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

Monday, May 29, 2017

the light journal of trillium

From "Light Journal" by Charles Wright

To speak the prime word and vanish
                                                          into the aneurysm
Unhealed and holding the walls open,
Trip and thump of light
                                      up from the fingernails and through
The slack locks and stripped vessels
At last the inarticulation of desire...


What did I think I meant then, Greece, 1959:
                                                                        Beauty is in the looking for it,
The light here filtered through silk,
The water moving like breathing,
Moving in turn to the tide's turn,
                                                    black thread through the water weave.

Whatever it was, I still mean it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

virginia in january

how can the mind sleep when such exquisite particularity exists?

each leaf, you hurt me with the edges of your being.

where i am hurt, i am healed.

Monday, March 27, 2017

some questions from the edge of the trail

at the edge of the trail i stop and stare

what is it that pulls me?

a metaphysical arrangement -
the trees obeying some ancient law

what is the text?
why is it so compelling?

as though the shaman were striking me with tensile braids of sweetgrass
my thoughts converge into rows

or are my thoughts those things spraying out between the trees into darkness?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a ruthless winter to defeat

from A Secret Gratitude by James Wright

We are men.
We are capable of anything.
We could have killed every one of those deer.
The very moon of lovers tore herself with the agony of a wounded tigress
Out of our side.
We can kill anything.
We can kill our own bodies.
Those deer on the hillside have no idea what in hell
We are except murderers.
They know that much, and don’t think
They don’t.
Man’s heart is the rotten yolk of a blacksnake egg
Corroding, as it is just born, in a pile of dead
Horse dung.
I have no use for the human creature.
He subtly extracts pain awake in his own kind.
I am born one, out of an accidental hump of chemistry.
I have no use.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

the childhood inside us

Glancing Back

Is tracing the past
always like laying one's hands against glass?

Glass can break, cut.
Blood runs thin, until it coagulates.

Welcome aboard mighty homunculus, 
tiny, but more powerful than the us.


Outside the flowers are leaving the dirt
and climbing into this milk glass to wilt,

their sour-sweet scent following us, always. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

the many and no one

History adds that before or after dying he [the actor] found himself in the presence of God and told Him: "I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself." The voice of the Lord answered from a whirlwind: "Neither am I anyone; I have dreamt the world as you dreamt your work...and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one."

From "Everything and Nothing," by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by James E. Irby)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

eating better, a pear and some almonds

The Claude Glass

We are in the farmhouse again.
I think we have just made love.

I can't quite be sure but I see that
my walls are dripping a kind of puce, 

thick like honey. The clock on the wall
is as innocent as an insect performing its purview.

The cars zipping along the nearby highway
seem silly. We have been carting humble-sized

wheelbarrows full of desire
to the center of our kitchen table.

My husband is about to reach through the air
and penetrate the light to touch the circumference

of a pear. Art history books climb the walls in columns.
Poetry books tumble upon themselves 

with their slack suspenders and messy wiglets.
The problems of the world exist in a single droplet of water

which forms and falls from the faucet, 
glints in the daylight

and captures this whole scene like a concept.