Sunday, December 2, 2018

On The Difficulty Of Preserving Ephemera

No devil, risen from the pavements,
wants to be proven, wants to be seen.

They are like steam in winter,
(she explains, unfolding her tripod, readying her hood and lenses)
unmistakable but also ephemeral.
They are hot, diffuse--
instinct instructs that they are unclean,
though there is no report, little data. 

Once, she lay in a bearded man's arms,
the linen was laundered, his touch was deft.
There were no demons then, or few.
Stars lazed across the skylight at night.

These years since, she has been fodder for demons--
they weary her and she wearies others, 
exclaiming about their machinations.

If only they could see, and believe! 
And so she maneuvers her heavy gear down seven floors to the street,
to capture her tormentors on a glass plate.
As she leaves, a bearded man sighs and speaks her name in soft despair.

She knows, he has become a demon, too,
but will not sit for portrait and so she cannot believe in him,
or his voice saying so sadly that she has disappeared.

for this.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Small Incident On The Road To Hell

He meant well, that kid.
He'd asked, "Do you have a few minutes
to talk about our Saviour Jesus Christ?" 

They demurred at the point of an arrow.

I expect he forgave them, that kid,
as conquerors--armed with blankets and bibles--
always do. 

for this.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


There were two suns that day--
that last day.
We each had two shadows, as if we had met ourselves,
and were standing between ourselves, deciding.

We were drawn to each other but couldn't move,
caught between ourselves as we were.
People looked through smoked glass, pointed at the sky, went blind.

They say that all cats are gray in the dark
and that no lie stands the light of day.
The center line markers look like ones
as I drive away from you now, whole, corporeal, but longing for shadows.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Apple On The Sill

My window at night
fills itself with breeze.
A halved apple remembers its old love,
and the white blossoms thick on the trees.

Over the graveyard, the tile roofs, the fields,
come the reaper, the mother, the breeze.
It is late, the ghosts sing madrigals
for the priest in the church on his knees.

My window at night
fills itself with breeze
in the form of black plumed horses
saying, "Come, flor blanca, please."

for this, in honor of the Day of the Dead, and Federico Garcia Lorca

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Lucid for the first time in months,
the morning came to me with wet feet from the long grass 
whispering and praying as it always does.

I spoke to it with a wind chime--
it came in, and the biscuits rose by themselves.
"I have coffee," I said. 
"I have me, and a bed made from oak wood and blackbird vines."

Years of waste and winter listened in silent silhouette
as morning spun me a shawl from itself.
Wishing my body into the city where I used to live,
the sight of me struck blind every faker out to get what they could get.

"There she is," they all say, even still,
as eyes turn to milk and milk turns to dust.
"There she is, morning's darling,
the crone who thinks she's beautiful, red hair graying, gone to rust."

for this.

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.