28 February 2011

Daffadowndilly

Daffadowndilly 2/28

There are little fist-shaped buds on the ends of trees

On some date something happened – I dream about
guns at my head and wake in sweats every night

I pounded my fists on the pavement until they were raw
and my nails couldn’t catch fast enough – I have never
screamed so loud in my life

The buds will green and pink and be magnolia cherry
will be lilac soon enough the winter will be over

It goes like this :
            You walk in a dark neighborhood
            You are attacked from behind there could be knives
                        or guns but it’s fists to the temple and break
                        the sight and blood red stars in the vision and
                        here’s the money here’s the money here’s
            You take it like a man like a grown-up
            You never let them see you cry
            You do what you’re sposed ta – call the cops go to the
                        hospital and get yourself checked out for the
                        tidy sum of $2000 US and they pull on you and
                        feed you day old chicken salad
            You don’t call anyone and you get home so late
            You sleep for days and days and days and days
            You tell everyone you’re fine and that’s that

Little fists pushing against the cold – for space – rubbing
at the cosmos to jump-start the world

March comes in like a goddamn lion they say – February
doesn’t get any such sayings – it sits coldly in the corner
and collects the leftovers of the year before

27 February 2011

Presser

Presser 2/27

I remember shelves locked behind glass
dishes leafed in gold in silver
in tangled leaves and flowers

The kind of thing you see at rummage sales
in the backs of Goodwill on QVC late at night
“The good china”

Grandmother would always say
would look over my shoulder into the case
the stories floating out into the room

And then the cuckoo clock would go
need to be wound and all
that history would suddenly pull into her

The sun would set fire to the yard and
reflections would hide the shelves in light

26 February 2011

Skeeve

Skeeve 2/26

All hands and that too much cologne smell of alcohol and heavy flowers everything is sticky and sweaty and even the table s wet with it The TV is too loud and only every other word manages from lip to ear back to X place with X in your pocket on the X train be there by X and naked by X the toilets in this place are brown from hard water everything feels like a bad 90s teen drama we’re waiting for Luke Perry to save us but are getting more gin and that look from the bartender that you’re not the one that I should let buy the drinks tonight

25 February 2011

Cruise

Cruise (Circle Line) 2/25

To your left is where Carrie Bradshaw
first said no to Mr. Big

To your left everything was covered
in inches of ash on September 11th 2001

To your left is Macys where you can
buy many great things

To your left is Trinty Church which stood
as all the rest fell on September 11th 2001

And to your right is New Jersey and
the Statue of Liberty

24 February 2011

Lumber

Lumber 2/24

Bundle the past and walk with it
There is the clearing in the woods
There is the house in the clearing

History is a thing that stiffens
Like peaks in meringue or gingerbread
The house is made of the stuff

And old woman lived here and she
Carried so much history that her
Bones snapped many times over

Bundle the past walk with it and
Leave these woods quickly as you
Came in an never never look back

Influential

Influential 2/23

Saturn is returning – is coming up calmly
clearing the way and pushing

We are a dust on the surface of a camera
that blinks – an eye in a valley in sun

Saturn moves close and looms – giant face
acting like a torment but smiling

22 February 2011

Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits 2/22

- out behind the house stumbling
on mushrooms the night
is ink and trees coming to life

battle with a bush stabbing and crawling
through the drainage ditch
this is a guided tour of psyche

the moon crawls
and the milky way is too close for comfort

covered in dust and broken shoes
the sound of scratching dogs pushes

21 February 2011

Microsattelite

Microsattelite 2/21

There are so many ways we can go wrong

The man at MoMA –
one side of his face was inflated like a balloon

The man on the subway with the short leg

In pairs I cast stones into the fountain –
and count the times I am lucky

19 February 2011

Equip

Equip 2/19

Leather the sun
                        break it open
Let the insides drip into a cup
made of lead

Over here
there is a tomb to some dead priest
The cup sentinels awhile
leaves rings of green

Rust the moon
                        pop the edges down
Burn through all stone and all sky
There is a tap root running through the universe
It hums with the sound of bone

