Poetry Archives Bio
June 11, 2018
1:40 AM
sixteen ninetyfive

To Sophie Grace Shields

happy people are all alike
every unhappy person is unhappy in her own way

almost as if to make the point
kate spade and anthony bourdain
hang from their snarls like the last leaves of fall

but you  my small big furry faun
come  stay with me

there are so many rooms  so little space here
in this house  and soon each place with plastic straws
will come to break the camels' backs

why must each word be a frustrated repetition
an empty ring recurring with its entry point effaced?

you'd like a resolution to the dawn?  go on
and pull that party parachute  according to tradition
in unison we'll state  "like this I die!

shall i compare thee to a summer's day?
shall i compare thee to an apple pie?

i love you  and your hair it smells like memories
your breasts like challah sanctified
your eyes when you have woken up yet still at rest

your small dog's sour moist thanks
your short but deep and strong iambic breath

you simply make me to forget
my back (fast fractured in tercets of pain
fur on the pillow where my head was  and again

your body opens wide to me just like the country
your nethers are a soup upon my tongue

imbrued a touch  interminably sour and sweet
a bag of brass pipes of all size unmatched
sits calmly by your sleeping feet

and undergarments hang from antlers
like so much prey

the light falls heavy through the tilted slats
and while I sleep i dream  one day I'd like to meet
that forest jesus  he'd take me by the hand

your panties in my pocket as we walk
discussing politics or latest podcasts on the cbc

but no  just as my father drives me home
I hear the stereo insist in leonard cohen's voice
that jesus was a sailor  so of course

he'd have not much to do within that orchard
for it's the kind of place where you can't tell it slant

the facts then  you need me as much as I need you
and no one else  all water freezes but sometimes it flows
most poems that we call complete are finished  tortured

the price of oneway ferry ticket to your house
is sixteen dollars ninetyfive  how strange
I haven't counted every syllable inside this poem

May 28, 2018
12:59 PM
My day is dissolute, absurd...

This is my translation of Мой день беспутен и нелеп by Марина Цветаева [Marina Tsvetaeva].

To Sophie Grace Shields

My day is dissolute, absurd:
For bread I beg the beggar bird,
With coins I fund the rich man's wellness.
Into a needle I thread light,
With keys the robber I delight,
With whitewash I now rouge my paleness.
The beggar does not grease my palm,
The rich man does not take my alms,
Light does not thread into the needle.
Without a key the robber flies,
The fool is crying out her eyes –
The day devoid of glory, meaning.

May 25, 2018
5:37 AM
внештатная жена

This is my translation of "part-time wife."

в собирающейся тьме
застелила ты постель ненасытности

ночь — оргазм на колёсах
в гирляндах грязи и пионов

она вытащит зубы
сплющит кости твои

художник с той встречи
он меряет время своё

фасциями речи
и улетает в долины

мужчины — глина
женщины должны осветить и сжечься

на посуде языки павлинов
(малкольм икс — гей

апогей страха у ворот
вечно запоздалый паром

к велосипедной карусели
к херр кубику мягкому врубик хладной плоти

арматура натянута
подниз нижней надстройки

покрывало рвано и смято
в гневе  есть марафон

прибывает в город   есть
со страницы сирена в рёве

April 22, 2018
3:03 AM
Island Poems: The Completist

To Sophie Grace Shields

The men in this town wear an awful lot of denim.
Many have coats and jackets like hunting camouflage.
A man has a tattoo of a girl with pink and round breasts.
He seems the kind of man to turn off the music and
Listen to rumbling engines for a greater truth.

The ferry is laden. It looks as if it might sink.
A priest in a black frock moves to a lower deck,
Averts catastrophe. The diver in the oven mitts
Hangs from the ceiling, and the punk kids in the row in front,
They talk of nothing but witchcraft and power stones.

