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

Category: Abstract

Vertical Migration

I have been following robins
North. They used to migrate
Towards memories, travel
Tree by tree, long distances.

I am tracking one up a hill
To a field covered by Robins,
I recognize my house and them:
Two figures exiting the porch

Like my parents but painted
Of robins. They reach out
Dripping birds: droplets,
floating as if everything

Is falling together until they burst
Into feathers. Near now, incredibly
close. I am reaching into them
with my younger hands, searching

For my parents within myself,
And these fragile, terrifying birds
Which in an instant will all float up
Then disappear, as if sheared away.


Guide to Natural Life

When you live in a rural area of England for enough time you eventually find the best places from which to watch sunsets. You wonder about them as you walk home to your apartment, peering through the new darkness. It is like there is something on your mind; the corners of your eyes are sensitive to places from which you can sit and look to the West.

It is easy to see the horizon; England can only hide very little things. Watch the sun be enveloped by a lake. Stand on the eastern edge of a field sloping to the West.

English birds don’t notice when days’ end has come. You hear songs which until now you did not realize you thought of as holy prayers for the sun. You walk home in the dark and notice wings shuffling in the tree-branches.

If some islands are the loci of certain seasons, (you can think of a few — Antarctica: Winter, Hawaii: Summer) then England is the Spring. It is made up of small animals and lovemaking done underground or behind grass and trees.

You know the patches of daffodils that bloom earliest and where the sun sits the longest. You wonder if it is as easy to see it set back in America where glacial valleys are so deep you forget a real horizon exists.

You floated from time. You have to come back in and it will lurch painfully. You saw an endpoint and just beyond it — a land burned deep, red and blue where the day ends. When you are there, the sun is everywhere.

The Interior

[Important space]

The scales on the
are not well-fixed.

In fact, they are all falling
Oh well, everything is made of
this is another important space,
I guess. We all gaze up

and see space.
It’s like night
but no stars
are winking.

The Future of Our Race

Look at the windows:
Colored pairs!
the trees
melt light.
You can forget
windows and walls
and fall into (love
with) the ground.

A Blind Spectacle

I think I can see you more clearly
If you would move the windows
Please? Paint on the shadows
And if you can, the light.

What I mean is, the dog
Came splashing towards me,
His head all in white shells
And also scattering them.

I underline the dog, there.
Then, he is lost.
I dive into bushes, looking
Behind them.

I am smoking a cigarette
In your robe, turning my radio
To the lake. I listen closely
to our old, sealed letters.

I see a face through the woods.
It is like the open spaces between
Trees: like our so many windows.
One grand sheet: a painting

You can see from only one angle.
I cannot walk into that flatness:
My own right eye taking over
The left. The lake is inside it.

There are rocks and the water
Is freezing. My father is in it
Somewhere. It is flat like this
But only if you can remember it.

Curtain with Rods

Fear bounded by house.
Eye circling round storm
shaped bed. Restlessness.

The Walk (pt. 1)

The walk began and there were two men there. They were the ones walking. The conversation was held between them and they moved it back and forth to each other with their hands like a thick caterpillar. From far away it would look as if they were arguing or apologizing. They are walking down the path and you see them from behind. You feel a sort of love for them, but really for the scene; they’re a part of it and you love the men for walking and talking down the path, but you do not really love the men themselves. You can see yellow leaves in the dirt through the hollow peak of your book. You think about French churches and wonder if they too exist.

Beetles in the Attic

A crash in the basement.
It was not my house then.

What a noise! I did not hear it.
I was watching the kitchen for rain.

The cat is a friend. He is mother’s pocket.
She puts there what she cannot eat.

He climbs up my chair. I think cereal. Well,
will anybody be home in awhile?

I smoke, smoke, old, old smoke.
A switch turns on the attic fan.

There are little beetles on the windows.
Just not in the basement.

Crickets in the basement.


A bump has risen on my finger.
It is much like a pain-button
in that I can press it on anything
and then I experience pain.
It’s becoming pink and tough,
I’m afraid my pain will be permanent
with a button to touch
which heralds it in. Pain!
I wasn’t sure you would come!
I don’t know where the door is–
so it must be left open
in case anyone comes to visit.
There are many doors,
all just the right shape,
for things you see, all the tastes,
smells you expect and smells you don’t,
degrees and types of hot and cold,
and all the sizes of pain —
but this one sensation has risen
like a bubble to the surface
of boiling water, and formed a button.
I worry that soon
everything will boil out of me
and I will be covered in little buttons,
so that when I touch —
or accidentally bump into things,
I will experience
now headache,
now heartache,
now soreness,
now the color white,
now the shapes of a horse,
now the sense of space,
now the smell of air,
now wetness, now warmth.
One button is touched — I feel Being Born;
Another — Death.

Mixed Drinks

You are a whiter shade of gray
than you used to be.
I wonder if we sat on the banks of a cloud
and dipped long, thin pipes
into the fog,
tipped them up
so the droplets would run down,
unknowing ice
into us,
that would be enough
for you to get pure.