June 24, 2007

the old road

discussion was inadequate,
it didn’t move us—
that new language wasn’t there
now or then

when inscriptions sank blood
and charters bloomed in the ditch
i was there, shining,
a bobble in the wet loam

parchment bark timed by
the traces of access
and construction, less
overgrown and constant
than the land could bear

edges, boundaries sunk
in, filled in, and then recut
with the scythe of pure politics

to distinguish but not name
or the reverse—the lichen
remained an impossible
feat heightened by loss
under the recurring suggestion
that this was once something

June 2, 2007

Poem, A Haunting

a nice trick that, there
and not but hoping for
some contact, a brush of
breath or return word
like “yes” to ease the lonely utterance,
to ease the lonely
otherness that follows us
all always giving

into sleep would be giving in to
the imagined presence of
you—clandestine and uncertain
reader, there
and not

a vague after-image
like recognition, or the shift
beneath us as something larger moves:
language, soil, the news . . .

Poem and you meet in a bar
not the usual but one at the edge
of downtown and the conversation
is about line breaks, line
breaks and repetition, line breaks
and where to pause and let the other
possibility occur, words lingering
suggestive but not fulfilled until

you break the linguistic sign into
a question of waiting or giving love

the next evening, Poem waits
in a bar, a different bar, wondering
whether to write or go home