Dear Gen

In the beginning we paused
We held the possibilities hostage
Made a blood promise
Spit on the grave
And saw that it was good

We wished for there to be light
But the secret held water
We thought we might need later
If the rescuers failed
And the light was set aside

Then we decided that the land
Did not need to be separated from the water
If we gave the fish toes
And the rhinoceros’ gills
But the insects refused to negotiate

Lastly, we invented ribs and tits


First thing is, you separates the good meats
From the bad meats
And give the bad meats to the hogs
They don’t know no better so don’t think on it too much
Then save the good meats for cousins and good company
Of all sorts, church people and such

Give smart attention to the shoes you might wear

Prepare for talking with a visit to the barber
And pick out some long words
With some news of the day, such as floods
But remember there is no need to take the chair for a cut
The barber himself will understand you dropping in for a visit
Even still, a money tip is a good gesture always

Emily, at the Stop and Shop, knows how to tie a tie

Welcome each with a handshake and your eye
Offer punch, point to the good meats
But do not linger too long on any one arrival in the hall
Circle the room, keep everyone’s eye, and check the locks twice
And when the gathered are complete, take the axe from drawer
Then move slowly, with deliberation, and smile

Next thing is, separate the good meats from the bad meats


I once wondered why

He swam in the coffee

Danced barefoot through grounds

Spread beans for his bed

And spoke in such spurts




I asked

“I roast”

He growled

drooling a thin brown line

nosing the air like a hound


He went back to his hypnotist:

the cooling tray

his full moon


When he shows his teeth

I cannot read his intention

So I measure the distance between us


The coffee rains rhythms

Inside the machine

His ears search the churn

His eyes are like the smell of jute bags

wild and dirty

tired and wise


When the coffee falls free from the fire

He howls

Bathing in smoke


I ask

“I roast”

He roars

And I run for the door

too late

Swivel at the Hips

The final path the epicenter the camouflage the Bing

The rumpus

I cannot recall I never will fall in love with you a fifth Time


These glands this foot these ears I trust might linger and Forget

Keep guessing

My panic finds fissures in the sidewalk must we now go Hunting

Pick pockets

She knows she bowls she accepts exceptions to every Tool

Buttress (too easy Mister)

In hand on the lamb embedded balls landmine Monkeyshine

Lips lips lips AND lips

This will can only be purely mistakenly rigorous Demanding

Ginger snaps


The token adult thinks twice before clearing his throat and pointing out the clever little flowers on the fireplace mantel (if only). This is really too rich and detailed in fundamental  wait…

The token adult thinks a third time and then growls from his gut in a manner only the best disappointments recommend. He’s forgotten his place until the street reminds him of pomegranate poems and the god he named miscellaneous when he believed in gods.

The token adult walks home.

The True Story of Kaldi

An old man in any time, his hands were like gods

His feet coming, like songs of mercy

His eyes, sour from sun, no better than dogs’


He was, like all saviors, a king and the least among them


Into his ears they poured their longing

for true shapes in the world

and he listened, like water listens


He blessed the hunt but burdened the hunters

He was, as his name insists, ever-present  and

a thing left behind


The women called him The Old Goat



On that day, he drifted away from the morning fire

one arm outstretched like the night watch

pointing at devils in the high grass and mist


They were in fresh lands unknown

They were fleeing the dry death of drought

They spoke of abandoning spirits

They pretended not to notice he was gone



His voice returned before him with the rising stars

screeching like a bandit bird

then singing like a new mother


The men stood in a fierce line against the approach


He grew out of the dim light, first running, then spinning

then raising his knees  and pointing his toes

as in the praying for rain


He spilled small red fruit from his bag

his mouth was full and dripping as he laughed

his face was as wide and white as the moon


Frightened, the children soothed one another with whispers:

it is only the prophet gone mad

it is only an old dancing goat