Simplicity, as in the cloaca. One aperture for all: eggs,
urine, sperm, feces. The majority of birds copulate
by joining the openings of their cloacae (most male
birds lack penises). Nothing is for nothing.
Nothing is for nothing, but the ache of emptiness
bestows its own reward. That movement from outer
world to inner, to anima, to breath, to flight,
approaching heaven. Birds know the way.
Knowing the way, birds express our envy of the
boundless, testament to the unity of earth and sky,
instinct’s voice. We see feathers not as epidermal
outgrowths, but as emblems of what we forever seek.
As emblems of what we seek, crows exploit man’s
folly, exposing hidden truths. Thought and memory
recede, leaving us foundered. Altered consciousness,
flight, the space to believe, simplicity’s forms in one.
“Palinode (birds)” first appeared in slightly different form in Otoliths in fall 2016.
Being this cloud on the otherwise
transparent pane, I resist removal,
smearing myself in thinner layers,
still shrouding the angry sky
or the fence post’s sagging
doubt, which is to say
my appearance may lessen
but spread, that you may rub me
out, but I’ll return, always,
beginning with that one small
and delicious obscure point.
“Self-Portrait as Smudge” first appeared in October 2019 in Backchannels. Many thanks to the editors for taking this piece.
Boundless loss, hemmed at the edges.
Another mended hole, wasted mornings.
Unwound, I towel off, extract loose hair.
Look for messages in the clouds, see
only deceit. I am sick with
joy. I no longer sing. My goats
shun me. Where is the love,
the missing fact. An albino
squirrel skitters up the oak.
I think of blood, of bone fragments.
The pleasures of rendering.
“Cyclops” first appeared in September 2019 at Recenter Press, a publisher “dedicated to sharing work that is grounded in both the spiritual and the material.” Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.
My poems “Fossil Egg” and “Cyclops” are live at Recenter Press, a publisher “dedicated to sharing work that is grounded in both the spiritual and the material.” Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.