IceWhen the glacier slides, I'm the one. . . lost. Wondering where the right path is, with doubt biting. Frozen memories, icy distances. When the world grows colder, I'm the one. . . cracked. Standing on my own, with the past craving for me. Stolen, missing. When the snow falls, I'm the one. . . drifting. Trying my best, to make sense of it all. Wandering, wondering.When the hail storms, I'm the one. . . walking. Holding my guard, locking my heart. Smiling, pretending.
Cassandra - Prologue and Part 1Even in death, Cassandra was lovely. Her hair cascaded over her ivory shoulders in sable cataracts, pooling in the soft hollow between her breast and throat. She was wearing the white nightgown, the one she knew I loved, and the fall had thrown it up, weightless, in gossamer drifts across her legs. Her bare toes were painted salmon-pink, the same colour as the roses in the crystal vase by the door.So elegant, my Cassandra. I might have expected that she would sprawl, as one imagines that people do when they have died suddenly, but her body refused to surrender its accustomed grace. One hand curled beside her face; the other lay, palm up, across her cocked hips, its open fingers tenderly beckoning. Her eyes were closed, peaceful, the fringe of dark lashes sooty and familiar upon her fading cheek. Her lips were parted in expectation. At any moment, she would wake, look up at me, smile. Cassandra. My hand found the banister, gripped the aged wood and guided me down the stairs
Water SignsThen water, you and I,Scorpio and Cancer, respectively,yours the calm fathomed passion of lakemine a spring fed, fast-tumbling brookYou taught me to swim in your deepwith caressing breast and leg strokeI flashed my silver moon flair, leapt,like a fish, into dizzying ozone airmatched my fall-freedrowning-dive to your quiver.Oh the silky innuendo,shimmered laughter and sparkling jive -though you wanted more of wet and more wet,I, the tiptoe through shallowfearful I could get lured, hookedby such a catch-and-release kind of man.
the drifter i.i tried to tell you that Marley was a ghost,but you wanted to walk with wingsacross gleaming midnight. How marvelous, this stone stands sturdy and musty; this glorious church holding up a ticking sun that slowly cracks the trippy stained glass.you drilled way below the church stone, and found dried palm leaves and old jointslike clues to the map of an exceptional life. I love this torrential literature, I love a racing heart. ii.i cannot sleep, i keep dreaming, ezekiel's visions leave me breathless. Take it up with the Big Man. Surely the cannabis creator must exude a presence that lingers on synapses.iii.i've lost my ability to fly.a tender sky with reddening clouds, the sights of death give birth to no life. Well, I'm l
What If We Were Poets?Do you ever wonder what it's like to come face-to-facewith the planets? To curl your fingers in the air withoutmeeting thousands of plaster ceilings? What if I showed youhow to cross Saturn's rings, inhale the atmosphere of Venus?You would enter the Earth (and it's a strange place to call home,really) with ice crystals at the corners of your mouth and ashclouds stuck to the insides of your fingernails. Let me tell you,it's a beginner's worry that you'll burn up in the atmosphere,but I've had helium and hydrogen daubed on the base of my tongue.Oh, and do you ever brush past the windows on train carriagesand wonder what cornfields are like when they're your skyand your Earth's crust? What if I took you to the white cliffsof somewhere or other and taught you how to spread your wingsand not hit the ground? What if I showed you mazes, and becamethe red threads around your thumbs? If you'll just trust me, I'll let yousee that getting lost should only worry you in jungles of co
Something Borrowedgirls in white dressesdon't always want weddings.the priests would speak of leaps of faithand my hands would clasp the wood in horror,knuckles bleached like bone- and i foundsomething old: the knot tied in my throat. my vocal cords did not let empty words escape.and there was something blue: the heart that hesitated. how can a seedling prophesyits harvest? how can a caterpillar promisethe power of its wings?so let others gather flowers.we will skip the massbut not the bed: and throughthis something borrowed,earn a little time- and a place to rest our heads.
