Saturday, April 30, 2016

there grows an ivy in the window!

the body moves between modes

the night air pushing itself, a clandestine mouse, beneath the bedding
the morning air yawning and laying its shoulder into the slat of the wheel's gears

light on the bedside table...
remarkably your books, abandoned glasses, the dust in its cumulative dresses, reappear

between floors exists an accordion of stairs

beneath your mind the strange hinges and couplings to get you places

outside forms are prying open pinches in the air
trees are pouring themselves, birds breaking like iron ingots into the shapes of notes

dull crackers of thought are sputtering fuses, electric lines lit
the mind protected beneath, you believe, a cool thick slab of maple

it is only another hour but an incomprehensible next something

nothing is normal unless the heart's wide eye fails vision

Friday, April 29, 2016

the wedding bed

everything in the life in the perfect balance
everything in the life enoughly and ample
everything in the life gift giving and gift worthy
everything in the life shaking its tail feathers

however, when she lays down at night
separating the anemic sheets
to feed her legs dangling beneath her 
to the passage, difficult asparagus
she kisses death's each cheek
saying, thank you, yes darling
one day, soon, i'll embrace you completely

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Sylvia's bockish books and secondhand silk slips
are crammed into her drab bachelor apartment.
Her poverty has racked her seductively thin 
so that each rib is a delicious rim for the tongue 
to climb all the way roofward to her windows
(summer shine, no AC) flung open.
I can't sleep at night knowing out back of Sylvia's 
the barbs, cracked pavement side, will break 
profligate through scrim, into succulent berries.
Sad, sad Sylvia's dark and mesmerizing,
gibbous nipples, begging for a glisten...
Sylvia doesn't want it less
because of her twelve hour shifts.

I'd like to put this out there:
one can thoroughly love to slide 
one's finger 
into one's nostril 
to pull clear 
whatever nugget grows there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

fifteen, on the boniakowski's couch

it must always happen
in someone else's house
never your own
there must be an element
of borrowing
after all 
you are borrowing your body
a transit ride through 
the uncomfortable landscape
of the uncanny world

and though your face
might face the face of a boy
your face is really tilted inward
a reflective surface
throwing light in your mind
like magnesium fire
as you test where fire
bursts into being
in your body
if you insert 
or are inserted into 

kissing they've told you
is a preface to love
kissing they've told you
means two

but while kissing his empty mouth
he vanishes into a greed of void and light
and no matter what is full
your hands, your mouth, your pants a vase 
filling with his ragged flowered stems 
you are deliciously independent 

kissing the boy
is not kissing the boy
but discovering yourself
and frenching

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

let the pigs eat meat

take, for instance, a seamless sky
or god in his luminous robes breathing silence

not one chimney on one house spews the warmth of pollution
beneath the thatched rooves not one heart hurts in forfeit

clearly there is a problem with heaven

all things on earth are faulty
all things on earth are perfect

(*notes of belief for today: there is either this existence. or nothing. humans can not be made ideal. - but can be made to reach toward ideals. perfection is the grand sweep of error, with a chance for redemption.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

young girl's first kiss


don't you know 
her eyes are globes

lanterns awaiting your fire?


before you - her skin was but an ocean

now a boat exists

now a fisherman, hungry

now there is a new dark migration beneath the silky surface of her skin


on shore there is a house
waiting to be filled with dust and photographs

a table waiting to be set
three or four chairs waiting for bodies to move them

there is a bed in the backroom
there is a nail above the bed

there the lantern will hang

Sunday, April 24, 2016

the upset of time

requiring the madness of the heart
needing the upheaval of mystery's fire

why is the body made of flesh?
why do we imagine flesh to be solid?

want is two eyes cutting through stone
desire is two hands tearing air to feathers


the heart can only stand two acres of normal
the mind can only bear three yards of sufficiency

the body is made to partake of the earth
the earth is made to take back the body

each gland and muscle is a threshing machine
which will be taken to rust in the fields of wheat


when we're sad for the earth we are simply existing
when we're sad for ourselves we are sadly lying

flesh is the frond light flashes upon
mind is the imagination shimmering

rust only begins to tell the full story of time
soil has always slowly been shivering herself back into her quiver of feathers

Saturday, April 23, 2016

green time imposters

true spring has set her stage
with the - nearly perfection

early evening twilight kisses
each shoulder, granting knighthood

or is it the forehead
an anointment, a sanctification

new, the children draw in chalk
on pavement in the middle of the streets

men talk with men leaning against trucks 
washed to a gleam by spring's last rain

women walk with dogs
and do not drag them

crows scraw to one another
and vultures circle meditatively

strangers smile and say hello, giving up the cousins 
to one another who play hide and seek

i smile madly, infected with this tableau
which shines with the light of maiden

while inside i am slightly shaken -
if i am not a part of this perfection 

(the pungent presence of this odd question 
suggests i'm not) is anyone?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


all these years later 
i try to decipher what is was
that my grandmother did

so, what do you do?
we ask each other upon meeting
as though lives might be measured by wages

what did my grandmother do—

she walked with bowed legs
inhabited the width of her shoulders 
shared groceries with howard

sometimes there was dusting involved
sometimes reprimands
money never changed hands

what do i do?

