Friday, May 15, 2009

Dead Birds

My boot heels sound hollow
scraping the concrete as if they were made of metal
and filled with nothing but air
my legs empty canisters
when I stop suddenly,
a bit of bile rising in my throat
and I can’t figure out why

this isn’t the first time I have come upon
these little creatures,
their purple bloated heads,
three times the size of their withered featherless bodies
their feet curling like weeds growing on a garden on themselves,

but this time, the three dead bird fetuses bother me
and I think about when I worked in a lab
and the incubator was left on and a dozen chicks hatched,
all yellow and fluffy and sweetly chirping
so happy to have come into existence in this warm little oven
and how my supervisor wouldn’t let me keep one.
She said they went to a farm,
a lie they tell children, which I guess she still considered me
and I never told her that I found their little yellow bodies
bagged in the trash out back, beaks split open as if they were still
chirping tiny hellos

And here I stand, trying to decide if I should step
left or right, to weave my way around, as other people
are passing without notice and near the warehouse
a fat starling sits on the barbed wire,
her claws grasping right onto the sharp spikes
as if that pain is nothing,
another human creation,
just like her dead babies are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Unborn

Before anything else she remembered the darkness
as if the stars, like giant spider eyes,
blinked out,
a thousand years ago, so that
at that very moment,
standing alone on the slippery grass
she would be in darkness.
And cold.
We mustn’t forget the cold.

A moment where the gods,
all hushed up, quit bickering,
and nodded together in unison,

at this woman,
staring unflinching
in her hands an ink pot
in the pot, the fetus,
the purple bloated smear across its mouth
her dialogue writ
in words she doesn’t understand anymore.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Trend Toward Disorder

This is a faulty barrier
this thinly stretched skin
over everything I grow inside.
That is to say that I create what I have,
that nothing comes out of me, everything is born inside,

a matter changing and morphing into something else
but always, always matter,
energy, entropy, the ultimate state of inert
all that stuff we learned a million
years ago we are taught again,
but fail, as we did when we fit in those small seats, to learn.
I hear everything, that there is to know,
we already know
but pretend we don’t to make it manageable.

But as I was saying, that outside barrier is faulty,
but the ones inside, like a maze, I control, guiding
you towards what I think it is
you want me to be. This is communication.
Savage and primitive.
We are not elegant, tipping hats and pet names.
But when he gets up off the couch,
I feel his absence,
and I stretch out my scarred legs,
and dirty feet bottoms
because I can’t stand the empty space.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I’m addicted to the little slash marks,
the looping, crossing, cutting, slanted marks.
The black type on paper,
the language, the letters
that come together and tell stories,
the heavy sweating men,
the storyteller at his loom,
the boat ride down lazy English rivers,
the lithe knights
the fainting princess
the witches,
ah, the evil witches.

I’ve always been addicted,
to the right word,
to the wrong poem,
to the women with calluses
to the story that distracts.

To the death
and rebirth incarnate,
to the key hanging around your neck,
to the drunken poet,
to the crack of the binding
like that of the bat,
to the illustrations
to what’s behind the door,
to being one of them,

ever hoping
for 24 years
to be one of them,
just once,
to be one of them
and to hold in my hand
the stories I drink
the ink that turns my mouth black,
and changes my words from the heartache inside
to the kind you can touch
and yes, I know, I’m going to die trying
but at least I will have died passionately,
like they do in stories.

Friday, May 1, 2009


In this unexpected heat
I pause to acknowledge
the anniversary
of the chance that I exist
and then move on.