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YOU’LL NOT BE ALONE

someone

has to calm you down

or all your rolling

all your tumbling might

could lift the whole

trembling earth

so the sea meets, enfolds

throne and gutter

and hundreds

hundreds of curtains

the draw and the close

open too many

feel every bellow

of heat and burning light

and wind yet to unfold

you will stand across

the water on your own

but you’ll not be alone

you’ll not be alone

you’ll not be alone

you’ll not be alone

you’ll not be alone

you’ll not be alone

WATCHING FOR SHIPS

i knew cause

i was there

and i know cause

i’m still there

watching for ships

looking for food

dangling

two rotten shoes

given a chance

washed on the beach

a little life

then back to the sea

to be lost in the waves

a well of your ink

where i crane my neck

to kiss your face and

sink, sink, sink, sink

sink, sink, sink, sink

WHERE?

why

are you crying

i am crying

cause i’m cooking with you

in your house

with your paintings around

under the bows

with the snow melting down

on the kitchen floor

with my hands in my lap

and my head in my hat

the one with the flaps

where are you hiding

i am hiding

behind a crumbling rock

breathing slow

air hot and dry

reimagining the ride

so you come into sight

and i hear you cry:

where are you

where are you

for the first time

and how will it happen

it will happen

beside running water

with my hands in my lap

and my head in my hat

it will happen

when you ask

where are you

where are you

in all of this

INTO THE YARD

who chose

this anchor hold

a living room

for an altar stone

i stumble out

into the yard

the water up

on a sandbar

as all my lengths of holy imperfection unspool

bobbing in the waves of nighttime

drool and knowing you

and i make my camp as quick as i can

i make my camp, i make my camp

every house

looking down

up on the hill

in a ring around

off with the lights,

he’s coming out

watch carefully now

watch carefully now

as all my lengths of holy imperfection unspool

bobbing in the waves of nighttime

drool and knowing you

and i make my camp as quick as i can

i make my camp, i make my camp

one thing still

unseen

ON ONE FOOT

a huge explosion in the middle of the city

and glazing eyes

and me inside

looking out from my blue whale’s mouth

of a house

through baleen blinds

a lost freighter has its own

terrible moan

oh-oh-oh

a shipwreck has its howl

of no way home

oh-oh-oh

on one foot

unready

for a death nearby

unready

someone unheard

turning now to speak

on one foot

unready

BIG BOOK

kneeling on the library floor

totally taken apart

over a big old picture book

a shell midden and some ancient art

and now on the courthouse lawn

sobbing into my hands

pulling up fist on fist of grass

so i disappear the land

so i, so i, so i

dis-a-pear the land

split open standing naked

with that book i could never find

and you (whose face is shining)

right beside

so i, so i, so i

dis-a-pear the land

DIMMING

i was dimming in the grass

caught in an old young hand

picked up, carried, shown around

so of course i lose my grip

and down

a moth that’s got to raise a wing

still wet from being born

this is it, we end up here

kneeling by the woodstove, me, you, and mom

in tears

being led

into a trap

on a little table full of sand

handed each a

raincoat

and told

walk right through

PRE-DAWN.

up a barely melting

mountain…. with

you and some bread you

made… wondering

who else is awake

predawn collapse

predawn collapsing at the top

i could smell a cold wind

behind me

following me down, across

the river into town

hiding in coat pockets

escaping in the house

and living there for a while

winter’s first exile

so i lie down with this, so i hear it on the roof

so i close my eyes, like i always do (and with me…)

a great idea on

horseback … but

not horseback like that (no galloping)… i mean

asleep riding through cold

blowing desert dunes

i remember the long night’s ride ending

or believing that it had

face down in the mane

still holding the reigns

and when i finally got to town, without understanding how

i climbed carefully down

predawn collapse

predawn collapsing

KEEP YOUR SOLITUDE

i’m not listening

i’m not listening

cause when i need it i will have

a little weight to hold

carry tired old me

down to the river floor

where i will meet a hand

and it will look something like yours

but older

and more sure

keep your solitude

keep your solitude

rollin out my window

and right into the brook

hello cold moving water

i am feeling just my size

and i can hear my brother

crying

somewhere behind

keep your solitude

keep your solitude

LIFE AS A MARBLE

in my short life as a marble

i become very aware

of the edges of things

and the top of the stairs

i get to know your hand

like i’ve always wanted to

the blood and the palm

and the line running through

and now i’m passed along

and left to hold my feet

i wait and i wait

patiently

and i’m brought to the bridge

where a person lost her life

a whole new kind of edge

and another right behind

and down into the water

soon sharing the gleam

you say it’s like reunion

washed right off the beach

and now i’m passed along

and left to hold my feet

i wait and i wait

patiently

HUMAN RAINSTICK

i was born

in an orange

nowhere near heartbroken

outer atmosphere

and i have always known

that i am little more

than a human rain stick

i tip and i tip

full up to my eyes

with ancient cherry pits

i tip

and i tip

and what are we to do

when the porcupine

quits playing along

we want one more song!

and how can you hold your head

with the screaming weight of lead

following faithfully

i was born

in an orange

nowhere near

heartbroken outer atmosphere

face to face

quiet and still

and noise and heat

pressin down like they will

one to hold

one to hold the bulb

and two to turn

the ladder

right until you fall

far into

FACE TO FACE

quiet and still

noise and heat

pressin down like they will

one to hold

one to hold the bulb

and two to turn

the ladder

right until you fall

far into

face to face

once again

the great blue fish

finds me in my bed

WARMING MY WING

they’re out in the yard

holding him down

they opened his chest

took something out

bright white bowl of snow

washing clean what you won’t

i watch you fill up with sky

and i fill up with glue

a cloud has come

and mopped up the flood

and everything you lost

it’s held in a milky glove

carried far from home

over wreckage and rubble

but look at that, the day is whole

and i see brattleboro

i am warming my wing

LAST LIVING TASTEBUD

tomorrow morning

firing squad

and i need my sleep

if i’m to dodge

water carried

so far up

spilling over

from the cup

and spit right out

up over town

this is standing in the wreckage

this is standing in the wreckage

and now we’ve burned

burned the tongue

the very last living

tastebud

and spit right out

up over town

this is standing in the wreckage

this is standing in the wreckage

STRAW POKING THROUGH

i know

the walk is not so hard

the really tough part

is starting out

and yeah

after all this rain

after all the water

filling up my drain

i can still feel the straw

poking through

i can still feel something in my shoe.

and i could use your help right now

and i could use your help right now

and so

so you know the difference

i will teach you the sound

and you will let me down

and hey

did you know

you share a name

you share a name

and i can still feel the straw

poking through

i can still feel the heat

coming from you