Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Amazed Soul

At a late hour when the moon. The amazed soul has a long string. Beggars trading bowls while mist rises off the river.

He, she, they, it. A birch tree slid down the bank, knocking wires askew, killing power. Eagles overhead, juveniles circling, trying their wings.

The phone rang and it was Vermont calling. She wins an award and doesn't think to call to tell you. In my fantasies, nobody ever calls but they do write, often.

He studied the flames, he rehearsed certain beginnings. What had passed remained with all of them, thus they were family. Like Pittsburgh in the rain in late November.

We used to smoke cigarettes and watch stars over the river while night became morning, even then. I got lost in familiar hills and never smoked pot again. The camera broke, one example of a rift that he refused to accept.

Certain stories work better when told backwards. Cans, not bottles, okay? It was easy to be there, yet the conversation never quite rose to the height of, say, a window.

You in my big red heart. You in this sentence with your back turned.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Evolving Blueprint

The eggplant in layers, lightly salted, then forgotten when the news came. She picked up a brass figurine - a cat, maybe, or was it a small bear - and polished it steadily, not meeting anyone's eyes. While outside it began to rain, not a downpour, after which, all night, you could hear the pocking of fat drops hitting in the driveway.

Stylistic tics and gestures over the course of a piece can cause numbness, or become static. Such as the over-reliance on light as a way of avoiding what thought. He asked, almost as if it had only just occurred to him, Do you know what might be at risk here?

In the living room, those who couldn't sleep sat up and stared at the walls. Speech was arid - had always been, actually - though it was first collectively felt then, at that place. Then one remembered hunger - or was recalled by hunger, maybe that's a better way to say it - and so went into the kitchen for crackers, a slice of cheese, anything really.

A boiled spinach prose. A habit of not focusing or taking certain parts of the gift for granted, as if a fine sentence will carry the paragraph, the paragraph the page, the page the whole story, etc. A fear of narrative - the eruption over time of not only what is felt but known, or suspected - attempting to write itself as the event.

The sound of traffic which is always coming or going. That, too, recalled him, as the pond had earlier, with its pumpkin seeds and perch coming in close to feed. There were moments that he was able to articulate certain positions or ideals - often formed as questions that nobody could answer, only sketch replies to - the result of which was his perennial sense of being in possession of an evolving blueprint which necessarily disallowed any building, any risk of permanence.

On and on it went and death had no intention of bringing it to an end. That was narrative, as well - what was actually happening, regardless of how you brought it into the text, this or any other. By dawn they were making plans and asking what he would have wanted and somebody - who, though - thought to bake muffins, and there was also the smell - as opposed to the taste, its effect - of coffee.

Then this writing, take it - you decide which word to italicize. He felt it as threads that would bind him, and wanted to swing out on them like vines, or else use them as lariats. He was a gambler who put it all in the line, or so he wrote, boyishly.

Contentedly, as if arriving home tired to a full meal, a warm bed. Potatoes could be as satisfying as stones - it was all how you read them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

That Crinoline Moment

It was at the end and rather than step lightly they lowered their heads and plunged. Over fifty mounts like this one! And the butter wrapper clung to the grass, while across the street dozens of headstones appeared to righten themselves as if by magic.

Much like wrinkles are said to be the containers of memory. Salted meats a lumpen gray. The pope lifted his skirt and smiled at the jetlagged visitors, their plastic gift crosses, and thirsty-looking eyebrows.

Slumbering was an afternoon. Oh let us all embrace the dreamer, let us all have that crinoline moment. He wrote, wondering why the sunflowers in Massachusetts were bright while those in Maine were over.

A landscape is more than geography but only according to certain circumstances. The way light falls from a given sky will affect both mood and temperature. The car stalled and while they waited for a lift back he recited "The Cask of Amontillado" from memory.

Albany was more than what you assume but not not always. In the dream, I heard the phone rang, and when I pursued the ringing to its source, found only an empty drawer. In which privilege is used to silence figure.

Even without funding, the film festival was a rousing success. Frozen mint, populism. The curator had fallen asleep and when nudged awake, farted loudly several times quickly, which appeared to embarrass him.

Uncanny narrative plugging what hole. Go, prosper, elide.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Forward And Later

A yellow, chimney, and otherwise an example of early braided narrative. What if you had to give your readers more to work with? Well, ascent and descent, and landscapes more or less unchanged from the prior decades.