Let everything stir until red
Let it feel in the gut

18 February 2011

Rigger

Rigger 2/18

The body is the vessel
He is taking the cotton to the temple
Swabbing at the blood
The eyelid is sealed with black tar
Something fractured
Scratches across the skin break and draw
Everything is a ship metaphor
Here we are at sea in storm
The sails are tearing
You want your mother more and more
And more
See there were these boys
And a dark road
And fists and bending metal and blood
There was sobbing into the cold
Pounding fists on pavement
So much upheaval
Terror and waste
Flush it overboard into the gutter
With the guts and shit
Move onward towards a horizon
We are always expected to move
Onwards to a new horizon
He is swabbing at the temple
There is a sick light
The sound of a woman screaming
An orderly cracks a joke about dying
The bed has bars on it
A police officer chews a wooden toothpick
And plays a game on his cell phone

17 February 2011

Unquestionable

Unquestionable 2/17

God will shoot at them with arrows
suddenly they will be struck down.

They shall fall by the sword
they shall be a dish for foxes.

16 February 2011

Soak

Soak 2/16

Burn this hurricane 'til it breaks

Can you hold it together long enough to hear morning

Here is some lightening to patch your night with

Here is a broken limb through your window

15 February 2011

Shrove

Shrove 2/15

I remember running with pancakes
Squeezing lemon over the thin crepes
The pan glazed greased and sliding
At the finish line you stuff the flap
Pour on the sugar and gobble all of it
Tomorrow we fast and fast and fast

14 February 2011

Love Poem #5

Love Poem #5

the city was tired and you –
            you were already god

so you made yourself omniscient and left –

I placed myself on the harp strings of dawn
and watched for the first signs of the horses
lashed to the chariot of fire

the beach was again empty –
            the bones of gulls lay marbleized in my mind

behind me the streets settled into their places
every building put down its legs and turned
off their feet

water mucked the sand with foam –
            I imagined a darkness that could envelope this

reached into that bag of tricks that you
absently called obsession and brought forth
a bathing pink daylight

I pluck the chords until the sky erupts –
            peach branded ejaculates

the sun rises full as an orange and evaporates night –

13 February 2011

Pecan

Pecan

There’s that joke about Washington and Jefferson sharing a pecan with a slave girl that Jefferson is secretly fucking and I just can’t –

Why does everything have to acknowledge its history : the pages of the books just keep filling rooms – they are a series of blades : rhetoric presses your flesh

This brings up the question of how you survive : hold that nut in your hand awhile feel that weight : her skin is that same color –

12 February 2011

Thoughts On A Death

Thoughts On A Death

Here is the chair

The chair where cancer comes and takes you

Takes you from this room

This room where a man stares out the window

The window that birds fly into constantly


A bird hitting the window is a sign of death – every time it happens
my grandmother gasps from the other room and looks at the spot where she slept

He is sitting – watching the coming winter – looking at the spot the birdfeeder was
He is talking about throwing seed out into the grass – about squirrels chipmunks robins sparrows blue jays rabbits
He is her father was her father is her father was her is her was is


It                        sounds        like
                        this

The phone rings and you answer it it is February
She has been sick for 4 years has it been 4 years?
At Christmas she was sleeping in front of the tree
She smiled drugged out of her mind and talked
about how she was tired how she was tired how she was

It                        sounds        like
                        this

You answer you know before you answer but
you answer because what else can you do this
is not something you can deny entry to

It                        sounds            like
                        this

Outside the window is grey and blowing and cold
There is an old man pushing a shopping cart he is
moving shuffling taking a step a minute
He is looking at the next intersection the intersection
is the current goal the only thing he needs is that corner
until he needs the next

It                        sounds            like
                        this

Michael your aunt died this morning we were all here we were with her we held her hand she wasn’t in pain she went peacefully she isn’t suffering anymore she is gone she is her funeral is ___ can you come home? Do I need to buy you a ticket? Are you ok? Can you get off work?

How’s the weather there?


Valentine’s Day is a soft rain – always and not
Not sad rain no no no it is quiet cleansing rain

I sit in front of a weeping cherry tree and feel no irony in this


At the funeral I cut my finger on the urn
(I am careful to not use the pronoun ‘her’ here it is tenuous and slippery in my mouth like jasmine tea – you’ve never noticed the oily texture of jasmine tea? – well it’s there like the Taos hum – you’ve never heard of the Taos hum? – well I can’t help you there)

At the funeral – how’s the weather there?

