so that I could talk about it
like a real poet. I would
focus on yours, of course,

since I know yours, oh I do know
that soul-ish thing in you
and I love it, too,
though it is omnivorous

like a dog. Like my dog
Arthur Rimbaud, who will
eat anything from cigarette butts,
apt for the French poet in him,

to pine cones to styrofoam
peanuts, apt for nothing and
surely invented by someone else who
doesn't believe in the soul. Above all

he loves to eat every ketchup and
snot-slicked napkin crumpled and
dropped to be stomped on the streets
of New York. He leaps to their gray

with spritely joy and a private furtive
glance he can never share
with me because he already senses
though he's only a puppy

that I do not understand.

01 April 2010

How I am: always

How I am: always
the three a.m. call: the big news
that I love you so terribly, the fact
that I hate you so truly. I am
the digital ping of the phone that wakes
your dog, I am the dream broken, the one
where you are sawing off your leg
before an uninterested husband. Too: I am
wholly given up on the caller, have deep-sixed
the bright cotton candy stickiness
of our shared jail time, have let go
the blood hostility like pompoms shaken
in the headlights of oncoming traffic
on the old farm to market road, oh I am all
Buddhist detached oh oh I am the ickle
bit of hope for the caller
tucked in the top drawer behind the socks,
rolled loose like a sock,
the interruption long awaited.

I am the moment beneath the 3 a.m. call,
not the first kiss but the gray afternoon
and the invitation across the fence,
I am the energy of the hop over that fence
and the lope toward the scrotum-tightening sea
and the letter you wrote about it later
and the argument in which it came up
and the future heaped on the door stoop
like your best jacket worn for the date
bleached by salty sand.

Or I am the moment before that moment, the breeze
called spring with dirt and shit and the crocuses
probably, sure, though I wouldn't know a crocus
if it knocked me on the head. Who's there.

I am the reason you think the call is made
and the reason I think the call is made
and the dark cut by halogen, helpful,
because anyway it's 8 a.m. somewhere else
and 5 p.m. in still another town,
and I am the other reason, the one always here,
silent, spinning us round, drunk.