January 9

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Twelve grapes at midnight
washed down with champagne

one for love and one
for hatred

one for kindness and one
for relentlessness

one for luck and one
for persistence

one for hope and one
for remembrances

one for going and one
for staying

and in all its sweetness
and for all its bitterness

another two
for love

December 24

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An eve, but it isn’t
an arrival if it doesn’t

stay. Sun on the bridge,
the lake like a mirror,

here suffused with gray.
The night still falls

early but the day gets
longer. Too cold still

to dig in the garden,
the onions can wait,

wrapped in their paper,
safely frozen,

dreamless, mute.
Il nous en faut faire autant

turelurelu, patapatapan—

French carols on

the stereo, blind dog
sleeping in the corner.

Down the embankment
small birds like afterthoughts,

as I wait for a word, anything,
an evening, an eve, the last sun break,

still waiting, turelurelu,
love is

a living thing,
consider the implication.






December 17

comments 7

I dreamed a door
swept shut

and felled a row
of empty bottles

that didn’t break
but scattered about

with hollow echoes
and you were there

saying careless, careless,
careless, careless

awake again
light coils

on the floor
cool-hued pools

of star and streetlamp,
making a cold thing

sleep an uneasy truce

December 16

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What do you say
to a man who is dying?

A fact, just as it is
twenty-eight degrees

out, the sun set
three hours

and thirty-five
minutes ago, this is

a man who is dying,
but is still alive.

Careful, things fall
easily here,

this the greatest
distance, none

could be

What hues
in that sunset!

A slow burn
over the bay,

the city changes
its face, harder

edges of night,
but ribbons of traffic,

headlights, taillights,
half coming, half

going, so graceful at
a distance.

I said it is twenty
-eight degrees out,

and of course it doesn’t
matter, there are no

tenable bridges
or tethers, no words,

no roads, this man
is dying, and

the forecast
says more snow.


December 15

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How the intolerable
becomes tolerable, against 

all attestations otherwise
the bite, forgotten

that old dispensation
what a strange capacity

a heart deadens
itself, dryly, inexorable

as a nature show
prey, predator, or

merely winter
coming on, nothing

is surprising
now, not even




December 13

comments 6

ICU days
line draws

and scrawled

sweet jesus

we stop
at each door

each door
a threshold

sunlight today
but frosted glass

a curtain drawn
for privacy

for if it comes

to pass
this is a shore

if anything
a great big blank

the lung’s
secret space

and the blood
singing wrong

December 12

comments 7

Again, short days. What
else is there to say?

Besides all the things
a night can be: Clarity

of skyline, articulate
distance. I love the red

LIGHT, old neon signs,

all heart. It’s no good
here in the thick of it,

LED bright and still
the ankle twists

to the gutter. A huddle
passes, soft people, shapes

only, the very power
of suggestion. And then

the street empties out,
except for all this incandescence–

December 10

comments 7

And here we are, snow come
and melted, the same cool

gray as ever. This damp
feels like the smell of home

after a time away, familiar
become new, for just a moment,

novel, known. And here
we are, the year dwindling,

eternal northern nights.
Breath like a cloud. It isn’t

sadness yet, but something
more rare. We had a true

blizzard once, trees felled
by ice. Numbering the days:

what was, what will. Turning
in early. Silent night.

November 25

comments 7

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.