It is cold but does not really rain I think it might sputter a bit but it collapses and becomes just another February day – my mother’s birthday – her sister’s funeral


A window that looks out onto two slender trees

Slender trees that have stood as long as I can remember

I can remember many things

Many things that I probably made up or have half wrong

Half wrong but there is progression inevitability stoppage

11 February 2011

Salchow

Salchow 2/11

The body pulses
                        like paused film
your hand raises
floats
away just as suddenly is back

                        and your
eyes

they are a full stop
                                    a jumping quotation
                        set to music

This
is a
body
sudden
and
ripe
citrus
full

The pause
                        stretches out and
jerks back

Is over
before anyone
catches breath

10 February 2011

Half

Half 2/10

In the gallery there are whispers of revolution
Women in fake fur coats (wouldn’t want to kill
rabbits this year darling) click along trying not
to wince at the penises on display

Gilbert and George (never George and Gilbert)
tower over everything their eyes white dots
and butterfly wings sprout from their shoulders
Their suits are 10 times perfect

You can smell the wet paint and the sky is
trying to get in through the skylight (it is that
time of year) these little hands are tapping out
a Morse on the panes – calling :

We’ve got candy little boy – all kinds of candy
(there is a wind in the rooms)

Clip Art

Clip Art 2/9

            want to burn
break the house open at the seams
                                    here
            this is a beam from the birthplace
of Frank Lloyd Wright
it manages
                        to remind one of Falling Water
if you look at it in profile with the sun set
right behind it at 5pm in New York City

and that’s pretty cool
                                    it could and does
                        go up on a wall in a gallery
sells for a mil

08 February 2011

Marsupial

Marsupial 2/8

Baby in a pink bear suit
Baby jumping in time to Radiohead
Baby rolling downhill
Baby licking her lips and thinking about cake
Baby flashdancing
Baby wearing sunglasses and fingerless gloves

07 February 2011

Memoir

Memoir 2/7

A hand out across the water
finger tips barely touching

This is my voice in the middle of the night

I am blind and sitting on a sidewalk in Harlem
crying and hitting the pavement with fists

At least it’s not snowing – right?

There is no fracture and my mother
is not driving across the bridge

My voice is cracked and swollen a balloon

These are my fingers reaching
your hand is just out of reach

Over the other side of Manhattan out in Brooklyn

06 February 2011

Republication

Republication 2/6

The cities are allowed to change
But you are not allowed to change.


Please
                        may I change?

I need to be born

Bertolt – go easy on us non-city types

I’d argue that the cities never change

They just shine themselves
                        once – maybe
twice
a century

They cleave the glass from the pane
rotate the buildings into the sun
and start the bending toward the light
again

05 February 2011

Landed

Landed 2/5

The war began
in Wilmer McLean’s front yard
and ended
on his dining room table

They left taking his furniture
Custer got the table
The South went bankrupt
in Appomattox

04 February 2011

Tilt

Tilt 2/4

When I was young I stood on rocky flats tilting windmills of poetry
Those Ginsbergs and Pounds that dot the countryside
Now I ride mules and kick rocks into the words I’ve wrought before
These are melting paintings are Icarus wings are fires in warehouses
I want my own damn windmill
I will deforest libraries before the night is through

03 February 2011

Paying Out

Paying Out 2/3

You stand
on the edge of the cliff
feeding rope into the void

There is –
                        in theory –
someone down there

In fog all mountains look like heaven

You tie off
and sit by the edge
watching the cloudbreak

02 February 2011

Dross

Dross 2/2

When you hit me
the sparks burned holes
in the snow

I could write a book of sand
and still not decipher
half of this pebble

The holes are drops of piss
are cigarette through thin
cotton blanket on the grass
and we are at a picnic on it

And I understand less
then nothing
and I drop from great height
I splash on pavement

Grains against wind
flapping against ticks of clock

Here are measurements :
            120th St.
            6:45
            $100

01 February 2011

Ground-hog

Ground-hog 2/1

There’s that movie
Days repeating
A tide that washes in
Rushes the shore
And froths before the
Going back out

It’s not really like that
They raise up
This heaviest of marmots
And the cameras
Stare into the earth for
A shadow

But the day stops there
It pushes off
And the sun makes a spin