[A writer finds he has no words]

A writer finds he has no words
for what is rising in his gorge,
that he wears small pieces of the dead
like jade rings in his body.
Once held to cure side pains,
the stones, like so many things,
are now mere ornaments.
So too with words, some precious
symbols lying in dormition,
dying in their sleep. He longs
for the soft, greasy touch of pigments,
seminal virtue; he imagines paper
like hair, a distillate. The page
must open like the lidded flesh.
The mandala is an imperfect symbol,
and this novena must end.

Got the Drop

Half empty, another shot;
Half serious, love and anger;
Half a loaf, life a little less
Late at night before the fight
I know is always coming.
Where do we go from here
Is always the question
And the mindless, meaningless
Answer as the pendulum
Makes it’s dumb arc marking
Nothing but time and tides
That will never decide while
Eating away at the ground
Beneath our shuffling feet.
Personal best, pressure drop,
Drinking and sleeping alone
And walking on the empty
Sidelines of your own life.

Soup Every Morning

Every green, running water,
And a thousand voices singing
Stars that cross the night.
Tribes come down like shadows
To make castles in the sand.
Here we were, a minute warmth,
An hour’s embrace, quiet days
And nights of eyes brighter
Than bright — fires, dancing,
Sighs, looping paths in the dark.
A long road to the heart for
A happy few, strong as stone,
Strong as love, and mercy
Full of wonder every morning.

Prayer

Let the light die tonight.
Let this ship go sailing high
On still and moonless water.
Be fearless and breathless,
The shore now close at hand.
Gateway to a dreamless land,
This last loving and leaving
Is the worst and best of all.
Ending the body electric
Is beginning nothing new.