Poetry and Other Artifacts

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Proverb

lcmt

This entry has been moved.

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Early Spring Roadside #2

lcmt

This poem is no longer online. It will be included in my new book, The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters.

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Zero Circle

Rumi
Translation copyright © Coleman Barks

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
      to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we're lying.
If we say No, we don't see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.

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Constellation Reel

lcmt

This poem has been moved.

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Burnt Oak

lcmt

a tree's scrabble hands
are not hands at all
unless fingers are hairs
knotted a thousand times

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sic semper tyrannis

lcmt

This poem is no longer online. Look for it in my new book, The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters.

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Abide, or How to Tune Paint-Flakes

lcmt

Who is sympathic and abiding and
versatile with this sense of human
essential to and with this hand,
this hand, even though hemmed
and contracted in an arc
through time?

Who continues to hover assuredly?

Knots do not whisper in art galleries,
not even in the presence of the wispy
notice in arrears, as the next fee etches
out three riddles. “Oh good lord,” sounding
lowsome so low to my gold enchambered
housel, until forever gives the footed
heart of your sweetmouth delivered
into old seeded juices still abiding
south,
south,
south.

Then forget the doom, the grave is hiding,
while the past has been a diligent second
to his little brother Death, and death
puts together a good peace for those
stilled and vicious,
felled in bay and fern and ewer.

Abide, affright, and atone, anon.
Beat, bemoan, but bend.
Bequeath boats to boards.
Bruise, unhint, unwhisper all offers
to fear better words, or wilt.
Chinoiserie binds you cold to bell
and air. Air out a pie with spears,
serve it up gulping, enough, enough.

Count leverage in this town as akin to
a hopping catch-all. No sooner it strikes
up but the house is besieged with eager
harmless armies of circles sealing this
small room, as sheared wings whip
through sheening eras, brushing the
pitch of never rested illness in hours
breathing flame filed from ivory
roused out of early slumber.

If you’re all at nines,
respond with eights, abiding, abrading
incoming causeways sequenced by
englossed excisions of free will.


This poem will be included in my new book, The Wife of History and Other Planetary Characters, to be published in the fall of 2010 by the Intaglio Galosh Studio Press.

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Excerpt from the novel The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau

lcmt

A tall woman stood talking to Yost and the chief; her back was towards Ethan but a characteristic unease gripped him at his first sight of her. She stood narrow as a poplar, square-shouldered in a short leather jacket of simple cut, old and obviously cherished, her long legs sheathed in spotless faded jeans, perfectly fitted. Her dark hair was a thick swathe of inimitable style, shot with strands of muted silver. He would have recognized her poise anywhere, and knew without looking that her shoes were casual, expensive, and exactly harmonious to her ensemble. When she turned, he was not surprised to see she wore a simple cotton shirt, a schoolboy's white shirt made altogether feminine by a steel-bead necklace and jet earrings. Her bag and sunglasses were in one hand, the other hand was empty and laid lightly, with purposeful grace, on Yost's sleeve, but only for a moment. "His opaline courtesy resembled a white hibiscus inked on an emptied lacquer box." The line occurred to him unbidden; it was one of hers, from the poem "One Free Man in Paris". The use of the word "emptied" instead of "empty" had always seemed to him significant, but he had never wondered enough to ask her about it.

Pierced by the attentive slate-blue gaze peculiar to Rafaella Blisset de Alb, Ethan almost winced, his belly curled tight, a familiar sensation in the presence of his godmother. He had always felt a certain amount of wariness when under her eye. On more than a few occasions, he had caught himself trying to scent a trap, all too aware that she was one of the few people in the world who knew how to construct a cage that could hold him.

Also: "Three Papers"

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Caption from the cartoon Geranium Lake Properties by Wm. Yost for June 25, 1988

lcmt

His tallowy hair was shaped like a large chunk of chalk, opal-studded and soapy with resinous albumin.

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Caption from the cartoon Geranium Lake Properties by Wm. Yost for July 15, 1987

lcmt

After the soldiers and mosquitos had fled, the drowned fisherman and his neighbor decided to caravan forth across the frore distance between two eternal pivots of the moment, pointed always toward tomorrow.

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Imaginary book: Hollow Abdomen

lcmt

An excerpt from "Maranatha" by Enoch Soon:

"Dried blood inscribed a black halo upon the forehead of each witness, a badge of elemental kinship. Only the monographer and the vibraphonist lived after the passing of the deity, but they had not been left unharmed. Their rescuers discovered them unconscious and half-buried in the dirt floor of the uncaulked crematorium. When the pair woke to reason, they found their skin and their sanity crusted and scarped by the sand-laden winds."

From Hollow Abdomen, Gordon & Merritt Books, 1994. A collection of essays about rituals of death and rebirth by various writers.

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Thicken

lcmt

The harmless property of swords,
The dangerous property of words
To meet the aghast winter,
To sustain the uninhabited grass
Wooded sleeves govern the hands of light.

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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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