little, less
hazard to smile with you
risk to cry

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"being" is a horny buffalo, notes

i have been away again. pitifully and painfully away. away away.

it does not matter if i have been away for a moment. an hour. or a decade. a decade is a generation. an hour expands to fill the mind. a moment is decisively forever.

i have been away.

but in these blessed moments when i am not away. but here. i crawl back. i crawl on my hands and knees. not to beg. but to be closer.

i want to feel every pebble.

i want to feel every movement.

i want to feel every moment.

i want my nose to be close to its sex.

i want my sex to be open.

i want my mind susceptible like the genus bovine's vulva.

i want my skin to hang like birch tags or the matted fur of a buffalo.

i want the air to find my every curve and crevice.

i want to be naked to the Utterly Something.

and i want - no matter how ugly - to be beautiful.

i come again for i have been away. i come writhing and desperate. crawling and dragging and mewling. i come again determined to be naked.

whatever it is. this Utterly Something. i want it so badly.

and it is true. i want to be wanted by it. i want it to need me.

here i am again drawn and drawn and drawn. down here. every cell alert and seeking.

i want it.

i want it and want it and want it.

i want it so completely. to be this complete it must be out there on knees. wanting me in return.

after each cataclysm

it always comes back to this,
no matter where you've been.

when the ordinariness of a day opens
you think about your beloveds,

what their sentient skin is like,
how contagious their smiles,

how you carry their hardships 
in your heart like bricks.

oh, you balloon artisan, you maker of bouquets 
which float your buoyant histories together.

oh, you mason, you taker of bricks 
into your hands in slow progress.

you builder of things which won't last, layer 
of sunlight with trowel.

plunge your knife into the roast beef to stuff it with garlic.
ring the deceased in rosemary. 

when the beloveds' beautiful skin fills beside you, 
fattens to wealth, and the candle is warm,

there is nothing more to want.

Monday, April 18, 2016


you are at the center of a caravan which is carrying you

there are six stalwart stallions surrounding you 
     and they are swollen like sea swell

no, it is a crew of canines who've learned the world by wallop 
     and you, tick, have succumbed inside their succulent flesh

the point is you are in the center of it 
     and it is moving 
          and there's no way for you to hold anything you desire beyond a certain point

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Let us never stop believing in birthdays.
Let's always want balloons and cakes
and surprises. The world is hard.
Existence is unasked for. Every time
we open our heart and take in sugar,
death and loss is lowering her spade.
Let us never stop believing in birthdays.
Each year let's light candles and eat cake.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

the indomitable flame of monseigneur and me

last night monseigneur's men broke down the wall,
slashed horses, maimed men,
catapulted women like...well,...catapults;
young children burned as easily as old linens.

this morning i laze by the river
in the break of violence
to catch my breath -
i mean no disservice,

but if i don't let my body linger
upon this fair ground now -
it never will.

Friday, April 15, 2016

reality is a loud noise

it's not the squirrels' presence which bothers me.
it is that i can hear the squirrels present.
bodily bounding along through the attic.
rolling nuts like tires. then shearing them.

in this way i realize the body is a house
and the doctor is a booming doorman.
it is not who he lets in that's the problem.
it is who he announces he has let in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

locked out from heaven

birch bark belongs to me
sky, bird, tree
eagle's musculature, its warning screech
the owl's pellet belongs to me
the delicate mouse vertebrate softened
the rat, the louse, the flea
the crow's eggs belong to me
the knitting of blood to bone 
the self-satisfied cries of murders
mosquitoes in cedars belong to me
the scent of pine, its pitch 
its stubborn hermetical mysteries 
the choke cherries belong to me
their midnight scat shine
the suck and flow from darkness to cubs
the generosity of the teat
Orion's belt and bow belong to me
on earth below the echo of deer's quivering heartbeat
milkweed's fibrous filaments like feathers 
the hooks, the claws, the teeth
even in the townships - 
pants stroked on lines by gentle breezes
tea bags charged, used, then shriveled
even the teapot's wide curt whistle
all of these things are keys
and they belong to me

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Cloak Buzzes Like Bees

I wear a cloak inside my skin made of pinks and purples,
paisleyed cornucopias if it must be named or shown,
rose light on surfaces like polished maple or marble.

It is a lovely weight over my shoulders,
offers a sweet sleeve of distance along my arms,
is a constant presence to the mind situated on the shaded shelf above it
which presses, through the body, for me to find whoever made it, 
find whatever else, through stitching or along mimetic surfaces, 
might belong.

