i lie and tell you i could stay in the woods forever
                            unsure if i am the woods
                                or you are the woods
                          or if we are together a forest.

 
 



 
 
 

 

patient teacher

boy vibrates like an untuned harpsichord displaced all over the field of my tongue

crouched loosely
we watch panes of light
slip around our feet
we have counterfeit shoes and can walk into the cave of each other’s mouths which have no corners
no posted rules of etiquette
    and so we form our own

you cannot cut with a knife after dark
  especially if you are alone and lonely

never ask a noodle for directions
 they change their mind too frequently

always use a spaghettio as a tube
  down the lazy river towards one                 another

rope swings will fall down from the roof         when we need to whisper secrets we         already know to each other

there is a statue of us being made
  in the furthest indentation of your lips.

 

dear young girl,

there is no purpose in making yourself consumably clean
    nobody wants to eat you

light a candle in a room & blow it out
    this is how you see clearly

your belly of ink makes squids protest     you are of superior darkness
which scares light lidded people

do not stop the labyrinth of your thinking
   it will take you to blooming
   gardens
where cats bleed from their noses           and are forever reborn

take it as a good sign if he falls asleep on top of you
  men do not sleep over fires
you are ocean
filling up the crevices of a whale carcass.

 

 
 

revolution

there will be a revolution of whispers rising to a point directed to the tongue of a man who lies. he will tell you he is not lying and you two will dance with arms full of seeds, sowing talcum children into the soil. the moon is full of rabbits and laughs with your feet.

the man steals your mother while you sleep. you thought your mother was dead, but she was waiting in the mountain. all ten toes on jagged rock, like an angry cat she waited. you never came. you did not write any news on your skin for her.

the revolution has outlawed zoos. red pandas laze down streets. become gang members and frighten mild mannered crocodiles. you hear your mother cooing the traitor to sleep. you trade three salamanders for a knife. the knife is dull and lacks conviction. you take it to a mountain top and sing to it for four days. each exhale an intention. purer and purer the future becomes.

an escaped monkey carries you down the mountain. you look at the sky from your back. knife in teeth. glimmering enough to draw a barracuda. it stares at you from the sky. you do not mind. you are a tasty morsel of stardust. content lying on a monkey’s back. you are a flea on a large bird. you can bite your own finger off like a carrot and so you do. all ten because you are hungry and greedy.

at the base of the mountain your mother is crying. the revolution failed and everybody must go back into their cages. nobody protests. it was all too exhausting. you tuck mother into her shelf. refrain from kissing her. the enemy is gone, you say. now we can all sleep, you say. and you do. for a hundred years.

you wake again. out of the sea you rise. beard glistening with droplets of water. your enemy hoists you into the boat. you sit gently in the corner. he asks if you are homesick and a lotus flower falls out of your mouth. then a bead. he splays open your belly and feasts on the pineapples growing from your liver. they are so sweet. he sews you back up and you sit, asking each other how the sun always knows when you’re sleeping.

 
   

tadpole brother

the earth dug us out at the same time held us under a magnifying glass
    burned off our tails

sugar filled our lungs
a tense moment for mother
   as she tucks us into our skin at night

you left in dawn
forgot to etch your map into my palm
   said you would be under a lemonslice      moon three fists away

i left this note for you dozens of times            please,
leave a note in the sand
   draw a circle around a tree and wait

i have drawn circles the size of towns

still i lay here and breathe
sit here and sip
   waiting for my mender of things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxviii. obstacles to love

the sea makes decisions when we sleep

makes worse our fortune

separates us out of egg

engulfs our yolk


the sea uncopules us

hands touch different door handles

legs lie in different beds


we lay and stare at empty cups.

 

[published in Belleville Park Pages, Edition 36]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1989

if you love something
let it go
and it dies
in a car crash
unhinged from
the light pole
your body
said no
to
the turn
around itself
you crash
like a
reckless drunk
you were
drunk
really drunk
and
have remained
drunk
a blur across
dance floors
popularizing
the slink of self
regurgitated self
worried self
you are
a blinking light
unsure
whether to take
the keys
out of
the car
or out of
your arms
you had
spares at
home under
your stack of
shirts
how often
do you
wear the one
i left you?
i stole it
last
month
i am
sorry
i am
sorry
i am
sorry
it
ended.

