Prodded to anything different—burned coffee, noontime, a stain on the rug

Unwelcome in any mispronounceable Midwestern
small town, no room for us any where.
now--no need for drama or insight,
just someplace to line up a pair of
shoes, just someplace to make any

No craft, no ready-made, no butcher, no surrender, just the little bark-brown house.

I don’t have anything to give you.


Can’t reach or contract or angle toward or away
without flailing, screeching off balance,
whiskey too dear at noontime.

When the voice fails, what is there, but to listen.

We never were an anchor or a float, we never needed one, either. 


the lame lark says

‘misread ‘joy’ for ‘jay’
day stretched thin for once
to remember 
through you, sideways-eight like, through
and again, this road, too.’


Aim to be no president’s wife, no smooth-skinned symmetry

—that rain out there the

first proof I’ve lived this scam before. Deep

green the same as a light scar over real muscle and the

blood, yes, that’s there, too. As polite as all

get out, simile over treachery over 10-second-hugs.



****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******

no window no clasp no betrayed no betrayal no ice no echoes no code no apology no peppers dripping with rain no skeletal ink no theft no dog and pony no prayer no old assent no primary contact no blame no nude photos no rind no injunction no writ no startling harmony no ice in the dams no bleaching sun no promise no market no big brass band no ill-fit archways no soil no shard no spying no chest pains no stick figure no reach no trellis in the spring no figure eight no polygraph no floating candles no trouncing no jaw no incendiary green no mirror no crow-tree

****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******

blacked over, still a fine glass



“Variety of keys, ways to be”

— of course these could never appear, scratchy lilt, meager sauces. The idea to be… well, you know that old story. No ending, or many. And all the signs to fill in along the way. It’s a revolving door, and no poets stop it, but you’re, at least, dribbling a little something in the corner. “If there were only a way to leverage this to make it more.” So what is outdoing it there, anyway, poking around, making it new, or whatever. But do, whatever you do, look.


Cleaning House

What one might think
notable shards --
evidence -- at the tip of whose
tweezers -- boxed,
unlabeled, falling
occasionally in increasingly
dirty arrays.
Proof, at least, of an attempt to prove.



Fence: Can’t see and ‘should’, a theme, incomplete triumvirate. Stick figure unison lost. Looking out, talking, the stranger perceives the struggle, thin concealment. File & let. One syllable will do. There’s no melody to make the green bearable, just greening and greening violently. Rip and torn and make and try and find and fail but the green’s nothing moving, despite duplicitous cause or stare.


Fence: Blades following heat following a cool that’s only on the skin. Candle wax isn’t hard, isn’t full yet.


To March

Forget conspiracy.

There is no margin.

The trees are bare, ice consistent.

Pity the poor metaphor, barely made.

Arms stretched out, balancing, worried,

considering the circus life, the ever ready jaws.

Crackle & consume. Perch & cast.



Pane: A clear and possible break. No reflection or spatter makes a season, a murder of crows, a ring happen. Attention & reflection, though. His mother's hand, mine, genetic mirror and twist, you know she's not simple and she died young of no air, threw him to the wolf loop, the angles and debris to negotiate and name.


Pane: Squares of vision metal tubes of music, I push out green in different keys. The smell of rain on thick unlikely incense, and old dog limping up, pushing his head into my knee.


See that—spring in mud

I’ve been floundering. The way streets
come together, uncountable,
askance. That’s seeing’s hand and seen.
Even with numbers
floating through texts,
presence evades catalogues.
Out there, the band of clouds
and sun healthier than the old
suit to which I pledged allegiance.
Some trees are green and others
tear off their underthings.


To February

No roaming, no kindness. So you come, discontent. Name me a suitor. Name me. Find my cracked hands, not unlonely, not discontented either. You’re arrival, and such a bore.

To keep plumbing, how exhausting. To find the cool ones, the gather, the backside of this. That unfrightened face, dull in half light. But we can truly shirk, scare the crows from trees.

I have the note, and it hides from you. All those shaking hands conspire. Nothing would find me so free. No street, no snow, no nailpolish, no database. We found spring once; we were grapple.

No found conversation, no mutual memory, even. But I have mine. Mesick, Mount Pleasant, Lafayette, Interlochen, Buffalo, Grand Rapids. The times lead to absence -- more loving than the paths we took. Or the jumbled shingles, repeated windchime note.


After Scene Changes / Waiting at Terminals

That cold code and direction, messy lip at trumpet. Every instance of try threatens. Edges fell, decisions and years. Cult of personality. Cult of brown swirled foam. Cult of narrative buried & pressed, the thin distorted images saying ‘ice made me’. Cult of self-control and vinegar rinses. Cult of waiting for results Cult of the young couples, throwbacks. Pockmarked in rollers w/ dog shit on slippers. If you never repeat, will you ever gain dimension. Remember the pink house & streeted slopes, drizzle with dinner & even in the warmth, confused fake snow.



Layered Obsidian: Thick trinkets or monied apology forgotten for heft and fit. Looking for a verb for the layers… inhabit? cling? Plume of smoke less plume-y, more jet-y, straight up, a tight funnel. Chair upturned in the snow along U.S. 131, ungoogleable. The night of the crows and nests, inhabitable plume. Unfinished, raw. The dead leaves hang like bare metal, a thing kept and forgotten. Making to find a ghosted layer, a colored lens to adopt, to remember. There we were, there. Rest areas and rust. Starts surrounding the vein, the hardest bit or most something. Structure & fill whatever we make of it, passing through. No rules but how to fall.


Layered Obsidian: Out of place, a narrow wooden bridge, limbs reaching at us, hood getting hot under sun, dust of road in our lungs, the way we hold our hands. She stands ankle deep, a clear slicing a talking that follows me in sleep. Layered obsidian on my desk, thick pines scattered, unpatterned. The just kept coming so fast, wanted a short nap, wanted to back up a little. Wind tosses shine outside our bedroom.


Cup: A swipe, a chance. Heap underfoot & promise, amounting to that. Hold rain or morning, but let it go, too.


Cup: Stripes wider than a thumb – earth following day, a fast streak, the falling of dew between our toes, music pressing our skin.



Rain: A place a decision is made with pockmarks in snow and glint of green in the magnolia. Holes in the curtains, letting in the anyway, like a porch or other screened-in area with essential oils and muscle ache from a bout, violent or ecstatic or other, rain you slight, other-kind scraping & bone-feel. Still don’t know what crows do in rain, or what we’d got, standing in the dams, caught. Damp encouraged bites & gnashing, sharpened the unpleasant way home along High. Beyond damp, the soaking, the turning just to the very things themselves under sheen & glisten, and what’s more – turning by coming from the sky, suddenly. Here’s the day wringing – it leaves us. The only remarkable thing, our readiness—you smiling like in a photo.


Rain: A rainy day means a movie, means grass the next day, pushing. A banjo without strings for thin slips of paper, dust grey toes and short shorts with stripes running down the side. A man in sunglasses looks down a twelve-year-old’s shirt. Sun on dirt and tank tops.