Archive for the ‘Geek Poems’ Category

I so wanted to love this sunset,
so many moments here
I waited with the sand
fleas, the whip of sea
oats on my cheek
in the whirling wind.

But all I can consider
is that dream about my mother,
the way she walked still,
how she fell in the dream
like the man we saw
at the restaurant by the lake,
face-first flat with his walker rolled
down the aisle between the table-boats.

She was there in the dream,
laid out like that man,
head lolling and eyes
domed like a red-furred tarsier.

In the dream, my phone
had slipped from the flannel-front
pocket of the shirt I’d scavenged
from some evicted neighbor’s things.
Too late I’d hooked it from the lake,
hand a claw, a yellowing leg
of a hag’s hut. And the only passerby
refused, no matter how I begged,
to wait with my mother while I ran.
Ran. When I returned she’d gone somewhere.
The lady, and my mother.

So I have to tell you, fish, tell you pier,
tell you barnacle bisecting my palm
as sand shifts and I stay my fall,
I tried so hard to love this sunset.
Now my back’s to you.
Now my calves quake as I climb the dunes.


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I have six hours, eight minutes, one hello
to go on, but what I know
is, of everyone, I want
to carry this book to you.
On the third page, I want
to say “Read,” to point out the dedication,
cry that it starts as well as the last,
run my finger down the first
three paragraphs, which bound from
curiosity to terror to relief, like an abandoned page
caught in the draft of a passing car.

You have unlocked the library,
drawn the curtains, pointed to the dust
we need to clear. My theory: The two of us
like ink and paper could be better together
than alone.

I want
to write this story, though I fly
from terror to relief as I wonder,
whether this
is what you want to read,
then hope that it isn’t.

My vocabulary’s gone, left
silent too long,
unsounded yawps absent, known
only by the susurrus of a pulse in my ears
after running for the train.

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October 11, 2010, Dahlonega, Ga.

The sun just rising,
the leaves just turning,
coffee just cooling,
one tendril of Virginia creeper
just grazing the fencepost like
a curl just loosed from a chignon
just after the wedding.

I have just two mornings left to see the hill face
on the other side of the trees warm to gold
while I watch not the sunrise but its effects,
while roosters crow in the valley and the innkeepers
bake in the kitchen below,
two days and a return
to a flirtation that’s just ended.

It was a catalyst,
kindling just caught,
breeze just turned to carry
fuel to flame, spark just strong enough
to overcome the stirring.

So I wonder:
How do I maintain it
down the mountain,
fuel the reaction without
the reagent,
carry the fire without the torch.

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Overcast Sunrise

Slow lift, lightening monochrome,
roosters in the valley subdued,
and a dull, gossiping wind
ballasted with damp.

All the other mornings, the ridge opposite turned,
in a breath, sleepy green to gold,
sunlight’s angle set to catch the pressing hint
of autumn, like a brow swept brown
to draw the green from hazel eyes.

A car passes somewhere I cannot see,
biplane plays a rhythmic drone,
reminders that the world is real
outside the boundary of this little inn,
that I’ve been kept here
like a princess gazing at a bauble
and falling to a place where pigs
carry the pie plates,
and frogs play the violin.

This trudging sunrise reminds me, cushions the blow
that today vacation ends.

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No Recording

The sea spreads
steady as sunset, as spilling salt,
as the slow sink of forgetting –

unstoppered moments spiraling
down the drain, sluiced out
with melodies, hair-stroked strings,

undammed and unimpeded
by the star-flash of screens,
by fumble and fiddle.

The precious, ephemeral stillness seeds
a shark-sharp barb I’d have dodged otherwise.
My absent friend: You’ll never hear.

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It’s not necessary to breathe
Forever is a long time
Your head is on the moon
– They Might Be Giants, “In the Nightgown of the Sullen Moon”

I heard they had a space program
When they sing you can’t hear, there’s no air
– They Might Be Giants, “Angel

I learned to juggle
with three gossamer scarves
salvaged from a thrift-store table,
long fraying teal and square
purple brocade in arcs with the third,
plain white and scarred
with solutes left once the water had dried.

All three so reluctant to fall
I knotted their middles
like shuttlecocks, snitches,
still easy to keep from the ground.

They plummet like plates
away from the air, set to strike
at my feet as I scramble from flight
to flight, grasp at rolled hems,
loosed threads, my mind divided
from even the thought of impossible breath.

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Tonight we rolled back
a month of mornings that crept,
tickwise, the whole of the sky
like the firmament thought once
to swaddle the world,
star-layers and strata
stowing little ellipses
nested like cyclical gears.

Weeks of work undone
in the wake of an error,
but I am untroubled,
carrying only a pick
and a shovel, a drive
to remake what we’ve both wiped away.

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