Box and Door

open boxes to rearrange
close boxes to dismiss
open doors to get away
close doors and stay apart

individual drops of chocolate
dot the paper
these set later than you think
as you roll the paper
the drops slide sideways
and fall into the box

individuals sit on bus seats
and stare at strangers
in the morning
in the evening
they stare at strangers
and sit on individual bus seats

open boxes to get the colours
close boxes to finish the job
open doors to master the lighting
close doors and hide the decay

lovers mourn the loss of excitement
everyone else mourns
their loss of love
but every shape
belongs in its socket
to fall in the box where it belongs

lovers lick at each other like cats
and just like cats
they scratch and they scream
lovers scream and scratch at each other
while just like cats
they dream about mice.

open boxes to let out the evil
close boxes to seal them away
open doors to take the parcel
close doors and shuffle away

The Curve

1
A long slender branch
cut across your cheek
Saturday.
It left a swollen scratch.
Luminous pink with tiny beads of blood.

I traced your outline
on the pavement
with chalk.
You let your eyes go flat.
I let my mind go blank.

We filled your space with leaves
and clover flowers.
I snapped the branch and placed it
where your cheek was cut.
The curve of a short smile.

The second bus
goes across town.
It takes us past the shipyard
where your grandfather worked.
It takes us home.

Truth in Documents

the attitude is poisonous

that tilt of your head,
the hand on the table.

lift me from this pile
and stand me erect
burn the papers you cherish most

the ringlets of your hair
the cool purse of lips

shift the order
back to truth
if that suits you

or truth is not an order
in reality or even fiction
but just what suits you best

the skin tone
the eye colour
the curves and textures of implied surfaces
the thought of touch

the smell of sulphur.

Etch

Long exposure from a moving car ~ Exa Ihagee

Long exposure from a moving car ~ Exa Ihagee

The success of moments
upon the skin.
The pain of swatting flies
or stabbing a pencil into
your leg.

Trip over the outline
left on the ground.
You mark the soured earth
with your spit words
and poor taste.

Scratch the dirt away from the stone
you buried.
Rub the surface to search for letters
the ground will etch the truth
into the surface.

The ground will find its way
through the air above.
Those normal things that move,
that go or stay
remain in their decay.

Scratch the dirt away and look for the hints
you’ve hidden.
Memory created you from a pile of garbage
a pile of other peoples’ actions
or so it seems.

Wake up.
Swing your bare feet to the floor.
Try to put your shirt on right side out.

land1

First Morning of a New Year

first morning

who are you?

I scraped the mud from my boot
on the fabulous boot blade
installed by the door
where everyone can use it
and no one can fall on it and get a
cut throat

who are you?

I picked several berries in the forest
today
and I saw many birds in the field
on the way back
to the hotel where she is lounging
drunk and dirty

who are you?

I scraped the food from the plates
into the larger of the green bins
on new year’s eve
as the guests walked out to the yard
with their torches and
guns

who are you?

I picked a flower for my hair
and danced with Leo in the firelight
from candles lit
on new year’s eve
with the band playing a very bad version of
Wish You Were Here

who are you?

I carefully marked the package
with the correct address
and set it by the door
to take with me when I finally go
buy the bullets for the
gun

who are you?

I carefully tucked my white shirt
into my underpants
and pulled the elastic as high as it would go
and looked at myself in
the full-length mirror
and stuck out my tongue

who are you?

I carefully arranged the cupcakes
in the tray
and put them in the freezer
since they were not even touched
by those rude friends of his
last night

who are you?

I carefully broke the vase
against the leg of the
dining room table
and arranged the pieces
just so
and smiled.

Men

men

men

They bury the men, when that time comes,
and it no longer matters how many hours they worked
or the days they spent
in anxious uncertainty

And we never know the fantasy that pursued them
from childhood through to wizened stoop,
the miracle preservative that could break the mirror
and scatter the rats of life.

The Year is for Scavengers

curtains - Minolta XG1  b&w film

curtains – Minolta XG1 b&w film

Her foot rolled the lemon
on the deck
back and forth

Manny, when will the frost come?

He sat on the step
and picked the dirt from under his nails

Beyond the path
a grove of trees
bore fruit of another kind.
As yet unknown to those who harvest,
a plague of worms had already infested the flesh.

The baby stood, arms akimbo
before the screen of the door
and swallowed the world.

As the traffic builds on the highway,
eyes open for the first time.
They see the inner digestion of active life
in slow motion. And the static whales of civilization
plotted as a crown on the horizon
erupt from the dusk to perfect certainty.
Our goal and duty,
written in the smut of coal-fire,
is rape as men and masters,
the glorious id of idiots.

See the smear of crushed body on the road,
a tragedy of an egg.
Truth circles in the air above.

Manny, take the garbage out.
It smells of heaven.