Monday, March 31, 2014

retail is damned hard work on the soul

a primmish drab woman with a medium frame proselytizes to her eight year old daughter. she's creating a minor spectacle and i am her audience.  i'm a cashier and so i am her hostage.  that's our relationship.  that's just the way things are. "you see, honey.  it is a young bear but it was hit by a car and so it's dead naturally." the woman behind her in line snorts at this. it's true, the stuffed bear was recovered as road kill but what constitutes natural any more?  the young bear is stiff as a board on a log over the jewelry cabinet.  one thousand dollars.  i dust it sometimes.  the woman is buying her daughter moccasins. they are made of leather, of course, some other dead animal.  the mother opens her eyes wide to see more clearly out of her periphery if i am properly watching her. she opens her mouth to enunciate to her daughter, "you will wear these moccasins inside only and not outside in the yard."  these are the rules.  the moccasins are green.  i wonder what animal they are from, what colour it was, how thick was its fur, what horribly natural act shuddered its last wide eyed surprised look from its head. where did the animal live? certainly not inside - i hope. blah blah blah, the mother goes as they exit, and often she is making good points.  "why no bears at the science centre?  well, because the wardens generally try to rehabilitate young bears."  and so if she is in fact engaging in a dialogue with her daughter why is it that i am overwhelmed with the question, why in the hell do we have children?  what is she busy doing in raising this daughter? (and me, mine?) who is she trying to create and why?  and what kind of world does she believe we live in?


a quite regular and jocular man taps his card against the machine to pay.

first we had cash.  then we had bank cards to get cash.  then we could swipe our bank cards to pay.  then we had a chip inserted into our cards, only a year or two ago, to make transactions faster.  and now we can tap our cards and pay for any item.  faster is better, right?

i ask him, aren't you nervous that this technology is too easy?

no, he laughs.  progress is always better.

he says these words.  and he means them.

he tells me a short story about the ladies at the company he worked at, the women in the office, how they resisted computers at first but then how after they went through a short phase of adjustment they did not want to go back.

of course after a time there were fewer ladies needed in the office.

he does not see anything dangerous or ironic here.

it just takes time, he tells me.  all progress is progress and all progress is good.

i smile because i am working but my eyes are very serious.  this is a blind sentiment and it's dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous sentiment we exalt today.

i tell him if he had many hours and i was not at work we would have to talk this out.

what is progress?  what are we headed toward?  do we too want to replace ourselves like the ladies in the office, for certainly we are replacing our reason for being here with luxury, replacing our very humanity with the inhuman.


all sorts of people come in and out all day long.  each person is as mystifying to me as the fox i found.  how can such particular body be animated and linked with such a specific life, history, network of happenings? many people are tailored and neat, many more slovenly and besmirched with their bodily being.  each time i pass them i tell myself not to smell but i do.  i smell the air around them. the world is intoxicated with people. we share this world.


one family of four comes in.  the mother is beautiful to me.  she is daring in the clothes she wears, a t-shirt and a studded belt with her jeans. her piercings are liberal.  and she is articulate. she carries her money in a metal lunchbox. her husband is quiet and supportive.  they spend an hour or more.  i don't even remember the children. i think this is wrong of me but they are so present with their parents, so a part of their family unit i don't notice them outside of it.  they shop carefully.  i like them.  they are kind and polite.  they spend four hundred dollars.

i feel like crying when i put the stuff into bags.  stuff.

and what's worse is i remember being like them, remember bags of stuff, and i know (at times) i'm not above it.


i want to end with either a story of redemption or a story that strikes the last nail and shows us our ultimate error but today i have neither.  the truth is that every morning that i drive in to work i drive past frosted trees or fields of snow or the breath of cows and horses forming small clouds in the air.  sometimes there are ravens or crows. once i saw a moose standing as still as a tree, his face long as a trunk, brown, knotted, immobile.  this is redemption.

as for the nails, they continue to be hammered out one story after another, one day after another, in one store after another, and often well-intentioned.  bang bang bang, we build our shallow graves.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

how to save the world in two easy steps

1.  stop unnecessary consumption
2.  love your neighbour

No, really.  Stop fooling yourself. Unnecessary consumption (and really think about what this means) and lack of compassion means that YOU are killing the world. YOU. and ME too.

Our children and our grandchildren do not have a healthy world to move into. They do not. Present tense. We have ruined it. And we continue to make it worse. And we teach them how to contribute to its ruin.

