not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

images in water

the tree grows from the shoreline
and the trunk is thrust out upon the water

is this a photograph of desire? if so, whose desire?
or is desire, the lustful knot, undone in this?

is this image two dimensional?

how many dimensions is desire composed of?
how many leagues deep?

the snare of bulbous roots
casts forth its image
which does not complete itself


images in water

my mother is sitting in her easy chair with her oxygen
making circles with her fingers along the rise of each of its arms

she used to do this at lunchtime while sitting at the table with her novels
using the long fingers on one hand to encircle her chin, as she devoured the exotic mysteries

then later, as her eyes worsened, while we talked
she'd hold one arm and encircle her other elbow

i think about being at the river and tossing in stones
the circles widening until they swallow my image as i hang over the bridge

i look a little like my mother

Friday, August 12, 2016


elegy for the easiness of an early evening

they're walking down the country gravel road
in the early evening's empty hours of    bird furls

doing nothing but kicking up    dust    and notes 
which are the silent spaces    and swirls    around the rising dirt

   the music of muteness and touching

they're bumping happily into one another
fumbling love in their hands    in their empty clodlike hands

stroking penumbras of golden light    lifting    rising    caressing
to the smote of shoulders    errant hairs    and the private folds of clothing

and there they are walking down that road
going nowhere but through that place of togetherness

holding up the last of the day's cambered light with their 
dumb ripe hearts    in love with skin that but runs together

there on that dusty road    so clearly    so painfully
never again    you and one of your own small children

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

a certain concretion of order, and notes


if i consider this feather and keep considering only this feather

hillary clinton and donald trump do not exist 
isis, nor brexit
the gentle canadian government with their claws withdrawn inside their paws does not exist
and the economy (which is country, and vice versa) is instantly and infinitely reduced
if i consider this and only this feather

if i consider this feather and only this feather
the amplitude of precision makes man mute
the threshold of becoming is rarefied into the wicket gate
the liminal gains ground and springs to wing
and death is softened by the vitality left after the body's fluke
if i consider this and only this feather

if i consider this feather and only this feather i exit the corridor of reality and enter the hall of artifice 
which is the bucket brimmed to full in perfect measure, more ample than reality 
personal sentimentality vanishes immediately, and the phoenix, which has waited in the clouds of the mind, awe, takes flight screeching like meadowlarks their elegy

if i consider this feather and only this feather, i can not imagine from whence it came, this bird
and if i consider this feather and only this feather, the fox's maw which snapped this bird is naught, its being in relation to this feather is retracted as simply absurd

if i consider this and only this feather my mind is teased by way of the path it devises directly back over the bruised blue, beyond erebus, the black, if i consider this and only this feather

this feather does not ease
this one means not life or death, sadness nor love, have not, but have 
this feather means is

if i consider this feather i am freed 
cut into, incised, the marrow i excised, a therapeutic act of nihilism
and thereby, by point of blade, vivified
the eye becomes complete alertness through the depths of blood (which, at the sight of this feather, rises to immeasurable heights like a cloak of rain) and travels beyond trammel along its flourish of stationary ridge of is, the abundant being of body an emblem like the bruised christ, oh this, one amongst the many, this -- this feather


from Hachadura by Robert Bringhurst


There is nothing like the razor 
edge of air, another

like the tongued pebbles, syllables
of sea-wind and sea-color and

a nothing and a nothing like the salt
hide drying inward, eating

in through the underbelly of bone,
the grain

of the sea-eaten iron, and the open
lattice of the wave.

There is nothing, moreover,
at which Eurytos never
quite arrives, tallying
the dust with the four-finger
unsheathed from the flesh of his hand.

Suppose, therefore, a certain
concretion of order,

unstable or at any rate in motion, but a certain
concretion of order inherent in one
in the innumerable
forms of such a number. Therefore:

darkness under the sunrise,
darkness in the hollow of the hand;

inside the spine the darkness, the darkness
simmering in the glands;

the rumpled blade of darkness which is
lodged in every fissure of the brain;

the membrane
of the darkness which is always

between two surfaces when they close.


The bird is the color of gunmetal
in sunlight, but it is midnight;
the bird the color of gunmetal
in sunlight is flying
under the moon.

There is a point at which
meridians are knotted
into nothing and a region
into which meridians fray and intertwine,
but not like mooring lines; they
fray like the leading and trailing edges
of wings, running from nothingness
to muscle and strung from the muscle back again.

Listen: the sounds are the sounds of meridians
trilling, meridians drawn to produce
the illusion of plectrum, tuning pegs and a frame,
or perhaps to produce Elijah's
audition: the hide
of the silence curing,
tightening into the wind.

Or the sounds are the sounds of the air opening
up over the beak and closing over the vane,
opening over the unmoving cargo slung
between the spine and the talon,
slung between the wingbone and the brain.


It is for nothing, yes, 
this manicuring, barbering, this
shaving of the blade.

Nothing: that is that the edge should come
to nothing as continuously 
and cleanly and completely as it can.

And the instruction 
is given, therefore, 
to the archer, sharpening

the blood and straightening
the vein: the same instruction
that is given to the harper:

Strum the muscle.

And come to nothing.

Monday, August 1, 2016

meditation on what a flower is, black eyed susan, i

Centripetal Force And a Lull in The Stratosphere

I looked up and found myself inside of it. But how astonishing.
I would never have known which door to take to enter it. 
It was halfway over before I realized, my eyes big on my hands, 
on my own two hands, 
my senses swollen as though by bees, 
my mind convinced of abnormalities come alive as though I'd been slipped lsd.
It lasted long enough for me to peruse the convenience store shelves
for canned potatoes and mushrooms, locate them, dusty, in strange places
(separate aisles), the potatoes next to the ludicrous event of canned beets.

Canned beets! For crying out loud, who could have imagined! 
I could smell the old floor. The walls drew nearer. 
This was my convenience store. This was my life. 
Somehow I had caught up with it. 
I stood inside of it with a delighted nervous vertigo, 
oddly and completely connected.  

Even later still, at home at the stove-top, the venison sausage sputtering,
spitting its juices, the cans canted, the vegetables singeing to a crisp
convincing and true, I drank a beer, a cold one, and I'll be damned
my feet weren't barefoot on the kitchen floor in full contact. 
My hand handled the spatula. 
I was planted through a thread in my head by the rank aroma 
and cleansed with the cloth that passed by me as a breeze 
carrying the kitchen window's simulacrum of garden growing waist-deep cilantro. 
Everything was right. I had impostered myself for forty-odd years and finally, 
for a moment, i found myself directly inside of my life.