Their prayers sank, like slices of stale bread, into the sea. Called forth from the hiss of what fire. They rode up the trail expecting at any minute to be turned back towards Albany.

Layer upon layer, or perhaps overlapping circles. The store selling cemetery stones is up for sale. And the old man who planted wildflowers all over the city appears to have died at last.

He wrote. And then the a small number of clouds floated by, each bearing some moisture derived from the Black River. Lists help, also drinking.

Yet in the shade he reflected even more deeply his many gestural tics. Felt a tapping he would later describe as feral, not at all holy. Which was a way of inhabiting a place while simultaneously being elsewhere, or so he said, after.

The word was what it was, but the question set it up another way. She waited for him at the top of the stairs, holding a coffee, her smile disappearing in the crowd teeming around them. Though crossing the street, it could have been any city at all.

He made it older by raising the narrative stakes. He felt his way forward, and later put it into words.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Single Word Passed

The coffee tasted like reheated bong water yet he still ordered a second cup. There were stains on her dress from killing the rooster. Not a single kind word passed between. Nor salt, nor soap. Yet footsteps could be heard in the stairwell, a pattering that echoed, as if a little body followed.

The stars swirled, assembled into the shape of a clipper ship, one that was pointed west. Two children - both long dead - stood critically by. Failure was a real possibility. He mulled at night the many books he had made, while ink dried on his fingers, and smoke from his cigar circled lazily the many trees. Hiding was a favorite verb, as pink was a favorite color.

It was all substance, all the time, and that was the new theory of poetics. Smell of wild catnip on the morning breeze, an herb nobody planted, and now look. The rabbit's hind leg had been torn from it's body, held to by a bloody skein, and it panted rapidly, each breath outrunning the other towards death. In the distance, you could hear sheep blat. A barn, one in which a suicide sang before leaping off the rafter.

There was no word, and a thin rapier inserted just below the shoulder hurt less. The picture had mold on it, orange and yellow flowers that obscured her face, her sweetly crooked grin. Pretty and magic are special friends. The allotment began swallowing its tail, inducing genuine panic. While the cost of maple syrup went - I mean really went - up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

He Wrote Then Climbed

A walk out where wandering made sense. A note of three words only. The wolf interviewed potential victims and found no takers. Everyone wants to be grandmother these days.

A vortex in which horticultural inclinations are suppressed. He wrote, again. Tilting the fan away, its small whir a balm amidst the more angry sounds of traffic. Sleep where once a lily grew, right there on the dew-swept bank.

A coffin-sized hat went rolling down the hill until a boulder stopped it short. Shades, lunar phases. With trumpet in hand he marched down the street, wiping away sweat, despite the morning cool. Was the sky ever the point, he wondered.

Jonathan Edwards doing a jig, balanced on a gimpy but game brown mare. The lecture fell flat and the room emptied quickly, which he could not help but see as a comment on the overall direction of his life. He wrote, then climbed the thirteen stairs, head down. Save your wishes for whatever comes next.

A shadow mistaken for the family dog there by the house's southwest corner. White pillars that required frequent painting and so were ignored. The blur of roadside greenery. In all of it, the lack of a good handler.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Wetness Like God

Tea apples.

A long poem about waiting, about the fear of hunger, also angels. Frightened by the way the stars appeared electric, the lycanthrope swallowed his pride, and cowered in the grape arbor until dawn.

Giblet blessings. And soil bearing a wetness like God. Yes, that way.

He wrote he wrote. As rapture would have, had it.

There are stones in the choir, potatoes in the pews. Frosty scrimshaw on the silver glass that overlooks. While outside the monastery, a little snow collects on the last of the wizened apples.

I can't forget you. I was writing before you but still. Now I am mortally tired of the word lake.

Milk, biscuits, and strawberry jam. "The way a slant of light falls I want to fall weeping." In October, a way forward. Like horses.

Cows get over it just by standing near the fence. It's time I'm worried about, not death, not the perennial broken organ of affection.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Lost Embrace

Old Scratch lingered in the water, a rust-colored frying pan. The word did at last arrive but it sounded like static. As August ends, nothing like a whisper.

In the bracken, a tiny horn. Fairy beds sparkling with dew. A moose print more likely a horse but where's the balance.

This and that, of which the welter is comprised. Thanks but I've got lots of Hansels, said my inner Gretel. Hauling branches to the fire pit while a dozen chickens look on curiously.

Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. He exhaled noisily, scaring the fish. The apple core bobbed, faded from view, like most dreams.

I mean nine - is that right? The porcupine lumbered up the old ditch unhurried, his ass wobbling like water balloons. A good August for haying, if somewhat unexpectedly.

I can't escape the piano notes that your voice contained, even when I dream. Sadness defined then as what lost embrace, with time running out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Over The Many Miles

The slow and the sad. There was an opening and Christ leaped fluidly into it. Against the sky in which the moon was a pale mollusk. The veil dropped, the horses stayed to finish.

Without grace, without calm. The tangle was lugubrious yet no less holy. What do you want the experience to resemble? The priest stepped slowly down from the altar, thinking of how certain sharks batter the protective cages of their photographers.

"I will go far from this family." Christmas twenty-five years ago and the sound of the wind is still not buried. Mammon, of which there can be no regress. Or looking back, gun in hand, at a long series of choices that did indeed backfire.

Yet the foundation was there, it always was. The leather cowboy boots of childhood. "Well, thank you." And the evening sky bore her body softly like feathers.

The geese made their decision, we could hear them over the many miles. They saw this river or that pond and redirected according to the glisten. The visit was brief yet effective. In the morning a tiny uttered prayer appeared ready to celebrate its echoes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Bullet Reimagined

What is more arid than not happening repeatedly. In handcuffs at least one fear can be faced.

A last glisten in the tall grass where the weather was only just catching up. She, he, both, together.

A land of plenty in which hunger could only appear in certain fairy tales. A bureau falling down a dozen flights of stairs, yet nothing blowing out of its drawers.

When I forgot how to type, I heard music, a calliope. And sailors, their hats shining in the winter dark like little platters of snow.

Of, to, without and then the more so. A line that spiked and in doing so reminded you of marlin.

The canvas sails were moldy but remained folded. Nobody would say what had happened to his uncle's car, whether it had been sold, to whom, or if instead it had been junked.

A letter won't offer the way out but in another way. Yet purple contained - or channeled maybe - the rougher, the buzzing, the hornets of desire.

So crooked as to be impossible though still lovely. Where the bay was lit up by the rising sun they agreed to make changes in the way they allocated their earnings.

Guillotines, valentines, training manuals. The last goldfish in the world slowly spiraled down through dusty tank water while underpaid attendants looked on bored.

The nickel felt like a bullet reimagined. The poem had fur, like your teeth during a hangover.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stumbling On The Word Emily

What way was a new way and what was yesterday. Familial rage billows a deep red. She saw him not handsomely but more akin to raw bacon. The notes were white stones, bread crumbs, and very much so. And yet given a chance, he returned to the familiar forest, he did and with his own sprouts.

Oh, glade - let's use that word. The mug broke, the song embraced a cascading reverence of thereafter. We went to the river, prayed, and saw nothing but an evanescent pink oddly reminiscent of war in the nineteenth century. Found poetry - is there any other kind? Clipped and mimeographed ode to a scissors.

Ignored in favor of nightfall. The last of the newts was a deep orange like pumpkins. We won't - we can't - attend the party less than one mile away. A dog died on the road or the grief the air bounded had that wild pained inflection. I keep stumbling on the word Emily.

The grass with its diamond revelation, the bible suddenly flexible. The priest walked up the driveway with his head down, thinking no doubt of Poland. An abundance of cucumbers, kale, and old Cary Grant movies. The harpist wore glasses, played badly and raised money for the S.P.C.A. He wrote and the words - the sentences they called - did not let him down as always.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Exotic Dust

Let me see you. Little foxes that damage the vineyards. Among the lilies. At night I sought him. In the streets and crossings.

I had hardly left. You daughters. Love before its own time. A column of smoke. Every exotic dust.

At his side against danger. Columns of silver. Inlaid with ivory. In the crown with which his mother. Eyes are doves.

Behind the veil. A flock of goats streaming. Thin and barren. A scarlet strand. Tower girt with battlements.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Mystifying Habit

Of or inhabiting the open ocean. Larger, longer, or of a different color. Overlapping the folded wing. Spatulate.

They are often regarded simply. Serving to conceal. After breeding but before autumn. Auriculars.

This may be useful in a dimly lit forest. Bright colors add a cheerful touch. On rare occasions. Most numerous near dwellings.

