Saturday, October 30, 2010


Patria Mellita

Every burning mountain of his face
crowned with white pus, the corners of his mouth
scaled and cracking, the sores
as red as swollen strawberries;
his cup of tea will tremble on his lap
as he pours the sugar in, not from a spoon,
oh no, not from a sugar bowl,
but from the five pound bag: until
an inch of sugar mud lies on the teacup bottom
and the liquid squirms in its shifting depths.
You can't help but wonder what adjustments
are made in the great confinement of his gut:
what racing messengers of insulin collide,
fall sprawling, at the liver's gates;
how sweetly of honey must his urine smell,
how bees must cluster on his toilet's lips.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Dale Alan Favier sits in a half-booth, typing on his diminutive netbook. The half-booth is the one wedged in the corner, at Tom's: there wasn't room for a whole booth here, so on the side that runs aground on the corner, there's only a pull-up chair. That corner of the building is beveled, and it was once a doorway -- the door has been replaced by a window, but the window is still bordered by frosted glass strips, and topped by an arch.

This is one of the places a disgruntled waitress said I could sit as long as I liked. Just so long as I didn't sit at the prime full booths along the windows. She's anxious about having shown her irritation with me, and apologizes every time she sees me, which is becoming tiresome. Get over it, lass. Why shouldn't you want to earn what you can? And anyway, I've come to like the half-booth. There's a patch of sky through the window, and patterns of light that come through the frosted glass. That glass is checkerboarded into one-inch squares, and when a car goes by on Division Street, a little shape, a moving darkness representing it, travels backwards across each square of light. When cars are going both directions, as now, at the morning rush hour, the patterns go both ways at once. The shapes don't move steadily, even when the cars do: they swoop, starting slow at the edge of each inch, moving quickly across the center, and then slowly peeling off the other side of the inch, as the car vanishes (as I can see by the plate windows) in the opposite direction.

The physics of it absorbs me, and I think of all the swooshes of light, the curving and tumbling backwashes of air, that each car is creating as it goes. These movements of light are just one instance, a minor one that happens to be visible to one observer in one place. Each car actually is casting lights and shadows all around it, making elaborate patterns, everywhere it goes. And so, for that matter, are you and I. Not even to speak of the emotional wake I trail behind me, the guilty feeling waitresses, the annoyed line-cooks, the customers who smile or ignore me, thinking I approve or disapprove of them: all that turbulence behind me. It is, probably, far bigger and more important than I am, and I have very little control over any of it. I often think of myself and other people this way, as moving focal points of turbulence, and I'm uneasily aware that most people don't habitually see it this way. Or maybe ever see it this way. They'd be offended by it, I think. You're supposed to see people as subjects, as the lordly masters of their actions, not as tumbling chips in the kaleidoscope lens.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blond Day

Two pale boys in black hoodies, twins, their flaxen hair shockingly white; they are both grave, austere. Their eight years seem to have brought them to bitterness. They read the newspaper. They are waiting for their parents to finish their meal, but they seem to expect no happiness when it's done. I don't know what can bring eight year old boys to such preternatural stillness, such absence of hope, but it doesn't augur well. They're not dull boys: they look in fact uncommonly intelligent. But entirely inward.

“Are you all right?” asks the waitress, with a little edge to her voice. And I'm doing it too, I realize: willing them to be happy, to be carefree, to save us all from the adult world. They're letting us down. One of the parents gives an infinitesimal nod, and the waitress leaves. The boys read the paper, carefully, and eat the remains of their toast. One has his hood up, framing his face with black; the other's hood lies like an Elizabethan ruff, a black backdrop to his white jaw, to the long curve of his skull. His white hair strays over it. I think of Richard III, of the young princes in the tower. They must have been about this age.

His mother strokes the ruffed one's jaw. He lifts his cheek, like a cat, but he's not paying attention to her: he's examining the photos on the wall. When he lowers his eyes, I see that his eyelids are a delicate bluish purple, like the inside of shell. I wonder if he's ill. But some very fair children just have that coloring: I did myself.

As they rise to go, both boys are suddenly radiant with smiles, and the ruffed one confides something to his mother, speaking carefully. He has one hand in his pocket, and one on her elbow. He is earnest and confident: he knows he'll be listened to respectfully. The family files quietly out of the restaurant.

