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I’m Not Looking for a Saint

When I read a poem, the voice

of another being is enough.

Someone extant in the world

who for this moment speaks,

resonant with each leaf,

with each burgeoning flower.

I do not expect epiphany

to fall from Spring’s mouth

for that would not be true;

truth grows in retrospect,

a mirror to distort the past

reshaped to an image more divine.

All gods are just us

without desire for more.

(November 7,2019)

reader response theory

he dreamed he could read
her like a difficult text
could part the oblique veils
draped about her words
slowly and with care run his
fingers along the edge of her
lines beneath the skin of her
story opening her tale teasing
fine points hidden from others
massaging the tips of her phrases
until she would unfold her meaning
meant for him alone to mouth
rolling each syllable like grapes
succulent and ripe with love
(June 30, 2013)

Tell Me a Story

because reading declines
because pages are lost
because people talk
(stories remain simple
loss love honor truth
the enemy always evil
inside outside
the enemy always evil
hearts are campfire sparks
minds flow towards stars
the moon’s lost in clouds
devoured by darker wolves  
the circle pulls tighter
a drum taps song into dance 
its skin tight like consonants
chromosomes blaze Van Gogh’s eye
as stickmen chant innate rhymes
a line forms like dust on air)
touch hands and speak


(circa 1990-1994, from If This is a Comedy, They Why Aren’t We Laughing)