The Compass She Gave Me

The compass she gave me

literally, as a joke

to

find

casual

companionship

became a serviceable

metaphor for something else

she

gave

me. Without an encyclopedia

or a connection to the Internet,

speculation contends that every

star

begins

in a chaos

of angstlessness

burning into a breaking

beyond restraint, limning

the terrified

quiescent

space.

Unfortunately in Life

Unfortunately in life

the pages

aren’t

perforated

nicely in the left

or right

margin,

so

when

you tear

7-10 years

out

of

the bulging

notebook, it

leaves a violent

slant

of remaining

what-was-written-

there-I-

wonder?

to the curious

reader of absences.

I follow the arc of

the Moribana

Shin

branch

of plum

blossoms

to the absolute

nevermindlessness.

Instead of Saying the Words

Instead of saying the words

that were glowing in

a pyrotechnical

font

across

the undifferentiated

landscape and sky of her

heart and mind, Claire

kissed the man

beneath her

on the neck, and

then the chest, and

then the stomach; before

he

pulled

her back

to the scarier

intimacy of saying

the burning

words,

first.

The Yo La Tengo

The Yo La Tengo

melody

was

playing

across the rooftops

on the western downslope

of Capitol Hill again, because

silence

is

mostly

a revealing

of the coming

or passing mood.

I followed the delicate

notes in their experienced

flight

across

the deep

television frame

of my window, the morning

of the last day

of cold.

Maya, Let’s (After Fellini)

Maya, let’s

entertain!

said

the frozen

earth in January,

Northwestern Hemisphere,

to the invisible kindness, often

mistaken

for

Strange,

underneath the

push of existence.

They don’t deserve

flowers

this

year, said

the Goddess,

in the darkness

more exquisite than

form.

It was silent

for awhile, as earth

guarded the months

for a change

of heart.

I Am Indigenous

I am indigenous

to this page

of time

and

space.

The group of fastest

friends,

from the June

of startled beginning

to the laughter of September,

gone.

Where did

the provisional

family

go?

Where did

the first flower

disappear

to?

I am

aboriginal

to the sound

deeper into silence

than sanity

would

go

arisking;

otherwise.

So That He Wouldn’t Have To

So that he wouldn’t have to

order another one

when

his

burrito

arrived, Jake

put his Negra Modelo

off to the side, and focused

instead on his icy glass of water.

His wife was telling him

everything

she

was

thinking

and feeling

and he was listening

and understanding

somehow, and

she kept

going

and

going.

Claire Rested Her Cheek

Claire rested her cheek

against the blue

wooden

table

as

she sat

by the window

in the café, feeling

the rough grain of wilderness

beneath the cloying paint

of civilization.

It told her skin

to never mind the

neverending conversation

going on behind her,

among

the first-generation

bourgeois-bohemians,

railing against Themselves,

ignoring the closer

truth.

The Ruddy

The ruddy

bud

on the high

branch of the black

oak, was struggling for

a place in the daylight of

becoming

a flower,

against a husky

bunch of dead leaves

clustered in its tender way.

Winter-hardened as bark, last

year’s

beauty

would stay,

stemming every

beginning, until the

dream of life was stronger

than

anything.