Archive for the ‘2017’ Category

Burning Books with Jack

Monday, February 20th, 2017

When he threw Amor Fati
into flames, friends and poets gasped.

White book! Heads shook.

I ran to find mine bubble wrapped
in a briefcase, amateur sky
with all the colors in it.

ah jumped in after Jack like a sigh,
and Danny’s script, wanting nothing more
than for words to say nothing,

burn, be nothing with his.
Glowing gold pages turned with the stick

of an acolyte. Spent light!

Unreadable ash
made of us and especially
Jack gibbering joy-scat

to the earless moon, hands
grasping at the halo like a drowning man,
fingers coming up empty and fool.


Pre-Inaugural Dream

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Sugar weak, core and limbs
radiating with it, I woke in the
dark first hours of January 20th
having just dreamed of living
in a small mountain town,
perhaps something like Crestone,
where people stopped to talk
on dirt streets, share food, laugh,
linger near the new art installation:
two bushes whose lowest branches
were trimmed just enough
to allow us to crawl beneath
on our bellies, get caught on
a few twigs, a few leaves,
feel our breath speed,
a vague dread rise. Stuck once
or twice, I paused to notice
the beautiful tangle above,
the calculated trimming.
It was only a bush. I was small
enough to pass. I stood.
Before me were two doors.
Like exit signs, the words
WOMEN over the left,
MEN over the right.
Hard as a mannequin,
I passed through WOMEN.
On the other side, my youngest son
sat on a bench, studying leaves
he had plucked from the shrub.
Rosemary, perhaps, or sage.
I felt lucky to live in a town
where art was the place to enact
and defeat fear, not the pillow,
the walking into the day.

20 January 2017
after reading before bed, “A Trump Attack on the Arts would be More than Just Symbolic”

What are You Doing
Among the Dead?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

In the dark I am crawling
on the bedroom floor of my sister’s cancer memory,
asking, do you need to pee?
We are whisper laughing.

I am waving
my arms, demonstrating
Shiva’s dance over the pygmy
of me.

Taking credit for love, I am dancing
at a Mexican Hindu wedding,
where I later leave a dead woman’s shawl hanging
on the back of a seat.

Dust is collecting
on two boxes of animal ashes: Mojo and Siami.

I am questioning the dream
of my father’s mother never smiling,
of my advancing lips, her turning cheek.

That photo? This is what I believe:
It was only a sunfrown she made, holding her new baby.
The story is mother’s mother was never mean.

The dead are storytelling me.


That Burro on CR Y

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Early riser, that burro on County Road Y.
There is no herd to keep her company,
No fellow burro with whom to rub muzzles,
Take turns chewing burs from the other’s fur,
Brown teeth a loving vise, releasing seed
For the prairie. Fie the bur in her side; she’s made
Friends with a fence post, a couple rusty barbs,
Too alone to hex the couple in the bedroom
Down the road, laughing at her morning bray,
Wiping sex away with a red towel.

Boggle words: riser, burro, is, herd,
her, rub, burs fur, vise, fie, bur, side,
hex, sex, red

Confessions of a Hero Worshipper

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Have you made the desert
exodus, escaped enslavement
from the paper marriage,
that death warrant to wholeness?
Waters do part when they must.
Have you stopped hoping for him
to ride away with you to safety,
for half a woman to save?
In a room of one’s own, one finds
grace. My room was not a room
but my own face looking behind
my face. Dancing in my nudey pants,
I became my own pilgrim,
my own John Wayne,
the new policeman ruled
by the wisdom of forgiveness.
This was the last day
of my dance with duality,
my true marriage, my holy
matrimony. What is patrimony?
(Do not think too much about
the economic exchange of sex.)
You may want someone anyway.
Man, are you brave enough
to marry what needs saving
in you? When I look
in my own eyes, darling,
I see you, looking back.
It’s nice to know someone like you.
We could be the parents,
the heroes and heras
of the greatest generation.
Ignore those who say
not today.


Our poetry group listed titles of books
picked randomly from shelves in the discard
section of the East Morgan County Library
(thanks to Timmy Fritzler, for that idea!)
Another poet, Brenda Wildrick, suggested
we use those titles to explore a theme.
Here are the titles I used:

Confessions of a Hero Worshipper
The Paper Marriage
Death Warrant
A Room of One’s Own
Dancing in My Nuddy Pants (Nuddy changed to Nudey for the sake of assonance)
John Wayne
The New Policeman
The Wisdom of Forgiveness
The Last Day
It’s Nice to Know Someone Like You
The Greatest Generation
Not Today

Clockwork, or Ghost in the Machine

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Not enough of me
To pour into machine molds,
Missing teeth, I cannot fill
The silent, giant gears.
Metallic shriek: I turn
Against, into you.


The Philosophy of Animals

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Sky never asks raven to stop being black.
It burps happy nihilism through the blue,
Drops poop on an island of the Cache la Poudre,
Perches in a stand of ponderosa pines above
A group of young drummers come to snub phones,
Pound hard then just enough to hear: the flute,
Twigs break, a rufous hummer suck red juice,
Bomb those with ruby throats. A sugar war.

This, far from my world of paperclips and bookish
Windowlessness, even farther from the South Platte
Where, seven miles north, a man chases opossum
From our drafty hen house to its proud egg stash.

Chickens watch the red light debacle, doze off.
Once-feral-cat slips through the old door’s cracks,
Past stacks of concrete blocks, to sip the heated trough.
Too young to know what owls and barking coyotes mean
Too young to linger with her single kitten in the barn,
She longs for touch, mews the dark back door,
Ignores her virile brothers’ glowing eyes in trees,
Sleeps in pick-up crannies ‘til the engine goes cold.

Come morning, I let her in, upset my fat Siamese who
Screams and squirts bright piss across the kitchen floor.
The new cat chases her in skids and thuds
Up narrow stairs, the attic room her private lair no more.