June 19

comment 1
poetry

Test out the rhetoric:
Animal. Vermin. Infest.

Inundation or inflammation,
fiery little tongues

that lick up kindling?
The intent is visceral,

in secare
antennae, thorax, not of us,

Kafka-esque, one day man
and one day less than,

mere question of taxonomy,
Insecta, Pterygota, Isoptera, Blattodea,

Class, Subclass, Suborder,
Subhuman, Superior Orders

(didn’t fly at Nuremberg).
Consider the words like Solenopsii,

fire ants, no, too late, like their bite:
The damage is the warning.

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June 18

comments 4
poetry

See the dust
encrusted with dry rock

and you don’t think
flood zone,

water scouring sage brush
instead of brittle wind,

but it’s happened.
Block ice slouches

in the glass, dessert heat
demostrates the facility

of state change.
See a lazy wheeling hawk,

think gyre, gyre,
getting wider–

do things really fall apart?
Or just slump forward

in apathy?
Define a hole:

a lack of matter–
evil is nothing

but the absence
of empathy.

Say evil is nothing, see,
evil is nothing.

The hawk flies off.
Say in Bethlehem,

oh, whatever.
Say a clear blue sky

as if it belies
the existence of rain,

and when that hillside goes
pretend to be surprised–

say it, say it,
it couldn’t happen here.

June 16

comments 3
poetry

a bird picks at gravel
under the grape vines

they are producing this year
green-hued pearls

small and bitter
nothing much

but grit and potential
the birds won’t touch them

shrieking away
in a burnt out pine

the violence of nature
is arbitrary

unlike ours
familias unidas no dividadas

*

and when they were departed behold the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream saying arise and take the young child and his mother and flee to Egypt
when he arose he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt

now the LORD had said unto Abram get thee out of thy county
and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there for famine was grievous in the land

thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt
if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land ye shall not vex him
the stranger that dwells will you shall be unto you as one born among you and thou shalt love him as thyself for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt

thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy whether he be of thy brethren or of strangers that are in thy land within thy gates

thou shalt not pervert the judgement of the stranger
cursed be he that perverteth the judgement of the stranger
do no wrong do no violence to the stranger

a Syrian ready to perish was my father

if ye will not hear these words I swear by myself saith the LORD that this house shall become a desolation

Jehová guarda á los extranjeros; al huérfano y á la viuda levanta; y el camino de los impíos trastorna

*

it’s cherry picking season

*

the orchards are lush and full
of migrant workers

and various cultivars
of the same tree

the distinctions ours
trees draped with silver mylar

to scare off birds
dazzling in the late sun

a beat up pick up trucks along
on a frontage road

parallels the highway
until the highway turns

continues on past
the river bend

converted warehouse churches
dusty roadside stands

with dirt cheap prices
and white paper bags

of Raniers like sunsets
of Bings like blood spots

the sun dropping low
into the jagged canyon

split open like a wound
to accomodate passage

June 15

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poetry

rolled the windows down
at Rocky Reach

sweet mineral leach
subtle evidence

of a brief downpour
low evening glow

chiaroscuro foothills
it never quite gets flat here

and the road goes
right up the rocks

and the rocks
come right down

on the road
the river vermeil

and the orchards lush
and the long day finally arriving

June 12

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poetry

gray lake with regatta
with parenthetical sails

derivation of wind
rain but barely

maybe not even
one wonders at

the sudden immediacy of it all
immanent and imminent–

an answer unasked for
raises questions

June 11

comments 5
poetry

what a cavernous hole
this asking why

what a tenous stance
this not asking

strange clarity
that comes at night

as the room expands
like it is holding its breath

June 8

comments 4
poetry

Per your instructions
I am getting under this chicken’s skin

with pats of compound butter,
stowing the remaining herb twigs,

onion, lemon, in the body’s dark cavity,
cutting slits where the neck

used to be, trussing it
with its own legs, carnal,

barbaric, delicious–
Tonight is the dinner party,

the only cohesive theme
this newfound religion of decadence,

oh we went in for truffle oil (yeah I know)
triple crème cheese,

the fattiest pork bits.
Still in the industry back then,

the back of the house shows up first,
plus the one cool barista,

these two pastry chefs
that claim they’re not a thing

(they have a pretty sweet kid now)
the bread baker and his wine

then some French girls I met after
my long sad tour of their country,

somebody’s sous,
his lushest of lobster rolls,

his roomate I am seeing, I don’t know why,
I wanted him.

Back then I was better with the mise,
more precise with my cuts,

each big new thing still
shiny with potential,

although after a bottle or four
I did almost take my thumb off,

wielding the breadknife like a scimitar,
the blood merlot,

everyone pausing to assess, admire,
my date looking ill, it didn’t work out.

Why birds, why roast anything
in a brick apartment in mid July?

Youthful exuberance, we leave nothing
behind but crumbs and bones,

dirty dishes in drawers,
Tolouse and Albi drunk in the kitchen

picking the duck carcasses clean.
The baker gets really trashed,

and prior to passing out on the couch
he empties his pocket’s contents

on to the coffee table
in profound demonstration of something

he can’t coherently explain,
each paltry coin laid out in a gleaming constellation.

Our stations are fixed, are waiting for us,
we’ll both search for composure

in the walk-in tomorrow,
I’ll take out butter to soften,

tuck rag into apron, begin again,
sweet, umami, salty, sour,

and the hard one, bitter–
I’ll supreme citrus to avoid the pith,

mince garlic, sauté it, burn it, toss it,
too young, too impatient, running it too hot,

eventually, I just get the hell out.
These days I throw chicken thighs

in a pan, no recipe, you taught me well:
make the onions sweat,

the rendered skin release,
build the fond, deglaze,

coax more from less,
and I know better now

just how things compound,
for better and for worse.
.
.
.
.

RIP Bourdain. It was a damn good bird.

June 6

comments 2
poetry

[Political Exercise]

When I was three
I would argue with my dad

Any number is bigger
than any number

childish tautology
there isn’t anything

that insistence can’t make so
just ignore all fiddling

any acrid smells, you know
they boo you when they love you

June 5

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poetry

an abrupt loss of velocity
and what is the weather

and where is today
the durable patterned fabric

of seat 27c repeats like a mantra
here is here is

here
inevitably

a portable construct
and soft cool rain

June 4

comments 2
poetry

this month sheds days like scales
and another thing breaks

under cornflower skies
another method of conveyence

the express bus
the phonecall kept dropping

and here I read
another poem about furniture

coincidence
but the eye lingers

how to assemble a self
repair or spring for something newer