The woman who came in with the voices
In the city where the underground cafe is actually underground. A row of brick buildings built into the hill a block down from the railroad track. Beneath the parking lot a creek whispers and appears at the pavement’s end like it was not even aware it had been buried. The woman came inside and down the stairs while I was ordering coffee. I thought she was talking to herself, or to a stranger, that measured quiet tone you take when speaking in a new place when you want to be heard and are speaking loud enough to be heard but not so loud that you are embarrassed if you say something to the room and nobody in the room responds. I looked up but the woman wasn’t talking. She looked like she had just finished talking, her lips parted, or that she was listening and about to respond but hadn’t yet. But I could hear her talking nonetheless. More than one of her. When she ordered her coffee the voices moved politely aside but did not stop. She sat down at a table across the room and the voices clustered around her. I could still hear them as I was plotting criminal charges into a spreadsheet. The voices were as real as the rows and columns on my laptop screen,they overlapped like columns and rows overlap without losing their distinction. When she got up ten minutes later the voices moved with her, getting a little louder as she passed by and the voices went up the stairs with her and went outside aboveground and it was quiet. I was done with my coffee but still had a long way to go tallying the the bad things we do to each other, so I stayed for a while longer, underground, by the buried river and the eddying voices wandering, wondering what I had heard.
Piracy (at the graveside of the living I bury my poisoned thoughts)
I have prepared for their deaths for so long
That who is dead to me among the living no longer matters
As much as the living spark, like a match at the edge
Of a cigarette on a cold porch where the night
Before moving a couch pushed from the second
Floor window turned on its way down and landed
Half inside the window below. It stuck there
Like an impossible place. Those versions
Of my life thin enough to break on someone’s faith
Never broke my faith in them, in my versionless them.
It’s not up to me, the gangplank of the past
Keeps getting longer. The sea turns to grass,
The foam to the dirt I kick onto my buried selves,
Albatross to cricket, an old house creaking in the wind.
The limited edition of Moonlight & Shadow has been sold out for some time now, and I have received some requests for a paperback edition. Since it will still be several months before I can get to making a trade edition available (likely spring of 2018), I am in the meantime making the PDF of the limited edition available for readers.
Thanks to all those who followed the adventures of Sung Dynasty poet Mei Yao-ch’en and myself as the poems were individually posted on this site.
Always full song
The moon passes through the branches
separating the coarser from finer particles
flows back to unity
Smaller but closer on the curve of your
Eye, always full no matter how much
Of what you show is in the dark
[#fullmoonsocial] Waiting for the moon to rise over the power lines behind the fields by the old school for the deaf and the blind
Home of the cardinals.
The train sound twins as it passes through
Echoing off unresponsive brick and glass
Over the darkening grass. It’s like there are two
Trains, the past casting an echo of the future
And then it’s gone, both of them
And still no moon.
The moon has not yet quite risen here in Virginia. Gaze, glance, glare at that moon and write something. Then tag it #fullmoonsocial so we can all join in. Whether you see it in a quiet rural place or a blurry suburban parking lot, it’s up there. Which means there’s the stuff of poetry out there for you to grab.
I’ll reblog what I see throughout the night…