August 25

comments 5
poetry

This anger would be easier
if I was a painter,

could spill it out
in cadmium red

and yellow ochre,
let layers build up–

.

This anger has texture,
rough as a raised fist.

In solidarity, or to land
a blow?

I don’t know,
it chokes out eloquence.

.

How could such hate
be lauded? Add some cheap

gold foil to the composition,
scattered senselessly.

Rabidly.

.

A heart is a muscle,
it can fail, I know, but this

is an infarction of the soul.
Tear it down and start over.

.

If only love was enough
of a coat of armor.

This anger would be easier
if I was a sculptor,

striking and discarding
in order to bring order,

and thereby proving
it exists.

.

A full suit, in granite, immobile as grief.

.

No a night sky, stars made of headlights,
and none of them out. God,

the first time I heard your voice
say officer

I didn’t know you kept another you
inside you like that.

.

They’re stealing our jobs!
And more dog whistles.

No. This is a sic ’em.
This is open season.

This is the man who said
Well you know, they call you KKK.

They did me. I think it’s an honor.
Yes he did say that.

.

This anger would be easier
if words mattered at all.

.

Non-PC
and Boys Being Boys

and The Officer Felt Threatened
and Lots of People Are Saying

and Folks I Tell It Like It Is
rising up like ballons, so full of it.

.

And this heart, a big box of pins

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August 24

comments 3
poetry

I could sleep now
in this raft of a bed,

or later, or eat
an unreasonable dinner,

or make something sensible,
or wait, getting lost

in a book, or a thought,
or these small rooms,

quieter in your abscence.
Another city night,

some man sings loudly
into the velvety dusk,

and it’s not clear
whether the high rises

are cast in cool blue
hues due to this sky

or to their glass
or if such a distinction

could even be made.
Cold at night now,

I close the windows
and draw the shades,

ruminating on
negative space.

August 21

comments 4
poetry

A magnitude of difference
between true totality
and ninety-eight percent.

Even so, and for only ninety-three,
we rushed out after rounds
and off the floors

and gathered on the roof
in scrubs and scrub caps
or business casual

sharing cheap glasses
and cardboard viewers
and temporarily forgetting

the code just moments earlier—
occluded vessels, and an open chest.
I didn’t hear them call it,

had stared from the corridor
at the vacant face, unsure,
but only briefly.

Some artist said art is an action
against, a denial of death.
Exquisite contrast here:

a light goes out permanently–
no fractions, shades, or nuance.
Minutes before totality

our shadows turned sinuous,
like warped x-rays,
long and lithe and wrong.

Filtered through the trees,
a thousand shadow-crescents,
cast by the pinhole spaces

between the leaves,
too small to see directly.
Even seven percent of sun

was bright as day—
someone from HR said
it felt just a bit colder.

Only through dark glasses,
or projected onto the far side
of a box, was the eclipse

discernable. Nothing ever stopped
moving: the earth, the moon, the sun—
only an alignment of orbits,

perfect somewhere else,
but nearly perfect here,
which is sometimes enough.

August 17

comments 5
poetry

Not imperceptibly
the days get shorter–

slight variance,
shade of dawn ochre,

another day comes
crashing in.

I went to the counter-rally
pretending to be a photographer,

but when the ball blasts
went off I just ran

without thinking
or taking any shots

of the bodies hurtling
toward me in a haze

of chemical dispersal,
covered ground

without comprehension
or feeling, only

seconds later
realizing

what I had
and had not done.

The days accelerate–
a high shutter speed stops

movement but requires
more light. These days

I stay up too late
and undercook everything–

some of these days are already
nights.

August 10

comments 9
poetry

That full moon
like a brass button

studding the night,
implying perforation,

adeherence, closure.
In some places

it was occluded,
tarnished–

but we couldn’t see it
from where we sat,

adrift in a deep night
that fell like a curtain.

For every word
a third unspoken.

That full, full moon
and the Earth’s shadow

encroaching. The very
papable weight

of nothing.

August 3

comments 6
poetry

Waking with a burning throat
it’s the sun that changes

not the haze
a distinction worth

making? Who knows.
The sky bright opaque

some big eye’s sclera
and it doesnt blink

August 2

comments 5
poetry

unvoiced words cast
as shadows

or wilting in the face
of the predictable response

or echoes of echoes
and all this weary smoke

settling over the city
towers and spires

the blood speck sun
thirst is nameable

but this is
not

.

the cloud distinctly a face
suspended over the far valley

blowing out a bellicose wind
and from the summit we watched

smoke churning up like
smoke there’s nothing else

so plain-spoken
yet indirect

billowing up
and then the mountains are gone

benign but no
it isn’t

.

dry-mouthed waking
it’s fine

it’s fine it’s fine
it’s August

just like that
and gets hot early

trudging up the hill
again

I break
into a sweat

July 18

comments 9
poetry

a thirst and that way
weariness rests

just outside the eyes-
another rainless day

sun on green glass
oh the height of it all

a seagull seems
to fly low

here the trees
seem out of place

set pieces
this room

is mostly window
and open space

but some things
you just can’t fake

this song progresses
through common chords

characterize everything
as a wait

it sure doesn’t feel like arrival
nobody’s fault but mine

wine, and a summer
more than half gone–

what can I say?
the sky is perfect

this sky is perfect
it shames me for feeling

anything less
than joy

July 17

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poetry

almost calm
this not yet night

a house it settles
but a city it calls

and calls like some
stray cat enamored

by want
and measuring out

the confines
of its alleys