Does not a form
of vision bait this hour
while frilled sharks of sleep
slide in between impaired
and deafened ears,
feeding on monsoons of dreams
I am here
breathing in this night of spring
on darkened curb below the plumes
of foliage that offer paper lanterns
of cavalcading lilac-whites,
their fragrant light accompanies
my sack of lonely bones tonight
as I inspect these trees
against that moon,
sit in this obscured
outsider’s room with quiet houses
the passing pantomime,
and bricked around the slumber
of their occupants,
playing those lickspittle tricks
of a sober, fixed
are not we all canaries caged
and sent down coal-black shafts
lit with fits of monkeyshine,
blinded by the slighted hand,
waged and mortgaged
by the soundness
of illusions we expand.
Regardless of the hour,
concrete culverts funnel
their noxious fumes upward
in unapologetic clouds.
the stretch marks
of great basins,
where the Bonneville ranges
heave like hard-rock breasts
and salt flats
rest between them.
to have absorbed
the curious tears of Lot’s wife
long ago when she harked back
to rough-scrabble elevations.
Even the Bristlecone pine
their chapped roots
down through basalt fissures
and twist into the altitude
in tortured angles,
dismember the eons
before Pony Express riders
galloped across sprawling
high desert vales
a common time signature,
winding through the Four-winged
dodging the spiny Shadscale.
tickled by the wheeze
of gingham skirts and spun
wagon wheels, easily blanched
the broken frames of the dead
their deserted efforts.
salt processing plants and toxic
waste incinerators are long-mile
neighbors up wind
from the army depot,
peppered truck stops
and the copper mine slag-heaps.
Rinsed in a halogen-sapphire light
after the sun gives up the ghost,
monolithic smokestacks bolk
a steady exhaust.
and dissipates in secreted
offered up to the isolated
and inhaled by the sparkling
seven sisters, reduced
to semi-precious stones
worn above a vacancy.
Underneath it all,
buried inside vinyl-lined landfills
live out their quiet half-lives.
He stands, body of an immense, whitewashed
soup tureen supported by mustard
bamboo limbs jutted
out in twin tangerine webs
of lizard-skin fans.
Heaped hanging dishes of raw
Indonesian black rice along with the white
against his sides, are folded wings
below his peeled, boiled egg
of a head dotted with opposing eyes.
They swivel, long terminated
on a neck of fat albino-copperhead
almost bent into a figure eight
while he sleeps with his acrobatic
nape against his back.
His bill is an arm-length
by a four-finger width
of a marigold funnel,
intersecting his frontal view
over blizzards of breast feathers.
This concludes in a single-beak talon
sissoring a three gallon collapsible pouch.
All skeletal hollow inner workings are enginneered
to absorb the tension hidden in an aquatic surface.
He is unaware of the myths
of self sacrifice assigned to him
and spun by our need to elevate behavior.
Folklore doesn’t affect his flight or fishing
nor does the symbolism of blood and water.
Abeyant limbs stab the ides
with a flimsy shade,
Parked buds tumefy,
eddied in the tepid jetstream.
stand selfishly straight
and ringnecked on a pond island.
Aviary music swells
beyond its clipped wings; blankets of feathers
break over pimpled birdflesh
in recurrent waves.
Hands of internal clocks sink
to a depth of the tallest hour,
while an unconscious violet
rises with a split clitoral petal.
Snow is razored by the sun
into clean shaven slopes
and intermittent springs
rupture the ground
how winters lie.
We frittered our conversation away
on the brittle edges of selective
vocabulary. Words, pale and objective,
hung like sheets over clan members,
hovered foamy on the pushed tide
of pretense and squatters rights.
Familiarity was the carcass
of a wooly mammoth
we were stepping gingerly over
with verbs and run-on sentences.
In this public place, where once
we had whispered over flapjacks,
flirted around a breakfast scramble,
we met in a back booth
to discuss the terms
of our convenient disentanglement
above a final waffle
dusted with powdered sugar.
Some maple syrup got stuck on the
edges of papers we were so civilly editing
and for a moment we slipped
on the softened ice of easy banter.
Just then, gravity
forgot itself in the small café.
All of the cups and saucers
lifted with the silverware,
the apron on a waitress
floated up a bit…
Whipped egg whites of reconsideration
appealed with a weightlessness,
but the side of regret
Beneath a cedar canopy,
the Maidenhair fern part
a slightly humid shade into wedges.
The Trillium, like vagabonds
with snowy petaled heads
are edges where waxy hearts
of wild ginger spread.
Blossomed Shooting Stars
twist in shapes of amethyst,
ignite at will against
a galaxy of chlorophyll,
on the Crooked Fork.
We saw the prehistoric looking
Sculpins where currents tremble,
lulled in turquoise-clean,
were poised above the Lima-bean
We resembled a wishbone,
watching prone and stretching,
cupped hands magnified, submerged.
Side by side, on the verge
the shy creature and
we panned for gold and thought
we found a fleck, then made up names
for other fish, juggled speculations,
talked of filing claims,
struggled, smiling through a tiff.
We stayed until the evening breeze
spilled out freely in the trees;
banking off their bark.
Then a thrush in bursting keys
sang chiaroscuro’s last trapeze
and rang the Crooked Fork.
How often we brushed the sawdust
from our shoulders
and slipped kisses around
the pointed aroma of pine,
our ears still tolling
from the sabretoothed,
Mechanics disecting the age of a tree
kerf by shrieking kerf.
on the sharp air
in a flown powdery pitch.
beyond that milled second shift
when improbable green
neon shears bleared the stars,
wigwagged in the solar wind.
We drove northward pulled by purples too
and swerving-drunk on curtains of color
slivering the sky;
our garb chalked with bits
of dimensional lumber,
a florescence revealed in our eyes.