foot on throne:


this fist of heart
hides in the hollow
of its hold:

        rabbit
                 string
  two veils

        magic or slighted
        palm – a torn scarf
        of chest with red footprints
        hop-hopping      away

                  knot in utero, a circlet
                  of vein dangles about neck.
                  hang the hunted?  
                  father! cut the -

  a world
  swallows
  the chair




bird in hand:


the beat of breath
wavers where a wire
is        virus in the tree:

            three parts untamed
        sparrow
                      two ravenous
                of one limp wing

        the notes squeeze
        through bars of rib
        prying at the clef

            to be heard.  a shriek
            peers into the world

                      two fresh sockets
                      emptied of sight

         then song

                to be free



unholy corpus:


a murmur wedged
in the bodies
of fire and fish:

        pale wave
                unjust tempest
    phoenix

        of wrinkled flesh, shifting
        shore of bone: gnawed
        hook in jaw
                        
                a storm is strong
                without a guide

    smoldering, a sailor
    sings; a man sinking
    noose in hand

into the black
belly, drifting

a crooked grin.

moonbeams dance like august roosters
jumping     falling into ivory cups

nectar   pungent like coal smoked
ambergris falls     grassblades sticky wet

young wings burn like volatile
incense         spinning smoke into wind

petals wilt waterlogged as rain
rises    feathers eclipsed by clouds

I liked the way you looked in those,
the way they let me forget your face.
Those laces you bought for me,
out of devotion and stupidity,
made you look like you were twelve
or thirteen -
the only way he loved you.

I know

That for every
Unshed tear
Pooling in my belly

Ten more await to
Lick their way
Down my cheeks.

Everyday you pose;
Stripped;
Clothed;
Identifying, mystifying;
You submit to the exposure,
Resenting the attempts to iconify your soul;
Now just a static blur, stamped into nature;
Abused blues dyed in your melancholy.
Try to add colour to your desaturated self,
It’s just a matter of time before you fade into someone else.
Just a matter of life-forming into a lost cause.
Step out the lines they’ve begun drawing,
And away from a mesmerizing paralysis;
Becoming your own canvas,
Embracing the pain;
Still-life is worth it.

Think about it - the way that credit cards, bougainvillea,
vacations, dictionaries, the road on the way to work will

all never be enough.  The poet wishes
with her deepest bones
and writes that she wishes
she would have killed you

in the supermarket.  She wonders why
she ever loved you in song.  

She publishes book after book.  Each line detailing
how your hair is ugly and monstrous in the morning.  And how,
like moss, you cling to her
so piteously.  

But you marry her anyway.
and she looks like a roar of snow
in white.  You figure she will read a poem about you
that day in front of everyone: her throat

is, after all, a stamen
or matchstick.  

But she is silent, says only the I DO’s
and a few Bible verses.  

The poet loves with a most violent
heart.  What you have not known-
she has wanted to tell you the truth
all of these years,

but grew silent as an old lover does
at eighty.  There is no way to say

how one loves the ache of your cracked lips,
the heavy belly of your tongue, the years she spent
feeling not loved,
but still loving.  Think about it-

the poet is fearful of others knowing and finding your mouth.

She is frightened of you -
realizing you could have been
loved better or harder
or with real words.

Circle the sky
with a serpent-tongue
twister
-caught tall and coiled taut
through the
carbon-knot clouds
of Midgard.

Shiver the stock
with a shadow-wraith
whisper
-and stars will cascade
a coda
from cold boughs
in free-fall:


The world-tree is wilting,
bowed with burnt rope
and the Hangatýr.