poems

31 January 2012

#101: Vergil

The day came by fingerless dawn
and a white sun with no face. Morning
lay in bed waiting for a wine hangover
and was never fulfilled. Late coffee
having given panic attacks mother
out watering the roses father in
the hospital parking lot by the ocean,
an unwanted friend recites me by memory.

28 January 2012

Your feedback loops so syrupy and lovely.

24 January 2012

#100: Zoology

An old woman stays beautiful
down a padded hotel hallway in
the process wrapping a black sarong
round her waist, gliding

her sectioned legs in concert.
Her black swimsuit a scaly skin.
At the elevator ring she breaks in

half-dressed gallop, white hair
voluptuous, blinking eyes panting
as Dolores Haze in ice cream

means nothing, but to Humbert -
luckily in the right hallway
in the town right north of Phoenix

where she chose to lizard winter
a pantherine smallness
and strongness alight in the lobby

#99: Idylwild

The basic task of a child ages 11-12 is to develop a sense of accomplishment,
which centers around the ability to ... deal with peer competition, self-control,
and greater strength

Summer arts camp counselor demands
facts about his cabin. Brazen, Spike,
tall for twelve, tells how he got his name
and why he hates "Jackson." Guilt
games exclusive to the poets' workshop:

Other girl writes dare on first girl's palm
and is monitored through the day's exercise.
If caught peeking, dare to be performed.
Mary's was kiss Spike on the lips for seven seconds.

Bullied into the boys' cabin, disposables out
with their ready whining flashes, other girls
lined the barred windows, lights-out in effect,
they peck while her best friend gut-punches his paparazzi.

23 January 2012

#98: Breakfast with Flan

It is just that you must be a sweetheart,
Not mine, somebody's, kitchen-cooker,
Payer of bills and darling imagism of grace
Of losing time and being nice with that,
Spending freely, absorbing fresh juice like
In the morning, sun on the fried eggs,
Sun shafting through the steam, blossoming,
Newness, luminance, in a dewy musty warm
Pushed further into carroty shavings, flakes,

Jacob on his bike and Dylan helping.
Others perch on the crusted-wisteria porch
And smoke hand-rolled and take canned beer and toast.

#97: Ethics

I play this little
game with my mate
with the heater

on off on no one
acknowledging

#96: Sauna

I did ballet for six years and violin for ten.
It was easier because our house
sat near to the studio. When we moved,

my ballet stopped. I was eleven.
She tells this child's story in the sauna
naked in the red darkness

nearly panting. Her new tattoo scabbing
up her side. A Klimt taped to their bedroom
wall. Outside vague wet trees cold patios.
In the winter town, good food and healthy feet.

19 January 2012

#95: El Cajon

Yesterday Ryan Carter was stabbed
by his schoolmate in a driveway
as he tried to break up a fight.

The assailant was ten; Ryan was twelve.
He had long hair and wanted to be an actor.
The suspect (his best friend) liked football

and Muay Thai boxing. No one answered
the mother's door Tuesday in the sunshine.
The unreleased name was on new medication.

All such good kids, parents said. We're not selling
the house over this. Please don't
make him out monstrous.

18 January 2012

#94: Aubade

In the morning when openings seem alone
and the cleanse of an ending impossible
come charging intentions for the hour ahead, indecently.

Faucets bust and bleed hot. Drip-makers lull
for their turn, stretching, narrowing their
collective throat. Millions of Americans down

acid, creamed or black, paper or fine-ground glass.
Inceptions prove fancier, and more fun, than finishing;
confer the first of January's hours after twelve

with the year's hours before it. No comparison.
There maintains a kitchen stillness that propels people:
brand name soymilk, white wood table with stain rings,

stove that buzzes and burns soups.
Older woman on the corner, cream cords and brogues.

17 January 2012

#93: Guilt

Haste makes ease; none expect a debutante to linger.
Getting late for things lets you leave without much fuss.
A sister nurses a penchant for room-temperature fruit;

returning from vacation with new hair and a better coat.
I knew I must seem high-falutin' and rudely rich to her.
study room shadows close and opening like a bellows.

#92: Bertholletia excelsa

I embody the same simple fat and elegance
of the roasted nut or seed, same plain salt
and sultry omega-sixes.
Same appetizing crunch and getting bit
down into the back dental valleys.

As noghl are traditionally paid for by the groom,
and as I grow beet-flushed as kola nut when pleased,
I see no reason to wash my brash-lined amygdaloid eyes.

#91: Pink Oranges

Inarguable to care if anybody gets it:
cursing drives away the women who
are real gentrified, salt oranges for chaser.

With skin so thick the cracks sound
like felling redwoods, the eater asks
for spring. The smell, spray, and blush

work less to entice than just to do
their jobs, though one of those is yet
enticing. A verdant acid burst

from sour doilies, plastic bloomlike
lips in dull, protective film, segmented
into seaweedy digits that cold-burn -

if it turned out this were grapefruit and he were wrong?

