He Wore Hats. From Postcard Poems and Prose, 2017
He wore hats, two or three at a time, stacked like shrugs that end arguments when the person on top lays bare the conversation and says so. Pieces of my heart loved him. I felt a smile shaping my face when I stood next to him. I liked the way he lived openly with his complex world. He didn’t simplify, for example, by wearing one hat. He didn’t encourage me to simplify, either. When I looked at him wearing his stack of gray, brown, straw, I remembered the seasons and the way the light changes. A single day is not a simple event. I used to live a day by paring it down to a slice, flinging the rest—flinging and not looking where it landed. Not following its fortunes in the compost, beneath a bush by the sidewalk, in the murk of a battered dumpster, into the black beak of an urban bird. Not my brimmed friend. He took hostage what time buries alive, he saved this stash of days from burning out to a stubbed butt, he stuffed it into a bag and handed it off to me.
From: Dear Traveler (Finishing Line Press, 2021)
You are the song of your own making without knowing the notes. Music rises without tongue no strings no reeds the sound begins as a chorus. Desert winds encircling brush and spare stalks of grass– how the dry sticks sing is what the wind wants to know. How do you hear when even your ears are singing?
Traveler: We are listening. A trillion cells each one your body tuned to the critical news listening Myriad bacteria, virus dominions in the moist cavern of your core on the layered sheath of your skin secreting signals to your mind tuned in to your pulse resolute, listening Uncountable mites homesteading multitudinous pores, loners listening from caverns stippling your face weathering wash water storms to quickly crawl forth in darkness to mate and retreat to shelter. Traveler: Your wild life is listening.
Traveler: What is the role of beauty in times of misfortune? Bombs crater the concrete city broken shells on a dry beach gouged accretions await the sweeping away A bulldozer’s blade: the victor’s knife. (Bombs can’t help themselves. Salmon spawn surged into designated nests an overwhelming army mates with the target. Hatchlings grimace tumble to the sea; thus terror returns to the stream.) Some of us who pay for it watch on screens read, listen to reports. Where is the measuring stick the newest laser tool calculating fossil’d hearts rivers weather oceans fields? Others of us grip our bloody hands. Traveler: We go on we go on (a threadbare sky holds up the sun) border beyond border the dove’s perfect opalescent egg in the jay’s perfect beak blasted sand bristles diamond perfect light broadcasting astonishment across greater and greater distances.
From El Ojo de la matriz / Eye of the Womb, Vision Libros, 2010
soft thighed Mother
our breath grew in the cleft of your thighs
our hearts beat to your rhythm
Gaea glowing beneath the eyes of deer
To find ourselves
we hunt our Mother
gathering seed and flesh
a great mouth opens
to find ourselves we swallow
we stretch, we shrivel, we stink
serene in the fold or her undulant lap
Where are your eyes?
Vision slit through skin
Plump as a ripe berry
Slow as quartz
Harsh, happy, bitter, sure
your heat flashed through ripening cells
splits sleep into offspring
who yowl and split again
We yield to the dark cup
your throne where bodies rest
possessed by your breasts,
an odorous sleep.
Our only task:
to wake from your nurture
bone, fruit, and flesh
bound for the crest of your mountain
wet with desire
that you take us again.
madre de muslos suaves
nuestro aliento creció en la hendidura de tus muslos
nuestros corazones laten a tu ritmo
Gea que reluce tras los ojos de ciervo.
buscamos nuestra Madre
recogiendo semilla y carne
abriendo su gran boca
para encontrarnos tragamos
nos estiramos, nos encogemos, apestamos
serenos en los pliegues de su regazo ondulante
¿Dónde están tus ojos?
Visión hendida en la piel
Redonda como baya madura
Lento como cuarzo
Áspera, feliz, amarga, segura
tu calor que destella a través de células madurando
convierte el dormir en progenie
que aúlla y se divide de nuevo
Nos entregamos al cuenco oscuro
tu trono donde los cuerpos descansan
poseídos por tus pechos,
Nuestro único deber:
despertarnos de tu nutrir
hueso, fruta, y carne
camino a la cima de tu monte
mojados por el deseo
de que nos recojas otra vez.