Archive for January, 2014

Landscape

January 30, 2014

His style can be a farce, an insect instinct
to bite and bite hard—
as if you were a piece of chop meat—
now charred.
Her style can be like a dog who wants off its chain
to wage war against diaphanous gowns,
torn silk shirts, a perfume, the rain—
anything with a license for renown.
Imagine, his grace found in an abscess of fear.
Imagine her plan to let all her children disappear
in darkness. How could they know that one is always
alone, that under the earth is a land
where love is lost or stolen every day,
and that their landscape had turned to sand?

A Surgery for One

January 23, 2014

A hunting at winter’s dawn,
evening’s half-night:
an owl preforms
a surgery for one:
one muskrat, one  squirrel.
Whatever. It prefers
to eat lemmings.

The frogs have all sunk
into the stiff mud,
innocent of such solitude.
This night’s too long
for them to sing through
—and they know it—
so deep is the water
that lies beneath them.

The View from Grandma’s House

January 15, 2014

Why visions start when a hummingbird
sips nectar from an early spring flower;
why summer comes, and with it palisades of sorrow
and sickness, silences her children must reword
as thoughts of piety: hands folded round
a twig, as if it were a verb form for
something so real, the present
must be past and over, while the future
lies flat, ready to be reformed by a sacred tongue.
You get it? No one knows why the dogs bark,
only that they did.  That freeze
the dog’s nose detects always lies ahead;
We live our lives in faint cages in bright houses;
a dog lives his with each sniff. Here, Bowser!

Two Dogs at Home

January 4, 2014

Despite ‘the casual avalanche
of books’ piled high against the door
. Despite
‘a freeze in the nose’, a cold clarity of air
so bright it could make the woods into ‘a flame
alive rather than a frozen dead forest’.
Seems his every poem must resemble
a nightmare.
Seems a certain dream that you
and I must be having together…
of ‘faint cages in bright houses’, is his poem.
*
We pause and stand, freeze and point. A tree,
there is something tangled in its branches.

A nest of clothes, an old wedding dress.
What conscious scoundrels.
They know he’ll have to climb the tree
and pull the dress down. They know
he won’t be able to think it’s something
the wind arranged.
Winter pretending
to be an empty dress. Winter
hung high enough up in the tree
to resemble a ghost.
One about to deliver
a string of pearls, from branch to branch.
Descending like a frost to earth as it clings
to the barren braches.
*
As if snow were the cat’s meow.
You step forward.
Like winter can’t be winter with the sun.
You curl towards the fire.
As we growl and whimper.
We’re tired. We retire.
Like two dogs going home.
Like two dogs at home.