The Hunters

 The sun will melt these continents,

wash it all to sea.

One hears the constant racket:

knuckle contact on shuttered panes of the

glass eye, complaints about a contract,

all blurred at their ever wavering lines of contrast

like the soft consonance of water,

ever wearing rock. One sees

everything all around,

the wire

encircling, telephone tails and faceless networks,

the arms of the new mother attention,

the wide eyes of children, yet unashamed, 

every stillness and every movement, a

hardware store ceiling fan silently suspending dust

at a summer six thirty, still hot as hell

and sticky. One learns

that one must cope,

that one must have a strategy,

that one falls always not before God

but before the waiting,

that a man wears a wristwatch like a crown of numbered thorns,

and a bold face, his nailed wrist carrying on and on. One dies

with one’s every thought,

all of them now too bloody to speak, 

so one speaks of the season, 

of last year’s meager harvest and again

one plants nothing.

The sun will fall, a burning roof

come down upon us.

They taught

with double head nails and self-tapping screws, spade bits and

hammer drills, the measuring tape, always

quick with the level, the clamp.

They spoke

of building, of the brick, of the mortar, 

of the trowel, never of the water, 

on the telephone never spoke of

the wire

running throughout. They danced 

at weddings every five years

and in between were not exactly sure how

to dance if 

nobody was getting married. 

They drank all their dreams

and sobered up

ten years later, when they

drove their American and Japanese cars

behind buses in the salt of early spring,

perhaps without a second thought,

perhaps with a third and a fourth, and went

to the appointments, fifteen minutes late,

but made it there and collapsed on

a million couches sobbing.

A grocery bag flickering on a

bare-knuckled branch, they held


The earth will bubble and kick

her blood flowing forth

hot metal in the night.

The hunters came at dawn,

came before, were surely there all night but 

sat quiet and ate nothing and then

came at dawn, and

drove it thundering sweating mad until it was trapped and

drank from the old cup and

danced in the old tradition and 

spoke old prayers for its life for its blood and its memory and

taught their children to do the same,

died when it died, and wept and

learned its old name from its flickering eyes and

saw them close and

heard its last howl echo

to nothing. 

Ever and Anon

 Your fear burns white hot,

right at the spot where your skin

did not touch mine.

So let me tell you all about myself— 

about red suns that rose, that set on

the literature of my childhood, on

dreams of running away to live in the woods,

and about all the continua i had to fold

just to find you, you plot device I will use

in another tepid story 

that I will not write.

I have trapped you 

in the blank white page.


I define myself today

in theories on thoughts and underwear,

(what color is yours?)

the facades that nobody sees, that

I wear like my tobacco hypotension. I am

all vascular falterings, but the blood still shows

in tiny beads

on my cracked white knuckles. 

There are many whites—this one

you would wear

like a virgin’s cocaine habit. 


The cardinal does not leave for winter; with it

I will streak bright red, all crest and feather,

across frosted backyards.

I cannot leave them silent.

I will speak to every

quiet thing I find. 

i really wanted “can” to be “will” but sometiems you gotta play the magnets you’re dealt

i really wanted “can” to be “will” but sometiems you gotta play the magnets you’re dealt

Waking Up on Your Sofa

These are the red octobers,
The months that unfurl like a matador’s blood,
And are gathered up in private cups,
Each man a personal
Caesar, and each a private
For two nights behind a stone I
Stayed awake, because I
Had no more to give you than sleep, and I
Woke with a conviction that withered
In the sun’s content, and molted like an addiction.

Morning found your fingers buried in my bloody wrist, and mine
Inside the morning mist—you
Love me when I’m not sober, and
Bitch, I’m back out my coma.


Frater Ronald was a great man, you say—your
Nightly routine, a movie to relax.
You want me on top, you say,
But we can’t both be—your
Morning routine, a reckless need to dominate,
To get me tearing at the walls
Like the people in their chains—Oh the flourish
With which you defund public transportation,
Your motorcade tinted and
American made, though perhaps leaking antifreeze.

Can you feel it trickle down?

No, the inaugural date lingers your desires,
A December moon overhead which looks
Like the face of a clock and shouts, hands bound,
To comfort, “And all’s well!”

Carter now sits halfway off-stage,
Contorted in the penultimate violence of true theater. Sing,
O Muse, of the rape of his solar panels, the weeping
And gnashing of teeth as the great
Obelisk shot shadow on the streets.

He sins who wastes his seed on the ground,
He the tree-hugger, naive in political nakedness,
His skin running mercury below that
December moon, a trapezoid
On half the bed above which he kneels,
And this the advent of Reagan incarnate
Once again, a scandal and a winning smile.

By Way of Proof

I’m calling to collect, concede concern,

exploit and disregard apologies.

There are no sorries left, no water fetched,

no tumbling after broken crowns, and down

these hills I’ll plummet, still contrite, or limp,

or lying all the way. The debt remains,

a debt these limbs will leave unpaid again.

Instead, attrition tenders credit’s claims,

in tendon and in spid’ring bones, the wrist,

in fingers’ sins, the noiseless sex of dirt,

or cartilage. You owe me for my sweat,

and for the cells you’ve stolen scratching. A

sincerely untold doubt is written there,

in epithelial loss and potting soil,

in unstill space, still air still being filled

with color and your hips’ conjecture still

so absolute, and killed—so fucking dead.

With tendons sore (and aching to remind:

the mind is only strong because the hand

can bear the force), I told you I did not

believe in falling. Maybe I believe

in jumping; maybe I believe in sounds

of bodies splattering upon the ground.


These suburban lawns are a different cliche altogether,

perfect in their imperfection—look:

all the brown patches the same shade,

sod in surrender to sun,

gold paling to white, and green held fleetingly in gold

as we fall from the center,

each prostrate before purples

of typewriter ink—read:

"lights out."

And the ashtray’s gray and brittle silk exhaust

(we’ve written off the loss) is fading into languid grace,

delicate and dead,

snake-skinned dusty gases overhead, these threads

I watch damp airlines pull from cumulus, kernels pop and

yellow over campfire sun,

the jet-wash and the UV’s done

with bleaching fencepost tragedies—one I recall:

gone for ice cream in the evening steam, we were high and someone said, 

"after a storm, there is drama in the sky." Stage lights down.

This yankee town is blanketed

in a speck of darkened page, a serif borrowed

from 1968, and with one vowel key

being depressed deliberately, it’s sent

lavender and salmoning, pinking down to fuchsia now and

violeting, indigoing, black—each another track

laid out parallel to cool, as

far below, I’m walking up a hill.



the land undulates.

God Forgives, I don’t

The trap pervades. 

Between the 808 and casio snare, 

time counts presidents, five (doctrine) and twenty (lasagna),

and space bags; feel the air pulled from inside you, 

dying on a wrought

iron fire 

escape, -isms to find and to file

away—no, records to drop, no, 

rock to move, TEC and open I with which to sleep,

rich to get or trying to die, lean to drink and stand to take—an

over the shoulder glancing piss. 

Elegy for What

We’ll gather soon, we two,

lay flowers at the cenotaph

a chisel named “last year.”

Hair to hips as flowers now become

to slightly greening granite talks

of mutations, likely atavisms;

I’ll say in mustered measurement,

"a reading from the book still blank

you gave me for my birthday.” Or was it Christmas

and I’ll pontificate on some typically

half-assed soteriology, on bottom-lip topography

that’s grown dramatic as two plates converged,

as glaciers backed like bangs off foreheads,

scarring chasms now too wide to cross, and rock

now caving down, now buckling up and up and now too steep to climb, 

especially since I took up smoking.