string seventeen

sometimes I go
behind buildings
to breathe

*

I watch
dumpster Buddha
warm the snow

*

mostly it’s steam
from things
we love

*

I’m a carp
through several
fish-scaled lives

*

I wake up
next to a poem
who no longer loves me

*

I feed seagulls
get arrested for it

things are looking up

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some haiku for a new year

 

wheel of sparrows
on birdseed ensō
I poured out back

 

 

winter laid at the mercy
of the spring

Lizzie Borden

 

 

trees stood side by side
a hundred and twenty years
no touching

 

car on cinder blocks
cat maternity ward
window down to flirt

 

 

moon spent the night
at your place one spring night
lost its car keys

 

 

a new year’s door
propped open for guests
fog comes in

 

 

these stairs to subway

people the fog descending

to ride in human light

 

 

the moon
forgets where it lives
stops me to ask

 

 

dreams make a movie
of things unmovielike
unhand me, it says

 

 

enter stagnant pond
to gleam as emeralds
duckweed jeweled necklace

 

 

trees pencil the highway
no one around for miles
ideas flock

 

 

birdseed ensō
in galactic spiral
poured from Big Gulp cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting

Zen is not your irony.
Board. Raindrop on eye glass,
singular pigeon. I roll
my pencil toward you,
the pencil runs back
across a desk top.
There’s a constant
earthquake bridge
making this motion,
human communication.
Score another one
for ancient supercomputer
Buddha. Ingrained
ways of being quiet,
useful. The flower
is held by a stem
but appears to hover.
It’s this effect
we see, and
not the thing
itself.
It lifts us
by trick
of yellow bloom,
thought
as.

[3 a.m. crickets, wall of sound: the ghosts of monks chanting in the yard]

                                        Their mind mass slows to the cool
September air, the tempo a function of temperature,
their self-explanatory dying, told without pity. Count the beats
to know how much impersonal darkness they have left.
I can’t hear it impersonally. I want to personify the sound.
I believe there is someone making that sound,
even if my someone is only dark splinters on the ground.
I feel it’s talking to me, and somehow performing my mind.
If I can’t take it any longer, I will throw open the front door
of my house and yell at them. They will grow quiet for a moment
as if listening to me. And then they (no they there) will continue
their chant. The sound will close back over me
like starlight, and I will drown in that.