Archive for the ‘Poeming’ Category

Winter’s all-nighter a terrifying 2:30 a.m. joyride to the airport in lazy champagne bubbles of fizzing snow, your dashboard reading twenty-three below.

I-29 punctuated with stalled-out cars and trucks — blinking hazards a festive spritz of twinkly lights, glowing emergency roadside triangles, the light-show rave and swoop of ambulance beams gyrating on a backdrop of white, snow-banked shoulders.

So many metal beasts with stopped hearts, waiting for defibrillation.

Your turn-signal blinkers too frozen to blink. Your engine softly coughs.

Your toes turn to a painful glitter of icy sparkling nubs.

Your breath circling from your mouth in such a hyperbole of cascading swirls and plumes that you swear you’re exhaling out your own ghost.

(Out with the old / in with the new)

And you’re almost glad of it — this exhalation, this scourge — even though you fear it will leave behind only a frozen carapace that, when thawed, will shatter like glass under hot water.

What you welcome, though, is the aperture: a dazzling, scoured space to welcome light.

3:30 a.m. airport’s fluorescent glaze, ribbony rat maze to the TSA checkpoint, back-scatter x-ray scan, and security pat-down seems surreal after being spit out of the frozen, cavernous black.

When you land in MSP there’s a hubbub in the terminal: a dalmatian puppy! Everyone wants to stop and smile and pet this warm and polka-dotted and newly-wagging life.

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Today four below zero, with a low of negative fourteen.

Tomorrow, seven below, with a low of negative twenty-two.

Shivery-braille-of-goosebumps-rising-under-three-fleece-blankets-in-the-morning cold.

A sandwich your chilled lunchmeat of self with a heating pad in back, the hot toasted breath of a space heater in front, garnished and condimented with four pudgy cats kind of cold.

Car-battery-dying-a-quiet-death-in-the-middle-of-dinner cold. Frozen blue corrosion like a blueberry slushie spilled around the battery cable terminal.

Cold snap means a heaving lake of ice tinkling a song of clear glass wind chimes and broken champagne flutes.

The nylon of your down coat crackles like brittle sheets of aluminum foil.

The cartilage inside your nostrils stiffens to hard cold rubber.

Your blood slows, your thoughts turn sluggish and you misplace your phone, despairingly search through the alley trash, raw and pink as any unfurred thing in the snow.

So much ache and sting; this numb, stale freezer burn.

Such a brutal hostage taking: this confessional spill of the body’s most intimate heat and light, this non-consensual vulnerability.

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the holland tunnel
a long shiny paper towel tube
(if paper towel tubes
were like the insides of abalone)
streaked by a graffiti
of red headlights
i tried to cut my bangs
with cuticle scissors
in front of the mirror
at hotel 17
which is never a good idea
but i had a sudden
and terrible desire
for them to be somehow
more kathleen hanna-esque
i bought hello kitty ugly dolls
and the infinite wait
at forbidden planet, plus
tons of bendis and ellis
it’s sad to wake up at home
alone in a hungover fog
of jetlag and ativan and pokemon
i can hear the cats busily licking
condensation from the shower curtain
in the next room, hello?

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Row 1: ch 33, dc in 4th chain from hook and in each chain across (31), chain 3 and turn.

Cells dividing into hives multiplying into frequencies honeycombing into an intricate fretwork of networks and signals and towers until there’s no more here or there, only a sizzling grid of electric honey and the dizzying hum and drone of bees, bees, bees.

Phone buzzing under the pillow. Quiet golden murmur in the morning.

Row 2: dc in second dc from hook and across (ch 3 counts as first dc), chain 3 and turn.

Runner passes the baton in a relay race.
Dove-tail joint.
Knit 2, Purl 3.
Shifting limited omniscience.
Tongue and groove.

Row 3: repeat row 2.


Row 4: sc in second dc from hook and next 3 dc, ch 6, skip 6 stiches, and dc in remaining stitches across, ch 3 and turn.

