The closest we can come
to the unseen
plumes of scent
spun by a spindle
It chafes you, I know, this
Remorseless penchant for drama
I have. Life is too short
was alive: small creatures aglow and crawling
one after the other down each tall green blade—
thousands of them bending at all angles—
You hunker underneath a shaggy fir,
shifting when sunlight shifts its bit of shade,
and eat a single almond every hour.
The bank of cloud that night was like a smoother
lamb’s wool, a fistful you’d pull to stuff
a pointe shoe for ballet class. Or maybe the cloud
bank was more like the tiny cotton coverlet
A white jar dissolves into the whitish background
that gently presses its narrow form upright. Morandi’s
ceramics must be manna for the eye, I think. Here,
their proximity makes several forms seem melded—
After a while the bird starts to twist
to turn this way and that
as if to show me every side
Now that my mother, as others say, has passed,
I like to visit churches that display
the miraculously intact bodies of saints
in glass cases. Sometimes the hem of their carved garment
The striped shirt drying
on the patio chair—
you can say he wore
when a man has selected himself to live longest of all
there will still be a fleet of Cadillacs to come for him in the night
self-driving from their garage
It is difficult reading today
Or doing my volunteer work at the hospital or reading.
Do you have anything unbelievable that you have read twice?
Pink Jackie’s back in the car.
The shot, the slump, the gore.
The sky’s a murky green. You stop the car
in heavy rain to take my hand and pray.
Is this a truce? An end to civil war?
It can be laughable
to stand in a room
and not know why
you came in there,
Hey you, untrue god, fiscal man,
futile man, sour young cad; hey,
yahoo, seducer, family gun nut,
G. C. Waldrep
i.m. Mahmoud Darwish
I went into the desert for the velvet flesh of two white fish.
And when the heat of the desert was withdrawn from me
Oh friends I am a prison to all that lies within me.
It burns the way phosphorus burns. It bears the raven’s flag
into the ragged country called by its natives Los Arpas.
The moon dragged her string-net bag of shadows through the boughs
My long shadow paces and the skreak of gulls
hauls evening down and furls it along the edge of the lake.
They are the colors/of my dead father’s Lenten chasuble,
and I think of our friend Greg.
Hannah Louise Poston
She reconstructs her ruptured orange peel
while telling me about the fancy meal
It’s come unlatched, the sloppy silk fist
unhinging like a jaw as if
to swallow something bigger than itself—
During a time of great need
we came easily
under the influence of light–
Along the coast of perpetual breezes
I lay myself down. Half-light slowly
all the way, like the lid of the earth twisted off.
Full contentment may be possible
You’ll be among the first
to know. You will. You’ll see:
waddling like an emperor’s obesity
ahead of you, sunrise, the future.
Oops, hit the skid rind, cruel world
slipped a corkscrewy peel
We’ve been reading dirty
books, the kind with scurf
in their spines, cracking
their backs over my bed
This is where a hotel used to be.
Neon made the gin a sea-breeze blue,
Just as if Korea never happened.