Monday, June 18, 2007


The heat swelters,
but that might be only
inside my own self.
I feel bothered—
perhaps to an unreasonable degree—
by the gray haze that hovers between me and the sky.
I strain to see the stars.
Above us,
the Dipper looms large and low,
clouded by the smoke and unheeded
by the revelers.
Thousands upon thousands, they come,
with red-round faces
and sweating hands.
By the light of a hundred smoky torches,
they drink and get drunk.
The noise of their squalid laughter
spreads over the hillsides like a milk-filled ocean,
pulsing with the drumbeats
that sway and steady and change tempo without notice.
Dancers are faint by the firelight—
I think, perhaps, that they dance for their own pleasure alone,
but the eyes of many are on the half-naked, writhing bodies
and their indistinct shadow-forms.
My shadow is the longest,
for I stand farthest from the fire,
burning from the inside
and swaying slightly with my empty cup.
A thousand strangers and a throbbing drum—
if I had a cool place to sit in the dark corners,
and I could see the yellow stars,
I might—just possibly—
fall asleep peacefully.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sudden Episode

It began with that story
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
and it kept going into that song
It got into me and it's in me now
and somehow together they turned on
It's like a switch flipped on inside my body
I saw the tiny piece of metal on the floor
and I picked it up
and held it in my hand
Then I slipped off my slippers
How could I go outside unless my feet were free
to feel the world through their soles?
I could barely articulate
I mumbled
a reason why I had to go
and I felt the prickles of the rubber welcome mat
and the tiny pieces of sand on the cement
Every single piece of sand!
The moon was there,
large and full and veiled by wispy clouds
There was no one
Emptiness surrounded me
The moon was reflected in a puddle, and I watched
and I blew the white seeds of a dandelion into it
and when they would not blow off, I tore them off with my fingers
and tossed them into the air,
but alas! there was no wind to carry them
and suddenly I was left
with a corpse in my hands,
and I could feel the cold, wet life of it on the skin of my fingertips
and a shudder ran through me
I died!
Everything in the world
is driving me toward this one point
where I will die
My body is restless, driven in some direction
but I do not know which direction that may be
And suddenly I realize
there is no one that I care about
and nothing that I must do
All that is important is this feeling
I ran
Then there was glass in my feet
I cried out
I could feel the pendant hanging between my breasts
and I wanted to nurse the world
I stopped and could no longer look at the moon
How is it that the world does not realize
that which is extraordinary in it?
How can it be that we are not
worthy of the extraordinary in us?

When I came inside
I chose not to hide it
For the first time, when someone asked
I answered truthfully
I took her outside to show her
the moon, and the emptiness, and how there was no one else in the world
And she did not feel it with me
but she knows how it feels
to walk down a road
and wish that it led out of town,
to know that if you could just change that one thing that's holding you back,
you could run and run and get there!
She left soon after,
but not with any cruelty in her heart and I knew
that it was good that I had told her
and that she was not frightened very much

I am looking, searching
and there are too many directions for me to go
I can feel everything here
and typing is a distraction
as the soft plastic of the keyboard
caresses my skin and teases my body
but I must go on because
there is someone out there
whom I must find.