(g)love

Stacks of plastic containers
and lids that don’t fit
I don’t quite fit her
containers agape, lidless.

Containers sitting open
she doesn’t love me
and what was contained is
open to the air and spoiling.

(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.

Indian Peafowl

Where on earth do things come from?

Everything is introduced to its environment, like the Indian Peafowl was to its range in North America. They are native to the Indian continent but no one talks about where they were before that. They have been introduced to many locales around the globe, where they form semidomestic or feral colonies. Here, they ignore their domestic heritage and roam free, yet they are not wild. Two of the females walked right up to me, in the manner of domestic pets. About a dozen there that I could see, on a rural stretch of the near-west end of the island.

I’d heard about them, and I had seen several in a ditch a couple of years ago. On this day I stopped and we visited for a while. The females are described as drab but up close they look striking. Big beautiful eyes with a dress of delicate pompoms on the head, bright turquoise and green on the breast.

The males are haughty and spectacular, familiar to almost everyone on the planet. They kept their distance across the road from where I stood.

There are stories but there are no true stories, everything is based upon something. Collections of fact are called nonfiction, a term in denial about the relationship between fact and what we imagine to be absolute truth.

We are ever where we find ourselves. Relative things abide in the complete absence of non-relative conditions, established as things only in relation to other such things. The contemplation of such truths does not seem to have a payoff so they remain, mostly unexamined.

There is no absolute peahen, though there she is, if appearance is taken as true-penny.




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