Tagged: the Fire

Yell Fuck at Canoe Rental

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

where the fuck
have I landed?
the sound comes out
in ligaments

the geese are so angry
they lose themselves
white fluff in disarray
off them, honking

wildly. I wonder if
they could see the sound
if they would
be so angry

on top of sound is placed
their own, a bigger sound
their voices
press shut their eyes

when one feather goes, so
does its opposite, keeping
the enraged birds
in balance

there are many feathers
on the ground now – I imagine
them cleaned and colored
for crafts

children 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, together
they leave to accept handouts
in the parking lot, or

whatever it is they’re used to doing
the light squirms in
the heat. the light
is the same light as always

we have 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 cannot understand
the feeling of light on its skin

Meds

i am asked to pass candles over a fence to a party

i light them first, which I guess makes the whole thing harder

looking back it seems strange

each candle seems desperate, a plea to other nights

the flame a small bird struggling with huge weight

overstimulant with nice things

buried in woman’s hair, the air all at once

i know they are small, my hands

but small things eat things

they consume slugs as dolphins

people who understand, might understand

i see the world in the eyes of everyone else

or do i just see it that way

is near death a symptom, or the start of a remedy

should I stop now, or just go with it?

People Near a Fire

A woman sings without breathing mask
in all this smoke
She covers Wagon Wheel
and smoke covers the mountains

A crowd of people gather. They dance
as though someone
has just completed
a successful surgery, or a birth

and small green shrubs have popped up
from the fires before. 2003, 2010. They seem
to run back and forth like children
between challenges

What challenges me? A guy lights his cigarette
and his girlfriend gets on him
He says I need it to be myself
while we’re here!

I’m standing alone for the same reason
You’re off in the market, carrying
my bucket of water. It seems impossible
that I should be able to cry now

smoke like a grey wool pillow, pink
bandana around my face, but I am. Something
about the altitude, my solitude, a mixture
of short air and of people, how

I love you, how I look like a bandit
how I love to see your ideas
nesting in burnt trees like eagles
I see how people continue to dance

long after the woman has lost her voice
how when you look closely, you can see
where new life
has been pulled out of old life

Rubbing Two Sticks Together

I see those kids again
Her pink hair. His hands
attached to her
butt pockets. Walking down
Airport

Walking down the trail
overlooking the Fire Academy’s
training center. It is more
of a wading

than a walking, the way
they synchronize
their leg movements. They
move as if through

cool ooze, the morass
of skipping classes,
the way a day passes
when you are young

I lose them behind
the Fire Academy stairwell
A fire truck ladder
lands on an open window
Recruits scramble up

And the sun sits. It seems
to think the same long thought
it’s been thinking
since we were born

More On the Sun

I think it can see
how fragile we are
There’s a newly paved road
on the old road
Over and over. The sun
a twitching
of blind spots
The sun itself
is a blind spot
What lights there?
We change lanes
mostly guessing
No wonder our Earth
has its face
to the sun
like it does, at all times
pacing around it
Maybe the sun
was born
with some disease
that requires watching
An impulse control
issue. Look at us, driving
places. Honking
like geese
in such
well-meaning light
What must we look like
to them, up there?
The irritable
The spitting
Our lives an array
of outbursts
The chaos
of joy
falling softly
on some other planet. Pink
and blue murmurs
Gold standards. Our boxes
for looking directly
at the sun?

The Race

A pickup truck, its doors open
The arms open
of a full-breasted man singing
Box-spring octaves
and accordion squeezing
Tejano music easing
around houses
like juice swirled in a cup
I am not inside my head
At all?
A boy with long red shorts comes running past
His shorts are like the summers here
His ankles are like the winter
in that they turn back over
when they are rolled
The boy trips, is ran past by others
They are running to the truck
where girls have started dancing in the bed
The truck is heaving
One of the racers is not leaving
He turns his head to look
at the fallen boy. But his body hasn’t stopped
He keeps running, looking back
He sees me. I see him. In a way
we see everyone, sometimes, for
a second. The way our heads
are placed askew
onto already moving bodies
The look of surprise
genuine surprise
at not being able to stop

Future Fire Building

My job is to give
some hope of love
to the woman
at the bus-stop, the one
with her binoculars
who tells a story
of buses coming
and gets the kids off their music
She is built for love
We are all built for love
somehow, even with our
breathing and water sloshing
Even with our bones
in perfect sleep position
against our poses
Even with so many acres
of blood, being able
to see our blood for miles
as if structures
had been lifted from it
How can there be room
for such a giant-chested
lightness as love?
That feels like someone
pointing the way
with their fist?
How high is the river?
Tell me again
about the good old days, when
nothing mattered more
than a fire
built suitably

Gas Station Rose

walking out of a Shell station, a man
pulls a rose so fast from behind his back

that it startles the woman he’s with
causing her to jump back

the rose is skinny, erect, the way
it’s wrapped in tight plastic

i guess it’s the type of rose you get
at a convenience store gas station

the type a man does not intend
on buying, but does do anyway, to go

with his liter coke and bag of chips
maybe the rose is for his feelings

a small gesture for showing up. none
of us intend on feeling the way we do

do we? one moment so beautiful and
hot-blooded among fuel-pumps

we could explode and keep exploding
if only she’d flick her cigarette

the next so certain that there isn’t
a moon. there’s a hole in the ice

i could swim through

December 5, 2013

a pipeline runs
from Cushing, OK to the Texas
gulf coast, near Houston

men in frontwards caps
pull levers
and release valves,
spit out dinosaur bile

these are the blackest men
i have ever seen, though some of them
are white, hispanic. all of them

are cut-out. this is where all
the cowboy lean-to silhouettes
in the yards of houses

come to work

i have trouble telling
one from the other
or telling myself anything
that isn’t better said
by hitting
against metal

as men they are measured
in hammers swung. the amount of rust
made migratory glitter, or
any small fires put out

today, a woman
became president of General Motors
a man proved by dying

that dying cannot contain
having truly lived,
which i think is to work