Wood

To make his customary peace
the carpenter turned his
highway away from
the raging Morse code
held the wheel of his
hammering and sawing
mind to the task
hands in song hovering
above the workbench
feeling and finding just
the right angle inch
by leap joints happily
agreeing with the grain
arranged in flaming
imagination first then
brought into the world
otherwise bothered by
sirens neighbors news
and colliding intersections
where no wood
warms his heart.

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What the Poet Does

 

In the fray of the day the poet
departs from Marseilles’ port
arriving at the center of Fez
in less of a moment than
it takes to de-rhyme lines
in a pre-dawn meditation.

With well-trimmed agile nails
the poet thrashes his verbal
guitar full of levels like those
flamenco brothers in Seville
reaching back to a past of
unruly and prayerful roses.

In laborless pink and expectant
fingers the poet holds his pen
a favorite reliable and full pen
and rides it like a witch gypsy
from dry farm to the mounted
monastery’s open air library.

Blank
given the tortured underlying
marriage
of geology and water
creeps
out of the swamp of history
his labor.

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Seasonless Assumptions

 

So purple and rusty red
the crocus stands like the squirrel
out of its element and season
like a voter in November
with a blank ballot to fill in
and nobody to nominate.

The tip of the tongue a big as
the river reliably lapping
in the backyard the songwriter
is embarassed but unstoppably
dwelling on frosty townships
harvested and not waking up.

Quietly ardent like prophets
every tree in the cold clear
forest verbalizes the unintended
consequences that have rained
down upon all their seasonless
assumptions of decorous green.

 

11 December 2017
wedgewood road
millcreek ut usa

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Xmas Lunch at the Trumps

 

The man at the head of the table spits
a pitcher tips over spilling what
seems to be cold oily water
onto the laps of half the guests
everyone wants to leave but laughs.

The hemispheres grit their teeth
necks are both craned and crimped
those who are hungry are given gum
while the thirsty are handed empty
champagne bottles to fill empty glasses.

The children take the straws out of
punch to blow spit wads with
great fun with a big mess growing
boisterous mean and capitalistic
sides are taken without knowing why.

There’s no one to serve or clean up
they were stopped at the door and frisked
then not allowed to either stay or go
waiters and waitresses in black
are locked up in the huge garage.

The main course is promised every
once in a while but never shows up
the host carries on his chatter and banter
while stacking up glasses and cups
we all wait for them to tumble.

Conversation around the room
changes topic and does not add up
each guest contributes a different word
until it turns loud and incredible
no questions are allowed.

The only things getting eaten were brought
by those who remembered last year
candy bars unwrapped and popped in mouths
carmel popcorn pulled out of pockets
the unfortunates gnaw on napkins.

Expected but not openly admitted
least of all by the invited men
was the as yet hardly secret moment
when a big cake would be wheeled in
containing a half-naked woman.

After an interminable time seeming
longer to those looking for meaning
someone noticed his vacated chair
was the boss golfing or watching tv?
Was he even ever really there?

 

 

 

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God’s Dice Lie Still

[refrain]
God’s dice
lie still
extremely
oddly.

[melody 1]
No history can
catch fish but the few
telling you what’s true
about you.

No scientist tries
to give to his eyes
anything like weight
over fate.

[melody 2]
Unsavory and strong
ideas offer more
wrong than I can
right.

We try to be so
damn sure about our
scam hiding in the
light.

[refrain]

[melody 3]
Is there color on the face
is it rather tone
that makes dice our own?

Left alone the numbers are
silent and cold
as we roll and lie.

[B]
Then they say to be a man
be a woman if you can
something very different than
previously planned
because you are free now
now that God and his dice
have been shaken up.

[refrain]
God’s dice
lie still
extremely
oddly.

 

 

[refrain and melodies – 2x]
G69 ///
Bm7 / Am7 /
D7 ///
C6 ///

[B]
G69 ///
Bm / Am /
D7 ///
C6 ///
G6 / Gb6 / E7 ///
G7 /// C ///

 

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Leaving Riddles

 

Wind around corners
ache in the elbows

on this day the laborer
prepares to leave a stark
monument to effort
gone after tomorrow

fabric stretched
padded as needed

retired but the upholsterer
still puts hands all over
the materials and their shapes
chairs couches pillows

smell of the coffee
the feel of the paper

morning of the loneliest
writer of self-help books
crowds can quote the advice
they’re struggling to follow

what pretends to hold
up ceiling trees stars

the earthly attitude of worship
the combined body of looking up
raised eyes hands breath
today putting off death

mums on the table
far from the flower farm

seven a.m. one light bulb
flickers far from rising
sun trying again to leave
us a riddle in yellow.

 

 

 

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Becoming

After we have so often
joined and been joined
over the years and over
the bridge and under it
we become composed
dated and decorated
by shapes and details
from folding and fitting
from gasping and laxing
and the language of it
sinks in from mix
of skin to flexed bone
to the extent that
on a pointless morn
wintry beyond walls
simply lying sharing
dream themes and jokes
talking takes on
the flushed and snug
singularity of sex.

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