30 January 2013

Kiss My Brain : : Besar Mi Cerebro

it’s much safer than catching
a train in the big City

so, kiss my brain
but do it slant

by indirection
it’s just less messy

say, like the convict’s wife
through the bullet-proof glass

so, when you kiss my brain
just do it by proxy

use a surrogate or
other gate of your choice

for instance. the eyelids
are a nice place to start

since they’re the lids
to my brain-jar

and then, of course,
an earlobe would do

for a frontal
lobe smooch or two

and, if you’d ask,
I’d tell you that

my favourite gate
for kissing a brain,

mine or yours or
any other,

is the nape, la nuque,
la nuca, der Nacken

but, finally, fully
circle me (dizzy me)

until you reach
a sacred temple

and so, from there,
twirling my hair,

kiss me again
and enter in

that's our train and I'm
too woozy to stand

27 January 2013

Two Poems, or One

Animal and man
Beast and beast alike
Creatures of that carpenter’s
Dogged desire

Every day we train
For those inglorious games
Games of letting go

25 January 2013

Silken Webs

at the spider hour,
that is, dawn,
when the dew is there
to draw your gaze

when the droplets are
sown as flood-
lights for the finding
of the finest art

while wan detectives
dust for prints
hoping for a hit
against the past

the paper boy is
out and the
bread man is out
but not the milk

21 January 2013

The Ocean

The ocean is
a restless queen
a troubled queen
in silver gown
slow pacing in

her frazzled gown
both in and out
and up and down
the pardon done
then blotted out.


The ocean is a restless queen,
a troubled queen in silver gown,
slow pacing in her frazzled gown,
both in and out and up and down,
the pardon done, then blotted out.

19 January 2013

Window on Paris

I will never see
Paris since I’m terrified
of both flying and

drowning. But I will
fix your drapes — just so — and pitch
the Eiffel Tower.

18 January 2013

Shiloh, April 1862

Dear Mary,
The dead were covered with peach
petals shaken down by the great
guns and I remembered your scarf,
the one you called a clothified
cloud. Tomorrow will be better
everybody says. Next week is Palm
Sunday. Remember me to your Pa.
Paper is scarce. Your loving husband.

16 January 2013

Last Man on a Long Hall

Since my voice is
not your voice and your voice is
dialed way down, other

voices they'll just
have to do. After supper,
they line us up down

the hall like two
batteries of siege mortars
faced off against one

another. Our
wheelchairs locked in place, we wait
while they go bleeding

from room to room
turning down our cool covers,
creating perfect

little people-
sized pocket protectors. Then
they start at one end

or the other
(tonight I get to go last),
our dreams in plastic

cups. Some ask, "Had
enough?" meaning the water.
My aide's from Haiti,

almost as frail
as I am. “Ready for bed?”
she whispers. And though

her voice is not
your voice and it's really not
a question, I bow.

12 January 2013

You Are Here

O, but everything does
revolve around you.

Both the nothing that was
and the something to come.

And every whispered ounce
of this very noisy now.

And that is the horror —
is it not — not the stillness of

Radio silence, but
the dancing round your door.

11 January 2013

The Black Mirror

It’s raining.
Evening. The
parking lot

is slick. The
streetlight makes
a moon. The

raindrops make
their stars. The
last trick is

simply this:
where you are.

07 January 2013

The Cough II

A great rotunda. Bitter cold.
Then one drop — dangling —
an out-of-place pearl. You don’t want it

to drop. You want it
to drop. You don’t want it
to drop.

But it does.
And when the ripples run
to the edges of the circular pool,

that’s when all the tickling
icicles fall. And shatter.
And stab.

And then.
And then they rise up again —
the hollow pipettes

like the bones
of hummingbird
figurines —

reforming the cage
of icy

05 January 2013


A cowboy thrown off
and then his ribs (all
of them) run over
by a bucking bronc-
O, at least a small

04 January 2013

03 January 2013


Third night of new year —
old snow left over from last
week. Fever and chills.

02 January 2013

When at last we fall

When at last we fall
asleep — that nightly Easter
teaser begins to

loop inside our heads.
By dawn, the bedclothes thrown off,
pillows rolled away.

01 January 2013

There is a painting

~ A three-layer haiku
for the New Year ~

There is a painting
“Snow Falling on Burning Torch” —
an old man walking

in the background through
the cherry orchard and his
tracks are grey, then black.

He has a red hat.
It hasn’t been painted yet —
but you could do it.