Friday, June 24, 2016


Oh God Who speaks Your Name-- to us--

Oh God! My mouth, my mind is full of straws,
To hold so fierce a fire:  I cannot plait
them thick enough -- the hunger of that Name
consumes these boxes. These cardboard shoeboxes
i inherited, or made. i decoupaged with third grade
Sunday School paper pictures: pinkblonde Jesus
reaching stiff arms toward such clean, white friends--

I read Your words, and watch my pictures burn.
For in this revelation the earth groans, and splits --
Rivers dry up. Seas tremble. Oceans churn.
Angels, radiant and fierce, shout out their joy. And stars
Turn cartwheels out of chaos, round what unspoken hinge
You only cherish. --
And justice burns. It marks the time like liquid stone
Boiling and flowing, hardly seen, until the appointed day has come --
And that day will come. --

Oh Love -- that Love that measured out the stars
In their million million flagrances -- that knows
Too, the ceaseless communings of their smallest parts --
That longhearted Love that sits outside of Time
That Love that burns, that pierces, cuts, and scrapes away  --
That wrapped Itself in particles -- in skin -- to walk
for love among us -- Oh Love Who will come again --

How can paper bear a live and burning star?
Yet may these words, burned up to smoke arise
Incense to You -- not sweet of what they are,
But sweet for what they long for.
Sweet for their Desire
Toward which, in Which, by Which they are set fire

reference: the Book of Job. Not done yet.

Monday, June 20, 2016

garden (repost, 2013)

so we come again to the garden

walking these our footworn paths
hand in hand
survey the land that now unjungled sighs,
settles into these tilled and wellsown fields

to docile groves, to humble carrot patches
the sweet rioting of vines contained and pruned

to fragrance of green breaths
to bees rejoicing anthems as they toil

what jungles may have been, what bitter thorns
now, stem by stem, and sweatbathed, all uprooted

those bones that writhed with shrill wormjoyful stink
rotting now quietly beneath their trees
sweetening the dark and tender soil

here we have cultivated love, and conversation
fed with delight, with honey and ripe peaches

let us return now to the good bread of toil, to salt the earth
let us brownarmed and strong together
let us raise our beesong too of work and rest

Sunday, June 19, 2016

First contact

So now there is a we

each hearing in our own tongue
(do you have a tongue at all? or three? Idioms
are the first to break

across the gap
of minds
stars apart

The translator gives us these words
for webs
a spiderbridge across
a galaxy

they touch our hearts like silk
or the memory of fingers)

This we!
(What you say comes to my ears wrapped
in the colours i can hear:

your words stare out
with shark eyes


my words in your mouth
are tied to something that)

i cannot understand

Saturday, June 18, 2016

galaxies (2015)

To trawl strange stars what net
will, dear Man,

i fear

i will go on tracing you
in blueveined, pungent cheeses
in bitter beer

Can i, hook and fishnet, know
your sighs
your skin
to hold you,

measured, scraped, unbowelled,

Oh Man!
do i go on slowly
these six years' days
building this not knowing

this bridge
our skin

sagging and folding
dear Man i will
in six and eight and ten
years, be

here, dear Man
i love! Do i
love (want)
(covet) (fear)

Oh Man i love you now
with silence
and no sweet potatoes

i know the stars
some of the stars
in your games' empires

i am jealous
for further galaxies

i want to hang stories
like constellations
on these lights
your whitebright minute victories
your pulsing shames
your blurred and shifting dreams

Friday, June 17, 2016

marginalia (2010)


After a year, the accessories of our separate lives have intertwined: i.e. the bookshelf, where my eyeliner and four thousand bottles of black nail polish have occupied all available space, have in fact expanded from a military outpost surrounded by barbed-wire to a number of flourishing agricultural endeavors, even, frequently, embarking on diplomatic missions to the representatives of Dental Hygiene, conferring at length on the bathroom sinktop. As for the bookshelf proper, see how my paperbacks have insinuated themselves, subverting (like the good possessions of an English major!) the patriarchy’s imposition of a very masculine organization. Note also the stubbornly indeterminate coffee and cocoa stains between their pages. The bookshelf suffices for an example – there is no need to point out the books, the notebooks, the pens (my own and the ones I have stolen, unintentionally of course, from you) scattered like fall leaves across the coffee table, the dining table, the TV, the floor. The post-it notes and envelopes and expired coupons and postcards flocking like butterflies to the fragrant manure of any flat open space. This is our life together: my tendrils of mess entwined with the necessities of your life. I reside with you, dear man, as marginalia. You are the strong angles and sure text, German blackletter. I my love am the red commentary (not authoritative), added in a moment of boredom or whimsy in a spidery and uncertain hand. I am the curls and curlicues of greenery, the phantastical flowers obscuring the clean reading of the text. I am the private, unrelated drama – the courtly, unsanctioned adultery going on quietly behind the great gilt curve of the capital G. Look – that dragon in the corner, twirling and twisting spinelessly around his own scarlet belly. How frivolous his emerald cavorting! How irrelevant to the auctoritee, the firm black text, he decorates. See how delighted he is, simply to be there, turning coloured flips for joy around the beloved words!

from Love Songs for Dennis (2011)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

unfolding (2010)


Alone, my body curled
into its own

From furled unbeauty,
tight withholding

Beneath your hands,
your heart,
i bloom:

a Rose,

from Love Songs for Dennis(2011)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

constrained (2011)


This is to love:
to wear your future like a coat

To walk it like a thin sharp road
between thick bristling silence

Your long bones, wide back enfold me
you are the wooden walls that hold me

This is to love:
to take for spectacles
your two brown eyes,
these windows

of my home

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

invitation (2010)

From Love Songs for Dennis 


This is love: to wait inside
my own four walls, to grow
my garden, its pomegranates,
ripe apples, fragrant cinnamon—
and, too, its patches of hackberry,
poison oak,
its unweeded abundance of
illchosen words—
To offer these my fruits,
bruised or halfripe, into your hand:

To say “come in,”
unbeautiful, but sure