cairn of grand assumptions

as you walked out this morning
I wondered on your smoothness
and the birds you taught to fly

books couldn’t write what
your money and musical voice
understood

paragraphs of
feathered clauses
lifted you to
insane flight

and

preposterous rumors of your death
circumnavigated the world
and fell spent in
Texas bushes

when we married
the never
in that thought gap
between bridge and
Water Ouzel
we staggered
drunk

remember to pamper, preen,
and fix your collar
you said
this isn’t god damned
Yellowstone after all
you can’t get away
with that mangy bison
shit here at the dipper
bridge. we’re high fuckin’ class
or should be
you art historian

sorry
winter sits on
me lightless
while Englishmen
boil in Brexit

one night down at the
Apollo where I’ve
never been I ran
into your sculpture
or thought I did

I was, at the time
contemplating rippled clouds
over turbulent olive seas
meandering through
massive memories
of yesterday
coaxing spiders
from their dark corners?

Are you proposing we
cuff ourselves
to the bed
and playfully
punish our
sorrows?

a boy, Sunday,
rifled through my briefcase
looking for caramels.
he found photographs
of his parents instead

on what mistake
did I leave off?
was it your family
or mine destroying
the roadside special
poem of us?

we were thinly
sliced pond ice
over Wordsworth water.

all the winter
evenings died
their dark cold
fiction

walk now through
my lover’s woods
to the still standing
cairn of grand
assumptions

our bungalow darkens

A scrap of dawn light
approaches the tracks at the
speed of

Beauty strains
choice and measurement
we’re stumped
what can we say?
there is a standard
choice is real

sickness
worm rot
fidelity

some pain lead
me to our introduction
what do you think of my new glasses?

what was the world like before lithium and Zoloft?
how were breasts bound up for sport
before spandex?

there was love
like a smell
of rare disease
in your
impractical
destabilizing
invisibility

i rarely think of you
now, behind the big door
sodden with wine
working your freedom
like some version
of America the miracle

necktie
flashlight
hieroglyphics

it’s a summer’s night without
mother
I’m on the outside now
where
only my art works miracles

scuff bubbles
blister knobs
the promise of
thermodynamics

did you think yourself
a thought pleasure

can i tell you
a question mark

in spirit
there was a secret
road that lead
to this paragraph

it was two feet
photographed bare
on wet rock

what friends?

eyeglasses
courthouse
elevator

When they suggested
picketing the sewer
I prayed to the
god of Mantis

He said there are
no rose gardens
she-wolves
or ancient maps of the world
The moon rises everywhere
and on Sunday
the blood work
will beg for flowers
and the body will rip
nourishment from
pretty bird roots
perch perch perch

Where’s your decency
your camel hair
your sheepskin?

Don’t be alarmed
all my teachers
came from North Dakota
Cuba and the long arch
of St. Louis.

it is in jeweled light that
I speak your death
not to your alarm
or amazement but
for the sake of unspeakable
odds alone

birds
vertigo
skillet

a drop of water
viewed through a
microscope
conquers all childhoods

what are the odds
the luckless girls
would drop into
psychosis?
unbreakable encapsulations
of sky-less stars
burning their thermo

30 years go
when i slept in the field
of quiet bees
I felt valor in the
sex of your evaluation

a fiction in your diction

a predilection in your benediction

the waves of darkness
are now assuaged
spring has disappeared
and silent soft wings pierce
the night air

our bungalow darkens

mechanics of the grand scheme

There is still life in
your gaze
clear and arranged
yet spotty with doubt
and dull music

Yes I confess
I’m Jupiter
a subsuming gravity
protecting rooftops
for dinnertime conversation

but what form is
this continent
and who altogether
killed and survived?
Was it dirty quarrelsome men?

Oysters
Moonscape
Snow
Mouth

Welcome now to the museum
of lips and kisses
the why of morning
the how of night
the substance of daybreak
the texture of dusk
rooms upon rooms to explore
may I see your tickets please?

