Could Count as a Tweet—But It’s Not

The more you became not what I thought you were pretending to be the more I wanted to define you within my cracked dictionary of obsession.

Robert De Niro

You came to me
in a dream I’m trying to rehabilitate.
I didn’t know I needed a raging bull.
Can’t confirm that I do. A Peugeot

pepper grinder won’t jam
my soul the way you might. It’s not the violence
in the ring but
some kind of beautiful

destruction within—all
in the name of poetry.

Into Shreds

The speakers are silent
and scratched in their encasements.
Videographers form a line
around your ruin. This is no time
for an apocalypse. These shadows
tower over notes someone left
on the ground. To be decoded
or ghettoized as graffiti, you
tell on the trees for neglecting
us—all of us who still want
to touch edges as we listen
to the ache.

Dial an Arbor

One hundred Bronx trees can speak
along the Grand Concourse. She wants to believe
they’ll speak

without the drink, will be interactive, won’t tumble
into monologues
with the arrogance to think

they are so different. She’s going to continue
to listen for them through light
rain and substantial winds. The stories they will tell.

Tear Down

She speaks of rivers—
Mississippi, Ouse, Styx,
Hudson, Cuyahoga,
Lethe—to remember
what it means
to be. Real or mythic,
head or mouth, east
or west bank, locked
or free falling—visions
collect at the bottom. A bed
of dreams she prayers
won’t become nightmares
to expose her ambivalence
about hands folded, knees
as pressure points, what can be gained
by this position over
another stance. Or to walk
along truth flows south.


Spiral sprung, perforation
splitting before its time,
this old Mead memo
tablet has no end
without flipping over itself

to begin again.
The safest way out
of this circular
function is to slam
the covers shut—you

still inside—return
it to the shelf
with the others
where you belong.


A raised voice demands
she eavesdrop. She who doesn’t deal
with ice dams.
Just because she rents doesn’t mean

she has a rented life. Owner, author,
anonymous, and all
other echoes—turn up the volume.


Turns out it was his ambivalence
she couldn’t resist. Turns out she’d rather

get mistaken
for a bag lady than drive a vehicle through

the earth’s heart. Turns
out she might like to wear broad-rimmed sun

hats this summer the way she gave up winter
scarves at the end

of the millennium. Flux
isn’t passion, isn’t nearly

as exquisite
as changing her own mind.


“Their whistles weird shadows of sound.”
—Sara Teasdale, from “From the Woolworth Tower”

Paint her as a child
on the one that crosses
Vineyard Sound. Forget to warn him
when the whistle blows
above his always lilting

head. Impress upon those who might
refuse to reflect on anything
more than a moment
old that memory comes with the package—
stories stored and ripe

for a dusting off
embellishment. Liars and thieves
in the best sense of those words—
weird and sound.

Moving Up Loring

The devil’s backbone takes
her breath to feed
the artesian well that spills
into the pond she hopes
to see from her sunroom
window this time next year.