What he didn’t know would fill a silo with stone catties.

What he drinks will kill more than he knows.

 

the tickling stink of it gave the reasons needed to move on

when convictions failed like Easter's kite:

 

that bundled-up day of still breath

hanging in front of Lord's Prayer Lips.

 

Just enough snow to piss the oldest one's name into, hoping

good spelling brings her closer than the string lets out—

 

the same field all queen Anne's after the thaw. for now, 

it covers her medicinal pale shoulders

once touched, trembling, in the turn-about steps of the play

 

we were kid-hired to dance and throw each other around

 

in the lace, not the field

 

Brittle now, the dog's still frame is more like both; and in them, too.

Where to dig if gone back...to the field?

surely, the hedgerows are edging on deceit

with new stones and old ones

a different color than thought possible

to yield labor and piles of unknown against frozen skies

 

Ash & Hemlocks' imminent deaths

 


 

That White Man

To a sidewalk that begs for more than we can afford, he asks the same but not the same.

Cantilevered Face

Pulling cranes to erection, his unbalanced lip flesh tells us of drivel.

That White Man

 


 

The Shed out back

 

Old tarps caught the blood

they could be hosed down

sparing stained gravel

two-by ran the perimeter

Dad built it.

 

Four-inch slab roughened 

Hickory’s elbows, then Bailey’s together

until he was put to sleep buried in near-frozen ground

with my brothers tossing lime 

masking smell

 

A family affair hung from rafters by hind legs.

 

Metal scent still lingers for coyotes’ and coydogs’ delight.

 

The kennel was great for climbing

with foothold at three feet

to next rung

step to roof

five pitch to fifteen; unwalkable unless hopped over

only an eight-foot drop to buckle knees

under the antlered north face.

 

Burn barrel out back

the out back

melting plastic bags of tissues, maxi pads, chicken skins and other usuals.

 

There was no fire when Matt forgot

his keys. His scarf

was used to wipe his ass for the afterschool shit. Christmas lights on the spruce

and his hands tried to keep my feet warm. I don’t know

if the scarf was burned or washed.

 

Uncle George put the eyeballs in his mouth once.

 


 

Word drinker to a skyline blinking past

where You sat and I, lichen, 

or weed for a salt clutch

against brick and not brick made

but breathed by resin sacs 

accumulate.

 

This must be your tablet scribed simple;

but—

they were poor then

your fingers

bruising through rapidity forgotten

cuz of wanton thirst.

 

No, sit

longer fresher breath

one of my gifts stored in June’s coming.

If water were smoke I’d wax the bulb to waft 

All away to screens’ dim phosphorescents.

 

Black Smoke.

 

waiting for silent thoughts gliding rhythmless

move, past Burnt Hill & Oval Lake

It tells of our elevation: This perspective

what state, what river

once pressed its heels here where

the wind 

becomes ours to Buzz and Crank and throw

but complain when the pictures fail us?

 

understand

 

Everywhere is Here and the water dries soon enough

that nothing gets wasted only air

in its efforts to resist our intake

 

The Moth

a dancer fool knows only the two places—Of light and of Not a thing

if i outrace its erraticism

a planet moves and becomes ground for paper wings’ wet glass

 


 

West Desert Highway

 

aphoristic fuck-me-yous after motor oil heat

dry tongue shout but nothing

 

what if this is our settle?

 

laze for always that thing in your neck 

deciduous

still hanging from range to basin

 

her death rattle came as a fart of the highest regard

over driven ties rumbled rotting lettuce for ice lacking

 

they bring the grid rotating c(r)o(r)ps(e)_(s)—

head back to your older new

clear water skin and shims corrugate barn roof 

longer pantheon of hay 

 

make feel authentic, look!

a bear

or bar

let me drink it

 


 

 

I

 

alien versus predator

 

II

 

my eggs no one without

the other

 

III

 

stamens nearly twice 

the size forest

fog knee high a third moon’s refract feels its ocean giving the sky

dark bugs

 

IIII

 

blue

 

IIIII

 

cantilevered hull siloing space ring—worm spore accident waiting

 

IIIIII

 

whose borders are these triangles aiming at

 

IIIIIII

 

sure

kill all the lights

wet ore 

slick glare framed dog teeth matte

from years as trophy’s triumph too long missing its face

 

don’t play coy, parachute

remember central america and sham mud

 

i love you to Death

je t’aime à Mourir aussie

 


 

The Doberman 

named Thor was hot for—

measuring thirty-six tall 

and pounds 

no way to stop him 

But by fist

 

from George 

to halt what kid gate 

could not keep out

 

The dew claws 

young back moles 

scraped 

squeal staccato 

rhythmatic dog hump

 

who must have died 

years long past 

with no sound 

but warm dirt thump puffs

 

The elixir was one-hundred

and one proof of 

taste not known

to make a dead man come back saluting four guns’

 

ash of George put 

where he worked

his hand to a rock

 


 

Beaming,

sway through all that distance.

Why are you so happy to see?

You sound like a squirrel but turn out to be a mini- van: Cheap tricks

take as far as an open closet

Red cup near where? Your speaking Chinese is cute

admitted rosemary on red dots lower than usual.

 

Saturday,

night couples constant the walk

earbuds dangling

to stop following atop sargent walk

with cross-strap blouse

what game is it with four strings on four corners?

Those beams splaying across 

 

the west

we can’t drag our toes or we get them wet.

 

Flatlanders,

what it feels like to climb a hill.

 

The guard has praise for our tennis team. How grave.

