Dreams

Famous

The river is famous to the fish.

 

The loud voice is famous to silence,

which knew it would inherit the earth

before anybody said so.

 

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds

watching him from the birdhouse.

 

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

 

The idea you carry close to your bosom

is famous to your bosom.

 

The boot is famous to the earth,

more famous than the dress shoe,

which is famous only to floors.

 

That feeling of my soul getting yanked

That feeling of my soul getting yanked

I wonder where my soul hides when I’m sick

My heart feels as if it’s getting beat up

Is it because the restless ocean is clumping up?

My heart beats regardless of the pain

It beats spewing out red thread like a red spider

A sinkful of red thread gets submerged in water

My heart beats like a girl marathon runner who only had ramen to eat

 

Maybe the soul of the bald girl in a hospital gown hanging by the

You knock on the door

You knock on the door but nobody answers. Cupping your hands around your face you peer through the side-panel of frosted glass. A kettle is whistling, a woman singing as she sets the table. This is a familiar house. You knock again. Inside, the sounds are festive. Glasses clink and a band starts up. Pressing your ear to the door, you hear the sound of your own laughter. This is the house you grew up in. You're sure of it now.

For You Shall Be Called to Account

The ancestors of everyone I’ve let into my body

are gathered in a small room with one window,

no lights. Yes, the room is crowded. Yes, there

are no chairs. Yes, they are talking. Why are we

here, says the Nazi resister. Where are the chairs,

says the Viking (no horns). Where is the light, say

the people with their new French name hung

around their necks heavy like a long black cross.

Here, says the grand wizard, and a long white

Family Reunions

The other people quit their stone fields to come here.

They slip in from nights that even the snow abandons.

They leave ashes in their glasses

          and stains on the table.

The house is littered with bits of their hair and skin.

Bones clatter through the holes in their pockets.

 

All night long their hands scythe the air.

They dance their words to bloody stumps.

They bite the world and spit it out on the table,

          bitter, determined only to dirty

New Year's

If you want to travel run

around the neighbourhood with an empty

suitcase in hand. At least once, full circle.

Wear yellow underwear

for the 31st, lest fortune oversee your cup

as she pours. Yes, thank you. I too wish you excitement

& wealth in the New Year.

Mostly, I hope you get

through tomorrow, and then the day

after. I hope you sing other than all alone

and find surprise

in the timbre of your voice.

I hope you eat well

and sleep well, and go unabashed

Qawanguq with Fox

I was walking up some stairs in a building

 

Inside parts of the building were new

but no one lived there anymore

 

I passed a lucky fox head on the stairs—

 

               But fox, where are your ears and your eyes and your tongue?

                             where is your body, your bushy tail?

 

The head slunk past without stopping

 

              If a fox crosses your path, an opportunity will be given you

 

I've Dreamt of You So Often

I've dreamt of you so often that you become unreal.

Is there still time to reach this living body and to kiss on its mouth the birth of

the voice so dear to me?

I've dreamt of you so often that my arms used to embracing your shadow and

only crossing on my own chest might no longer meet your body's shape.

And before the real appearance of what has haunted and ruled me for days

and years I would doubtless become a shadow.

Oh the shifts of feeling.

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