Saturday, June 26, 2010


Digitalis purpurea

What can make the heart grow stronger
can also kill it, can also be a tall, belled bloom
in my mom’s backyard garden. I ask her the name
of it, she can’t remember, angry with
the encroaching fog of old age.
She calls me later on my cell, as I head
back to the city on the train.
“So, you remembered the name?” I ask, as I pick up.
“Foxglove. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”

And the connection is broken, but remains.
There is something so important to us
in the naming of things, especially
the smallest of things, till they become
the code for something else, the vines
that bind us here, the trickster fox
offering palms full of poison
and salvation, and we can’t help
but shake both hands at once.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The wind coils a succulent rind
out of nothing. It briefly lifts
the raspy skin of my T-shirt.
I stare into it, and I see nothing.
Invisible currents, coding the light
with their touch, relays within relays,
the way a tree sways in the dark
leaves no mark on me.
The shadow’s tattoo could be chain-link,
could be the last inscriptions
of a pure-born medicine,
could be…But why would you want
to finish the wind?

Friday, June 18, 2010


Sorry, where to begin? I’d see myself
out, if I could find a way in.
I was about to pull a parlor trick
in the portside stateroom, when
you suddenly reared your ugly
two-timing head, and stole the action
right out from under me. But I knew
I had to buy into your cover story, that
all storms are washed up with this one,
all slates wiped an oily sheen, am I right?
As the ship goes down, the bottom becomes
the top. I’m working overtime, I’m trying to see
clearly here: What’s my part in all of this?

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I bow before you, loyal only
to the level of your sustained scrutiny.
My life is an open book---please read!!
I would offer an abridged version, but
that bridge has gone too far, and left me
without a proper hand-shaking arm.
I fear I cannot survive beyond the sub-viral level,
that I’m not about to catch on.
This nation continues without me.
I’m a slave to the impulses
of my ghost limb, a nub glibly reaching.
I can’t hold onto this smile forever--
Catch it while you can!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Turn off your computer.
I know, I know. I will cease to exist.
I will return to my cave of shadows,
hang my puppets to dry by the back window,
and turn a blind eye to all the scrubbing
that needs to be done.
I will recalibrate.
I am nothing without your input.
I respond to your touch.
But you hitting restart
is like a blank check to me.
We give and we slake
in our mutual thirst,
and all I’m asking for
is a moment of silence.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


…is busy checking the fine print.
Seems the void in warranty is an aching
hole in the center of all of us, and is best
avoided in most instances of polite conversation.
Bring up the weather, instead.
Or ask directions to the local bistro.
Claim a blackout in Google maps, that
your rib cage is a tuning fork on the fritz,
claim anything but empirical proof
of your very existence, because that can
be rerouted and used against you.
Stand still. Stand silent. Let the lights
in the sky go dark, and find no traces of you…