Unmappable Geography of Grief

This misplaced anger
she wields at the painting

amounts to mistaking still
life for inanimate ink smears

what if she is the it
it is the she or the they

encompassing all gender
options at once

paint thickens edges
and a wetland fringe

around an incidental pond
impasto in the extreme

echoes a bas-relief of waves
if there were any

illuminating the surface
of the bay that calm night

a foghorn heard in the distance
yes that kind of medium bending art

this is fear not
of vibrations in the ground beneath

shaking the frame
off the wall

this is fear of nothing
happening / nothing

waking her
to the moment

an entire island disappears
before dawn

I Won’t Steer

The answer is
I’m inconsistent.

Were the oceans rising
when surrealism was all the rage?

How many points get deducted
for wandering off

topic? Wandering off
the planet before

the penultimate storm.
The snag after the fire.

One system. One blunt
conversation not blunt enough.

One more turn
of the wheel.

I don’t know how.
I don’t want to know how.

I want to know why
the signs were torn down.

The glottis expands. Golden toads no longer
live in the elfin cloud forest.

Who Forgets to Lock the Cellar Door

it looks like the fog
hovering over the city
won’t clear in time

from vault to vat
he measures the thickness
of the foam

in her magic goblet
as his gold
fillings dance in muted light

shadows of old worlds
cut across a prairie
to reveal how

he might fall
before her
and her damn poetic portal

where the angle of swing
becomes a fatal arc
to their story

the perfect clearance
till humidity
and latent humility

jam up the works
swollen wood becomes Cupid
to their destruction

no more solo flights
circling the globe
no more lone albatross

half brain sleeps
through another glide
into another hot night

someone mentions Lancers
lamps her grandmother made
from brown clay pot wine bottles

suddenly appear
in her half brain
awakening to an old dormitory loft

and a swollen pinky
not cool enough
to be broken

water water
every where above
she misses the salt

Out of Order

is this a jisei
the way I love fall
more than any other season

the way a sax wails
out an open window
from an apartment building

across the street
to turn my life into a scene
from a film noir classic

a gray cat licks its paw
on a window sill
one floor up

if it weren’t so
black and white
you could see the leaves

on the maple below
turn red
as death

this life
no longer

wild white horses
running through the marshes
of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

trample over a blank
page to be filled
by another day into night

I’m trapped inside
a bathroom with a tempermental lock
in a door prone to swelling

dangerously / a copy of
The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh
the only reading material available

“And through the air-hole
the moon smiles
at the poet”

Amitav Ghosh reads
from his new novel
Gun Island tonight

inside a church chapel
far from the basement
banter below

where will those horses
and fellow flamingos go
when the Rhône delta drowns


is it too late
it’s too late

isn’t it

hot flashes rising
from deep within

the Earth burn

through another
rogue season

followed by
a severe chill

not for long
everything’s melting

the sky and trees
have gone silent

who’s steering
the last boat

as it holds
an uncharted course

to break the horizon
once and for all

View Above the Parking Lot

She can smell the rivers
of Lake Street
on his breath. In the valley
of broken people, this boulder
train holds what the climb
cannot say about the veranda
outside his treehouse door.
When a bowling alley was a bowling alley.