This was a pilgrimage of sorts, unconscious,
that she did not know, only felt like the river
turned to glass beneath the bridge, beneath
the humming tires.
She crosses the asphalt toward the peculiar
momen t behind her the bowl of sky
splashed out as petroglyphs long forgotten,
like ancient sailors who thought they would
fall off the end of the world. The light on her was a
despondent thing—when she slept her ex
haunted her as death sauntering down the street
dressed in coat and tails.
The rusted metal roots hated by wind and rain
press down upon her—pounding dead
memories that she never wants to resurrect,
yellowed bones fermenting in dirt.
In the North Carolina mountains a Cherokee
shaman gave her a red-tailed hawk’s
feather from his hat saying you need vision.
She dreamed different tales that night—
diverse shadow women that came to her
narratives floating from their mouths
like bursting poppy seeds:
matter cannot be transfigured into wine,
rattling bones tell the story, the rattler always
sleeping in rocks cold frozen from the
winter. Have red hair not blonde stay
away from Roman statues with broken off
noses—that’s where the demon lived.
A man in the form of a swan or bull
is not to be trusted. Fertility masks are
wasted if you belong to a tribe ovulating
Know that all is a degenerate
floating parable you like us
walking within covenant ground away.
poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:028
They sing, you see, those
who embrace brothel’s providence
whether with a whore in a backstreet
alley or within the shelter of heresy.
They would know heralds to
test their mettle with woman or god
or man—reason narrowed they see
in a chalice of uncertainty windows
sigh, optics decompressed by
desire. This is a nightmare of intellect,
no fruits bloom whether on tundra or
the haven of weeds.
With their songs they have made of
the earth a courtroom of disorder, truants
hunkered down wishing to change, to be
The modern long discarded they would
deconstruct memory’s attic, scrutinize the eighteenth
century nursery of suffering that brought them
where clouds sew and stitch together the
burial shroud, make of reason a lost graveyard,
preshrunk, centrifugal energy long spun out, not
even a cairn left to mark the spot.
Their songs burnish, meld, solidify that
which is believed to be an eyestrain—pirates of
their own past, intoxicated by desire to destroy
they mimeograph a tundra of oppression,
sweep away like weeds the last final traces of
a closeted majesty as leaves blasted by a newly created
poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:028
Through This Glass
The coffin lowered into the wet earth
Like a seed sleeping through winter
The way of the father in life as in death
Dust to dust ashes to ashes
I never knew him, not really. 56 years
and we barely had a handful of words,
maybe only when he was sitting under a
tree, whittling, sun on his face.
They will rest from their labor for
their deeds will follow them
Walking away through the bare winter
trees, tombstones static stone texts marking
the now nothing that was something, that is
nothing—his house empty the bible the
black bible that he never comprehended
lying on a side table, mute, empty.
The body that is sown is perishable;
sown in dishonor, sown in weakness
His face framed behind glass in the hallway
eyes Norse blue of fjords driven
by a weathered moon that had
tasted the steppes haunted moors
and they followed me like gently
praying eyelids where darkness
liquefies freezes over the masked
frost on glass time of sleeping of
unsaid evening prayers.
Though you are evil, know how to
give good gifts to your children
Alone alone I build the fire in the woodstove
the way his bony black fingers from the
mine would set flame mind-bonfires
licking like the blaze from a burning
bush as god speaking bible messages.
who maketh his angels spirits;
his ministers a flaming fire
Stripped of all reason fall on the floor
saying words I do not know I breathe life
into his still image where he comes
down off the wall and goes into the
late-winter naples yellow evening behind
the thin pencil dark trees.
Rise up and shine,
for your light has come
where he comes from the glass drives
on the wet dark roads through hollers
the almighty father photograph breathed
life riding again through the long night
while wife children huddle wait
for the nomad time of desert women in
thin silks hunted by the plucked
word from moonlight moonlight
But come here,
you sons of a sorceress
And he comes from the glass breathes
in the scent of bars of Appalachian
saloons knows how the moon’s gray
eye the will of beasts angels
sequined harlots takes one to the
mountains to the stale stolid
waters running as blood bitter
waters baptized by wine where
the glass reflects this for a time and
the solemn wind brings no song.
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read more poetry
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Through This Glass