On bare arms in tree shade a warm wind, oh my
how bagels must appreciate honey. Enjoyment
and not Abstinence is the Food of Intellect and I, 
I have a sandwich. How, to eat it, buttocks and back 
find the spot of satisfaction against roots and bark
and I have said buttocks before I know oh damn it you.
I mean hello. I mean how pdfs are faster now 
than phone calls, think what Frank would think,
between as I am sandwiches and back to work.
Suppose I want to say the plane seeds have curdled
the air, that every right corner of the car park
has become, yes, flocculent - I am weak and they are
so very fuzzy - or that domestic whirlwinds whip the sift
to cotton buds. Suppose gyres. Jalapeños, incidentally,
on turkey salad. I mean are you well? I have extra pickles
and I know so little these seeds could well be pollen
or the new leaves shedding down. My heart is cobweb
understandings upon a Gauze of Plane. That supposed, 
om nom nom, it's in your hands as fast as signing in
to do with as you will. You have to catch them slowly, 
in still air even, or waft the fuzz from your grasp.



Turn the windows on

Fill the clawfoot with too much hot water.
Unscrew the lightbulbs they say will kill us.
Drive to a suburban stripmall to feast on food from another continent beneath office 
towers made of mirrored sunglasses.
Open the refrigerator and empty its contents into the stove.
Slice eye-slits into a quince and hang her head up to dry.
Wallpaper the bedroom with the funny pages.
Roll locks of your hair into pink plastic curlers and learn to swing a rolling pin.
Invite the poorly dressed representatives of boring religions into the Lion's Den for a 
game of darts.
Blow out your speakers playing various versions of "Whiskey in the Jar."
Buy a condemned movie theatre in Benton Harbor with your credit card.
Rename your pets after your neighbors then call them in for dinner from the porch.
Practice pleasure over abstinence.
Replace all your curtains with tinfoil.



Send beans, send soup, 
send steamed sponge pudding.
Because of the butterfly, my fingertips 
are bloating in a bad girl's bath,
a medlar - will a medlar do? - 
leathering its face despite the steam.
My walls are funny, windows foiled, 
as far as I can I obey. With honey in the bath
I am boy soup, am building my cell 
in the skin of a lion.
All the clawed feet are forepaws, claws dug into lino. 
Come forth sweetly out of the strong,
but not to go forth again; I am learning instead 
all the words for water, all the words for hot.
My pleasures are here - dictionaries, letter paper, 
reverent thoughts of you. Chicken noodle.
Food runs low. Desires elsewhere, 
whence sadness; desire at all, hence sadness.
Down the Brighton line as if driven,
in October. A monarch.
But safe in the silence and the almost dark, 
tears in the tinfoil, dry linguini of light.
The lion feet strain against each other, 
crazing enamel beneath me.
But you knew the drivers were recruiting, 
sent warnings, therefore I am soup here,
fearing the microwaves, mistress, 
the mind control rays. Minestrone, manna,
spoon me? And the angels shut their mouths.


The crossroads

The devil will open his mouth 
and invite you in.
Carry a chicken bone, or a lion's paw.
Prepare a pot of hot soup.
Feed him and you're off the hook,
but if he's hungry, things begin
to happen. Be cool. Freeze
your face into a mask.
No matter where you go
there are people of power.
There were a string of kings in Chicago
and I knew a few of them.
There was a group of us
and I wasn't a part of it.
I left. I met the President
of the Middle of the Road.
He wore a t-shirt advertising
rotten food and lousy coffee.
Then the bird of my mind 
The bird of my mind
returned to find
its nest was a mess.
I ingested my ancestors.
144,000 delusional godheads
marched through my radiant inner city.
Now I serve the elders with both hands
and I let the fruit ferment on the branch.



They will leave
   with less grace
      than they landed,

these waxwings toping
   on red upholstery
      of pyracanthus.

They skitter and offer
   the fermenting berries,
      skitter and return

to accept. I left,
   I returned to these,
      the largest flock

to land in years,
   in burglar masks
      on roadside shrubs.

They wear these dabs
   of wingtip wax,
      their outsize livers,

as if, if I
   were anything
      before, was these.

Three ways to leave,
   says the crossroads
      where the berries turn;

all ways are ways
   to leave, say waxwings,
      staggering, goodbye.



As if I were anything before

Not all rocks
…..are alive. Or
……….so I’ve read.

Someone I love
…..is struggling, her thoughts
……….caught in a net.

Her face is full of grace,
…..her body evergreen,
……….her heart sharp

as the Canadian Shield.
…..I’m in Sudbury.
……….It’s snowing.

The pine trees looked lovely
…..as I drove
……….the treacherous roads.

I’m ill-equipped
…..for this. I sit
……….by a fake fireplace

that frames a true flame.
…..I have been crossed
……….by two crows today.

This tapestry depicts
…..the largest good-bye recorded
……….in the new century.

I have committed harm.
…..I am no longer
……….a child.