Archive for March, 2012

Two Hundred Words

March 30, 2012

So, it has been a skeleton who’s been telling us
that she remains a skeleton,
a curtain that she remains a curtain.
Is she to be left so abstract,
so lost in the unease of history?
Can it be that those who are her fingerprints must sit
atop the glass? Can it be that this is all we are,
little wrinkles that hold the dust?
Or have we been like ancient poets
who kiss the chalice and let winter tell
spring that it must always be a thing for the future—
as if metaphors could be mixed like a cocktail,
as if drunken sailors drink the sea…

I know that it cannot be Sleeping Beauty dead
in there, clawed and hungry, her mouth a foam—
certainly not anything we might try to
awaken with a princely kiss.
But, if we can push aside all
our ugly worm-encrusted faces,
we might yet see her reflection in that reflection,
even though it must sting to be so.

…that her poem should be like
a rainbow deep inside all our bosoms,
and always there; it should rumble through
our open mouths like a train through an open tunnel…

O, my Beauty. My beauty…


March 19, 2012


March 16, 2012

Its eyes, as ice clings to pond’s eves,
lidless and always staring,
focused sideways, transparencies of detail
not so much like the pond itself…

Yet so much like your own self
that our breath breaks it apart—as if
in kissing its too hungry, inhuman lips,
we could find a final ecstasy…

As if we could be in the pond as fish,
as if we could be strands of quicksilver,
or strange messenger gods come to spawn
in the oily slime where all our seed must grow.

But we have stood in this water before, you and I.
Our old eyes have watched the old pond thaw,
watched it glow. Oh my land,
move lightly through the air again.

Her Modesty

March 3, 2012

Just as ice fears its fate in icicles,
The songs you hear could be a winter’s hymn,
As when a frost tiara recycles
A whoring snow into betrothal’s whim.
Or as lice fear their frigid race with frost,
And songs of life might be the skin we glance
At when the diadem procures at cost
Both whore and bride at brothel’s sufferance.
How little races matter. Up ahead
The king takes little heed that we paid twice
For lies that neither cause the bride to wed
Nor whore to bed—the king whose spies entice
This willful whore-as-sonnet to conclude…
Just don’t ask her how, sir. That’s very rude.