A dense clump of weeds or grass. Mounting into the air while uttering. Distinctive song is one of the easiest. Hemlock, spruce, and various hardwoods.

Like most crows. Dead fish - hence the name. Snake skins. A mystifying habit is its frequent use.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Avoid A Skid

"I shall endeavor to make it so." A flowery approach that was not necessarily anti-vegetable. Some days you just can't edit and those days are the worst. The scissors chuckled while the rest of the family slept unaware.

The coffee continued to be sour, unpleasant. He felt as if he were wading through rancid jello, that was how the days were passing. Yet the mushrooms underfoot were colorful as if perpetually recollecting. And sprinkled flour, of course, the better to avoid a skid.

He wrote, she wrote, they all wrote. An object was created thereby but nobody could hold it. He saw a hut in the forest and angled towards it. In his dream there was an old house on the property - one everybody had forgotten about - and all it needed was new windows.

Horror horrified him so he avoided it. As goes the wittiest goes the rest of us. Finally the car was fixed which meant they could canoe again. Trails of mist rising for which televisions were a useful metaphor.

Certain writers, on the other hand, act entitled, like a harvest. He kept turning North as if it really mattered. A poem is not otherwise what. This was one way of writing a sentence and there were others - he was certain of it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Held At A Ransomed Distance

A sense of mail in the Azores. The blueprints waterlogged as if they swam to us here. The shark's body was oddly white and appeared to be grinning. A crowded hotel, tropical drinks. Grains of that sunlight have remained with me for decades.

All day she "took her life in her hands." After there was a persistent electricity, a tingling even. The rivers from childhood recalled specifically as silver were in fact polychromatic. He wrote as if his own life were held at a ransomed distance. There are, of course, many histories.

Haunted by a personal failure. Pursued by a body that insists on its right to be a guest. The church steeple was visible only after October when the leaves all at last fell. You can see yourself that way, if you want. Monastically devoted to photographing soon-to-be extinct terrapin.

It was primarily a poem over which he didn't labor. The horse faced me while I worked, then my daughter, and neither could be said to smile. Could it be the 1950s or the 40s even? Who are you kidding with your "story stones?" And then the throaty gurgle of turkeys waking up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Decision To Face North

With obvious disregard for straight lines. The percussion musket, blunderbuss, and hand-crafted bullets. A manifest assembly, a slow seepage of broken dreams. At dawn the succubus indicated a preference for silk.

When, he wondered, and never idly, did subversion become the ideal? Cattle plowed their way through the sentences, oblivious to the finer landscape surrounding. Go on - roll. A blurred settling, a featherly sussuration, a dizzy feeling every time she looked up.

The optimism any teamster feels is mitigated by the onset of early dark. Yet hills would not rather nor always open in vague ways. Loose portal than I am. Unleavened solitude in desire's stead, also double sawbucks.

A grand decision to face north. A sort of mystery on which the color blue had vigorously opined. His death was not - he was relieved to learn - going to take place in any hospital. This was the cloudy version, the offspring of mist, but there were others.

Or what new word would fit and not alter the sum. Hell and Damnation for Dummies. She reached over and in the just-breaking light caught him subjugating verbs. It was - they agreed about this - a long way from the Greek island where the horse had been born, seven years earlier.

Friday, August 15, 2008

All The Swords

You take all the swords and forge them into one sword. You have to believe in an unreal outcome. Deep feelings derived from a soulful melancholy. Leaving the collective discussion for the peace of silence. The lesson here is to avoid any challenge.

You are rushed forward to a journey. You are inclined to slip away. Misrepresented or altogether the wrong story. Ignoring a truth for so long. These moments of isolated sorrow. At the end of this grueling exercise.

Testing your reaction to dramas. Protecting your arrival at a certain destination. Making demands and being clear. Enjoyment of the richness all around. Gentler, more vulnerable.

Authority is no guise. Often in a position to pass judgments. He fears loosing control of his mind by opening his heart. Calculated wisdom. In search of abstract truths which are his obsession.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Little Shrine Or Chapel

Drizzly November in my soul. Most enchanting bit of romantic landscape in all. Judicially buttered. How cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!

I love to sail forbidden seas. Perceive a horror and still be social with it. I came to a smoky proceeding. Death is the only glazier.

A series of systematic visits. Weltering there. I never liked to sleep two in a bed. Dumplings in a most dire manner.

