Friday, May 16, 2003
at the bottom of the well... this echo knocks around

slings itself into a cozy vortex... frightening

itself... but locked out.... carefully remove

your fingers from the pumphole... then

call your friends over... for the wild show...

a timid tornado has its day... made of words

and a devoted orchestra of... idiots bent

toward the next word... grinning back

from the damp slippery ledge of fame



a struggle to say... becomes a bloody rout

of all troops... say something... to say

for example that the air spins us toward

a more stable politics... is to say nothing

that anyone cares to hear... you don't...

do you... instead... let's look closely at

the sky... or the ground under our heavily

shod feet... let's understand something

about turning into flame or stone...

before the shifting walls cause us

to seem ridiculous... and irrelevant

soldiers in spas... teachers in bubbles



i'll wait for the great crested concordance

to swoop... listen for its subtle chirrup...

this family did... and they're much the better for it...

listen to the humble grey coreopsis settling

down for the night... an exceptional value

this... truth that comes slobbering into dusky

melancholy... conceiving tomorrow's predators

today... shut down all the schools tonight



Thursday, May 15, 2003
i'm not talking to you... unless it was you who called last night...

left a message about rivers rising... and sang a verse of crossroad blues...

the window needed a shade... and yes... i have read all of these books...

every other word... took me a lifetime... don't you remember

sitting in my shadow while i took my time... i was pretending to be somewhere else...

under the influence



Wednesday, May 14, 2003
when the sun spoke this morning

delivery came... stumbling... damp...

into poor hands open... tough...

from hard scratching at rocky ground...

regular motion with a firm grip...

delivery came... slipping through a green

night... into sweet patient fog... turn

us into losers and winners... turn us

into frogs... we've still got what came

loping to mind ghostly this morning

when assassin clouds prepared to strike



her suddenly red thinking has taught us

to plant evergreens - preferably sweating pines -

around our desired ends... never ask... don't

ask why she turns this way and that... just

rearrange your day to include some remorse

for the hurtful things you might say...

keep your door open wide enough... write

more pomes about thunder and chess



Tuesday, May 13, 2003
the first day on location

we called for a salmon waiver... but we got

this probative tracking shot

down through town past the hanky-panky

watertower off into the slithering gloom...

 

so we set up an infantile infusion smokescreen...

but our go-gettter couldn't set the light

beneath one of the heady quatrains...

and we had to settle for a quick martial flourescence...

 

tomorrow... if the key grip doesn't run off

with our rowdy paleoclimatologist...

we'll be ready for the woodpecker hemorrhage



Monday, May 12, 2003
it's all a guessing game... what did they mean

just before sunset... or sunrise... the planet

we understood as well as ourselves...

we ran into the rain... washington one

summer night... when everyone studied god's

black language... you thought it was true...

but i was just pretending to know



sluggish enough... slow to think that you

might want something... i might become

the last boy... i was... when we stuttered

home... was it the sidewalk made us

more careful than cats... was it the beer

or the thing you said... my laugh...



directly singing... not flown like a wood thrush...

singing about the last idea... just before sweeping

say what you saw... simply... a ghost like paper

nobody read... i think it was important... the color

of some pressing thought... less a feeling

than a corner we turned... preposterously a fact



first the words altered the room we sat in...

i was counting on your merciful eyes... then

the floor became interesting... you said

the day had gotten cooler... i knew it...

pretend i'm not much more... than a window

or a wall... find some use... for them



when i started to say how frightened... no i never said how frightened...

a quick shock... boys cry... no... boys stand still

in the middle of the street... they wait for lightning...

across town houses are exploding... green lawns

never wince... oaks bend... some break... but boys

have something to say... with silence... gray paint

on my hand smells like thunder rushing... up to me

... let me understand what it had to say...



Sunday, May 11, 2003
punch it quickly... brown box of sappy

spring here... go on... the track is wild...

still fresh blood... scent... like a lonesome

boy cut sharply... and slandered wolves

at every corner tree... no you wouldn't

understand... i was trying to get out



a stampede of rats or buffalo... that uncut lawn

blown unanimously... another lacustrine postcard

from the suburb... did he say... something

about cussing... when no one's there to hear

wind on the water... whisper fears out...

go scamper mad... and solo sing yr self



hush the wind's got a hole in it... there

full of nothing... rushing like a widow

to the window... open up... let all

the bad beasts in... let all the bad

light out... make room for the street

ruckus... gushing rivers past trashy

lawns... open... some sky... over there



Saturday, May 10, 2003
be happier when we examine you... your arms

engage all questions... let them hold

wildflowers at sunset... everyone remembers

you... younger in idealistic blue jeans...

we just want you back... in khaki slacks

now... if need be... a modest belt

for a careful life... shiney shoes...

for a smile... be happier next time



something stops... you stop... they said

with all good intentions... to stop it...

so you have buried a sheet of paper...

under the rest of this rubble... a sheet

of paper... your name scrawled on it

 

... after days and months of weather

we meet by the mound... ready now

for some new growth... rebirth... some

minor transformation and... we get...

springing up... some smoke... some stink

of sunset held too long in infant hands...

unhappiness... yes... an empty vindication



amend it now... to read...
we require water, sunlight,
and some animals to eat
and to know while we stand
alone beside the river
thinking hard thoughts
about what has been lost...
we require mudroots
and thick air, breath
like a fallow field done
and undone and finally
done for some years
now... we require two
feet on the ground,
a nose to the grindstone,
a stiff upper lip...
amend it now


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