Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stop Over

This never blue sky

holds me close to the green earth

a butterfly day

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Three Part Tale Spin


I’m thinking of a night full of birds
A confusion of wingbeats and soft
collisions that feel like heartbreak

Crowds are gathering on the hill
in their pink masks
to watch the sky which dwarfs us all
It’s the colour of the desert
Stealing our shadows in funnels of dust


They’re there to see a poem unfolding
Where words haven’t arrived
A small underscoring of half-slept moments
Of forgetting weakness

Here we are again
Away from them
and your hands are in my hair
My face is in your chest
You smell of cigarettes and solitude
Your voice is close to my ear
in a form I know but don’t understand
This is no story you’re telling
in bare-knuckled braille
It has a narrative I cant follow
back to your mouth

This is the easy eye of beauty
Silence of the planets and falling starlings
in a cosmic tailspin of absurdity

The black stones under my feet are still warm
from when the sun burnt them
in the middle of the day
I wonder where I left my shoes


Naked of meanings your face eludes me
Still the words aren’t coming
The patterns are there
lightening then darkening
The sounds amplify
bird cries swell thick
higher now
with throats full of clouds
Caught as they rise
No truth we’ve been
offered corresponds to this
These are feats of the imagination
To feathered applause and closed eyes

My skin is my mind
These are my dreams
they bring it all closer
Sink it in

Crawl up under my sheets
under a blanket of memory
warp and weft of surfaces of things
Woven threads of messages received
from every cell touched, held, imagined
Hold it, touch it again to remember
whisper into it
into the scars
into the dull ache
like a bridge from some place not located in my body

Or write it and I’ll read it to my hands
with my fingertips in a soft slow scrawl

Friday, February 22, 2008


Little glass pen that I chew on,
wound my expression with
wet closeness of cut lips.
To answer him
with sticky kisses.

Undo the corset of
diminishing faith,
unsigned, unsighed,
unsounded air, that
fills my mouth with gifts.
Sealed and forgotten in pink bows;

the colour of hearts which are
not organs behind our ribs.
Not the liquid which passes
through carrying the
mineral of my will,
beating my submission,
keeping my feelings
and thoughts
pumping together

in a bloody rush of
a tongued faltering that
braves fire.
Lick the cinders
from my white skin,

desires relics are
slipping the leash with disguised teeth,
to announce the beginning is over.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kiss (A Cinquain)

Your kiss
The dark shadow
between your open lips
or the mouth surrounding it gives


It rolls off the tongue
as a thick low plume
hungry to extend
now, slowly outwards

a thickening word
with a hook at its end
when you write it

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Reading With Palms

In silence
a truth is heard
Fragments of words answer
as if you had no other voice

Patient you, quiet teacher
dispensing wisdom from closed books
As if I would ever listen through
the noise of my raucous singing
and the sound of pages twisting
through my frenzied searching-

To the sound of a single kiss
on my collarbone as I slept through
the morning

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Torch Song

“All the secrets a wise heart has
must be more hidden than the Phoenix is
Because concealment in that oyster-shell makes the pearl
From that water drop that comes from the depths of the ocean”

~from The Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayam

Putting out candles with my tongue again
and wearing tiny blisters for days.
I can barely taste my food.

Where statements might be invitations
there should be silence.
Little, stitched-up, sewn together
secrets that stay where they are;
rather than bleed from a vein which suffocates with a blackness.
Pushing with backs of cupped hands
a fine layer of powdery tenderness to the periphery.

We knew about this love,
we learned about it in mirrors.
Cold, clear, we decorate ourselves in front of it.
To obscure what we see, to conceal more than a blush
or forked lightning in our eyes at the sound of a name.
Until hiding is habitual. A proud discipline.

The humble portion, still,
inside is held, nurtured, transformed.
To expose it becomes a soft, slow loss, a seeping.
It aches as tears of a little lost girl, alone in a place of bones
and skulls. Telling herself stories, while the wind encloses her
in a relentless lullaby of an emptiness.
This is impossible to wrap in the warm strangeness of words.
This image of a pocket inside a jacket sealed with tiny stitches
which should remain unpicked. Stays and expands,
becoming all.

