Plain American Language

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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I am afraid to flex my muscles.
Though the wing span
of my arms outstreches my height
I am not gliding on the saddles
of northerly winds
much anymore. In the stable,
the horses sing wheat songs
and nuzzle each other
while memories of
their corralling
lingers as collective memory:
this once, the moon may ride
over the lakes again,
the one with waves that feel oceanic
and belittle the statures of
the men that come to marry in these parts.
I am of course talking of the city,
paper and folded lie lines
above book titles,
the creases of the pillow when your head is rested,
when your breathing becomes
softer--these are the nights like tin.

Golem Event


With hands awash in the sap of a palm or spruce, or, with the bark of a cyprus, clap over a heavy tin, the many pairs of eyes follow from above.

Using a ladle and a heavy wooden spoon, gather water and place it upon the front steps of a newborn fruit tree. Wait until the water evaporates.

Along with millet or the husks of wheat, grind earth into a mortar, spilling some onto the table. The crows outside waiting in anticipation, will add wings to each crumble. Write the truth onto the table.

The fingers flex and contract over a book of stones.

Golem, whisper.

Candle Lighting

I lifted a match and we all
started singing, and meant exactly
what it was we said.
There is a candidness here like
a permanent stitch of crochet,
and I am befuddled by it.
I don't mean to say I can't recognize
the need for sincerity, of
passing by geese and giving a nod
to the presence of God's tongue
lapping up the spray of wind
behind their tail feathers landed
so slightly on August grass.
What I am saying is that when I put on my t-shirt
it was for some sense of recognition
a smile, a hand hold, truth
like a key and a lock.

Grass Texts

Last night, I laid down in the parking lot looking up for something that'd fallen. Today it was grass, toes dug in, clouds like pelican wings, a line, and birds in the likeness of a line. Slowly yellowing, walking. Sometimes I think I must have stepped on so much unwanted sidewalk. The gnats create walls. I hate to break them; my mouth is always open.

Chance Composition #1

The bird is in the likeness of a line
where books rescue our purpose.
One, thereby, point:
other vast is dwelling.
Nature is named speaking SPanish,
grass texts,
pelican wings like venom
solidity like wretched expression--
thorn and thistles
exalted sleep--
they know this.

Waking Up Early (The Not Being the Difficulty of Sleep)

At one point I was dreaming,
my eyes turned upward
and inward, so I like to think that
in my dream of hotels
when we rubbed each other's arms and
we were crickets, puttering
about old tunes that rhyme or don't,
we stood still
though the hotel had moved,
painfully aware of itself and blushing,
so then disappearing awkwardly
and I, bereft of touch--
then to wake with longing
in the mouth and eyes and therefore
mustering energy to
keep awake in this goddamn lovely
morning, the not being
the difficulty of sleep.

In Which I Compare Love To

It was a revelation to know that there are different kinds of honey,
that clover is our most common

and that the taste of darker honey rolls in my mouth, slides
like two coats drifting off a crooked table--

twine like trees, like a trunk within five others,
an atlas.

In the evening, please post this on the board:
The marriage of two fingers is new and blows soft winds, eventually,

in the calmest sea--let there be an understanding that, originally, the table is set
without anyone ever having thought to organize it,

as if merely the clinging sound of fork against spoon were sound enough.

The Circulating Roots of the Cyprus Trees by the Pool Astound Me

This is why I'm naming my poem
after the flies:
the umbrellas, with their plastic covers,
could manifest
so gracefully into flowers. They refuse,
like so many bugs that love
to crawl up into my leg,
suckle my thigh hairs
and gather nutrients
that will tie them over
by the poolside
where they stop to drink,
already steadied by the day's fruit--
lithe and endless fruit that
basks and languishes
intertwining and complex as a nervous system,
as a series of small trunks set into the earth--
to avoid being eaten, to
gather energy, to fly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


What's lost in the preparation of any act
hobbles around like dust motes
that whisper tinnitus in your ear drum:
when making a peanut butter sandwich,
eventually your hair will fall out;
to make love is a waterfall of sharks.

So many foods are rich and dense, yet
there it is like an unexplained
place setting on the table: thinning.
There are times when I wonder what an elegy
would smell like--burning of orange leaves,
a favorite book, the longest extension between
the letter O and empty breath thereafter?

This is the dizziness I've felt.
When I blink several times, yet the world still moves.