But we could save the world. And get this - it wouldn't even be difficult.

But we won't.

Why we won't save the world:

1. we are greedy
2. we are lazy
3. we are greedy

Friday, March 28, 2014

go crazy or turn holy

for years i have been consumed with a feeling, an urge, a need to become clean.  it feels so deep it seems my skin itself is the mouth and purity is the only food.  i have wanted for the scourge in many forms, a field, an ocean, woods empty but for the natural, wind, bones, perhaps a strong hand against an immobile wall, silence, or the ringing clarity of a word i do not know.

there is so much dirt and clutter present.  it is a continual task to rid myself of it.

and it is impossible to be completely rid of the dirt and clutter. you can not begin to understand just how dirty and chaotic i am.

why is it that i feel my blood vibrate outward in this way toward the preeminent gleam?  is it simply the human condition?

why do i feel affinity with the madmen, those unable to play nice 
in the meantime?


from "serendade" by adélia prado

I am beginning to despair
and can see only two choices:
either go crazy or turn holy.

another failed attempt:)

Whetting The Word

grandmother's ox bone brush weightily honed down
   skiving through my wheat flecked flaxen hair
my thumbs to medulla oblongata, then hounding wide
   tight over my son's caged shoulders
each morning how we long for our bones to shine, sun splitting over nasal spine
   to the wide zygomatic field
truth of the downward cone, verisimilitude surrendered
   chafed, shouldered, sundered, burnished pure

Thursday, March 27, 2014

from out of the earth box

it wasn't dead
                 - yet
but it was sure to die

we knew it    
(despite it not knowing language)
it knew it too

of course it was in a hole

in an earth box
(that was a hint)

fear hitched up its legs

and it clawed at the soil 
(uselessly a tool) 

this poem is like that

like the animal's hind legs, feral
like its claws, blind

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

tuesday march 25, 2014

visiting the fox

Monday, March 24, 2014

a story of i don't know what, and a fox

and so i set out into the woods, needing my snowshoes to cross the now open field of the graveyard, the snow deep enough in many places to completely cover many headstones.

onto the hardened trail of the park where my snowshoes were thankfully no longer needed, the small bones of my left foot grinding, having overcompensated with it for blisters on my right foot formed during a long run the day before.

the chickadees active and curious, flying at my face and beyond, rushing to me but past, darting at the last moment from my unpredictable nature into and through their own with astonishing speed and apparent clarity.

a beaver had been busy.  i was happy to have to step over the trees he felled near the river.  i considered the point at which his mouth met the trees, some of the trees completely severed but abandoned, one of them cut through to the dimple of juncture, all but ready to fall.  for a brief moment i wondered if i should put in a little work to clear his way, move his trees closer to the river for him through the matted woods which seemed to be too great an obstacle for him, but i dismissed my ideas as fanciful.

and so on i went along the hardened trail, the bones in my left foot at times almost felling me in a concussion of pain, but at other times dim enough to create hope that the pain would dissipate, but it didn't.

i stopped and kissed the moss on the tree i know which seems to grow lower now, closer to the snow as the snow continues to fall and the path gets higher.

and then i went on through the farthest loop in the park hoping to forget my bad foot, but unable to.

until i saw her.

and then nothing else existed.

at first i didn't understand.  i had been so deep in a conversation of complaint with my body.  i had been following tracks of another snowshoer who had been through just days before, after the last snowfall but with time enough having passed to have hardened his tracks. his tracks went around her body.  an adult palm sized area of her back rose above the last snowfall.  her tail was loose.  and her ears were perked softly resting over little pockets of melted snow.

immediately i took my mitt off and put my hand against her body.

what can i tell you?  i'm not even sure what to think.

surely her body was living, despite all the evidence telling me that she must be dead.  her face was deeply buried beneath snow and ice. but what i felt beneath my hand was the absolute possibility of life, such creation! pushing my hand gently into her fur it felt as though her body collapsed upon itself just that little bit of void that all living creatures carry inside of themselves as breath.  i touched her ears.  i nearly died with their perfection.  this is no hyperbole, although perhaps it is.  perhaps no man can die by touching a miracle but it certainly felt as though i might.  i had no capacity to know such a thing, such a wild angel of utter, furtive body of god.

i considered the tracks around her.  i did not understand.  how might anyone leave her?

but equally i did not understand what i could do now at such a juncture.  i felt ruined.  i could not save her.  i could not leave her.  the only option i had was to touch her.

