Table of |
for J. T.
Step slow slow quick quick
through a lifetime
of swivels and turns
and graceful cortes.
Embrace your partner
as you wished to embrace
life itself, wrapping your arms
around a space between
the firm grasp of certainty
and the loose elegance
of letting go.
Step slow slow
the final tanda.
Death ~ the poet of love said
edging unto the dance floor ~
comes in a dream
wears a miniskirt
and teaches the dying
Iced water jets springfed
across summer skins slid quick
from granite ledges,
lichen lined and saving up
soft bursts of sun in mountain air
given in June to black flies
and acid rain.
The physics of poetry
I work, but nothing ever moves.
My labor is not much compensated,
although my work can defy physics
and my sweat does not come cheap.
Some nights still Mingus moves through vinyl grooves,
chasing unlikely phrases across the turntable,
urging me to work in unexplored canyons
where I could be making lovers’ leaps.
My work ends in industrial accidents
that can lead to severed members
and gruesome scars. My work is
a handshake missing fingers.
My work refuses to keep pace with
assembly line rhythms that are known
to make things move. My work aches
when it strains against a mountain of
granite ghosts, and nothing
And when she died
the boomerang we gave her
came back to us.
Even so, a winter sun laps against
the dirty ice collecting on dirty city streets.
Even so, the surf hurls itself
and hurls itself against the sands
in its patient campaign to reclaim
the vastness of the land,
grain by unremarkable grain.
“North Star” was originally published in Afterthoughts