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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The trees, now, are trees
I’m seeing myself seeing.
I’ll always deny that I
kissed her.
I was just whispering
into her mouth
-Stephen Dunn/Slant

This arrived in the mail yesterday from a certain wonderpoet Rebecca. Thanks again, Dear. Had I not know it was coming it would have been very mysterious indeed. No return address, no signature – just a few musical note stickers and a faint postmark of Seattle, WA. Perhaps we should all send postcards with poems on them to random addresses around the country – maybe people would start to read poetry again? Maybe next time I’m at the post office I’ll buy a lot a lot of stamps.

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You could be a poet
You just don’t know it

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Upstate

An open ladder of tracks
fades into eventual sky.
Any other place the sky is just a sky
here it is always a horizon
beyond gray waters, gray eyes,
a soft dripping sound of more,
the drip of a faucet.

Our hands touch like petals of skin on skin
We lift them up on strings together,
lift our feet over hurdles of iron
while small change jingles between us.

Cool air’s lips, the sun light and cold.
Beside the tracks an abandoned white bucket
oozes rain.
I’m too afraid to look
at what’s someone’s dumped inside.
The truth is
we can’t ever end up here –
Upstate
– as if down or over makes any difference –
it’s the heavy state at all.
IBM’s skeleton looms as a black kite,
streets laid like the legs of a woman full of runs to the bone.
What’s laid is laid and easy to follow
Deer follow.
Hunters follow the tracks.
I don’t want either.

The whistle unravels,
the train a slate heavy moan moving slow upon us
like a day next year on the calendar.
Our bodies perch in the rocks
like small wooden birds he’s carved. God has a funny way
of playing with toys.
Only when his machine is close enough do we move closer
in defiance.

“Can you imagine being under the wheels,” you say
and then something about Russian children dying
that I don’t catch.

The air pulses up
lifting my skirt skin
hum and vibration
a gallop of steam
a pump and a pump and a pump in me
as if I could chisel a wing free.

“I love you,” you say to me,
“Because the things that mean something to you
mean something to me.”

We watch, still holding hands, the moan pass,
the last touch of a fingertip.
We came and he went,
the clouds rolling low in the Eastern sky
as if we’re under the wheels anyway.

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Why do some poets put so many exclamation points in their poems? Like every line or every stanza? It’s like the life-size blow up Snowman in a sleigh being pulled by a polar bear I saw on someone’s roof yesterday. Sometimes, it’s just too much to be put in my poetry.

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A Woman and Her Muse

Blood drops blossom on the bathroom floor.

The make-up you’re wearing, the heels,

the pants around your ankles –

a poet’s morning glow disappears in the mirror.

There’s much to do, I beg you.

You look with empty bucket eyes,

eyes I faintly know.

Zip up your pants,

wipe the blood from the floor.

The stench of you

drips down our walls

your skin a nicotine yellow.

Put me on instead.

My skin is the color of difference.

I’m the pink inside your mouth.

I’m the rattle of a cage.

I sing and I sing

I feed and I feed

I make light of our darkest need.

You bring the cold city home on your heels

I wrap weight in a warm blanket.

I kiss your hands

one palm

two

thankful you’ve brought the body home.

Now we run, now we write,

we meet storms and throw seed

our eyes are feeding and electric

Your hummingbird hand while I shovel the coal

don’t you see how our body can glow?

By morning you’re back to covering pores

spritzing on a false skin

You’re daylight eyes cut our current’s circle.

Oh body, please come back

I need your hands

oh body, don’t leave me whispering.

Blood drops blossom on the bathroom floor,

there’s much to do, I beg you.

You wipe the blood clean of me,

you wipe me off the floor.

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Christmas Card 2010

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Spring Forgotten Summer

*Because it’s so cold outside: an oldie*

When a yellow jacket lands on the hood of my car
“Unstick,” I say
and ask Karma for a shot
of vodka.
She looks at me like I’ve
rollers in my hair,
laughs and tells me that Spring
is a bastard child
forget it.
Summer has already begun to melt
the hairspray of the world.
Lawn chairs displayed
like puppies in a window.
Buy me, sell me, have me
Everything smells like the plastic strawberries
of my childhood.

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