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: March, 2011

Perspective Cracks

Goat sneaks back
through the glass
its been grazing on
paint on
billygoat beard
and camera film
and picasso’s arm
can’t stop dancing.


“How long’s it been?”
“5 hours” Renoir
“You’re doing great.”


At the brushtip
the bull always wins,
the blood can’t be painted,
but is,
and before it’s genius,
it’s perfect.


Spanish man
smashes mirrors
and paints them.


States of Wear

His mind can’t
speak to him
wicker cage
body broken in
to, like a mineshaft
collapsed– bird-free.

The man is made of sticks,
girl, blow, blow, blow
smoke him holey-less.

Eventually, recede
into a dune of ground
glass, a beach you’d drink
to the bottom,
if you were thirsty enough
to drown yourself.

Paintings, Stacked

I don’t say anything when I speak to myself.
Just stand still in between dreams–holding
photos by the edges of fingers,
notebook pages–crawled over by ink
insects, leaving wing-prints.
In dim, before spring, light
lapping trees twirl up from the ground
revealing themselves to be vines.
Fingers reach out at a heaving sky
but clouds never land themselves
in forests’ hands,
only grow away, another shape-
less day, more nightfall,
post-sunset and apprehension
melts away with the rain
that never came.

Crib Death

You are dependent.
An addict unfixed but still
stuck, expectant.

Obsessed with knowing yourself
is so close
to knowing.

You think “As long as I have eyes,
I can smile, face the world with open windows.”
But beauty is not happiness–
Try to see this.

Think you can save yourself
from high school?
Tie your arms with tourniquets
and take fresh air injections.
Snort the view out the window
while you downward-facing dog.

What I am afraid of–
You someday unconvinced
that everything is good,
that God is in the number 42.
Deep breathless
and without coincidences
you might forget
your own eyes
your lips–
my dependence.

It doesn’t make sense
to compete with God.
If everything turns out
to be imperfect
you can’t kiss yourself

Rites of Richard Francis Burton

My wife held me. I cried,
“My god I am a dead man!”
The black camel
outside my tent in the desert,
outside my house in Trieste,
finally saw me.

God stood over me
with forked beard and iron cane,
said, “You owe for the flesh,
not to mention the spirit.”
He poked me in the ribs.
“Long past due.”

Mustache evaporated,
facial hair not famous,
My beard wore God’s face
“The Devil.”

Speke was blind and deaf again,
chest gunshot fresh,
open like a rose
I tried to stand
but sunk in sand, wet,
I cried,
“We never found the mouth.
You looked for God,
but did not have eyes to see.”

“Eyes are all I need.”
God had a mouth in each cheek.
“Mecca could not stand
to be seen.
Your heart couldn’t beat me
in a race to no end.”

My wife burned me with books
I had written. God approached,
I pulled the javelin from my mouth,
thought I could take Him with me.
Clean and speechless, He
placed my body
into the Nile.
I did not cross,
I did not float,
I swam upriver.
To the beginning.