snow

there always has to be a night
when it gets that cold finally and the

clouds like cattle guards hung
from wherever who would imagine

in such a darkness the form
it takes the quiet fashion

of the spears and wheels of things
unseen being too small.

——

the night here
when it snows first and

not yet severely the winter
she was completely naked

beige carpet fine
to be on not

vacuumed but not so bad
fine enough to breathe in.

——

wanting to be cut
in half lengthwise she wanted

all of her skin on the carpet
organs left to dry out

in the cold light overhead
thinking

no one will find me
in this house

till the rent’s not paid
and they will have to

come.

——

they always wanted out
anyway the heart the brain

lungs that couldn’t
work any more because

she said
to no one being alone

she said
poetry demanded their failure

they wanted to see the world
without me.

——

quiet dappling of
moonlight a crowd

shuffling home from
a late game

a reel of film passing
without ceremony

a low sky and she
was there it was snow

but she could not feel it
naked but

she could no longer
see herself

the whole drama
of having a body

melted into the
winter

and she felt nothing but wind nothing but
nothing but and the wind

the breeze but not so cold
nothing there but

the blue scar of something
long ago done.

——

she was inside it now
among the houses and the river

in a dull eyed city
awake in the winter.

——

then he opened his mouth
she had not noticed him

i wish you had not come here because
i didn’t want to see you here

i didn’t want this thing to happen here so
whatever i say cannot hold me at fault

because you made me say it here.

——

but it’s difficult to live the way we do
in the current year

seeming to be so caught up in ourselves
that they say you’re a narcissist

for taking pictures of yourself
every day with some

mundane thing like brunch
or the sunshine on trees

but it just shows how much
they know don’t it

a picture’s a ticket to anything else
and they don’t see

it’s about other people
how well they do about

being with them
greener grass

about escaping yourself

——

what the fuck is

a selfie anyway but
a fantasy of a kind of yourself

that can be judged because seen
since parts of you can’t ever be looked at

you’re fucked up

——

so you give them the picture

so others can live in a fantasy of you
and you keep the negatives

because you must and she said
fuck you this is my dream

and you can’t fucking vomit this all
back to me not in my own

dream

——

the wind had this kind
of resentment in it

because it was impatient with her
rushing past them and ordering the snow

hither and yon he was gone and
she began to imagine all kinds of people

old bosses crushes from the sixth grade
distant relatives and a homeless man

who asked for a greyhound ticket once
on a hartford summer night she was

too nice she went inside to get the cash
but the a.t.m. was out of order and

a security guard told him off
but she didn’t go back

into the warm night she
waited inside for the bus

——

snow was beginning to conquer the roads
now from a benign dust

up and in from the curb
the city like a comatose old tramp

dying
year in and out by the snow

just like her
she was also a dying city

——

with heavy eyelids
and an inability to dream

visions slowing
like her pulse

now them
now there and brief

joys old
inaccessible moments

——

history’s mostly good
for touching yourself

that’s what it’s there for
she thought

——

everybody’s just got different kinks
so folks fight

hallucinatory midwestern geometry
houses and fields moments of clarity

but no theology she thought
a land like this has evaded

creation people tried
as best they could

in lieu of divine
instruction

——

still in the whorl of
heaven she lay

above the trillion lenses
of the orbiting land

every flake a magnifying
glass

and her skin burnt in
the winter breeze and

the land spun faster
houses and trees lost

in the land’s whiteness
her thinking

i know exactly what i want how can
i not die knowing it will never be mine

i must awaken daily and know
he saying you have no sense of yourself

life is a mystery you are wrong to think
things are only such a way feelings are also

a kind of illusion a terrible kind
a sixth sense and

a succubus in you he saying

——

fuck feelings kittenfish

you are young
laugh

and you have joined the joke
the whole universe

is a cabaret kittenfish
i hate the sadness in you

there’s no art at all
in being sad.

——

and she never woke up
she did her work

meetings proposals
grants and grants tomb

call a charge anyway we
have thousands to lose

before the job’s in danger
she walked the streets

there are witnesses who say so
but she was still up there

still listening
snow and gentleness

still dying
and months became

even a year
and then two years

up in the hungry sky
he spoke until he was hoarse

spoke past being hoarse spoke his way
back to health hoarseness

meaning nothing to
a ghost and because she

had forgot that she was alive
and he was not even really there

she made a kind of peace
with life in hell

——

thinking
she was past changing

snow and snow
the horizon obscure

snow but slowly
becoming far

the one who never was real
yammering in her ear

about him and the problem
with herself and the

suffocation of nights alone
in the world

she didn’t know
it was he who was dying

——

the fantasy of him

roped to the secret moon
disappearing slowly slower than

you know across the vapor
of winter

people say she was on the third floor
of the library with some books

early in the semester a Tuesday
too early for the rush but

some saw she
well

who can believe she was there?

——

she was still up in that sky

the same cold night
the same place and

suddenly
well

who can believe she was there?

——

she was the sea

well
she was Postberg flowers

in season actually
she was alone so

how can
anyone say?

——

she woke
but had not been asleep

he was gone
and there were no others

no memories
no songs stuck in her head
blue white dark below
and blue white dark above

blue dark left
and right

the breeze the snow
nothing else

felt in her whole
body

and she
breathed.

