Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cygnet Ring

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

And Old Saint Nick came home, arms akimbo,
Saw Agnes carved a cygnet, and Richie cut his hair.
Sing loudly, Bon Jovi, Burl Ives, Imogen.

Write me a letter, send it by mail,
Send it in care of the Birmingham Jail.
Give my heart ease love, give my heart ease,
Build me a castle,
Quicken Thou Me.


Lines 1-3: "Recuerdo" by Edna Saint Vincent Millay

Line 4: "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clark Moore 
Richie cut his hair, ref. Wes Anderson's, "The Royal Tenenbaums"
Lines 8-11: "Down In the Valley," trad. American folk song
Line 12: Psalm 119:25, KJV

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayer, March 16

I need You to remind me who I am.
Help me be fearless again.

HA!      Ha HA!     It can be done!
O Theo, it can be done.     Callooh, Callay!
With You, You wild thang, nothing is impossible.

How can I know You, Holy Terror?
Why do You love me?
Show me You love me, again and again.



Sunday, March 9, 2014


"Do not spray into eyes
I have sprayed you into my eyes."

I let You in
and pica astonishes me.
rabbit in spring
wild-eyed for more than mating
some kind of grand ringing
in all this. The chimes from the neighbor's back deck
at night. The Cheshire Cat smile of a moon.
The longing to scrape earth in my hands
taste bitter grass, split the clouds
spit and laugh
soften stones between my two arms.
Kiss frost from the window
shear my head
or cover it.

"You made a holy fool of me
and I've thanked You ever since."

"Do not spray into eyes..." alt-J, "Taro"
"You made a holy fool of me..." mewithoutYou, "In A Sweater Poorly Knit"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

This Latest Addiction

Rushing to the bathroom this morning
you stopped me in the doorway with a kiss and,
"Caught you looking like an angel."
Not a ghost?
This is new to me
and I'm not ready to be
Call me Katherine Hepburn,
make me QUEEN,
tell me I stole the show,
tell me I should get out more.

Help me.

I want to be small. Small and dear,
a newborn, firstborn, single
eyelash on an ordinary
beloved face.

Make me a lonely landscape
and an open sky, silent enough for one voice to be heard clearly.
I used to tell You
You could destroy me,
and now I am afraid to lose
this latest addiction. I need beauty but
this is new to me
and I'm not strong enough to be

Those Who Mourn

Sad thoughts lope inside
like graceful giraffes
sparrows in the small bush
lift up your eyes.
How we squander our hours of pain.
Afraid that love is not enough
or is not what I thought it was
at all.
Let everything happen to you
beauty and terror
just keep going
no feeling is final.
If you ask me with shaded eyes
why I still hope
I will run away laughing
with a hungry, animal sound. 

Lines 1-4: Northernists, "Mama and the Loerie"
Line 5: Rilke, "Tenth Duino Elegy"
Line 6: credit to Madeleine L'Engle, "The Summer of the Great-Grandmother"
Lines 9-12: Rilke

The Best Date with Kate on Dane Beach

You didn't know, when we prayed in the car in the driveway,
that your name was written on my left hand, held in yours.
Not because I would ever forget you, but I'm forgetting everything
these days. Muttering, "You goose," with a grin to the passing mirror.
You lost your keys. And we got lost on the way to Dane Beach five minutes
away. Finally there I tried to reassure you. You were hot and knotted and I was
already shaking in the cold. Over the packed sand and snow like lumps of hard
brown sugar, we walked arm in arm. It might have been a gorgeous night.
We weren't paying attention to the brittle lights over the Atlantic Ocean.
Stars didn't matter. Only clean cold oxygen and our elbows pressed
close and the earnest rap of our voices.

I stepped on a sheet of ice, and you broke into a puddle. We swung
on the drooping swings and said we were stretched (in fourteen directions).
How do we link to the Vine, if we are "branches"? A man in a passing car yelled
"Bitch! Get a real date!"
and we yelled back to the taillights, "And bless you! And may you learn love and
true friendship!" And laughed aloud. That kind of barb was so absurd it bounced.
"This would be great date." But what a life we're saved from. The only hope
we've ever known is, "Here's my Everything: Have me." We spread our
gloved hands wide. Back in the warm Starbucks you put your tea
down and your face was so beautiful. I couldn't tell you again.
It is something like food to me, sister, to so see your love
blooming up. To have your name on my hand.