breakneck love quick-involved bus-urged
to tryst altitude spiraled mountain staircase
those high wire conversations above Denver
skiing and the car lift faster than snow
to the bare greenwood cabin falling optically
we ascend flakes clash and embrace
five uneven of us whirligigs maneuvering
the ledges of marriage blizzard sabotage
the palisades stark-breathed whorls only
a white introversion craning cringing
blind bottomless intrepidity narrow aisle
lace-legal we all could avoid for some time
afterwards apathy sightless still spilling
at thresholds dazed at near-devastation
With one ceremony mandatory none of the women
at the off-campus beginner house could put
a finger on it
what horrified other than the flower arrangement
spanning the foyer bookcase’s bare lumber where
backpacks and bluebooks were dumped and the letters
his permissive punctuation
and paragraph dumplings on a proposal
prolonged as old world meals and flight customs
his wanderlust like weekend wine as if
he had guessed her gut embarassment
at flowers and amateur-hour weddings.
He began living with the blonde at his job
a confidante doubling as palpability
despite her costly advice
an array arch as lilies adding up to funeral
flowers sent to
someone who didn’t feel she knew the sender.
Mary Rising Higgins
Freefalls clockpulse neon wake
Sered foothills blueshift
Nowcurrent scat jams echo
No one asks me
To tell how the psyche folds
Plaits found tape circuits
Ineffable rivers drive
From spin wound axis
If you come back might tell where
Properties of extreme break
Open at vanishing fields
Earth weaves a helix
Tumbling our stoneblanket path
Thirst gorge tracings grind
Special and relative scales
Marine surf jouled, egressing
Signature heat swim
Heartbrain beats in utero
Earth strings closedcurve space
Along a River Vagus
Breathblood worldshored, floodgates branch
At centerstage arc
Fan ribbings foreground, fragment
Worldline timecurve grooves
White mared surface ashclouds kohl
Radiating channels rill
To see what is there
What is there reflects ravels
Reflect ravels what is there
What is there ravel reflects
What there is reflects ravel
Reflects ravel what is there
What there is reflects raveling
Reflecting what is there ravels
There ravels what is reflecting
What is reflecting there ravels
Ravel reflecting what there is
Reflecting ravels what is there
There is ravels what’s reflecting
There is what ravel reflected
There is what raveling reflects
There is what reflect raveled
What is raveling reflects there
Ravel what is there reflecting
Reflect what is there raveling
Reflected what is there ravels
Ravel relects what there is
Highspeed e–pause flip
Love carves in active detach
How much : just so : moves amazed
Black moat pawn sets out
Rackskin drawn up as sail
Net forces : loss, gain
Bluebelled fields trenches mine
Patterned hungers entrain, bleed
Bruise diva flaunt for
Carrion fly, flesh beetle
Great corpse lilies bloom
To high red Torch Ginger, vase
Cut, Birds of Paradise bow
CD bassbeats dose
Graffiti streetdrop rap tools
Kickback weekends hood
Sand shapes from retelling’s frame
War as red rose, as orchids
Asphalt howl sunblinds
Route 66 brakeride west
Heartnerve, wordsway mummed
Self gapping catchstreams meshwork
From road shoulder halt
Workout mode survive thrall paints
Green rivers gold-arrow on
Bent orange barricade currents
Big Bang launch squares off
Before a past begins to
Flow time inventing
Absorb, release box-tuned light
Harmonic dissonance joules
The Talk Shows Will Answer Everything
Does the silence matter in Connecticut?
That was always the kind
Of grabber they looked for
In order to book you
On the talk shows at night.
He walked over to the cupboard,
Placing his short, fat fingers
Up against the vodka. Had the vodka
Once been a regal blue or contained
Just a hint of haughty burgundy,
In order to remind him
Of the actress he’d known once
In three parts, all of them comedic
Disasters, each with the same little tune
Playing in the background: Devo,
Or Jack Jones, or—on a bad day—
The Stones in an earlier anger.
