28 February 2013

Winter’s End

the perfect corner
of her arm her hair piled up
and spilling over

sleeping soundly as
an unclaimed scarf unraveling
in the lost and found

27 February 2013

Genius Asleep on the School Bus

the greening of
the purple of

the nerving of
the rustle of

the reading of
the riding of
and with my wick

at neither end
the drowning of
the burning of

the cheering of
the people of

the curving of
the castle of

24 February 2013

Horse from Speeding Car

going too fast
caramel horse

you’re already
past there’s no chance

but even so
you take the shot

hold camera
over shoulder

squeeze and release
the shutter’s eye

you had to try
since the mare was

the colour of
your mother’s fudge

21 February 2013

Writing : : Driving

I wrote today
while driving in
my mother tongue
the perfect poem

O no, no stars
nor sickness kiss
no lover’s scars
nor storm and then

I pulled over
and stopped to start
jotting it all
do wndo wndo wndo wn

On the foggy
windows thankful
for and banking
on the paraffin

In my breathing

20 February 2013

Psych Eval

       this much madness
       is just enough
       can't imagine
       my baring more

19 February 2013

Startled from a Nap

half asleep with my
fingers laced on my
chest no longer 10
digits but grapefruit
half or starling nest

the hammer voice in
the hall my heart sprays
up like the jumping
puck in the strong man
game ringing my brain

18 February 2013


My neighbor has one
arm. He balances the large
pepperoni on

his shoulder, grips it
with his chin, unlocks the door,
and lets himself in.

His placid face in
profile — the box his red, white,
and green violin.

17 February 2013


in those
old books
where you
might find

that quaint
long “s”
which is
an “f”

half crossed
my soul
is ſoul
and modern

fonts can’t
wash it
near clean


Image contains words from George Herbert, John Milton, and William Shakespeare.

13 February 2013

Classroom Calendar : : A Birthday Sonnet

My birthday was always tucked in between
Abraham Lincoln’s and Valentine’s Day,
the black top hat and the red and the pink
hearts safe-scissored from construction paper.

The giant stovepipe was always tilted
toward the future, a cannon bombarding
the 14th (unless it fell on Sunday
or Monday) with buxom butterfly hearts,
which were pinned down along their symmetry
creases with palm-punched staples glimmering.

And so sheltered between Abe’s Good Friday
and Sweetheart’s Easter my initials are
penciled. In arbor shade where violets bloom
and children wonder, “What's B.R. stand for?”

12 February 2013

The Sleep of Sorrow, or, Forget Me Not

i am asleep
in the garden
not of eden
but of earthly

surging sorrows
waiting over
all banter done
the body gone

the young doctors
till tomorrow

08 February 2013

Things to Do: at, on, or about my Deathbed, which may or may not be at a Hospital or similar Institution, so some of this may not literally apply. Please extrapolate as needed.

Read the Psalms.
Out loud.
Start at 1 and we'll see how far we get before I'm done.

Play poker.
On my chest, belly, lap, and legs.
Seven-card variants would be best.
Want to feel the cards and the money on my body.
Coins would be best – and heavy slate chips, next best.
No, don't use the lunch tray-table-thingy.
The stupid Romans ran a casino at the foot of the cross,
you'll figure something out. Stop complaining.
If I'm willing to be the table - just play.
And play for really high stakes.
Something worthy of the occasion.

Talk to me.
I can probably hear you.
Just watch the heart monitor. The number
will go up when you say something sweet or
something jarring– it’ll be up to you to know the difference.

Let the kids play.
With the bed controls. What difference does it make at this stage?
And it’s a good skill to learn: you press a button
and something moves.
Or it doesn’t.

Don't stay here all night.
Just play Alexander Scourby reading the Bible.

Sweet tea.
Need I say more? With real sugar.
Maybe use one of those little pink sponges and daub
it on my lips. The rest of you, though, please
drink it from glass glasses - so I can hear the ice ring
against the glass glasses.

Bring in food.
Don’t ask permission. I probably can’t eat it,
but you can. Collards, black-eyed peas, cornbread,
macaroni and cheese. Banana pudding.
You get the idea.

Touch me.
Preferably where there’s not a needle or a bruise
or a broken bone.

Nice perfume.
Ask the nurses to wear some really good perfume/cologne.
Buy them some if you need to. There's some/enough cash stashed
inside my guitar for this very purpose.

Read the Psalms.
Out loud. Up through 24 would be good.

When it’s all done, leave expensive parting gifts for the nurses
(by the way, the perfume doesn’t count toward this).
There’s always some body to follow.

04 February 2013

Me & Millstones

Overnight it snowed
the lightest and the most
finely ground cornmeal

I’ve ever seen in my
dazzlingly wicked
life — a manna-scented

calling card, née
banana peel.

02 February 2013

Winter Drive

We’re both weary of winter, with
its incessant thieving of heat,

when auto is warmer than house.
So when in the distance we see

— we seize it to our breasts, like a guest
at a wedding, before it’s tossed —

a bouquet visible for twenty
miles, remnant snow on the foothills.