Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Which I Compare Love To

Will you be my alerce tree and caulk the ship--blankets line the floors
and I am not a dog lying on the ground any more, I will not be a flower.

Any longer and our smiles will refuse to point, like a desert cactus with it a somnolescent k.


He is a lake; moves
as if time compelled him to write
sonnets every hour and
therefore openly scratches
the surfaces of dressers
so as to ask questions of
the wood. He does not close his eyes.

In a rainstorm, he is the warm
blanket around frantic loss, he is
the fingers that stroke his beloved's hair,
the first pair of glasses
that wave a flag of victory
in the face of lost sight.

He is night, late, and reaches
out at birch tree branches
and calls them winter.
He is a call. He is winter.
He is winter. He is winter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sonnet for Zaidi on his 85th Birthday

The process of apple eating:
a chuckle, your impressed laughter
as juice of every first bite--
deep red, a speckled gecko Gala.
Working away the outer edges

is the crisp sound of your smile, your
blue & white-striped pajamas
old reels of mom, Bobi, aunt, uncle
and invisible you--
though if anything you've taught,
invisibility is perceived; you are always here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

*** (revised sonnet)

Death is soup spilled all over,
coloring the floor, the walls,
walking down your leg
zipping down your fly.

It leads you into the room
and asks, What is darkness,
expects you to respond with a question.

It leads you into the room
and pulls out the yearbook, points
at the autographs, the
wish-you-wells, at
every picture and laughs:
soup through bones.

It leaves like a leaking faucet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sonnet With a Line by Lorca (it's 11 lines, but that still doesn't mean it's not a sonnet!)

O balding head, O sheathing night,
tattered remains of toast and jam,
O unfinished business, sleepless light:
Napping the daytime, drawing maps
on a clenching hand, tight
for more reasons than love or art,
O dog in the heart, O Labrador of my bones,
I wear you as gift wrap, as a solid warmth
through my body. Lapping up
the water in the soup leftover, the
thirst is great and I find it satisfying.