Poetry and Other Artifacts

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Scarab

Life as a jewel.

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Sky Burial

lcmt

Impoverished, aging, beautiful once, loved
once, but only once—such domestications long
over, now only the wildest regard of fierce neglect
swallowing half-made space, weightless. A house
becoming sky
—stucco and weeds becoming sails and spars.

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Proverb

lcmt

8. You can't avoid all white words cleansed by a tsunami if foolish salmon
linger in your pocket.

From The Mislaid Proverbs of Dr. Jaw by Nigul Mesikep, translated from the original Estonian by Ashtabula Littlehales

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Proverb

lcmt

6. When the night is an orange, keep a tang of weather in the pocket of a mustard-colored heart.

From The Mislaid Proverbs of Dr. Jaw, by Nigul Mesikep, translated from the original Estonian by Ashtabula Littlehales

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Caption from the cartoon Geranium Lake Properties by Wm. Yost for Feb. 2, 1993

lcmt

"But I did not know you yet," said one witness—too late—"in that narrow doorway of distorted air, between the roasted clay weather and an accidental blink."

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Constellation Reel

lcmt

Whole night drummers came down
from outcropping stars to join singers

strangers, wayfarers, mariners, minstrels, storytellers,
pilgrims, sightseers, passers-by, songbirds, dancers, beggars

exiles

on mapped floors of the rivermouth,
onrushing voices wound in diffuse
asymmetry, outstretched and generous.

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Riddle of the turnip belt snapping

lcmt

Crimp, mother!—before you feudalize
this panfish of fibrosity—unwrinkle
your euphoria and resolve this kinetic
jibe you wrote upon my heart
in one night of rueful continuity
—narrowly mimeographed
and increasingly minimal
when you consider how
circular is stationary
or how long is far

—leashed is also released—

when bluestem pieties in your heart's
output become the first engrossment, when
seconds grow dolomitic in your soul's defense,
while three sets of reliance on four unstudied
histories might—or might not—resemble
a direction issued earlier in your ruinous
voice, as a non-zero overreaching,

overdue, or

as an adroit peregrination muffled
while retaining precision, troubled
by pared-down aspects shunted
into terse blips, flattened later
among goblet-shaped tears,
collaborative and tireless
against your irreparable

justness.


This poem is included in my newest thing, Chiral Phenomena, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2011.

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free waves mustering

lcmt

choo choo
a world of bamboo
and derailed ghosts
totem poles
in a barking sea

moon tales
from the other glass
from the other garden
from the other bone
from the other rose

from the empire of the hand
and the cloister wall

the legacy of a star
is a stone
the legacy of a stone
is an hour
the legacy of an hour
is your heart
and nothing more
but a verse of snow
and silence


This poem is included in Chiral Phenomena, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2011.

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A digest of the result

lcmt

This stone is marked out
with the illness caused
by an impromptu kinesis,
and with numbers.

The inscriptions were
probably torn away
during the civil wars
after her early death.

This stone ought to note
that she was a pastelist
and perfumer, given a
parchment ear, yet living.

She had kicked the bucket
in far harsher mastery
elsewhere, and had not
forgotten the humble.

Thirty-one years reading
medieval languages
weighted with proof
of flight and abdication.

Often broke, roving afresh,
she was the last person
who did not know where
to trouble the planet.


This poem is included in The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2010.

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Other Etiquettes

lcmt

Wild animals and children
spend, manage, ration
their luxuries in
a proper manner,
and wear strewn
flowers as cloth.
Fieldstones or
pieces of wood
become trusted servants,
accidental companions,
arranged with acceptance
and remembrance
in the world beyond
tin cherubs, gilt angels
and cellophane grief.


This poem is included in Chiral Phenomena, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2011.

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Objects Within Range

lcmt

Several flowers may pop and shout
to anyone built in easier apparel
and smaller attachment, cutting
joints in one fell swoop, driving
the world you need to know:
boxes and cabinets of coral feet,
brass goggles and labor saving
devices. You can memorize one
pattern, one button, one dimension,
once upon a sheaf of time following
a folded seam throughout history
and delight—examine both within
range of several flowers, then you
may pop and shout.


This poem is included in The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2010.

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Nuestra Señora

lcmt

She cannot renew the day
without his cloudiness of glower
She cannot abide coiled without
his prudent appraisal of joy
She cannot revive her doubt
without his hasty precision
and clipped verities
She binds without disguise
what he avers twice
—she unfolds unlike truth and honey—
and at least she will be
inglorious
but never a beggar
doubled by a queen

She gives and hinders
careless of stones
She occurs without limit
groundless and late

She takes in and talks out
She upholds her descent
and conserves her heart
without moderation

She cannot bury or
narrow his conceits
She cannot certify or
deny his reconciliations
But she will always disbelieve
his hidden stillness and
her lamplit recompense
She often revisits
his thickset robberies
—she will mistake less than he seizes—
and at least she will be
uproarious
but never a beggar
doubled by a queen


This poem is included in Chiral Phenomena, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2011.

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Grain Knot Eye

lcmt

In this tin containing fire
is a natural object knocked against
the young echo of a whistle heard
before the end of attachment

—is a new meadow in two parts braided
with a clasp and sacred flutter
of six pages dimembráto

—is a one-legged journey across
the anchor-ice of a century twisted
into a stream of armor

—is a wax cake of fretted nettles gleaned
from Van Gogh's fallow management
of poplars straight and twined

—is a house of serpents wreathed
one neck into another chained
to the form of a pear tree

—is an imperial foil cap crumpled by a few tinkling promises

—is a one-lung diesel engine pushing a few carcasses

—are a few silken sheets overgrown with southeast breezes

—are a few wooden answers cut from twice-a-day letters

—is a brief variation on a strain woven
to shreds of costly insolence
cast from a kitchen spoon

—are worn shells resounding
with noises beaten by bowed
pipes clutched in brassy
fear and wonder pointed
towards an evening falling
apart in dry husks wrenched
all to flinders cut from thin
stiff paper and wands coated
with clean brown memories
fresh-lighted under lavish
skylines of ungrounded sleep
laid between roped diamonds
straw-packed in contours
of joy crumbled into this
tin containing fire.


This poem is included in Chiral Phenomena, Intaglio Galosh Studio Press, 2011.

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4 from the Cejir Suz Archipelago

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Cephalopods

Dark Chocolate

DiaryLand

according to a consensus
of five co-conspirators
her right eye is blue
her left eye is a match

but she knows one eye
is smaller than the other
and both are the color
of a common gray rock

flecked with oxides
thirty years have passed
since she last wore a shoe
with a broken heel

she inscribes herself
readily as owner
operator general
dogsbody of the Intaglio

Galosh Studio Press
which has neither
intaglios nor presses
nor even a lone galosh

she is a woolgatherer
a dawdler
an ignoramus
an omnivore

a deficient typist

she is nine inches long
from the inside of her elbow
to the inside of her wrist
she is legged but not

bow-legged and less
saline than most people
but that could be
a misapprehension


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