Friday, October 30, 2020

GLOAMING

Words 
cannot place it

the littlest hairs 
in an ear 
cannot miss it

the larger-than-life shadows 
of the gaunt noisy crows 
careening west over scabrous 
textures cannot save it—

the opacity 

the density 

the trueness of the day 

the moment just before 
it starts to be called
night.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

REST

Only once 
it was over 
did life come, 

as a teeter totter,  
to be hung 

at its
simplest equilibrium.

In the midst 
of the jostling 
and the opposition 

and the leverage, 
was it much
too much fun?

or just too difficult
to admit—

I was much closer 
in position

to the 
rest of us
than I wasn't.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

BESIDES

There are so many things 
I only think 
I understand

until I stop and consider—
this life, 

overexamined, 
overrefined, 
overdetermined.

These trees 
I brush past 
in a flurry every morning 

which have stood here 
unafraid of the ignorant
wind for much longer,

never wondering, 
when will this rain end—

where does the sun go—

what else is there?



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

LEADING TONE

If you spend 
a minute to think 
more about it, 
no minute 
is ever the last
minute, since  
there's always 
another minute 
waiting behind it. 
Every last note 
in the scale leads back 
to the tonic.
So what if 
the fate of this 
planet is definite?
time is still 
infinite; new ticks 
will kick old ticks 
off the clocks 
for the rest of it. 
Even the last moment
of your life 
is not the end of it:
what you think 
of as "terminal"
is really just
penultimate.


Monday, October 26, 2020

INCUMBENT

Though you say 
you want nothing, 
you continue to wait—
like a refugee waits.

Though you maintain 
that you're finished, 
that you just want 
to leave, 

you continue to think
that a shape with no center
is a Cartesian waste 
of Euclidean space.

Though you cannot sleep, 
you still could not dream 
the half of this harrowing 
state if you tried;

its expressways, riddled with 
their nondescript exits 
are so familiar 
you could drive without eyes, 

but the great and gripping 
strangeness 
of the place you were made 
will beg you to stay.


Friday, October 23, 2020

MOUSETRAP

My eyesight now—
and my conviction 
that it's never too late 
to be taught;

the light of October
as I trudge on, lost in thought—
all bound-up and shrouded 
in swaths of cloudy gauze;

the sweetgum trees 
at the end of the street—
weeping without discretion 
their yellowed spears of leaves;

their faint shoulders passing 
my bleak eyes in the rain, 
slumped already with the dolor
of a thousand grim winters.

This world 
is a mousetrap. 
A wily seduction—

things seem weaker than they really are. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

HOUND DOG

Whatever chills your warm-
blooded heart, 
stiffens the lithe little 
shadow of your soul,

I have caught you 
acting bold
now and again on our
walks around town—

as if you cannot 
help but follow 
the lead of your 
misbehaving nose;

as if bravery,
for you, were less a compulsion
than an instinct—
a default rather than a goal. 

As if, though 
many bright and strongly-scented
leaves adorn the ground, 
you somehow prefer 

to gaze into trees—
to lift your snout 
and search up, and over, and out 
instead of down.