Rise, Sun

I before he except when we see. They watched a bucket loader all afternoon, which bored him. A quill at odds with how one understands feathers. Most rules adapt themselves to social settings and not the other way around. His father’s guitar was black with a sunburst. One recalls how it echoed and rang.

Ask if it really happened or was it only a photograph. Currier & Ives were an early profluence. In those days, everyone was bearded and complicit. To follow seemed at times the only option. Creative minds falter as well. I prefer the closet, its coats and umbrellas that remind me of mother.

In the kitchen we were able to cobble together both pie and a brief peace. Toad eyes never blink. You can’t say, looking back, for whom it was hardest. Five rooms is plenty of space so long as you’ve got a barn to go with them. At no time was the possibility of play raised. There was a noteworthy window.

Rise, sun, on the jack rabbit’s corpse. He spread the newspaper on the table and read aloud that the war had ended.

Categorized as Sentences

Amateur Again

They allowed a thermostat to come between them. Isolation in a crowd is a sure sign you’re onto something! But then frost on the window panes, that reminder that the universe appreciates a pattern, maybe not so much. They pass each other like ghosts in a castle. The rooms were full and still you could see your breath. In the end, it was familiar.

There was a question of how far one should go in the pursuit of salvation and too often it was answered by professors of theology. The prayer that works because it is felt in a deep way and the one that works because it is an engine comprised of words. Family energy was banned at the dinner table. Yet it was precisely her ability to consider what most people would not that allowed her to insist that marriage mattered. Working with bread dough in the dark, curling one’s toes against the cold wooden floor. You could hear other bodies working on it as well.

Oh but dreams then were all about leaders, leaders of lost people, and not the people themselves. The house was never as finished as when those inside it longed for one another. The ticking of any clock puts me in mind of Emily Dickinson, that difficult pleasure. A theme of folds taken to illicit extremes. One does want a heart and dismantlement and all of that in their poetry, but first one has to eat, no? So much for gravity in the middle of the night.

But what a blast, holding your hand! He wrote at dawn, numb with joy, an amateur again.

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Pilgrim Discipline

Pumpkin symbolizes wealth. Growing pilgrim discipline means left behind stunted. The second the sea was left behind we equals too fast a house. While hunting up love letters reading out deer. The chain saw’s little garden growled a brief piece. Green M & M’s remained a signet cobbled out of trapped. Together we pie, ha ha. In front the bigger garden toad eyes me out back. A laugh is a grinder in my ears much longer. One would have expected remained the color of sand. A bird in hand a bear out there my heart was. Squeaking with saltiness and about that solid. You can hear it warm in the back of my throat. There’s an anchor coming to shepherd’s staff. He grew up even though his father was still alive. An orphanage amused everybody who then took pictures. Also a grounder. I followed him in which trains. Farms were a toy ideal. With which tractor was else?

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Emperor to Empress

Out of many troubled dreams comes an inclination to be gentle, peaceful with others, and yes, receptive. What can be done, Emperor to Empress? It’s a spiritual sickness, those coils at your throat, that ringing in your ears. He wrote, concerned that the space around him was shrinking too quickly. Reliance on metaphor is a symptom of avoidance. Take what from there, from that?

Looking ahead, Tuesday was bad which meant the whole week wasn’t good. Those who demand the sentence bear water for the paragraph are doomed to wet chins. She recognized her tribe and it wasn’t at all like coming home but like falling a great distance to the same place from which you’d started. I said to her after, outside the parrot store, weeping on my knees like a penitent, but how did you earn that wisdom? The river came down from the mountain being somewhat in the nature of a prayer. What will you think about in the moment of your death?

Commercial overtones haunted everyone, particularly repeated use of the word “product.” Oh ye of such variegated faith, why do your hands flutter like a bird? In snowbanks, wholly veiled moons, and bottles of alcohol lined up like little children. Inside its armor, the monkey was capable of shape-shifting, first made of crystal, then burnt sugar, then a handful of sodden grass from the pasture. A faceless Jesus stood at the end of a long hallway saying “I’m only a word, only a word.” All throats clear in a preparatory way.

And I dreamed of you again, as you had been in the old days, the Albany days, and saw you age as in the world you must have, becoming not the woman I loved but another woman. At last then I am split open, all bitter and raw, a fresh cut lemon voluntarily on the altar.

Categorized as Sentences

The Habit Of Winter

This house or another can serve as a container but for what ghost?

If you are alone may also be a kind of prayer simply.

How much can one poem contain and is it now or ever was it a question of size?

It is not to inquire about being lost that will give offense but rather the fold of certain birds’ wings that undermines a mostly pending immortality.

If one is looking to justify narrative there is no way better than to say how else is one supposed to capture and retain a reader.

Another possibility is the mail when it arrives is independent of even that much semblance.

What is it about time and ideas of embrasure that make anyone long for at least a slow darkening?

On any slow fist can be a required inward folding of petals.

Within the idea of apples there is also a room though what exactly can be done inside it gracefully?

No mail is ever relevant the same way the weather is.

Meaning can have the habit of winter.

Ascension does have to do with belief but there are other engines that defy explanation as well.

Return is the master of most descents.

As bright yellow as any tunnel would rather not be.

You cannot eat a color no matter how hungry your poems indicate blue.

One has a certain instinct for the archival.

If you fear hunger then you are without a particular childhood.

In tea one can also divine the past most pleasantly.

Is there any order and before that what else must be constructed?

Liken the forest to a kind of poetry and then wait for the bells that are always hinting at the next stanza.