i broke a small tree and with a sharp stick i hacked her out of the snow and ice.

her legs and undercarriage were even more pure than her back, no ice clumping to her fur.  she was simply released from the ice and snow, soft and vulnerable. and while one leg seemed broken, she was perfect.

she had gone to sleep upon her collapsed legs.  she had curled up in the forest to die.

of course this made no sense either.  nothing about her made any sense at all.  the narrow point of her beautiful face, her whiskers, her almost closed eyes plugged up with ice. the fact that i was touching her!

i put her under my left arm, my snowshoes strung over my right shoulder, and i walked back the mile or so toward the car.  i felt her weight.  twenty pounds?  twenty-five?  and her tail flop out behind us.

i did not feel my foot.

and i did not look up again from her quiet, yet astute foxness, until i found myself crotch deep in snow in the graveyard, the packed trail expended behind us.

i laid her down upon her back and struggled my left foot into my snowshoe.  and then i hefted my weight out of its snow hole and fastened my right foot into my other snowshoe.   i crossed the graveyard with her in my arms.

i brought her home for james and my son to touch and see, my daughter (of course) rejecting it.

what could i do but put it into the freezer to have someone, perhaps myself (if i dared), later clean her?

but you see, i knew this was already failure.  i knew upon seeing her i would fail.  (how could i succeed?)

i asked after a local furrier and was warned of mange and rabies, told to dispose of the fox's body quickly.

disease had never occurred to me.  perhaps poisoning had, something we might have done to the fox, but nothing that the fox might be able to do to us in terms of contamination.

but this is not the part of the story i can't understand.  i can understand disease.

james drove the fox up the tote road and released her from the bag back into the world.

what i don't understand is how well i was in carrying her.  as i walked with her ... something important was happening. important and nearly impossible. when i first touched her body, her ears ... an empty atom split open and there she was and i loved her.

crossing the graveyard together there was no possible fruition for us, alone or together. there was only us crossing the graveyard where we were both blessedly forgotten to ourselves.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

notes on a sunday after pancakes

in the beginning there was all.

all was indeterminate without competition, without comparison. neither peace nor its opposite existed. neither time nor death. neither me nor you nor it, but all of us and all of it together in one skinless skin.

then, in our beginning, there was a fracture. distance between was introduced. form and void begat form and void.  momentum was born between form and void, one of them endlessly moving into the other. and so time came. all things came. everything came.  and the possibility of nothing began to exist alongside everything. so our births came to feed our deaths.  and so our deaths came to feed our living.

life is the thirst of void finding form and filling it and form finding void and filling it.

i feel it ... !


what inserted the initial chasm? what ruptured the whole?  what is god's place, in it or beyond it?  cause or accumulation?

is god only a word?   -   why does my mouth move to speak it?  why does my body move to speak it?  why does my spirit take the form of a mouth and long to speak it?

might it (the cause of chasm) once again be inserted in reverse to unite everything?

could it be that it has already happened and we are but an aftershock, the final grinding out of the few last thoughts and particularities, as the great convergence gains its force toward absolute annexation, utter particular extinction?

could it be that it might happen tomorrow while our forks are halfway to our mouths with our dinners?

could it be that it will happen long after we have already destroyed the world to humankind and only the rocks will be here to witness what they can not see?

should we fear something such as this?  and why?  don't we fear our separateness?  why fear our coming together?

i love wholeness.  and i love the particular poignant possibility.

love transcends.

if love is the transcending element then why this world as we create and destroy it?

because we fear and refuse both our wholeness and our separateness. we're insolent, ungrateful.

how might i love better?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(i too am an obese child)

if you give the obese child cake
and sensibly warn,
don't eat too much,
are you depriving the child

or are you telling him,
here is your beautiful life,
and suffer deliciously
all its beauty
of privation and privilege?

