Friday, October 24, 2014

Been around the world

I've been to some amazing places cities villages temples
homes never imagined I'd be welcomed to some though
I don't speak the language I learned thank you.
Cam On/Aw koon/xie-xie syeh-syeh. Again and again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy birthday

Some favorites from where I'm at these days where women on bikes and motor bikes in rice fields villages the city selling fruit carrying flowers singing the names of their children their lovers under their breath whisper to carry on another year and another as they do hum shout   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fire in the Lake comes from the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes, and it is the image of revolution. This image, like all of the others in the Book of Changes, is almost as old as China itself; for Vietnamese it forms the mental picture of change within the society.”
—Excerpt from Fire in the Lake, Frances FitzGerald

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

full again

It's a bit too blurry the supermoon photo but you get the idea.
In other news I've assembled/perhaps finished at least for now
the MS. Work on it still to be done. Order. Sequence. Tweaks.
And of course the work of getting it actually published. Still.
The completion is something for now.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

So this

I'm re-reading in that I'm returning to past places and here's
one in the outback of Montana.  Oh and then this happened
meaning a poem published, which is newsworthy.

You Take the Diaphragm Out and the Body Opens Like a Book

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Summer Solstice

I wanted to see where beauty comes from
without you in the world, hauling my heart
across sixty acres of northeast meadow,
my pockets filling with flowers.
Then I remembered,
it’s you I miss in the brightness
and body of every living name:
rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch.
You are the green wonder of June,
root and quasar, the thirst for salt.
When I finally understand that people fail
at love, what is left but cinquefoil, thistle,
the paper wings of the dragonfly
aeroplaning the soul with a sudden blue hilarity?
If I get the story right, desire is continuous,
equatorial. There is still so much
I want to know: what you believe
can never be removed from us,
what you dreamed on Walnut Street
in the unanswerable dark of your childhood,
learning pleasure on your own.
Tell me our story: are we impetuous,
are we kind to each other, do we surrender
to what the mind cannot think past?
Where is the evidence I will learn
to be good at loving?
The black dog orbits the horseshoe pond
for treefrogs in their plangent emergencies.
There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.
I stand between taproot and treespire.
Here is the compass rose
to help me live through this.
Here are twelve ways of knowing
what blooms even in the blindness
of such longing. Yellow oxeye,
viper’s bugloss with its set of pink arms
pleading do not forget me.
We hunger for eloquence.
We measure the isopleths.
I am visiting my life with reckless plenitude.
The air is fragrant with tiny strawberries.
Fireflies turn on their electric wills:
an effulgence. Let me come back
whole, let me remember how to touch you
before it is too late.

Monday, May 26, 2014

From Alice Oswald’s MEMORIAL: A Version of Homer’s Iliad

The first to die was PROTESILAUS
A focused man who hurried to darkness
With forty black ships leaving the land behind
Men sailed with him from those flower-lit cliffs
Where the grass gives growth to everything
Pyrasus   Iton   Pteleus   Antron
He died in mid-air jumping to be first ashore
There was his house half-built
His wife rushed out clawing her face
Podarcus his altogether less impressive brother
Took over command but that was long ago
He’s been in the black earth now for thousands of years

Like a wind-murmur
Begins a rumour of waves
One long note getting louder
The water breathes a deep sigh
Like a land-ripple
When the west wind runs through a field
Wishing and searching
Nothing to be found
The corn-stalks shake their green heads

The first to die from New York State was Petty Officer
3rd Class Benjamin Johnson
Twenty-one of Rochester
Drowned in the Persian Gulf
When the ship they boarded
Which had been smuggling Iraqi oil sank
Michael J. Jakes   Scott N. Germosen   Peter Tycz
And more since 2001 some 297
And more nearly 7,000 women and men

Like a wind-murmur
Begins a rumour of waves
One long note getting louder
The water breathes a deep sigh
Like a land-ripple
When the west wind runs through a field
Wishing and searching
Nothing to be found
The corn-stalks shake their green heads

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I spent some time today taking photographs
of an abandoned residential institution in upstate
New York. Closed in 1996. Overrun with graffiti.
Tangle of broken glass and sorrow. Ghosted.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poem in my pocket today better late than well never?
I've been learning from the late Jake Adam York since last year.

Letter Hidden in a Letter to Cy Twombly

By Jake Adam York

I dreamed I was blind

            but could make a word
by curling a strand of hair
                        into letters,

one at a time. I prayed
            the scales would fall.

At night, I waited for the river’s
                        sentence to unfold,

a tale of snake handlers, the gift
            of all living tongues.

I could write with a tooth,
                        the pencil’s other end,

regardless of the day, could etch
            my poem, salt into windowglass.

Somewhere the lost boat’s gone
                        mineral, petrified

in starlight without a bone

            to autograph. Just
one letter in a strand of code.

                        Given the right oblivion,
one hand can remember another,

                        but tonight, the river
manages only the bark of leather

                        on stone, clap
of footpalms on the bank

            its one strand curling

a word no one’s slow enough

                        to read.

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 Vallée 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