Categorized as Sentences

Spikes At Anchor

She cried, retelling the story. My tiny shimmering beans and how one by one how I tucked them in. Who wasn’t bearded, wasn’t complicit. The property line at the low stone without them ended. I was a rich uncle pissing hammers and nails for reason alone. The first time I saw her war wounds was midnight writing soap. What would we do to her parents that his mother collected? He that railroad spikes at anchor is promising a letters. A half-shadowed moon ends album cover. I believe I’ve turned inward with words, yes. That depression is road walked to rage. There were apple sauce and pork chops on her pillow. Into my ear they paused on a wall. The mail was never a birthday. Their faces resembled and his papers as one. You can lifted as enfolded be the tune. A low stone said laughingly is this where slippers ends? She was the family willow tree we honored by outside. Please don’t beggar his heart that like when else can do. Hurt things please a nobody me.

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Rain falling off this rock about that far. What will you give me if I do? We are no longer a family farm. At night you could hear the river like a loose wind furling over the tops of distant summer trees. Traveling was the perennial cautionary tale. Everybody else has a tire swing, why can’t we? There was, in those days, little possibility of boundaries. Are measurable knowable smiles reassuring or affectionate or both? Of all the rules, that was the one I learned best. Nobody here knows much. The male mallard’s colors in direct sunlight are proof God loves and wants us happy. One should sit when removing their belt. Tame ravens feed baby mice to your blind old snake. Heavy tomato baseballs. We shot but never cleaned our guns. My sisters were made to be art objects, which rankled all for decades. He favored certain pronouns as who in those days when there was time did not. But of course, of course. Any container can fashion daily the Pabst Blue Ribbon of beers. He collects old-fashioned farm implements while maintaining sincerely his opposition to nostalgia.

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A Finger Pointing Only One Way

Gunmetal sky. Two crows fly south. How many lifetimes until Spring?

A blue river at dusk. She counts hawks circling the mountain. Breath comes hard to some lungs in winter.

Clouds blow lazy this March. He makes tea. Between snow buntings on the grass, his daughter sips it noisily.

They tossed their Christmas tree behind the barn. Threw handfuls of seed there for the chipmunks. Now the crows come, blood in their eyes.

Dawn on the melted lake. Beneath a pine tree, picked-over trout bones. We put whiskey in the coffee to stay warm and don’t say a word.

My daughter learned to walk in a frosty field this winter. The dog followed, watching her all the while. The mountain is visible even when it snows.

All this fear! Like a finger pointing only one way.

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Away From Other Bodies

Hours falling through veils of no sleep. Vales of no sleep? There’s a body on the couch, freeze-dried coffee in the cup. That ought to be enough. To get you going, I mean.

She had dreads last time we saw her, didn’t she? He wrote, deliberately, trying to omit any reference to signifiers. Doing so was a faint embrace – or so she hoped – of the early work of D.W. Winnicott.

Did I mention I’m tired? A little puffy from too much salt the day before? With no interest in gum of any stripe?

Meanwhile, in the text as it prepared itself, his beard itched and he refused to cut it for what were – look how quickly that happened – religious reasons. It’s a lovely city, Montreal, but a site of personal horror, and so I avoid it like the plague. I was about to write that historically speaking one couldn’t really avoid the plague, but then couldn’t you, even if only by luck?

You had to get away from other bodies, was what you had to do. But that’s not what I want to say.

Yesterday, walking slushy side streets, we saw a Christmas tree suspended by grace above the intersection. Where I said grace I meant hooks and wires. What I’m getting at was the idea some body had to do that thing, put it there.

A poetics emerged, driven by the premise that how how is never as interesting as what.

Categorized as Sentences

A Day For Traveling

Snow, over which wind tracks of small animals, all circling the sole crab apple, like rough sketches of a giant lavaliere. A few last apples, brown and wizened, crowned with snow buntings, remind him of the monastery in Vermont ten years earlier.

He is essentially a eulogist, even unto himself, though playing fast and loose with the form.

The older dog goes back after lifting his front right paw to limp through the snow. An injury possibly feigned, if one can say that of dogs, because once pointed home he positively dances. A confrontation with snowmobiles a few weeks earlier has permanently altered his sense of the trail they walk, its safety. The other dog, younger, once blessed at a Buddhist temple in Thailand, harbors no such reservations.

He sees Blue Jays – predominant bird this winter, one that his grandfather – the one he is beginning to think was hiding secrets more painful than just the orphanage – hated for their raucous cries. Since the blackout, no lights or heat for six days, the cold has been impossible, interior, as if he swallowed a chunk of ice that now stands where his heart once did, its freeze adrift in the network of arteries, veins and capillaries. He wonders if there might not be something to this whole “flee to Florida” thing after all.

The dream he woke from – what even now he declines to write – is at last beginning to fade. Yet the conviction it left him while laying in bed – “I am not guilty!” – remains. This is partly a theological remnant of childhood, in which God was posited as a not-so-kind, all-seeing despot, but is also partly how the family secrets were – secreted, let’s say – through his parents, to him. He is only just beginning to understand this in terms of its effects. If timing is everything, he is doomed.

Though the walk invigorates, pleases. He hears chain saws somewhere west, “a mile or more away,” reminding him him of a Fall day in Kindergarten when Mrs. Gould took the class for a walk, asking them to stop every few minutes and tell her what sounds they heard, and all anybody could hear was chain saws. Her frustration was palpable – with the students, but also (he now sees) with whoever was cutting wood that morning, putting away for the gathering winter. The sound – a pleasant, a reassuring growl – now comes from the roughly the same spot in the landscape as it did then.

A day for traveling, this one in early January, 2009, decides the man without shoes.

Categorized as Sentences