New Poem: When I Start My Beginning with Water

When I Start My Beginning with Water

I dove but I cannot surface

I stay with the sea’s pull

though my mother’s face appears

between the glass of tourmaline

I know the earth is red agony

I want to be spared

So, I leave deeper, deeper

until the ache of the sea dissolves me

Keeping laughter in the depths

sorrow surfaces

No man brings his anchored goods

words that tear at my sister’s face

I want her to have this

wordless freedom of waves

The singing is my companion

but not my commitment

The wonder, not possession

just curiosity

Mother, if I could give you

this innocence, would you dive back

to the beginning, where we are set loose

into the sea, the call of our true names

Winter poem – something new, borrowed and blue…

Los Angeles Boyfriend

The man blots his eyes with the sun – he hopes to capture another Lucy
To call from the door. I had hoped to be the chosen actress, but there are C cups
And champagne drinkers ahead of me, and the night dabbles its wand in the thick dusk.
Every man has his prize and the fat girls starve themselves for it.
Even the ugly guys weep their beautiful screenplays – attribute the higher arts
To virtues uncovered by dinosaur bones – a three hour disaster on boats with wine
And we landlocked look on, dreaming of them.

I have read your Mr. Ed resume. I have looked between lines for the cocaine you promised
And the dancing polka-dot bikinis. You were a liar before you arrived, and now you are perfectly
Suited, a dressed banana for signatures and benzo-shocked starlets.  You had a runner,
A desert dwelling bitch who couldn’t stand the noise. Vacuum and insomnia, you did her in.
Do you like anything? I have heard you monkey your lines in supermarket aisles,
Pretending your pretty goods can float like the traffic that pours aimlessly into here.

Here is the T-bird you didn’t expect to win, when your name pulled the asphalt dragsters
And we ate the deserts, the cold dog star flashing out need. And we glowed in the sex-light
Of too much wisdom.  Out there, I pulled you in. I made you king and kindred,
But we all learn the vengeance – how to float on the polluted red sea of metropolitan slaves.
Honey, you made your address shine and sparkle.
What you promised
Was a fool’s gold, and I, the fool to spin that wheel.


I called you Dog Star
I called you Orion’s Belt
Man of many nights
Seascape catchments, the shell of mother

I called you mammoth in frost
The broken ground
The Adam to Eve: god’s unforgiving eye
The first sound of spring

I called you Lucy, primate
Fist through glass
Football star and weeping girl
Desert unearthed by bulldozers

Man of names, I have given you
My spoils and riches
I have called you for 7 summers
7 winters

Still, you go on wandering

I have a name for you
Keeper but kept
A locket between my breasts
A Victorian analyst

Don’t you know the cruel words
Your name will be – the streets
And the garbage of families
The dog bone for fighting

You – lover – your love
Cannot keep you safe
See them clamoring
Their very red mouths and white skin

Calling you
Wanting to bring you in
With their warm beds and how they whisper
Le mien, le mien, man of mine

Sickness, in Three Parts

I. Song of Light

Through smoke you arrive
I am a child to be held
My hands push through dark
I am full of drumming and rain
And you call to me
The kind of thief I need – the loot
That will save
I want what you bring
I wait at the table
With this want
Between us
You tell me to pray
I bow my head
And you take leave

Return to stars

II. A Man

It is acceptable to suffer
When the veil lifts
And the day is so bright
My eyes burn and I rejoice

A man stands in the entrance
We are animals – the fear
Forms on us, so we stink
Of this ending life

I hand him my circles
And threads
He hands me his circles
And threads

We are bowls of sun
But we still grope in the dark
Flesh of earth
We dig deeper into wounds

III. The House

At first, it was harmless
I crawled into you
You entered the house
You were the flesh
From light
The body god made
When she was lonely

Now we walk
Together and speak of our lovers
Forgiveness and Mercy
Those lives under our feet
Waiting to spring up beside us

I could enter the house again
I could scream the boards into place
Wrap moss into ceiling

She always gives me the choice

Here we breathe
We gather songs

She wants to know what it will be –
The dark house
Or the starlit world?

I roll stones into place
I wait with the futureless animals
I sing to owls

It’s better this way…

The song
Of the protected

The Hospital

You will stop recognizing the words.
You will hear symphonies, your father’s voice.
You will see swallows dropping
between boards as you hide
in a barn of your memory.

Feel the weight of my hand.
Soon enough
this, too, will be gone.

And then you will be
a mouth needing only food,
a void nothing can fill.

I will try to get you to remember.
I will show you images
(if only there were images).
I will recite your devotion lines
as if they existed.
I will tell you how you loved
when the doors ached,
the pins trembled.
I will show you where we sat
on this mountain, looking out together,
when you were not ill,
when you were only a disease waiting.