Sunday, September 20, 2020

On A Lonely Plains


Left for dead on a windy plateau, a warning, a show.

Shielding a small fire from rain with my body.

Scrubbing blood from a gallows, a marble block behind the coliseum, a cufflink.

Sorting through my confusion between museums and libraries.

Asleep on horseback on a lonely plains.

Sleeping with herpetologists out of pity.

Defending not sleeping while dreaming.

Far from church or chapel, shrine or temple, confessional.

Untroubled by death.

Burning old journals.

Writing "memory is a specific form of forgetting" and wondering why.

Pausing to watch swamp trout dart through sun-pillared shallows. 

Followed by an eagle.



Given to wishes, wishing.

In relationship with a basilisk.

Re-reading Frankenstein and Lord of the Rings.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Prayer is Mother

The prayer is: Mother I want to see you.

My left arm hurts and can't be lifted. Warblers sing to each other in the lengthening twilight, a loveliness I can just bear. 

Narratives in which apple trees predominate. 

We leave as if nothing bad has happened. In a sense - a nontrivial sense - the temple never fell in the first place. Gunshots persuade the horses to come back to the fence line closest to the house.

The many pornographies of which we are comprised.

The prayer is also ongoing, mutual, unconcerned with its reception. Interpretative dance projects. 

Do acorns bruise falling?

Self-aversion as a strategy for inner peace.

The outdoor oven - which has not been used in almost a decade - softens with blurry mosses.

Remember jitterbugs: it is the dance that makes the dance floor, not the other way around. 

Low-flying military planes to which I extend a middle finger, which annoys the neighbor who's a cop, who comes over and asks me to show some respect, to which I suggest that exercises of free speech constitute respect, which only exacerbates our difficulties, which I knew would happen, which Chrisoula reminds me, to which I mutter "but still" to which she replies by kissing me on the cheek, right there on Main Street in full view of everyone watching the dispute and really, what other joy will suffice? 

I mean, yes, I really did go to Ireland but also, really, isn't Ireland - aren't we all - a state of mind? 

Buckling under sundry pressures.

As night begins - as twilight ceases to be a relevant category - we begin to see a soft pink on the eastern horizon, barely noticeable - maybe not even there save in a sentence - but still.

Two cups of coffee, a mental note to read Camille Paglia again, and a lot of mutual praise.

This is the end, amen.

Friday, September 18, 2020

A Little More Bittersweet Ascends

So this is the silence to which you were referring! So many gods speak to me now that the One God no longer has to argue or even try to be heard.

In your heart there are many rooms.

Many ellipsis.

In my heart, a fireproof floor, and in my soul, a long sigh. 

Letters to the Creatrix.

At dusk a cloudless sky, as if good news about the horses were heard overhead as well. Plans for early October begin, a sense we are eclipsing some old stagnation. Going down on you, lingering at your thighs.

Seven geese, then twenty geese, pass overhead. I am oriented accordingly.

And the garden dies a little, and then dies a little more. 

Bittersweet ascends the dying poplar.

Not so long ago the devil moved on this landscape, belted in black and reeking of ashpits, and yet even that is undone.

Piles of kindling we don't burn will winter over by the raspberries. Sunflowers in starlight. The killdeer we used to excite, walking at four a.m. in old potato fields, up and down the airstrip adjoining a pair of fire ponds.

Slowing for deer crossing Kinnebrook Road and not picking back up. Two hours of discourse, revolutionary animism. 

Why not walk in pairs?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

I Dream of Us Laughing

Is it wrong I want to follow Her? At night she wakens me at three a.m. and I walk through the yard to the apple trees. My heart is cavernous, duplicit, fatty and brass. 

Apples fall in the cold wet grass of August. The stars say "winter." Night winds rattle the second story. Whose town is this?

Crickets singing in jewelweed, toads scuttling off the stairs when I pass. How agile we are when in need.

And another story and another.

Eighteen-wheelers grind up Main Street to the hardware store. Wearing hats while walking that belonged to my father. In a dream, a friend who became a therapist says, "it's not supposed to be this hard."

Big fury. My nightscape.

One of these robins may be the last robin I'll ever see in this life and will I know, do I want to know.

Suddenly the gods are speaking to me again, rising up in me from deep places to nudge the writing this way or that. Complicity requires a collective. 

It begins in black I say of his art and years later he tells me how helpful it was, that observation. I dream of her hands undoing my belt, I dream of us laughing at how long it took to find the requisite trail.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

What was Stolen

I mean the shadows of the horses. Clouds far away, like trout in a low river. 

Walking all morning to where in winter the river will freeze beneath wheels and tables of ice.

From a distance, goldfinches in the sunflowers, and the specific joy of saying so. Chrisoula brings coffee, bad news

Thumping sounds in the horse trailer. Giving back what was stolen, refusing everything else. 

Everything else.

Shadows beyond the horse pasture which are openings in the forest through which one can make out nothing. The witch, the woman the witch became, and the man who sees them both.

Holding hands in bed before sleep, too tired to make love. It all burns, goes up in smoke. 

For years I confused my father with a fire, and fire for something you cared for. Gunshots, soul shots. The abyss littered with selfies.

Forget-me-nots. Second thoughts. Snakes curled up in flower pots.

Whole flocks of birds traveling south, reminding me of grief, and what grief comes to.

Butterflies, better days, these bitter drafts my throat cannot renounce.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Soul Begins Foreshadowing

This vale of tears, these morning glories that don't quite scale the chicken pen. These worries, fears, these ballet moves.

Sometimes it snows in late October. Sometimes the dolls wake up and wonder why you are so difficult to play with. 

Geese cross the lower east panels of sky above the hills and you count them - six maybe seven - and then they are gone. 

The river is mostly gone.

Morning passes half asleep, waking to write a few sentences, rewrite a few sentences, boil water for tea, forget to make tea, worrying about money, meetings later, inter-library loans. There is less to say than yesterday, and only I can say it.

Articles about oyster-farming on Cape Cod making me wish I was an oyster farmer. Lost intimacies, lost time. When she comes upstairs to fight, a choking feeling in back of my soul begins foreshadowing resolution. Wear something black can also mean a funeral is coming. Selah.


The surrey with the fringe on top. 

Sheep-farming as a model of escapism, the monastery as an escape. Losing interest as an escape.

Goldfinches in the sunflowers. A surplus heart makes the world safe again for romance. Tell me yet again what your Dad said driving back from Saint Louis about why he left your Mom. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

In My Tears and Gratefulness

Nobody says anything anymore. Just shy of noon I finish a rosary, go inside and eat cold pork from yesterday.

We are dusted with time.

Robins perch on fence posts that lean awkwardly in sunlight, untended for many decades now. Dried stems of tiger lilies. Degrees of intensity. Dirt gods.


Densities of starlight so bright and wild that my heart expands unto infinity to encompass them.

Drawing the curtains, undressing, all under her watchful eye. 

Kneeling to wash Chrisoula's feet, losing track of the time in my tears and gratefulness. 

All night lost under the hemlock trees, swaying in light breezes, crying out unto the many entities crying out in turn to us.

Your letter arrived.

Lycanthropes, licenses, logjams, lust.

How shall we describe dying? How shall we weep when our eyes are become dust?

Goldfinches in the garden, grackles in the chicken pen. Gray skies telling a story in which in two hours or so it rains. 

I shall make clothespins by hand, I shall absolve myself of sin.

The trail my love it widens.