Monday, April 11, 2016

hard things


the key no longer has weight. 
it is someone else's bird now.

i put it into a basket on the otherwise empty counter.
lock the windows? it hardly matters.

what was once light, we leave now as struts and bricks.
you can't buy light, the real estate agent warns them

but their eyes are fluttering skyward
and mine, forward facing like the warning whistle on a train.


a deer is a firm obstacle. 
my new neighbour hits one.

proves the car is water. 
proves her body patina.

proves the presence of light's fingerprints persevere
to bend the illumination of the next few years.

yet the credible connectedness of deer bones dissolves
put to the test of a bucket of water. (i've seen this happen.)


there is a historical record of that house,
once a lumber company, which later folded. 

we cut down five poplar in our time on that lot
whose ants flowed like black water.

the eager couple who bought from us dimmed
after their five years of gradations of light.

to think of all the marriages that dissolved 
under the waterline of that wainscotting...


'til death do us part -  
remarkable to now see the vitality of death.


the house has new windows.
its water runs.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

sunday april 10th, a walk, notes

i've been staring at and loving a large sheet of birch bark i framed a year ago, which i hung over the bed. what it is and offers seems to me endless.

two weeks ago the birch were reddening at their tips, threatening to break into bud. now it snows again. everything which had been advancing either stands still or seems to have crept back inside.

i've hurt my back again somehow and have been unable to stand, to walk. i am always in pain but pain is a sliding scale. this last week has shown me debilitating pain and so i must remember that normally the pain i have is only a gentle reminder.

despite this injury i've had to return to work after my (for the most part) winter lay-off.

i have forced myself to work and i have forced myself to walk. today in the blowing snow.

along the path to the place where the rivers meet a large bird rose from the tops of a tall pine. it swooped out and away from me and i lamented that i was unable to identify it. eagle or vulture or something else, it was grand.

then a small crow flew the length of the river beside me, making its mechanical sounds which i only witness sometimes. i wished i knew what it was saying.

do birds speak to one another across species? do they help one another?

responding to the crow, it seemed, a second tremendous bird rose from the same pine and worked itself its small loop in front of me and then away, a bald eagle. how glad i was to know.

further on, as i neared the mouth of the aux sables river, i heard a sharp call. one of the eagles was angled and turning circles over the black water, waiting to identify me. i stopped and crouched down. it flew, lowering itself over me and then effortlessly glided back past its pine tree and then on into the woods.

as the wind blew and the world was mostly quiet but for the pattering of snow on old oak leaves or the slow easing of great trees, i stood.

when my back is well enough, i will run.

when i do run i would like to open every muscle like a jewellery box and stow away the deep emerald pleasure.

two canadian geese maneuvered their beautiful bulk side by side down the river where the crow had flown, only feet above the water.

i noticed in one of my old footprints on the way back, an insect on the snow. i stepped over it, but then a moment later, inspired by the crow's reporting of me to the eagles, turned back. i extended my hand in the snow beside it. what if my warmth might help it somehow?

its feelers touched me. and then it did its own small loop away from me. it couldn't be going through this vast winter (which refuses to end) to anywhere safe. but there it went.

i sang good king weceslas, thinking of the warmth of the footprints, despite the fact that clearly my footprints offered nothing.

birch were gathered together on the other side of a tributary. they were ornamented in moving veils of snow.

this is the life i want, exactly this wild abundance which is the surplus continually sought after.

how to love something

run your hands all over it
take it into your body
bend it
drink the light off it without a spoon
ok your throat's thirst for it
approve your eyes' addiction 
tear at its corners like you're a dog
toss your head with it in your teeth
hold it like a baby
cherish it
smell it
smack it
apprehend its resonance
extrude its juices
sleep beside it
wake and watch it sleep
shake it awake because you can't stand life another second without it
knit it a sweater
put your hands underneath
let it go (a lie)
hunt it down
keep near it, you six paces behind
sneak up on it
possess it
declare it
let it go (truth this time)
ache for it
have fevers
kiss its absence so much your lips blister
for its lack die 

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Before philosophy. 
Before religion. Before sex.
There were fish.
He was ginger. It was eleven.
Dark. Summer. 
The edges of the camp's yard 
were slick and thick like jungle.
I was maybe twelve. Drunk with after hours.
I didn't look to him to be anything.
So I didn't think to be anything in return.
Young enough, this exchange couldn't happen yet.
It was a simple matter of darkness and presence. 
The adults were peripheral.
I can conjure them now only as shadows.
But he, a silhouette, was central, iconic.
A mystery somehow annexed to the future.
A man not a man yet, not aware of this, but Provider.
Fourteen, he came and stood inside the screen door.
Flashing against his thigh, a stringer of fish.
I was mesmerized.
The moon was glint. So was the metal line.
His ginger face shone. And the fish, oh, shined!
He got a frying pan. We went outside.
The camp's music was contained inside and muffled.
For us, after a few well measured slits, 
there was only the abutting sizzle. 
Instructions were dispensed in whisper
over grease and spice spittle. 
He imparted something from the darkness
which I've kept in my mind ever since.
Did he know what he was saying -
a recipe for the body's bliss.
We took the words, along with the fish 
into our skin before philosophy, religion, sex.
Perch, words tying us like red bows to the chassis,  
butter, cilantro, garlic, lemon,  fennel.
Our fingers shone. We lined our insides in silver.
The grins we wore holy arcs lascivious.

