No Zinc

Everyone’s talking
about the dirt
she ate. About the myths
she created to defy
those creation myths
she read in a fog.
People return to the bluff
seeking some redemption
in a poet’s stare.
What’s she hiding—what was that
she just spit out
onto the stained
concrete floor?

Day 3,115

The taste of dish
soap in her coffee ruins
any chance to spill

dirt about you and that fire
fighter beneath her lilac bush
before it rains.

Esther to Lester

She stands outside the mouth
in fear—it tastes like dirt—
a gummy red, soulful clay soil.
She passes through

this entrance daily
to travel into that deep, pitch,
sometimes dank, place
inside herself

where she plucks poems
from vines. Too dangerous now,
this passage might cave
into her, she might crumble

into a thousand tiny pieces
of a broken heart.

Or Wave

She believes the dirt
can talk, trees and wind join in—this nonverbal

world says more to her
than the one she keeps trying to define

and confine herself to. Poetry
of numbers in vibration is

music. She sees the face
of a god over Big Sur cliffs—sand mixed in.

Cell Phone Cyclops

A camera placed
in my hand for the first time
in as long as a road
of memory can wind
into back woods, I’m an uncertain 

chronicler. Not sure how
to make a record
this way, not sure I want to 

tell a story. I might prefer to steal
an image or two and retreat
to the dirt on that trail.


Watching the time drag
itself through the driest
dirt, she wants to kneel
into it and scoop 

handfuls into her gaping
mouth, wants to swallow expectations 

whole. Then spit them out.
She knows she can’t
have it both ways.


Into that laughter she takes
a wrong turn, lands
outside a stone 

wall where vines bare
their veins. The host separates
direct light from parallel lines 


wind-stirred dirt. She picks it up
at the last possible moment
before rain drowns out sound.

Sycamore (Day 1,353)

In the throes
of my intention
disorder, I forget
your name, how to reach
the top of you, how to
let go of those limbs 

you wave over me.
In these fits, the stories
I tell are not mine
except when they are.
That I come from ash,
that my mother left me 

in the rain
without a skeleton
shelter, that I still
eat dirt (raw not baked)—
these are some of the ones
I intend to qualify 

when I no longer suffer
from disease over the way
jacks wish to cut you down.