Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

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

Sunday, 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

Practicing English with Geshe-la

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Mouths round
to make crown.
Throats and lips thin
to say bliss.
We talk about
the differences
between bliss
and blessing,
religious versus
spiritual gifts,
how kind becomes
We consider
the subtle
shift in
when saying
grant me
instead of show.
The feeling of O.
O sweet prefix
of recognize,
to comprehend
again and again
what is true—
how this sound
is chewed!—
our own true nature
beyond words
where one is both
a pronoun
and a universe.

with thanks to Geshe Yungdrung Gyaltsen

Tavern Tattoos: A Communion

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Sitting here in my old drawings,
every one carefully clothed,
I watch braver, bare arms
fold across chests,
raise boisterous hellos over heads,
stretch wide and slow to find
an old lover’s full-sleeve embrace.
His three of swords in her poppy field.
Her ravens clawing his cross.
He buys her a beer.
Their pulses retrace
the sharp, blue story
of love fading,
lost in new needled filigree.
Skin pictures never stop breaching
their own boundaries,
whispering like prisoners,
raised like braille for the unblind,
like prayers no gods but eyes
and hands can hear.
So many gods! Even still,
such prayers often go

November 2012

Puja Tilaka

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

I ask this conflagration
to reduce me.
How long must I burn
with flowers?
Wind dashes my hands
across parking lots
and streets; hips settle
on lawns and rooftops
a fine grey ash,
and still I wish
to smear my mouth
upon your brow.


Night Walk with Strings

Friday, December 28th, 2012

‘Cause what is simple in the moonlight by the morning never is.
~Conor Oberst, “Lua”

A bare cornfield in Illinois takes your footprints.
Walking toward the unlit woods, seeds
fall in with the family of names you drop. Only a radio
tower’s three red lights witness your strange fruit.
Say one name three times and be surprised
when the train woos. Don’t ask why.

Just walk stinging to the edge of the field. Run
for heat. It takes what seems a long time. Think eyes.
The grassy edge drops low. The woods are only a string
of trees along a road. A sprawling tree creaks.
Straddle a white fallen log. Call ahhhh.
Call and call until the moon shines sharp wind.

No mountains, you don’t know which direction
you face. Relative to what. The direction is want.
For long moments, there are no names.
Tall waving weeds are not people walking
or weeds. You are not a person but a wind,
low sky, cold and creak. No one knows.

When you are done with nothing, a fox
doesn’t run by. Visit the soft moon through
the talking tree. Think of sitting in tall grass,
of what this might do to you. Don’t sit.
Climb back up to the field and walk with the wind
behind. Moving toward light goes faster.

Think better of doing magic for what you want.
Don’t plant the clean orange panties you found
tangled in the fray of your clean orange scarf
when you first stepped out the door, tired of walls
and warmth. Nothing will grow from them
in this field under the moon. One never knows

which you is casting the spell. Better to let
the huge field walk across you. Fallow. Love’s pale
stalks and cobs plowed under. Crunch with cold.
Bite with wind. Spread rich space over earth. Wait.
Gloveless, pull out a pocket-sized notebook and write
careless rows in the light of a nearby neighborhood.

Nearer and nearer your mother’s home, notice
your scarf soaked with breath. Touch your water.
Sing your song of want. Dance drunk with cold,
clumsy with clods. Sink into crusted, soft furrows.
Find the old wagon wheel leaning on the oak
where you first left the manicured yards.

Trespass, breach the stand of grabby trees
where Shadow’s name is engraved on a river
rock. Pay respect to every dog you’ve ever lost.
Hold on to your hat. Walk the paved road back
to the house with burning thighs, a fist of panties
in your pocket, smelling of Christmas night.


Urge and Urge and Urge,
Always the Procreant Urge of the World

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Countless khandros navigate my seaward
hands. I reach for you. They dance

in me like carbonation, fermentation,
a holy coronation of vision. I see!

I am not sorry for my fleshy eyes,
their quantum mechanical missteps.

Blind to union, they are more than generous,
offering up the object of your wet face.

They know enough to close with pleasure,
savoring our swaying tête-à-tête.