I dreamed I grew feathery moth antennae. Flew blind at night. Overheard it all. Felt everything. It was excruciating. Or do I mean it was exquisite?

Slip stitch.

I am HTML-ing together a web to trap myself.

I am making a bright net to catch me when I fall.

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Frozen morning’s bedside lamp an intrusive klieg light slicing away sleep’s velvety privacy. Cold air rushing in through the window frame, shiver of snow outside. Blurred plume of car exhaust toreadors up in a lazy nebula spotlit underneath the alley streetlamp, drifts like tangled strands of hair into the thorny crocheted lace of bare trees.

Late afternoon light’s lazy drizzle palely honeycombing in. Sticky glitter braising the cat’s fur, sallow yellow striping floorboards, brush of shimmery butter basted on the bookcase.

Tungsten’s photons brightening in winter’s early fade-out; gas flame’s blue fandango; Coltrane’s sax a hot gilded bird tracing radiant orbitals.

The cool glow of this screen. These words burnished pennies refracted into an inverted beam and slide-projected onto the lens behind your retina: electric filament glittering along the optic nerve, sizzling upward where the light of your mind will coppersmith them into jingle and shine.

See how the reflected wedges of rapidly-dimming windows kiss the handblown glass into some kind of quiet incandescence?

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You dream your feet are tender and cold and bare. It is winter. You wear an ember-colored blouse. Someone is reading poetry. It isn’t like you to take off your shoes like this.

(Prism, nacre, calcite, aragonite, abalone, mother-of-pearl, spiral, whorl.)

Coin ricochets down in a metallic clatter, ropes shudder and creak, velvet shimmies up, and you slow dance in your clear glass fishbowl with your eyes closed. Center page for eight minutes, all languorous swirl and trope: sequin scales’ illusion, allusive fan of silk sleeves. Idee fixe with nowhere else to go.

At night, you shut the blinds against late afternoon’s too-early dark. You want to hold all the light inside. You don’t want to become a silver top unspun. You don’t want to be unribboned.

(Prism, nacre, calcite, aragonite, abalone, mother-of-pearl, spiral, whorl.)

Wait for morning, wait for the wind to please stop blowing because you are brittle paper palimpsest with words you can’t quite make out pressed down by a too-hard pencil on a torn-away top sheet: vastuary? unrinded? bromeliaphilia? n-ache-r? Wait for morning, wait for the wind to please stop blowing, wait for your chest to unclench enough to take another breath, wait for the weak-tea November light to come and lick the stubble fields into a quiet burnishing.

(Prism, nacre, calcite, aragonite, abalone, mother-of-pearl, spiral, whorl.)

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Coasting down foothills into Laramie. My father’s old gray Jeep: vinyled and squared, filigreed in lace cuffs of rust.

Rockies’ chilled crust thrusts up hard, distorting the horizon.

Perspective all askew: Mountains much too large and much too blue, looming up much too close too fast. I am not a child, but I slide back and forth in the middle of the front bench seat, knees jogging the gear shift. The parents in the car are not my parents. Alco’s cracked neon on the left closed down years ago. Lost effervescence of wind-bobbled balloons frantically bubbling in the no-longer-there car lot.

Clouds spill down off the mountains, twisting into dangerous, spiraling wraiths.

Are those tornadoes? I ask.

They flame in the too-loud wind like black dry ice, slivered with bright threads of lightning.

Is it war? I ask.

They dervish off the sagebrushed plains toward the road.

You have to stop. You have to pull over, I say. I’m not wearing a safety belt.

The sound of unfurling metal, burning, shattered glass, hot wind. Everything goes blank.

An eyelid blinks open to sunlight, emptiness, the heart-shaped white behinds of curious antelope retreating. Empty car, empty highway, everyone else gone. Mountains’ bright prong ringing an empty town.

Radio’s static crackle, then chipped advertisements, like faded billboards in the wind:

it’s Joe Albertson’s supermarket . . .

on a sesame seed bun . . .

you’re in good hands with All State . . .

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