Archive for the ‘2020’ Category

Excuses

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Meditation is killing
my poetry, my storytelling
my need to be read, to read.

Or is it all the screens
stealing me from my body,

my need to be out in sun
bagging winter’s dog shit,

pulling up the yellow dead
from last year’s plots
I never harvested.

2020

Backyard Chöd

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

I am a suet seed cake pressed
into the shape of a woman.
Pop me out of my package.
Encage me in a green basket.
Hang me from that piñon limb.
Watch the Western Tanager,
tiny feathered sunset, delicately
eat my head, steal my eyes.
Two Black Headed Grosbeaks
vie to nibble off my arms.
Their brown striped wives spar
to take turns with my neck,
leaving shoulders for the muted,
butter mate of Tanager.
Everyone flees when Magpie,
huge with white, black and blue
plumes, swoops to gobble up
my seedy breasts. My heart!
The limb sags. The basket slips.
Hidden behind bedroom glass,
you knock on the window
to scare him off, leave some
for the Mountain Blue Bird,
sky too timid, too diminutive to spar,
watching from the bird bath
dreaming of my knees, my toes,
but he is too slow. Grosbeaks
get to them first. Tanagers
return like a gang of seven
red setting suns, crumble up
my guts in rounds, dropping
crumbs for the chubby-cheeked
ground squirrel and nervous
chipmunk, both planning wings
for their next life. When all that
is left of me is grease on a green
basket, the sun licks that off
like batter from birthday cake
beaters. Now I flicker and blink
in the eyes of a dozen backyard
birds, the tiny hearts of squirrels,
in the slant light of day reaching
over the San Juans, every ray
waving goodbye, goodbye.

2020
This poem is inspired by the ancient Bön Practice of Chöd, as seen performed here by my friend Geshe Tenzin Yangton, the purpose of which is to cut through attachment to one’s body by ritually offering it to all sentient beings. (Turn on subtitles for the English translation). Alejandro Chaoul Reich provides a detailed explanation of it in his book, Chöd Practice in the Bon Tradition.

Unconditional

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

A broken lower incisor
abscess made him thin.
Stress stole her eyelid,
ear and cleavage skin.

Toothless and Scabby
lisping and peeling,
Gaptooth and Seczema
loving and ringing the 50s in.

2020

Time Travel

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

horsetail on the trail
turns me Paleozoic
in my new Merrells
Native_Horsetail_Reed_Foliage__33248.1585424574

My Mother’s Geraniums

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

It is safe to write about red geraniums,
their sharp, earthy aroma, and imagine them,
once summer and hummingbirds have passed,
dragged in off the porch, blooming indoors
all winter like my mother’s prayers, so red,
such bright fistfuls of love for her wounded ones,
it is hard not to think of blood, her blood pumping
through all of us, if it could, if she could will it.

2020
in honor of my mother, a week late

could be sky

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

the robin

throws herself

at glass

every window

for days

like me

2020

stalemate

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

a rasta once asked
do you know she is your queen?
she is, he agreed

queens cannot compete
with fantasy when sad kings
prefer smoke to light

he stops hearing her
dubs her his enemy’s name
forgets he’s the foil

why have peace talks
about the same war they’ve fought
the last seven years

they wage a battle
who can go without speaking,
eye contact, longest

every small move
through their rooms is a chess game
neither one will win

2020

A Glass Window
Is A Glass Window

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

A few dozen attempts—
bumping her orange breast,
battering fragile grey wings,
tapping tiny claws against
the glass sky of our bedroom
window— brought no success.
We stood on the bed, shoved
our faces against the pane,
knocked, waved our arms,
growled like friendly monsters,
turned on and off track lights
to flash warnings overhead.
Only the latter seemed to give
the robin pause, an inkling
that perhaps an entire world
exists beyond that promise
of sky where other beings live,
move as shadows or gods
beyond her realm, laughing,
shaking their giant heads
at such heartbreaking will.

2020

Hank Knows What

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

It happens nearly every walk.
Hank dives into woods like a deer
hurdling logs and bramble.
Then the yelps begin. One or two,
or, like today, a litany of shrieks
accompanied by popping cracks
of unseen branches breaking that
sets me running, whistling, yelling,
hatching plans for mountain lions,
mother bears, bull elk, unexpected
yucca knives or cactus patches.
I watch for his emergence up ahead
or behind, but often, I am wrong;
he is waiting on the opposite end
of my terrible anticipation, sitting calmly
on the trail, or running to me full stride,
adrenaline lit, crazy eyed, tongue
lolled, breath ragged, coat dry,
unscathed by Hank knows what.

2020

Dead Metaphors

Monday, April 20th, 2020

Four turkey vultures
riding thermals overhead
used to mean something.

2020

Mueller, Not Kerouac

Sunday, April 19th, 2020

City Lights Bookstore
I look for Jack on the shelves
Not as books, but air

(He’s there)

15 February 2020

When I Think I’m at Peace

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Coyote loves digging me.
I follow him to the boneyard
again and again. In the quiet
I caress the bleached skulls
of my favorite mistakes.

I remember eyes moving
in sockets, lips, tongues,
each one very hungry,
headquarters of whole
bodies I thought were mine.

Arms and legs, fingers, toes,
vertebrae, hips all mixed up
as one. Guts are long gone.

He sits at my feet, panting
proudly like a lab who just
dropped a fat, warm goose.

Good boy, I say. This humerus
is for you. He runs away.

2020

Liver

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Life cracks you in half—
a stick for Prometheus
to bring you fire

2020

Normal Blues

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

I will mourn
the return to normal
when this slowing
this no going
is gone.

2020

Broken Trunk Aspen

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Broken trunk aspen
Gnarled hand parallel to earth
Offers fuzzy buds

2020