The people on this boat are all quite good and trusting folk.
The windows on each side, they act like magnifying glass.
Two women kiss and take a photo on the deck.
The whitehaired elders eat their breakfasts with much relish.
The rain gets old—oh, sure—but not the ocean, never.

It is a lovely day. The street is full of birdsong and
The air is filtered through with aromatic smoke. The rain
Taps gentle feet upon the slanted roof. The light,
It falls in place into the smallish room. I'm shrugging
Off my lust, assembling a menagerie of you.

The bedframe rises from the ground on stalky feet,
The spreadsheet notwithstanding, as the trader tells his friend,
"If you don't buy it now, you will have cold feet forever."
The classically schooled mortician taps his baton,
And we're off to the races (but do not hold your breath).

In Kilroy's serif'd eyes, all history's erasèd.
His mind is mush, it makes no sense—not any more than time,
Or chicken feet and cattle bones delivered to the house,
Or all the trees whom S&Ms in lights the woman
Whose profession is to bring in discount frankincense.

The Japanese seismograph does not move an iota.
It has no calibration to detect half-whispered talk
In the darkness, or the talk and footsteps from above,
Or how not to give a fuck (a lesson badly learned).

Oh, but it is, when on the day that a small sparrow burred
Into a speeding Ford and ricocheted off—puddle, dead—
I have a nightmare: I receive death threats at work from
A woman spurned by me—here is, again, an offering,
Torn to shreds (perhaps for food), only a foot re—

April 14, 2018
11:33 AM
After Hemingway

For sale: space boots, worn once.

March 27, 2018
9:57 PM

To Jess Nicol

the light 
             eventually it gets us all
the gin gods deem it fit and so the light
the light 
             it sets out to the task of rending us

     semiramis stands proudly at the awning
     white coffeecup in hand with green bestriped
     as from above pours out new water from the morning

wise agamemnon cannot raise odysseus on skype
who like a general of rain is holding council in his truss
watching the water run down windowpanes

             across the alleyway stand dawn and dave
             they watch the stocks and funds  
                                                            their merry dance
             while buffeted by noises from the overpass

      and two doors down the heartbroke poet man
      leads a symmetric life in his calamity pants
      and in the eating leaves the proofs of puddings

downstairs the flesh is draped and drawn over misshapen bones
a dog is barking or a woman wails
somebody reads a news report about how china's florists starve

               to syncopations of pearlescent scales

March 13, 2018
10:01 PM
The Great Depression of 2073

To Chris Olstrom

change is chaos
so I never carry any

these are places I have been
that have been in me

the traces behind the eyes
turn'd to deep blackred brine

a crack in the lunette
a callous rippling on the waves

and all i want is to watch the sun set
and read the atlantic
and drink red wine

* * *

the seawall
speckled with narcissus

the time of light when even smallest pebbles cast
the longest shadows

so  the day untuned
what is to be done

is an oar an oar
is a spoon

* * *

i am a bundle of nerve endings
piston or pistol-epistle

i am a borrowed tic (talk
i am tired of the poetic backend (pun intended

i assemble things in a state of apartitude frantic
like a hairline trigger on an accent grave

and i wonder "I should put a button here
now  what function should it have?

and is all i want to sun the set watch
and read red wine
and drink the atlantic

* * *

you cannot be professional in love
or talk about it with a forkèd tongue
(or mince your words in time betwixt

proximal metatarsals call to me
how shall I get me home from iridiscent larmes
to which your hand is now affix'd?

the savages they cook and eat in corner'd maps
still life with oysters or red rocks and foam

a courtesan with downcast eyes she serves me postcards
as an aide-mémoire  her ex's shoes are sticking from the loam

a man named shoeshine ironshirt has crippling nymphomania
a maniac has mania in a small house in tasmania

* * *

the man with demons in his boots
is climbing down the steps of former suits

t'wards the collective ravelling apart
of lucidness moonlit

before he goes to bed he tries on every pair of pants
none of them fit

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