November 25

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Cold coming over
the pass, cold rain,

the steep drop,
the silent lake,

couldn’t see
a thing.

And the lights
of those first

few towns, so warm
at a distance–

another arrival,
and what then?

A stone,
no other word.

and unmovable,

aloof. Knit a nest
for it, feather

the den, dust off
the snow–

or don’t.

November 15

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Motion doesn’t always
lead to rest.

An impression of earning,
but the statement doesn’t lie.

Derivation of softness,
clemency. First declension:

Feminine nouns only,
and pirate, farmer, poet,

and charioteer–
from the Greek: I do, I lead, I drive. 

It must be the tether,
the bridle, the ties

that bind. The statelessness.
Whose earth is this?

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s.
James Brown. Epecticus:

It is neither wrong
nor right to carve

the night sky into hours
and arcs. Prediction,

not prediliction;
declination, right ascension.

Distant rain across
an unseen lake. Falling

as arriving, and other
false statements. To cultivate

is to prepare, to sow, to try
to acquire. No thing

promised. But assumption
inherent in any equation. What

are the values? What
are the terms? And who

gives way
to keep the balance?

To fulfill expectation
requires no exact

measurement: Expand
until more empty

space than self.
State change. Statehood,

stoicism. The bit,
it goes between your teeth.

November 9

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The dawn keeps on dawning.
What was it that I thought

I saw? Quickly forget
the taste of lime and salt,

warmth that lingers
like an honest embrace.

Cold rain. The gingko piebald,
a tree at half-mast.

What is love
and what is loveable?

The vacant building
has a gray façade.

A gray car passes
in the slick gray street,

the fallen leaves too damp
to lift. A heavy act,

to turn away, withholding.
Mark the weight of empty

space. Of words unspoken.
That bitter root of doubt.

November 8 

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Election night, and sick
as a dog. Something

I ate. Easy to tell
when a thing has gone

rancid, but hard
to tell when it hides

what it is.
Take the medicine,

stay hydrated,
wake up to see

what’s become
of the world,

if it has returned
to what was great,

for some, who could
afford it, and looked

just right. And then
those dumb appetizers,

shit on a platter,
too seasoned with hate,

too stuffed with anger,
to know that they’re being

served up. Croquettes
for the new Emperor.

Or Rey, or Führer.
And old Moctezuma,

still getting
his revenge–

November 7

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Lost in some forest north
of the city, the driver

returns the wedding
guests home, some

somewhat drunk, a song
rises up, hoarse, flamenco–

staccato clapping,
the rutted road,

headlights bathing
the night fog in gold.

There is no place to be
now, the wedding guests

are returning home,
with newly-softened gazes,

reminded again of love,
the road turning in on itself,

laughter, fake despair.
The wedding over,

the driver drives
the wedding guests

somewhere, anywhere,
it doesn’t matter.

Sad and joyful,
a song rises up–

it sings to me,
my love, I love

October 30

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Querétaro state
by bus, a ripe

sunset, pastel
trucks, corn fields

and sun-bleached rocks.
No country has the exact

same color of dust.
This is already

a new life, new eyes.
The old highway

winds through high
desert, fat-paddled

cacti, unknown birds,
a dark cloud to the North

feathering out, the night,
halcón, the wistful sky,

lindo, listo,
ready to take flight

October 29

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torrents of rain
the hour before departure

jewel-tone leaves
against a wash of gray

the sky gives no hint
of time or day

I am already a little

gone already
the cobalt jay

catches my eye
a promise of color

color y calor

October 27

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After a fall
the margins of a bruise,

lilac, ugliness
is only contextual.

How quickly a state
changes, at full speed

and then fallen, been
befelled, complanate,

decumbent, laughing
at the slick night,

no pain, yet, just awareness,
again, of sublimation–

run, ran, running–
of location

relative to the hard
dark plane of sky.

September 30

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If you had stayed until after
dawn you would have seen

the strangest sky, all white,
fog roiling like smoke,

dampness obscuring
the sun yet compounding it,

blindingly diffuse.
How could the words

come as a surprise?
But loss cannot be

entirely, yesterday

was one side and this
is the other. One less.

September 15

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It comes in threes
and here’s the third,

bad news couched
in benign words,

no, pareidolia–
man in the moon, Jesus

in a breadloaf,
such a hunger

for finding something,
anything, even terror.

You asked what you should say.
Nearby is the country

they call life
you will know it

by its seriousness.
Rilke. I don’t know,

nor do I want to, really.
Give me your hand.