Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Poem: originally published by The Wild in 2009


A Crow and Two Beer Bottles

are all you see as you skim
the arc of the highway entrance ramp.
Bottles crusty with mud
and embedded in pools of roadside grit.
Bird pecking in slow motion
at some dead mysterious stuff
in the grass on the verge.

Picture the empties flying
like headless corpses out of a pick-up.
Picture wall-to-wall crows
and acres of bones stripped clean.
Soldiers pouring beer down
their throats in between shifts
so they won’t wake up
when they scream in the night.
Crows caught mid-flight
by a swarm of bullets,
because we can’t accept
their roosting among us as kinship.

Beer bottles layering calluses over the heart.
Birds stripping flesh in long
streamers that look like ticker tape.
Bodies, crusty with mud, wearing
crows where their eyes used to be
Crows like big fat masks
you put on for Mardi Gras.

Chip your tooth on a
bottle if you’re not careful.
Play your little ivories like dice;
get the crows to curl round as little dots
And you’ve got yourself a craps game.

This is what it’s come down to:
your cat obsessed every night,
with attacking the little
half moon of streetlight,
that shines through the window
onto the opposite wall,
and you, in your post-election funk,
feeling apocalyptic enough
to leap at a pair of images
over and over until
your mind goes numb.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday Poem: originally published by The Syracuse Record in 2003

Milkweed Lyric

in this moon
scape snow-lit
night, our bed is
a pod, perched at the
end of a dry grizzled
stalk, heaved by the
wind this way and that.
Here, on the Milky Way’s
shoulder, we curl, snug little
seeds, taking fugitive rest
in a feathery but ephemeral
nest,  tucked in so well
we’re unable to see
what might be out
there waiting, or
where we’ll
be planted

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tuesday Poem: originally published by Lake Effect Magazine in 1987

Hermit In Winter

To live without words,
to be muffled thump of axe,
hiss of snowshoe floating over hillsides.

At night the forest air is black ice, so you have to 
be a furnace, fueling, always fueling, warming each 
sub-zero gasp with your mouth and leathery lungs.

To wear wolf near your face,
go deep as an old trout,
growl out bear songs at dusk.

When you let a breath go, it haloes around you, 
gray as the gloom overhead, and when work is done 
there's burrowing into the hut's blood warmth, 
its door flaps: valves thudding shut.

To squat among the drifts, wailing with the wind,
to call your own cadence of days,
choose shadow over light.

At night, winter never 
stops beating,
and you are its heart.