Saturday, April 30, 2016

The ground

The ground heals me. The pebbles talk
to my feet, don't ignore us! The broken
glass keeps me awake, reminding.
I remember rougher ground, walk-
ing on sharper pebbles. The unspoken
brilliance of the jeweled blood left by
the broken glass. The old ground, grinding
the pebbles slowly to round, binding

my feet to dance over broken glass, no reason why.

Where will I cry?

When I do not live in the city any longer, where will I cry?
When my body is set back on its well-known streets, will my rough voice hush?

Will I drive in a car fast, beating time to the quick-changing feelings?
Will I walk down the sidewalk slow, hiding my faces from the neighbors?

Tell me your stories, pour your words over me. Otherwise I forget.
Sing me your songs, all you glorious air and wind poets. I need songs.

How many people are pacing, pacing through America's small towns?
How many nighttimes are crashing their sunsets, blood made out of hot songs?

I chant, you chant. A car passes every hour. There is no place to hide.
I count, you count. The guitars parade their greedy strings from east to west.

We are remade, strung on our inventions, counting, facing down midnight.
We are remade new by the very hours that are breaking us apart.

There is no other side of the street. There is no hiding in echoes.

When I do not live in the city any longer, where will I cry?

Sevenling (Boys with matching haircuts)

Boys with matching haircuts in the half-sun,
Their fat juicy sandwiches, their jiggling
Knees making a little dance step where they sit.

Men speaking aloud to no one, men in hoodies
Not recently washed, men wandering the cafe
Ordering nothing, not necessarily sitting down.

Do you know another word for this day?

Wild to see clear

One piled on one, we have built these fast fast minds
Wearing all our clothes, we hold up the globe
We have made for our bodies a golden house of our words

Look at us all dressed up in our words
One for the sunshine, one for losing our minds
One for the hours that dance across the globe

Look at us spinning, each a tiny globe
Woven of magic words, soft words, angry words
Stories we bite into, wild to see clear to our minds

The crazy music of our minds bouncing off the globe in old words

Friday, April 29, 2016

I remember

I ate picnics of peanuts and raisins, boiled eggs and cucumber sticks
Mommy in her sleeveless dress, the thick army blanket, the mango tree

I ate tuna fish from cans, spread on the bread that Tata Ignace baked
In the kitchen, with its glass door pane renewed but my wrist marked for life

I ate chocolate triangled and speckled white, the white marbling swirls
Cold and melted and cold again. I ate it hiding under the stairs

I ate pineapple upside down cake piece by piece straight from the freezer
The freezer bloody with beef cuts. I'd seen half the cow. Watched it cut up.

I ate grapes on Long Island in the Bible translator's hot back yard
My first grapes. That yard, that day, they still come fresh to me when I taste that.

I ate rice and peas and creamed tuna on my birthday year after year.
Someday I will eat it again. I can't wait. But my mother is dead.

I ate sugar cubes from the cupboard, its legs in tin cans of water
So the ants couldn't climb. Sugar cube after sugar cube. From the box.

I ate the grapefruit with the grapefruit spoon, drank the juice from a squeezed arc
Rows of grapefruit in the dark pantry. I drew faces while they rotted.

I ate peanut butter cookies, with their bumpy brown topography
Endless craggy mountain ranges, flattened for me by my mother's fork.

I ate the late-night subs, the smoky pizzas, the spaghetti you cooked
Exotic raw egg yolk, your mother's handwritten words not yet foodstained.

I ate the only vegetarian thing on the menu's back page
In so many restaurants. Ordering five drinks to make up for it.

I ate rice cakes and cottage cheese when Weight Watchers prohibited grapes
I dove into enormous green salads and forty-eight-ounce smoothies.

I ate oatmeal for breakfast, enlivened with salt, bananas, berries

I ate it alone, in the dark of the morning, my ritual feast.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Hush little baby, snuggle on down
Your no good daddy has just skipped town
He gave away the carpet from under my toes
But I loved your daddy like nobody knows

Hush little baby, snuggle in tight
Your no good daddy vanished into the night
He stole my life and he mocked my yearning
But I loved your daddy like a stormcloud burning

Hush little baby, it's just no use
Your no good daddy played fast and loose
He scattered our wedding gifts far and wide
And all that's left is this useless bride

Hush little baby, just sleep on through
Your no good daddy walked off into the blue
He made his plans like I was just not there
But I loved your daddy like the pure sweet air

Hush little baby the night is long
Your no good daddy's not worth this song
He called up down and love a struggle
Oh I'm so tired, babe. Now sleep and snuggle.

Hush little baby, it's almost dawn
Your no good daddy he moved right on
The years an insult thrown like stones
But I loved your daddy deep, deep in my bones