Clouds and Trees

"Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,/ and I want to cry when I think of my heart,/ muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy." – 'A Warning', Eric Anderson

Month: May, 2010

The Nest

The swallow still hasn’t learned
how to regurgitate
if it could it would release the words
wrapped around its tongue
since the day it pecked through diaphane
and exposed wooden embroidery
woven out of detritus
and instinctual feelings
like love and motherhood

The nest which, when properly designed
is prepared to hold aloft
broken eggshells
and feathers soaked with blood

Yet the joy of raising young
was still not enough to remind two old birds
of how it felt to fuck in midair
the way angels do
instead of in a tree
hoping the baby still can’t peek over the edge
and won’t learn how to fly by falling
just yet




It happens that they bring their memories
for him to decide which are truths and which are dreams
and one day the division of things begins


“What is the difference between water and sky?”
“Density,” she said,
“In one you drown
and in the other you suffocate.”


He stands with feet in both earth and sea
points to each and says,
“There is little worth saying about the difference between these
except that I was born from one and in the other I’ll be buried”


There are three clocks here
one white, for telling the months
one yellow, for the passing of the days
and little holes pricked in all 5 ceilings
which count up the many beliefs of men
who spend all night staring at them
waiting to remember
if they are a means to an end


The cat sits on the other side of the windowsill
eyes the fish in the tank
the bird in the cage
absentmindedly licks a paw
the window won’t be opened until tomorrow
it feels the fangs grow in its mouth
and closes its eyes for the night


Man sits in a garden
naming the things that appear to him
and this is it, his first and greatest affront to creation


My right hand tires from days of writing
I pass the pencil to my left
the writing is sloppier
the spaces are squished, occasionally skipped completely
These are the sacrifices we will have to make
in the days ahead


Water runs beneath the doorjamb.
The welcome mat floats away,
and slowly disintegrates into wool and wicker.
The letters and postcards dam up the doorway,
blue ink outlines the currents,
words resurface —

my name, then

I can’t see                              life before                         here

I’ve grown so much                                       here

I have to be



The wallpaper peels,
ceiling paint crawls away
the broken beams beneath revealed.
Water rises through the floorboards,
all the doors slam open,
then quietly sway.
The drain regurgitates.

The bedspread floats from me.
I can’t sleep when I can see
into the hallway.

I wade into your kitchen,
pick up your letter again,
feel my midsection twist
at the empty page
and at my ink-stained fingertips

I leave blue prints on the door
as the currents carry me away


The other night
I met the girl from my dreams
except that this time
her hair was red