We're in the dark world, now. Day will come briefly, the sky may even clear for hours at a time, but it will be bordered with black on both sides. Day is a momentary illumination, the glimpse of a solemn, white-blond face. The rain has beaten leaves, twigs, and branches out of the trees and into the streets: the tawny leaf-sludge glows in the oblique light that dodges the rain clouds, and then everything is extinguished again. I think of wet, dreary dawns in London and in Paris, of lights that come up from illuminated streets.

For now, I breathe with difficulty, and struggle to remember how to do complex things like walking and eating. I am less at home than ever, more outcast and alien. I watch my hands to learn how to turn doorknobs, how to open cupboards. The hands are the last to forget, I'm told.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Angel in the Whirlwind

I'm reading Angel in the Whirlwind, a history of the American Revolution, by Benson Bobrick. I particularly liked this sentence about John Adams. “In religion, Adams was a Congregationalist of the Unitarian school and as such lacked an aptitude for paradox.” It's something you could say of many of my countrymen.

“How is it that the loudest yelps for liberty come from the drivers of slaves?” asked Samuel Johnson, in re the American discontents.

Dazzling, dazzling, the white church spires:
across the bay, dark ships fret at their wires.
The smell of a slaver can never be scoured from the plank;
we sanded and scrubbed and still the living wood stank.

(This verse is what got me started writing in rhymed couplets, yesterday. Do other people get railroaded by forms, like that? I just had to write something in rhymed couplets. Fourteeners will take me that way too: when I need to write something in fourteeners it's no use trying to write anything else.)

Private note to historians of the American Revolution: you don't have to tell me which side you're on. It's not really the done thing, among historians; and to tell the truth, it's not that hard to guess.

So I stand by a pile of rubble that used to be my house, and try to imagine building again: but there seem to be no beams left, only clapboard and shingles and broken sheetrock. I pick through the wreckage without much hope. I do turn up keepsakes from time to time, but I don't have anywhere to put them.

I don't know what you call that color, where the pale blue of the dawn sky picks up hints of orange from the the sunrise. The disheveled doug firs are almost black against it. Twenty or thirty crows suddenly scramble up from the shrubbery and flap their way up into the firs. They settle there like perfectly designed accessories, as ragged and unpredictable as the fir boughs. If you don't like crows, you probably don't like doug firs: they're not seemly trees. They're assymmetrical, quirky, and defiant, with long sweeping boughs that are always a little out of true, like cowlicks on a kid who can't stay out of trouble. They don't know how to be orderly, any more than crows do.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


She rose pale and spotted with nipples and eyes,
moored by her hands to the gate of lies,
she stood wordless in the rocking boat
what she could not say was stuck in her throat.

He reached bloody hands to the sun and gripped
and squeezed the ball till it spurted and dripped,
and silver lights dribbled on the bay:
all of her strength was drabbled away.

“All this is mine, the sun and the sin,
breast and feather and beak and skin:
all this is mine, mine to collect
mine to eat up, mine to infect,”

-- he boasted, and yet could not cross the water
and it came suddenly to the Stream's daughter
that for all of it, he was afraid of her,
afraid of the water, afraid of the stir

and fret of the knotting waves;
afraid of the tide that sucks into caves,
afraid of the mouths that fasten by night
over the eyes and the candlelight.

Unseen in the darkness that spun
out of the wounded, withering sun
a sparrow flickered against the gate,
and the sparrow said to her only, “wait.”

His feet clutched the slimy rock,
he waded forward and the shock
of cold water hurt his mind;
cold water unconfined

ate into his ankles and knees;
his calves and thighs began to freeze.
I only wanted to love you, he said
and from out of his trembling head

came rivers of crawling and biting things
twitching with mandibles and stings;
they poured like tears from his nose and eyes,
terrified by the water's rise.

Blinded and emptied he sank
and the water boiled for a time and stank
and still the sparrow at the gate
whispered only, “Wait. Wait.”

The water grew still and then
suddenly it moved again:
lights were flickering there below
fish made of sundrops began to glow

and swirled into a net of light:
They rose together, silver bright,
and the sparrow said “soon,”
and soon up rose the glimmering moon.

