31 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #245 : Lips


Not today

Or any day really - if honesty is policy - which it is not but still at least there is the potential of a day
               where they are not not -

Periscoped from this point out there is the mind that wants to speak to others - that wants to be that
               kind of guy - social etc... - look there is an arm and it could be around your shoulders - and
               those lips could be kissing you -

Every lip could be kissing you - here is a room of nude lips - a bowl of them - they are dried apricots
               - the look like taffy or jerky or another soft problem to think about - they are 2+2 - a broken                dish against a wall - they are the sunrise the eclipse but in a storm -

30 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #244 : Of A Broken Wheel

Of A Broken Wheel

A broken limb -
               the eye - a wheel carrying you towards that gas station over there -
          not that you are on empty but you never know...

                                                               There is the impulse to lake - to
                                    find the tree this thing fell from - to
              rub the bark across your chest until it reds

The aesthetics of clouds -
                                                                            epistemology of algae -

                                                                 There is a greenness in both - the wheel
                     of the car kneecapping the day - the Emily Dickinsonness of
a broken wheel that is also an eye looking at a broken wheel -

Here death -

                                    Everywhere the sound of cicadas -

                 How both are ticks along a carved piece of wood -

29 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #243 : Impulse of Lateness

Impulse of Lateness

Your hand on the trunk
of the tree

Leaves making their
inevitable suicide

Here a sky
being unexpressive

The tree symbolizes
absolutely nothing

Even though you're sad

Your phone is ringing

Does it feel like stone
the trunk not the phone

we all know the feeling

It is time made physical

Your phone
it's the thing you're late for
calling you

Poem-A-Day #242 : Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law
There is an equation for everything - it's exhausting
          right now the man next to me is doing complicated figures - it's calculus
                               but could be advanced geometry - physics
I don't know
and that's my point - there are figures on pages for every damn thing
and I don't know them -
                                                  I think about the things unknown
                              there are expanses of them - not horizons enough
            you are standing on a mountain and you can see the whole way
around the world right to your ass - and then inside your ass to your stupid brain

But sight would fail you first - the world fills and fills and fills
because it is an expanse - humanity is bureaucracy - a steady fractal -

          we multiply to fill the space given - we are at our highest number right
before collapse -

I don't know if we collapse - it's exhausting
thinking about apocalypse - I feel that numbers are ants marching across
the corpse of the forest - sifting the leaves for foodstuffs -
                                                    that could be peaceful -
                                  but if we go with the proof in the math
              it's probably unpleasant - it's probably equalling
there's a diagram I'm sure - it's probably a triangle closing its sides to us

We can multiply to fill the space given but if the space shrinks we're fucked

27 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #241 : Everywhere / The Dream

Everywhere / The Dream

It's hard not to see apocalypse everywhere

The dream of drowning again - the one with the boat
and the attempt at fleeing - the one where your arms just
give out and your lungs are only shrubs not trees

The one with the darkness of water - the tingling
necessity of cold - spikes of jellyfish tentacles
never teeth not sharks this isn't that kind of thing - it
is a gentle death - so fucking quiet

Remember when you dreamt of bees all the time

They would land on your cans of soda - somehow find
the hole in your jeans and sit on your flesh - tongue
the salts there like miners looking for veins

Those were good times - less cold - often so full of sun
that you would wake up needing aloe on everything
feeling itched like poison oak - you drew oak leaf
patterns across every page of every book you read

At 7 AM the phone alerts you that a child has been taken

It is the sound of alarm - a sort of bleating in the darkness
that also resembles the klaxon of air raids - a unexploded
bomb in a churchyard - the mine your foot just ticked

The child is traveling in a beige car - are there
still beige things in the universe that do not travel - that
do not move constantly towards being less beige
do they all have children in them

Then at 9 the notice of a bomb downtown - a robot
lobster clawing at it - digging in a trash can or a strange
backpacks large pockets - there is a question in the sound
of alarm and that question is not why