Falling Into StarlightI am falling. I have been caught by a monster which cannot be seen, but for the path of destruction it carves through the cosmos. It pulls me in, and as I plummet the universe bends and folds back on itself, and for a brief moment I can see everything that is and ever was.In the twisted relay of light I see the nebula that was my birthing ground. Its radiance surrounds me with heat and color. Bursting clouds and arching forms in writhing wings of gossamer, painted with hydrogen and illuminated from within by the glow of its children.Mother nebula had formed me, along with my sisters, from parts of herself. Coaxing and coalescing until we were strong enough enough to shine on our own. Then she breathed into us life and our hearts began to flutter with the embers of fusion.In our mother’s embrace, I played with my sisters, plunging into misted veils and swinging through spangled swaths of life-dust. She would tell us tales of the far reaches of the galaxy, where the giants dance
Her CatalystAs she walks through the maelstrom, the words trace upon the tips of her fingers and press into the stone. Every brick, every crack in the concrete, every crossed and angular stroke in reds and blacks and oranges. The drips of the gasoline pool around the base of her boots, slosh as she steps over the burst pipes and the rubble. So much rubble. So little outcry. The silence of the city grates on her eardrums and the mantras she'd been forced to memorize. The Seers demanded they observe thirteen years of recitation before they attempt to weave their first World together.But who other than the Seers can claim the incantations that knot the skeins they twist and pull on like reins hold fast? When have any of the Sisters recorded the visions they traced upon space-time and recited them, left them open for critique and discussion and debate?They haven't.Which is why she walks through the chalky soot of the smashed city around her. This all
We Were All Going to be WonderfulKathy's mom, shaped like a ripe pearblack-haired, she wore it long, tied back.She looked foreign, she should have been a gypsy--silver and red, smoky and asleep;should have smelled like cardamom or clovesbut she smelled like onions and carrots, potatoes and oregano.She leaned at the sink in the tiny kitchenpeeling potatoes, head bent, sallow-skinned, heavy-hippedher dark hair traced with the first lazy spider webs of gray.We slunk past the gray-mouthed man on the sofawith his Reds game and his beer;men weren't soft then, but the new kind was coming along.The suburbs were a gardenthrough the hot summer days and the Catholic schools,and it wasn't the dads who had the dirty fingernails.But he worked every day, by god he did,drove a truck fat with bakery goodsflaccid and without souls(whole wheat was a color not a life.)Robert kept the kids fed, didn't interferewith their summer afternoons."Come in here, Josie, pull down my pants and make love to me."She only grunted,
fishermanI am a fisherman-all roaring wavesand rush of sea saltbeating seagull wingsand a tongue carved fromrough driftwoodMy hands break leveesand my breath births damsthe taste of chilly mornsstill melt on the roof of mymouth like I never wishedfor anything besides the smackof sodden rubber boots andthe scars from entangledhunks of ivory netsthe sea has notforgotten my voice-I can hear themwhisperingwhen the wooden floorboardscrackle like hurricane bruisesfrom water laden sauntersthrough land sunk librariesit has been a foreversince I held a dreamcaught between my fingertipsand the gentle rock of aboat and foamy froth onmy lipsbut this new trip I have embarked uponcarries more clanking hooks than screeching sinkersyet- my line has not changed-I am a fisherman and the seadoes notforget who its children are.
EmpyreanMomma said to never marry an astronaut,they will always prefer the twinkling starlightto the light in your eyes.They'll only end up in ships that floataimlessly in zero gravity and you will not be there.Momma said to never marry an astronaut.You will stand firmly on the earth,clutching the ground and knowingthey will always prefer the twinkling starlight.Planets will fracture and stars will collapselong before he recognizes he can travelto the light in your eyes.
Dead Man's SwitchIn control, then not -Sudden loss of grip.AccelerationHeadlong to where?Blurred reality,Details lost, smudged, streaked.Careening; no system ofIncapacitation.Memories flash,Movements stiffen.Throat parches,ThoughtsruntogetherNo dead man's switch,On a fast track -With or without a god?to oblivion.
a modern opheliashe found fennel beneath her pillow,and felt the familiar flutterof glassfish between her ribs.to distract herself, shescattered the reddest petalsin her bathwater.she braided poppies in her hairand, gasping,let regret invade her lungs.