Potion of gin and molasses, which he swore was a sovereign cure. The shavings of another grin. Cherishing unwarrantable prejudices. Now flying into a passion.

Of things not properly belonging. A bit of glass stuck against the wall. A mildewed skull. A very appropriate little shrine or chapel.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crazier Than What I Won't Write

I will never attempt to reconstitute my shredded lace heart. Gorgonzola cheese, fresh garlic. Giant ministers with fins the size of V.W. bugs. The "G" word - use it or lose it. And by the way, the Canadian Ron is the wrong Ron.

Roosters - a dozen at once - figuring out the sun is rising by some internal clock. What I wouldn't give. Last night I poked my head into the attic, then everybody did, we were all that brave.

Jeremiah propped a Go Fish card on the headboard and instead of sleeping began telling himself a story based on the card. He told me one, too - after, in the dark - and in it he and I made repeat visits to a castle where "everything was blackness" but nothing bad happened. He said after "was it funny?"

When I place a hand on his back while he sleeps I want to cry - every time I do it, no matter what. Something gets all fluid inside me like a hole through which sand won't stop pouring. What I don't know often drapes over me like a mangy curtain. I sat on the zafu yesterday, first time in months, then just sort of leaned my elbow on it. I made fresh pasta with sage - most beloved of all spices - and ate blueberries by the handful with Fionnghuala.

The ground is so wet we may never move forward. I just want my twenty sentences to be done, okay? So I can pat their body, maybe lay down beside them. I can't sleep and it's making me crazier than what I won't write.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ugly Or Worse Covetous

A line of rain drops even without light resembles gems. Writing fast precludes rearrangements. After, the theory is . . . . or am I not yet awake? It's a blue jay, somewhere on the other side of Route 112, that's what it is. Can you see yet?

The truck pulls up, pauses, rolls away. Disgorged, gently owned. The study of consciousness is a matter of privilege but as so much else, so what? A certain date is fast approaching. So why not just move to Maine?

He wanted to say "nice hat" - or at least write it that way - but was afraid of being seen as ugly, or worse, covetous. The emphasis on structure struck him at times as spurious yet he persisted. He rarely stopped to ask why - at least not seriously. When it came to poems. The fragmented blue overhead was closer to amethyst by the time he "got it."

Forty was like the fringe of a tornado and the only thing in hand was a thread. I want to fold, rest - and in a deep way. A little black ball with hairs on it is rolling down the street.

In the bookstore yesterday, kind you and your lovely orange. And me - I won't say despicable but lost, certainly lost - and my spurned offers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gorillas Continue Their Fandango

An alarm is a way of shaping sleep. The second cup of coffee is like too many commas. A sentence underway, at this very moment. In the near field, deer step delicately back into their glades and I am glad.

Or a cold rain. Holes in the wall left as reminders we were. Cardboard taped over broken panes of window. One by one we climb into the attic and begin to make assumptions.

Oh you, always. "Oddly I am thinking of Valentines." He wrote - and wrote and wrote and wrote. So you see - the gorillas continue their fandango in my brain.

Four, five. He tried a new pair of shoes but ended up barefoot (always). Beer, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville and the dream of a new revolutionary. The dogs wandered in, to see what he was up to.

Art, as always, a whimper. Whisper. Must I always mean what I say because I don't. Fidelity to what is felt, that memory.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Having Nothing Necessarily To Do With Writing

A powerful woman impressed with the truth. When I looked up he was in the bread aisle covered with cow splatter. One million or half of that divided two ways. Broad stairs in a public building. The way her eyes widened, like mirrors, like silver plates on display, listening. One had the impression that he was a devoted husband which late-breaking revelations tended to impair.

Vermont was a glossy future, a complicated past. Ammunition left out overnight, that was the present. The news wasn't all bad but as always quickly devolved. It was a good cup of coffee, which helped frame his thoughts about how the day would unfold, and he couldn't get it back. He wanted to write something fun, action-packed, but instead had all these fair stories. It was quiet as the light broke and breathing was difficult. It wasn't yearning or it was but in a way that tended to bind him.

He wrote as always a matter of avoidance, or elision maybe, yet valued the mode for what it also revealed in spite of itself. Spokes on a wheel always reach the center, the greasy revolving heart. After, when he woke up, he felt efficient, optimistic, and there was no clear reason for it. Dwelling on the condition of the house - i.e., decrepitude - was no antidote but still. The new bed was lighter, and felt like floating.