Does the silence matter anywhere?
Can you get a woman to carry
Your joint thoughts on background
Music alone? The questions steep,
Like gentle teas that are ready
To put us to sleep, in front
Of the new plasma screen; people
Lined up in the night with answers.
E = MC2
Water for Breakfast
Sky for Lunch
Earth for Dinner
Light for Midnite Snack . . .
When We Lived on the Third Floor
My husband said we could move into a first-floor apartment for only $20 more a month if he swept the owner’s barn and I cleaned the owner’s house daily. I didn’t really want to, although we’d also get free board for our daughter’s horse and lots of mice for our cat Inky, who could talk. She’d just had a kitten the size of a thimble who lived all balled up with us on the third floor and wouldn’t nurse. I asked Inky what was wrong. Did she need a bowl of food or a glass of milk? Too high an altitude, she said. That clinched it. We had to move lower.
We moved, one piece of furniture at a time. I tried to carry the kitten but kept dropping it. It would bounce down the stairs, me following and saying, “Oh no! Oh no!” Every time I’d pick it up it, I’d drop it again. Finally Inky carried it the rest of the way.
After that, living on the first floor, we could hear traffic going by and cats crying. I’d look out the door and see cats being hit by cars as children looked on. Realizing that Inky and her kitten were out by the road, I started sobbing. My husband said something like “You go get them. I’m too busy.” I ran out, desperate to rescue them. I could hear parents everywhere, lying to their children.
Onset Beach, Cape Cod, September 24
It’s a warm summer night, dark and windy. Big green leaves blow and swirl on the trees. I’m sitting on the front porch, holding an infant and feeding her a bottle. Suddenly this incredibly bright light illuminates the yard, shining through the trees. I get up and walk toward it. “Look,” I say. “This is God. This is evidence of God.”
Just then a World War II bomber swoops down. I can see the pilot, who wears a leather cap and goggles. A voice from outside the airplane gives him directions. “Separate the mother from the child,” it says. “Separate the mother from the child.” The pilot, who looked mean at first, protests. “But it’s only a baby!” he says. I know he will shoot us anyway.
Now I have no visual image, only blackness and the voice outside the plane. The message changes. “Separate the mother from the dog,” it says. “Separate the mother from the dog.” Unlike Freud, Adler feels that a dream is always consonant with one’s waking life. I huddle over the baby. I’ll never let her go.
The tiny fetus is a few inches long, hairless and brown as a newborn mouse but shaped like a human. I carry it everywhere, wrapped in a blanket. One evening I take it to the movies to see Bird on a Wire with Goldie Hawn and Mel Gibson. In one scene, they are in a zoo, in the jungle section where dummies hang from a suspension bridge. The dummies are smooth and featureless—Just like you, I whisper to my fetus. That night I have this dream: we are in a small plane, taking off and landing, taking off and landing. On the final take-off, the fetus slips out of its blanket and rolls out the cockpit door. In the movie, Mel and Goldie also flew in a small plane, a detail I now find quite puzzling. Does this mean dreams are only reshuffled memories of the day and not a way of re-visioning life to obtain new insight? How could that be when without REM sleep, rats eat voraciously yet die of starvation? The first thing I do on waking is check my fetus. There it is, of course, snoring away, not fallen out of the plane at all.
Pear Trellis Rust
Even as magic had it
Skittering under my feet & skip to step away
& not on it. Stomach turns orange
& to sheets like shale knocked
Down off the mountain with dynamite
Conic, the arriving day also signals
Dribble, tumble, return to forward
Where every parallel wrenched
Where stalagmites and stalactites hook
& crumbles radiate, flaking away surface
Until we’re forced to see what’s cryptic
Of the metaphor past the surface of the tube
Where concatenation is a fallacy
The thrust of the argument is not to sieve
Though blooms be pinched & untidied
It’s taken a piece of me away with the frost
& to glaze over, not the polished window
Or saran or ice, but photograph
One that sticks in my head thru the viewfinder
To pinch by the corners & dip & washboard
& wrap to dry & watch it wilt
Why We Love George Bush
George Bush is a strong man and always says what he means.
