January 17

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poetry

Birds scatter,
lacking surface tension,

cohesion.
They barricaded

the sidewalk, but only
on one side,

turning back it said
DANGER. Even a shrug

would be too decisive.
Nothing sticks,

an oilcloth sky,
raindrops and seagull

droppings. Could have been
much worse, but wasn’t

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January 16

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poetry

we ran through a forest
at night

an unfamiliar road
an unfamiliar night

anything can be foreign
depending on context

.

back-lit windows
as heavy-lidded eyes

monstrously large
behind the trees

.

a car passing quickly
a thought that won’t settle

that’s not a bird
it’s a bat

January 15

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poetry

Sometimes forget
and write September,

or some long-past year,
the moment’s default,

multiverse–
Somewhere it is

September, somewhere
it’s still summer, yesterday

bluebird at the beach
and honeysuckle–

a wash of memory,
clean sweep of tide,

a commuting.
The effect is gentle,

soft as this breeze,
yesterday’s breeze, still

a breeze somewhere, or
what will become another,

conservation,
so cleanly seen, forget

and write conversation,
again clarity in lapse

of memory, saying
what I didn’t know

I meant, surpise!
suddenly as clear as sky

January 8

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poetry

Frowned upon to write about dreams
but I want to say how

the wild things arrived,
hares, wildcats, hawks–

not dangerously– estatically.
The subconcious colors the world,

if neccessary, decadently–
It was a tapestry

how they came down
from the trees, in medias res,

the way dreams go,
my childhood home,

summertime with wolves,
no fear, just floating

from the same lack of gravity–
not obeying logic,

but following something,
some unnatural orders, and happily

January 7

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poetry

Too icy to leave,
weekend in town,

a radio on somewhere,
drowsy, staticky,

non-descript winter, truly
in the thick of it. Each

year it still comes as a surprise.
Transitory states:

is this wet snow,
or cold rain?

And why make distinctions?
Strange dreams this morning,

late to the Christmas party,
searching for a seat.

Today is the day they’ll take
the tree, make a note of it,

the birds in the hedge
by the dryer vent,

singing brightly, incessantly,
in the sweet, warm fog,

like breath, but not,
but again, why shouldn’t it be?

January 4

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poetry

Trying to use the produce
before it spoils, the milk

a lost cause, dust rueful
on the mantle. So easy to think, if

only– but each year knows better,
better. How does the cilantro

just liquify? It’s cool
in the refrigerator.

What lasts and what does not?
Salt and biterness, but you can’t

cure a life. Maybe preserve it,
depriving it of air, and light,

keeping it for the sake
of possession, the fear of loss.

January 2

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poetry

Dog star, always there,
in the dog days of summer,

in these winter hours
that pass like small lifetimes,

secret, still, enclosed.
I forget sometimes

that being a tide
involves wide margins,

sea changes, rushing in
and reticence in equal measure–

never ever there
but always moving towards it.

Dog star, still there,
waiting faithfully

at the edge of the horizon.
Not a portent. Not an omen,

but maybe an answer to some
unspoken longing.

December 27

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poetry

Day and night, vise-like,
bookends to whatever this is.

A return? Or stalled momentum.
Pieces of salt, like stars,

stud the black ice.
This year drawn out

to its breaking point–
a twist of the champagne cork–

anticipation is such
a terrible ache.

And this cold
cuts to the bone. Waiting

for a word, a sign,
breath suspended

in the frigid air,
and fingers gone numb, only

hurting when they touch
something warm–

a loss is insensible,
memory determines its cost.

December 24

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poetry

The high was still low.
In the shade the cold

was bitter, and when
the wind picked up–

Three arbors of grapes,
overgrown, neglected,

and some chipped
clipping shears.

What makes a return
prodigal?

A morass, deadwood, suckers,
shoots the color

of rust, dried blood,
arteries, and the ashen ghosts

of summer after summer.
Excise, and find

the form inherent.
To finish a thing, just one

thing, done
in its proper season

and sequence. A long time
coming. A bent knee in the snow.

It was the son, I know,
a muddled remembrance

and the low blue light
of a Northern winter day,

or barely not night. But the fruit
will set this coming year.

The vine will spring back,
the dormant sap, the roots below,

already there, I clear the air
so it can be filled anew.

December 22

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poetry

The shortest day gives way
to the longest night.

Of course. The street,
this building, quieter

than usual, perhaps everyone
gone, travelling home,

or just asleep. The hour
is late, maybe the emptiness

woke me, that big, smooth zero,
like a rock of ice. You know

it would float.
That doesn’t make sense,

I know. Of course. But
that doesn’t make it wrong,

either. Harbingers, suddenly
listening to Tom Waits, craving

a racket. There are different
types of silence, some are blue

like holding your breath.
Like an open question,

it contains its own answer.
That broken voice howls out

silent, holy night, drowning
out the thing that is better not asked.