In the dream of drowning there is a moment where you want ice cream

And that is natural - you probably want to go back
towards the kitchen - the boat sinking breaking falling apart
about you - you want those churned salt-licked milk crystals

There isn't anything clear in all this is dark - it is night
will continue to be so - the bomb will not be found - will not go off
the boat will sink and sink and sink because it is an unreal
a fractal inside your brain of what a drowning looks like

26 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #240 : Hill House, Not Sane

This is the end of the Hill House Poems. I think I ran out of ideas at least 15 poems ago, but I stuck with it. One poem for each chapter in the book. Sorta.

Hill House, Not Sane

Houses conspire in other ways - steadfast until collapse
          fuzzed hills pile
                                     until they sky themselves - there is
no truth in these things - we lean into each other

Speak in the tongue of brick and mortar - safe - not sane
          our skin entangles
                                        with this permanence

The crutch of reality flexes
          until breaking - until fracture and stardust
in our eyes blinds us - we drive into death - we fall into
the mouths of the world

25 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #239 : Ends


It is a quiet hunger - not a thirst - not the kind that forces people into the woods to force leaves into their mouths -

The sound of leaves of metal accordioning - the folds are pleats in a curtain that moves quietly in a breeze - it swirls the dust in an attic the hair under the bed -

No one can satisfy this hunger - one must forget to survive - oleander in the veins - it smells like old houses creaking in the ocean of night - like trees turning yellow and mast-like before winter erases them -

You must go the way you came - must arm the threat of starving - there is a tree and there is the road and the choice of allowing yourself to move -

And there is the breaking sound of digesting

24 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #238 : Parted


Love affairs
become our skin -

A second layer of mist
on the grass -

Toe the rocks in the bird's gullet
and find the places that need to smooth

Perhaps the cliche of parting and sorrow
should be broken

Whispered into the cracks of a stone wall
turned - such sorrow is parted sweet

Once the lovers meet -
journey towards each other

The destined touching of fingertips -
separating the newborn twins

Is a deathly business
journeys end in lovers meeting

and then peeling themselves
like the sound of oranges - until they pith

Poem-A-Day #237 : The Library

The Library

the spell of Hill House
come inside

of the iron railing
the rotting of wood
in the veins

The broken
once there is
so hard to puzzle

22 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #236 : The Spot of Our Sanity

The Spot of Our Sanity

The soft spot of our sanity - when pressed like a plum - gives its black juices to our fingers

Here is the sound of singing the brush of fabric against goosefleshed arm - it radiates heat

The spot will well up - saturation point like floodwaters filling the soil - will eventually give

Thumb through skin through meats - the smell of rotting rose petals - yellow beneath and pitted

Poem-A-Day #235 : Only So

Only So

The hallways are running out of horrors - the long trail of threadbare carpet looks less like a river of blood and more like its shabby self - only so many ghosts can scream in the night at once - only so many tomatoes can be thrown against the windows -

20 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #234 : Study


Scent of old books and tobacco

The swell of viola in humidity

Here the blaze of copper - the pop of heavy fabrics

What ivory object falls from a shelf

Collapses - becomes an archetype of lines on carpet

Here is the form man and the form room

They are fighting for dominance of space

These objects want to divorce

Want to be only themselves and their shapes

The scent will leave will drift like a cloud of toxic gas

19 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #233 : The Grattan Murders

The Grattan Murders

A knife
His hands
A wire
A shiv

The clock counts the ways
that a man could kill his family

It strikes twice per hour

How drunk his ass must have been
how sad his life before or after - he
must have been on PCP

He lost Jesus

A knife
          from the kitchen block
the one for turkey at Thanksgiving - the
one his father gave him
     the day the baby was born

His hands
                    around his own
mother's neck - he'd dreamt it
since he was 5

A wire
     the folds of the skin - leather
the wire is a belt the wire is a moment
a switch from the tree out front
               a sound like be a man

