13 June 2006


and who are we, we ants, under this
tent of blue, marking time with our
feet as we secure the crumbs the
grasshopper has let drop from his table

brocaded, heavy with victuals and wine
(we'll enjoy them later, in the dark,
after all are asleep) glittering red
and gold, they flex their green limbs

and chirrup, chirrup (a pleasant sound,
a summer sound) before the winter,
the seven years of famine, soggy-wet
and cold before the

seven years of plenty promised to all
we ants, busying ourselves with our hoardings,
the quick calculations of need and
want, those shoes will last one more

season, the soup may be extended yet,
with nothing gone to waste
we should be fine---didn't we all
start out with the linoleum?


pulling out the stitchwork, untying the
knots that moored the story in
place, this precious tapestry of words
and work and tears and too

much entirely. the diamond-panes
wink, wink, in the sun, glinting
signals a brittle code to say yes,
you, and again, not you

threads unwoven, helped with the
snip of a scissors, falling to the floor, a
curly mass of color, incoherent
rainbow, code for what was

to the pit of your gut

unworking the words of smooth silk, the
buttery floss twinkling through the fingers
as the shuttle flashes and

one more line completed, and then
another until the story is told, untold,
mouthed over, a handful of remnants in
your palm, greased over with time and the dust of days innumerable


loving these rank weeds
better than any hothouse flower,
those green tendrils under glass
fertilized with gold coins

and kisses. No--give me
the dandelion leaves, curly-edged,
so good to eat, the Queen Anne's
lace, the accidental Orange William

bursting through rock regardless of
any human action or inaction,
the broad leaves worked to lace
by the bug's jaws sawing, satiated--

they are never satiated--always
hungry, hungry, lapping up the
dew. Accidental colors, the flag
to fly, royal purple, butter yellow

the ivory-pale honeysuckle trumpets out
sweet scent in a cloud, a fug
to walk through, no, no hothouse
flowers these--and all the better for it

03 June 2006

McLean Avenue, Woodlawn

the moon on Christmas night: flat jewel,
communion host, pearlish rays
radiate round, milkwhite soft

such streams I would catch for
you in my eyes, throw them back
upon the page, white showing

beneath the black, as that moon
sharpcut ivory atop the sky, hanging
heavy with promise, benificent, beaming

down into my pale orbs, glassy at such
a sight, eagerly feeding you
from the meat of my heart, chilled

and silent on the sideboard, festive
garnish now knife-riddled, stabbed with
tine of fork, though the delicious crackling

of burnt fat still tempts the tongue,
invites a sweet, a
sweet devouring

Grand Central Station

another incendiary threat, another
train derailed (we walk, like
sheep, directed by the mouth
behind the bullhorn) bobbling
heads, shuffling feet, masses of
puppet-dolls directed round the
tiled laybrinth after our
toil-long day, heels and toes
nipped, cattle, cattle, moving
to the (somewhat) less congested

as polite lines form at the bar cars,
Twomey pours the baby bottles of gin, juniper fragrant,
and breaks into speech--bomb--
bomb threat--we widen eyes
and nod,
--ah, yes, yes, (our throats and
hands and eyes are tied with invisible string) we
say thank-you, we walk
politely--waiting always for
the bombs bursting in air,

our falling, messy-sprawled and
broken, the bits held with
newspaper and plaster of paris
fine creatures, the works of art
we all are

01 June 2006

Fleetwood Grocery

the butcher man's white coat, daubed over
with crimson, the knife slicing, again
and again the Sunday cuts, buy one

get one free, slapped onto styrofoam
and shrinkwrapped--to tap--or
not to tap--to secure his attention

that is the question as the eggs, the
milk, the bacon beckon--while the
manager ticks off the loaves on the

breadman's blue pallets, four, eight,
sixteen, checking off the numbers
and---love, love me do--breaking

in over the P.A. Do I love you?
I love you like onions as they go from
sharp to sweet, browning to translucence
in a cast iron pan--sliced sausages,
plum tomatoes, will finish the mix

thick papered bulletin board of promises:
I will clean your house
I will care for your child
I will do light housework
I will care for your elderly
I will serve at your party
I will teach you how to play the guitar

Marcella sits outside finishing
her cigarette break, smoke spiraling
as she uncovers the numbers with
a silver coin, scraping the grey
into slim sausages to be blown
into the wind

bakery--you have a call on line two--
as the cool slabs of cheese sit next
to the knishes, lovely comestibles waiting
for their devouring

Rough Road

neonbright diamond, blacklettered,
'rough road" it states, in terse,
exact capitals

we're on the one road....

tarring it over, the fumes rise,
a hot fug thick into the air--shovel
it quickly--then press it down

to make our roads smooth again,
the black bands joining us, one to
one, to everyone

this land is my land.....

in all our small corners, papered
over with words, faint embroideries
upon the fabric we've spun

and the voices die with
a dying fall
ever and again

as we travel our roads,
each to his own destination--
shank's mare is fine for me
on any road, wet or dry

we're together now, who cares

as the starlings dart and
seek their breakfast out
rough roads made smooth