Thursday, February 24, 2011


He'd never named a dog.

Not a brown-gray brindle
or black-gray brindled
one was the dog
our Brownies

for stimulating memory
whenever we see a dog
with boy was not,
                             never was his...

My father was twelve, thirteen,
me - forty, maybe forty-five, when first we

threw his rock at the snake he missed
most of his childhood

and we saw to it, sometimes
                  - that day in the desert being one.

       That day we penny-pitched, the other.


When I was a carnal
breath, they held me off with garlic.

What I thought I had   I gave it as a priest
might give a blessing.

My religiosity?  -  I thought they'd crave it.

        But any rooster made a better cleric.


He isn't like the old men
who wonder if

we salt the waters
exumed from wells.

He's good as old ice -

cools tea with his finger,
will tease a finger round an ear
draw circles over the amygdala -
the brain's space for smell of fear,

and, he imagines, his fear of smells.

He isn't wondering why;

    does wonder if it's he
    or is it the dog, once,

was a part of an occasional dying poem.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Shadow in the flower heads
and teazle, up the leafy stems
and thistle to the waste land
and hedgerow, hooking

through the brush and broom,
combing into the deep
fern cup and forest

This will permit its decay..
the sedge, the brown bog.

She knew the end of, she knew...


What sort of sleep is it
took my breath?

If it's not death
has my lungs,


our powdery


who is it's      coined my eyes...


I found a feral child in the yard
while culling weeds and tending
to a dog's grave.

       I was surprised to see it cuddled
       round the oleander roots
       seeding the soil with its toes.

And I, who put the dog down late;
he who shoots the air gun at the cats,
      who sprays the crab grass


will move the boy, tonight, to
a neighbor's yard, and pinch
his toes into their garden's bed

      before he learns his labor's

           lost on me.


You will never hear this from your father, but

your father tried hatching your egg,
setting over you day after day,
boggy testicles blanketing
your soft shell,

only the rasp
of his shoeless feet
shifting in the nest
to break the long vigil's

All this in hopes of a child
in place of a loss,

which I believe he believed he'd suffered
in either commerce or connectedness -

or some such silly thing as that which still
has him bewildered at his commitment,

hovering as he was over a strange
-ling's egg hoping

this would read

like a father to you.

Monday, February 21, 2011


It's not easy to let die
a lawn.

There's so much to go that must go first.

Water must go, and thirst.

And winter will
expect to kill

what you've killed.

     ...and there are disappointments
which attach like burweed

as you tire of the garden and the home.

You must consider these before you let die a lawn.


At the waiting room, in a doctor's office, he
had crossed his buff legs,

the right under thigh atop
the left thunder thigh, and

sitting there with nothing
                                 to do

with his hands, he
tried manipulating his right foot

to behind his left baby calf,
the instep and toes to grip

the baby calf, the tension then, when
applied, would slip

the hip from its socket, but
which hip socket,
he wondered, and

he could accomplish none of this,
though he'd seen it done once

by a contortionist, and now

he had no excuse or reason to be

or ever see the beautiful
baby doctor ever again.


The police went through every pachyderm pocket, elephant by elephant,
until they were finally convinced it was a giant hoax.

And, thereafter, they quietly apologized to each elephant
so that the fiasco, in their police minds, seemed smaller

than it did to the elephants or their mahouts.

And each elephant, according to their temperament, either
accepted the apology graciously and left the tent, or reacted badly,

and the mahouts were brought in to calm them.

And, now, it is mahout against mahout
in bitter controversy,

while the elephants seem to have forgotten the incident.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Imagine an image of our inexplicable father, one
of only 100 copies of individual ancestral leaf
-like memories left in our memory bank excluding
those of our lost dead, headstones not
bought yet, forget

like the broom and dustpan left
on the side-walk after the sweeping
of the leaf-like leaves as you forget
remembering the process to its end,

or the boy, youself, long

since   broomed away.


I can't wait for bedtime
and the prodigal dog's telling
of how 3 days lost in Jawbone
and anxious moments
are not the half of it.

Here's hoping she relives the adventure through the horse
tunnel, or having to tunnel through carcass of horse
to escape the reproachful coyotes' circle of death

dance anecdotes I'd like to live through
second-handedly easier than if
that's what she'll be asking of me

if that's what she wants...

Friday, February 18, 2011


the cops were here because of the red
-winged blackbirds.

There was one in the tree after they left,
3 side-by-side patrol cars in their small row

outnumbering by two the one.

My wife thinks they were just chatting
or here about the beating

a wife took without a word.

I think it was about a bird.