Wandering around town

Navigating the grounds, I am advising layouts
with shotguns, searching between buildings on fire
& the sky filled with thousands of floating lights,

cleaning up after something muted & illiterate
while looking for a safe place to step. I send up
balloons with red-dotted messages, making

giant light sculptures that disappear from sight
even after the clouds have moved across the day,
which makes me forget that I had been frantically

backtracking random apartments & courtyards looking
for someone who could do more than just read my lips
but could also be deaf to my solitude just the same

The Neverending Shredding Project

Happens even on days when it is sunny, peeling
away from what is evenly distributed & what is not.
There are drawers which hold folders that mostly
hang in darkness. In exchange for depressed teeth
make me a plea long enough for this to develop.
In any event, there are more piles to pull from
& when you can’t be there it can happen in closets
or quietly on the floor & will happen even after you
don’t care anymore about blowing smoke out the window.
Or it happens quickly after you open your eyes & decide
that you could have been anywhere & the pillows lie
excommunicated for doing their job & the phone
without a message or with one, which reads “forget
about metaphor & feel the floor between your toes.”
It is also sometimes a pile of notes, of papers with words
& papers without & papers with one long line drawn across
or it is my bar stool leaning into yours. To say that it ends
in pieces is obvious, curled & fluffed through whatever invisible
chamber exists in there, eating whatever it is that is placed
to its mouth. Always though, we can politely dispose of it,
like the document I made of what I was thinking as you
moved the hair from my face. The potential is endless & always
quite a burden: stepping over snow, getting out of cabs,
getting out of buses. Or it is my imagination, unruly & long
& only coming out in fragments or my letters,
never more than single sentences.

After the laughable entrance of spring,

the snow naturally returns & settles in sweeps
around; the pencil of another poet still one draft
short, unable to discern how clear it all is while
sitting empty housed & empty nighted, rescinding
recent offerings before they become unanswered
& fearful that it will never stop snowing long enough
to see more than just the blur around distant lights.

In place of happiness,

little drops accumulate, considering what is severed
& fished from what has been splintered. Bottled palindromes

poled to heating lamps, buckled fast to glances & electricity.
Hierarchies sweatered & softened as time continues,

though my understanding of it differs, or is sensible & nervous
& therefore microscopic next to your motions. A liar sits inside

scratching at what is soft. Reasoning this like rain, I will
sit across from you and carry my face through what you believe.

Correspondence: 3

To Whom It May Concern:

The house was still again last night.
Today everyone is sleeping & having dreams about birds flying in pairs.
I am breaking deposits with an open glance, with fisted hands & chapped skin.

Absently yours,

Sensible Architect

Dear Sensible Architect,

That which is closed no longer gives but also doesn’t receive;
When you look away there is a pause in your absence.
Still fastidious, the sleeping night lures away benediction.

Forthright & Frank,


Midnight Meditation

There is nothing left to lift, having looked in elevator
shafts & other places where darkness is found. Against
the same negation I nestle, neck-long, undeveloping
what you are trying to create, the grey & emboldened
etchings found around the edges of your figure, shying
& hiding from that which we know to be day. Another evening
of waiting & sending off messages into the air,
coupled with the rubbing up of two cavities & the fact
that you believe in another end. Again it is morning
& we lie breathless in the middle of two distances.

The Blueprint

“Details are melancholy. The plan is seemly and noble.”

The moments of closed doors,
the eschewed cement of street
corners stepped over & over
by passing feet, a hand hailing
something that will never stop—
flawed in the face of the force
we extend in one collective breath.

The Moon

I imagine people jumping up & down on the edge,
looking for mountains & then wonder what would happen
if someone thumbed out the circumference of the earth
completely & if we would be cold in its passing, being
something which is shadowed & suggests that what one
cannot see has a surface similar to what I see from the road
or through the window or when you are standing next to me,
shouldering the light that passes over: I wonder how to tell
you to hold fast under the taut sheath instead of allowing
things to settle. I think about how huge the earth is & how
its shadow on the pocked skin of the moon looks like what
would happen if you held a quarter up & closed one eye.

Baby I’m Nauseous Again

Let’s get out of this country,
away from the ambits of pride
& psychology to that of skin.
Having curled my last tail
of resignation, it is disquieting
to know you are there in the darkness
telling stories about giants
& searching subway tunnels for sound
while I hold the phone
like a secret in the middle
of the night, standing as still
as the trees before the vicissitude
of fortune untightens like the wind
& shifts from static to caution