Saturday, January 18, 2020

Haint Blue

It is those with glass bones I fear,
bones full of empty
where the shot bird leaves its ashen song.

Night is a damply rotten blindfold
where the goblin-mother
stitches madness into nightmares.

I pay the wind to betray glass riders
who place black plumes
on the panicked heads of their Arab stallions.

I call for my blue sister who fell unborn
from the goblin-mother
in disguise of oleander and moonflower.

I paint my tongue haint blue
and call her here
to grow vines of sibling song,

In threads of peace, protection, 
and soft dawn light
braided on the morning glory bloom.

For Sunday Muse #91, where I am hosting.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Peculiar Grammar of Ghosts

In the peculiar grammar of ghosts
a thing may weave around itself in a kind of claxon jazz
or whisper up the shiver-bone with an intent to make the place permanent.

Dip this in your eye-saucer babe--
let the penny drop on its edge in the old corpus callosum
where the grammar of your average ghost bursts up from the loam.

I'm telling you that ghosts aren't in the split wood of the vandaled hallway where the copper used to lay its head all venom-dozed inside its dark egg.



Your really-there solid skull is just a rotunda to them.
It's an inside job, a throwing of the vox spiritus, with its own morphology, phonology, and colorful fucking patois.

So knock off straining the cosmic sandbox for that sublingual jolt, 
that glossolalia dune of Hot Truth, babe.
Stop drop and roll. 
Lie there and listen 
for the peculiar grammar of ghosts.

You are the baby on the monitor, a flesh pastry, a keeping-box
where spirits sometimes speak, like dry leaves falling
from the lips of not-there nightshades,
non-nuns with rulers more real than your surprised howls.

for earthweal weekly challenge: "ghosts."

Saturday, January 11, 2020


I am brushing butter and garlic across slices of bakery bread,
but also resting my cheek in the crook of your arm
a thousand miles from here.

There is steam from a green ceramic pot
in my kitchen with sunflower fields in ruffles at the windows,
but there is also your skin as warm as a sunned quilt.

I am leaning for your lips like a willow over water,
but also standing on Italian tile
with a plate forgotten in my hand like a dove from a distant dream.

for Sunday Muse # 90.

Friday, January 10, 2020

In Late Afternoon

In late afternoon,
daisies bloom from the tea kettle.
They lure a light rain 
causing the ends of my hair to curl like child ballerinas.

In late afternoon,
I open your letter which arrived by bicycle.
A boy from the town 
who stared at my breasts as if they were loaves, cooling.

In late afternoon,
a mourning dove perches on the stone wall outside.
I remember a song,
our bed, and November snow we watched like lazy tabbies.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Armageddon Lullaby

Birds flew high above a world on fire.
Around my neck a river worn as below my body burned.
In my hair a water-garland where water birds turned.
All around, the black-robed dead, on legion ashen pyres.

I called to the birds above a world on fire.
Called and sang to the birds from my disintegrating throat.
The birds spun from glass and the heavens entire
were turned by my song first to whispers, then to smoke.

Around my neck I wore a childhood stream.
In my hair a feather garland made of swans and steam.
The world turned red, then orange, then white
and the birds to choristers of anthracite.

for Sunday Muse #89. And for the world in flood and fire.

Thursday, January 2, 2020


In a cage with bars of foxfire,
I kept an apparition who claimed
to have made, from flax and piano wire
your nom de guerre, your midnight name.

"Tell me, moonless one, " I said,
"Sunless, starless nattering ghost,
Is there gravity for the dead?
A superseding circle outermost?"

She moaned and split to sugar and salt
identical in paleness to your kiss,
and offered a platitude neatly got
from a serpent poisoned with nothingness.

I burnt a root and bled a bird,
a canary-colored silent fake
whose solitude was ringed by words
that only my love or the damned could make. 

for Skylover's word list.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Fox Hurries On Alone

Fox hurries on alone,
wearing a night coat made of indigo memories.
She is solitary and keeps out of sight,
but the moon that finds me, finds her, and says no word.

Here, the lizard on his rock,
head cocked to hear the mandolin the grocer plays
when the lock is on the door
and the bottles hung on yews gather spirits from his tunes.

A desert bird speaks your poems
along the edges of a sunset, and once again 
I hold my breath to hear them
as the fountain with its coins lulls the fox with Spanish songs.

for Play It Again at Toads.

I chose Susie's Amber Tamblyn prompt from 2016.