AnnotationsIn free countries every word is inflamed with flowers.
There are always funerals to attend.
That Soviets sent atheists to die in space
only evidences the premise that an ache is sovereign in humans.
(Collectively, we've done all the drugs in the catalog,
worked to exile ourselves from the pull of suns
curving around rooms, bent like trees in the soft algae radiation)
Who entered who is irrelevant in the procession of things,
but important to nation building.
People often leave each other with the windows set like clocks
to bloom at the insurgence of a feral moon.
They call the silence an animal,
a painting of wooden boats lined across the strait.
And people used to cross there, I say,
smoking with strangers in a bright field.
This morning, another nuclear physicist died.
We begin to question the notion of accidents.
And then the gravity and harmonicas;
woman smiles down the wall.
When news comes from the past I remember you were beautiful.
Dried-up river: Tell me you've bee
The Farmers SonWe sat sipping grappa as the storm clouds rolled in from the ridgesThe Farmers Son4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like the smoke from some great unseen inferno,
the wood walls and shingles of the house complained to us
in low groans,
of the wind coming up hard, through the valley,
and there was flickering light from a candle,
and she told me how light from a prism dissects into different colours that correspond
in some way to our bodies and that all of life was a rhythm
and I believed that part,
and I believed there were stars beyond the sight of man on any grey day
and that they might hold some greater secret than prisms or rhythms
or any question a farmers son could ever mutter,
and the wind slowed to a stillness
and the rain moved in and our voices gave way
to what my Father would call The Lords Music,
the pitter-patter of water
on the dry and flaking earth.
Pythian 8and souls take their spirit from the waters)Pythian 84 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Tremble our teeth we diseased
shipmates love immediate
nothing. checkmate. Hadley is happy,
high-achieving stimulant, her
secret fear that epilepsy monastic,
Modesty and clean energy, she the borderline
All the loves lined up like bullseyes
staring at the hit. Hadley has come
to find genius an unlocking mechanism
swelled up, fallen up, taken up to down
dictators fall down amorphous, Web disease,
down on pay, on mortality down says the orphan
become trying was to the boys living higher.
Exes she fixes, who such what girl
whose kisses mean less than nothing, Hadley.
Dear prodigy, code for my destruction.
So beautiful, irreplaceable-feeling.
(they do not step into the same rivers. it is other
and still other waters that are flowing
a poem about driving in pennsylvaniaI'm driving west and at the state line all I can seea poem about driving in pennsylvania3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are canvases of steaming light waiting to be painted
in the brushstroke forest that lies like a crescendo
across the reservoir where the grass washes over our ankles
and my eyes will never open so wide again.
June 12th had all the markings of a fine poem:
thick music scattering lights to the night city
reflecting in the same warm cadence of breezes
and your head resting on my bony shoulder.
You asked me with such sweetness if you could read my poems,
but please don't leave me with my love, with the cats
spilling out of your arms into the contaminated water
of taking in the divine ecstasy of just existing.
I want you to be so happy that when I swear to protect
your solitude, you will promise to escape for me,
to tear off the anxious rivulets that keep us netted
in the seasons as they appear in the Hudson Valley:
three sadistic ellipses promising comfort with the turn
of the next gentle equinox and rattled atmosphere
and my eyes are di
israeli want to know people who know godisrael4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but our instruments assure his exit-
quiet, loud, inevitable.
a roar in the streets, explosion, signs
or the satellite lying quietly across the ocean
the strange sky making martyrs of mute ships.
if we're meant a return, I believe,
there will come fog and we press ourselves
through voices like old forests until we're together.
but the spirit? what do we know about weightlessness
in a dimension polluted with gravity?
a beleaguered preacher says 'have you ever loved us'
and the audience erupts.
when god doesn't answer i look for you
in a liquor store that burned down last year
in a young countryOur people surrender to depression with elephants in their poetry,in a young country4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the suicide machines built like the helmets of astronauts
more or less proving god's absence in their wake.
