here is a field

after H.D.

here is a field
and here there were people
which means charged space
in a void,
which means charged space
and steeplejacking
of some sort

here is a field
and here there was a field
which means echo sound
of echo feeling
and steeplejacking
of a natural sort

here is a field
and a glass of water
frozen on a stump
somewhere in that field
as a demonstration of method,
of indistinguishable mind,
and the glass waits
only to freeze to the stump,
to give the universe punctuation,
not a bad thing

lastly, here is a field
of vampires, of feeling
frozen on a stump
somewhere in that field
as a demonstration of passion,
a sort of Ark with funny animals
that even children somehow know,
troublesome animals
in the sense they must be loved
or at least amuleted

and that is the beginning of justice.

Fisherman

A man was night fishing at surf’s edge in the darkness of a new moon.

He felt a strong tug on his rod and the battle began with what he thought must be a hammerhead shark. But as he began to win the contest and reeled the creature to shore, he saw a tumble of arms and legs. These were so pale that they glowed with their own sort of moonlight. These human limbs were almost phosphorescent.

It was a boy, he figured a corpse, some luckless soul drowned at sea.

As he pulled the body onto dry sand, using his hands now, he heard a sputtering, and fish-like sounds came from the mouth. Though it appeared to be a boy with long jet black hair, webs and fins were all about the body. This “boy” had human legs. It was not a merman. The creature seemed stunned from having been pulled from its element.

“Speak!” the man commanded the creature.

But it could only gurgle in the air. Perhaps, he thought, it could speak only underwater.

So the fisherman took his club and beat it to death.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When the fisherman served the flesh of the sea creature in a soup to his son, the boy was puzzled by the strange taste.

“What sort of fish is this?” he asked. A clear distaste was evident in his face, the twisting of his handsome features.

“Monkfish,” the father replied, without looking up from his own bowl.

They had only each other as family. The boy’s mother had died in childbirth. He had learned to trust his father. Though the young man did not like the taste of the strange “fish,” in fact despised it, he dutifully finished the meal.

Soon after that night, the fisherman’s son fell sick. He fell into a torpor and then a fever. He raved in his bed as he tossed and turned. He talked constantly of the sea. He told his father he would die if he were not placed in the sea.

A doctor was consulted but could do nothing. The father felt great shame for having fed his son the flesh of the creature. Oddly enough, he himself had not fallen ill, though he had eaten the same meal.

After more than a week of his son’s suffering and worsening of his condition, the father took his son to the sea. The moon was now restored, bright. He carried the boy to the surf’s edge. He laid him in the soothing, wet sand.

As soon as he began splashing some water on his son’s face, the boy seemed to improve a little. He said it helped.

“These clothes,” his son moaned. The father understood and helped him out of his sweat-drenched vestments. He was horrified to see the fins that had sprouted on his son’s arms, on his legs near his ankles, the webbing between his toes and around his neck.

The boy began to crawl towards the sea.

The father saw him struggling and helped him to reach a depth of water where he could float. He could feel his son growing stronger by the minute as they went further into the ocean.

His son smiled. Then he laughed.

“Thank you, father. Thank you thank you thank thank you….” he said as he swam away.

(This is my adaptation of a Japanese folktale of which countless versions exist.)

Pine Needles

The fear and hope of a house.
There is an echo.
You could sit bare-ass in moonlight
In the deep forest.
Here’s a story
that’s not one:
A brother took his brother
into the deep of a forest
to sit on pine needles,
to scoff and wait for the moon.
He took him into the deep of a forest
with intent to kill him.
But they got separated
in a stupid sort of game
they agreed to play
in honor of wild animals,
which they were.
They both got laughing
and felt they had hooves,
and now they are there,
bees on their bones
or calling to each other forever,
depending if you believe
and if you love ghosts.
Calling out to each other
with the same degree
of fear and hope.
Like two tin-cans
on a rusty string.
Or maybe texting.
Although one still wants
to kill the other
before they find a way
to enjoy the shadows
as a permanent bed.

There is a heavy nothing
on a killer’s chest.

Because he did not get
to gnaw that bone.

There is an idealism
in that they are
wherever they are.
They’re like a jpeg of the moon.
We are unable to enjoy
anything of them
but the hope that both calls
will be answered at once.

If the voices found each other,
both brothers would be lost.

If the forest keeps them, though,
each in a separate pocket forever,
it is not so bad.

Underworld High School

We are dangled over our family histories.    Like Pin the Tail on the.
corrupt sausage-grinders.    knuckle bashers.     donkey punchers.
We’re sooted in school chairs.    Going up to the chalkboard.

To perform a striptease.  This is our progressive school.  We will model.

The economy.    Nobody has the great tenderness of the boiler room.
Nobody in the whole high school.    Only the janitor who is Hephaestus.
Lame down below.     Waits for the rumbling explosion.      And its golden net.

It will capture the whole school.     In a new mythology.    And when it explodes.
Like the Hindenburg.      Like the Bismarck.      Some primordial animal will say
and sway in the grasses behind the school.    Also beautifully on fire

like Chinese paper flowers

God, this is so lame