He speaks simply to the common people who understand him.
We know that every word he says is a dagger to the intellectual.
Those people would stop us reading the Bible and take God away.
God helps George Bush fight those people.
He clarifies things in a world that only seems complex.
He doesn’t use all those words that don’t mean anything anyway.
He asks us to stay the course and we’re his men for the job.
If you ask me he was lucky to get out of military service.
He’s a deeply religious man and God leads our destiny.
He’ll never back down to any of those countries in Europe.
He has a loving wife and two incredibly sexy daughters.
He’s got to keep those daughters of his under wraps.
George Bush can fail just like the rest of us.
But he finds greatness in every man and we find greatness in him.
He’s turned his back on that Yale education of his.
He’s come back to the land and understands how wealthy it is.
He knows the animals were put on God’s green earth just for us.
He’s an oil man and we’d all be oil men if we could.
George Bush listens to the preachers not the professors.
He prays ever day for the nation to stay on the path of righteousness.
George Bush is a tough man who never listens to the polls.
George Bush can spot a liberal or a homosexual when he sees one.
He is our man in the White house.
He has gone a long way to giving colored people their place in government.
We’d love to have a beer with George Bush and talk about everything.
George Bush is really one of us.
He really loves sports and hunting and fishing and doesn’t forget to pray.
George Bush is the first President we really love.
He doesn’t forget that his nation was forged by Christ under God.
He doesn’t forget every newborn child.
He sticks it to the rest of the world.
George Bush understands that you have to attack Godless evolution.
He knows what sorts of dirty stuff the kids are learning in school.
He knows just how bad the Jews are.
He stays away from the Jew media and then gives it to them.
George Bush says America First to the rest of the world.
He’s going to bring Freedom to dictators everywhere.
George Bush is so successful in Iraq people don’t see it.
Because of him our children are fulfilling their destiny.
Bringing God and Freedom to the whole wide world is really wonderful.
George Bush has really given it to Al Qaeda.
He knows those people should be tortured and he tortures them.
He’ll say what he has to say but then he tortures them.
He’s probably tortured them himself just to get the information.
George Bush knows that freedom comes at a cost.
Look how well he has handled New York City after the planes hit.
People in New York City think he loves them.
George Bush secretly hates New York City but he doesn’t tell anyone.
He is a true Born-Again who follows the Righteousness of his Faith.
God tells George Bush to slay the pagans and he does.
He is the most courageous President we have ever had.
He will do what God not man tells him to do.
George Bush would get down on his knees and pray with us.
He has the sexiest greatest daughters in the world.
George Bush has the perfect family with problems like our own.
We can tell that he likes laying back with a beer now and then.
If George Bush wasn’t President he’d be down at the local bar with us.
You know he talks our talk and walks our walk.
He could fail at everything but he can’t fail at being President.
He understands that God has created the greatest nation on earth.
George Bush won’t let the white people down.
He knows that the white people came here first.
He knows the white people are the real Americans.
George Bush knows that a woman belongs in the home with her children.
With George Bush you could play cards and he might even cheat.
Then if George Bush were caught he’d give us that great smile of his.
It reminds me of the game we had last week when Larry was drinking.
Of course Larry’s not President but his hands were a bit messed up.
I think it’s his wife and that cooking course she’s taking.
Of course we’ll all eat her cookies.
George Bush would sit down and eat her cookies like everyone else.
He’d wait his turn like everyone else.
It’s incredible how great he is and how the country’s prospering.
Those liberals could take a lesson from him.
He answers only to God. (I bet he answers to his wife too!)