We've perfected the technology to photograph an airplane
bending at the moment of impact. This is the world we were given.
In our books the bodies fall upward and nobody prays. We're left
watching spines stand and drift into an exodus of hands in a video
of unsinkable buildings. Our state is overpopulated with expositions
of the ache that some get while staring at the sky. The folk music
of our planet's oceans can no longer lessen this place's collisions,
all of the metal in our bodies is homesick,
all of these geese stayed behind and froze to death in the park.
goldthe surface ripples.gold4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are the sun and alone,
the radiance of a halo not Luna,
whose visage is pale
as bone, whose flesh is cartilage.
peel the wallpaper away,
as grayscale as my touch silver
fades to sparks of ash.
a mist dissolves
to day. and you linger so transient
layer to layer, the clouds set as sheets
on an expanse of skin. tremble:
sea and sky
converge only to exhale
as they expand,
once. atmospheric pressure builds
where stars fall to water.
l'hiver.(you can't tell the birds and the snow apart in the sky:l'hiver.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the grand church of dizzying space - )
and the trees are yellowed in cowardice, raking the sky
to the ground and around and around.
listen to your organs: the almost grand piano of the
churches i'd never attend.
and never mistake the courage of the sky for the cowardice
of the ground. never frown, never frown.
listen to your palms: the salty swing of the old snow
burning up on silk and splendor.
and visit the dying snow birds in their graves of the
ground, and they drown and drown.
(you can't tell the birds and the snow apart in the sky:
a grand church of dizzying space will reply. why. why.
would my white birds die.)
We spent the recollectivesThis is what the early universe looked like:We spent the recollectives4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
dust motes hanging in a slant of sunlight;
love is natural & real and gathered in the corners of
the vacant smiles of stroke victims & thought killers
who told me to regard the universe as a living creature with a heartbeat of zirconium,
who makes insurance claims against our classics, wonderful winged portraits
of lunar landings & alarm clocks, of broken Aeneas, the galactic curator
expecting big things this year, a big turnout this year,
year where I recall the bacchanalia of eyeless Christmas Eves
that chased my family into carbonite wetlands, the hydrogen eateries
When I hang my towel up to dry born is the cosmos & other luminosities
& you were my only one in principle: our bodies are stardust gallerias
& we're getting comfortable with the dead things
&, look, the stars are acting the way we poets commanded them:
stirring, knitting, swerving
The SiegeThe first mile is always the easiest.The Siege4 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
—Kyle Lynn to me, circa 2006
Tell that to the ghosts,
men soaked in sand and blood spray,
storming the shores of Normandy.
First Infantry's sprint through coastal
trenches, up bluffs, under ruptured drays.
Tell that to the ghosts
huddled in half-channeled holes,
a captain's dash through shrapnel, gray
storm on the shores of Normandy.
A German boy adrift in the compost
of his legs, his elbows' grand flail.
Tell that to the ghosts
ripped in four by mortars posted
over Omaha. Dawn's evenly keeled decay
storming the shores of Normandy.
How quickly the lung forgets to oust
its breath. Be wary of the sea's affray.
Tell that to the ghosts
storming the shores of Normandy.
tasseographyAfter absolving the windowsill violet, she savedtasseography4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the Persian rug by feeding the greater context
of a harmonices mundi to his gaping lungs and golden teeth,
and the bitch and her tingling low comedy hallway conversations
called mandudebro to Andre Breton from across the media lab,
and I knew her before she cut her hair and the galaxies fell
and this is the paper that won't write itself at 3 a.m.
when french vanilla Irish creme hazelnut coffee all tastes like
battery acid and she is a toy, batteries not included,
and we couldn't tell the future in her coffee grounds
for the future is as inaccessible as the present which is not
really present in boxes of old things in the attics
of Thales Anaximander Pythagoras Empedocles Philolaus,
and after absolving the windowsill violet it took her
all of her strength to simply close the window.
