Some Straitly Walk

“Thus, by tracking our foot-prints in the sand, we track our own nature in its wayward course, and steal a glance upon it, when it never dreams of being so observed. Such glances always make us wiser.”
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

The sun stopped shining
some time ago.

The winds have blown
the palms away.

I seem to recall,
before these rising tides,

there were footprints
right beside me,

right here along the strand.
I find it difficult to know

if the one who left them
had been a one that walked
or been a one that ran.

They’re always over soon,
these rising tides.

And then tomorrow
becomes a thing a century old.

Tomorrows and tides,
returning ever as reminders

of that which what it is
and that which what it is not.

Footprints in the sand.
Sand so soft and silent.

The tides come in.
The tides go out again.

Sand so smooth and silent.
Difficult to hold for long.

Some Straitly Walk

Refuge to Many Places

…a friend…
I was about 
to open that door
when I got the phone call. 

I don’t remember anything before that
and I’ve never asked for help since. 

My head started to tic 
like a jumping bean, 
like a glitchy video,
like a gull-durned dirty bomb ’bout to go.

I thought first to protect the kids.
The kids said, “We don’t share.”
I said, “Are you invincible?” 
The kids said, “Bro, go away and let us play.” 

Then I took to the elders. 
I talked with them of luck and free will. 
They fed me sweet breads iced with cinnamon and fate.
“These are brief times, mostly happy, swirling in mystery…”

…a friend…

Afterwards, I could say goodbye without feeling my everything churning and grinding unto itself and onto the floor and out of the door and into the street to await a thing without attention or intention.

I imagine this story continues long after we go home for the night. 

Refuge to Many Places


I'm a student 
I do homework
I’m a student
I read books
I read books
I’m a student
I’m getting graded
I’m a student
I’m a student
I read short stories
I I I read poems
I read histories
I read formulas
I read policies
I’m a student
I’m my work
I got expelled
I got suspended
I got caught up
I got a process
I got a plan
I’m a student
I do work
I’m in a class
I am a class
I do work
I’m a student
I do work
I’m studying to be
I’m studying work
I’m a student
I’m paying attention
I’m reading things
I’m being examined
I’m keeping up
I’m falling behind
I’m falling out
I’m falling off
I’m falling down
I’m a learner
I’m a student
I do homework
I’m breaking hearts
I’m figuring it out
I’m becoming
I’m presenting
I’m reporting
I’m dissertating
I’m a student
I’m matriculating
I’m in a room
I’m reading books
I do work
I’m really getting this
I’ve got questions
I’m a wonderer
I’m a wanderer
I’m asking questions
I can’t let it go

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

May 15th, 2018


Bits of broken tombstone surround the tree of life, jagged little reminders that all monuments someday crack and crumble.

A speck-like spider falls from the tree of life onto my pale hand. Before it has a chance to find its own way home, I send it to the land of wet grasses on a gust of self-generated wind. I have never cared for spiders, however minuscule.

I count no less than twenty shards of gravestone and wonder if the tree of life is to blame. The tree of life, grown so large from all the now-quiet bodies if hovers over while under the bone-infested ground, the roots of life seek water.

I spy no faces upon the tree of life’s cracked and ornery skin. I only spy black ants and sick-yellow lichens.

Are the faces then underground with the roots or perhaps higher up on the trunk, well above eye-level, spied only by wandering drones or a telescoping eye from a nearby window? Are the faces then in the branches, obscured by oblique leaves?

Perhaps the tree of life has no faces at all…

Perhaps the tree of life is just a dis-envisaged voice repeating so slowly, “So happy now you’ve gone.”

And what then for us still left to hear?

What new lessons do we have to share?

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

The Untold End Inside You

Shh, I have been waiting long hours,
under an emerging sky full of stories,
waiting for you to close your eyes and crawl through this red room,

crawl through while feeling your bent body’s weird weight as a tingling pressure upon your weak wrists,

crawl through with a switchblade clenched
     between yellowed teeth,
          stained by tea and lemon crumpets,
          stained by the yellow blood of the Sun,
          stained by the stains
               of the yellow room
     you crawled through
in your yellow youth

Shh, Shh, I have been waiting such long hours,
          such long and winding hours,
          like a patient waiting for a diagnosis,

just like a patient
waiting for a death note,
of every living, pulsing thing.

The Untold End Inside You