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: December, 2010


The way I reflect on things
you’d think the world was hiding something
deep inside it.

But the secret is that my mind is a liar,
and that even as I am writing this,
it is.



Metronome – swing in any direction.
Sing about icepick fishermen,
woodpeckers slurping dirt,
the wintertime city and the
“slap, slap” of concrete puddles
under unbalanced boot-steps.

A sound like the in-and-out
weaving of a canvas, paint-less.
Then 6 layers of Italian hillside,
or, some thousand outward-facing, criss-crossing,
canvas stitches
painted green and yellow
and pink.

Unstrung and hung in the doorway;
walking through some guys imagination
divided, sideways–
how it feels to wake up inside a dream
and pretend to my mind
I am meant to be inside it.

A Reflection on Writing and Existence

In the beginning
there was god.
God was everything.
He divided himself
into light and shadow
and air and water
and water and land
and so on and so on.

Some of the pieces could see the other pieces
and give them different names,
but they could not see god.

Some thought god was another piece,
because they could only see in pieces.

They created language,
and when they wrote
it was like dividing themselves
into more pieces of god
which looked like just pieces
but were really the whole.

So the writers themselves were like god
and also like their own writing.

This is the secret to the unhappiness of writers
who are constantly striving for something–
the perfect poem,
of which we are a piece
and which is a piece of us.

To recreate god–
to be god



I hear music in my head.
The pen throws itself at me–
Don’t you want to be beautiful?


A cat needles its pounding head.
It can turn water into milk
but the puddles churn into butter.


Remember your mother,
and the taste of what is;
not sought.


When I am quiet,
there is a pool, and it is quiet.
We reflect each other, and I am quiet.


Great Elm, I am not yours
and you are not mine.
It is, of course, my nature
to play the games of ownership; jealousy.
So I imagine you chuckling at my size;
whispering to the Willow
that I have a Napoleon complex.

As I climb you, elm tree,
I realize that you, unlike me,
don’t see from the top-down.
Every part of you breathes;
from the limbs which reach out
to the roots which plumb
great depths underground.


If New York would just shut the fuck up
maybe we would be able to hear
the old violin creaking of all the crickets;
too bashful to compare themselves
to the glow of a times square coca-cola sign.

If 9 million people finally went to sleep
maybe there would be room
for the river that used to run down 42nd street.
Is it just beneath the asphalt;
too modest to speak?

I wish I were deaf like Thomas Edison,
who said that, to him, Broadway was a quiet street.
Maybe then I could hear myself yell:
Huge, human body of New York City,
present your beauty to me!