Oh my darling, come to shore,
clothe yourself, and fear no more,
The night is marked now by the sacred rune
of the fishy, silver, glimmering moon.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Morning

Kim, my dear friend from college, wrote in the comments on the “Eruptions” post below:

I wondered this morning, when I walked the dog: well, what if any of us had known how to say a single true thing? What would it have been? Though the problem seems to be not-belonging in the social sense, I suspect it would have been truer to discuss not-belonging in the physical sense, the incarnational sense. "Dale," I might have said, "excuse me, but I simply do not know where I am."

October lifts his dark head: his breath is icy in the bedroom when I wake. No telling the time by the light when I wake, now: it's dark whether it's 4:00 or 6:00.

I go downstairs and do the first pass of cleaning up. Sunday is Alan's Dungeons & Dragons day, and his friends bake. Brownies and cookies. They have also been known to make souflees. And always of course an enormous pot of ramen, a dozen packets at once. They do a reasonable job of cleaning up, by young-man lights, meaning they gather all the dishes from the living room and stack them in the kitchen, where, as they know, the dish-fairies will take care of them.

Monday morning is the only morning that all the dishes won't fit in the dishwasher. I go methodically along, emptying yesterday's dishwasher load onto the shelves, yesterday's handwashed recyclables into the recycling bins, loading the dishwasher anew, collecting yesterday's newspaper and putting it in the recycling. I wash some of the stuff that can't go into the dishwasher, but some of it – the big, crusted cookie sheets often daunt me, first thing in the morning – I leave for later. Wipe down the counters, the table, the stove. The mess is confined to the counter to the left of the sink, now, and it can wait till I get back from Tom's. When Martha wakes she'll have clean coffee things and a clean table for breakfast.

I fantasize about tiny houses, or a houseboat on the river: a place that would force us not to accumulate, not to lay things aside for later. I increasingly feel the burden of all these decaying possessions, and a Thoreau-like passion for whittling down to the essentials seizes me. At the same time, I know it runs counter to what we most deeply are: comfortable, expansive, Victorian householders, who like to putter about, who gather sentimental treasures and souvenirs inexorably, who can't stumble across a curious piece of driftwood or an odd colored stone without bringing it home and putting it on the mantel.

And yet, again – I must be out and away, in the morning. I love the comfort of this common roost, I love to gather in the evening like a lot of crows, make a pointless commotion, swap the stories of the day, fiddle and squabble with the bright shiny things we've found, joke and squawk: but in the morning, an hour, even when I alone am awake, is the longest I can stand. Then I must cast off, take to the air, soar alone over the landscape, leave everyone and everything behind.

What if any of us had known how to say a single true thing?

I gave a massage to a young friend, yesterday. Her body was so supple, so undamaged, the tensions so laughably easy to unwind. Everything worked beautifully. It was like an exquisite machine just out of the package. So different from a fifty, sixty, seventy-year old body. The scapulae running free, gliding a handsbreadth in any direction with never a skip or a catch, the head rolling from side to side so smoothly, so easily. It makes you feel like a terrific therapist: you can handle a body like that like a Harlem Globetrotter handles a basketball. Spin it, toss it, roll it here and there; everything works, everything is effective.

She's engaged to be married, to a shaggy, amiable, great bear of a young man. He looked up from the couch, and said, “Ah, you've got a glow!” when she came downstairs. I ached, thinking of all the pain in store for them. Even the blessed lives, the sort I devoutly hope they will have, hurt like hell.

"Dale," I might have said, "excuse me, but I simply do not know where I am."

Only just now, have I realized the connection, realized how much she reminds me of Kim, at that age: all that vitality, all that unrealized power, the thin wrapper of clumsiness, of awkwardness, laid over a deep, fundamental grace. I've known a number of young dragons, now, newly out of the shell. At Breitenbush we met a couple of students of Kim's – she teaches voice in Seattle – who spoke of her with something like awe. The awkwardness doesn't fool me for a moment, nowadays.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marking out the Sadnesses

Listen, the blue wall rises above your head
there is no marking out the sadnesses.

Forget the poetry, then, and just struggle with the words in a straight line. A whispery morning of spiderweb.

