Monday, July 17, 2006


I sometimes think
I'm just a length of gut
designed to digest
time, to process
the future into the past
here at the point
of the present, to suck
nutrients -- the curve
of a ripened peach,
the whisper of owl's wings,
your lips' heat --
that will sustain life.
If so, I'm not
really efficient, as seeds
pass through to burst
their husks, root
in the residual compost,
and bear their darker
fruit that casts its shadows
across the harvest yet
to come.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"I Want to Be"

I have no desire
to be the trumpet,
to blare out bright
and terse, brassy,
to take the lead
that everyone follows,
nor the horn deeper,
golden, and echoey
that mandates a certain
regality of bearing.
I wouldn't be the violin,
too nervously shrill
and jittery, nor
the flute, peeping
like a stork on one foot
with its neck stretched
out, nor the bump-thumping
drum, loud, obnoxious,
and boring. No, I want
to be the oboe, thinner,
ever-so-slightly nasal,
and sinuously ironic,
twining around
the subject and smiling
into its eyes like
a lightly amused

Sunday, July 09, 2006

"The Conservatory"

She loved Corelli and the strings
of Vaughan Williams, just as you,
Hobbema's landscapes with watermills,
and the fragrance of caraway thyme. She
taught you the joy of just-ripened Forelles
with slices of Wensleydale cheese and
chilled Gewürztraminer in the April sun,
and took to Marge Piercy's poems
as soon as you opened them to her,
especially the erotic ones you both
learned were truer than you'd imagined.
You took longer to recognize
why she insisted that you visit
the Arid Climate Conservatory
where, in heat that sucked you dry,
she lovingly showed you
the fishhook cactus, the thorn apple,
the cat's claw acacia, the African
fever tree, and the spiny whips
of the ocotillo.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Blood Orange"

After the spasms fade,
breath slows, and salt
dries on the skin, you pull
back into yourself like
a consumed blood orange
restored in a film run
in reverse: the sweet
essential fluids flow back
into the bruised segments,
which in turn fold together
again into a sphere, a ball,
a world of flesh closed
and complete within itself;
then you shrug on once more
the malleable skin and reattach
yourself to the swaying branch,
among but not of the others
as I am, each absorbed
by the swell of its own
ripening until the sun
presses deep into the center
and the need to spill sweet light
opens you once more.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"The Question"

You always have to ask:
"Which kind of poem is this
going to be?" Will it be one
of those chubby, redfaced newborns,
lovely only to its mother, that you
have to cuddle appreciatively even
as it pees all over your new jacket?
Or is it more like a door-to-door
evangelist, passing out gaudy
brochures about the onrushing end,
wanting to pray for your soul
and collect a free-will offering
before moving off your porch
to inflict itself on your neighbor?
Or might it be an unexpected
flamenco dancer exploding
in a burst of color and motion
right in front of you and who
vanishes while you blink?
Or maybe a happy-eyed guy
who laughs, offers you a cold beer,
and tells you to put your feet up
on the coffee table right off?
Or is it this time one of those deep-sea
fish that dangle shiny bits of themselves
in front of their huge-toothed jaws
to draw you in?

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Continuing the 1-poem-over-20-lines-every-3-days in July. Jackdaw's update soon. Go, Discovery!