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What I Imagine When Someone Explains my Poetry to Me

He stands on a small rock

in the middle of a river;

the water rushes past

an obvious metaphor.

He ignores the danger,

and leaps the gap to land

on the next wet stone

barely within his compass;


And there, as he teeters,

searching for his balance,

he hears the falls hunger,

then is neither here, nor there,


but lost in the churning froth

of some other’s creation.

(September 6, 2020)

Surface Tensions

“stop, children, what’s that sound

everybody look what’s going down”

—Stephen Stills

Another day spreads across the sky

as the flood waters continue to rise.

There is little to stand upon now

that does not tip into complicity.

Ice melts along its edges. One moment

we are there watching the turmoil

below our feet, then the ice is gone, 

and we are all breathing water, 

floundering in the lies we live. 

Our words fill our lungs, and

silence gurgles past our lips

as we slip slowly deeper

beneath the cold gelatinous sea,

to drown in our undeserved comforts

(June 8, 2020)

Infinite Watched Pot (a reading)

Infinite Watched Pot

“That is, if you write it has it happened twice”

—Michael Palmer, Notes for Echo Lake

I woke and now it is now; the sun’s setting.

Was the writing the thing that happened?

Would today happen without being written?

Are they two events or one?

I see something—

like a car crash,

or water boiling on the stove.

One’s disconnected,

one’s intentional, possibly

even a causation; for example;

I’m hungry, so

I hop in the car for a burger.

She was in a hurry. It was

raining. She slams through a yellow light.

The driver in front of me dies

on the wet street. Or,

I’m still hungry. I hold dry

pasta knowingly, and watch

as the tiny bubbles form

on the bottom of the pot.

Did anything happen?

I am hungry, and will be

each time you read this,

even if I was the driver

who died, or I just wrote

it down; even if something

more than this

was in my thoughts

as I waited for water

to boil.

(May 3, 2020) 

Infinite Watched Pot

“That is, if you write it has it happened twice”

—Michael Palmer, Notes for Echo Lake

I woke and now it is now; the sun’s setting.

Was the writing the thing that happened?

Would today happen without being written?

Are they two events or one?

I see something—

like a car crash,

or water boiling on the stove.

One’s disconnected,

one’s intentional, possibly

even a causation; for example;

I’m hungry, so

I hop in the car for a burger.

She was in a hurry. It was

raining. She slams through a yellow light.

The driver in front of me dies

on the wet street. Or,

I’m still hungry. I hold dry

pasta knowingly, and watch

as the tiny bubbles form

on the bottom of the pan.

Did anything happen?

I am hungry, and will be

each time you read this,

even if I was the driver

who died, or I just wrote

it down; even if something

more than this

was in my thoughts

as I waited for water

to boil.

(May 3, 2020) 

metaphor’s logic is like you know

from an untitled serial poem (4)

yet you know

we are alone

together

only in our common

solitude

I assume you are

like me a simile

if you will 

like

an understandable analogy

a cat is to a dog

as a rabbit is

to a stellar singularity

I fear the wind

in my fur

is a tell a fox is near

a trap is set to drop

I am aware 

because somewhere

some other thought

and told some other

who eventually

inscribed the pattern

along a random strand

like now

(January 6, 2020)

Interrupted While Reading in Public

A nothing—

you suppose

and assume

too much

upon others:

as if your presence,

and proximit,y

are enough,

you claim space

upon our attention.

You who speaks

a flurry

of flatulence—

Who are you

to say we’re rude?

Like pebbles,

you throw words

to blind,

mock,

and silence.

At best, 

you are a gnat

flitting between

this book

and the table.

(September 16, 2019)

Examination

E

“The unexamined life is not worth living”–Socrates

What’s wrong with being

happy? Oblivious,

stumbling along, content

with the morning sun

parsing the petals

of the rose’s first bud?

Under the instant and

insistent barrage 

of doubt, the examined 

life is not necessarily

worth living. Living

is worth living. Implicit,

joy radiates, each moment

transcendent, without

need to justify within

mocking parenthesis.

(February 26, 2019)


Too Many Conversations to Slough Off

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After the teacher conference

spent listening to others

speak of techniques

to hold their students

locked around an idea

of reading and writing

with little actual reading

or writing of consequence,

 

I am reminded of a Greek

statue of a wrestler,

who stands silent

scraping sweat and

filth from his arm,

his day done.

 

(November 11, 2018)