I longed for brightness exceeding enormous

Passing people are passing away
to join them would be an unsaintly penitence
is there anyone here who can just chauffeur
me to Memphis to see Minnie?

The coachman won’t stop. He never stops.

What dim bulbs your friends were
I longed for brightness exceeding
enormous
if it were to come
with a bit of vanity,
so be it..
it would have been worth it

people are still passing

in the harbor
inexplicably
thousands of green fish
dead float on the
gentle waves

I want to touch them
but my hands are
impeccably clean
and besides..
Chang advises against it
says it will stunt my children’s
growth

We awaited the arrival of our firstborn
with some anxiety
it seems we could have used
more assistance
than a ring tailed lemur
observing in the distance

Somewhere else on TV
the business of War continues
Ashes ashes we all fall
down in South America

Early that dark morning
crossing the white road
before the unfixed storm
Apollo came running up
Lost for days
thought dead
he wanted to join us in America
we said sit….stay

God I love California
the wine
Adam and Eve
John Wayne
while most men
were having theirs irradiated
I went to the most beautiful laundromat
I think it was the night
heaven’s gate exited for their
heaven’s gate.  39 fish out of water
thought an asteroid more inviting
than San Diego

the biggest influence on me
thanks for asking
was rain, romance, and
Stacy Hardwood fresh out of Paris

I’m a sick boy on a broken earth
I have a shack, a camera
and am freebooting Wi-Fi from
my dimwitted neighbor
I’m bigger than a tomb
smaller than a man
wandering through gloom
and Glare by Ammons

at the end of time
will someone be standing there?
will the pods, by the thousands
be opened with hideous exactitude?

Some nights on the dock
I turn my back to the water
and look ashore
to the moonlit grass
I think about profound things
like margarine,  peanut butter
my aunt Beth and her fucking around

a grand sorrow assembles
on my canvas
mainly your diseased dog
Rover White RGB(222, 222, 213)
Linden Green #9bb23e

When I was 20
and less free spirited
I read Shelley
while clinging, leechlike
to my fainting country

subliminal
Leonid Brezhnev
crawling bugs
Starship

Dear Owl
Have you ever seen an Eskimo?
Have they never picked through
your pellets
looking for whale bone?

For several years I fell in love
while still learning the word
it was a planet
of decelerating dreams
just shy of discernment

Here go the chickens again
blotting out the day
advertising some small p
for poetry

kiss my waking ass

What Sam Harris did
to his brand name
doesn’t make sense

can a well-made
grilled cheese sandwich
find a home in Vista?

for awhile I was alone
and truly hated you
Well, not truly truly
but come on..
Jacques?

I know you have a message for me
midway along this road
passing time
I hear your voice
in my baggage
“where do we go from here?” you ask.

Subliminal
noontime
stone
heart of darkness

I think we go straight to fear
the blue ribbon house
whose welcome mat
is always swept.
We’ll speak to Francis
the old hungry bird
and ride bareback again
through young woods

Can you conceive?


from my beach from my ocean

All those times I was bored
staring at the window, one flight up —
thinking on my Ex’s
and oh oh! oh~~!s

the movie sizzled
foretelling disaster
on a jungle king
scale

So I finally learned how to love
a woman
her shiny sides
her porous surfaces

but defending you
hurts in the deep country
museums of black memory
and required reading

Mercy then on Maryanne
and Ginger who repeatedly
drank life from my
“neat and funny” island

they all stood
for a featureless
empty-headed something,
Idaho, Montana, Nevada,
amnesia

Throwing a ball
thirty years ago
with young Corso
was a day of triumphant
bugling independence

dear fellow compositors
press your song
while young

there is space for grace
there is time for rhyme

You’re better than Pessoa
…much

The day before my father called
to say he was dying
he bought 10 cemetery plots
and later, asparagus

Can we bury aesthetics
and all human profiles?
the facebook. the twitter
the billy of graham?

my mind lovely sang
give me more of Barry

My grandmother was an old man,
hairy chin, deaf,
large pores on the nose
but he never required an intervention

I took my unhinged sleeve
and spent the morning waxing the furniture
an abbreviated miracle really
saintly.. elaborate
slightly painful

Waxing done I set out in search of the sublime
a dirt road leading to wind tumbled branches
by my side a rodent, flowers, weeds
and sonorous trees, unwaxed.

Coming toward me a dog
tethered on a long rope
pauses to shat in the weeds
I draw my gun
well.. ok, I only fondled it

subliminal
granite woman stooped
steaming water
galvanized bucket

I draw my breath

Last night some truck
gunned it up
Poppin’s grade
I could hear it
from home
a noise maker
owned by a large child

but oh the succulent oh’s
so conducive to
desk work and indecency

The last tree flares
from evening light
the green sky dies
she is sodden on her bed

Yesterday I drove to Oak Park
it took two hours
the evening rabbi was there
testing his mettle ahead of
nightfall

I asked if he remembered
dweeby Phillip and the girl
who rendezvoused in the shower
of kind, their kind, all kind
he said he didn’t understand
I said neither do I
and holstered my weapon

subliminal
tool shed
animal
loose boards
drunken sailor
the air with nothing to call

when you broke my
newly acquired Ming vase
I had wished to expel
you from my life
from my beach
from my ocean

but instead I shaved
and cleansed myself
of the thought
found muteness
called you my girlfriend

