July 23

Today is a veritable catalogue of rains:

the relentless washing rain;
the sudden faucet rain;
the don’t-answer-the-phone rain,
drowsing;

the tree-derived drops;
the sad sloppy drivel
of the overflowing gutter;

the rains of my childhood;
the rains of last April;

the is-it-raining? rain;
the gray verticality of a shock
downpour, splenetic;

the smeary window panes,
pleasant;

rain from a clear blue sky,
the devil beating his wife;
now where did I learn
to say such a thing?;

the fluidity of states;

the phase changes;
and the passing moods;

but the incessancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 21.1

Velella, called sail-by-the-wind,
thousands of them blown ashore,

jelly gone soft in the heat, wing-like
sails flagging in defeat, a row

of seabirds forming to feast
upon the indigo dead,

seagulls more than willing,
pelicans looking windward

for something better,
trusting in the Pacific’s

strange generosity,
its willing deposition

of curiosities, penchant
for grand gestures,

a low tide that goes out
and out and on and out,

a risky invitation, still,
I cast my bread and wait.

 

July 20

To leave the window open,
to wake to the sound of the ocean,

here, there is peace. Even if
I still wake too early, still

can’t get back to sleep,
I can watch the sun rise,

sunrise a misnomer, really,
here the clouds just get brighter,

shades of gray between night
and day, and even before dawn

the spotlight on the neighbor’s
garage kept flashing on, motion

-sensored. Just after five I walked
down to the beach, discovered

why— A young buck stood
in the tall grass, startled

at sharing the morning, and not
afraid, 
or if he was afraid,

masking it well, with none
of the shell -shocked darting

of a roadside deer, no,
he had a velvety calm

and black eyes that met mine,
astonishingly close.

I had come over the hill just
as he raised 
his head, 

neither of us sure if we should be
concerned, him, five points

big enough, and having
the higher 
ground,

me, deciding if I was
threatened, or threatening

as his eyes tracked me
moving slowly by,

his nostrils opening wide
to smell me, my breath

turning to vapor in the cold
as we stood there quite a while,

two souls in the dreamlike
dawn, the only two awake

for miles, both making careful
passage through the tall, tall grass.

July 16

I try to exist in two phases:
the barrier is constancy

of motion. It is not
for action I cut the plane

with a fiberglass blade,
not for momentum,

a current pulls along
in any state, even

without me,
the boat will float

even in pieces, even
beyond.

The first barrier is waiting.
Or is it wanting?

Every night
is a river running

and I am a shadow,
a dry-sider,

trapped on the surface
of everything.

The banks unseen
but sensed

as with sleek
mammals that slink

under the water,
back current,

eddies, telling slips
of the tongue.

Things sink:
cool air, wisps

of mist, glints
of eyes, watching,

reflective. Or are they
reflexive?

The later, the louder
the water. Or the latter.

July 15

Kept hitting snooze till a character
in my dream said it was time to go.

I don’t even know, hustling down
the hill, face full of sun.  The sticker

bushes outside unkempt houses
lash out, try to draw blood.

Heat spurring growth
and anger, bikers constantly

squeezing by on the sidewalk.
On your left, on your left.

Your right to pass ends
where my thorns begin

(says the bramble.
Not me.)

July 14.1

I try to clean.  They’re showing the space.

I’m strangely keen to impress
those who will take my place.

Let it be said, her mirrors shone.

It won’t be noticed.
I think of my mother,

lift the stain from the kitchen floor.
A fleck of toothpaste from the sink.

An errant leaf.

Erasing the history of the past
few weeks.Were that there

were a sponge
that could do more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 14

Is it a dog? A box? An aftershock? 
Two things that follow. One 

that contains.  Or, constrains.
We’re out of packing tape again.

And dish soap. And everything.
I could draw a line through 

the days on the calendar
but that might be too decisive 

an action. They spill away,
next week the ocean,

the week after, fires. And every
night it’s too hot to sleep.