A flag of fingers, coiled up
like a nest of adders
in a crowd, blunt of purpose
they are bolstered in a
solidarity that the individual tips
cannot know by touch.

And blow by blow, the fingers
receive them each his own, one fifth
of the trauma, wary draftees
to this militant clan.

Once swinging, arms now dangle aside
dear senses, please return intact
some part of what was abandoned:

A decoded texture, a balanced spoon
the almost unknowable softness
of a rose petal.

The Theory of Poetectonics

the theory goes
there’s poetry in everything
perhaps no more palpable
than a fragrance

but undeniably present
it points to its own essence
which, profound in its mute pause
stands on its own, until

the wide earthen plains open
their gaping hungry canyons
and swallow down all the poets
stanza by shrieking stanza,
punctuating this sudden evacuation
with a steamy, satisfied belch


look, here’s the finger bone
of a poet, so this is where
it must have happened

(grim looks are exchanged among
the survivors as they notice
the piercing silence enveloping
the space around them)

the finger bone still
bears its ring, a posy
inscribed in wedding script
around the inside of the band:

“It is astonishing
what it is we think
can be done with words.”