 

 

 

rites of spring

adopt me world
take me in as your own
it would mean so much
i need movement
the floor has been my home
here, i eat sausages and sing to my wounds
my tuning fork has become my hairbrush
i dine with it as well
world, do you have arms?
do clouds whisper to their children?
i thought i heard one saying i was sad
i cannot be sad on the ground
i merely rehearse for death here
it is the longest rehearsal of my life
ants trail through occasionally
touch each others heads
knod on towards the sugar cubes
i chant until i feel less than nothing
i dissolve into a pea
soon, i will be in the mouth down the throat and out the anus of some unknown being
earth, can i float?
i have seen you do it with others
i do not feel i can
i feel sinky sinky
low low
real low
how will anybody hear my swallows from down here?
the clouds came by again today
i told his son i wasn't sad
the cloud told me it was okay if i cried sometimes
clouds cry a lot
when i cry the kitchen floor sticks to itself
none of the saltines can walk around
they complain and hold a town meeting
my tear ducts are on probation
i am lucky they are not sewn up
that's what the sheriff tells me
mother, are you a wound?
i fear the ocean is your soul
it seems scary in there
it makes me scared to look at myself
i look into the fluorescent light until
i am so dizzy dizzy dizzy
when i stop i miss being dizzy
the depth of feeling it gives
earth, what was it like without us?
were you bored?
do we itch?
i forget to cut my hair
now the refrigerator is full o fit
takeout boxes are brimming with it
i wrap myself up at night
i am a cool, sorrowful cocoon
i feel little now
i grow into the floor and the house swallows me
it is my oeuvre
it will start a riot
it will be my rights of spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

let the world beat you up
and then I will lick your wounds

such bound things we are

I want to be wrapped
around your toe
running all the way from eye
to thigh, feelingly.

I will lick the rain from your
legs so your feet do
not get cold
from the sloshing around
we do,
we do.

your kisses
like the flick of a wrist
connotes lightness of burning paper
burning things
that don’t matter,
don’t matter.

 

 

 
 
     

1993

    when i was born
    a woman fell out of her dress
we both watched
as the dress refused
         to stick to the ground
   tall
   upright
   ignoring the breeze
       the dress stayed by the window
       the woman told me it liked the sun
       asked me where my mother was
i told her she was my mother
   she paused
   blinked
   thought about how many dinners she        would have to cook
   and asked if it was alright that the              woman downstairs took me instead.

 

 

 

every way is the right wrong way

hollow steps
scared of the staircase inside myself
there are no lights
    but the eyes seem endless
walls speak words i pull out like seaweed

i put my body on cool stone
melt up and down until i hear one say
   live in between things
love so deeply you imbibe it all
say yes until you become a circle
sent here to play with words

it is hard to hide
when the earth has no corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                     herald the news

                                   people are a disease!
                                      babies are sages!
                         the earth doesn’t wash her hands!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xxxv. recovery of a lost one

here you are little one
tied to a stone

your head has become a roost
I see the eggs laid in your braids
by the blackbirds

I have been looking for you
so hard and far and long
under rocks
in mountains

here you are
tied to a stone no bigger than my fist

come with me, don’t be scared of my hands
I will not strike your head
or smash your nest of eggs

mom and dad want to see you
to tell you how the tides have been at home
they were so frightened
one had carried you away.

 

 

 

 













self improvement is in the throat of others

pull it out with a fishing hook
catch it deep in the gullet
spread your fingers through the meat
watch the flesh turn cold
swirl like the sea
you cannot throw it back once it has been killed
mount it on your wall
tell neighbors of the fight
they will envy your strength
find you taller
find the cake on your table sweeter
lie in bed and tell yourself secrets
onetwothree at a time
they will soften your belly
so you can stick your hand in and fish out
a smaller self swimming in the pool of your stomach
this small self will stroke you to sleep
whispering in your ear who you really are.

 

 

 

 

 

 


what eye scanning leads to

I drove up to a man limping
and told him.
I’m sorry about your leg.

and drove away.

     
     
 
home
 
 

heal yourself with yourself

                                there is a well in your heart
spilling over with lime juice and proclamations to god

                                                soft now,
                                                            sweetly now,

lower into the egg yolk of your solitude.