Monthly Archives: December 2014

How To Write Better

I long to be a greater failure in life so I can write better books.

–Theodore Roethke

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Bittern

a
bittern
hides

in
plain
sight

looking
straight
up

among
the
cattails

4:00 am, Wind From the South

In these thin hours,
under skin under bed clothes,

in a night old as marrow bones,
tables and chairs sit and listen.

Racks and plates and cupboards
give up their sighing as medicine,

their refrigerated sounds
making ale from air

and bread
from dark vibrations.

Las Vegas Solstice

We stopped to rest
on transparent bodies.

Marking the sun’s traverse,
we built our cathedral city of neon

and raised our standing stones
–vertical automobiles–

as a great field of dorsal fins
facing the breaming sunrise.

For Heaven and the Future

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

–Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time

To Have Been Immortal

To have been immortal transcends to become so.

–Emily Dickinson

Orchids #2

Orchids sleep in darkened rooms,
slippered women in mourning.

Sandhill cranes dance in red tufted suits,
their hearts full sore with longing.

Spring salmon give up their ropey insides,
becoming hunger’s brothers.

You left your red scarf by the stairs,
perfumed and full of wonders.

I watched the estuary filling in
beneath maroon and plumby skies–

an ache forming in my heart
with time and sorrow’s mark incised.