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 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
has made a mistake again.
Things break. Sometimes,
broken things even break things-
candy shrapnel in the belly of
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
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.
or just time, fragmented seconds,
descending, like some sort of
scalding judgment, descending,
and it all turns to steam before
it hits the ground