Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Freud's Cigar

the heat you engender when you cut deep into the bone
its marrow imaginary as a subterranean river
dream of the voices that have kept you waiting
deep inside the meat of your computer
electrical waterways passages of zeroes and dots
open socket to a paradise that seems too wet to touch
and a clown's nose at the end of the trail

     congratulations kid
you're in heaven

painted on the inside of your eye 
is an image of the empire state building
in thirty or so years it'll have been there a century
it's still in front of your eyeball as you sleep
as you walk your leggy poodle round and round it
which leg the dog sniffs which leg to use
everything's a fire hydrant sometimes
and the butcher shop's closed
and all the loose bones are locked inside and safe
so which leg to lift now
which leg to lift

Originally published in Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review, Spring/Summer 2010

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Wake Up Early

maybe it was light
reflected against my glasses in the early morning
but in the mirror the pupils of my eyes
had taken a feline shape
a straight line widened slightly at the center
vertically down the middle of my irises

     i tilted my head to the side

looked again
the pupils had widened into circles
all the leonine adventure gone

     if i'd believed in the vision at first
i'd had been relieved

as it was i sighed
no shape shifting this time
another chance at a new exciting life
gone like a worn-out toothbrush

the only part of the adrenaline left
the memory of a startled look on my face

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Aardvark's Tale

like clouds out of a seamless sky she floats
in her peasant dress a full foot over subway tiles
aarvark and ant both raise heads to listen
trade eyes the ant eyes don't fit but aardvark
sees colors a train goes by into darkness
he thinks ice cream she digs his shades
and she gets off at the next station
past night
the day is down to holes in the sky / stars
and the spurs of latter-day businessmen hang blind in a corner
the train bounces streetlights try
to mock the slack in light and cars
pass by lit small

this light is constricted
he grabs time back
he can still see her heels even though he's
regained his eyes he retains the vision
let's say laughing sam's dice again
motivating inside his eyeballs
and she passes by before him again
and he walks along beside her agreeing
to get off together at the next station
past streetlights and blindness
he looks down
to see
his shadow under a streetlight
watching both of them

from Thebes (1991)