each moment an unbearable threshold, motherhood

i am sitting in bed under the covers with my son.  it is late evening and we are reading. james is at the desk and will join us soon.  i consider my son beside me, his long body as big, or just now slightly bigger than my own.  he is twelve.  his hair seems to always be darkening.  once he was blond.  now his hair, as i run my fingers through its short coarseness, becomes more brown every day, but not arriving at brown, only moving farther and farther away from the image i once had of him as a little boy.  i can smell him.  even if he has just bathed he seems to hold a dark musk released with the slightest attention, a scent auguring the man he will become. neither of us can imagine that man.  he moves onto his side and i see that he is wearing an old leather belt i wore when i was in high school. i have owned very few fine things but this one was a thing of quality and it perseveres.  once it was black but the dyes have long worn through.  mostly now it is brown with smooth bits of gold where it has worn to its rawness with handling.  earlier in the evening i went through a bag of his old clothes.  we will give them to a family who can use them.  before tying the bag i removed a few things of his that i can wear, a shirt for running, a pair of shorts for hiking in the summer.  soon my belt will no longer fit him.  who will keep it?  i've not worn it for many years.  he will have no use for it but to remember the time when our bodies were close in size and close.

i have read the same paragraph in my book a dozen times without knowing what it says.

my children have just returned from their father's.  each time they go and return it shows that they are truly between two houses.  they are asked to unravel, at such an early age, the fact that people can be so philosophically different.  my son has tested me since his return and in moderation i have passed (convinced him there is congruity) and i have failed (shown him that we are utterly divided in our approach to the world). where the two houses meet is in the place where we both love our children deeply.

i read the paragraph again.  again i don't hear it.  my son has adjusted himself against my arm and breast as though i am a pillow. i prepare myself to die.  i am dying.  i can not bear this.

thumbing back through an old blog earlier in the evening i came across a post i wrote years ago after my first marriage ended.  it was months after their father moved out.  i was at the kitchen sink doing dishes.  my son came up to me and very innocently said, "ever since daddy told me he was leaving it has felt like a dream." 

earlier this afternoon when the children were tumbling their book bags to the floor and gathering snacks, somehow talk of the future came up.  my son looked at me and said, "do you remember the movie step brothers?  i've got all i need right here.  i'm never leaving." there was a severe seriousness to his statement. what more might there be to want in life?  inside this seriousness is the seed of completion and the seed of capitulation.  all grows and all dies from here.

how was it that i became a parent?  there is an excruciating pain. when i became a parent i did not unbecome me.  i maintained.  and still today - i maintain.  and it is not easy. i am no martyr. i can only allow myself a small portion of awareness of what it is to be a parent and to maintain my individual selfhood and to not be that martyr.  and  i can only allow myself to feel a small portion of the pain of what it is to be a mother, to be responsible for another human's wellness, to be the one responsible for instigating this exciting, yet dangerous journey for my children.

some months ago my son asked me to frighten him.  he gets scared easily and had decided to toughen himself.  plus he has found fear delicious retrospectively but only in small and creative doses where i have been involved.  in other words he was interested in experiencing safe and fun fear.  time passed and i kept forgetting to scare him but periodically he would mention it.  and so one night while we were in bed reading, just the two of us, he jumped up to run downstairs.  i took advantage of the situation and scrambled out of bed.  our rooms are two connecting rooms upstairs, separated only by a curtain.  all i did was leave my room and stand instead in his. i saw him come back up the stairs about 20 seconds later and i saw the back of his shoulders as he pulled the curtain aside and in one fluid motion made to jump from the threshold back into my bed with the expectation (as solid as my body is to him) that i would be where i had been moments before.  but i wasn't.  that was all.  he screamed.  he screamed in abject terror.  i went to him immediately but he was already fetal, grasping at his throat. absolutely lost. destroyed.  it took him a good long while to recover.

my son reads a novel beside me.  he reads novel after novel.  i watch him, touch him, know no way to keep him safe from the world or from me.  i try to understand the nature of this pain that nearly engulfs me. its informative truth lies somewhere between the nature of story, that it never rests in its telling, not even for a moment, and the fact that each story, no matter what, will end.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

the strange place of no placeness

a strange thing happened last night.  of course upon waking it leaves me and so i quietly gather a few words so that i might remember what it was i experienced which was outside of any ordinary happening for me. even quietly gathering the words is outside ordinary for me, reflecting that it has left its quiet residue upon and through me.

what might i say?  before i say anything of what happened last night i must say what happened before. and what i mean by before means, of course, a synopsis of my entire life.  

a synopsis of my entire life might be given with a single image, a tuberous wound root a choked colour (the outward layer of the root the colour of pale skin but beneath, pushing at the pale skin's surface, a cadaverous purple, life and death breathing into each other), ploughing ... onward...  the root unwinds, grows, furls and unfurls and furls again, never getting any bigger against the infinite backdrop of nebula.  the nebula might at times be the nebula you might expect, endless black with mouth holes of more black blackness, punctuated by cut openings of knife sharp light, but at other times it might be a vast white plain with black coal chicken scratches hacked upon it, emblems of other words or forms, i suppose.  this image might appear static but nevertheless there is an endless infusion of thunder, rupture, if not heard, then felt through it. this has been my life.

