Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is It Enough

That I would hold you in place,
While earth spins beneath your elevation.
That I would seek you in darkness,
Amidst wolves, in woods, on wind.
That I would weave your name
With wet reeds and bendable words.
That I would mix your bones in loose soil
Plant orchids and stargazers.
That I would dress you in morning
Sunrise draped on your arms like lace.
That I would know you as I know myself,
Feel your blood pump in the valleys of my wrists.

Is it enough that I would lie prostrate in your temples?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Pretty Poet Call-out: Why I Don't Think You Wrote That

Poets should be ugly people.
It's not quite fair if they're not.

Not disfigured, not monstrous, not Picasso per se,
Just run of the mill ugly.
No homecoming queens, no prom queens, no pageant queens.
Maybe just no queens, save Freddie Mercury,
Certainly worthy of being a poet.

No strong jaw-lines, no cut muscles.
If you are a poet these things are not allowed.
Your six pack abs don't get to write a rondeau
I'm not even comfortable with your six pack abs being able to spell rondeau
You can't write sestinas in with a 32 inch waist or a size 4 cocktail dress.
You need to be too large or too small
you can't fit into the world if you want to write poetry.
you've got to be the wrong size, push yourself in
That's why people write poetry,
To push themselves into beauty.
That's why it works.

We don't have beauty balanced on our high cheek bones, the perfectly straight bridge of our button nose.
We don't have tiaras nestled in our cloud like hair, perfectly curled cumulus.
We don't have legs that go for miles,
Bodies that just won't stop.
Our legs end at our hips, our ankles
Our bodies stop.
and we write so our bodies are the only things that stop.

Poets can't be beautiful,
and if they are, It's certain
there's an ugly person pushing them.

Lines Written Mid-Atlantic

There are quiet moments,
when we must feel like gods.

Mid-Atlantic on an overnight flight
The steady hum of metal wings
The cloud cake beneath us
A star just under our horizon
The frost, the double pane glass
The reclining chairs
Our plexi-glass map of the world.

The hungry water stirring below
Ready to swallow us whole.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Age Quatrain

My hands are older than they used to be
It's not so much complaint as it's compliance
And even though I'm not so old they're weak
I'm old enough that I can see a difference
It will not be enough to build cities,
stories high and climbing,
streets like a gutter
where puddled people gather

It will not be enough to cure disease
watch mothers and grandmothers
smooth as marble
cut the century cake

It will not be enough to write novels
word heavy pages
every literati and nobody
can't wait to alphabetize in canon

It will not be enough
It will never be enough
until all the world
after seeing what I have done
presses palms to their second hand
and lays down to wait.


I'm home after eight
months, back in the country.

The river's high,
High enough to drown in.

The rosebeds are overgrown
My mother calls them her
Butterfly gardens

I picture her with pruning shears,
Clipping away at their dusty wings.

The moon is out after weeks of rain,
timid in the weight of light.

Tonight before I sleep I'll check
The corners of my room for scorpions
They cling to the ceiling, you know?
They drop during the night.
They sting you in your sleep.