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)

beaten path (90)

like an old dog

circling his bed

i turn then turn

the idea around

a phrase a word

a memory

until the floor’s

worn away

and i fall

a slow spiral

like a rock

bounces against

a stone wall

and steps

with a clatter

before it stops

and I wonder

as if the thought

mattered

(October 30, 2020)

self-flagellation

The words I have

are enough

to tear

my flesh from bone,

to feed 

the ravenous voices,

the hundred mouths

which peck,

and gnaw, and savor

my base 

foundations

as if blood.


They are enough

for this—

(August 21, 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)

life’s ritual stutter

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (27)

days copy days

as if life stutters

what’s to be said

until finally

one’s last word’s

spoken

(February 16, 2020)

of course

a presumption that all

falls into place as if

metaphor were truth

as if anything

we could say

will lead us home

words are tangents

to themselves

too fast to follow

so I plod along

content with the detritus

I stumble upon

making a trail

wherever my foot falls

(December 30, 2019)

Lessen

I read with difficulty,

poets I once admired,

not seeing anymore

the simplicity I once saw.

I worry stones smooth

between my fingers,

as if patterns emerge

through a force of will.

There must be something

more than what is here.

Certainties tremble, then

fall like ash into dust.

I’ve come to know less

than I have ever known.

(November 8, 2019)

Hidden in the Calligraphy

Yielding more

than simple correspondences,

or letters marked in a ledger,

words bend fields

through which we see

distortions and clarities

reflected like sunlight

in a waterfall’s spume.

they reveal and cloak

certainties in our unease

with what we should believe

as true, and what we know

to be a lie as we speak.

(July 29, 2019)

Ars Poetica: The Fiction of Truth


Since I do understand the importance

Of narrative, I tell stories without

Telling stories, like now, as I write this

Poem. I’ve created a fiction of me,

Truthfully, yet still a grounded fiction,

Who is speaking to you, someone absent,

As if we were strangers ordered to share

A rough table in a pub. But instead 

of talking about the local football 

team, or rudely about the government,

I talk to you as if you are in love,

Listening, as I speak, rather than write,

These simplistic thoughts upon this blank page,

And pretend you did not leave years ago.

(January 11, 2019)

Nothing More

mujer-reflejo-1

“..truth is often nothing more than meaning”

—Trinh T. Minh-ha

 

I mean–

what can I say,

you know?

I’m just talking,

to myself.

You know

what I mean?

 

I imagine you

do, since

I hear what

you’re saying–

You understand

what I mean?

 

(November 13, 2018)