Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Left to its own devices,
My pen will drool and dribble.

The ink soaks the sheet like
Sea disappearing into the beach.

I can dig a moat around my sandy turrets
But the water still caves it all in.

When I need a buttress,
When I look forward and I see nothing but

Empty space, I find the focal point:
Adjust the shutter speed

For the cloudy-bright afternoon, then
Press and hold the button halfway.

Take focus off the inner grind.
Inside the machine, one-sixtieth of a second

Snaps, a dog gulping jerky treat,
And I capture one vision of time.

Full, the frame restrains my view;
My eyes gorge themselves on pixilated detail.

I built the fence, and I grow inside it.
I box myself into the digitized borders,

Muscles cramping over a single verb
A seed buried in a container in direct sun.

The pen lifts: it holds itself, hovering
There’s time, and no need to bleed.

Inside the frame, light cuts into slivers
Boxes and slats dividing the space again.

Ink carves the emptiness like a river.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Old Porch

In that song, Lyle told me about a
Steaming, greasy plate of enchiladas

With lots of cheese and onions.
Singing that song about his old porch.

I couldn’t think of my old porch that way.
My old porch hung off the house

Like a dead weight, that tongue of cement
Lolling in the front yard.

My old porch cowered like an old dog
Under—well—a porch, in the heat of the day.

It sagged, sighing in puffs of air,
That slatted swing a-barely twitching.

In the storms, my porch huddled in the against the brick
A schoolchild practicing a tornado drill.

But, at night, when the sun advanced and hid behind
The house across the street, then, finally, ran off home,

My old porch dropped its hunched shoulders
The slats of the swing undulating in the

Evening breaths. I’d perch on one step, leaning into
The softening wood post. My old porch held me

Like an old familiar hand.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I wanted to be there early, to that sorority of women who push evolution along. I wanted to be there on time. I wanted to be there when everyone else was arriving.

I wanted to blend in, to move with the bodies that were moving already. I wanted to press my body into that one body, already making itself. Then I would not be noticed for my individuality.

I wanted to make it easy. A life made easy. One small life. That’s all I wanted.

I had a friend. She got it all so easy. Oops and she arrived, first time, even after all that coke and pot and those drink-filled nights. So easy, and they drew back the velvet rope and let her slide right in.

I didn’t want to lose it. Or if I had to lose it, I didn’t want to have it, anyway, in the first place. Something—or someone—laughed, I think, coming along, letting me peek inside, then and ripping it all out of me. Take it out, flush it, clots, down the toilet. Barred again.

I make cookies. I make paper airplanes. I make piles of rumpled, dirty clothes and I make them clean and folded. I even make the African violet bloom, sometimes.

That is, when I don’t forget. When I am not late with the things it needs. When I am not off doing whatever I did to let it all go to hell.

I am not late. I am in hell.

I wanted to be there early, but I couldn’t find the door. I couldn’t find the man who would open it.

Now I am not late. I am not late, isn’t that good?

No. I am so far behind that I have not even arrived yet.

Or maybe I’m just in the queue, the line of vacuous losers, who are never let in.

I want to be myself-plus, expanded. I want to be lush, to be flushed, and ripe.

Instead, I am gutted, rutting against the alarm, the tick-tick-tick of the calendar clock.

It’s night now, and I can push it all down in to darkness, what little darkness there is on this solstice evening.

I was young, but everyday now I am reminded that I wasted it.

I wanted to be early, to be on time. To have it. To hold.

It’s too late for that now.