Wednesday, October 10, 2018


It's a long way to my face, so keep talking--
I'll get there.

Enjoy your steak.
I'm navigating by sonar.
I hear your voice like I'm underwater.

yes, yes
put another nickel in, I'll flirt.

Down in my bones there's a voice rattling around.
I live for your expression
if I ever find it.

a 55 for this.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Whales of Detroit

Ask anybody at a bus stop or down by the river--
there aren't any whales in Detroit.

It's lies.

I hear them all the time.
On Woodward Avenue, whales.
At John King books, whales down every row of shelves.
At the Old Mariners' Church, whales in the bells.

You are so thin, so sad.
I look at the great scarred heads of the whales and think of you.
In the aging overhanging trees beside the crack houses, whales. 
Under the 8 Mile Road overpass, whole pods of whales.
In your eyes, the sea
and the coiled rope of our pasts which holds the harpoon. 

There are whales in Detroit.
There is me, with my long hair tucked inside the collar of my pea coat.
From my hair I hear the waves.
There is you, outside a pawn shop between Hubbell and Greenfield,
giving the monkey a Nantucket sleigh ride. 
There is salt spray on my face,
and you, far out on the horizon, spyhopping,
then nodding for the deeps like all the rest--the whales of Detroit. 

for this.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


The day was struck with fever.
There were no nurses.
Sidewalks were poured by crews
working with concrete, confabulation, and implied threat.

Down each remembered hallway stood a constable.
The day weaved on its feet.
Children brought the sun in a wagon,
and all things answered to a nearby cat with yellow eyes.

A woman with red hair tried to bandage the scent of autumn.
A military band dispersed.
"Sell me your fever," I said to the day, the fading day,
imagining myself with it under my arm in a box,

like a pet, or an extra head, a gift for the indifferent storekeepers.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Matters Of Convenience

I'm telling you where it is

--Rickie Lee Jones

Gravity as a matter of convenience
forestalls random movement, chaos.
Gravity keeps your nerd glasses (which I love) on your face
unless I reach out with light fingertips
to replace them
with my lips.

Gravity and emotion intersect at inconstancy.
If you need magnet boots to keep you here,
go barefoot. There's the door.
If I need the sound of your voice to weaken my knees,
I'm listening. There's the sky.

Gravity. Tides. The moon.
Space chatter.
Mass. Density. Orbits.
All these are matters of convenience
forestalling tomorrow when you might not be here,
or you are, but someone else appears as well.
"Where are you? you ask,
amused at my occasional departures.
"Right here," I say, feeling the spin of us, the earth, everything,
and gravity keeping us steady
from one moment into the next, like gyroscopes.

for this.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Mox Nix

I want to find a place
with tall sunflowers
and only one sun, because that is enough.
I want you to know, sir,
that I like a man who enjoys a good meal
and speaks in polysyllables.
I want you to know, lady,
that your olive skin makes me crave the stars, oceans, highways--
I feel a little faint when you move, like shifting earth.

But here is the thing,
the reason I can never find a home
and why I dream constantly every night of
black roses
and heavy doors with steel rings that cannot fly.
The thing is:
I don't want you to fuck me,
and I don't want to fuck you.

I just realized this while watching a field of corn stalks burn.
Sir, I love you so much
that I would mark your books with years from my own life.
Lady, I love you so much
that I would grow blooms, or feathers, or anything that might please you
even for a minute.

But, mox nix.
Here I stay, in space,
where there is only one sun
but endless endless endless
and darkness.

for this.

Monday, September 17, 2018


Here, the poison cup;
here, the cool hand from a vanishing dream.

I want to be an animal, running.
All my life, thorns, and branches across the path.

The same sun that rises, now goes low.
In the morning, the cup, the hand, and confusion between the two.

All my life, the same blood across the path.
I want to be an animal, running.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

In Honor Of A Humble Vessel

A mathematician
had second thoughts
-second being an ordinal number--
about filling the bird feeder during a lightning storm,
but she put on her boots and slicker and went.

The feeder, reflecting the weird light
put her in mind of the empty set.
The ground ivy made her mind wander,
wondering if flora can have roots of polynomials.
Anyway, she filled the tube, remarking to herself that the seeds
seemed like integers, unless some of them were splintered.

At that moment,
she became a positive invitation for a negative charge
and fell dead and smoking to the ground, but her soul departed in glory.
So, was the abandoned husk of her body--her very own empty set--really empty?
Night passed and dawn arrived.
The little fence around the flower bed looked like brackets in the early light.

No one found her,
but a redbird perched in her hair poking for millet seeds,
giving her earthly remains a cardinality of one, not zero.

for this.