Wednesday, April 27, 2011

welcome to waking, earthling

it's a little like falling.
off of a cliff, not out of bed.

heartbeats slow to a line
sons are bleeding,
weeping over their mothers
sheets to bones tomorrow
it's time for dinner.
salted waters sweat
in holes and currents
catheters funnel blood
from vessels to ships together
cracking life from scales
in the wake of dinner.
matadors thrust swords
ribbons to ribs to shreds
160 degrees of comfort.
Garden fingers pull roots
seedling hearts of daughters,
mother's gather dinner.
pastures nod to sunset
calves call again
a splatter in the pan
eyes roll back to head
black to white to red
going home for dinner.
they fall from cliff and bed.

* also, i have just made a short video from this poem. if you would like to watch it:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

razor shoes

for his mother

a run through the dew
misted breath
sopping shoes

mornings are razors
taking breath
stealing shoes

it's too early for wine
and the clock ticks
to the beat of my shoes

Monday, April 18, 2011

dirt to shoulder to horizon

A companion:
Dear Trail,
I wish that you did not terrify me. Though you would not know it by the smooth assurance in my blue eyes, you swell my stomach with aching fear. The path behind me has been demolished and so my trek must be in forward motion. A lonely slow motion. From your head, the cement seeped up and settled hard into my running shoes, laced with anxiety. How far have I come? The meager calculation is sad. How far to go? The vastness of that number is daunting. I can not be sure that my weak breath will float me the distance. Will my mind be able to shed these heavy, cemented doubts (and shoes)? You refuse to carry me.

In bedtime stories I have heard of your end. Velvet moss and gentle leaves. For fleeting, enlightened (or light-headed) moments, drifting to sleep or panting hard, I have seen it clearly and felt that I could be close. In my dreams I am a fox and I elude you and my toes soften and pad underneath my soul- the downy fur becomes real and i step and leap and trot and weave and dance. To your right and left. And your miles are only a game.

Clear-headed or in waking, I am slow and careful. Your curves and slopes are ominous to me and for now, I let my tears splatter on your face. One enchanted evening I will defy your taunting gravel and concrete and sand and dirt while kicking my shoes to your shoulder. I will spy the red sun on your horizon and it will become my home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fox in the pantry

when i left you
i left my breath
inside my water glass
i left my arms outside in the snow
where did you go?
i cried behind a tree, chased a mouse
while spring bloomed around me
(you're all around me)
cool rain falls,turns my nose blue
i'll turn around for you
when the galaxy strikes midnight
when spinning away isn't right
when i leave
burnt leaves on cement
to taste snowfall gritty and alone.
a scarlet blur in a gilded field-
i'm a fox in the pantry
breaking up the dishes
should i even love at all?
the waters bleed to skies and melt away
in your hands (sand in your eyes)
i've never breathed, melted or had clue.
strike a match.
i could turn around for you.

Calvino's Wave

waves remain separate
for only so long
whitecaps crash apart
for mere seconds
rolling in as millions
in the black of my eye
so quickly a flash
they crash as one
onto the line of sand
commingled and salty
they become me
they become you

fleeing and receding
fleeting and misleading
the new wave
hikes her skirt
and rushes back to the moon

what is a wave?
is it ever more than Id?
fated to remain
countless, swirling parts,
she is never whole
in the wild peaks roll
part by part
in the final seconds
she succumbs to the sand,
and becomes One again
waving from the open water
she rushes back to the moon

Thursday, April 7, 2011

you're alive. happy birthday.

Dear Daughter,
Happy Birthday.

I do not know who you are or what you have become. I don't know how old you are. Today, you do not exist. In fact, perhaps I should have said "Dear Son." Though, I have a sense that regardless of your existence status, you are a daughter. If I am ever destined to be a mother, I feel as though it will be to a daughter. Whoever you are, I am sure I love you.