Missing GirlsMissing GirlsThese snippets of girls, broadsheets, ballads,a one paragraph whisper in a smudged newspaperbeneath an ad for a pizza, two for one.But they are singular despite their raveled tangled names.They are still awake, a litany of how young girls die.Delia is gone, 14 years old, cinched and muzzled with rope,two bullets. He was pardoned. She sleeps somewhere unknown.Her bones whisper to the unknowns. At least Delia has a song.Johnny Cash sang about her, the Man in Black.Did they bury her in black, a thrift store school dresswith sweat stained underarms?They tell Delia of truck stop stores gaudy with harsh beaten light,racks of DVDs of Country’s greatest hits. A bus stop smelling of aged urine.He promised he would leave his wife, girlfriend, so many words.In a church bathroom. He had a kind face.Grainy posters stapled to telephone poles, taped to smudged windows,small store billboards cramped with fading pleasamidst ads for babysitting, massage and guitar le
You're Not A PoetYou’re not a poet because of strung wordsTogether on row upon row againOf blank verse or perhaps liberal rhyme.‘Slam’ all you want, other poets wonder;Your ignorance of couplets a blunder?Yes! I speak harshly, but it’s no gross crime,To point with honesty failed verse of thine.No real poet discards upper case words;Lets prose crawl on paper like listless worms.You seek to free verse of those stern letters,Sever away bleak capital fetters,But it doesn’t sing of great speech sublime,Rather, it sneaks of writing in spare time.Wait! before you throw me in the icy Rhine;It’s hard to put verse together in rhyme,To make our dull words sound great all the time,Hear them ring out loud, like a clear clock’s chime,Heralding a poet’s summer prime.Yet the sacred muses weep at your crime;Your pentameter mangled thick like slime,The subject not gilded in raiment fine;Your bold ink font, crystal waters divineTastes bitter to the ton
GraceMother, eighty-four, took UncleJames for a ride yesterday.Drove her brother to the cemeteryTo visit Daddy and Mike.After, she called their flowers lovely,Then asked, "Where's Daddy?Where is my Husband?" *For the first time in fifteen yearsI dream of Mike, him driving upIn Mother's big Oldsmobile,Then waiting. We talk, he nods.Now, I realize he has comeFor Mother. As the old ones sayTo take her home. I go to herBed, grab her hand. I'm waking,Mother's hand cooling in mine. *April 15, 2009Today, my little sister and IWill go to select a coffinFor Mother. Eighteen years ago,I went with Mother to chooseMike's. Yesterday, my Mother died.Like a kaleidoscope twisted,And twisted, the worldBroken, scattered bits of glass.
Fragile Magpie MoonsIt's only spring when you first wake up,two magpies and the dull ache of menstrual crampstapping on. Death's windowsleeps in all our bones,a dripping water faucet.Brittle things--like love,marlboro midnights,a jar of not-quite-nothing--small and fragile and oursare the presences we carrywhile running from the moon.
Eden's AngelI knew the old stories. The first man and woman had disobeyed, and so they had been driven out of paradise. An angel had been placed in paradise to guard the tree.I never heard any stories saying he left the garden.I went to find the tree, to see if it really was worth getting kicked out of paradise. I’d seen the Fountain of Youth, Atlantis, and the Holy Grail. This was the next big thing. It was the edge of the Earth and beyond. It was further than Davy Jones’ Locker. It was paradise.Some people told me the Holy Grail and the Fountain of Youth were the same thing. If you drank from the Holy Grail, you wouldn’t die. If you drank from the Fountain of Youth, you wouldn’t die. But I’ve seen them before. The Holy Grail is an ugly brown wooden cup. The Fountain of Youth isn’t more than a pool of stale water in the middle of a cave in South America. Atlantis was less of a disappointment, but it wanted to remain hidden. So I ventured out for the Garden o