The Opportunity

 There is an oblivion 
Just next door
Recently relocated.
 
Here one visits
If one is willing,
A returning
From the future
 
That’s been with you
Before you were born.
A pumpernickel dawn
Of abandoned hospitals.
 
But some fool
Cut off the wings.
And misplaced
The spelling bee.
 
So, you hold up
The rainy bicycle
With the perfume
Of your arms, and
 
Into this pinch of creation,
And pinched by creation,
 
Till your knuckles have as
Many stars as a galaxy.
 
Laughter is a tree truck
Without a ride home.

Shapes of Self

 I know how the clouds fall into place.
 
And it matters now most of all because it is over.
 
Put all your tears back into the pockets of your brain, put back
The shadows and fevers, put away the stubborn impossible
Flowers, the trembling,
The not yet beaten-
 
The sudden is spent
Without preparation,
 
Like a crescent of light that holds the moon
in place.
 
And it matters now most of all.
 
We haul the ingenuity of our lives,
In shapes of self that cannot keep pace.
 
The pain is such that we will have to wobble home
Uncanny with bliss.
 
And we are better for it.
 
This sorrow is ample
And bright as it is blue,
 
This sorrow is simple,
Hardly here and hardly true.
 
And it matters now most of all.
 
Against this city smothered in machines
That pretends it’s not a ghost.

Frost on a Barbed Wire Fence

 The sad of it
 Is lonesome sky
 The heart on a hill
 Frost on a barbed wire fence
  
 Where to begin to repair
 The midlife heart
 In what room to begin to laugh
  
 And when to say 
 This has passed
 And it will be one with us
  
 What hole is deep enough
 To make permanent the moonlight
  
 And if the stars 
 Come looking for alms 
 I will remind them
 I have only the sense
 Of infinity
 For purse strings  

Neighborhood Pool

 God jumps in first with a belly flop.
 But everything God does is beautiful, and this starts all of creation.
  
 Just don’t tell this to the Abyss.
 Not that you can. Be certain of this. You can’t. 
  
 Next the swimmers, tattoos of birds on their bodies, in search of fish,
 Along the roads in the air of October the first frost between their teeth,
  
 As the sky unfurls into handfuls of dusk. 
  
 At night, the moon is the butterfly on the city stoop,
 Crayon crossed out by crayon.
  
 The wind is the blueprint, said the parachute.
 And the Earth is our wind. The sunlight is both even and odd. 
  
 I purchase sheet music, and some boxes,    
 Because my head is cluttered
  
 With the snow 
 Falling into the street lamps,
  
 With unsighted poems and handfuls of dusk.
  
 What else can I do?
  
 In this city, and this poem like a periscope. And
 When beauty hurts, when it is ugly, ferociously so, and it will be, 
  
 Try a belly flop in the neighborhood pool. 
 Mouthing your every adieu to the Abyss.  

A November Manifesto

I have lost my piano hand. The banter on Saturn rings in my ears
    (that’s a terrible joke). A few of the handkerchiefs smell like 
    operas. During the night, the ghosts arrive to try on my socks, 
    and to read whatever book I am reading backwards to me. 

I have found a violin hand. Tonight I will camp out “under the stars”
    with Quixote and Pooh Bear. 

The vagrant blue in the November fields. I have that. At least I have
    that. The lost arms of flowers, though nothing weeps. And the only
    color is the electrical structures and the graffiti wire. 

There is dire in blue, directly in this wandering. I will work out the
    equations at a later date. 

At this rate, by the end of the year, the moon will have enough to buy 
    a helicopter. And have that ankle looked at. 

Silence likes to doodle, intentional as clouds.

In a sweater, the handlebars are autumn, even as it rains. 

While riding a bike.

Part of it is the dust from stars. Some of it rolls in the ground, 
    like a season. 

Take a bow, ripple with the sea. Each leaf before it catches hold 
    of the earth

Says hello. 

A Symphony for a Fake Piano

The foot is disheveled. 
The armpit is the moon. 
And what lessons have the rain
To letter at night alone without
Legs or thoughts?
What does it mean to be human
When the heart and lungs are a marathon
Of leaves?
You cannot cross out the distance.
Cup sorrow in your hands
But to be abbreviated in this light
Is life.
If death cannot cull these questions
At least the ice cream truck tonight rings
A symphony for a fake piano
In pencil in the night in a sky that cannot be seen. 

The Dents of Highway Laughs

Begin in the knees of the earth. 
Walk the dizziness of  

A poem that breathes in space exhales into the void. 


Remember the
Tomb tipping
Guts of spring,

The sea and the eyelashes
Defying gravity,

The ping pong playing peonies
Of electric yesterdays. 

Remember how
All at once 
The universe put on
Its legs
And walks like 

A fiasco of names
On a checker board.


Will you walk with me?


In the opposite of acquisition? 
Who else can see these widowed months?


Beckoning at the table
Where is the pen and paper that ribs time and space with the dents of
    highway laughs?

I walk and walk, 

In a coat, black, collared, the curve of which almost touches the ear. 
    No hat.
What is it in us that allows us past narrative ghosts?


For this I penciled in the page and erased around the poem


Like an astronaut fills the page

With the memory of a jellyfish. 

  
I stayed up all night

Playing solitaire
On the PC
With the radio on,

Curating the ramblings.

The soul is a runway for anything
Willing to fly.

What do we know?
It is only afterward

A sense of being. 

Garage Sale

A well-kept bike, a stack of poems in disarray.
What if these poems really did mean something?
How terrifying!

~

The books on the fridge, I’ll get to them soon. After a walk and a few more months of procrastinating. I’ll write poems too. Small ones, by an open window. The moon like a dog licking a plate.

~

Mirrors reflect, yes, but they
Don’t know left from right.

~

A tee
Shirt
Upended
By love.

The unsettled
For a nest.

The universe
Makes for funny haircuts.

~

To sit quiet and remember
The shadows of the heart,

A sea above the stars,

Till you are nothing more
Than a memory yourself,

Till you are at sea
And above the stars.

~

Metaphors undone.

Purposely forgot. An amnesia of flowers.

A calligraphy
Of absence.

The pigeons downtown
Are the last of the angels

In rock colored coats.

~

These unknowns!

With blue songs in their feet,
As or husked brains squeal like throbbing beheaded nuts,

And the blue ears of the moon
Tremble with the arson of love.