Knox dragged his cannons from Ticonderoga to Boston, a terrific feat, straight over the Berkshires in the dead of winter. I think about that kind of thing. Another way in which I am wrong. I'm not supposed to care about it, but I do. About one percent of the American population died in the six years of what we call the Revolutionary War: it was (proportionally) the most costly war in American history, save the Civil War. I don't quite understand why, or how, it has fallen out of the public consciousness so thoroughly, become so quaint and unfashionable. I'm conscious of the solecism, talking about it on my blog as if it was important. The Civil War, now, it's all right to talk about that. But to even mention the Revolutionary War is to line up with cranks, with tiresome men who button the top button of their polyester shirts and talk too loud and have infallible plans for making a million dollars. It's not that I would even have agreed with the revolutionaries. I would have hunkered down, calling down plagues on both their houses, neither Tory nor Patriot: it takes more than a penny tax on government xeroxes to drive me to start murdering my fellow human beings.

But, of course, they didn't know what I know: they didn't know that you could feel just as dispossessed, just as humiliated, just as lorded over, by a fully representative government: they didn't know that mass democracy would end up looking less like Athens than like late Imperial Rome. They thought they were fighting for their fundamental dignity. So maybe I would have fought on the Patriot side, after all. Few people more thin-skinned about their dignity than I am. I understand that explosion of anger.

I served on an English Department graduate student committee, at Yale. We sponsored some event, for which we bought a deal of wine. The next morning I and another student were summoned by the chair of the department to bring all the empty bottles, so that he could see that we – the committee – weren't squirreling some away on our own account. I was incensed. It was with considerable difficulty that my friends persuaded me not to quit Yale on the spot. They couldn't see why it bothered me: why the casual implication that I would cheat and steal, if not closely watched, should be offensive. The only person who understood my anger was the fellow-student who'd come to us from West Point. Nobody else seemed even to grasp the concept.

I marvel at George Washington, at his steadiness and perseverance. It had to do I think with the quality described by that queer, old-fashioned word: honor. It's what's missing from our lives, public and private. We have our Franklins and Jeffersons and Hamiltons: we have worldly cleverness and ideological fervor and vaulting ambition. Plenty of all of those. What we desperately lack is that dogged resolve, that determination to do nothing mean or underhanded, which earns over many years a deep, abiding trust.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Their honor they put last, in the chief place. That was what counted. And you can feel it, when 18th Century men write about their honor, or the horror of being dishonored: it's central to them, a mainspring of their thought and action. For something so central to simply vanish from a culture is astonishing. (I say “men” advisedly. The concept of honor for women was an entirely different and lesser thing: it had to do mostly with sexual fidelity, and it's hard to see it as much more than an instrument of subjection. More about that anon.) Your first guess, of course, would that “honor” hasn't really vanished: it's just going by another name. People do still talk about integrity, about being true to yourself, that sort of thing. And that, certainly, is half of what 18th Century men meant by honor.

But there's a stark difference. Integrity, being true to yourself, is a strictly private affair. It's nobody else's business: it's between you and your conscience, or (if you do God) between you and God. No one can rob you of your integrity. No one can make you be false to yourself.

Someone can, however, rob you of your honor. Honor is not private: it is held by others. In escrow, so to speak.

Not just any others, of course. There were hordes of disgusting chatterers and scribblers in Revolutionary times, just as there are now, gossips and hirelings, people who will assassinate character as readily as they'll eat a scone. It was understood that you simply ignore such people.

I suppose one reason that “honor” dropped out of our consciousness is that we are now supposed to take the mass of human beings seriously. I'm afraid I can't do that. As sentient beings possessed of Buddha-nature, as infinitely precious spiritual equals, certainly. But as judges of my honor? I hardly think so. I don't give a damn what they think of me.

Another reason is the sexism of “honor,” and the value that we now place on the domestic sphere: we hold men to a far higher standard, in their domestic lives, than the 18th Century did. Reading aloud to the kids and doing your share of changing their diapers and being there to hug them when they need it – we value those things, now, as much as we value anything, and rightly so.

Or again, you may bridle – I do – at the honor of gentlemen who signed a document asserting that all men were created equal, and then went home to be served coffee by their slaves.

The fascinating thing to me about Washington, what made him so extraordinary, is his absolute certainty that he was doing his best. He was so sure of it that he achieved a humility and mildness that are astonishing. He was the least resentful of men. He was not a typical man, of course: it was widely recognized even at the time that his moral qualities were extraordinary. I'm not the first person to admire them. Just down the street here, almost within sight of Tosi's, is a statue of the man, be-wigged and be-sworded, standing in a frozen swagger: that high-bridged nose, those small unimpressive eyes, gazing off into posterity. Only someone amazingly self-confident can endure being betrayed, abused, and traduced so calmly.

