Category Archives: New Writing

Poem to be read in the middle of the night (iv) / Skyline at dusk

Poem to be read in the middle of the night (iv) / Skyline at dusk

I lean my head back against the transparent beach.
Starlings pull up the garland of the sky and hang it on trees.

Miniature lake, street puddle spilling sky on a tire.
Because they leap, like that boy I was

we make a leap of faith and the stars stand still–
just the illusion of motion on motion

And the moon, black like a lost penny, shining
only on the edge, has been laughed at enough

to appear a smile. The starlings sharpen
their beaks against the wheel of the hour.

Conversations (VI) — to the future

With eyes closed I can hear you smile.
Your voice a place I know my way around.

Woodpeckers say goodnight the strangest way
And other birds of winter appear as singular

Leaves of gray, blue, gold on the trees
We can only see through their nakedness.

I drop your eyelids’ map of dreams:
Everything you are I still don’t know

Runs through my veins
Like the flight patterns of birds

that never have to know the route

September 30 [Book of October]

September 30

We know what the year’s worth
Like we know a coin from its size in our palm.

The month’s full moon. A gumball in a gumball machine.
And once in awhile, two slip out at once

Into your hands. When did the fall’s first
Cold night become a harbinger for a life

Shifting seasons? I look out there:
Not a leaf has left me. Still, if what’s ahead

Is more than loose change, you’re going
To have to get a lot closer to keep

Us both warm with what’s coming.



2:33 in the morning.
The owl screeches like a thought’s hinges.

One that keeps opening just a crack
but nobody steps through.

I turn over my pillow, squint into the dark
yard, knowing nothing will clarify.

Whatever you are thinking
I am thinking, too.

Love and Sleep

Love and Sleep

We lay here on the edge with a handful
of words not knowing when it will come

upon us and knowing when it comes
(the words will be left to stand guard)

it will be without knowledge
of us and without us knowing it has come

then the skidding slippery acceleration
then the slow wholeness of a moon passing overhead


most of our memories congregate here on its borders
but are not allowed inside we remember

gaining it we remember losing it
rubbing our eyes with the shock of its absence

we lay here not wanting to forget a thing
but to enter it is to forget

the weight of everything else


we wonder sometimes what really happened

when we were there and the answer is always
much more than that happened

the loss of context that puts all into context
the details of our days all birds and sand

I have given up trying to remember anything
more detailed than that wing of a smile

but even when we know we will never lose each other
we cannot stop the alarm it is in another world after all

so here on the edge we gather with our words
the words listen for us and try to remember

while we’re gone and to hum the song
we were singing once we’re gone

The Switch

The Switch

–then everything else which turns off at night
is the switch that turns on the crickets

is there a thing at all in cricketsong
that means I remember

that bridges the slow heaving wave
of frozen ground between years

is there anything
by which they know they go on

do they need to when they hear
with their legs by which they leap only forward

and sing with their wings which cannot take them backward
what else must a cricket do to prove it needs

no memory


behind my house at night I forget
I am in a city the song is so loud

like the earth breathing in and out
the owl marking his territory in the pitch dark

is absorbed into the song it seems impossible
there could be as many crickets on the ground

as there are cricket voices in the air
till the sun climbs over a rock and shuts them off

in the morning which is the switch
for ten thousand starlings to fill the space

with another season–