A Poem To Read In The Dark

To read without breathing
between these fragments of words
find me
with your lips
here, press your finger to them
now and say tongue
nipple waist toe
belly button earlobe
Neck offered
a wrist exposed

These things we hide
to discover
beneath beneath
like crying or dreaming

The laughter we seek
as destination, a drawing-
bodies as bridges
arched spine arm elbow thigh
warm blood coursing
below the surface

The thoughts sent to air
or paper
The perfect wisdom of bodies

Friday, February 15, 2008


Today I am
as calm as my shoes
remorseful as my skirt

I wear them out
Tired of the closeness
of eyeless things
Where every sensation
returns to another
Held in this
by the heat
by the sound
This is not my hunger

This sleeplessness
like widening hands
This heaviness
of a weight never carried

Your kindness smothers
all but courtesy
I want to bite in half
the words which filled
my mouth
then spilled
They wont stop ringing

Solitude closes over them
They echo full-throated
to devour a truth

Thoughts circle
lips still
to touch
the skin
an idea
is held in

Thursday, February 14, 2008


It was fallen in

Not cavernous
or hollow

Nothing had eroded
It was there
It remained
just below
where it had been

low slung
than an indentation

A tragedy
surrounding it
The history of the thing
stretching back
to the level surface
Still traceable
It had not merely

It was fallen in

A collapse
without rubble
or trapped men
Though undeniably
a point of impact

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We Sleep Beneath Birds

I didn’t catch your name.
here I am,
wondering what the point is;

In this perfection
we grow like fingernails
Will we ever stop?
We might be cut or nibble-bitten
or ground down by work.
Yet we become and become
Until we die
and then maybe
we become something else,
then, some more.
I’d buy that book.
Has it been written?
The one that tells us what happens
when we stop becoming.
Some of us think we have
Yes, like death
If you find it I will lay with you
and let you scratch my back
with your fingernails,
while I search for it.
it is an invisible word,
there, not here.
So tonight, without names
We will sleep beneath birds.
Unlike umbrellas, our heads
above our bodies
swallowing glittering tears
before pride’s useless withered hand.
In the face of this
pinnacle of pleasing angles
obscuring our view
of details not meaningless.
As none we are.
As we are.
Hand-tinted as stars met
by ladders that end
twenty feet above the ground.
Your name is a script, illiterate.
On a delta of my hand’s palms
let me gift you
my resistance,
so we meet.

Friday, February 8, 2008

On Poetry and Papercuts (for Joe)

Protruding through the hoop-
A well turned ankle
steady and straight legged
Extending from beneath
a crenulated paper dress
of immortality

too thin to mourn
the tree it came from

Semi-precious emblem
corroborating a sacred
tongue’s aftertaste

An aural snag-
The version
held in talons

Utterance exquisitely rolled
wince meet within this
settled acceptance of
man-handled nourishment

Of charitable digressions
from the sunken eyes
deep within
your written inklings

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Deceptively simple
the old photo you sent
of that windblown girl

Some jagged arrangement
of cheekbones and arms

Jutting out of nine hole boots
a little comedy of red knees
pulled in close as kittens
to hide a budding chest

The shapes you gave
those grey shadows
The rash of textures
that was a makeshift bed

There again she is
cocooned in her only clothes

The pretty ghostling
whose every exposure
overlooked her age

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Grass stained again
the dress I sometimes
wore with you down

to the river with
the dark dark deep
shapes where we bend

into eachother below again
into the surface of still
deeper things than eyes

Then I lost in yours so
often forgetting I change
my thoughts of you the

passion lasts and slowly
again the unbuttoning of me
encouraging laughter

another change of view to
offer you another fleshly soft
hand or a foot or touch

my hair or face asking
nothing in return saying
so much more than language

a conversation of bodies
extends and covers beyond
silty soft deposits of riverbank

with its long grass growing
upwards where we lay down
how carefully we listen

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


And so this morning lights up
All the despairing immobile corners
All the chairs where grief shabby sat
The gardens, your little house, my studio
It touches our skin and our children’s
skin and our belongings and our aching
heads, it fills out the bleak day after
the blackened night after the wailing
day of screeching red news

It lights up all the busy things in these
clanging hours of redundant framings

It detonates the silence of that desolate
sleep we went to bed for, pushes into the
past those hours of brief escape from
this sadness that follows this morning
around like a copyist walking crablike
with his heavy hands in his pockets

Implausible Fiction

The sky opened today
with your exhalation.
Lips against mine,
filling my lungs with your unspent air.
We dim-darkened together.
Your dry lips,
I feel the wetness behind them.
We whisper like lovers-
kisses, not because, no
I’ve never made love to you
I feared the hooks, the barbs, the lures
No gills, gasping, arching.
Not because I feared you’d pull me up
to the surface to flap around on your deck.

Kisses, not because, no,
I feared I’d bring down your ship
with me fathoms deep
and drown us both in inky,
bedouin dreams projected on bed sheet screens.
Not that any of this is real
except that I feared.
I see you paper cut wince.
It might hurt more than this,
calculating clever-less.