Sunday, December 25, 2011


A granddaughter. He hones the knowledge
of his end on the serious beauty.
This requires balance --
he is glad for the clarity,
happy as well that it came no sooner,
for all he pieced together
from the heart's years of confusion.


i will be absent for the next week or so

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the only arts are music and loss

The only arts are music and loss


Theme and variation at the trees' edge,
singular waves lifting water and earth to the air
and the sun at peculiar angles that only crows know
or twilight crumbling from their branches --

I love a woman who will die,
not soon, please, but for sure.
I hide her death in my pocket
like a jackknife or songbird,

because she is a wave lifting earth and water,
an energy, a clean curve in time
more beautiful even than her body, the gorgeous debris
she carries for a while in the air. We saw the trees,

the breaks in cloud cover
that played afternoon light over the fields
like the danger of fingertips on a back,
on a lover's pulse. That night she cried,

knowing the impossibility
of keeping each tree in mind, each note shining on the trunks.
How beautiful our loss then, crest and breaking,
that beauty we would not choose.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

hearts in paris, july 2011

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, night

in a station of the métro

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

bridge (2)

pentru cea care visează pe podul

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

where the river is lost in the lake

the meeting of water and water is about silence
we let silence sway on its stem in our mouths

cold daylight a silver wire drawn through the air
what sounds there are hold their shapes

five ducks skim their images
the blur blur of their wings wakes into distance

the moment comes and dissolves
the moment comes and dissolves

at the edge of things a pulse of small waves
the floating dock grieves against its moorings


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

woman and bear


One Possible Death, Among Others

An ordinary day. The second of November. The sunlight
is thin and cool, just enough to sketch pale shadows of branches

on the fallen leaves. I would like to say this light is filmy
and sleek, like some undergarment tossed aside in a hurry,

puddled silk on the floor of the sky -- but it isn’t,
I am only wishing for you. Across the street,

the council of starlings debates hunger in a tall maple.
Somewhere colder, the bear you met by the river tears apart a rotting log

for a meal of white grubs, plunging claws in the soft wood,
fattening himself, as winter begins to glow around his heart.

The bear is real. That querulous note when you told me
of woman and hump-shouldered, hungry bear

staring at each other across the water, tensing -- as if

you might wish the bear had come for you --
if not for the pain, you said, what a glorious death --

that same slant music seems to quaver beneath the trees
when a cloud passes. If we must die, and we must,

why not silted into the warm fat of a wintering bear?

But how easily you could have slipped from this world.
Hearing, I wanted to lift your hips to me like a wooden bowl.

Do you see how knowing your transience
makes this a love poem? At once, for no reason,

the whole flock of starlings glitters, unfurls from the tree,
reels squabbling twice around the yard, and settles back.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

first snow


somewhere in michigan, mid-day, just off the interstate
berries the birds have left deepen in their october blue
as sleet dry-whispers into the last hanging birch leaves --

trucks roar past, all hurry and wind
i want to turn and tell you that i loiter here
halfway on the long road
leaning back
the flat miles in chains between us

yesterday a river lifted the year’s first few snowflakes
i breathed the cold from your hair
you opened your eyes over my shoulder
and gasped when a raven landed soundlessly in the top of a pine

we saw the raven fly again
but now I stop here to delay further distance
to touch the berries and ask you
as if you might hear -- knowing you will hear --
is the raven still there?
does the green branch sway in this wind?
tell me and i will believe --
is the snow still falling?

i drift among the forked trunks of the birches
wishing for your small pale shoulders in my hands

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

in this field of ragweed
where the name ragweed
unfolds in our breath like a childhood

we are lost together
you become the hour when i am born


Friday, September 2, 2011