Poetry

The Failure of My Music

I was cleaning the garage and then

the garage was clean. The voice

from the radio sounded shocked

by another mass shooting

but went on about the government

officials and their take on the violence,

which had nothing to do with pain

but was instead about elections. . . .

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In Praise of My Manicure

Because I was taught all my life to blend in, I want

my fingernails to blend out: like preschoolers

 

who stomp their rain boots in a parking lot, like coins

who wink at you from the scatter-bottom of a fountain, . . .

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Women Are Doomed to Be the Angels of Love

This is so true I involuntarily doodle hearts everywhere I go. I sign my letters compulsively with hearts,

dream of disobedient hearts, work with hearts. I eat them. I boil sauces and the tomatoes on my cutting board form a daisy chain heart. My foot is a pretty ballet slipper, . . .

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Late Spring

 

is the most important. Everything else is just an excuse for it.

E.g. weather in medium shot that you take extremely

seriously. Cloud above German city, white, covering

the blue, dispersing into formlessness, gossamer

and dissipating like ancient knowledge. . . .

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Self-Portrait with Braid

 

In the morning my eyes look thirsty

like a willow leaning toward

its reflection. My mother waits

 

inside the circles. One day

I will remember her at her last age

and see her peering from the windows

  . . .

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Good-bye to Golden Nights

 

If measuring

one’s life as circular

makes sense of movement,

how should we muscle

meaning into days?

As if we end up

where we’ve dreamt,

starlight for eyes

and train static

within the folds

of memory. . . .

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Hit It

 

You don’t have to believe in the Devil

to end up with him. God’s not so easy.

 

Say God takes the form of an egret.

Say the Devil also takes the form of an egret.

  . . .

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Still Lifes and Landscapes

 

Morning in the mountains. I am going down home

early. The road empty, wide, smooth as my hand.

Sun streams heavy bays of light. If I could remember one

use of beauty, the persistent type, on whole unhuman,

so much more space made for possible peace. . . .

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So you will never find me

 

So you will never find me—

In this life—with a sharp and invisible

Fence, I encircle myself

 

With honeysuckle, bind myself,

With hoarfrost, cover myself.

 

So you will never hear me

At night—with a crone’s subtlety:

With reticence—I fortify myself. . . .

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Riddle

 

We do not recognize the body

Of Emmett Till. We do not know

The boy’s name nor the sound

Of his mother wailing. We have

Never heard a mother wailing. 

We do not know the history

Of ourselves in this nation. . . .

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