Monthly Archives: November 2015

I Remember the Future


I Remember the Future

I remember the future where all poets were famous
I remember the future where there were so few
things and people that they were all the best
where nobody cares for long who won or lost
I remember the future had always been where the family
would be sound of mind and body
I remember the force of the world working
backwards in time broke upon me like a windshield
I remember the moment looking forward became
looking back that all these futures drove
the present and their shadows solidified
to stone became the past
I remember this moment was when I understood
but tonight as the moon slowly fills
with the bones of days
(all the dead come from the future
from the days that did not live)
it is harder to remember the past
where I learned I did not have to forgive
myself or others to take my next breath
the only one available in the present

The Shadow


The Shadow

The shadow arrives at the train station
on a sunny midafternoon.

He is only here because you are
though neither of you were expecting the other.
When you stand on the bridge over the tracks
he waits below on the platform.
When the train slides into the station and stops
he lies on the roof of the cabin, unnaturally relaxed.
People step off and others step on but he does
not get up. When the train begins moving he slides
into a blur until the last car is gone
then he is back on the platform
as if he had just decided he wanted to get
away from you but it was too late, his shadow
ticket was not accepted by the conductor.
He would turn his back on you but he has no back
or front, just questions. How does one act upon the world
with no depth? with no agency? You have had
enough, and hurry down the steps from the bridge
to confront him but the platform is empty.
Quite suddenly, you experience a thrill, as if
someone had walked across your shadow.

Worst Poem in This Collection [from 20 Poems & Other Translations from the English]

Worst Poem in This Collection

I walked in a circle around an idea.
Like a car in a well-lit parking lot it cast many faint shadows
Spoking out in all directions, but was itself unperceived, as is
Anything at rest exactly where it should be.
Like a circle of vultures it led me to myself walking
Injured by the road’s edge. I’m still not sure what hit me. That
Would have been the good poem.

Distant Lightning [from The Artificial Horizon, 2013]

Distant Lightning

Thunderheads cover the western sky
As I drive down the mountain.
The lightning shoots out, four or five bolts
At a time, some cascading to earth,
Others quilting clouds together
Into a single silent storm.
For here there’s no sound.
Only as I drive into town does a soft
Rain begin to fall.
As if someone were fighting their inner demons
And projecting it to the sky for everyone to see,
Even though it was happening only in a hallway
Of a small house somewhere.
And from that struggle comes that softest
Rainfall which does no damage
And from which lilies will bloom anew,
And peonies, and dandelions and a thousand
Things unnoticed in the grass.
And now through a window of open sky
The smallest hint of sunset on one cloud’s edge,
And the calming cool breeze that tucks
The entire town in is the result
Of that struggle, won or lost
And hidden somewhere behind
A single blind.