——

who can say even
whether she dropped the books

they were
hardly books

they were doves
she set them free

free and
free

and
that’s just it

some harried freshmen scandalized
but that open-ended kind of free

and they flew away
like birds.

——

golden cloudy light
it wasn’t morning

it was a dream only the vast
endless haze

mystical and calm
no one there but birds

surrounded her
sang as the snow fell

minor notes she never heard
but knew

ground and city
awaited her finally

the whole world
demure and

attentive finally
hers to command.

——

so it was that
once she was

alone
she

was in the land
in the golden fog droplets

of melt on her arm
new garments warm

the one who could only think of
herself in the eyes of

others in their throat
their gut

in dark morning misery
in the shameful light of day

in the lanky adolescent shadows
the sun makes and its senile

end in his eyes
his real eyes

real as salvation
hazel and white

the navel it seemed
the universe.

——

in that library
the long night suspended

above the city
wherever

who knows?

——

but she had been a lover

had been a monster
disfigured and martyred

unimaginable and hideous and
suffering and noble

pitiful syro-phoenician atheist
gorgeous demon pouring

out confessing confessing confessing
wishing to die to disappear to do

whatever necessary
this nun this child

this goddess
this abortion

this absurd slut
this weeping self-parody

fleshy universe of rotten milk
and athena herself

she was whatever
was necessary
——
so much

but not
herself

on the last real night
of the winter dancing

cynosure of all eyes
thinking

what a gift
a miracle

to be again
in your own body thinking

thank God
for the snow.

turner’s creek road

you asked me whether i was alright to drive and
i said, yes, naturally, because i will be driving to you
and nothing shall distract my perfect course.

and you asked me whether i had wearied of the bleeding and
i said, no—because i am useless as a shotgunned can thrown out
without tempests goading on my green insides to hiss
as rainy curtains drown my chest in tears.

and you asked me whether i still found it beautiful
despite everything and a thousand times yes—
what isn’t to love? the sun is gorgeous, sky is darkly blue
the air like late September—and you are here with me,
wearing your blue swimsuit
as we sit by the water and talk on meaningless things,
smiling at each other while our fingers gently touch.

for where could i find anything nicer,
indeed, holier
than you?

because you are the moon and all that hangs thereby;
you are the sun in all its times
and sweet concatenations;
you are the dusk-land gleaming quietly
and whenever i think of lovely things
my mind is knit to you.

untitled, franklin county

don’t ever let the world exhaust you,
because it will try so hard.

it will whisper things about life,
how short it is,

how often and the cruelty of death,
that love is all need and convenience

and even the sky is perfidy,
running dry of rain,

how the axis of the earth defeats the sun,
sallow in the winter like us all.

then she smiles
and no one is talking,

she speaks
and the sun cannot set—

not while she speaks—
you feel her hand

like the extravagance it is
and nothing is too costly,

nothing else
is worth

the way
that feels.

don’t ever let the world exhaust you.
the years have made it bitter,

pay no mind.

prêtville [an excerpt of snow]

meetings proposals
grants and grant’s tomb

call a charge anyway we
have thousands to lose

before the job’s in danger
she walked the streets

there are witnesses who say so
but she was still up there

still listening
snow and gentleness

still dying
and months became

even a year
and then two years

up in the hungry sky
he spoke until he was hoarse

spoke past being hoarse spoke his way
back to health hoarseness

meaning nothing to
a ghost and because she

had forgot that she was alive
and he was not even really there

she made a kind of peace
with life in hell.

november 9th, 2016

let me hold you closer here
now that the world is lost.
drive here
come by Greyhound
come on foot

we should be together
when the sea boils:

we should be together

because the fire will come here late
so far away from the ocean
the sun long set night perfect in itself;
it will come here late to devour

what can a last embrace do?
i don’t know
but much more than standing alone
much more than silence
 

u.s. 127 north

 
i said the sky was bizarre
endlessly strange—the only thing
we look at all together

and also this—heaven isn’t
really like that
is it?

clouds and stars grey curtains full of snow

after the whole gauntlet i mean
it would be so cruel
for it to have been
there all along, you know
 

untitled, at home

 
it’s a blunt thing ideas
the gaps hidden in the wall god will find them out
and ideas mean bleeding
to some extent

it’s because the world
isn’t made of ideas—even though they can do marvellous things
but the world is made of people and demons and
the angel armies mostly though it’s
stories:

the world’s made of stories and that’s dangerous too
terrifying even it can’t be known—ideas are like trees they grow
but seedlings they are mostly all the same you can
buy or sell an idea but

stories can only be told and
lord god it’s hard to do that and lord god
at best it’s like trying to move a sandcastle
intact

then again it’s not stories that keep a person honest
or cut the tall poppies or
keep us a little vulnerable:

a couple knives some milk and a hot oven you can
do anything with stories ideas at least they
look the same more or less after a week

we’re all part of the problem and she held me close
to her breast and the tableau was one of a savior and
i felt and found her with my tongue we knew
we were doing something wrong
wrong to ourselves too

we weren’t storybook gods after all but what is the memory
and what is the idea there—doing the wrong thing
and right at the same time and sometimes the wrong thing
can be made right so why not misbehave:

there was nothing imperfect of her body then
nor mind tasted like summer itself her skin
was a miracle and nothing less

ideas though:
they always find you in the end
having some grievance