He tore what he believed were weeds from the garden and his son sobbed, betrayed, calling them flowers, or what might yet have proven to be, and this was one thing he didn't want to say, "go into." There was some reference in the dream to a monastery, space, a deep commitment made manifest and having nothing necessarily to do with writing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Blurred Tornado

Warblers, then turkeys, then the silence that always follows a biped. In the only dream I remember, fog, a schoolyard, a pile of stones. Efforts are currently underway to work the phrase "unrequited hunger" into a story. I still can't remember what word it was from yesterday, the M word I wanted.

Nor breathe much, nor read small words. Nor find words, particularly, they're too much like periwinkles stuck to rocks when the tide lowers. You don't call, you don't write . . . Now it's upstate New York, just touching Canada.

At once the conversation turns to oil. I want to step delicately into the blurred tornado. Please, no more "statements," "speeches." Rosemary, olive oil - I still love you, still want to be held that way.

"He wrote" . . . at least he wrote. The rising sun made the road appear pink, white, gold. He was aware of color now in a new way, could look at a thing for hours trying to see it, really see it. Oh there was also a dream in which he forgot a necessary text, but which one?

Time slows without aspirin or buckles. Later, at a certain height, it was gray, or at least monochromatic. The road, of course, "macadam." On which not traveling was impossible, nor recommended.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Lost Word

The lost word, somewhat like "magnon." "Magnate." Yet also reminiscent of lichen, milking. The phones ring, the mail bears with it the smell of cloudy trails. You could go on forever, in this mode, but why. When what you want is closer to meaning.

An evolving understanding of what rain is, can be. Crackle of thunder, half-filled jam jars dropped from a great height. It whispers is what it does. And you have no desire save to listen. The narrative jumped all over like a snake faced with hot oil. Hoof prints, plain yogurt. The sick dog wandered all night where the moon bled through.

"Magic," "matron." "Mission?" The many courses No will take. Allow yourself the bible, won't you? Falling to sleep with the Song of Songs in my head. Spiders scuttle over the clods, the white bubble of their egg sacs pulled behind. Today grief, tomorrow fried bread.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ongoing Confrontation With Eternity

Before I woke the twenty sentences were writing themselves. A linen head cover through which piled clouds were faintly seen, then the sudden - the jerking - drop. Ah, but soon it will all be over. "You know best, mon capitain." But ask: are angels ever hungry?

I'm in the market for a team of oxen. Next Christmas Eve I'll going shopping against all wishes, stopping at McDonald's to lend a hand with the rubbish. I've got this torn green t-shirt and with my black leather jacket, I look good. I look like "getting out." Yet for the right book would stop, go back, or even stay. The mating song of blue jays, how the light can be in June.

Yeah yeah - avoiding the subject, who doesn't? There was a small fire in one corner which necessitated the removal of an entire wall. Revealing at last one's powerlessness over architecture - I mean the true poverty, the illusion of, choice - also corn cob insulation. But in this new house still standing, which was next to door to E.D.'s - or was it hers? - not clear - I found a room which nobody else had found nor occupied for decades, many of them. Newspaper clippings hung on the wall, there was a piano that hovered in the air, its keys attached to no visible instrument, two doors and many windows. There were also plaster busts of her that when peered at closely made you want to look away.

I was loved at times but never liked and the difference is not negligible. You don't "unlearn" certain behaviors, you leave them by the side of the road. I too want a high room overlooking the world, an awareness of this ongoing confrontation with eternity - more than just a sip of the nineteenth century brew.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy, Like Trees

Rain, settles, the idea of progress. Or aging, lilac, going against the mold. With my coffee in the morning I'm happy, like trees. Cloud scud, then silence. In no need of a container is the new.

Broken mugs remind me of you, also bookstores. A quiet moment on cobblestone, where it was always Sunday. The mail never came, nor leaning out windows. It's this, the sound of it falling. One can always - can one though - believe.

Facing sunlight the photograph blurred. Traffic picked up despite the weather. We are on it he wrote and that was the last anybody heard. Gold rush, open land. It was like setting sail into a blush of paragraphs. I am far from land, lit up by desire.

The syndrome, the dynamic, a discomfort. Strings broke on his guitar and he played on anyway. Self held at what distance complicates any response. Yet at dawn he knew himself the way a cork hobbles, no longer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

At Twilight Soft Pink

A ladder. Horticultural inclination. A crow turning its head, right, left, while flying. Bean stems, lady bugs, stone.