each night for the last decade or so i have taken medication to sleep because of severe back pain.  i take a pill.  the lights are turned off.  i close my eyes and do not open them again to the dark, whether i am sleeping or not.  usually i am swept through a tunnel and i thrash myself through the black night getting enough fitful sleep to manage the next day.

i received a letter from a friend yesterday who is currently in a great deal of pain, the kind of pain that not only almost topples you over the wall, but more seriously makes you silent beneath its weight, makes a head in an oven seem a reasonable solution.  i, while not being in a great deal of pain at the moment (other than physical pain in my shoulder which i breathed through), have recently been. after all i am alive, this being the only prerequisite to moving between the great pendulum sweep of joy (the awesome joy of utter being) to pain (the awesome pain of utter being).  also recently, in the last few years but more specifically the last few weeks, a great many ideas have come together, not cataclysmically (although that too at first) but lately quietly, puzzle pieces simply finding their sister and brother parts.  it has happened so quietly that i don't know how to tell anyone what has come together, the new body verging upon fullness, completeness, if i dare to resist holding it too firmly. and because of the lack of problems between pieces in this assemblage, because the parts lack the cacophony of discord, the svelte new body simply is and i don't know where to find it per se or how to show it or say it.  (i compile a list of arrows pointing to where the body might have come from: chodron, weil, berry, rilke, lewis, gilbert, bly, kinnell, jaccottet, wright, rumi, whitman, vallejo, many other writers and of course my love, my children and everyone and thing i have touched or that has touched me, this curious intersection of possibilities ...)

and so i laid my head upon my pillow not quite wondering what i might say to my friend (knowing there was nothing specifically to say), not quite wondering how i might repair any discord with the other people in my life (my children, my parents, my brother, my sister, or those who participate actively in an articulation of the world i do not understand and i believe is faulty in its presuppositions).  i laid my head and beneath the pain of my shoulder i breathed and did not cast about to understand what it is i know, but rather i laid my head upon my pillow and was.  it was early. and without any pill i slipped out into sleep.

but this will sound ordinary.  but it was not.  it will seem as though my body simply brought me somewhere. but it was not my body. it was my body (and all that it has experienced) and my mind (in accordance with all that it has intercepted) and whatever alchemy happens between them, soul.

for nine hours i was between the smallest oscillation of waves possible.  everything in that place was the suggestion of the colour of sand.  however not even quite the colour of sand for that might suggest sand, which would suggest form.  even now thinking, was it the colour of sand?  i have to say, no.  it was the place of no colour, non colour, no water, no sand, only the smallest possible oscillation of waves, the picture of being one might see if one could remove themselves from the particulars of being by 9 million planets beyond all planets, or 9 million microscope adjustments beneath the cell.  for nine hours i passed in and out of sleep and i knew i moved between truth and what truth allows.  each time my mind almost broke awake, each time it brushed against barely allowing a thought, what was almost thought was, i understand (but not quite i or understand), i see (but not quite i or see), and everything is one.

but you see, these foolish words do betray what happened.

i floated in the place where nothing has any perimeter at all, where there is but one great equanimity.

(stop here.  i write it with only one sentence, "i floated in the place where nothing has any perimeter at all, where there is but one great equanimity."  but don't move on.  your identity has been disbanded. your body is gone.  your mind is an ocean, a pocket watch, the great migration of all birds.  ok? ok. now know more fully: there is no ocean, there are no birds, no time and no necessity for movement.)  

such a place lacks all form.  there is no saying it enough, it lacks all form and so such a place defies all words to explain it.

for nine hours i was the wellest i have ever been in my life.

but then today. and so what words might i use to describe it?  

i might say, it was beautiful, but more importantly i would say, it was ... just beautiful. (i mean each of these words to their fullest.)  i might say, it was peace, but it was just peace.  beautiful and utter beauty, and peace, utterly. but only these things beneath or beyond the possibility of any other things.

so what does this mean?

is it ironic to say, only everything existed?  is it smaller in a way to lack particulars, or larger?  or is it impossible to compare them?

today i ask myself, if i could remain there, would i?