“What about your self-respect?” they asked.

“Self-respect? I don't have any of that,” I answered.

“Then I think you'd better get some,” they said, shortly. I suppose they are right: but I don't quite know where, at this late date, one goes shopping for it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eruptions from the Past

My sister would have been fifty-five years old, today. It's as difficult to imagine her being fifty-five as it is to imagine John Lennon being seventy. The good die young, / And those whose hearts are dry as summer dust / Burn to the socket. (If anyone should know, it's you, Mr Wordsworth!)

I grope hesitantly towards a new life. Or more precisely, maybe, I grope towards an old life that I never really lived.

Strange eruptions from the past. People prate about the evils of Facebook, its transcience and inanity – as if all this doodling were not transient and inane – but its real powers are just beginning to reveal themselves, and – to confound all of our knavish tricks – they turn out to be historical powers. The dead past isn't dead, Faulkner insisted; it isn't even past. And nothing proves it like old friends from high school or college surfacing, and tagging you with pictures.

My friends Norman and Marcel, from my hippie free school, had started up a design studio in Seattle. I visited them, and here is a polaroid picture of me examining a polaroid picture there. (Ask your grandparents what a polaroid picture is.)

Notice the luxuriant hair and scanty beard: now the hair is scanty and the beard is – well, at least respectable. That was my favorite shirt. A strange pale green, a color without a common name. A knit turtleneck. I always shoved the sleeves up over my elbow. I imagined, at the time, that it gave me a raffish yet practical look. You roll up your sleeves to drop your pretensions and get to work, right? But to me, this photo is all about pretension. I was in awe of Norman and Marcel. I knew that they understood the world of visual art in a way that I never would. They had passionate responses to design that I never understood, or rather, understood just enough to know that my eye settled for the hackneyed and conventional, while they were stirred to go beyond that to things more complex and more important. No doubt I had been looking at graphic designs all day and pretending to be able appreciate what I was seeing. I was out of my depth, bewildered by the big city and my sophisticated friends: I was just a yokel from Springfield, after all. I longed for the glamour of Seattle, but I knew I wasn't really up to it. I couldn't hold my liquor, I got confused by dark bars with pointy lights that lit nothing up, and I got maybe a third of their jokes, though of course I laughed at all of them. I pretended to be a writer, because that's almost cool like an artist, so long as nobody reads the grandiloquent, hectoring opening chapters of your plotless and unfinishable fantasy novels, and of course there was small danger of that.

So little, so little has changed: I still long to be one of the cool kids, and I still never will be, and I still will cultivate anything but my own garden.

Maybe it's not too late, though. Maybe all this fuss is to some purpose. And I find sometimes, to my surprise, that some of the people from my past remember me with affection, rather than contempt. I walk through dim hallways of memory, searching for doors, searching for clues about how I should have lived my life, how I should live my life now. I think I have to treat that awkward young man more gently, soothe his touchy pride, and coax the real stories from him, the stories he was always too ashamed to tell.

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Timeless Trash of the Sea

Somewhere, the ocean
crashes back and forth
like so much broken glass,
but nothing breaks.
Against itself,
it is quite powerless.

(Chase Twichell, “Inland”)

Later in the same poem, Twichell says,

The timeless trash of the sea
means nothing to me.

She's lying, of course, and so am I; but you can understand the yen to escape altogether from the endless noise and fret, the grind and backwash of all those thoughts: so destructive to everything but themselves. The one thing you can't think your way out of is thinking. “Against itself, it is quite powerless.” Just so.

If I ever have the time, I'd like to try to bushwack my way all the way up the Breitenbush. On the map, it looks like it comes straight down from Mt Jefferson – that most beautiful and difficult of Oregon's mountains. Of course, as Clausewitz will tell you, the map is not the terrain.

Ravens. Oh, ravens. What a reproach to me you are! I've forgotten everything I ever knew that was worth knowing.

Well, well, start again. Easier this time.

Over at One Word, Zhoen wrote: Make the people around you feel loved. If they don't feel it, you're doing it wrong. Now that's a nut with meat inside it. Crack that, if you can.

