Monday, September 30, 2013

she, now

the alchemy is happening before me and it hurts so badly it nearly blinds me.  she comes toward me in the morning wrapped in the cocoon of her blanket, dishevelled but blooming despite her overnight tangle, blooming into a horrible flower.  suddenly, today, she is as tall as me.  no, incrementally taller.  there is a new softness to her spirit that is nearly too much to bear.  her thighs thicken like cream.  her midriff swells like a mid-wife's tale.  her legs are a fable one day to be written upon and about by a lover.  i am a simple woman about to do the laundry.  i find a pair of her panties in the basket with the most delicate of new-blood calligraphies staining their grey patch of once-white.  it is not that she is my daughter but that she is.  i nearly break open, but with what?  i don't know, but it quickens in my blood.  i nearly break open.  not painfully.  but yes, painfully too.  i nearly break open.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

the recipe

it's been ten years since i've baked them,
chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese peanut butter filling,
ten years ...
... then ... in my other marriage.

my first husband's friend was visiting then,
our kitchen warm against a firm autumn's wind
as we four stood strong and waiting,
the two smallest of us chocolate covered and prancing,
we other two taller and more proud, even confident.
dave was sullen, hungover, used up, or so he had hoped;
single, alone, juiced on the void of his own unhappiness.
when the cupcakes came out of the oven swollen
the children squealed, and dave, who caught our eyes,
quickly looked away, nearly crying.

it's been ten years since i've baked them.
i'm remarried now,
the children adjusted.
we're happy - again - newly invented.
the house fills with the smell of their baking,
not of their having been baked,
always now, like the revered flickering flame
at the end of the guarded taper,
a gentle sweet bruised present tense.

i have no idea how they might turn out.

(written september 13th while baking. 
*for the record, the children think my peanut butter chocolate cupcakes are disgusting, while my husband loves them.)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

last night

my son and i whooped the town
on our bikes,
glass shards above
bright enough
to hurt our eyes.
we biked into night looking up
as though drinking light.
Oh no, he said,
as his bike hit the small rise,
the rocky toad, harbinger thunk,
dead still in the night.
we made a small stretcher
with branches broken from a dead pine
and dragged him from his spittle-black splotch.
at road's edge
the toad made one beleaguered last leap
and fell to his side.
Billy Bob Joe the Toad, my son named him
and we left him there on road's side,
somewhat still alive.
we biked on, soon forgetting him,
through the svelte-fine feeling of our bodies
pumping our bikes.
how acutely lucky we are
that we like to die.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

autumn's toll

i have the absolute misfortune
while standing alongside the river,
the autumn's twilight the perfect bell of that eternal ringing,
everything quintessential, just sprung vermilion and crimson,
the river slate black, as undisturbed as the back of the beaver gliding by,
that i do not know what it is that i want
but knowing all the while that whatever it is,
i want it utterly.

Monday, September 23, 2013

they speak of problems and solutions in Reisterdam, they speak of roses, they speak of toast

she:  what do i say?  it's horrible.  and i'm struggling.  and i'm quite sure i'm dying.  and time is ticking on.  and how do i choose? 

and i want...everything.

he:  yes, but would you like to start with a piece of toast?

i close my eyes one day later, finally silent

we are to be bodies of ecstasy; what else to the evidence of our response to the glowing white birch, thinly striated and separate, to the timorous fern accidentally lit in late afternoon light through the other lashed canopy of hierarchical hardwoods, how else to explain the cloud of shattering atoms fired out through our lungs at the pellet shot of birds thrust upward, toward and then in, and then finally scattered outward again and away from us, two human beings perched unabashed and rugged on a sudden rise of rock?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

like everyone else
i don't want to say nothing

Sunday, September 15, 2013

the rose mallow

it all blooms
right here
at the end of my sleeve
the hibiscus flower moving outward
the drop of red ink to the water
the body, the blood leaving me
from out of my own arm

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the violence of hearts

He has heard us at it again
and he cries inconsolably
wringing anguish into his bedclothes.
I go to him and rub his back,
trying to convert one heat into another,
whispering, It's alright, son,
the whole world will be normal again in morning.

When I awaken I find a note addressed to me only,
his tiny careful printing excruciatingly precise,
buttons encircling and cinching my heart,
Never again, mom.  Never again.
I can't handle this.
He's asleep now on the couch,
his no longer tiny feet poking out from beneath a blanket.
He's a boy, I think, but no longer only a boy but a man
and I am proud of him for his unbudging protestations.
A boy might be quiet against such violence,
but not the man he's becoming.

