Hope

How much do the children
need to see
of the gristly crease
and the gulf beyond;

how much cold
before they wear their hats;

how close to the dead,
the dead with their hungry cheeks
turned for kisses,

being felled again and lumped
in heaps, the deep stars
humming something else—

we love their (the children’s)
wings folded against our hands;
a kiss!—

of course, but for them,
meaning for us,
walking on air with eyes closed—

a gape of rain and thunder,
drops open as love;

in the flash we look out
or meet eyes—

how safe will it make us
to know it,

to plunge into or
study

the darkness?

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Other Ellipses

All the time in the world
has been waiting forever
for this, for the first time,
then it remembers

other ellipses,
and other ellipses
intrude, so rude . . .

You know what?  Forget it.
I spent what I meant
on membership in this
family affair.

And if reeling off names
in my sleep helps me sleep,
when I wake up, please just be

nearby. When I awake,
please remind me why
here, now,
us.

Unless we’re meaningless.
But then what’s
with all the lights?

The fairy globes of skylines,
of nightlife commerce.
The eavesdropped wit. . . .

“Even if we’re just thought, we are,”
in the room the woman replied to Descartes.

But where were we?
Here?
Or not?

Little Bird

Always rushing,
so afraid.

Come here, little bird
with the fluttering heart

to the nest with the cove
so smooth and close

in the feathery wind
with the moon below.

Your belly will be full again,
your children warm–

and how shall you greet them
on dawns like the one

in the seed of the star
that tonight will bloom?

 

 

Song: “Someone’s Yelling”

 

 

 

Someone’s yelling at someone;
is one of them me?
Someone’s yelling at someone;
is one of them me?
Someone’s yelling at someone;
is one of them me?
Or is one of them
YOU, MOTHERFUCKER,
YOU, MOTHERFUCKER,
YOU!

 

 

Caution

I hurried past three teens
just standing in the rain
and wanted to scold them:
“The overhang’s right there,
dummies.” Their laughter rang
unconscious of an audience.
Standing like mushrooms.

We all grow cautious
or catch colds, crash
cars, die on cliffs,
in war zones.

Or just shed pride in sheaves,
molt dignity in wild
public mistakes, swing
hard and splat–

the mirror a hospital bed,
old friendships a cast and traction.

Until then
or between thens,
this

Private Eye

I don’t know about you, but my
detective agency is booming.

Cases coming out my ears:
the missing iPod,
mistaken memory,
hidden secret of how to
have your own home

and, for that matter, turn the world
into fantasies
or vice-versa.

My secretary also keeps the books.
We should have married years ago.

The case of the haunted crawlspace,
the case of the occupied bathroom,
the case of the last tent,
the case of the stolen kiss,
the case of the hairy eyeball,
the case of the sacrificial lamb,
the case of Natural Lite,
the case of–oh, you get the picture.

One solving the next.

What I’m saying is,
if you have a case
and want some help, I’m
gonna have to hire somebody.

Need a job?