Spine of the world: its curvature: sheer. Here. Consider each tangle. Impossible at this angle. A honeyed slickening, skin scaffolding, thin viscosity whips falling, how much vertigo our earth diverts, divests for the ceiling. So crystalline. Everything begs for a licking, a taste of armature, pure musculature, sweet architecture. Such a candied, candid space between these buildings. A teeth of stones, shadows, signposts. Blinds. A muscled bite. Concrete bones beneath each bright surface. Right. Simply scurfless. Open doors to cavities, decay, every roof shiny with condensation, haze. Let’s scoop the drops, boil it up. Reduce. Evaporate.
Prose Poetry / Flash Fiction
I am a rattlesnake, wrapped in a purple blanket. A route over water and mountains. The forecast is for snow, half a world away. I am human with fire in my belly, burning wild. A mad dog, prowling the streets at night. It is raining now. It is snowing. My house is on fire. I am a tree holding a nest of eggs. A rattlesnake comes. Steals them. I will not hold fear, tend to it like a baby. It is snowing now. I hold a broken umbrella. An umbrella is a tree without spirit. There is someone in the dark.
She hears the goat bells descend. It must be nightfall. Fireflies, little lamps snuffed and relit, survey the woods’ depths. The cloud-fed mosses on the ridge-edge grow inky black. Thumb-struck, the match flares brighter, noisier than it ought. She closes her eyes, untangles a maze’s abstruse distance into a line.
To gather the evening’s cool, the shutters are left open. All at once the cicadas, dumbstruck, cease. She turns toward the shore, senses a squall in the offing. In anticipation of a kiss, she swallows; touches her tongue to her lips. The moon sheds light as transparent as a threadbare dress.
The sign in the window says Ladies dresses 70% off. Can’t be sure whether that’s an invitation or a warning. Like God, the cause of the incident is still under investigation.
Stop me if you’ve heard this story so many times, you can’t remember what it’s about. Administratively speaking, you’d do the same, if I were in your shoes. With the deluxe nightmare, it comes at no extra cost, excluding normal wear and tear.
I may look like I’m hiding in a drowning, but I’ve learned you can have an excellent memory, if you don’t spend all your time trying to forget. It’s as easy as an electrocution in standing water.
It’s such a beautiful evening tonight, don’t you think? The breeze, cool and slow, your eyes, dark dead stars. With my hand in yours, I feel relaxed as an ax lounging in blue sequined moonlight. The throat of the moon pulled out like a drawer.
Luckily, you’ve separated a calf from its herd. It darts into the woods. You follow, your entire family at your heels. Together, your panting fills the forest with moist and rhythmic movement. If you sense anything, it’s that nature doesn’t always want you inside it. But there you are, gnawing through nature’s ribcage. You drag the calf from the woods into the light. It is not alive; a pulse remains in your jaws.
You stare at the river from the bridge that spans it. Your chin rests on the metal railing. You feel the bridge start to shake. When the wobbling becomes more pronounced, you hear the footsteps—marching toward you, fresh from the blackberry patch, an army of children, their mouths smeared into a constant opening.
Returning to the Moon is the key to humanity’s long-term future in space. It is a vertical project, akin to climbing a ladder. Each step has its own name, its own symbol. The symbols are not visual representations of the naming words. Nor are the names descriptive of the activity of the step. There are no milestones, only spaces between the steps. Memory retains them thus, & can produce them to the mind whenever it has occasion to consider them. The first step is called “A control toolbox automatically loading for no reason.” The sea is its avatar.
St. Hubert’s Day
and through frost smoke rising from the creek
a waxing moon
Sunset. Light leaching from a freezing sky. A clear night falling. East, the cold glitter of evening stars, but west beyond the lake, twilight burning out in colors of honey, wood violets and blue vervain.
Right about now that 80 lb. super blanket I spotted last week will be working the castor set just upstream from the den. The chin stick will make him drop a front foot squarely between the jaws of a #4. Tomorrow morning, as sure as I’m standing here, he’ll be at the bottom of the drowning rod. If he’s as big as I think he is, he’ll go at least 70 inches. As long as he isn’t all scarred up, he’ll maybe rate “Select”.
Venus. The Milky Way. The order of things.
The Beaver Moon
biggest and brightest of a lifetime
It was 1975. There was a jail cell and a death sentence, a liver barely functioning. There was a coffee filter and a metal tub of shoe polish. There was nothing but time and silence. Her father’s father played chemist, separating the alcohol molecules from the rest of the chemical goo. There was extraction, taste, and, finally, release. He descended from the Goths. They spoiled the land with their presence, their grease, their ilk. They were an underground fracture, a mineral seepage, kudzu and weeds, invasive. Their offspring, poison. Their semen, toxin in the water.
If a bird visits your window sill and no one has died recently, it’s just a bird. Or the person in the window is an omen to the bird. No one can say. If hope is the thing with feathers, hopelessness is bald as an egg.
He throws sand at my window when we fight. One grain at a time. Ping, sting.
I’m afraid of the sight on the street from my window. There’s something on the glass and I don’t know if it’s on the outside or insidious. Could be my face. Streetlights have never saved anyone. Still, we walk under lights, flooded with trust.