To become fluentIs to walk with the handsThe resilience of starchDried on the steep slope of the bowl.And what may seem cleanIs a trick of the eyeFor the residue of riceResists the towel and scrubAnd clings there,Known only to the fingersThat would seek this knowledgeAnd ignore the one thin hairAfloat in the soup, yesterday,As we […]

Snow and Wind and Ice

Come all ye winter brigands,Strip these tainted fairland woodsOf their baubles and wares.Take what plump fruits remainIn glistened fists and bind,Bind the spruce tightly –Such prideful beasts these trees. Come mock these captive summers,Taunt them white in the forest,White in the glade and fled,To the shrill and fluted wind,To crackling beats on wire and limb.Such […]

Once Upon the Belmont Rocks

It was something else entirely.It was not the ripped yellow t-shirtI pulled from between the bouldersWhere the lake met Chicago.It was not the penny or the wastedGull feather. Nor was it the child’s shoeThat no longer flickered as she ran.It was not the rusted corkscrew thatFaintly read Jackson Hole, Wyoming,By the gold and chipped cowboy,Tall […]

Diesel Incantation

Sun go down in boxcar blue Swing arm crank go down them dew Flash eye drag with horn and load Coupling break for sorra’ stowed Side dump slag and tank car hump Jag the night-black knuckle jump Jump the rise and run the moon Next town down be falling soon Loco Pilot spark them strikes […]

Which River To Cross

Which river to cross –The shallow brook of faith,Tepid in the slow run to God, orThat which drains into the oily pitsOf loss, tormented though aliveIn sure and certain combustion? Give me fire and hard current,Give me love and rounding stone,Give me rasping scale and snag,Jagged rapid bends,And the black swamp moccasinBite into my fat […]

For Once…

…Sleep conjured a small dogwith a granite eye, mats and mange,Three legs and a vagrant tongueThat hung from the left of its snout,A viscous drool that strung withoutShame, without breaking to the floor.And I, though broken in a dream,Shorn of hands,Less a body than a thought,Became a dream for a stone-eye dogWho rolled belly up […]

Solanum Tuberosum – an Ode to a Casserole

I wait for you, gratin,Wait for the flesh to yieldTo finger, wait for the crustTo brown and the edgesCurl like dry earthIn the fist of a long drought. Such a teasing of starch and stock,Of fat, millered grain and heat,That if the whole earth plumedThese vapors, if the whole earthSpewed these scents volcanic,If the whole […]