ContingencyThe survival plan was contingent on blues,Contingency4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
after the subway is bombed and the pigeons settle like grief
Sometimes we communicate in diseases sometimes
the angels that haunt the space between factories
exchanging all the promised inertia for flowers
that bloom and die instantaneously
And after the country would appear as people
stumbled upon the shore in language and crowds of telephone wires
And then the protocol says
everything is bad weather in this fall-
the endoskeletons of factories are crawling through the fog,
as our horses
quietly return to the ocean.
ZemiThings having to be returned to their transparency:Zemi3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
/ green mist-earth / knit
atmosphere / fathomless
blue-lavender / lights
spun out from light
are recalcitrance / and you
& - a fingernail of summer
- a melting of rain
- a crown of flowers
- a priest of sunsets
(beautiful? I love you, because. Zemi.
Zemi. are you beautiful because I love
you? Zemi? )
I imagine this is what it's like to breathe sea foam
over the Cliffs of Moher: hydration. absolution.
To Rilke, it's a melody that floods over us
when we have forgotten how to listen for it.
I never could forget this: for how could I know
my hand as both well and chasm? and how could I know
time, a windstruck dimension, standing in her white street?
We go on morning walks and Zemi
laughs at everything I say.
Perhaps people laughi.Perhaps people laugh3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Perhaps people laugh,
standing under broken things.
(Perhaps gravity is an affliction,
someone once told me that a man could
have wings, but
I only saw an equation.)
Maybe, your faith is misplaced?
perhaps God knows,
perhaps God knows.
Perhaps feeling is a number;
Perhaps the world is made of parallel lines
Perhaps our degrees are just
Tangents of my value over yours
Perhaps our feelings cannot be deduced
Through words but only through numbers;
You're a fraction and I'm the whole,
But to you I'm only a decimal.
Perhaps people laugh, under
Perhaps, through tears,
God laughs along too.
(there was a nebula collision,
but our instruments shorted out. We could only
watch the faint, pulsing light from the dust
as it crept into our depths.
for the first time
there were no viewfinders.)
Perhaps there are angels.
Maybe there is comfort in knowing that
if no axiom exists,
then God must exist too.
(The number you have dialed is inv
ChicagoA soul would need more stagnation to be one for the saveChicago4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
for I didn't know my words could hold a body over a city,
and I didn't know this disgusting and lovely city drew blood from strong veins
unstable city emerging from the underworld pink and primitive
in short gasps of promise and disappointment, I can promise you
that this was the saddest I've ever been:
your friends and me throwing magnolia petals into Lake Michigan not knowing
being afflicted with acute missing in New York still not knowing
having the most permeable love confluence not knowing
hanging a map with your city in the middle and stabbing it until the marker runs dry
can only hold me over until I know your world is beautiful
and the most beautiful thing is it doesn't stop being beautiful
and these moods we have are its beautiful rotations humming
and the city I can't stab through, it's just saving up its beautiful for you
psychiatry of lonely nightsThe Psychiatry Of Lonely Nightspsychiatry of lonely nights4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we open your chest,
we find his words tucked inside
they hide within each crevice
each folded, words from letters,
you stored them in your ribs,
you'd swallowed them whole,
flossing them between bones
and sealing them closed
only to open to us lonely nights
or a sleepless time
or a remembered phrase at the bedside
once covered over by parietal
peritoneum and solemnstitch,
pierce of each enunciation
and far-off thought
cut apart by an ample knife
a thoughtful gaze
heart hurt to see the sight
feeling like concrete
sifted around the valves
off-set with cracks
all shuddering with each repetition
he is gone &
he is far away &
your thoughts thread into your eyes
your fingers reach toward each letter in your chest
when we lift words, tentative at the corners,
your breath trembles and refuses to leave,
pain all in your hand that shakes on the precipice
between heavy shoulder gaping wound and
visceral pericardium, tattooed with
cyclic motioni. every sad story starts with love.cyclic motion4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
ii. there is you sprawled across the bed
with your ankles tangled in cotton covers
and the golden waves of sunlight
breaking themselves through fissured glass
to drip into your hair like bright honey,
your hands reaching upward
as if they were young birds waiting on wings.
