Sunday, August 28, 2005

Shipping Out

I stand
like a soldier
when the autumn comes.
I salute the sun
stiffly and watch
the pain
grow in the trees.
Hail and farewell,
I say, facing down
what I know.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friendship of Aliens

Louise, how can
we be friends? I
look down at you
as I ask.

I am thinking
can I make
this catfood last
until my next check.

You are looking up,
sounding halfway
between cow and crow,
crying "maw! maw!"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I Should Have Called Her Madam

When the Haitian woman
from the prison where I worked
bent to whisper in my
ear I knew she was important
and felt the honor of her
breath on my cheek.

The container of everyday
doesn't hold such messages well.
But even here a few words evoked
images of lasting names,
things not fading, bolstered
by innocence.

We are like snowmen she said.
Life melts while we strategize
about 20, 30 years. We are smart

but can't imagine courtesies
persisting in you,
the rocks of the stars.

Then she was gone.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Intention

No matter
how each day
storms,
I want to make
for the world
something lovely.

Friday, August 19, 2005

cummings Letter

cummings
left a let
ter that
says "When
i
say i am red
y to go
i failed

to
make a
place
where some
body
cares e
nuff
to talk
me out
of leave
ing."

whatRu gunna du w/mewhatRugunnaduw/MEwhatRugonnadoo?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Short Walks

I don't know where
I pretend to be going,
following the lines
of deep mowed grass
in the re-claimed meadow,

following the edges of the
remnants of woods behind
town houses and calling them
copses, making photographs
that render them whole and rich,

fools' photographs.
I don't go far from home. My visions
make my walk around the
skirts of the neighborhood longer.
I imagine hard trails
and far away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Animal Languages

My cat
must be the most
frustrated commander on earth.
What she says to me is "wow!"

I listen carefully and follow the body language.
Although part of it means
make me real, it is an insistence.

She looks back
to be sure I am following her
into her designated meeting place.
And she gets angry when her man
don't come.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Today

In the ordinary day
without visions
we are plain creatures of things.
We are not pretty, made of
the same stuff as
chickens.

But in the times
when sight deceives us,
when we travel back into the
saturation of magic fluids,
back into wishes,
we blossom. We
leave behind
our eyes.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Whatever We Call Love

It's sexy when you rub the wound,
healed now but still a bumpy scar
and you have the instinct to find it
you intoxicating girl:

something about the boys
laughing at me in the locker room
when I came in carrying a pen,
my penis too small.

Oh I am lost in reminiscence when you
rub the blemish hard, that funny expression on
your delicate lips.

It's sexy when you joke
about being stronger than I.
The association throbs
attached as it is
to love.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Predator

I look down at
the crawler
and I think
hunk of protein
as I do when I look
into the viscid eyes of cows.
I see flesh rendered, cropped
and life seeped away.

I look out at you
and see textures, heat,
useful slabs of thigh
and moist secrets. I
like it when you hide
and occupy yourself with
talk.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Take a Dip

The lakes I know
are all seen through
windows or sheathes
of brain, pseudo-eyes
that record dreams and memories.

We visit Lake Winnipeg
a weekday afternoon.
We stand on the boardwalk
in our traditional armor,
eyes made of flesh and glass.

My son invokes reality,
sorcerer who he is
with one insistence of his arm.
I am in the water letting
the cold lake remind me.

I swim, diving deep
into the murk. I view
blurs I haven't seen
since I was young. I laugh.

I come out reborn.
We joke about being
a reborn Jew. We joke
how water follows us everywhere.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bonding With Place

I have been
treating the prairie
as a stranger for 30 years.
The plain is easy to ignore.

Now on my walks I discover
the deep grass song.
The old stalks gristle under my feet
and brush me with harsh branches
as I pass. I walk these broken
railroad trails and paths along
polluted ditches where the water
takes the cleanliness from the sky.

The yellow flowers and the blue
and the tall thorn bushes,
whose names I don't know, repeat
in tiny flower towns clustered tight.
Families hold back their neighbors.

The horizon sits at the edge of the
meadow and the blue sky is crinkly with cloud.
I am getting to know the grass
and decide the weeds
are tied to me by memory.

With aspen and blackbirds
I go where grasses
take back wha belongs to them.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Word Artist: A Tell-me-it's-not-true Poem

Like a lawyer in verses that
make coincidence count,
I peddle.

I'm a yellow journalist
of my heart.
If it sells, I write it.

A papparazzo of the spirit, I'm
out there looking for windows
with juicy views.

And whenever you say
you like me
I hunch a little.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My Personal Gap

To be loved
by somebody strong
and a firm voice
from a friend
in the morning,
what a thrill I would have felt.

Never to have been loved
by somebody strong
into whose arms I could flee,
and I miss nobody.

Fear greets me
in the morning.
I close my eyes
and cry mommy mommy.
As always you are silent
even in memory.
When you died
I didn't mourn you.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Second Coming

Hearing the canticles
we used to sing
I remember when
the gates were open.
I remember the thrill
when I was at the edge of sleep
with reminders that you were watching.

As we live
through the promises and
the time that we waited for passes
there remains only calm.
The days just give us what we can take,
just dangling there
as we come back to the Garden of Eden.