22 May 2009

Thainig mo ghra-sa

my love came to me
as I wielded the hot
iron, pressing the creases
from a sleeve, steaming to

the end of the cuff, the
drops sprinkled like rain
on the blue
helps too

and did his hands
encircle her waist
as sun dappled the
greenery she sees

so near and far,
fence-separated from
the rattle-hum of
highway roaring on

Friday evenings, and did
his breath blow lightly
on her neck as the
curtain, breeze-billowed,

embroidered with baby
vegetables, flounced, inhaled
and exhaled,
oh my love, my lost one

and yes, his fingers tapered round her
waist, as if marking rough
measurements of her longitudes
and latitudes, pale geography sparked

with silver,
the mapland of the
brainpan, the unknown territories
yet to be traversed while thick
with sleep

and freshly pressed
shirts hang and move,
almost inperceptibly,
in wind-breath

16 May 2009

The Year in Paris

Bluebeard wheels down the street
on his bicycle, spokes a glittering

the haunches of his six wives rest
beneath the flowers, the pink,
red, purple circling over them

the year in Paris was grey
alternating with red, behind
the barricades the students

made a great noise, the
fashion that spring for
insurrection, a fine show

for simple, simpering tourists clutching guides and
leather valises, thin volumes of
poetry, letters of introduction, letters of credit,

tearing off pieces of scenery with
American teeth, gnashing them
into a fine paste to spread on paper

and still they slumber, still
with arms crossed decorously
across their chests, entombed

beneath the evergreen tree, looped
over with electric orbs as we
wait for the birth of our

saviour, the air is brittle-
cold, her breath cracks it,
her boot, too, on the thin

skim of ice in the parking lot,
hands clasped behind the
green fence circling round

as Bluebeard speeds past again,
on his way to another assignation,
taciturn, close-mouthed, hard-eyed

15 May 2009

Any Honest Housewife

fragrant green, the color of
grass out in the damp morning as
the dawn chorus trails off, sun
still unborn

next the hedges, the green
shoots who rise up must
be cropped back to regulation

the roar of their machines, pushed
by the red-shirted men seep in
at her windows, splitting her
splintered sleep yet again, riven,

rousing her to wakefulness and
twice-boiled coffee diluted with
cream and cracked ice, the blear of eyes
looking at these few acres, the

flowering bushes, sad topiaries leaning,
as she rattles her keys and counts the
store of sugar, the preserved fruits

and wraps, wraps her arms
about the quilt she folds--
the sheets a different matter--
these billow out like sails, shaken

out before they are neatly squared--
any honest housewife, he
said, would sort them out--

the circulars are collected, the
list of provisions made on the
backs of old page proofs--such
are her economies

as the red men, ant-like, move
and mow again, the green green
scent a welcome one, to sleep
oh to sleep, in the brittle-gold hay

sunbleached, clean

14 May 2009

Submission Guidelines

Figure 1:

a line drawing in black
and white,
a punch bowl overbrimming
(frothing, agitated by a silvery ladle),
hands joined
under the woodplanked table

still, wheels grind and whine against
the metal, wailing through
the night punctuated
by electric lights (crimson, grass green, jaundice-yellow)
and the shouts of
young men wheeling down the street

Figure 2:

color photograph tinted
with green, magenta, royal
blue, royal-est purple, the
image is fixed, inserted
into the reprints, no
afterthoughts here,
no errata slip--
the dyes are set, they are fixed for all time

wool grazes against the cheek
this dark is cool

engineers have long since surveyed this
patch of ground
while we escape measurement, the
quality of quantification, counting

the moon silvers over your face
a light is switched on in a sitting room

too little time, entirely

Submission guidelines:

no, not here, there
no, not this, that
--the meat of the meaning
a disinvitation

Under the electron microscope:

anonymous strings of letters, the
dna spirals onto the page,
table-heavy, explaining those
generations who struck
the soil, names scratched
down in the black-bound bible,
crossing county lines, across the sea,
that narrow band of sickgreen sea

the black
and white of her eyes, the
contrast is the thing that is
noticed, finally,
the face that matches those still unknown

13 May 2009

Kinder, Kuche, Kirche

world reflected in the round
belly of the teakettle, silver
pressed smooth, funhouse
mirror of the kitchen shining back
to show patterned tea towels,
a map of names, the coats of
arms slickpolished by the
blood of many battles

as she stands,
slippershod, combing out tangles
before the gold circled
mirror, a face to meet the
faces she will meet, the
lips stained red (the stockings
stretched to the breaking point
by thin elastics snapped
against her thighs....)

and such is life squared by
five, five by five, the
green zone leafed over by
newly sprouted trees,
canopied green, blessed shade in


the furniture was moved out
a week before the
night of the great conflagration
(how the sparks flew up,
how the flames were reflected
in his eyes...)

flowers primly border the trees
hemmed in by grey squared stones

meters yield up their tinkling
cache of coins

as the window-washer promises
a streak-free shine

the deliveries of flour and
cabbages, fresh fish, too are
made to cool basements

she takes the fruit, ripening fast,
and places it in a
dish, her sole poor offering
going unclaimed, unwanted


she is in charge of the
charnel house, the bones
are heaped up, sunbleached,
stripped of their meat, the
scraps scraped from a plate
into the black garbage bag,
bulging, larval, with all our

ennumerating now, one, on a
paper towel--
the truth in certain nursery
rhymes--pudding and pie gorged,
she goes to bed with a sick

two--that the sun also rises in
Coventry--and the birds there sing
as sweetly

Asleep, now, she dreams of a
Mouth full of ashes--
Doubtless, she has had her fill of
Grasping memories by the neck, but will wring some warmth from them yet.....


We welcome you with open arms,
Ten fine fingers, your rosy face
Mewling for milk, nightly alarms,
Curling toes to navigate with grace
your world, yet unknown, to traverse
Without my hands to guide your way
The lessons learned in prose and verse
Must be your surest compass, day
And night, the vessel of your choice
Reaching that land of milk and honey
Where hunger is not known, your voice
Free to sing your songs, a sunny
End to your days my constant prayer,
Life, love, and happiness without care

08 May 2009

Mo Bhron (My Grief)

oh love (the rain is falling)
will you look on me when
I lie long upon your grave

eyes blinded by salt water,
tracing the letters of your name,
over and again until the

letters rhyme with the beat of
my heart echoing back, a
sad refrain, oh love, my

lost one, my soul will fly
across the sea to meet yours,
to comingle in the mist

at once together and apart,
watching waves crash upon the rocks
while seabirds wheel and cry

07 May 2009

The Great Unanthologized

the great unanthologized
still scribble their way across the
internet, the html
crawling, relentless, across the

and in spring, Just
spring the trees
bloom equally, the
dogwood, cherry blossoms.
forsythia, too,
delighting the eye

as he checks his
mailbox for the common
slips daubed with
black ink, so polite

he has papered his walls
with them, they wink
back at him as he
diapers the child

he, too, can
mimic short vowels

06 May 2009


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