Death slept late, missed morning cartoons, had to have lunch
for breakfast cause he stayed up too late blogging.
Met a friend for drinks in the early afternoon, killed
time staring at the waitress’s ass. Tried to work up the courage
to ask her out. Probably for the best. Saw Wally on the way
home, couldn’t remember the last time they’d jammed.
Wally played a mean saxophone. Death managed bass.
He watched Wally waddle down the sidewalk, his wife Susan trailing
behind, head down, her body sagging like a landfill,
arm stretched behind her, dragging their kid. Ronald?
Death tried not to think of the party, was it five winters before?
When he’d knelt before her, lapping between her legs like a Labrador, Wally,
getting felt up by that cute girl from Virginia Tech in the other room.
Ass over elbows, falling
into death, all of us.
Banging our knees
against the narrow strip between sky
and pavement. So dry,
the angels riding down
for us, their horses throw sparks, endanger
hundreds of acres. Same, with the Blood,
could save us, could also carry HIV, nails could lead
to infection, bacteria resistant
to antibiotics. Its the cows
did us in. Placid and swollen.
We put their blood into us—their bodies,
milk for our bones, their moos into our mouths.
from Diphasic Rumors
Beaches quickly found starry headwinds.
5.6 rocketed a technicolor sail. The whitecaps
drew in and drenched 5.9 singular tranquility.
A flight of mosquito rays stung 5.5 starboard.
Over the edge. Rope ladders plummeted. The cubby
sank with 5.5. Thankfully a rainbow gorge
took flight. Tiny specks & feathers
broiled under the orange. The country gave
5.5. its devices. Smoothly 5.6 rammed the
pilots to dossier beds.
The island of paradise 5.6 weren’t sure of.
Of course 5.1 slung reels in the pointer. Shells sliced
5.9 pipes. Silence flung dust to 6.1 iris.
A red sun eclipsed the suggestive remarks. 4.8
found lying in the beams—pure nude.
Then devouring. The pointer fell flat.
5.1 dropped the solos and hesitated toward
the pleion. Lawnchair’s parallax. Strapping
5.2. 4.6 lost cinos to the dizzying sidelong scales.
In the vacuum. Region, no looking back.
The voice teacher had knocked up the lovely blonde cellist
who we thought was one of us. But she’d never gone running
in the piney woods with the trumpet player, or the pianist
who’d kissed an oboe player’s thin, hard lips and said it was
like the andante in the Brahms double concerto, where violin
and cello curl phrases around each other as they intertwine.
The blonde who’d caused tremolos in our fantasies
must have been fucking the voice teacher while we were loose
in the piney woods throwing Nietzsche against a storm
and gossiping how they’d probably hooked up rehearsing
Brigadoon when she was not in the pit but onstage
with her crystal-clear soprano voice and flawless legs.
On a somewhat unmusical day, Leonard Wax, the tenor
saxophone player who we thought resembled a white
Cannonball Adderly, died suddenly of a heart attack
beside the railroad tracks. And just like that we forgot
the duo of cellist and teacher. Leonard’s absence
filled the concert hall when a clarinet fell two notes
at a time, one curling into the other into the pause
before the audience shatters silence with applause.
Behind the door of a kitchen closet in an abandoned house, a murmur that had been going on for who knows how long without a listener. On one of the shelves is a photograph that says “Ken” and “1964” on the back. His plaid bow tie complements the girl’s Shirley Temple, and in the background there’s a black woman next to a cluster of trumpet-shaped white blossoms, one seemingly emanating from her face.
The radio talks about a sea of floating casinos, oil and hard bread, and waking to an awful crime. There’s a faint smell of wet wood, though the knotty pine is dry. The rest is vertical and horizontal planes, formica, tile, glass, and bare yellow walls. A barbershop quartet sings an ad.
Best to leave everything as it is. There’s a hollow sound behind the front door closing and the whoosh of a car speeding down the tree-lined street.
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