Category: art

to my Brother’s Spirit

at first, my courage
was naive
it couldn’t have imagined
so it led with that

now my courage
feels old
no longer looking
no longing for something to happen

like Mom said – I knew
there was something
interesting about us
and I felt it

now I couldn’t care less
I want to live
as long as we can
in case we were wrong

Playing Dead

for a possum to play dead effectively
it can’t look too good
evolutionary priority is given
to the ugly – the mottled fur
the hairless face like carrion
the chitinous tail, the smell

if a possum chooses another
she will do so for its longevity
its eligibility based on ugliness
therefore beauty
the young are carried on the stomach

tight against fat hanging
towards the ground, dragging
through ticks and the litter
disgusting, undesirable
reliable

no one comes for the possum
not the hungry, nor the thirsty
the possum does not pretend
to be alive – it is therefore safe
it is ready to drop dead
at any moment

a long, upturned smile
the secret – to live precisely
when you must

Nebulizer

my breath comes running up, alarmed
holding bags

my breath is sinched at the waist
my breath

is afraid to put it all the way in
my breath is unsure of the door

it rolls up a towel to
block the light

it knows footprints by weight
my breath escapes through

the window, and though it lives in me
it looks like a robber

feels like a robber, like
it has something of mine in its pockets

in this way my breath cares about
what others think

other’s thoughts hurt. other’s
thoughts can be controlled

my breath controls them
oxygen – a bundle of stones in the arms

of my breathing, a breathy voice, a
circulatory mind

my breathing is pot without
a drain hole

my breathing is root rot
my breath continues, though I

miss a few here and there
they fly over my head or

over my shoulder. it is a joke, or
salt, my breath, which today

feels like someone else’s. it is not enough
or maybe, it is too much my own

Summer 2020

I feel strongly that
I haven’t done enough

is that today?
always?

humanity beats down
without context

the sun is so hot
it is winter, effectively

a stay-at-home order
a vivid and continunous

temperature
contemptuous integers

I could go back and forth
but I’ve let the dog run

I’ve taken off my shirt
in the early hours

survived a little longer
which is enough

though I know it isn’t
we’ve survived long enough

to know that it isn’t, or
survived past it, or

consumed it
in an act of survival

what a strange threat this is
when those threatened

need more than just their lives
when the monster eats

frivolity, and I reek of it
when our spirits

sneak out at night to touch
our bodies too hot to hold

Fear of Dying

I beg the stars to move –
that is, to have died already
I’m still uncertain of their distance
now more than ever

what would happen if I ate one?
would it kill me? if I sleep
facing the sky, will it breathe me?
if I get bit, will I die?

I am unsure about so much
what does a virus want?
which is the universe
and which is the galaxy?

is it cicadas? or static on
spirit headlamps? or
Denis Johnson’s feverish
kazoo music?

could be just a bug
am I doing the right thing?
where do I place
the needs that could kill me?

Nietzsche’s Sister’s Cat

I wonder if the dog, while
holding its mouth open for the cat
ever has thoughts of crushing it
flash images

like a photo continues
outside its frame, does the dog
see itself continue?
does the cat suspect?

suspect is a strong word
surely the dog is not to blame for
seeing. is seeing thinking?
neither one is doing

until it is done. so the cat is cautious
the dog inviting – its neck
thicker than its head
the skull in plates

built for this relief – sure
the cat will trust the dog one day
only after
it has never happened

Yell Fuck at Canoe Rental

geese scream hate
over a banjo being played
inside a trailer full
of life-jackets

the geese are so angry
they lose themselves
feathers in disarray off them
dropping two at a time

soon there will be
more feathers
on the ground
than on the birds themselves

you could build a new bird
imagine the feathers cleaned
and colored for crafts
kids attaching them

to their shoes, banjo music
lifting them into the sky
where light is adjacent colors
the music plays on speaker

it will never stop
but eventually the geese do
they scream their necks
into collapse, then

disperse, like light
onto the blacktop, squirming
the way light does
the light is the same light

as always. we’ve had it
this whole time. it has been
everything since and will be
everything else

it extends beyond the prism
of our atmosphere. it comes from
a fucking star – how can there
be hate?

it is only the brain making
of light what it will
the brain which has never felt
the feeling of light on its skin

A Love Letter

it feels like a good time…
candles already lit, so
no presumptuous
candle lighting

some of the hourglass
sand is stuck. I wonder if
this like time, then
throw up my mouth a little

but what place other than
a letter to talk about time?
or sand? or being stuck? plus
I am concerned about my hourglass

it’s meant to be 30 minutes
but with sand stuck to the glass
is it quite? how much
time am I getting?

is it the same sand each time?
or does new time replace it?
it’s hard to tell – I flip it
just to see you buried

the Angel of Forgetfulness
blesses me. The Angel of White
Dimples
rebuilds herself

whole temples in her honor
could this be the time
when all of the sand
falls through? and

Forgetfulness retrieves
her blanket?
will I remember having
said yes to this, this life

and potentially others?
what did I see up there
that meant
enduring a human body

was it your body? It could
have been your body
was it something that needed
to be done?

have I done it?
can I keep doing it? is there any
question but the one I have already
answered yes to…

…is this a good time? 

Missy

Our girl hears Missy Elliot
on the radio, 95.9 – The Throwbacks
She knows all the words the way
you don’t really, just play the sounds
so when she enunciates GO DOWNTOWN
EAT IT LIKE A VULT-CHA we laugh
She knows that part, of course, but
then again she does know vultures
She jumps off the couch and soars
like a vulture. She dries her hair over
her face like a vulture does its wings
She puts her hands up against the light
– a shadow puppet vulture
She is black and furthest away
She sees vultures and takes binoculars
but can’t find them
The light is too bright

After Choking You in My Sleep

the dead must be hungry
the way they present themselves
to me – half a hand out
hollow legs

shrinking then wrapping
the corners as if embarrassed
I would be too

all that work to be dead
and still begging
not that I’m any safer here

stairs are one of the most
haunted places on Earth. I
could be sitting in a portal, or in the body

of something larger
someone’s work or unrequited love
a prison, the defense
of a choke-point

whatever it is, I feel its interest
it shakes my insides as if
listening for seed

it lands on me when
I’m not careful
forms to vacancies like
an owl to the tree

like your voice to my ear
when I’m sure you’re lying
or is it, when I’m sure
I would have lied

is it me? I am poltergeist
through misplaced energy
through dreams of fame turned
malevolent humility

inside lurks
the big black mass
of ever losing you, especially
to me