right at the edge
where and when
rain turns to snow a land
not waiting
not lying but
echoing with whispered
lightning and
wisping away with wind
your words
soak through my wool
coat and
cling to my skin like
crystals and oh the
weight of your words and oh the
weight of your silences


from winter’s long righteousness she
wakes, twists her hair once
times, a motion not yet a

her unfurling dance, slow as a
rose, blooming,
twists once
third time a woven charm against
late frost

dry-cold wind
heaves its full belly along,
brushing against still-brown
meadow grass

she plunges scarred-warrior
fingers into the earth, once
twice, three times deep
and deeper down
where truth hides waiting
for a savior



our hands outstretched
like worshippers
in a Godless church surprised
by the Angel of the Lord

no shadow no light
but the country in
not heaven not
hell but human simply
human and desire and
sacred and profane,

thirst rubs
our raven throats:
a joyful croak unto
the Lord


when they laid poor jimmy out he had
three coins in his pocket
two pictures in his wallet
one ring on his finger

the coroner clanked them all into a pan
swished the blood from his hands and
dialed the family’s number but

before they could catch the late
bus downtown it was
closing time at the morgue:
even morticians need time at
home (though the
dead are left alone)

at night so jimmy’s
family had to wait to
say goodbye


March frost yields to
April’s morning dew: worlds of
silver, gold, and decadent,
wasteful green…
In other news:

their children’s faces and
the faces of our own, carved by
the same Hands:
lie cracked under
shattered under brick ruins,
eyes fixed permanently
on Heaven…

restless, ravens circle and
call, war
rages in the earth and
upon it–relentless
seed against stone
east against west
wind against the dusty, dusty ground:
ravens, relentless,
winter’s sharp edge against
spring’s youthful green





poetry drips and
falls drips and
falls from the
leaves of April’s
house drips
and falls like rich
milk useless In the
mouths of

my countrymen whose
teeth grow early and
crooked whose
tongues lick lies

drips and falls on
fetid infertile
fields sown
In war in
salt in


whose mouths suck end-
ly whose
gullets swallowed their
own hearts and yet

I slouch east
my all-day mornings, a
clipper-ship shadow
just ahead of a
wake of poems
and mistakes
strewn behind me–
the paper trail, eternal
monuments to fleeting impressions
and clumsy
at covering
my crimes

Times Square

can I speak to you in my native tongue–

metaphor, symbol, and synecdoche–

when the dark has come and

the colors have run,

blue and red from my country’s flag,

mixed into the color of bruises at

the flag pole’s base and the

blood has drained from her pretty face…


can I call you by name from the cloud

of witnesses gathered,

like October leaves in Times Square

through the gathering darkness and

expect you to answer?


would you rise from your Ten-Minutes-to-Midnight slumber,

comb your luxurious hair and

meet me to stand before the toxic wind?


for I have nothing but loose change

and a few cryptic rhymes to

hold back the clouds here at the

end of time and

A small, weak hand, stained with

ink and blood; a whitewashed house

we mistook for faith; a rhyming pledge

we mistook for love–


can I speak to you, in the

gathering storm, a few seditious whispers

in poetic form of an

eagle dying in a skeletal tree;

of a woman crying in a polluted sea;

of blood on the roots of liberty’s tree?

These Are The Last Days

fall down the page,
a leaf the color of blood;
words soak so easily
into the armor of routine—
“read me” the only
label on this paper bottle of pills, this
prescription, this
poetry, water for a
thirsty tongue—
taste my words and
know my revolution (revelation), my
LIGHT steeped,
into ink-stains on cotton
white as a newborn soul and
in these final days, last
hours, huddled against
crowded loneliness
feel me there beside you
reaching for your

Sketch 3

November 2nd
North Wind whistled down Canyon Road,
hands in pockets,
eyes elsewhere,
a jaunty traveler, just passing through–

behind him,
cottonwood cried, naked in the cold;
deer stumbled
for the protection of sparse pine,
children reached for mothers’ hands