I'm still subscribed to the KCC mailing lists. I still lurk, and watch the stuff go by: the requests for prayers for failing parents, for the dying children of friends, for aging cats; the building of the Goldendale retreat center, the planning for the new urban center; the news of our exiled lineage in India. The gears spin but the teeth don't catch. I say a few om manis for the kids and the cats. I don't know what I am, or what I'm doing. I'll never be comfortable with costumes and regalia, with pomp and ceremony. All those pieties. If you're going to observe pieties, surely they should be those of your own people? But of course, that's the problem, we have none, we're Americans. But you can't borrow other people's pieties. That's not how it works. The whole point of pieties is that they're not chosen -- they're given. And if you were given nothing, that's just your cross to (not) bear.

Enough! Or too much. Time to do something. Time to make someone feel loved.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Breitenbush, October

The moon just dwindled from the half,
revealing horns, and Draco coiled
on the ridgetop, glittering over the river.
I soak in the sulfuric water till the sweat
prickles in my hair, and I am pregnant
with heat. Then I slide out of the water,
rest my butt on the cold smooth stone. The wind
blows steam from my moonwhite flesh.

Last night, Cassiopeia was where the Dipper is now,
and the Dipper held Cassiopeia's place.
If you watch long enough
you can feel the slow turn of the stars
you can feel them twisting in you, the torque
of all that ancient fire.

The hemlocks and the cedars breathe on me.
The Pleiades drift from one crown to the next.
The Big Dipper's handle stops dragging. It's lifted,
and that means that the sun will be here soon.
An hour perhaps, no more.

The light never seems to come out of the East,
at the beginning of the dawn. It seems to come
from the broken line of the horizon, North and South,
as if a fault had opened in the firmament,
as if the light was oozing through the cracks.

The stars become uncertain. They backpedal.
Suddenly I'm cold, and I slip back in the water,
back into this pore in the skin of the Earth.
I am a germ, a germ of thought, a germ
of discontent, a skin infection
of this great mineral hide.

Only the moon is holding out against
the incoming tide of daylight—the stars are washed
away in the flooding sky—when the ravens begin
to grumble and rattle across the way. In ones
and twos they reconnoiter the colorless air.
Someone forgot to tell them they are not
gregarious birds: they've gathered in the cedars
to mutter together. Some immemorial wrong,
some age-old grudge, is on their minds.

But in the middle of it all, a greater bird
appears, and all go quiet. The largest heron
I have ever seen. His wings
spread from bank to bank
of the narrow river; he flies
straight up the stream, impossibly slow,
each wingbeat a pulse
of this dark country's heart.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Clean and Pretty

It becomes familiar, the taste of a household
being dismantled. All its shifts revealed:
the squalid corners no guest ever sees,
materials for home repairs, knitting projects,
collections, crafts botched and put away;

beads in little vials, paints dried in the tube,
curtains to be hemmed.
They all smell the same at last:
the mildewed paper and the rancid dust,
impotent solvents,
stiff glue, spilled oil, rotting silk.

Death will seize them and show them grinning
to your heirs. They are his trophies, not yours:
your children will flinch away from them.

Oh, throw away your life before you die.
Don't leave it to be groped by estate salers,
to be peeled and sorted by dealers in junk;
don't wait for it to be given
to dirty indifferent fingers to stroke.
Put on fresh underwear, just as your mother said:
go clean and pretty to your early death.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Out of the Light

She came out of the light, out of the wonder.
Wounded. Half blind. Enormously strong.
She came to me for shelter: I did what I could.

I fed her bowls of syrup,
I stroked the clutching muscles of her thighs;
I watched her wings

fill with new blood. Uncrumple.
The web of arteries, arterioles,
the threads of capillaries --

all engorged, until her wings
rose above me like sails.
She bore it, uncomplaining, trembling,

her eyes weeping milk. She nuzzled me
and mewed once, like a kitten
disappearing in a river;

now she's gone,
and the morning has gone with her.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Two Most Important Crows

Two crows wag their way
side by side across the asphalt,
their thumbs in their waistcoat armholes.
They think they will build a new store here:
sell hamburger wrappers to starlings.
Big plans. For crows, you know,
crows are very important, and these
are the most important of all.