Friday, April 8, 2016

this ship circles

if they say spring is the threshold to the infinite,
they are mistaken. 
spring is lean. it leans. 
it is the serious long brown leaning 
against the god-damned nothing,
only toward (the later) green. 

there are at least three wan panels
of air or void or patience
to be gone through first.
endure, fair maiden. 
endure, old crone.
endure, petulant child.
endure the great panache of brown's blind being.

spring is the mendicant 
churned beneath the wheel's last seasons,
left face down, forsaken,
only revealed upon the wheel's raising,
last year's detritus
fighting to lift its head, nearly beaten. 

it takes three long earth-beats in the north
for the sot to surge to straighten
his contorted limbs. 
when he does he'll stand erect,
raise a finger,
not toward a doorway,
but to the circle creaking.
he'll lunge, an uncertain scarecrow 
to the ship's wheel,
take one deep green breath,
then wrench the wheel hard again.

Two Ears Away From Hearing Home

My whole life I've wanted to understand
the babble of bees.

Sing to me honeysuckle.
Speak plainly potato.
Whisper wild.

How I've longed to decipher
the cipher of cedar.

The dog's diction has remained
quite delphic,

Mother-in-law's tongue
forever encrypted,

the Maritime doldrums mumbling,

and mint through mauve mute.

My whole life I've wanted to understand
what the stone was saying.

I hear it now, over me,
its roots growing true earward.
"Shh," it soothes. "Be still."

And I am.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Simply Spring

There are hardships.
But it is spring again.
And although you're gone,
you too will come once more.
And as long as I believe
I will slide my white thighs
on either side of you again
and you will draw me toward you
like moonlight on water,
my spirit will manage.

Monday, April 4, 2016

i want to be a windsock

to take in the gust of symphony
and become blaringly erect

i want to gulp the musk of wine
and tinkle a rarefied rivulet

i want to rush the theatre
i want to devour each set

i want to be run through thoroughly
with world's engorged immaculate

Sunday, April 3, 2016

It is the Future; Commence - Nothing

The future has arrived. Ronhilda steps out of her vestibule in Reisterdam (wherein all the world's a vestibule) and denies her car (which arrives on time, succinctly, eternally - as long as all switches remain active) and raises her hand toward the violent violet sky.

This act of defiance by Ronhilda is a last act of passion. Ronhilda is a citizen of the Hyper-Anthropocene in Reisterdam.


Be it observed that people used to dress in cotton.
Be it observed that people once got dirty.
Be it observed that once dust was a by-product of real products.
Be it observed that real products could (literally) be consumed.


Ronhilda's vestibule is made of white plastic; her car a hyper-malleable, immutable to time, mined out of dark matter, hybrid. Ronhilda in her synthetic drapings is hot (but with perfect temperate modifications) in her zip-front smart suit, right on target for the State's body fat index. Ronhilda raises her hand. Beside her, staged at equidistance, neighbours (strangers) raising their hands too.

Everything is scheduled. Everything functions. Everything is expected in the future, even the revolutions.

Then the car doors automatically open.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

the animal "Is"

there must be a word
as a stone must have its mouth

silence must have its branch
and this dove-red libido must be conquered

there is a creature crouching in the cave
the arrows of my blood seek to kill it

Friday, April 1, 2016

death poem, a conversation


he brings her his heat
she brings him her heat

they re-write Issa's death poem

a few translations of Issa's death poem:

Tarai kara tarai ni utsuru chimpunkan
(Basin from basin to shifting   jargon)

From infant bathtub
to burial tub changing
This utter nonsense!

trans. by Earle Joshua Stone


from washing bowl
to washing bowl my journey—
and just rigmarole!

trans. by Henderson


Tub to tub
The whole journey
Just hub-bub!

trans. by Lewis Mackenzie


A bath when you're born,
a bath when you die,
how stupid!

trans. by Robert Hass 


from infant bath

to death bath—

trans. by me 


from one basin
to another—
indecipherable cipher!

trans. by me 


For Kobayashi Issa

Some weary nurse scrubs birth-goo from your toes,
then, bam!, they're sluicing death-sweat off your old corpse.
--- in between: words, and words about words.