Sunday, 19 February 2017

Bellas Artes

I went to the museum
I rode the metro
And admired all of the fine arts:
The art of walking
The technique of sitting
The beauty of a yawn
Harmonied laughter
Lines of colour
Curling smoothly beneath laughing eyes
There are brushstrokes
In the arcs of walking feet
The swish of jeans
Falling waves of falling hair
And the way we position ourselves
Around each other on the train
Beauty and desperation
Splashes of red and blue
The shade and shape
Of a nose or cheekbone.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The First Heaven: Oklahoma Storm

The peace opens when the winds
Section drones down to a dull moan
The thunder clap applause rumbles off
Like a freight train
The eye, eyes up, run outside
When-the-alarms-go-off Oklahoma
Feel the West, the weight, the
Breeze of the Rockies, heat of the plains
Lift up your sails
We will build sailboats of popsicle prayer
Sticks with a cross on top
Hoping that You'll take us up
Walking around in this cielo
The first heaven
This wholly ground
Beneath our kicks
Caught up in the rapture, the great
In between
The virga score stretched across
Horizontal lines the tracks
The moan
The hop-a-train temptation let's see
Where we go
We're all the fall leaves
Newspapers flopping around the Metro
Faded headlines dimly calling for
Attentions affections
The silence
Are you not interested in me?
See you not my
Grand humanity?
Or am I past my date of issue?
I fear it
I may fall in love or judge
Or find empathy
I'm a head-on-the-shoulder but also
A shoulder-to-the-plow
Shoulder of the road passing by
No place to rest a( )head
While the storm breathes passion
And barometric pressure
Did we forget it?
Numbing games, numbing jobs
Numbing drugs, numbing loves
Nothing as sweet as the rain on the skin
The dancing lights reflecting on
Slick streets and windshields
It makes my heart pirouette inside me.

Sunday, 22 January 2017


I seem to have forgotten my lines...
Walk with me parallel a while
Pickup perhaps then I'll remember
I have no steady, no gyroscope to keep me up
At night the sleepcycle rides
     circles under my eyes

I haven't decided how to draw us
All of us--everyone we meet--
Intersect at certain points,
Moments of meaning
Millions of points where we touch, hold hands
Share a song, kiss, secret, or glance
Sometimes we run parallel for a time
Walking a bold line through space time
As everything spins we manage to keep step

But it's all temporary
Our made-in-China shoes scuff the graph
     paper as we approach infinity
And what nonsense is that
A closeness, a net?, a communion, or an empty
     space, a universal alone eternity?
I scribble along fast like a polygraph lie as I, trying
     not to forget to breathe
Trying not to veer wildly like my chestbeat
     and double back, cross myself,
My God I've been here before
I was hoping we could tie the knot
But the telephone line was not long enough
You ride along another axis now,
Existing, loving, singing, unseen

I always dreamed of your trajectory
Plotting it out, stoking you to dream
Your truck spiraled out
A flat line, an ellipsis
Of rocks in the desert, memorial gardens

I take pictures
Make five-year plans
See lines in everything:
Handprints, walls, sunsets, trees
Each barcode a stanza,
Every vine and weed draws shapes
And you and me

We part here, branching out like
     family trees approaching infinity
And although like particles we may
     collide, we will never occupy the same
     space and time
At best our lines run tangent
But not yet, I reach
You're out of reach
You're gone
And I'm still writing on writing on moving out past the sea
Living, yes, writing reading speaking moving always moving

Friday, 7 October 2016

She Doesn't Stop Dancing

She doesn't stop dancing
A spin, a smile,
A shuffle,
A plate, an order,
She twirls out
Corner diner
Fast food and pop music on the TV
Red seats with black-starred tables
Simple Döner
But this,
This was ballet
A song on her lips,
A smile on her face
And I wanted to go back to my own
Food service days
The rhythms of orders up
And orders taken
The pulse of work the rush

Friday, 23 September 2016


A text message before bed
I'm trying to share this with you
I wish you were here

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Unemployed (Jobless Immigrant)

This week I applied for a visa to Canada, not my own.
This week
I played my song on Television.
This week I defeated a computer virus.
This week I took photographs for the National Theater's
version of the Mahabharata at a closed premiere for the
Indian ambassador.
I translated for a Finnish band at a concert.
I translated a 57 year-old acrobat's prayer.
I taught poetry to two of my friends.
I invited my friend to lunch
But ended up in a government office
Translating a form together.
I taught English.
I studied Kyrgyz.
I cheered my students as they danced,
Sang my songs in the park with a professional friend,
I wrung out my laundry with my hands.
I played frisbee for television.
I registered four people for an orphan conference.
I pitched names for a new business.
I pitched a film to a sponsor.
I cooked for a crowd.
I recorded songs.
I shared my story with students.
I sang to God with my friends and
I organized a picnic in the foothills beneath the mountains.
I gave relationship advice.
I wrote 10 songs
And a poem.

And I still ain't got no job.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

On the Bus

Work ends around 10
Sleep at one am
Up at six
A known face
Carrying pots full of things
"The pay is good"
Always running
Drooping breasts
Slouched eyes out
Out the window
Not much to say
Repunch the password into the phone four or five times
No new messages
Around eyelashes