How to Set a Boundary in Units of Moisture
It’s not the silvered wings fault
they think they move,
make progress to some point
identified as necessary:
Gate, Oklahoma or Dodson, Texas
near a magical line on the 100th
meridian that separates wet from dry.
Every signal fires the same
starry glimmer through smoke:
Tears well our eyes and we
are as separate as threads
& can reweave our own pattern.
This fluff of time is all one
cosmic tea, but we who live
in clicks of clocks can serge
an edge in our bolts of cloth,
pink the cut edges. Keep
the threads from ravelling.
/ / /
Skipping stones with Carolee — I like her silvered wings that can’t kiss, in combination with an amazing dream last night concerning vast amounts of the most amazing bolts of cloth I have ever seen, amazing sewing novelties that made me squeal in my dream (no, I don’t sew), a thin ultralight bicycle, and living in Texas. I wish I could paint the clothes for you. Or any of it.
Yes. I have too many metaphors in this. But, well. It’s a first draft of a something.
Read more about the 100th meridian, if you are map nerd like me.
Do not be startled*
Tulip Festival 2011, Albany, NY
Deb says not to be startled—the killing must take place.
Don’t mistake your neighbor’s voice through the fence
for the word of God. It probably isn’t even your conscience
talking to you. Save that flogging for the bedroom.
Confessions on the Washington Park bridge end affairs
before they begin. Red & yellow tulips may stand
close as they want, but they must never touch. Not ever.
Parties spill over stoops onto State Street. Guests on steps
yell to tenants in open windows above to buzz them up.
Our intentions spread like these sounds, like wind,
like pollen. Bodies wash up on beaches just south of here,
yet the calendar days are as tidy as ever, columns & rows
of sleepy air traffic controllers, CIA operatives, old friends’
latest afflictions, the intolerable metal on metal of the husband
sharpening lawn mower blades in the backyard.
How long are you going to do that?
Admit it: When they’re dead, we are glad they’re dead—
the men who threaten us & say we’re to blame. We’re happy,
too, when the tulips go, and we’re finally rid of them,
those prim blossoms mocking us longer than is necessary
for the mess we can’t help but make of love.
The title is a line from Deb’s poem “Hollow Place.” I hope it captures some of the confusion that is any normal change of season. After sprinkling in some headlines and some veiled (?) personal dramas, I hope the result is more connection than congestion. I am happy at least that this feels like my voice. Some of the stuff I did in April felt alien.