Sedona
Blanket
Gas pedal
Lobby

this morning
I was turning pebbles
over in my mouth
they’d click against
my teeth as I
danced slowly with
ancient annoying thoughts
involving telephone calls
and people reporting
with certainty that
John Ashbery
would be unable
to save humanity

Do you remember that certain
curve on hwy 1?
papaya and melon?
sticky beach-side conversation?
for ages we’ve had the story wrong
you said papaya, I said nothing
you said melon, I said hang on a sec
if we could just get
in the flow of that
one stable summer again

Messiah
Bombs
Faith
Sodium

contrails are not poisoning the atmosphere
and Seinfeld was not too edgy

the endless skirmish
smothers the infant
like a Central American
nightmare

I see intimate paragraphs
killing war
and love

Therefore if I should
snap the branch
landing heavy
like a raven
or braid death
in the ceremonial
night shift
please relieve me

The worst isn’t over you know
flourescent lights
still hum
in the morgue
and kitchen

winter kills purpose

bones inquire

clouds swell

there was never a chance
for place in this
ground fog and fire

nakedness is a
blind syntax
not a home

it’s nobody’s fault
it’s just the mechanics
of the grand scheme

f

the future floats

I dreamed a trip
to the golden currant
bush of your unending jazz
my fingers comb

the bohemian waxwings
are back
thronged in the
birth mother of
all russian olive trees

observe them for me
you know what to look for
the wind is stirring rituals

what’s your name?
why do you scent the earth with
traces of words
and assemble a bowl of thorns
in the night river?

I’m warm but I still hate you
speak up!
live your sexy miserable music
wear yourself out

a grim revolving snow cloud wanders
like death
the coachman doesn’t stop, he never stops.

subliminal
cassette tape
Greece
1999
tournament
brass

why trap a harmless snake?

my first big dog was love,
out of control
often too much
often too little

her full unborn
blood moon body
called me
unconstrained

let go of your leavings
raked thick
the weather has whitened
there is an injustice everywhere present
let your garden go
to the sincere and heavenly voice of
weeds

this is the vanishing point
not a crafty painting on broadway
get a grip
self-destruction, remember, is next year.

illness and desperation crawl
through years of counting
yet I’m burgeoning
beaming myself into mindlessness

sally forth now. be on your way
I don’t have time, I’ll meet you in England
I’m not feeling violent or decomposed
I’m tightly sealed blood
in bitter skin
Los Angeles does that to you.

Jackie’s cafe’ was unsuitable
that’s all. It’s not the end of the world.

subliminal:
crater
unmade bed
blade
harmony
sack

what history do you shock?

after the chess tournament in Kansas City
I went home to my needlework
sticky honey sweet you
thank god, were there, to assuage the
loss of my queen
effin A.D.D. oh, wait, A.D.H.D now.

I always retrieved your art
from the trash
bagged it in plastic
and secreted it
in the garage

swing and rub
the future floats
unbreakable hearts

lonely boy, you were just the old
man across the yard
a fiction
a dried out belief
a jersey acid rain
true, you had some discipline
admired by those hoisted
to view perfection
but you were, at times, milky,
imprudent, distracted,
you needed an upping to your shape up

oh well.. you are forgiven

we present you with violets
and mid-life women out of crisis
go with them, to lunar eclipses
and start preparations for April 8, 2024

Jamal can help
get him the particulars

butterflies don’t whine
about your prognosis
this is just a grey bridge
over mustard waters
it’s not your ruin
spelled out on rice paper

chop the garlic
read the dirt
go whistle with lizards

variegated geriatric birdsong

consciousness sustained through a rose
instantaneously streamlined
to the going thought of yes

I ought to write a thank you note
and slip it into the soil
under a rock
or better yet,
into a gall

subliminal
Blossom
Rock
Back
Mallard

Uncle Carl, why don’t you come over
for supper on Sunday and drink
our milk and eat our corn? Our
corn is your corn and so on and on
and on to the blasted O.

