On Reading Poems

Sometimes I’m reminded that not everybody comes to poems on their own, and that poems can be confusing without a framework of how to go about reading and enjoying them. Here’s how I’ve come to read poems: a poem is a stand of woods you’d like to walk through. Usually there is a trailhead, start…

Mountain Biker’s Prayer

To be undressed at the Subaru’s hatch, pulling on shorts and peering into the woods for trails and sounds of life and signs of riding. To lube chain and dial-in brakes, shifting, saddle height, alone at the trailhead or with buddies, talking smack, sneaking a hit, stretching legs. To attack the trail and climb immediately…

Ninja

Ninja climbs up to my lap, not simply jumping, no, climbing up to my lap, claws on display topping me, claiming me I’m furniture She’s vulnerable close in like this She’s given me my best advantage I could so easily grab her with both hands, wrap her up, confine her, restrict her So this, full…

Alone

Go home after the party alone to empty bed Covers pushed back bare sheets wrinkled                     Basho: the old verse can be about willows                     Haikai requires crows picking snails in a rice paddy Not this world’s…

Drinking Alone

Sitting in my car in the employee lot at work, five am under one of two tall lights listening to A Ghost Is Born                     My car alone tucked in next to a squarely hedged viburnum Rain spits and splatters shadows cast from my windshield A…

Ruin

                              What new element before us unborn in Nature? Is there                               a new thing under the sun?                  …

The Bear

In our tent (at Bear Lake of all places) six miles in, second night, reading lamp off for half-hour or so A nosy scratching on the flap at our feet.                     —Squirrel?                     —Raccoon? Then, I hear…

Lookie Thing

  a boy finds a lookie thing on the side of the road in the ditch by the stream where his dented cans float off to the river it has a vision inside sleepy eyes and relaxed pose naked breasts full exposed and he keeps it alone a boy finds a lookie thing and keeps…

Denver South Broadway ’98

Broadway cruised topless by balding Mercedes 50 year-olds Broadway lined with used bookstores tattoos Kitty’s cheap sex The Mayan Theater used everything and paper litter on the street and me alone walking South Broadway Broadway art and galleries Body Meat Broadway home of $1.49 greasy breakfast diner with thin old speckled coffee At counter notch-toothed…

Maple Flats Notebook 2

Dewy maple leaf drops tap tent. I hear a call and answer from opposite sides of property, synthesizer bird Mike says. Off the ridge stepping over down wood through fresh moist soil the rotting limbs and pale yellow wet leaves to an old stone foundation and rusted wheel or tool, maybe pulled behind mules and…