Summer Supper

July 24th, 2015

By mid July the biting gnats give up.
And though there may be one or two about,
You, too, must give up fearing six-inch swellings,
Dare to wear vanilla round the holes
Of your face. Reach into zucchini, find the few
That sprang to forearm length before you knew it.

Forget fast food. So easy to sauté quarter moons
With sweet onions—themselves moons sliced
Radially from the core—in butter, olive oil,
Sea salt. Do not measure. Know your salt
Well enough to pour it in your palm.

While moons sizzle golden, take a walk.
Trim dill from lowest stems. Ignore insects
Flushed by your passing. Think cool, green nerves.
Sniff the plump handful on the stone path
Back to the house. The kitchen now a scented fog,
Chop the dill with butcher knife on thick block.

Don’t throw everything you have into the pan.
This isn’t waste. Chickens love kitchen scraps
And dill will explode its firework finale
For months to come. There’s more. Relax. Remove
The medley from heat. Hum in concert with your lover

While you eat from your plate with fingers.
Suck the buttered song from each one.
Suck his peach barbecue from each perfect rib bone
Cut from the barrow he woke each morning
Through three seasons to feed a farmer’s corn,
To pour steaming water in the trough.

2015

Surfing the News Four Days after Seeing the Dark Knight at Midnight with my Thirteen-Year-Old Son in Fort Morgan, Colorado

July 12th, 2015

for our mothers and fathers

One young man—on every screen in debut daze of ridiculous hair
and smoky dreams of frantic arms in solitary confinement—
couldn’t find his world face. Perhaps exhaustion stuffed it
under his hard pillow, or pills ate it, or sleepless monkeys
of his own dark reckoning hid it in the cell drain.

His mother and father stand behind him like newly born gods,
like your ancient god, they who continue to love,
have learned of their own terrible, unsinkable love
for a murdering son, have shrunk before the truth
that no amount or kind of sleepless rocking baby love
saved him from his shocking midnight burden.

Terrified mothers cast Facebook slurs, wring our faces and shirts
to wrestle the fear he could be our own adorable boy, shuffle
silently through every memory of toy and digital gun, tremble
at the monstrous love we know we’d find behind our breasts
while other mothers dream our sick child’s systematic death.

26 July 2012

San Francisco Flowers

July 5th, 2015

Tulip clouds
careful trees
crowds of touring
Japanese

hills of condo
rent control
all surprising
grain silos.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
San Francisco Flowers

Vermillion Flowers

July 5th, 2015

Hearts of flowers may as well be eggs
and wheel hubs—tender yolks.

Before you know it,
eggs grow ears toward cowdom.

A yolk nosed cow
sooner or later makes a sow.

Finally honking cars
with their own pig snouts

are flowers blooming ridge lines
lifting cumulous clouds.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Vermillion Flowers Image

Fine Arts Phenomena

July 5th, 2015

The fountain of water is of the Corinthian order.
Fluted drums become acanthus curls,

Like men’s pant legs.

The frieze across our chests is full
of muscular gods facing the ancient harp.

We know the song has changed.

Columns pretend to be trees, whole
forests fluted with bark, crowned with real leaves.

Columns of cloud feed woods and fountains rain.

The stone dome over your bone dome
is no greater or lesser a feat. Face it.

Clouds and arms are the same. A colonnade.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Fine Arts Phenomena Image

Sunflowers

July 5th, 2015

A horse head blooms yellow petals
over four legs not its own in sweats
and white sneakers, a tourist.

Cars bloom, spin leaf wheels.

Even mountain peaks pray
for budding yellow petals
when the sun throws rays overhead.

Does everything long to be something else?

The slow nature of time spreads
out the process and lies:
you are only you. No petals allowed.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Sunflowers Image

Golden Gates

July 4th, 2015

The earth loves repetition.
Mountains are pyramids.
The Golden Gate quotes the city
On the hill, rolling up into itself
Like clouds. The bridge
Could be a prison or a barge.
Cars mimic clouds rolling to work
Dreaming of being water, blues
Under the bridge or mountains
Sprouting gentrified houses
For people in the center of the fringe.
Look how earth became steel,
How steel became a road over water,
How water would destroy the bridge
If not for painters, for golden paint
Named International Orange
Ironically the color of rust.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:Golden Gates Image

Furnace Creek Phenomena

July 2nd, 2015

Your face is a ceramic tiled roof.
You think I don’t see water roll off you.

Some days, your hands and feet hang limply
From the windows of your limbs.

You walk over stones placed by no hands.
Your car, with wheels for feet, aches for grass.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Furnace Creek Phenomena

Frank Synthesis

July 2nd, 2015

There are arches in Marin County
thanks to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Some echo parking lots, frieze
facades and Frank’s own eyes.

Meanwhile, power poles dream
stupa spires punctuated by light.

2015
In response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, Frank Synthesis, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015 (my apologies for glare on the image and poor lighting):

IMG_8036

Scotty’s Palette

July 2nd, 2015

Are your legs columns or turrets?
Walter Scott says both.

Do you realize Scotty’s castle
Was your own sweaty back?

Death Valley drove away
In endless cars as stories.

The ending was always the same.
Full of Scotty’s windows.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:

Scotty's Palette

Frank Religion

July 2nd, 2015

Our bodies are crosses walking,
windows with four panes.

Perhaps our own spines
are two yellow center lines of a road,

saviors who say, Do not cross.
Others pass the opposite way.

2015
In response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, Frank Religion, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015 (my apologies for glare on the image and poor lighting):
IMG_8034

Rock Phenomena

July 1st, 2015

The earth makes bricks, stacks
them with hands we call our own.

We leave openings for doors
to dark places, make windows.

Like water and wind, we eat stone.

Who can last? We carve
our names into rock domes.

Winds blow sand, water erases
letters we mistook for home.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Rock Phenomena Image

Abduction

June 23rd, 2015

Reading white-tipped feathers, I knew more.
She was stolen just inside the henhouse door

and dragged north for eight feet before
she stopped struggling, throwing poor

wings against the sharp face of her predator.
From that point, no clues. Wide prairie evermore.

No hope for pomegranate seeds. Wrong story.
Some god did not impregnate her with future glory.

Who fed? Feral barn cat? Star eyed raccoon?
Coyote who noticed the open mouthed moon?

2015

Prescott Flowers

June 19th, 2015

When your arms unfold lanceolate,
My chest spirals
Fibonacci. We die into seeds.

Will you sit in the small boat
With me and row to sea?

Mourn the bees?
Notice the world is a stem

For what we want.
You too are a stem.

Most days, our rayed heads hold
Fragile yolk,
Scheming a beak, wings.

2015
in response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015:
Prescott Flowers Image

Designer Umbrellas

June 14th, 2015

If umbrellas are daisies
and clouds, what is my head?

We tourists, for a moment,
give shelter to the boat.

We pay to point at mountains,
numb to the inner view:

Mountains, too, are parasols
along with this proud lake.

Even a field of stones
protects the under-nest.

Choose your ribbed shield.
How easy not to merge.

Over what precious thing do you open
and spread to avoid its getting wet?

2015
In response to Les Barta’s photoconstruction, Designer Umbrellas, exhibited at the CACE Gallery of Fine Art in Spring 2015 (my apologies for glare on the image):

IMG_8039