No, I’m not moving to Grief Street
with a new love
not talking sex and color
not stopping over to visit my blind
brother

I’m in the current
of your life
translucent
trembling
like a tall aspen
in the wind

Why you wrote DO NOT OPEN
boldface, on an envelope
was, at the time, beyond me

this lonely dreary
cherry red instruction

fuck it, when can we have cake?

this journey was never what I expected
but I persisted

the first time we entered France
you were stormy
my essence
surrounding your germ
kicked off in you
a turbulent narrative

subliminal
frigate
south station
hoop skirt
sailing
bound tits

what misery

rows of babies in plastic boxes

thank you for writing
we are happy

the path curves left now
your stroke changed everything
no more walking in the woods
just billboards at the south station

subliminal
Somalia Famine
Balkan Wars
Gays in the Military

Twenty thousand crowd at the gates —

We shoot at flying fish in the Gulf of Tonkin
each incident comes with a price
a bill, edged blue

this small island defeats me
…daily

your death was not gentle


Turtle

by Mary Oliver

Now I see it–
it nudges with its bulldog head
the slippery stems of the lilies, making them tremble
and now it noses along in the wake of the little brown teal

who is leading her soft children
from one side of the pond to the other; she keeps
close to the edge
and they follow closely, the good children–

the tender children,
the sweet children, dangling their pretty feet
into the darkness.
And now will come–I can count on it–the murky splash

the certain victory
of that pink and gassy mouth, and the frantic
circling of the hen while the rest of the chicks
flare away over the water and into the reeds, and my heart

will be most mournful
on their account. But, listen,
what’s important?
Nothing’s important

except that the great and cruel mystery of the world,
of which this is a part,
not be denied. Once,
I happened to see, on a city street, in summer,

a dusty, fouled turtle plodding along–
a snapper–
broken out I suppose from some backyard cage–
and I knew what I had to do–

I looked it right in the eyes, and I caught it–
I put it, like a small mountain range,
into a knapsack, and I took it out
of the city, and I let it

down into the dark pond, into
the cool water,
and the light of the lilies,
to live

This Is the One

by Mary Oliver

The bear
  who shuffles
    over the hillsides
      filling himself

with berries
  until his tongue is purple
    (which, remember, is
      a royal color)--

the bear
  who circles the cabin,
    who will not steal the honey,
      who will not rifle the knapsack

of the sleeping camper--
  the one
    who sits by himself
      by the river,

who sings to himself
  the secret song
    no one has ever heard--
      the bear

who yawns
  with the cavernous mouth
    of a shaggy god--
      who, when he sees me

is solidly silent
  and rises
    on the mass of his legs,
      disdainful and free

as anything on earth
  could ever be--
    this is the bear
      I want to see.

Snow Geese by Mary Oliver

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
    What a task
      to ask

of anything, or anyone,

yet it is ours,
    and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.

One fall day I heard
  above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was

a flock of snow geese, winging it
    faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun

so they were, in part at least, golden. I

held my breath
as we do
sometimes
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us

as with a match
which is lit, and bright, 
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.

The geese
flew on.
I have never 
seen them again,

Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won't.
It doesn't matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

Mugshot of Grandma by Kristene Brown


If this photo could speak
    it would
slur, it would spit. Framed
in hard edges,
black and white, her face
a fight,
a riot
     of broken lines
in dirt worn cheeks.
Taken, the night she charged
into every rowdydow honky-tonk
west of Warsaw,
     looking
for that mean old mister
Pop-Pop. Her hair fist-knotted
     into the bog-slosh
     of tears and mud
tangled into some long night,
last call,
     whiskey, beer,
        fuck it all.
Her mouth a slow drawl
     yodel-ladee
song and dance
of handcuffed backtalk
in that cattle-dusted
back lot where she found him
     with her,
the other woman.
In the photo her eyes are closed
as if she's crying
or is about to.
     Captured
in a quick white flash—
     shot
when she wasn't even looking.

Buy Scraped Knees by Kristene Brown

Six Apologies, Lord by Olena Kalytiak Davis

I Have Loved My Horrible Self, Lord.
I Rose, Lord, and I Rose, Lord, And I,
Dropt. Your Requirements, Lord. ‘Spite Your Requirements, Lord,
I have Loved The Low Voltage Of The Moon, Lord,
Until There Was No Moon Intensity Left, Lord, No Moon Intensity Left
For You, Lord. I Have Loved The Frivolous, The Fleeting, The Frightful
Clouds. Lord, I Have Loved The Clouds! Do Not Forgive Me, Do Not
Forgive Me LordandLover, HarborandMaster, GuardianandBread, Do Not.
Hold Me, Lord, O, Hold Me

Accountable, Lord. I Am
Accountable. Lord.

Lord It Over Me,
Lord It Over Me, Lord. Feed Me

Hope, Lord. Feed Me
Hope, Lord, Or Break My Teeth.

Break My Teeth, Sir,

In This My Mouth.