True, there is no duad in this world.
Merge is the song stirred matter sings,

sang Walt, who taught me: gather
his water in your hands and wait for salt

Come morning, I wore my palms
upon my face, a mask to breathe and taste,

peered darkly into luminous depths.
There is no floor in you, my dear.

No use begging for harbor or land;
no fearing my own swollen surf, or yours.

Return, return. Our liquid bliss unfurls on granite
oaths and buoyed words, a winter hurricane.

I whisper, even earth is no real anchor.
Look! When towns and trees uproot,

sky inhabits roofless rooms, rearranges
what is wooden into moorless doors.

Blown open, we fly through.

with thanks to Whitman for the title

Migration of the Snows and Blues

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The silage field empty
of nothing but a honking island
of a thousand snow geese,
I stop for what could be mine.

Overhead hundreds circle,
settle undetectably, safe,
swiftly emptying the sky
of white and grey skeins.

I wait for everyone to land,
walk beauty-hungry and wingless
toward them. Two or three sense
my strange approach and drift.

I step slowly, broad shouldered
with great love and homeless desire
over corn-rich clods to see the island lift.
Today, after you, this is my only power.

Cradling the flock’s racing hearts,
a sparkling surge of countless, prudent v’s
sings one high pitch of blue solidarity
slanted for miles and miles away from me.


On the Upbeat

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The water of the sound of and in you
spreads light in salted rivulets

from highlit crown to flashing
clavicle and liquid notch

your heart’s black springs

past dampened cotton collar lip
where goblet eyes and palms

can only guess the gleam
of gravity’s clandestine lines.

This joy can never fully know.
But O! we clutch and sing,

evaporate and brim
our thinning clothes.



Monday, December 10th, 2012

However scintillant,
One grows tired
Of suffering.

Trees grow tired
Of the fuss of leaves.

Even in the dead of winter,
We cling to final rattles.

Stark, just drop
What no longer
Gathers light.

Light already gathers us.


Picking Up Sons in a Parking Lot

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

the concept “kennel,”
a boy cries quietly
into tissue for three hours
in a car when he believes
his parents are planning
to sell his dog
before holiday travel.
He won’t tell his mother
who pleads gently
to know the reason for his tears.
She makes guesses.
He shakes his head.
She wonders if he is protecting her
from her own imperfection.
She is sure it is her fault.
The divorce wound,
the one he will hide
the way she has hidden hers
for thirty-five years.
Perhaps he doesn’t tell her
he cries for the dog
because he has already
learned that sometimes,
no matter how he feels,
events, decisions and love
are out of his realm of control
and it is no use discussing them.


Doghouse Bass Blues

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Still thrumming spine,
a lone bass string
dark humming one
who plucked and left
a stolen peck
on smiling teeth,

from scroll would span
that fretless neck,
past high bridged
wooden abdomen,
and within hollow
sound holes, ring.


For What We Take

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I put you in a floured, plastic bag
and then a flimsy, deep aluminum pan
since eating winged things
and quickly tossing the mess that’s left
is how we Americans give thanks.


The Techno-Optimist’s Love Song

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

If technology advances
exponentially, and my body,
your body, these oscillating,

electrochemically, aesthetically driven
love machines have self-organized
this complexly—quantum flesh

reaching through each other
virally, evolving memetically,
transcending ideational duality

and the tragedies of biolinearity,
then let us spend a raptured life
together in a year, a month,

three days, a night, a song.
Download your honeyed app,
and, yes, your starkest one,

right here. Spread your thumbs
until my deepest windows shine.
Step in. The beginning is always near.


~with thanks to Jason Silva

The Dangers of Adoring Living Poets

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Screw together wobbly word stairs I have not yet climbed.

Marry us like bleeding fingers and fenceless lands.

Sink into the great gut and wait for me, an ear.

Stir my hardened words with long, calloused hands.

Give it to me straight, one rough character at a time.

Misspell yourself upon my belly’s sand.

Douse the torch and dance with me until a sphinx appears.


Existential Risks in a World of Immortals

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

No lines rewriting the story
of your face is a risk I wouldn’t take.

How would your story change if your body didn’t?

I wouldn’t know the soft way you smile
in the days before you die.

Hero, if there were no risk of death,
would the prize mean as much?

Enough empty promises!
Eternal Life would finally call Eternal Love’s bluff.