Telling it Plain

The old pipes in this house
scream in the middle of the night.
Not as lovers scream
in motel or wedding bed.
Not as ghosts scream,
as oracle or agony of injustice.
They scream only as old, rusted
things scream
when they have been buried
within walls too many
run-on years.

Still, you taste
the weird tang,
the poetry
of rust,

and will spend it
like a quarter
you found

on a winter street.

Deer in Headlights

There is a foam around facts that is mind. It is even like this standing in Starbucks, stumbling on the phenomenal world. That too is called mind. The stare looks for the mind in stumbling through Venti, Trenta facts. And you want to be a Rolodex of poems! But this looking is just headlights of cars in the mountains at night. It is only the thrill of a solitary deer standing there in a field. Eyes, radium. Sometimes you are like Madame Curie and sometimes not. Fiddling with the radio in the car. A stare looks for the mind in facts, in folds of facts. The stare seeks some thing staring back. Bold and bared. Not an eye for not an eye. But it is mist translation. The mountain at morning is grateful you are gone.

Artificial Intelligence

The term implies there is a genuine article
and we are it. The paragon must be five
paltry senses that only vaguely understand each other,
wired together into a sort of bickering council.
Because our say-so reality closes us in,
closes us under itself like a bell jar
so clear we can no longer even see it,
because we die in that protectorate of the senses,
we believe past any rational leap that nothing,
no one will ever get past us. Evolution broke the mold.
It is the most artificial intelligence anyone could imagine.

Second Childhood

It is given back eventually, if you are lucky,
if you live long enough. The world becomes less
“blood-hot and personal.” Oh, but the recipe
is horrible. People must die. They must give up
on you forever. You must be written off. There must be a nothingness,
an abeyance, where your existence does not matter
to anyone but yourself. If that. And then, if you are lucky,
it may come to you again. It’s with the fingerlings
of light that come through the faded curtains at dawn.
It brings this awakening. You recalibrate your sense of event.
You recalibrate your sense of gratitude, the prosperousness
and the greenness of it all. It’s the grass everyone walks on
but nobody thanks.