you wept for those flightless, wet-beaked children
anchored helplessly to your wrists
but their hearts were not as weak
as the foreign fist beating in your chest. they collapsed
and only left behind
the impressions of dying constellations
they had scratched beneath your eyelids.
iii. at dusk i watched the night take you in waves, glowing,
and said you were the most beautiful thing
i had ever known.
it was a lie. the want of a thing
is always more beautiful than the thing itself.
these are the quiet things we do not tell--
the secrets touched only in the dark
when hearts are laid open
and everything else forgets to exist.
iv. i whispered that to myself when the last shadow
a rapture backwardsleft only is an auditorium of empty chairsa rapture backwards4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what comes next is sometimes the midwest doesn't exist
falling apart she agrees that perhaps it's only their language
slowly devolving into a flock of birds
the exchange of obsessions between objects in motion
every reference to the depth and volume of night
we do not know how to die beautifully
i stop believing the moment she realizes that
Tumeric.the night my dog diedTumeric.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I shaved my legs
and tried to wash my
with shea butter and
and the pavement under
my heels felt like mud
and no melody or
sibling could extract
the fatigue; blue-grey
tomorrow, I'll tell you
under your jumper, that
love without conversation
is almost as meaningless
as physicality and sex
and I screamed and screamed
and called you despite my
metallic arteries and
the gusts around my ankles
and you had sport to play
crash, the burning out of
my compassion and my
violence, but I couldn't
be without company
for I could do without love
until the build up of rust
and walls slowly
sleepand rise,sleep3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from blanketed depths
(the soft rustle
of muted movements)
between sheets unused;
the aimless wander.
ChorusIf heaven exists, it's a heaven of choices.Chorus4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I go there to choose my own death.
Life is what death talks about.
Look at death conversing with the flowers
it chose to push out of the heavenly stems.
Death is what life talks about.
Look at life consciously building
the stems flower governs by serial choices.
The wind expresses itself in many ways.
One of these ways, I think, is the same way
that choice becomes a method of dying.
incendiaryit was the city -- you know, a self-contained organism, a microcosm of reality in which we all take part. it's like a play, with our very orchestrated roles rehearsed perfectly until we can pull them off as smooth as ice.incendiary4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
it doesn't matter which city, because really, they're all the same -- paris, milan, barcelona...lawrence, pittsburgh, atlanta.
what matters is only that we were in the city. i was myself, playing the role of a love-struck jeweler, praying i could find just the right gem to put on my lover's finger someday, and she was herself, playing the role of sara.
sara, my love; sara, my heart; sara, the snow beneath my feet, the ice begging for me to slip
but still, we were here. glimpses of this city swallow my hunger -- i might never eat again if this were my home, the way it filled me up. but the moment i broke eye contact with this entity, this city with its glittering skyline, i felt the hollows in me ache again.
it felt rig
s18People who die in their sleep have the most beautiful stories.s184 years ago in Scraps More Like This
It's true that we each carry the burden,
planets and streets we didn't cross,
a restless vibration of fields,
wind that exists as a particle or a wave
depending on which ocean we're witnessing.
She came back with all of it.
And then photographer missing in the painting follows with:
I sat down across from them both,
I was only a man, the art that exists here
is relentless. It had to be mountains.
It had to be snow
Yielding to the experiments,
the bodies of our heroes riddled with tumors
and begging for new york or LA; they assemble
as the oak in the front yard,
as an exodus of birds following the shoot-out down the street,
And when they tell their stories they are backwards.
Trees begin in the jungle fire bombing,
and end in Nicaragua next to a vision of the lady of sorrow.
The buildings ascend like prophets with no one left to warn.
Until they all find the sea,
suspended or fast-f