15 January 2012

#90: Couture

I am and the moon
is a giant white sugary Mento
in the wintertime when

neither of us accepts sunlight
wouldn't it have been nice
for predation to get there too

in salmon chiffon smocks
those expensive desert boots
a mother's burnished handbag
and Hermรจs

I am aware that of these things
God wants the money for them
just as all the girls do

#89: Yellow Crow

Has neither the ire nor the industriousness
motivated mostly by hormone, blank energy
levels the repulsive poles of being back
home after a homecoming, black pigeons,
Sara saw a yellow crow.

Homebodies liked her and called
her their sunny Sue. Ensenada bled out
its edges with posters of her youth.

She was her village's only Pole and blond.
But she was not a yellow crow, she only
saw one, everybody kept forgetting that.

Felipe with the trash truck, other suitors.

08 January 2012

#88: They Wear

A father with his son is so romantic,
a Cuisinart under his arm,
the broad possessive intimate

ordering Italian sodas in a mall.
Tired, wary, big, handsome and young.
He loves him. They wear

the same brand of sandal.
She's got Marilyn condition,

a solidified displeasure. Thin
with dyed hair and a feminine displeasure.

#87: No News

Body found on queen's estate
was missing
seventeen-year-old
realizing, as he pours,
that he doesn't

want to drink it makes me
like him very much
reading the book

defamed man of two
names constructed new

ceiling from old doors,
ekes sweet frog
face finding breath

blinks eyes alternately,
bald cloud cover,
Oakland International.

#86: The Lord's Inventory

That would be lightest to use God's power for life.
That's nice to harness God. We tried!
We're almost done, Cissy. How cool is that?

I keep praying for sponsees. I have one sponsee -
they're tough, they have a lot going on,
she's a name only at Serenity House right now.

I had to start up again to get to Rachel.
And I know that if it's God's will for you then
it's God's.

(I like the yellow curls of the women's hair.)
We went to Ellis Island, we saw the statue,
we went to Rockafeller Center, we went to
ground zero and saw everything.

Did you cry?
No, but I felt sad.
Times Square was exciting, we went
to the Metropolitan, they had a whole floor
dedicated to just the Impressionists.
Oh, Lauren, your favorite.

And we went and saw a show, we went and saw Wicked.
I saw it in LA. The car broke -
I don't blame you! Triple-A are lifesaving.
I don't blame you.

07 January 2012

#85: Secret Meeting

Probably likes her too. She has her hand out
and he's swallowing a lot. Keeps her mouth big
- "Where are you going to live?" -

and his arch posture. Both spin phones.
He might transfer to her college if they let him.
She wears her brows dark and metal-carved rings.

His big forehead and hard nose show it,
plucking East of Eden from her shoulderbag
while gone for 50 cents' more coffee.

05 January 2012

#84: The Week

I think we all thought we would die before we got out.
And this was just the beginning! Unearthed Bill
from beneath the sleeper, slapped fires and held

calm like six earthquakes. Nobody was shot - then
somebody was shot - nobody had died -
then some reentered body died,

and we knew who'd roomed with him,
since his voice was all messed up. He wore nice
tragic shoes laced with tassels and skipped class.

The building where it happened reopened.
Campus was inclement and street odor pervasive.

And this was just the beginning.
Presence of this in us postulated, shudder.

#0A (Also doesn't count)

My body gets in the way.
This is basic.

04 January 2012

#83: Jane Austen Looks Ahead

Since when did substance take on heft?
I don't consider fashion substantial - I lift

and do not want to write about the craft
and do not write about craft
and do not write craft
and do not craft
and do not
and do
and Plath

beat everybody to it
(is it intriguing?
I broke them blind-folded)

If you thought there was a gratis or
causa there
was one just to entertain

03 January 2012

#82: Christmas Eve

after Frank O'Hara

Today the hangover and message came before mass
and California shivered!
There was in sun a lack

a student with curled hair pinned up an ad
for some or other drive
with a state flag embossed on her bag
and it started shining out

even to where cars put their shields down
and holiday-walkers their shades
and the wafers migrated and the student's hands kept on folding

02 January 2012

#81: Bonair

a civilian interview

felt like an artist in their presence sat with coffee
just here to pick up a friend from the night before
invited to choose furniture the woman had built in
dark smooth wood in grad school, Indiana, 70s.
The morning hot on Bonair's fur lined back

Further than lists of given gifts the couple asked
after Bonair's process, where and when the work went.

A hand yet in the doorframe thanking them.
"So where do they come from?" What, Eucharist?
What, chlorophyll? Indications of visual learning?
Disappointment with shape and filling forms to
great inflation is Bonair's question leaving hanging.

01 January 2012

#80: New Year

Drive home [North 805] in rich fat fog. Take
gulps. Avoid cops and drunker cars. Forget the personal
promise always to wear earrings in my haste
to leave the house. Nose burnt from Arizona.
Hair fragrant from Camels. A transplanted guest list,
newnesses sprouting.

Is it less sad to say goodbye to you in
Mandarin, or because it no longer matters?
[Likelihood:] I drove before
because I value his range of emotions.
I subordinate location to fresh breaths.
How good this black cawing can get.