While I pour water for coffee
the mouth marks along my neck reveal themselves
in the tepid morning light. 
I am dizzy with how love bruises.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

as i invite my beloved into my arms

Surely once it all made sense,
men and women rising to the field,
the donkey using its haunches
instead of only splaying its gums.
Then the hard earth ruptured in awesome song.
And the man firmswung his scythe to collect in bundles
what his woman would pound out upon the stone.
In the closing of the embered sun, only the threshing done,
the horizon's light clam shaped and iridescent against matte grey,
they would heave from the sycamore shaul
the whole of the golden seed which was sustaining them,
together winnowing the chafe into the wind,
their bodies used, exultant!, as the purest implements,
in tandem with the psalm of the soil.
The whole of their labours never nearly done,
they'd sink their arms to elbow in the yield,
their skin, their pores, their atoms quivering
in a delicate exuberance with what the earth gave them.
It must be this ancient hallelujah i feel along my arms
as i call us both home,
the seed, the hope, the hunger too,
my body remembering the ancient text,
the simple story told only once,
its echo abiding.

Monday, September 9, 2013

besiege me

the throat of the flower invites death, did you know?
please, understand, it is not that I want to flee you
but that the shapes of me like the bulwark of the citadels
cry out to be taken.
take hold of! storm! destroy!
(the breasts, the hips, the unfortunate forlorn slash of cunt)
fistfuls!  destruction!
just get it over with...
(more begging)
wanting nothing,
wanting everything,
wanting more.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

an afternoon

the stilted creamy milk vase of heart-blue hydrangea in the window,
six apples, two on their sides, one green, five red,
the smallest of the lot with a spot,
decay secretly settling into the sugar of each,
the cat asleep in the cupboard,
the man asleep by the back door,
his hands crossed in his lap, his mouth gaping,
flies -

does everything mean something?
does it matter?
the man will stir,
the cat will too,
the hydrangea will drop a petal,
and the apples will ripen  
                            headlong ...

the only way i might have a lover is through the understanding of such things (friday, september 6th)

if i measure out by beats how long the wood pecker was in my life i have to think between the strides of its wings when the body was suspended and yet propelled; one, its red head apparent, two, the forest quickening around it, and three, how much my body aged in the duration.

and then it was gone and i was left upon the path forever altered.


understand i can no longer be myself without knowing the woodpecker.
understand you can not know me without knowing the woodpecker.
understand i can not know you without knowing the woodpecker.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

another thing everybody knows

walking along the thin edges of green leaves
we look for snow

walking along the thin crust of snow
we weep for raspberries

never never never never is man happy
except when he is happy
but that only lasts for the duration of a ___
and a-___s are extinct once they begin

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the world is two things at once
we know this

it snows now and tucks everything neatly into its death
(death isn't black, it's white, the ultimate absence of self into all)
but at any moment (the great silence prevaricates this) the earth will break open
the holly growing into fern, the black limbs of the desperate oak singing

the world is two things at once
laughing, i pull my hair
crying, i pull my hair

Monday, September 2, 2013

Annapolis calls the cows home

From out of the scrubbed blank yard
Annapolis calls the first cow home:
Yu-ut-tut-tut-tut from the slate of her throat,
which means: body's desire, come now beast!,
and please, while coming into existence, 
have mercy on me!
A string of lowing cattle follow the first,
kite ties anchored in the wind.
Annapolis has no thought between
the opening and closing of her teeth.
As the clouds move overhead
the physical conjunctions move below,
woman, catel, pail, feed.
Annapolis breathes.

You reach into the empty space in my shirt
where my being becomes
and you lay one skin ringed finger
against the tableau of my back.
I am a field, its perimeter and the line of cows coming home.
You open your mouth and as word  I'm released.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

sunday, june 2nd

sitting by the window
a heavy rain pushes down against the dirty human world
no one dares step outside
except the rare one who is already clean


i wrote this bit above while loving the rain in june.

wednesday, august 28th my children and i went to the river in the rain, thunder and lightening rumbling in from the northwest.  it was against my better judgement.  it was according to my best judgement.  how lucky we were huddling together after swimming in the storm, the freshly plucked blackberry stains running to our elbows, ditching our bikes and walking the long walk home with our towels two hundred pounds and our spirits weightless.  if we were not clean before, we became clean in chasing the moment of being.  might we always remember our bodies in the cold water and the rain pounding down on us, that half foot between rainfall and river that we got to be inside of.  may we always remember our trembling, our fear, our excitement.


saturday, august 29th, my beloved stepped outside into the backyard at our farmhouse without a shirt on and into the rain.


i am the luckiest woman.  i ask to live this way.  i am granted the gift in living this way.  by no means am I a clean one, but i seek to be.