The space between the cries of the Screech Owl is larger than the space between mid-October breakers, crash upon crash upon stone. The voice leaves you thinking, someone has left you alone, not for a moment but in the background noise that implies the impossibility of silence. Owl cry is more a sonorous trace than a sound; sound delimits a thing where the trace is a sketch of life already erased, ringlets in the August morning lake where the pebble splunked, a split second before. Erasure, ringlets, the Owl’s cries remind of you of a time when you were both there.
-- for Hilary S.
It's less about the painting And more about the pineapple It's less about taste And more about the taste of the succulant It's less about representation And more about being present Holding a dripping wedge To slick lips Gulls on the updraft
Goldenrod and Loosestrife Chicory and Buttercup Queen Anne's Lace and Clover A crumpled bag of Bugles A discarded Covid mask On a manicured lawn ~
Playing at topiary at four thousand feet I trim the cumulus into a squirrel. ~ Last night I dreamed of the numeral 2 becoming a dog it seemed odd, a dalmation with one black ear. ~ Grandchild birthed from his mother One shape drawn from another.
An old man that I met in '92, told me "you should meditate in burial grounds." Then he added "In Tibet! Cemetaries in America are parks. In Tibet there are half decayed bodies or half-eaten bodies left from animals. In America, maybe meditate in airports." I meditate during root canal. "You, YOU have to be aware of dying. You know about death, everybody writes about death and the bardo, but dying is ANOTHER thing all together." "Success is false. You cannot be drugged by it. You will die, you will suffer in dying, this is inescapable. You think you can cheat death, but you cannot cheat dying." He died in 2013. My old-man was a robust, post WWII guy. "Don't let the environment beat ya!" You recognize the past tense. Dad died twelve days ago, was not into meditation. "THINK!", he would say, "THINK!" Dad taught me analysis, thinking, and caring about family as the only way. In the end, he had dimentia, visions of women on the ceiling. Not sexual visions, confusing & mind twisting visions. He also saw some horror he never told me about; I saw it In his eyes. There are visions that creep within us. My old man, ow gone, mouth agape, eyes open. This is my current haunt. How do you shake a ghost when you love him? You never escape the visage of your dead hero, the decay of his body, his catheter, his spindly legs. You don't want to forget What else is left but this trace? He told me he wanted to go, but that was before his mind withered. Even that, he was aware of now and again. Once when I was twelve I dropped my jack-knife down a sewer drain.
It's an odd thing, to be handed a tote bag, as if one had contributed to the local public radio station; tote bags are "gifts" for contributing, but having the tote bag contain a wooden box containing a plastic bag containing the ashes of your father, is this all that there is? In the time of covid there is no ceremony, no casket, no family, only a tote bag and a wooden box.
eyes open, your gape mouth:: road kill possum on the way home
It never arose In my prefrontal cortex That the days after you Passed on, would be Filled with an amalgum Of salt-water And downloaded PDFs Printed so as to provide Data and attached Documents about your life Its end, and of course the Official John Handcocks. ~
Take fabric For instance, how we dye In a certain pattern So as to create a star-field And horizontal bars Of blood and soil To draw a swarm. Take flames, For instance, and apply Their tongues to whole cloth Which sets eyes wide And some inner harm Rises to a boil Into a shit-storm. ~
-- for Robert Tilley After the night rains The clouds meander the shoreline In the steady clatter of stones Dragged by the waves Through their own white noise As one does in one's own Way of being timeless Chattering on about the upcoming Storm which for you Never came. ~
Hot morning sneakered feet Carry me along as mind wanders Sweat in my chest hair Walking home from White Birch Cove Blacktop radiates mirage heat ripples, Rusted-out red pick-up speeds past Roadside thistle and clover Laze in the beat down sun ~