Seeking Muse for Hire

Her current favorite
has gone abroad
for the remainder
of the year. Another one
just quit—returned
to the grave without so much
as a simple parting
image. A once reliable one
keeps hiding
downriver. The weather is
unremarkable. No plans
to travel around cliffs
or on crowded trains.
Even a blinking red
traffic safety light
on that man’s messenger
bag in an indoor plaza
leaves her

without illumination. To be chronic
has its challenges—she might borrow
one just to get through this night.


Graffiti artists or civil
engineers leave
their mark on a sidewalk

outside an abandoned gas station. A half empty
bottle of Coors, one soaked pack
of Camels beside

your tombstone—vandals or care
takers. The golden

section, topology, a field
trip to the MIT Computation Center. Figures
may not lie, but street addresses can

disappear. What’s left is
open to interpretation.


She tells me to locate
my anger—to let it spill
onto your grave. Lost. No belief

in the deconstruction
myth plotting out how
you hurt me. Did you? Did I

you? Were you merely a tragic hero
I fabricated to escape
the curse

of the Take No Heroes Hotel?
No matter what she says, I may just collapse
on the cold stone

and pretend to be a peony
fluttering in strange October air.

Not Really a Dirge

When gulls and loons take over the wish 


tree branch anchored in a river grave,
when yesterday means to 


otherwise, then we’ll be turtles 


to issue a forwarding
address through a break 

in the current.

Franconia Sculpture Park

Reclaim a shed, hitch it
by cables to the sky, spin it
around to face that northern
horizon as it becomes

enlarged by civil twilight. Use
earth to honor the earth—a dirt
laden jigsaw puzzle piece suspended

above its perfectly dug
grave speaks in monosyllables.
The greater swing risks breaking

with each arc, a bracing
hazard always worth it in the end.