December 31, 2008


in grade nine my grandfather gives me the .22,
tells me to practice my aim—
the gun, its giving, a sentence
with perfect grammar:

the range—syntax, my life as man

the target—dependent object, success as a man

the bullets—the verb, the act, actions, the motion of raising
my voice just so, an entrance/exit pattern
(the damage done—mere semantics)

the gun—the noun, the enunciation, that shadow slung over, well hung,
an inheritance (tempting heresy)

the miss—the ungrammaticality, failure, fallow, the unmettled
forge, the blank, a single feeble flag
sprung from the barrel, a bleating guffaw
a sob, stop, the sentence un—

i broke the gun, literally, a small part near the loading mechanism (i
refuse to look up the proper terminology) snapped when i threw it down,
shocked when i swear i saw blood on the barrel

that and a belt-buckle with a horse rearing, this
taken cumulatively, equals lineage

several listeners have approached me after readings
proclaiming that I hate my parents, citing
my narrative choice to kill off the father in several instances

that passing down, passing on, passing
through my veins the impulse
like an addiction at birth

i did practice with my .22, set up clay targets and took careful aim
the gun hard against my shoulder like a hand and i hit
quite often, i was pretty good, spent afternoons making
clay spray into dust, and then one afternoon, clouds brewing,
a chickadee that had landed on one of the clay targets
sprayed into dust—aim raised just so,
a sob, stop, uncock

December 21, 2008

Poem’s Rehab

not many readers
left like antibodies and the town
has the shakes
and this empty space where
it was before returns

poem is leaving town
leaving the collective
the addictive system
where positions remain
without people

rivers continue to run
underneath the street and
if left to, would sluice out
again taking away the parking
meters and sandwich shops

Poem has doubts on how
the drugs have affected memory
function and sensory
calmness can be settling
and unnerving

Poem shirks the narrative
bridle freed from the need
to make coherent boundaries
between what is known

Poem repeats names, ponders
parts of speech, finds the city
doesn’t meet any of the lives

The Plan is the Poem

that/this body poised for some
intervention into

or pulled from
what is Poem

but the question
preceding this

this strange porous
(sense) contact