i don't know how anyone might answer no.  it was perfect.

but in this body, in this world, in this the place of words and forms and chaos, in this place of utter joy and utter sorrow, how might anyone choose to move away from this?  i love this.  i love the cataclysm of this.  i am a human being.  i am alive.  i love the taste of raspberries.  i love to run, to make love, to touch my children.  i love the migration of geese, how moose wring (and ring!) their antlers upon trees, how wind moves fern, how waves wear away the rocks that line the sea.  i love even the sickly possum that hobbles, the fur along its back mangy, its limbs weak.  surely it was dying.  how do i not love it and perhaps even love it most? aren't we all mangy, weak and dying?  aren't we all ... ?  and isn't this too, perfect?

but i don't want to end with this, the list of here and now, the list of the particular and lowly.  isn't it too easily heroic?

i want to return for a moment to that other place of wonder, the place beneath or beyond form, for i am certain that this is where we have all come from and where we are all headed.

Friday, March 14, 2014

november 13, 1925 (bees of the invisible, rilke)

rilke to witold von hulewicz his polish translator:

Nature, the things we move among and use, are provisional and perishable; but they are, for as long as we are here, our possession and our friendship, sharers in our trouble and our happiness, just as they were once the confidants of our ancestors. Therefore it is crucial not only that we not corrupt and degrade what constitutes the here and now, but, precisely because of the provisionality it shares with us, that these appearances and objects be comprehended by us in a most fervent understanding and transformed. Transformed? Yes, for our task is to stamp this provisional, perishing earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its being may rise again, “invisibly,” in us. We are the bees of the Invisible. Nous buttinons éperdument le miel du visible, pour l’accumuler dans la grande ruche d’or de l’Invisible [We wildly gather the honey of the visible, in order to store in the great golden hive of the Invisible]. The Elegies show us at this work, this work of the continual conversion of the dear visible and tangible into the invisible vibration [Schwingung] and agitation of our nature, which introduces new vibration-numbers [Schwingungszahlen] into the vibration-spheres [Schwingungs-Sphären] of the universe. (For since the various material in the cosmos are only different vibration-rates [Schwingungsexponenten], we are preparing in this way, not only intensities of a spiritual kind, but –who knows?—new bodies, metals, nebulae, and constellations).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014



poetry stands in the time of
love stands and so does beauty
the liver, the eyes and the skin stand
and the heart stands upon the edge of vibration
the poppy raises her head and she stands
and even when she lowers her head to death's kiss
the hands stand trembling verse upon the beloved
and this be the fervent neck of the flower

but when the roman world cuts at the base of 
when otherwise swallows the sacred
when poverty becomes in fact poverty
and dashes away the last lush thought
the stomach becomes loud and grumbling
the feet become loud and thumping
the itchy hands become loud and scratching
rasping upon their own empty palms
and in all the dragging of all the parts onward
through all the gravity of the world's necessity
the something ripe and mysterious capitulates
and the last pert meristematic cell withdraws
how then is the heart strong enough
to stand upon the edge of vibration
when the roman world cuts at the base of
when mystery, through the world's ruthless translation, falls?

(*revisions since reading)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the two selves of the one

one of them a mind like a balloon,
a real floating spirit, light,
hurt no fly dismissible
in its tom-foolery bobbleheadedness

the other the leaded shaft of the rifle
that carries the bullet economically,
sure shot, briskly serious,
successful, lauded

Friday, March 7, 2014

right down main street

they dressed him like a whore
drew his mouth in neon
stuffed his bra with fake tits
gave him a houseplant to hold 
to keep him moored in his wings 
a cactus, the kind of plant not easily killed
plunked him a car, the back seat
an el camino with fuzzy dice
played loud stinking music 
while crawling down main street
throwing candy from the windows
over the banner that ran the side of the car

the banner read in crashing crayon colours, 
the real deal!

do you believe it?
does it matter?

where do you think mystery hides?
why do you think it doesn't open up its pink mouth and tell you?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

and so i ...

could it be
that the hammer
ignored and thus squandered
is bereft of its hammerness

and could it be
that this is man's problem,
that we ignore the innate nature of our verve
and thus squander our verbness?

