Thursday, May 17, 2007

From the vaults:

first of all and furthermore and to the point at last

what we have learned
so far let's recount
& codify the instances
of recognition
which we recognized
as ultimately our own

instantly one true holding
we have learned to let
go expectations
realize to realize
relate the cat to the cat
not the soul

not the soul no
soul ever wandered out
into the cold
like we do with our skin on
we say we do not either
take your place seriously

& see through that please
teach the cat to the dog
not the soul you are
not your soul you are
a closed fist

i was counting in another way

not long now not long now not long now
until until until
i stand up & i close my eyes
relying on my other eyes

and it could take me
ten thousan lifetimes to take care of all that i am
or can do or it could take all day
or it could have happened already

i haven't opened
my house up for days and i've been saying
i'm doing
just fine

the cat walks up from her silence
and speaks at me
and then we both move on
in a window in a window in a window

in a chair
i sat counting without any real care
for order
sequential or otherwise

salamun in starlight

in this approach belief is secondary & how we strive
to keep the animals full
primary and primary our instinctual desires
to please & to be pleased please please me
we will say to the air & to the trees
& in their manner they will

in this approach we are lost wandering crowded halls
and found wandering the same
once i thought i wanted to be free
now i understand once i thought what i thought
was what mattered now i understand

i was circumferencing that moon-self life starlight
& from such a great distance i would grow
& die one thousand times before reaching even
a lop-sided agreement

but i'm not about to fall off of this sofa yet!

in this approach my good will pulls its wallet out
emptying its dust on the ground
& then tips its hat & then it fades away

i'm beginning to question my perceptions
i'm close to perceiving my questions in this approach we will
choose to make our own mistakes
& we will do what we can do

to stand by them

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Philip K Dick and the Pond Sucked Dry

The pond's been drained down a foot and a half and a city worker
with a weed trimmer is walking the edge from the inside. The ducks are settled on the exposed cement bottom
and more draining's underway, so what. He sat in his car
for an extra twenty minutes and heard the eldest daughter of Philip K. Dick
describe a father as fun, who played softball and April Fool's
and who talked to her at thirteen about the Nag Hammadi. He reclined his driver's seat,
kept his AC on, watched dry leaves fall as the temperature approached
100. The ducks missed most of this. They had other issues to explore.
Where do we go when the pond's finally dry? All the while, the red pumping machine,
with its sucking white snout, kept purring and burping as it drew
the element they know away from the where it is they live, so what. They peck at mud,
lie down in damp leaves. Neither he nor they need to understand.

Pond With Noise, Pond Without

Today, the mother and at least nine ducks are sleeping in the shade of a rock
not ten feet away and a squirrel on its stomach outstretches its legs and lays flat. It rests
its chin on its forearms. He's never seen this before.
Sitting, supposedly, in thoughtless meditation, he thinks of a therapist keeping office hours
and holding a space for a client who doesn't show by showing anyway
to sit there in her chair. He imagines fifty minutes spent considering the impact
of another's absence on one present person and gasps. All at once,
the ducklings begin preening their nine selves and the squirrel stands up and starts to scratch.
A bug begins to climb his stomach, his shirt, and one duck dips
for a swim. It's a quiet day, hotter than most, but his mind
doesn't ask why. One after the other, the remaining waddlers follow. In the distance,
in unison, children with towels march toward a pool and shout "silence" over and over and,
over them all, another one shouts "these songs are hurting my ears".

Friday, July 21, 2006

By His Image Which is Not Reflected in the Pond

Today, says the I Ching, a time of darkness draws to a close
and it hasn't, he thinks, even been so dark. On the phone, she says
we have a knack at bad timing and he hears her and he laughs. It's a joke.
Everyday, he thinks, every day is the practice, and the ants climb his arms to his neck.
Everyday, he thinks, every day is the practice, and he exhales, he inhales,
he gets past. Tomorrow's pond and today's pond are the same,
but tomorrow's pond does not exist. Get it? He sits far enough back from the edge
so that he doesn't upon his face reflect. In love with himself,
disillusioned but still, he counts the birds he can't name.
One, two, three. A friend wants to take him fishing, a friend says,
today, he thinks that that sounds pretty great.

Just-Past-Noon Pond in a High-Speed Workday

Fire-red dragonfly. Monarch in flight. Ducks in bright green algae, dipping.
Breeze made visible in a pond-reflected treelight. Unseen bugs make rings perfectly
on the surface. There's a lot going on, including joggers and children. And a pre-panic mother
attempting an afternoon rush. He sits counting the minutes he breathes
and tries not to try to relax but to just
relax. And so he does. And across the pond, a stranger is humming
almost in time with his mind. Projection is like this.
The world inside and the world coincide. A stream of ants rushes out,
rushes back. The mother duck lifts her shining wings
but doesn't fly. She dives in, pops out. Dives in and pops out again.
Beautiful. She preens herself alive.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Near-Sunset Pond on a Better-than-Average Day

With more than half of a moon in the sky-blue sky
and a mother and nine baby ducks asleep nearby and a squirrel with clasped hands
beneath a swooping pair of sparrow
and trees and trees and near-sunset breeze and two socked feet
at the end of two outstretched legs and this hand
and this blue pen and this other hand scratching my sunburnt chest
by this pond reflecting more than half a moon
as the train trains by and two dogs on the move with their two people leashed
and the birds fly a loop and I'm waiting for nothing
and so nothing comes through as I think of my friend who'll be leaving town soon,
I mean I think well of my friend who'll be leaving town soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

In His Dream

In his dream, he calls her
out to their yard. It's night and it's mostly dark and he sees
a blue disc of light in the sky,
they watch as the face of the Earth like a full moon slides
across the slight hook of the crescented moon.

They know this is once
in their liftetime and grateful for it.
For each other.

Next, a small group congregates on their lawn. They're talking,
he's feeling separate. Awkward.
His next-door neighbor asks why he doesn't vist more,
why they don't spend time together.

He says to her 'I'm socially awkward,
I struggle a bit with depression'. She says,
'Jesus, You're 34, now.

Get over it.'

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Or perhaps life improves and so he doesn't write for days,
gets into law school, doesn't divorce,
walks the puppy and makes his wife tea when her throat goes sore.

Where's the story there? The sky gets lit up
with natural light and the earth keeps turning like a lonely child
until winter goes away. Almost done

with raining, he wipes his eyes, kicks his meds,
puts his old shoes on and runs a slow race
between two slow towns with his father-in-law and his father-in-law's

slow dog. Happy like a good dream but not even sleeping,
happy that last week he didn't take a drink
or a long step out the perilously open front door. He loves her

when he loves her and he loves her all the time
whether he gets to feel that or not.
Where's the story there? Each new page covers the previous page up

and, as the stack gets thicker, plot-lines get lost. Good.
It's good that they do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The body that knows us holds us together,
holds our skulls onto our necks, our shoulders
to our spines and our feet, our tired feet
tie our legs down. We shake our hands
and blink our eyes and think our thoughts
and feed our plans. Our bodies
hold on until we're safe to relax. Breathe fast
while we still can. Shake it out
until it's past. What passed was our brain
curled up under our skulls. Our bodies keep working
until we let them go.