a sprinkle of rain
illuminated by moonlight
suffered a wetness

madonna monica grabs a towel

It’s a stretch to say I made you

the urgency to walk
and talk is pressing
as soon this body will die
not withstanding the resurrection
of Molly Ringwald and the
Fulton Street Jazz Band

the tiny ghosts of visual history
replace all corners of the moon
and in an apex of confusion
light diffuses the shadows of wind

subliminal
Drawbridge
Essay 
Falcon
3 A.M.

you’re so inaccessible!
all night the wheels
squeaky turned
asking for pie
you found it a disgrace
to public relations
and huddled with your masses

my mood inevitably declined

variegated geriatric birdsong

fuck you

20 years of differences
intellectual dishonesty
killing the cure
growing old
fishing marbles out your ass

whatever

MLK stands for Martin Luther King, not Milk.

I tried to bend light
through brightness of faith
but you said it wasn’t my summer
and wouldn’t be my winter

on all fours I cried
from the the small island
beach while
flotsam washed over my hands

affectations an inch thick
in cast iron

a paragraph of hope

what was or is left?

I live with ghosts in exile
eyes closed

subliminal
Western Birds
Shoulder
Raffle
Tone

choose meditation if you want
the door is open
shoulders can be rubbed
publicly by your guru

your coffin my coffin
is only empty for a spell

do you hear the marvelous
music from the forest? No?

9 years of war after 1 day
of marriage
We should have known by our
respective physiognomies

I knew myself then
dream pebbles on my tongue
prevented articulation

it was a long chapter

I’m sorry

subliminal
Vietnam Vet
Skipping stone
Flies
Fencing

ceaseless yawp

the flies remember

I announce all this
to the surface of memory

subliminal
unbiased
curly
mature
elite
painstaking 

the endangered miscreant
moves


Unbuttoned in the Buttercup Meadow

wooly goats grazed in the
blue sky
like prehistoric dream cabbage

snap out of it man

a long way ocean off
I saw the never to be always
mind with earth sleep and fire

tonight your attention
comes, commanded, unadorned, unexplained
off center

the brilliant colors have faded

there’s death on the hillside
…wind and death in the
late afternoon June
near chapel and dungeon

In Manhattan, glitter
in Santa Ana, flowers

Here, smashed, on the farthest point
of the peninsula
a surviving thought toppled out of me
and flew off, sadly.
I had hoped to colonize
an island with it

something about my aunt
and a catholic bishop

I faced a loaded gun

was there or was there not another woman?

No!

The icy Lobe of De Moines
was my muse
her thick peppered
impenetrable ice
of Paleozoic thought
dumped me in her alluvial plain
oh Buena Vista!

You’re going to check my luggage?

sunlight streams through the street
should we praise death?
should we trumpet
the pink turned ashen?
will we then reach our
full strength?

subliminal
Bridges
Blue Fountainhead
Florida
Hotel
Cock

No more walks in the woods for you mister!
At this rate, the pain enveloping
your dirty down sloping body
will bespeckle you with weak white
blossoms and soon bury you
just off the dirt road not
far from the waffle house

bennies and benzos aren’t about
to help you now.

the black train comes

the floors walls
and windows shake

I’ve lived too long alone

there will be an exchange

officials in uniform will
do the transaction

subliminal
Spring
Arch
Tomb
Bus

by late night
as shape arrived
I was comforted by the notion
that both McGrath and Jesus
also endured loneliness cruel

to be not alone
over breakfast
is Saturday sunny
buffalo jam on toast

let that thought
linger as if true

this journey bears
my weight to the horizon
of Havana’s green ocean

I’m alive and eating the day

subliminal
Landmines
Money
Phineas Gage
Songbird

Next to the window
a mother and child
stared out at the goats
and measured the clear morning

Raffaella!

In the future cool
I will undress you
and tell tales
through night’s power

most of the past is lost
and hangs heavy

subliminal
Buttocks
St. John’s Cross
Dark Glasses
Grammar
Matches
Manhole

I feel generally unbuttoned

walk with me Ella
up through the buttercup meadow

bring your children

nature by nature we’ll
worship at the alter
of no answers