Tagged: my Best

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

Activity

I am writing again, which
feels like the wrong thing
behind me
there are thousands of figures

symbols for lost time
like a chair is not its word
“chair” a person
is not his name

nor is he what he leaves
behind
he is not named
“gunk in corners”

though he resides there
with no need for sitting, writing
now he sinks
where chairs were

leaving behind residue
like ink
on the paper
at night

How to Release Dead Animals

it is hot and windy. your face
is probably covered in hair
your body out

I am reminded of the animals
I’ve kept, some of which have
died in my care – snails
toads, spiders – clearly dead

(some had been melted
in tupperwares in which
I had also caught a star)
now back into the wild

unable to throw them away
unsure of their use now, as they
no longer moved in my room
unsure of where it was
I had found them

running away, around
this whole time, open
mouth against clear
sloped walls

even the rocks I’ve kept, like
tears hidden up my nose
or in my ears
I’ve wanted to keep forever
my ultimate stubbornness

to be an everything-sized cage
to be your whole world

suddenly my mouth is full
I set the dead on the knape
of the Earth, an armadillo
rooting its vast, known circle
flinching, closing

the dead to skitter off one day
the Earth to have rings
the dead to die again and
again, having lived

again I am unsure about
the size of the world
where the color goes
on captive animals

why they feel different
how they could have died
if I can love something
without having to have it

Flat Earth

I remember in church
a woman was having trouble
praying to God

sexually abused
by her father and now her husband
she couldn’t take another man

Make God a woman, the pastor
told her. Granted, this
was a Methodist church

Mom liked it for the choir
Dad always felt
he could ignore what he didn’t like

the matter of interpretation
heavy. some things did happen. we
did slay our memories

we did find a dead spot
in the woods
i knew of it

in the way one knows our planet
through pictures
through the elements of trust

wind, fire, through blood
like a meteor disintegrated
how can I ever

get far enough away
to see
what is really the world

to see it touched
by the hands
we are told mean time

and know the forest
for the stars
how on Earth

will I recognize
my mother, her face
like there had been people

After Climbing a Tree

half of you begins alone
cast in doubt among rocks
by chance fossilized
inexplicably timed

asked to trust the atmosphere
to observe your body’s
race into alignment
without really participating

the mind wields
a sword-stick
of soul

time will enclose
the others, their colorful
straws poked through
puddles of air

you learn man
from dangerous man
the mountain range
at which love
becomes too much

you know things like
righty, tighty
lefty, loosey
bleed the faucets
for a freeze

my father will always
come get me, even
if I’m not myself

night brings the sun
in, out of the rain
father’s armpits
smell of brown fruit

you know things like
if I got up here
then I can get down

Voyager 1

baby birds cry
to expose the red insides
of their mouths

so that the parents
can deliver food

any sound they make
is just screaming
it attracts possums
raccoons

we sing, we scream
in both joy & anger
we certainly cry – in
everything we say
we are saying

Here I am
Come get me
like baby birds

preferring the company
of whatever’s out there
to nothing

The Earth Two

when a child picks up something
delicate she often crushes it
or pulls it off the tree

her hand
may as well be
a tube to the brain

the insides of worm
and aloe vera
upward

each first contact
a benevolent ownership
so nothing bad will happen

no, because I
will put it back
such confidence

the minnow, the grape-like
clutch of frog eggs
especially the flower

how do you explain
what is alive?
once we killed savages

I find myself saying
if you leave it, it
will get bigger

as in
there will be
more of it for you

 

“..finding a second Earth is not a matter of if, but when.”
-Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

 

Cain

the first person lives
who will be 1000

as once, the first person
to enter space
was alive

born of that starry substance
to be returned
as once

the first woman
who would
circumnavigate the world

and the first man
who would fly, both
heels
over head

and the first person
who would
sit atop
the animal

how odd
that must
have been

when suddenly the
other animals
failed
to recognize either

and were consumed
like the first person
who would kill
another. how tight

will he squeeze
her finger
how strong

could he be alive
somewhere

the first to rule, the first
with more
than he needs
and who needs more

as once
the first child was born
who would leave
its mother

where does one go
if not
to new people
new family

there would have been
no one

The World is a Joke but Still

short term
photographic
memory loss

your face, infrequent
by his hands
because your body

a poem finds
the bathroom
in the dark

a narrow victory
a game won
of its own making

then ignored, another
game created
before the last has ended

imagine
being made to carry
your winnings

would you ever win?
save it
for the end

the big stuffed air
the face-sized
balloon faces

the world is a joke
& still, he
wants to fuck like

it’s serious
the world is a joke
learning to tell itself

knock knock
himself
at the door

pounding, afraid
being just him
is the secret

a punch line, or
in this case
a name

there was something
great he
was going to say

something important
he thinks
long & hard

before he speaks