Monday, March 3, 2014

walking on ice

I went walking on the reservoir yesterday. The ice wasn't good
for skating. Bumps interspersed with patches of snow. There
were ice fisher-people types in the distance and lots of gray.
The fisher folks left behind their snow globes: beautiful
round holes drilled through the 10-inch thick ice. Like
looking into a telescope or microscope. Frozen worlds
of bubbles, circles of cold like tree rings. No fish.
While watching the endless Oscars I fiddled in iPhoto.
Such was the weekend.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Joan Mitchell, “La Grande VallĂ©e XIV (For a Little While)”, 1983.

I've always loved this painting.  Here's a poem
from a while ago, published in qarrtsiluni.

After Joan Mitchell’s La Grande Vallee XIV

as if your blue black blur of brush
and paint can conjure swamp
or luminous maple bud,
tree frog croon
as if layers of saturation can restore
the vernal pool that was my all in all
as if your calligraphy of oil and wash
can contain jack-in-the-pulpit
early fern or tad pole swirl
as if the colors, oh your colors
Cezanne blue Van Gogh sun
flower yellow raging across three panels
as if for a while my rough
ecstasy hasn’t dulled to insight.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I've been here this week. Writing. With friends. Not a fancy place
but by the ocean. Every day it is there. For a walk or a look.
And not always wild. Horseshoe crabs littering the beach and
someone said it was molting season. I was molting too.
Shedding old visions of the sheaf of poems I'm making into a book.
Reading them over and over. Seeing it was good.
Into the Forest of Revise to clear and clean.
And a plan for what must be upon return to the Land of Work Etc.
The artist Ann Hamilton said, "Particularity
becomes abstraction." That's where I'm heading.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ice lines

Some Feel Rain

Some feel rain. Some feel the beetle startle
in its ghost-part when the bark
slips. Some feel musk. Asleep against
each other in the whiskey dark, scarcely there.
When it falls apart, some feel the moondark air
drop its motes to the patch-thick slopes of
snow. Tiny blinkings of ice from the oak,
a boot-beat that comes and goes, the line of prayer
you can follow from the dusking wind to the snowy owl
it carries. Some feel sunlight
well up in blood-vessels below the skin
and wish there had been less to lose.
Knowing how it could have been, pale maples
drowsing like a second sleep above our temperaments.
Do I imagine there is any place so safe it can’t be
snapped? Some feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil, as if the smokestacks were a long
dream of exhalation. The lynx lets its paws
skim the ground in snow and showers.
The wildflowers scatter in warm tints until
the second they are plucked. You can wait
to scrape the ankle-burrs, you can wait until Mercury
the early star underdraws the night and its blackest
districts. And wonder. Why others feel
through coal-thick night that deeply colored garnet
star. Why sparring and pins are all you have.
Why the earth cannot make its way towards you.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

History lesson

The History of Mothers and Sons
By Lisa Furmanski 

All sons sleep next to mothers, then alone, then with others
Eventually, all our sons bare molars, incisors
Meanwhile, mothers are wingless things in a room of stairs
A gymnasium of bars and ropes, small arms hauling self over self

Mothers hum nonsense, driving here
and there (Here! There!) in hollow steeds, mothers reflecting
how faint reflections shiver over the road
All the deafening musts along the way

Mothers favor the moon—hook-hung and mirroring the sun—
there, in a berry bramble, calm as a stone

This is enough to wrench our hand out of his
and simply devour him, though he exceeds even the tallest grass

Every mother recalls a lullaby, and the elegy blowing through it

Thanks to Elizabeth Acquino, who posted it originally on her
blog, The Moon Worn As If a Shell

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And all the Bees/toward 2014

It's all I have to bring today 
It's all I have to bring today-- 
This, and my heart beside-- 
This, and my heart, and all the fields-- 
And all the meadows wide-- 
Be sure you count--should I forget 
Some one the sum could tell-- 
This, and my heart, and all the Bees 
Which in the Clover dwell.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christopher Wool

Almost 2014. I will be looking hard and harder.
Happy new year you all.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry and all that

A dusting or so of snow unexpected. Listening
to Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Thinking of
Afghanistan and wondering about the stars
there, constellations, planets. Peace on earth
peace out. Merry merry 2013.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013