Monthly Archives: July 2014

Goat Goes West

A few images from West of Here, where some of the poetry offered up on this site has found its way recently into the hands of kind caretakers. Admittedly it is kind of thrilling to know this work travels far better than its author…

GOAT at Coco et Olive, Main and 21st St, Vancouver BC (photo courtesy MB)

GOAT at Coco et Olive, Main and 21st St, Vancouver BC (photo courtesy MB)

GOAT at Rocky Mountain Flatbread, W 1st Ave, Vancouver BC (photo courtesy of MB)

GOAT at Rocky Mountain Flatbread, W 1st Ave, Vancouver BC (photo courtesy of MB)


Goat has never been on a Vancouver cafe run before (at least as far as I know). So thanks, MB, for expanding my horizons! And many thanks to all of you who’ve taken one poem or another for a ride in your mind or your car, wherever you are.






Nobscusset Burial Ground, Dennis MA

Nobscusset Burial Ground, Dennis MA


The path off the two-lane road is as quiet and straight as an unread sentence.
There are no accidental visits to this ground. You have to ask around

at the lakeside potter for directions, itself a place you have to ask
around to find, and even then you miss the entrance because it’s

nothing more than a shadow between high shrubs and a fence,
and you have to get out of your car and cross the street

to find it, grassy area surrounded by trees and houses yet secluded
just up a rise from the edge of Scargo Lake, whose waves are the soft

clap of a hand on a familiar shoulder. There are no markers of any kind
but everywhere offerings—nickels, beads, feathers woven into star shape,

a wreath of sticks hung atop one of the granite border stones, things made
by hands left at the foot of a tree or placed on a branch, and underneath

the skin of the earth the force of something still vibrating at blood
frequency. Almost four centuries since their sachem, their sagamore,

Mashatampaine, walked over this ground when everyone knew
death was larger than life but here you feel it, there are more

signs of it than there are letters in the spelling of his name, he’s
in the pulse of the pottery made on the other side of the small lake,

the vibration that shivers the calm water just before sunset viewed
from Scargo Tower, the twitch of the fox through the scrub oak

under the cover of dusk and wild blueberry. For a person used
to tombstones and crypts there is something naked here in the pine

needles and piles of coins and cigarettes and offerings. It’s the living
speaking to the living, and the dead are listening, they listen.


The Now

The Now


The moon of how you feel
shines much closer than the stars

closer than memory lighting the space
between then and next

In the surf of the beach
I dream us on  and by our feet

glowing creatures imitate the stars
without reflecting them or caring to

It’s okay to look and
it’s nothing to look away

not knowing where we are walking to
under a moon of rush and surge

and while at the edge in the glowing
foam the now can seem shallow

this wave has been traveling
towards us for a long time

July 16

July 16


Though the date has no meaning
for me, though I saw a man roadside

stand begging and suffering is unabated
among some I know there is peace

and among those lives which do not
touch mine one surely celebrates a birthday

one and another an anniversary this night
someone is suddenly a father another

a mother while one touches the last
page of a book and another wipes paint

from her hands. Though the date means nothing
to me those whose lives do not touch mine

are standing beside me in patience
and so to them I say in the darkness someone

you do not know wishes you well
with what magic is left to me I would know

all your names but then the magic of it
would dissolve like a date with no meaning

Book of Moths

Book of Moths


We came here to the summer
it is a place like life is a place

On time’s window we are open and still
everything you want to say

But every time you look we are different
if you want us to survive you must

Stop glowing so we can find
our own way to the one you love

Time difference, breezy day

Time difference, breezy day


Shadows on the sidewalk of leaves in motion
above me are like the shadows of flames

the leaves are burning but the burn is slower it is a burn
we can inhabit or control  are the leaves our days

how can we see it in the leaves still green and flexible
how can we see the beginning and end of it all in the shadows

how does the time difference work is it the same
when I send out words to you here in my midsummer

why do I feel the entirety of me burning