All Fires

November 3rd, 2019

All fires end somehow.
Rain and shovels sink in
Or snow snuffs them out
Like a god, before the town
Wakes, sleeping with its
Yellowed photos stashed
In countless car trunks.

2019

Bad Dog Haiku

November 3rd, 2019

I sweep tufts of hair
From my bedroom bamboo floor
Where dogs aren’t allowed.

Two couch cushions chewed.
What means more? Dog or couch?
Turn cushions. Hide holes.

2019

Greyish Birds

October 20th, 2019

greyish birds flicker
in the hearts of still piñon
winter’s SA nodes

Homemade Apocalypses

October 18th, 2019

#1
Driven by indefinite predators, you run
through the multistoried city puzzled together
like a colossal le Corbusier parking garage, leap
knotted streets threaded through with gurgling
orchestrated streams. Traffic fog stands
in pillars of light and shadow like fluctuating
headlights cutting through an ancient forest,
casting dirty Jacob’s Ladders, beaming
from low hanging firmaments of grey concrete.
Unable to escape, peer off the edge
of architectural monstrosity, this last Wonder,
witness a vista of Trump Tower-sized cubes
of refuse baled together with twists of iron twine,
receding into the stinking distance, the horizon
a rusted Donald Judd sculpture of postindustry.

#2
Walking a hotel hallway without hurry,
your small herd of humans knows the earth change
not the way wild animals do, limbic, in bones
before brains, but—with nowhere to run
on earth from earth’s gorgeous shockwave—
by the way a giant new update of gravity
gently sucks you into slumped piles of yourselves,
the unknown babe in your arms at once slack faced,
like you, full of useless bones and bright-eyed
with collapse, the surprise of benign paralysis,
the premonition of a future anthropologist,
evolved android drawing you piece by piece,
scattered as you will be throughout the others,
taking notes on your precise whereabouts
when it all went down, a diagram of destruction.

Before Jack Fest

October 7th, 2019

Wax, falling moon
Nicotine grin
Inhaling me west

2 October 2019

Better Church

October 7th, 2019

A throng of poets
Is better
Church than church.

2019

Sorrow Stones

October 7th, 2019

Sorrow
stands
up

Untangles
the
cold
river

Imitates
a
cairn

Imitating
me

2019

Strings

August 25th, 2019

Tethered to the puppet
strings of two dogs
arms and legs tugged
by scents I cannot sense
I surrender to nose joys
made not for me
but for these dogs now bowls
for love my grown boys cannot hold.
I let my masters linger hungrily
sniffing shadows
while I pause over here
on the dark road looking up
waiting to move on.

2019

small enough

August 25th, 2019

august and july
mosquitos held me
hostage from the milky way
hatted netted hurried
absent starlight
impossible to feel small
enough to write

2019

Crestone 4th of July

August 23rd, 2019

Burly men and women shout
Happy Interdependence Day!
from the fire truck, smiling
everyone waving
at each other and mosquitos
kids scrambling for candy
on new, hot pavement.
Northbound, the parade
passes us all
turns right at Galena
for the other side of town
just one block away
turns right at Alder, southbound.
The crowd walks east one block
to watch it go by again.

2019

Vertical Prayer

August 23rd, 2019

Vertical prayer flags
Cling to their posts in thick rain
Still manage to pray

2019

(i love the way)

August 23rd, 2019

lines warp
in the wind
and the fold
and the word

2019

Blue Mesa Reservoir, 3 AM

August 16th, 2019

Two dogs fidget and whine
inside a canvas cave.
A zipper rips open
the strange night—
a grand piano wrapped
tight in black felt.
Ten legs spill over it,
blind fingers searching,
scratching for hidden seams,
the only audible song.

2019

Jesus of the Meme

July 30th, 2019

He knows He used to say, “Suffer
the little children to come unto me,”
but when Jesus received
His sister’s long ass letter via email
sharing the sob story of Father’s
childhood abandonment of her,
the way it reaches through everything,
He thought, Stop wallowing,
decided it was easier
to post a meme to His friends
on Facebook than to think.
One of His favorites:
two clean-cut idiots in suits,
heads thrown back,
mouths stretched open, frozen
in sarcastic, mocking laughter,
straddled by white, full caps font:
WHEN SOMEONE SENDS YOU
A NASTY EMAIL
BUT YOU JUST HIT DELETE
THE SECOND IT HITS YOUR INBOX
Jesus likes the word “nasty,”
the special power it holds these days.
As the pièce de résistance, He added
His own witty caption—Well, not quite
His own, but that sassy black one,
you know: “Ain’t nobody
got time for that!”

2019

The Dog From Antonito

July 25th, 2019

The woman dropped him off July 5th.
A stray, she said, but shelter women guessed
he was hers. Five-day grace period passed—
no one claimed him. July 11th changed that.
He was mine the moment I saw him
calmly greeting visitors through his fence.
No jumping or barking, no shit in the gravel.
Sweet, respectful, deferential to my old dog
who had to approve first. He did. I did.
80 bucks later he hopped in the front seat,
scanned the horizon heading north.
Stoic, no ventured names perked his ears.
I guessed he might be deaf, but a finger snap,
a quiet clap, lifted his tan brow. He blinked.
Leaping into the house like it was always his,
he stopped cold in the entry, wouldn’t budge.
At first we thought he balked at the sight
of Dorell, but, no, on the porch he leaned
against his legs, sat upon his giant feet,
tongue smiling. Inside, was he wary of new walls,
the potted tree, strange people, foreign smells?
No, the ceiling fan. Skirting the family room,
watching the whirly gig above with worried eyes,
soon enough he learned it was benign.
As was he. Even the reclusive old Siamese
strangely bore his curiosity with sharp swats
and low roars of warning, holding her seat.
Undeterred, he nosed and nosed her, finally
friends. Kennel-rank, relaxed in his first bath,
he slumped, weary refugee savoring water,
heat and sudsy scratching, clogged the drain
with endless black fur and swirling dirt.
Dry, he lay there like a preened teenage girl,
leaned into the brush brushing, brushing tufts
of matted fur from thighs into a wispy pile.
Witnessing his gentle way, intelligent eyes,
obviously once loved by a human being,
imagine my surprise when he wouldn’t Sit!,
wouldn’t Sit!, wouldn’t Sit!, no matter the offered
treat or pushing down of reluctant butt.
Three days he gave me bright, blank stares
with each command. Sit. Sit. Sit. No recognition.
Distant face. Until it hit: this dog is from Antonito.
I dug deep for the word. ¡Siéntate! I said. He sat.
We laughed and laughed, hearing ourselves speak
Español to one dog, English to the other, confused.
Now when we cuddle on the hairy couch, I cradle
and stroke his silken face, murmur in an accent
my high school maestra would absolutely admire:
Qué lindo, qué lindo, buen niño, buen perro,
mi amor. His native tongue becomes a door.
I enter, see his body go rag doll in the hands
of my voice, eyes soften in the syllables of home.

2019
Hank