 



 

1

 

Trembling spotlight without nerves

potholes and washboard show Kilgus those eyes.

Jawa or deer? joke.

Funnier bullets are colors to sting where tomorrow 

kill with real ruger won in lottery

passed on through christmas tree

to a steady aim at twelve

 

really wanted your badass camo pickup

and sly smile

a step ahead scheming to paint ‘n Fuckin’ R on the side

or stories at every bar of the time —

 

wrapped in wet toilet paper and set yourself on fire?

 

You’ve shot more animals than anyone.

Duke knocked up more dogs than any other.

You work more hrs/wk than all pills and booze want.

How many times have you said the ord?

 

I, the naked fisherman, floating behind the canoe, laughed when you warned of the sucker fish; it made me fear all I can’t see in the water.

 

2

 

I’ll drive the lower woods from Lembeck’s

but keep close to the road so they don’t head over to Botella’s

 

they’ll start firin’ at anything that moves

 

sit up at the edge of Farrell’s pond

Dad’ll take the ridge here’s my seat don’t shoot the house

 

 

Mom always wears orange when she walks the dogs during deer season. So do the dogs.

 

3

 

You kicked em out right to me

buck and doe stopped in front of the house

got clear when they heard the uneven steps

through where the pond drains

first time I shot 

at deer running

dropped with pinhole behind ear we didn’t find until skinned

no blood but from guts

streaks

under eyes over peach fuzz cheeks

 

I still smell warm metal

 

no luck now for any of us

I saw

front leg dangling but sprint unbroken

we found him two hundred yards down in DaCosta’s field

bedded in thicket licking what I did

I had to shoot twice in the ribs looking for lungs or heart

just a look at us when we made it 

to his side unable to go but still breathing

you pulled out your knife - the one I have now in a box in my basement - and cut his throat

but it just changed

where the air came out

 

your remorse at this killing.

I’m always amazed at how far you can walk with just one human foot.

 


 

Reach to each finger tip

and tell height-horizon.

To rocks and stalks. 

Chip board in two; perimeter tango.

 

I can see that space better when I’m laying down 

counting up through limbs

take me to the one I can jump

from. Branch bare

where boy palms wrung you 

a swing near sap 

pant leg bound will never stop. Grass is 

just as sparsely covered.

 

Everything raw and awkward.  Jackson Hole was beautiful at fifteen. 

 

Cross country Bonneville to rollerblading 

Motel 6’s.

Check in then escape to parking lot.  Oval paths good for a hundred laps

‘til blank sky pulls all 

 

asphalt acrid heat out of too big Santa Fe chili tee.

 

Wing dings and root beers

take place 

where backseat snacks fuel fou- wheeled legs.  Regular shitting long distant remembered.

Las Vegas palm trees near pool’s white vinyl lounges. 

 

Cheapest because of Dad’s AARPdiscount.

 

 


 

 

this is the darkest hour

the darkest one

i used to climb trees at this time

i was young

Sweetly burning ash wash

directions to limbo 

looking for rope always swaying

base

stand overhead doesn’t even silhouette

though, well known, it’s only

six pegs up stump to the left, or right?

 

scrape rub

set distance forgotten when shadows 

too weak don’t stretch 

this time

with me it’s fine

only confusion in the lights of the world

awake

savored darkness leaves landscape

form meaning here where forgetting welcomes

all who can plan

 

words saved for the other hours.

 

long for certainty

keep these skies

 

kiss the owls

 

 


 

 

Hemlock trunks and limbs sticky forearms blue jay calls & black crows

 

Shale blue grey ridges car parts swamp hollows

P.I. rash

midsection moist of woolen rest

and itch even in this weather 

the dirt can float

 

 

Living room leftovers stack themselves in a tree edging Gober’s field.

We call it a Condo.

 

Two by four ladder climbs, too.

A new view.

 

 

Always quiet, mostly scanning

the calm cold starts its

meal at toes. Fingers

next. Back of neck loses heat.

 

Count from one to one hundred thousand

obediently timing centennial intervals.

 

From a mile away, hear the screen door snap shut on home’s north face.

Sound travels fast through this still air staying closest to the frozen earth.

Twenty feet above, become the ground by nine

even grey clouds by ten

three inch galvanized screws at noon.

 

The chickadee and scent of Bill’s oversized overalls over Uncle George’s Canadian boots

all cold and counting up in thin layers.

 

Dad asks if I saw the coyote. “No,” I say thawing over dashboard defrost.

 

 


 

 

melting errors in a clavicle mishap

terribly Nonetheless calloused

 

gentleman in heat, appalling 

chart me.

please he protested. Heaven

prone girls in hardware irrational

Intelligible terrified when

 

I wave true the second dying Could be worst

Form girl hands

Elements will be missed

 

this

August police room. Ghost

room

banker rats better contract Solitude

president wetland. In blue,

telling self parts

for the bony.

She kills electricity made of—

of drowning email send an email even

worm wealthy

little dirt plaid shirt face takes in more human

my breasts cower. distance the nearest statistics of You

could anyone understand

 

taste like The miracle

before spasm makes light

 

 


 

 

Last Day of January

 

She questions his motives;

he’s cutting back on bread.

 

A rear tire slowly leaks;

Pennsylvania winters are hell for undercarriage.

 

Long lines pace;

a man with chocolate cookies smiles at them.

 

No motor vehicles;

but a car reshapes benches.

 

The streetlamp stands over two young men;

one says uper frois.

 

It waits on the kitchen counter;

the backpack’s color is marsh green.

 

He turns to the north star’s pink flick for forgiveness;

a bat.