A shiv for baby

He had been staring out at the lake for hours
had managed to not drink or anything
had come home silently
had decided without deciding

Poem-A-Day #232 : Masc4Masc


must                    clean                   revolver
     keep it     gleaming               like                the sun
                    milksops               here       no faggots
        we play                     tennis cricket volleyball golf
are men
                         must keep          being clean men
in                place               our cocks are shuttled
are being a spin
                        in a chamber
                                          scar tissue across the cheek

18 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #231 : Wall


The oleander - mother house of my heart
thick around it with the ripples of vacant footsteps on water

I was as vacant once - will be forever
the laughter of death on the hillock under the trees

Hand-shaped candles melting into bowls of candy
a Halloween of the brain - pick it clean - but pick it cleanly

16 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #229 : Up All Night

Up All Night

The branch fingers the window
                                                   all night
that small bent sound - in the morning
names are engraved across the surface

Out the cloisters and into the sunlight
there - in the small oldest rooms of Westminster
a glass coffin houses old wax in the shape of a dead prince

The corner calls out
                                 in curling lines
time has etched its graffiti in the form of some
other dead man's initials

That we want to leave something
is not in doubt
                        the tree
                                     the man
both have seeds to sow to tend to reap

Poem-A-Day #230 : Stray Cat

Stray Cat

I have felt not at home
and without

The universe is not a cold dead place

It is just cold
and mostly not alive

Our matter
coalesces around us
it speaks to us at night
in the sounds of houses settling

If I have a hand to hold
let it also be my own

14 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #228 : Night


all in your head : the twisting blackness is

wood caves in itself : fire is hollowing

the children's faces darken : coal smoke ash everywhere

Poem-A-Day #227 : Planchette

I love Ouija boards. I love the idea of things talking to us from beyond whatever this is, from whatever that is. I love the lie of it. The beauty of it. The need for it.


Ghosts of trees
                          break open and
       split along their Blaschko's

The rupture is a balloon pop -
                                                 the second it takes for sound to enter your ear
pick at your brain register there is infinite -
                                                                      the threads of wood in your eye tell you more

Heart wood
                              is both poetic and descriptive
and tragic in your hand or sanded into a banister
to slide down

But shaped into a heart -
                                         and holding a pencil -
                                                                             the wood can speak its screaming truths

What these spectral beasts say
                                                  the creak of ships at sea
                                           the vanished static of leaves
or the shrapnel of falling down

Whichever it is -
                            those voices are in your hand
warming there and feeling polished -
                                                            they are making the small plank left behind move

British Planchette c.1850-19860

Poem-A-Day #226 : Mrs. Montague

I've been very bad at loading these to the webs. But it was release week for my book (order it HERE) and I kinda took it easy.

Mrs. Montague

She arrives
and automatically writes
her name across the page

This screen capture is larger than my poem.

11 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #225 : What Will I Do

What Will I Do

          only to watch it die
in my hands - the daisy - obviously

the greenness of the grass
     it was too much honestly - burned - it was blazing

the daisy - obviously
          it burned in my hands

curled petals went white then not
          it was just not for me - only for the soil

     not for these too clean hands

10 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #224 : Path


Paths don't know where they go
          they lay themselves down over and over and they end up
     where they do

They take us in the night          they are kidnappers and thieves

          One can find themselves in the garden of judgement
when they thought they were out for a stroll in the country
          the gates of hell
                    fling themselves open at the merest whisper

The rotting corpse of a child will throw a ball to a rotting dog
both          will smile up into the face of their guest
and will take their hand and never let go -

And the path that led there will not even notice what it has done
                                                  it will just keep sending travelers
                                                  into the grinder

09 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #223 : Bibelot


Beside the bed is the book the pages covered in woodcuts covered in twisted faces they are mouthing words in the sleeping ears around them they are silent but their silence is also hugely exploding they are forming themselves into solid objects these objects are letters that form and unform words the letters sing in a voice that cracks the sky the sky cracks and cracks and the bowl of it cannot hold enough cherries cannot hold enough cannot not the sound of voices the sound of wings the sound of a child listening...

