Daily Archives: March 13, 2010

Wildfire

Some driver ahead of me
must have tossed
a cigarette
into the shoulder grass. 
Flames
are rising like thread
along the blades and smoke
is beginning to collect
above them.

I stop, whomp the fire
with a blanket from the trunk
and it spreads out
from the whoosh
of air.  Out of control!
I open the cell phone
and call it in.

The trucks come
and handle the crisis in minutes,
though it’s burned much
in a short time.  The men
seem almost bored
as they spray and shovel — small
wonder at what for them was small,
routine, nothing really.  Third one
today, in fact,
one of them tells me. 
Par for the course in August.

Too late now
I think of how careless
I’ve always been, how reckless
so often
in attempting to stop
destruction
with one blow. 
Too sure of my intelligence
to use any of it, when all it would take
is a method practiced
often enough to be automatic —

and too late, also, I find
I’ve again made a wildfire
into a metaphor. 

Perhaps
that’s also
part of my problem,
that everything looks like
my problem.

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Invitation

Come.

Come rejects, come
unfamiliar, come
unfortunate and turquoise
from holding your breath,
you’re welcome.

Come unremarkable
and sticky leftover faces,
you’re welcome.

Come sexy
block-built blood sausage
kin, you’re welcome.

Come.

This is a dim place
paved with embers
but it’s not impossible
to brush aside the floor
and find your place.
The walls are full of razors
but lean against them carefully
and you’ll find rest.

Come, I cannot urge you
enough, come.  We need you,
born of skin and rage, of
some errant parental mistake,
of heritage of smoking water
and acid farm, stinking of
slight and disfavor, street stained
and completely out of place,
come.

Come and we will fill each other.
Come and we will eat the arms of power
and wed in the light of pyres.
Come and link eyes and cheeks
with the remnant folk of divine discard
and learn to slink as dogs do, tongues wagging,
permanent smiles on our furry lips,
the best friends the kickers of dogs
will ever have.  Come neutered and resentful,
raped and fleeing, safe and restless in affluent
storm drains, risk-friendly wealthy lovers
of filth, ermine fingered, ruby worshippers
at the hearth of fantastic breads: come.

We will butcher the cows of Eden
and explain our hunger for eons after.
We will burn the grains of salt mines
and marvel at the flavor of tears.
We will speak in low voices of tree hearted stars
startled by the force of our longing
for the velvet force of rushing wind
and the iron whisper of mountains falling
upon the necks of kings.

Come.
There’s need of all of us now,
dented as we are, alternative
to clean and tidy, contrast to
mild, challenge to bracelet and ring,
tattooed incisors,
pierced through our revolvers,
branded frontal lobes and no dice
worth throwing with all sides rubbed blank
long ago.  Come

and stand.  Just stand here.
We will be the fence of honor,
falling before the riot,
pointing forward.

Come.

See the very name
of light itself
begin to shift.

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The Songbird

Fatherless
and thus denatured
she created a blue mask
and sang for pennies
of a life of romance
she never knew herself,
but the tunes were worth
the tears she forced
from her listeners, and they paid
more than that for them,
so she lived well
a life of creation
and character play.

Meanwhile,
a bird she’d been
for a short time, a bird
who’d fallen with her broken shell
to earth, died slowly,
unremarked in any lyric,
did not learn to fly,
and it’s hard to say
that’s a tragedy,
but I will, even though I might
be incorrect;

she would disagree, I think,
having most comforts in her hand
and no need to seek in the bush
for the fledgling past, yet
I know a song or two she tried
back then, and I swear
no money could buy them,
they were that lovely
and warm and true.

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Bowls

Nested within you,
multiple bowls
holding the liquid
of you.

When one overflows
another will always catch the spill.
Little, if any, is ever allowed
to dampen the ground
where you’re standing.

How they are filled,
how they are shaken,
no one can say,

and you aren’t telling,
of course.  But inside,
you are swelled and warped
from the moist damage,
and the slippery fact is,
you won’t contain yourself
much longer, and you know it.

The bowls teeter, totter,
the contents slopping about
inside.  You’re seasick with the motion.
You’re going to founder, and fear —
the tiny bobber that won’t go under
as it is rocked in your head —
will soon be the only thing
you have left.

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