Theology of Carrots
We hide our best
plumed by ornamental
allowing the wisdom
“Theology of Carrots” first appeared here in September 2017.
In Response to Nadia’s Misdirected Email, I State Exactly What I Am Looking For
Balance. The ability to stand on one foot, on a tightrope, and juggle AR-15s,
ethics and dollar bills, while chanting the U.S. Constitution, in tongues.
Or good health.
A mechanism for disagreeing without needing to annihilate the opposition.
Doorways without doors, truth without fear.
A simple tulip.
One word to describe that instant between thought and pulled trigger,
intent and wish, the elevated pulse and sense of diminished space and time.
Sanctuary. Regret. Apology. Respect.
A tonic to the bitterness, a foil to the sweet.
Fitted sheets that fold. Uncommon sense.
Love in the abstract. More bacon. Smiles.
A closet that embraces everything you place in it. Everything.
The means of unfiring guns, of reversing wounds to undamaged flesh,
and rounds to their magazines, full and never used.
Self-organizing drawers. Due process.
Mothers who know only tears of joy.
One peaceful day.
This first appeared on the blog in July 2016. The poem was a response to an email asking a question intended for someone else: “What exactly are you looking for?”
I offer nothing in return, and in offering, receive.
My mouth is a river
whose current bears no words,
but the silence is not of my making.
Notice the streets and their grey
hunger, the rain and the sun
passing by much
as one passes an unopened door.
That question, unvoiced.
That shiver preceding the icy touch.
You may deny my motives.
You may deny my existence and
the very notion of shape unto form.
I offer nothing, and in offering, receive.
“Bandera” first appeared here in May 2015, and was subsequently published in The Basil O’Flaherty in November 2016.
Nine Variations of a Cloud
Looking up, I renounce pity and the sadness of wind.
Only lust pulls and shapes more, diminishing your integrity.
It slips through whenever I try to grab it.
Every phrase is a window glowing at night, surrendered to its frame.
Water in another form is still water.
In whose ruins must you survive?
Another shape, another moment desperately spent.
And still you thrive in diminishment.
Bearing nothing, it conceals.
* * *
“Nine Variations of a Cloud” first appeared in Kindle Magazine in December 2015, and was also included in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry.
End of the Road (2002)
Neither expected nor sought, truth arrives.
One phrase, a minute turn of the
wrist, and the beginning reverses itself, becomes
vessel versus point, illuminating
the reach: one sign, two paths. The agave.
How far we’ve come to affect this place.
Last season the flowers were gray and we knew nothing.
Even the stones quivered with laughter.
And then it rained. And the creeks rose, and the bedrock
appeared as if to say your efforts lack
substance. Look underfoot. There lies the truth.
Neither expected nor sought, it arrives.
“End of the Road” last appeared here in April 2017.
My poem, “Bone Music,” which originally appeared in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry, published by Kindle Magazine in Kolkata, India, has been reprinted on Vita Brevis.
I am grateful to editor Brian Geiger for offering a second home to this poem.
Thunderstorm Below the Mountain
Lacking humility, I take without thinking.
How far we’ve come, to look below for
lightning, the valleys shaken
with thunder, answers
like pebbles flung outward,
each to its own arc, separate
yet of one source, shaded into the question.
Is it for the scarcity of reach,
the reverse view through the bamboo rings
well out of sight, that
breath in the wave’s tuck or
smoke mingling with the clouds
and figures collecting salt,
that I edge myself closer, again,
to this place? To be nothing
presumes presence in absence.
Lacking humility, I accept without thinking.
“Thunderstorm Below the Mountain” first appeared here in March 2016.