08 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #222 : Eleanor Thinks About Her Companions

Eleanor Thinks About Her Companions

The room is warm is red with it
and she is thinking darkly that these people
hate her secretly find her silly

And she imagines them dead or worse

Imagines the sound of herself
as the sound of cheese being grated

That ones voice is the sound of bravado
it is the brag in the lung as it pushes oxygen
into the blood stream - without me etc. etc.

The father one is a bearded sink
a point of darkness where the knowledge dies
he is a buttonhole smoking a pipe

The psychic lesbian is a trope
that has never caught on but here she is
sitting on the carpet admiring her red toes

Eleanor wants them to go away
wants the silence that a mother's death promised her
she wants to disintegrate into the woodwork

Imagine them being eaten by the fireplace
her warmth guaranteed until the bones ran out

07 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #221 : Hands


Hands held
so tight
you can feel
the fine
the tendons
in the finger

The roll
of those rope
like tendrils
that wrap
from muscle
to bone
to circuitry

make it go
you can feel
the steady
of blood
in there

the thing
that opens
closes them
it is a

Feel that
the fragility
of the nails
against nails
the crack
of knuckles

So tight
that you can
feel them
can imagine
them floating
off their arms

Poem-A-Day #220 : Touch


Recoil at the touch :

                    but it was my dear name
          pressing its cheek against my hand

A battered dog left on a chain
its neck ringed in sores and scabs

If only surrender were option enough if only
it were not a release our bodies are so transparent
they are mosquito nets made of gold mesh
hanging over a bed of feathers

All of this is to say that they disintegrate upon touch
but they do love to touch

05 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #219 : Blood


If you cracked the wall open the blood that would fall out would drown the room in scent and iron and the shattered fragments of red light would sift the carpet would finger the room like a zen garden whose names are written there and how does the blood find a way out of this space beastly and soiled the blood is the house's it is a twin without skin the house a twin of only skin there is no other place there are no bones the holes in the walls will no heal there is no scab wallpaper is not strong enough

Poem-A-Day #218 : Help Eleanor Come Home

Help Eleanor Come Home

To name happiness is to dissipate it
make it so much smoke in so much humidity

The curl of your lip as you release the quietness inside
as you speak yourself into existence

It knows your name
and none of this is real convince yourself of this

You are the moving moment of real
you are here and here and here

The very air tastes of wine
it drains from the heavens into cups of amber

Into the hollows inside of eggs

03 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #217 : Thump


The sound wants to find the room with people in it
fingers the door for ways inside

The smoothness of the wood is cracking under iron
a head banging against the wall until it breaks

What will sound do with the people found
waves upon waves of echo attaching themselves

To skin an pulling undertow like until there is rip
until the floaters in the edge of sight become burns

Until bone and break and render and soap
all are quivering masses on the blue and green blankets

Sound wants bodies it needs them to walk itself out
the front door to find other bodies to scream itself into

02 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #216 : On Naming

On Naming

To call it by name
know that it has one - allow it to
hear you call it - it has itness

To pick up the word - place it
in your mouth - a caramel
to melt into you

Is to allow entry into your psyche

To call it by name
is to say that it deserves one - it
is an act of contrition

Observance and
- respect

To ignore the name - to un
a thing - is erasing and denying
and inviting it to assert

01 October 2016

Poem-A-Day #215 : Cold Spot

Cold Spot

breath                     a cold
                            space in

          we don't think about breath
how much we take in and let out
     don't talk about the breathing
          done and not done

                             can you
see it today

          a simple question
is it cold outside          enough
     to see what is unseen

speak                     tell us
                         what sort
                         of seeing

           is happening
is it your insides on display
     your secret thoughts the
          kind we'd be shocked to know

is it just molecules of you
entering molecules of not you