Poetry Archives Bio
April 24, 2018
3:29 AM
Island Poems: ​امید

To Sophie Grace Shields

sleeping next to her had made me radioactive
 sleeping next to you has made me electrified

      the bell in the cave rings
      but there's no salvation in the tincture of time


the landscape always has something to hide
overnight oats
                     the ghost of a dog
                                                a lived-in chaos


the faces change places  the word is on fire
such long life  so much ekphrasis


watching you watch people
pour tea through the window  I wonder

      how old were you when you discovered
      you had a corkscrew vagina


leaning on the kegs
in the back of the cobalt  I ponder

      if you had a tail
      what kind of tail would it be


lying in a dark room I imagine 
circumstantial evidence of orgasm

when you  neither madonna nor whore
come to me  death is certain


                i want to eat your liver
      I want to hold your hand

                    but i may not
                          and it's just fine​ 

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 erased.
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).
"YOU PIECE OF SHIT; IT'S NOT ABOUT THE FUCKING TRUCK."

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 I had spurned—here is, again, an offering,
Torn to shreds (perhaps for food), only a foot re—

April 16, 2018
4:53 AM
Island Poems: follow me to ladysmith

To Sophie Grace Shields

this town is small
and full of curves and hills and rises

your basement suite
is wider than it looks

you like to complain about the mess
i see none


slowly  like a starved dog
I am tamed to the bed from the ottoman

you offer to cuddle
I accept

we do it a dozen different ways
        arm on top
                   leg at bottom
    your head on my chest


your body burns
so full of curves and hills and rises

from time to time
my dormant penis meets your ass

tangential sparks arc
i remind myself I'm a guest in this house


the traffic outside
is like crashing waves

your breath is steady and calm
I sense your leg's gentle jerk

next  your toothbrush quietly sings
as you get ready for work

April 14, 2018
11:33 AM
After Hemingway

For sale: space boots, worn once.

March 27, 2018
9:57 PM
radiator

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

8:44 PM
the nightmare (unfinished)

last night I had a dream of a machine
that had unspooled onto itself
the innards of a woman

then it became new flesh and gave itself a name
but those around it called it by its own
old sign

defending its identity it raged
but no one comprehended
it was a new thing  its own thing

and that the being which it had destroyed  it was no more
it was like barbed wire twisted
onto a thick flesh pole

it didn't ask to be explained
it didn't make an ounce of sense
it just defiantly lived on

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