Tonight I found myself down by the lake at sunset, eating pretzels alone in the sand. I talked with your grandfather because it was his second non-consecutive set of fifteen years of marriage to his second wife who is not my mother. Love is complicated and I have just wrapped up my first marriage, only three years deep. Relatively unscathed. Sure, I have told you about him by now.

I walked home with my groceries and pretzles and nearly lost my sauce in a wicked splatter on the sidewalk. Tomato sauce and wine were both fine. I live in a small town. Please take a kitchen knife to my right eye if you were A. Born in this town or B. I am still living here or C. Have a go at my left eye as well if both A & B are true.

I am positive that you are beautiful. I have popped plan B's like PEZ. I have laughed in the face of the idea of you. I have prayed that God would assign you to another mother. So, I suspect that if you've made it here, I was desperate for you. If you are reading this, I am happy that I did not miss out on you. I also hope that I don't have stretch marks. Maybe you're from Malawi or Guatemala. Maybe you are a son.

Where ever you came from, you're the song on my lips. The stripes on my Adidas. The missing rhyme in my sonnet.

Chapter- "Manufactured Tails"

He stayed up late into the frosted night, basking in the strange blue glow of his father's computer. He shone in the window, reflecting into the woods. The night noises of the wild valley were muffled. But he knew and felt the reverberations of the wolves' hymn. He used to know the forest well. He sank, foreign in the blue glow of technology. He leaned back further and allowed himself to break. With eyes like icy Norwegian ponds, he wept and stared bitterly at the tragic screen.

He resented the injustices that had clear-cut the wilderness of his once untamed heart. He felt weak in the aftermath of my destruction.

Futilely, he attempted to click the keys. The words would have lept out of his soul and into the realm of thought had he thought to hold a pencil instead...
Had he inhaled the grainy air of an open field...
Had he drenched himself in the damp, misty air of a waterfall...
Had he felt the itch of the hay bales in his grandfather's barn...
Had he heard the quiet chirp of peepers in a country summer...
Had he been enchanted by the glow of fireflies behind his father's shed...
Had he drowned in the mooing of the cows in the valley at dusk...
Had he been himself. The luminous boy from the wooded coulee.

But he had murdered those memories and he could not find a pencil. So he typed. A Manufactured and mechanical letter. The story of how I left him. A defeated tale of a boy who had lost his fresh air and his purpose- a defeated man in the back pew of the wooden Lutheran church. In shadow of his elderly relatives' successes. A man who drove his mother's station wagon to the nearest town to substitute teach and drop a letter to me at the post office. That was the only letter he ever wrote to me and so I wanted a letter from someone else.

Even when, during our third year of marriage, when he had flown away for the second time into the Norwegian mountains to live in a yurt and eat kale, he sent me no letters.

He missed our cat. In the absence of his near-child and his sought- after children, having the fluffy Fitzgerald was all he knew of fatherhood and so he routinely sent along shiny balls with bells inside and catnip to him in the mail. I felt an awkward jealously, so I proceeded to shop online and send expensive things to myself in the mail. I braided my hair and brushed Fitzgerald's tail.

Flinty Eulogy

yesterday in globed glasses
pouring, drinking
skip the pouring
lovely brims, wine never reaches
lips hug rims
sorrow in globed glasses
(maybe i will die alone)

apologies typed in letters
sinking, mourning
sleep on an inky morning
lonely hearts, never filled to the brim
hands hold pens,
the finality of typed letters
(surely i will die alone)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

the middle labels me in the sky

Brothers. Fathers. Uncles. Husbands. Boyfriends. Lovers. One-nighters. Friends. Grandfathers. Ex-husbands. Ex-boyfriends.

(somewhere in the middle)

Letters. Phone calls. Emails. Texts. Visits. Drives. Vacations. Plane rides. Texts. Texts. Texts.

(cannot find a label)

tears. laughter. hugs. punches. kisses. sex. war. peace.


Shallow. Deep. Water. Blood.

(blue skies)