BEHIND THE CURTAIN
She goes to Italy, to Teaneck, to Afghanistan, and
Walpole and then her hands over her head and then she
takes her feet off the ground.
It is someone else's life
She flies past John Blair's and hears such wailing
noises she's afraid they are killing pigs today.
She thinks elsewhere. Here's one degree of warmth.
Here a cat sleeps on a dog bed, a mistranslation.
Here is modern androgyny and emotional flatness
Is there anywhere around here to go? The question is
like a snowball on top of the Buddha's head.
Here is a spring garden, all green and birdy with one
hundred learned canary birds.
A girl and her peacock
travel through dangerous mountains.
A young man greets a
new life aboard the banana boat.
A baby lives with a
We are all headless and cannot speak.
She cannot believe there isn't even one brave and
necessary thing more, just a sledding night behind the
curtain of a cafe.
(from Small Boat)
SHOOTING THE BEAR
Like the novel in verse, the novel in verse, dogs in
this town drive cars.
Houses expose themselves slowly.
It's flammable linseed oil to which the cabinetmaker who
made our feeders after losing his fingers loses his
We must think of the little nun's happiness.
If we shoot the bear, it won't bother the feeders.
The birds love our willow trees, and love is the word.
(from Landscapes I & II)
I'LL LAUGH WHEN I'M READY
I'm sorry to keep leaving myself out, to forget to call
your love over the mountains into a fog.
onto, and maturing into, confessing the first person who
eats an orange and the orange is not real the way you
This leaves me alone again still not ready to
I'm floating with the rest of the pronouns, and first we
come to turkeys and then cows and then their bones.
one walk or another through the fields, through the
towns, past the mill where it is raining.
it's a puzzle.
Lately I've been tortured by these
abstractions when really they are only doors with knobs
on the wrong side.
can't even break a single line
without so much anxiety that I can't do it.
We sit outside at the tavern and eat and drink.
It is a
tiny complicated mess relieved by its name: worm.
drive home with an unhappy headache in the back seat.
ten o'clock, our glasses and our shoes and our sweaters
have wandered off towards their own self-realizations.
The terrific complexity of the moment is good enough.
fall asleep just as the animal wars begin.
(from lie down too)