Hewitt wakes to find his arm asleep beneath his wife's neck. The old patchwork quilt is gone, kicked to the floor during the night and now only the top sheet remains between them and the cold draft from the cracked windowpane. He watches her shoulders rise and fall with each breath—tries to match her rhythm. Before getting up he kisses her back, between her shoulder blades, and she shivers, pulling the sheet to her chin. He slides his arm out from underneath her, sits on the edge of the bed and shakes it to regain feeling. His feet search the cold wood floor for his slippers. She stirs.
"Where are you going?" she asks.
Sunken in the bulbous tower of the Belvedere, a waiter experiments with a gesture, swaying on his rotund and cushioned palm the wasted quiddity of a wine glass. Not overly long-stemmed, the glass seems to cling to the deeply inset dimples of his well-fleshed, roomy hand. The puttering small bubbles of the alcohol vanish slowly one by one, as he dithers with gravity.
I and Pangur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
1) Darkness (So lately I have these visions — the sky at a hover by the off-ramp, steam percolating off the half-thawed river like something vaguely of the body, threaded with frost, hibernatory and beating)
2) Hair Loss (and so all she wants is a cold one and maybe a booth with a view of the local scene but then there's this strung-out looking, mullet-headed guy out of nowhere and suddenly she's in this white van, okay, it's like something straight of out "Silence of the Lambs" and the lack of light is already making her skin do weird things, breaking out like crazy…)
3) Tenderness (the way the body reveals its single, herbaceous intent)
30 March 2010
but why for the life of it the singing, why the lust-fed hands
like a pair of burning tongs, the table lacquered in moonlight,
why the moonlight, inky and desolate, why the lollygagging
in the snack aisle, the lying awake in the room beneath the all-night
fisticuffs of rain, why if not for the life of it the body, shaken but not
apterous, not ruined but ruminant, a dissonance, a fog, a humming…
11 May 2010
the other night, i waited up
while the living room burned to ash.
i recalled the way a concussion feels
and how changes brand us.
the cushions on the couch smeared and singed when
i sat down, but this was hardly an interruption.
8 May 2010
he was bound and stitched. they hadn't a need to cut him loose.
after many times of him slipping, worming his way, logically,
out of those predicaments—the ones where
he swallowed the oaks and unbecame himself—less predictably each go round.
now they've given him a place, or worse.
2 May 2010
the cotton grows wings and rises,
rocking chairs bare their wooden knees.
there are amphetamines in the horses' hay,
psychotropics in the cattle trough,
on the dinnerplate, styrofoam cornbread.
a porch with a mouthful of boards says hello
to a church steeple, who asks
what is this cheap oak table tarnish smell in the air?
5 May 2010
the windmill yawns and turns over. the brass chimes
grunt, half in sleep. from the house, someone sings
and i will never forget this sound, the openness of that voice:
the only song—
there is only here and there and gone.
20 May 2010
The wind tugs at the loose treeline.
Dark skiers push through fog—
the snow adjusts its many shrouds
while blind sled dogs awaken beside the river.
NAS FUT 1012.0 ↓ 31.5. The birches
slice a dull sun.
14 May 2010
They wear the clever hats
of the Dog Star, of vehrmacht palettes,
not, mind you,
the German officers, but the bears
who are the visitors!
17 May 2010
Laura said it must be a vagina of cabbage
with an army of white ants.
The postman in knee socks
wears an aluminum-foil hat
over his long red locks.
The bats are leaving their caves
and with some haste we have discovered early evening.
I drove my truck across groomed Texas to an enormous crucifix, the biggest one in the nation. I was alien, terrified. I'd gone there with a purpose but arrived to find the place barren. A cop drove by. I turned back on to the highway.
Lying on the floor of the place we'd just moved to in Portland—B. and I—listening to CDs, there was nothing there but the two of us, and the music.
A man spent time at the bottom of a vase. "Arrange me, please," he heard the air around him say. The man knew he should have a plan but he had none. One day he noticed a fly outside. It bumped its big slimy eye on the glass.
The hero in this story was never born. If you never say never, you can't ever say nevermind. Say this is the beginning. Say this is the end. Say your princess is in another castle. Say the castle is made of sand.
27 March 2010
I run out of songs for the piano
which has been making sounds all night
connecting me to her past
like humerus swelled to the tune of frozen ground
a field turned flame and fern
in ink a weather unexpected
24 April 2010
This is the story of my grandfather Benjamin Simonds
who survived Auschwitz. He kept
a scrap. Torn label of a can of con-
densed milk. He took dictation. He
dictated. He flipped the dialectic flapjack. He was
a gambling man. People think prisoners don't gamble.
Gamblers are always and only prisoners.
Once he told me that the spine is a prison.
21 April 2010
I was going to write a poem about giving birth,
about meconium and vernix,
the cubic zirconium
scattered on the floor tiles of the hospital room.
It would have been about false
windows that face false
the tiny hamburger—the mustard too yellow and sweet…
18 April 2010
is all about showing off how different it will be from
the old curriculum. The old
books point us to the new
ones won't matter when the old
ones point us to the
new. You, the new you
will learn one