Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last year I helped put together an exhibition of writing
and art. One of the writers I solicited was Nick Flynn.
I've long admired his work -- poetry, memoir. He wrote
the poem hello, birdy based on the Motherwell print
above. And now that poem is included in his new
collection, The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands.
I'm reading this book now. It's a collision of forms,
voices and images. It has some stuff to show me,
not only in the meanings but in its architecture.

How the book and the work are made and then
I like the changes he made in the two versions.
The note card image is my fiddling by writing
his poem.

Here's another poem from the book.

haiku (failed)

The thin thread that hold us here, tethered /or maybe tied, together,
what / do you call it -- telephone? horizon? song? Listen / to yourself
sing, We are all god's children / we are all gods, we walk the earth /
sometimes, two sails inside us sometimes / beating, our bodies the
bottle, a ship inside each / until one day, for no reason, it sails --
hello? / damn phone -- until one day it sails / out of sight, until one
day it cuts out of / earshot, bye-bye muttered into your cupped palm,
bye-bye / boat, bye-bye rain -- Look / maybe this is the place we've been /
waiting for, maybe this place / is the day, inside us, inside each /
corpuscle, the day, that day, everyday is / inside, my body, your body,
everyday is / this thread, everyday you said, come / get me, everyday
you said, it's been way too long / you said, bye-bye, bye-bye, not a day /
went by, the thin, the thread, so thin, this thread, are you still / here,
is it still, your heart, is it well?

Monday, February 21, 2011


Sorrow, with Some Eye Contact

Mostly you just disappear. When I don't see you dead
I know you're alive, I can see you by the clothes you're wearing,

by your boot print on the unloved grass.
We make an ugly street ugly, a giant room stripped,

its high wood beams and bed big enough for six of me
or three of us. You swear we have no roof.

One morning we counted chickens
and ate their eggs for breakfast. We played with hats.

I think I thought your weight was on me,
but you were vanishing, even as you sculpted us from clay.

Someone has shown up for me, I sense a chariot,
the sky is preparing to rain on everything.

We forgot to put the doves away.
I can barely see you. I think someone has shown up for me,

can you see headlights? Hear footsteps?
Some remember my snatching an outstretched hand.

And in a room of rafters you do what must be done,
under moonlight, though it's days before you are found,

chickens gone, doves in trees, my bust smashed and mouth
punched in so its grin runs into an eye, winking.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

ghost moon

It's on the way, I tell you I smelled the mud
the melt, the thaw. Spring is out there
tonight behind the moon. Go now.