(w)hole

The world is the hole
we did into, the whole that
likes out, drenched in starlight
the whole, the world about

Star-stuffed parentheses
sponges soaked in light

The world is of us, hill
over bone, a coinage of the rain
a pose, a lick, a dash

Acres Are a Toss Away

we are never quite
where we are, never long
for the ungrabbed hat
acres are a toss away

from somebody’s grazing lot
from every pressing affair

the hallway leads
the bell rings

If a thing didn’t last
what was it, back when
it was everlasting?

we keep a second
set of books, an eye
out for the prospects

but the dusty warehouse
where the heart undresses
is an unbreathable atmosphere

we hold our breath
make quick little visits

Wonder, Full of

more and more I am less and less
loss and increase, rushing the doors
each by the other’s entrance

a deluded equilibrium sprayed
through the stencil of things known to be

cash or credit, movement or dead still
path with mantra, a mass with a host
mastery of the enclosing nesting doll

in preverbal childhood, before a self
got on to it, on a blanket in the yard
you pointed and said “da” in wonder
it could have been anything

now I wonder why we can’t leave
wonder alone, and when we point and
open our mouths, out comes

a meaning, a stillborn concoction
landing with a thud

-:-


Myself, 1955, aged eight months.

The Phone Intransitive

a sly comfort phoned
in the afternoon
how’s it goin’

a vague sense of loss phones
in the morning | mouthful of toothpaste
where’ya been?

the air calls at lunchtime | the air
is in the middle of things
did you get my message?

a dream phones in the night
a dreamer answers | a sleeper
you won’t remember this

in the dream | a phone
I answer | hello
I had this dream last night

White After Dark

trees cut white into pages
cut the light into radio waves
roll the fog to make diplomas

hours roll upon knuckles
sky raises its moon like a nightstick
black and blue and white

time is sanctuary cut time open
the cross cut curls like a finger
licked to lift the pages

Man, O Man

A robot wears a t-shirt:

[ I put the “man” in manufacturing ]

the living, teaming wreckage
of a homeless shanty—the keepers, undulating
like a carpet of snakes in the background

self-driven automobiles racing
above all, on the overpass, our roof
throats low the ambient hum of
the existers lullaby

the tool-master’s dilemma is
a careless construct between
what were thought to be bookends
birth before, and death after

—as a cotton seed sprouts, unconvincingly
on the surface of a rolling doughnut

—as a cotton seed sprouts, unconvincingly
on the surface of the moooon

-:-

(with nods to the venerable Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five)

Snowy

The snow lives, and drifts
here in the sunny South, with
gulf breezes, and egrets’
snowy whites accumulating
on fence posts, the dress
whites of warm winters.

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula