The Black Balloon
Go, chase the black balloon,
hazard the fields of snow, the miles of tundra;
follow it into the arctic void, drift with it through icy wastes,
never let yourself grow weary.
Stretch out your arms; call, call after it.
If you should stumble, fall, and break your leg--sleep:
Close your eyes from too much white
and watch the black balloon sail on,
becoming a fleck of dust in your blue mind.
Wake; now look behind you. You have left
pieces of yourself in a twisting caravan of bones.
Why for a black balloon?There is no more north.
Overhead the black balloon fixes itself to the sky
and becomes the shadow of north,
the dark companion of the pole star.
-previously published at Half-Drunk Muse Poetry
Congeries of Autumn
This hollowness you feel
after the sun’s slow death
is an orange and azure cave of moans;
whatever the bluejays said,
whatever the winds say
stirring round hills and hollows,
a human mind can only
describe the tenor.
What does a mist say over a meadow
What can a cloud make
of the shape you’re in? God was never man,
and man was never thing--
a root, a clay;
and a whole bark of poets
will never confess
what an apple truly is.
Because of some now dead
son of a bitch, who was
in the habit of always flying a flag,
his faithful widow now sees
to it that she, too, always
flies a flag. Fuck her
next door neighbors, though, who
have to listen to Old
Glory flapping and snapping,
night and day
in the least breeze.
-both poems previously published at Plum Ruby Review
You console yourself with the words of the wind
on the shore where you await my own words,
as if they were coconuts-of-the-sea;
“Mauritius, Mauritius,” the palms breathe.
One day I caught a guano boat bound for the Cargados,
drunk on the color of the bluff sail,
sleepy with my head on the cool thigh of twilight,
four fingers dragging through the wine shoals
purpling the bow.
Morning had the scent of a Renoir,
and chuffing shoreward, fresh breezes ferried sea foam
off crab-gripped banks, white as pink.
I found your poems there, stowed in a triton shell,
thin scrolls for the ghost crabs.
It was noon all day, it seemed, till sundown,
when some green flocks
beat westward out of sight.
-previously published at Shampoo
Variations on the Theme of Heap
A single hemorrhoid,
An ancient Roman foot soldier's
A coat or surface
of short close fine furry hairs
Or the velvety surface
an extra set of filling yarns
cut and sheared;
A machine for driving down wooden poles
with a drop hammer,
Or the top of the head of a bird
from the bill to the nape,
A collision involving usually
several motor vehicles,
A jammed tangled mass,
Or the umbrella-shaped fruiting body
of many fungi;
The close-fitting pointed cap
of the ancient Romans,
A coarse hairy perennial figwort
A wedge-shaped heraldic charge
and target-shooting arrowhead;
A stack of wood
for burning a corpse;
Or any great number or quantity.
-previously published at Snakeskin Magazine