Poet as anarch

Do your words support this one tradition or
that? did the vault of your craft meek out
yet another salve or did it glare in revulsion to craft? do you
salvage or savage the cow at the altar of the unholy? does
the sacred tempt you to sacrilege or do you bow?

will you pause to recall or
move on? will the line ever reveal
what hides or will it too linger off into
distraction (o the webs to save our
words from being more than what they pretend

to be)? where is beauty in this rubble
in the aftermath of one million six hundred sixty
seven forgettings? what molds the tank of
tumors that five hundred and fifteen
vessels of impunity contend to hide?

this is all within reason   this is all within
sight   and the bugles will sing of your
aftersong   they will burn less brilliant
with each lie unless the count
is singed anew.

Caring is done with mouths / fingers
ink   tub of feel   worded want   it is done without
question   it is done within each ask of want   it
is the want of curbing blood   it is how the hammer
nails your meaning into your skin into your gender into your kin

into each marker of sin   each voice that stuns your station
your reach your win   it is done with mouths / fingers
ink   “I care for our world / if I stop / caring about one
it would be only / a matter of time / before I stop
loving / the other (Pat Parker)”

Something in a poem misses a beat and a river crashes
somewhere   a village whispers the vapor of retreat   a
slur gashes the rainbow as each arrow of harm
is blurred – something in a poem misses a beat and
the heart quickens to mollify the red mishappenings.

quad quintuples

Nay, the storm of the windpipe has
frozen; aye, the green too saws
a toothed say   hushed turrets
rust us into thinking, “yes, this
must be another day,” as we perform

As a bonedigger grapples with
greendust, as the wool of my
eye has begun to greet a lashed
dream, the wires of touch kneel
& we open the hatches & weep

Ash greets the downspoken word
whetted the new spoon of love
grieves with the axes of space
space that mocks each point
of ash greets the downspoken

Woodmist callused into burr things
things of arid wear blurs that
soothe each acid ax smiling upon
things things reeds of rain eyes
of soothe eyes that speak woodmist

Poet as art

The clarity of what is haze is
not as clear as the rush of water

pretending to nuzzle my stance   my
ears pretending not to reach over

& tap tap tap on each ant’s shoulder
asking it to eke out the

sun at the bottom of my heart and
swallow it whole – this as art

We traversed a weary distance and we talked


What is taught is the nail   what
is taught by

          being caught in answers   -   will
          the tremors subside or have the 
          chambers of vocality become ice?


"How to solve the riddled
     youth of winter's

              calm?"   Three hours testify to the
                       laughables i) the first has
                       my mercy
                       my calm as collateral ii) time
              being in my pocket, we will see if it holds  iii)
              the thread of your youth has become rasp, metal


If worry became shine
   if life gave the hammer
   its hound   if 

I am wound up in the
   image of your passing
   why would the pin

Of summer hinge on belonging
   why would the years
   sing again of burn?

an ordinary infinity

the rain has tents to perspire in
the kind of tange lime has but
filtered for softness    the
flit of nuance    the bulb of whole

reachables tumulting themselves
into an ordinary infinity
this is but rain    this is but
the fall of kind words    timed

Master Sang Hu said, ‘Have you not heard of the man of Chia who ran away? Lin Hui threw aside his jade emblem worth a thousand pieces of gold, tied his son to his back and hurried away. People asked, “Was it because the boy was worth more? Surely a child isn’t that valuable. Was it because of all the effort required to carry the jade? But surely a child is even more trouble. So why throw away the jade emblem worth a thousand pieces of gold and rush off with the young child on your back?” Lin Hui told them, “It was greed that brought me and the jade emblem together, but it was Heaven that linked my son and me together.”

‘When the ties between people are based upon profit, then when troubles come, people part easily. When people are brought together by Heaven, then when troubles come, they hold together. To hold together or to separate, these are two very different things. The relationship with a nobleman can be as bland as water, that with a mean-spirited person sickly sweet as wine. However, the blandness of the nobleman can develop into affection, but the sweetness of the mean-spirited person develops into revulsion. That which unites for no apparent reason, will fall apart for no apparent reason.’

– The book of Chuang Tsu

Lost poems

Lost poems sing without their withins
Bled poems sing within

Their shunted snouts   without their
Clanged nails and

Whispered burials   within their willed
Shells, the fires of

Tombs & wombs & tentacled orbits
As close as skin