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I am not You (126)

“a border is never neutral”

—Jaques Derrida

on a map it is a line drawn

in color across the landscape


it’s arbitrary except for words

which no longer make sense


when placed abstractly on trees

and through creek beds


no one sees them except 

the ones who kill ones


who speak their vowels

elongated or shortened

(March 11, 2021)

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Four poems from a series (115-118)

each breath (115)

a butterfly turns

from the chrysalis’s shell

then flutters away like breath

(February 4, 2021)

problematic poetics (116)

each image resists

the metaphor’s

transformation

(February 4, 2021)

each tongue a border (117)

i struggle to translate

my language to words

i may speak with others

who are closest to me

and who are said

to share my tongue

(February 4, 2021)

vocabulary impediments (118)

talk normal 

there boy

(February 4, 2021)

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to divine the past (102)

from any chance moment

wherever you happen to be

like light and dark dancing

across the forest floor

memory without warning

will step out from a phrase

to raise the ancient dead 

the way dust devils 

on cool autumn afternoons 

will twirl lifeless leaves into the air 

like moon-pale bacchants 

arms twisting above their heads

then within your next thought

let fall still trembling to the ground

leaving you ashamed for some act 

of cowardice or petty remorse 

at best remembered less if at all 

and then only as a trace of flame 

flickering shadows upon a wall

(December 21, 2020)

my face blurs as well (a reading)

my face blurs as well

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (57)

i walk out into the brush

into a world not home

and there in the stream 

in the moon-bright sky

i look from mirror

to water to window

and the air

blurs what I see

when I read it blurs

everything i’ve read

and like memory it becomes

what I know now

what I knew then

the story is seen

as what it is

always present

always a lie

(April 25, 2020)

my face blurs as well

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (57)

I walk out into the brush

into a world not home

and there in the stream 

in the moon-bright sky

I look form mirror

to water to window

and the air

blurs what I see

when I read it blurs

everything i’ve read

and like memory it becomes

what I know now

what I knew then

the story is seen

as what it is

always present

always a lie

(April 25, 2020)