Thursday, March 26, 2015


One step into heat; it sighs around my calf.
The lot shimmers, the bulk of the store blank
All the gas-fired colors turned off for the day.

I've left the brief crunch of green verge,
Forded the ditch that floods in a downpour,
Survived the hint of snakes and bees.

Cross the parking lot in tens of steps
Ground soft not because it grows
But because it melts, Texas liquefying.

Cars swerve as close to the shadow
Of the building as the spaces allow.
Most of the lot is empty; cracking.

Boxes are wheeled out.
I walk camouflaged beside cars
No one can tell I am on foot.

Then, in the shade of the overhang,
I stop. The doors open, a/c chills me.
I am damp, as if the lot licked me.

It breathes behind me; I am hatched
From heat. The white light inside too false,
An edging on a lurking shadow.

The quest was to pass the dragon.
I have been consumed, cleaned, exhaled.
There is no more plastic treasure.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Frontal Boundary


Apotheosis is possible. You scream for me.
I answer.
You ask for my blessing, a five crumpled in your fist.
I answer.
Did you think my brown hair made me safe?

She drives on. The world floats hazy on blood
Reality sparks in her gasp.
The curb where she stopped vanishes, his face gone
Only her arm, pinned to the sill;
She rolls the window down, the blood crawls
Like lava from her heat, sanctifies
Pavement, plastic, labyrinthine suburbs.
She looks down. She floats.

I do not amplify the folk, I magnify anger.
You answer.
I call for you, your life, hot as breath.
You answer.
Did you think release made you empty?

She drives home with a knife between the bones.
Everything sharp and unreal.
The gardener, his face a slab, down-sliding, dark
Watches the sprinklers stain his cuffs.
A forty-degree winter surrounds him, median priest.
He taps the broken spray head.
Water rises. From the ground, from her arm, her eyes.
He looks down. She sees him float.

I am waiting on the corner for your offering.
I am waiting on the stage for your scream.
I am waiting in the light for your recognition.
I am waiting in the dark with your blessing.

Apotheosis is possible.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Apologies; it was a typical dream. High school auditorium, looming tests, a mix of people whom I have known. Perhaps odd in the cameo appearance of a kind of transforming sports car that became a giant set of speakers pulsing with blue LCD-lit bass. An 80's video intimation of the underworld? To add to the Stygian hints, it was pouring rain as I wandered the halls, released from the anticipation of tests by a kind of work ethic survey. I was roaming the halls looking for a phone. This was high school and I had no car. Here the guilt flared with the suddenness of a flickering sodium light: the selfishness of insisting someone, probably my mother, drive out to the high school in the deluge to pick me up.

Then, the stream of students. The principal was satisfied with many work ethic essays. So many familiar faces--not friends, but people I haven't thought of in years. Teasing; and then released into unexpected sunshine. Dim, but clear. And triumphant. A trill of names at the back of my brain as I woke into the middle of the night.

What brings people to mind? Why were my friends abandoned to their exams while I was released, too early, into the parking lot?

The dogs are still asleep. It is so early that they are content to dream of breakfast rather than stand at my head and poke at me and grumble. Dreams that wake me up so thoroughly, that stain my memory, keep me awake. I'm staring at a snoring face, eyes dark slits in his furry face, the image of a sleepy stuffed animal. Night edges near to the borders of my screen. Yellow light stirs in the back of my mind. Perhaps the rain returns.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cabbages and Curiosity

Fuschia shadows stain the witchhazel covert, enchanted with shamrocks and the smell of spring onions. We are warned against the Easter dress beauty of the cabbages and our own curiousity. Fog coats our skin and eyes and the back of our tongues with the sweet and sour morning. We wait for the flash of red, for the cardinal.

Our guide bird alights and darts upward and then sweeps away from the formal beds. The watery morning makes the spiderwebs visible. We avoid them while we admire the necklaces and belly chains that drape through the bushes. Camellia blossoms lay discarded beneath the bushes. We smile. The party must have been epic.

We follow the red bird beyond the path, down to the edge of the water. We cling to thin trees leaning horizontal over the shallow creek.

Our red omen zips across the water. Brown birds flush from beneath us, smearing us with feathers and fear. We cling to the branches.

Grey returns as the water slides downstream beneath us. Perhaps it is shallow enough for us to ford.

Red sweeps up the far bank.