Tag Archives: poem

You cannot read the stars and live

You cannot read the stars and live.
You cannot comprehend their mysteries, you are consumed in the process
You are burnt up.
And below them,
Eyes transfixed skyward, regarding,
is a stranger,
A thief of your memories
Standing in your place and on your ashes.


-Let's say for the sake
	of argument
-that only 90% of everything sucks.
-For every ten blooms of Queen Anne's lace,
-one is the wide circle of snowy fractals that
	floats beside the road like an ethereal crown.
-For every ten New England trees in fall,
-One burns redder than the imagination
	through the all the fibers of its leaves
-For every ten songs, one makes you jump and twitch and smile in your bus seat,
	then look up to see if anyone noticed.
-For every ten kisses, one gets you into terrible trouble.
-So then which line of this poem
-is the good one?


Today I feel old.
I am drinking pu-er and eating an old apple
alone at night

I am remembering bread and butter
across a melamine table in a messy kitchen
The pauses, breaths caught, trapped in the throat like little butterfies
washed down with red wine

I am remembering hot New York slices
and tepid coffee
gulped down to the rhythm of a New York sidewalk
defensive against the terrible night to come

I am remembering water with an alkaline tang
and little oat bars, sticky, crumbling
in my dusty, dry hands
eaten against the journey, against the sun’s wrath

I am remembering a black olive stuck on every finger
eaten with giggles and milk moustaches
kisses delivered as wards against growing up

I am remembering two coffees
two sets of gloves resting on a table
defying the last train of the night
to go home without us

I have eaten my apple to a jagged core
I have drunk all my tea
I am patient
for tomorrow

Thing-a-day 7: Plato told them: A Poem about remix

Plato told
Them that was crucified
the falling stars

time is enormous long river
and I’m standing in it just as you’re standing in it

We all put into the river
and it flows away from us

That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession,
We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times,
that you and he might touch each other.

certainly told them

I can reach down into that river and take out what I need
to get though this world.
Stories and songs and poems
Important events and important ideas

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
They should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

Jesus told them

From pent-up aching rivers,
it flows down to me
The words of my book nothing, the drift of it every thing,

(They didn’t believe it,no
sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth


to tell them.

(With deepest affection for EE Cummings, TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Rilke, Utah Phillips, Yeats and William Blake)

Choka for 2011

The peculiar now
Counting years in weird digits
For seventies kids.

An ipad “revolution”
Lab grown meat, The Wire
Ersatz breasts, sharp far-talkers
Disaster movies
Postmodernist IRL
All the knowledge, free
Pervasively known selves.
This here we dreamed of,
This is what we made of it
Let us say plainly
Yes, We started this fire

So, 2010
it was a sarcastic year,
a salty green year,
better than I’d hoped for back when
I was sure I’d be
dead well before Thirty-Five.

And for 2011?
penultimate year
of the fifth mayan world
The end drawing near
our last full measure of year
as far as we know

I wanted to write a poem
Maybe to impress you,
Maybe to impress me,
Maybe for the Mayans,
Maybe to impress the idea of 2011 which still seems impossible really because a little girl in the 70s is still waiting for 2000, the future! You never know for sure.

Except for sure to get far out of me,
to get to that other place I have visited on occasion where the othermind-ness of poems takes over
But now I broke my choka, and my words spilling around soaking the wrong side of broken choka staining the table, damn

I am bad at this
Organizing all these years
coming ever faster now
and ever more peculiar