Or else what was the unasked question. A definition that longed for plugs. The hide moldered, was pulled on by dogs. He dreamt of erasers, and communities where they weren't needed.

In the sweet biannual truck pull. Of dust and then. A long swelter, a groove that fought for its own tongue. Bright as lasers, burning through you.

Bats, butterflies. Where the road bends an old injury not recalled. The water at twilight soft pink despite its black. Blueberries, aridity, a slow dance in the nattering.

Of matter. Begone. The hill they circumambulated. With yearning mostly, sometimes a map.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Loving Specifically Or Death

At an hour when the speckled rainbow. Rising through cold water to a shining like flashes. Going back after for a square of blue glass. Polished to a dull, left there as evidence. The old days, what were they anyway?

The garden rows between what rain. Sunflowers smaller, sticks for the dogs. Blackberries fat as a baby's fist. Your voice over the distance, like gravel, like a river. Who walked ahead of us, their feet in the grass?

You wrote, he wrote, and the story wrangled both. A hill that elevates in only one direction. No one named Emily ever used that envelope. Coffee grounds, pesto, and the best kale ever. You questioned me in the night but in what language, tired?

Sooner. And sun, wind, and all the other grails. Dreaming of pasture where now the bears lump. Shadows over the driveway, the road, the neighbor's barn. Is it a New England way of loving specifically or death?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Unfurling The Burgeoning Melody

Between the squash plants (yellow flowering spirals) a garter snake. Thinking, deliberate. Milkweed, last year's Monarchs. Gossamer. First clouds, then blue, then a hawk drifting gyre.

The canoe falls over with a thump. No blossoms yet on the west-bending sunflower. A broken heart, unraveling hymns.

The dimensions aforesaid. Norse myths, effeminate gods. Why else but for desire would we. Uncoiling where the the purple announcement. Left in an email, it withered, a scribble.

Recall the scythe, lanterns, pipe smoke. The old man smelled like wintergreen. Or watercress, wheat.

Hills unfurling the burgeoning melody. Since when when last you asked. The knives were dull, in want of polish. Petulance, in place of what.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Paella One Way

Considered as a whole, the fragments shy. A honeysuckle midriff matters how. Playing cards blow. And all at once now a breath blown spry.

Or classical influence. Photographs in the mail. The herpetologist called and called until at last he gave up. In Ireland once, where it never once rained.

Form, too. Words rolling like bricks before a bulldozer. He fixed the hay rake, one eye one the sun. Maine is a place, but also an idea.

The afternoon, children's voices. Leaving the church, every mourner stopped to glance at the sky. Certain doors squeak, certain weathers recall the past. Paella one way then later another.

Chairs falling over. The central nervous system blown but capable of recovery. He wrote late, envisioning an audience camped out between the hills.

Where at last we recline, liars to the end.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bound Up

Later and later the birds would begin their morning vocalizations, and he noticed that the sun was now setting earlier, too. It was August, one of his favorite months, because of its inevitable inflection of sorrow. He had never enjoyed school nor particularly cared for being home but the summer's wane touched him, moved him.

He feels it even now as an adult. The rooster's throaty howl, the mourning dove's plaintive mewing, all outside in misty dark. Every fifteen minutes or so he hears a car out on Route 112, almost always leaving town. Growing up, that should have been the music of promise - you can get out of here, you can! - but it too was stained with loss. It was like there was a quota of escapees, and each one leaving that wasn't him was one less chance that the next would be him.

And the clock was ticking. The clock was always ticking.

(He writes) after waking up unable to breathe - a new physical ailment mirroring the predominant one (other than broken bones) of his childhood, the neighborhood asthmatic (though years later he learns that no doctor ever diagnosed him, and still won't). His illnesses - which are different than his injuries - always own a moral, a spiritual component, that no medicine has been able to address. The zafu covered with cat fur, the crucifixes in basement storage. He reads about poetics, its intersection with ecology and ecologically-minded politics, then some more on stump removal.

By then the sun is rising. One can make too much of this - an excess of which he is frequently guilty - but the one constant in his life - his only real practice - has been writing words. It is to that he turns now, exhausted, hardly held up by coffee - not to prayer, or meditation. The twenty sentences are not exactly holy, but he sticks to them. He is bound up in them. He is not going anywhere but in the twenty sentences can at least say he is here.