Freaky Tree Circle, Sky, Dog Park
You try to be good
but really—aren’t there trails
to attend to?
It doesn’t look that steep
and you definitely
can make it over whatever that is.
descend—it’s that easy!
all the secret worlds
and have moments,
You share a path
with creatures that lope
and all kinds of scurry.
They call out
and show themselves
in alarm? Joy?
you travel with a pack
and howl, wild and loud,
all of you.
your truest self,
the greatest bits
in the tick of your wheel
and the pedal underfoot
as you make your way
I realize that in every dream I am a ghost. Ghostlike, at least. I realize this on October 3, when I walk into a wall, again. Here I thought I was just an asshole, clumsy. Too big, always in every situation taking up too much space. Upon contemplation, to take up no space in one consciousness explains so much. The lone hours, the trail walking and the weakening that’s happening. “I’m old,” says my mother who isn’t really but her body aged fast this year. Dad’s dead and we all aged, but now she shakes. My hips hurt more than ever. We never know, I guess, what’s out there. What causes what until it’s too late unless we’re always listening. The wall between my shower and bedroom is particularly thin in this house. It hardly takes any practice to get it right, to get right through.
Prose poem written for the Poetry Invitational—October 7, 2013
This exists. In my house, right near the haunted closet also known as “The Ghost Portal.”
The pack of wild men dances with arms up,
chests out, teeth flashed. You there in the center,
yes you. That white T-shirt and the view from
upstairs—howl, as they say.
Around we go, the hip hop beats on, we beat
on, feet stuck, slipping, moving, hips stuck,
I declare you, man, the owner of moves: first,
last, your lips on my neck, my curves and yours,
words just words, my lips, yes, mine.
I declare myself woman—the resistance until
what will be. You loved someone else before.
Remember? Let’s not be alone, man, man. Say
it with me.
Published by Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure—April 18, 2011
Give me a young rock star—cold-handed, paper-
skinned and with a stiff upper lip. Call me muse
or storyteller. I will offer sips of beer and my arm
against yours. Drink, and be much obliged.
Here is a black hole. The anti-matter and
Einstein’s spacetime bend and net about us.
Here is you: this spot on that continent. Spin
the globe in the spirit of manifest destiny
and tell me where to take you in the next
minutes or hours.
I collect voices, names, faces, the song that you
sing. I collect bones and cast yours onto my bed
of course—the dream bed, the sorting of memory
bed. The future, well, here I am and will be
or not be.
Just you stand, young man, your soft shoulders,
my old world hands, someone else’s guitar, your
angry tongue. Stand but do not stand. You will
find me again leaned in corners or darkened
spaces, darker still.
Published by Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure—May 20, 2011
Mom is strong enough to walk for weeks after her trips. She remembers her parents, old loves, the smell of pineapple fields at noon. “Money can’t buy time, but it can buy time travel,” she says. “And it’s my money.”
The Travelers follow up with house visits. “They’re like Gandhi,” she says, even when people start coming back wrong, phantom limbs then whole bodies gone missing. The Travelers promise, smile, shake her hands. She travels on Tuesday to June, 1967, Savannah. She won’t say why. “Leave me. I’ll miss you,” she says, and the Travelers have a contract ready.
Published by Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure—June 16, 2011