each day the light mouth of my soul
rises as though to meet
the shadow of form,
longing birthed in the star-studded caul, wet in particulars,

the coffee swirls to embrace the cream,
the blue jay leaves the trees in the east and alights to the trees opposite,
an idea catches in my mind like a dry oak leaf caught in a clutch of detritus,
upon my lips, inward and outward, are the comings and goings of mankind;

i'll not squander how light speaks in animation to darkness
and i'll not squander how darkness speaks in animation to light.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

black horse, white dove, wound


i want to be slapped with the black horse
i want the white dove to fly out from the wound

i have the sense
that cumulatively
the ten thousand things add up to the black horse

i have the sense that 
we are each the wound

the white dove is grace
with these lips i pray through this body's fever for it
i move my lips i move my lips this whisper my fervor be heard

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

approaching the world with a stick

it's june. we're bored.
like any good fun
we're about to birth it upon nothing,
a whim.  we're out the screen door
in our soft shorts and elbowy limbs,
the air licking our skin
to the cleanest crest possible.
what could be more clean than
seven, nine and curiosity?
we're behind the old shed
lifting wet boards torn for salvage.
perhaps we'll build something -
but we don't.  instead we notice
on the underside of each board
intimate nipples fastened into dampness,
snails.  i touch them with a tentative finger
shivering and gritting my teeth, but fascinated.
i push at them a little.
this doesn't make them move faster
and they won't let go.
it seems quite simple that they belong here,
like flesh to bones, soft bodies to wood.
you find a stick and whack them,
meet their hard shells with your abruptness.
you declare you win.

i trace my lover's speech
up from his collar
into the tenebrous darkness of mouth
back toward his throat.
he's excited about Vallejo's
"The Soul That Suffered From Being Its Body"
and his tongue, clicking convolutions,
is connected back there, syllabic
in the dank corridor, to his mind.
it moves like a flag,
or is a jack to form,
or a slow steady bellows
to the poem, which swells,
becomes turgid, glandular, between us.

when i approached the snail from its front
with the palest swirl of my pink glow finger,
no matter how slowly i approached it,
it withdrew its head.

i sit on my lover's lap
leaning into the black sparks
given off by his eel tongue,
stopping his mouth at Nicolas or Santiago,
nothing of him withdrawing.

i wonder how it is you meet your wife,
you, endocrine sufferer, killer of snails.

Monday, March 3, 2014

short notes on max and us

each generation should begin again in its most basic form, begin again from the most basic question, in this life what is possible? and hold in the other hand, at least equal in weight, perhaps more so, what is not?  what is it that we sharpen our imaginations toward?  man born must eat, be sheltered, yearns to/has tendency to love and walks beside the mystery of his spirit which clearly means something that we will never empirically know, only grasp at and if we are lucky, accept and love.  it takes vast imagination to remain here in the significant something and not lean toward aggrandizement in the formidable nothing.

i wake today.  i am a 43 year old woman, slightly ill, officially poor but yet i feel swamped in superfluousness, surrounded by the garb of the formidable nothing.  i have a tv, computers, many books, many sweaters (too many to wear), too much food (i am moved to through away uneaten leftovers), a car, the list continues, but it is irrelevant.  what do i really have?  this temporary body and the pleasures (and love) i experience through it; this opportunity to touch what is held in common with this world.

each human being has the same potential and only this potential.

i consider what is happening between russia and the ukraine.  i consider what occurs in the hyperbole and semantics of politicians in the united states and canada.  politicians are not concerned with what is truly possible and what isn't.  certainly not businesses, conglomerations, multi-nationals or the measly executives running the so-called free world (these are our real politicians, those invigorated by the profit motive.)  how much can we get?  what might we imagine that looks like?

i look out my window.  the sun passes over the snowbank and there are so many points of illumination that it hurts to consider.  i am slow in staring at it, feeling that there is great significance not in it exactly but just beyond it, in whatever it is that makes it radiant.  it seems that somehow even these ice crystals shining are words which suggest the thing itself, are symbols of that which really is.  we all must know that the only wealth is here in our attention. don't we know this?  do we imagine that this wealth is small?  it is endless. only it hurts us because we feel we can't own it. and we don't.  we don't own it.  can't.   it is us and we are it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Transcending The Formidable Nothing

Love closes its tulip petals over us.
Inside we move like velvet oceans
Passing through each other's prisms,
Bruised indigos and pressed fuschias,
Sight transformed to blood, pulse, motion.
Time, tables, truck, the formidable nothing
Becomes in fact nothing. Is erased. Is not.
While we are, are everything, One,
Body without body but body, ocean,  
Movement without shore.