Monday, July 13, 2015

May Is Cold This Year And

May is cold this year and
(I don't really know how to breathe
under the weight of)

every day progresses slowly, darkly 
into the darkness of night, night like a 
blanket like a blackout curtain, bag over
the head, 
trunk of 
the car 

the porch is blue. I sit on it 
smoking. I think
of Uncle Charlie some more.

I don’t know what he did all those crabbed winters
those springs and summers beneath thunder,
I have heard that
he fished the little creek, he read books
and read them again, he had a cat and a dog

our family somewhat blown around,
the fragile aspects of a little tree,
a little creek.

From the strip of oil spill coast we meandered
north, or east, or stayed put like dad-
dad came home covered in petrol 
in 1969 he says. 

He remembers the year it was 
1969 he says. He will remember this year 
too, it is 2015 and Plains All American
Pipeline 

has made a mistake again. 

Things break. Sometimes,
broken things even break things- 
candy shrapnel in the belly of 
a seagull. 

And there are two kinds of silence, perhaps
even more, I am familiar with the one
that arrives all dressed up

in organza and chatter, looking 
like something, sounding alive.

Another kind does not arrive,
it has just always been here,
and we have never noticed it, 
and still we do not notice it,
but soon we will notice it, 
and when we do it will buckle 
the tender of our knees,
we’ll all fall down. 

(I want to touch you the way
one can touch a tree can touch
a creek. I am not looking for anything 
that can be defined by taxonomy, 
unless it is creek. Unless it is light- 
from the family greater phenomena
of the genus things above us things beyond)

And sometimes I act tough, for I’m tough; sometimes
I act tender. I consider my maker, I consider
the fader. I consider consider.
I consider Plains All 
American bathing the round rocks with 
crude culminations. 

I know I’m not doing all I ought to be doing.
I’m working and writing and sleeping and writhing.
I’m searching and finding and discarding my findings.
I give it away like a rich man;
crumple beneath sun like a leech.

It’s hard to stay well when life is so vicious
in its joy and its tumbling doubts. Uncle Charlie 
went in with a rifle when they didn’t 
give him that job he interviewed for.
Though, I’ve heard he sat 
in hot tubs naked, good moments were had-

I walk on the wharf and my father tells me 
about fishing. In pictures they are 
tiny boys and fishing with jaunty caps 
frozen in time, like beautiful little blue fish, 
like beautiful tiny boys. 

I love them.  I’m messy;
do you understand time?
I do not. I live with my hands over my head. 
I live with my hands over my head because 
strange things fall from the sky sometimes.
Spiders in Australia. Frogs somewhere.
Petrol. Rain, 
or just time, fragmented seconds, 

descending, like some sort of 
scalding judgment, descending, 
and it all turns to steam before 
it hits the ground 


Charlie


“I am bombarded yet I stand
I have been standing all my life in the
direct path of a battery of signals
the most accurately transmitted most
untranslatable language in the universe”
-Adrienne Rich

This is not the first time I have said that 
I am going to drive east but only halfway
because halfway is where my destination lies like a 
yellow picnic blanket next to a sort of 
quaint stream where he fished and smoked and 
lectured the dog when the dog would snuffle his 
nose into the pouch of rolling tobacco

as the dog was wont to do and our dog 
was wont to do it too. 

There are some things that are so easy to know about him 
that he could not hide them even with deliberate and
meticulous effort, things like 

the color of those two stones one is a blue stone 
one is green. The color of those shoes is I suppose 
a point of some contention. The color of fifty percent 
of his hair or twenty eight percent of his mustache or, 
to diverge from this tumbling, 

the color of my hair as a child for instance was 
a very dark brown. And the color of my eyes as a child was 
a very sludgy green. And I weighed eighty pounds as a child.
And I weighed forty five pounds as a child. And I wore collared shirts
with buttons and plaid caps backward and I slept beneath Hale-Bopp 
beneath the roof of the car and I slept beneath oak trees beneath the nylon
of my father’s bike trailer and I slept in tents and 
in one little bed, dreaming the simple quilted dreams that a child dreams.

The color of my childhood for instance was the color of 
that quaint stream in Dodgeville, Wisconsin next to a yellow house 
where a dog trots along with his nose low to the dirt and tail aloft.
And an orange cat finds another orange cat, as if fated, to summon up legions 
of orange kittens. 

And my uncle died in a hospital of Pneumonia.
This is many years after he planned his escape route to Canada.
This is many years after he planned his escape route to east,
but only halfway. A handwritten note painstakingly 
cyphered read that he loved me because I said 
read read read. 

Read read read. 

And if for instance I do not read very much anymore 
because my body buzzes with fear and a little ghost won’t 
let my mind settle into that imperative groove,

and if for instance I cannot make humble head 
or tucked tail of my own teeming life, 

well then it is time perhaps to go east but only halfway, 
if only for a little moment and a very tiny paw. 
The roof and the rifle, the thunderous summers 

and steady perch of raw-bone knees

Terrified By Nature



Illustrate this: this storm
and the one
between collarbones and pelvis.

Illustrate this storm, it’s so seismic.
My body caving like wet paper grows
all tenuous and slow, and minute
sparks communicate along all of my
jagged byways, lord help me.

Lord help me the sun has been gone long enough
that I feel it like the beauty of the absent bedmate.
It’s the sort of thing that makes you fall asleep watching television
and I am buckled and unbuckled in this black pulse.

I could talk about relief and how I wait all day
for it to come home, I wear only a little, something sexy,
I await the arrival of that tongue

I attempt to speak, but I am
wrought of chalk or spewing smoke.
I’m catching my lip on a sharp thing,
I’m terrified by nature
and terrified of its blatant premonitions:
dead gull wing wavers like a discarded
single page.


Dead hill surveys penetration of
little mesa, fracking drills dipping
up & down.
Storm hovers like blade
but never drops.

So I attempt to shake the bottle up:
I’m adjusting my cleavage for summer, and I say,
love me for this shivering jelly or don’t.
Love the abrupt last quake of this
listing rock as it pitches toward fire.

After all,
I am the vicious ghost of forgiveness unconditional.
I am the vicious ghost of grandma’s deck chair,
ritual and mastectomy.

I’m dripping in the blood of the beach, the contents
of shark eggs, the slickness of seaweed, the sweat
of summer cleavage, the dust captured by claw,
the night captured by morning.

I am leaning out toward love and I
will lean that way forever,

terrified by nature.

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