what / should I fly



should I fly
my senses

crowns and rich apparel

dance and then depart

what magic can perform

and do
a thousand


Faustus 47 unredacted_RedactedFaustus 47 unredacted
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as a kid i always knew the wind was up to no good


as a kid i always knew
the wind was up to no good
for all it never did me any harm

in the stories it was always
driving the hapless schooner on the shoals
then becalming the shipwrecked sailor
who clung to a spar a ragged shirt for a sail

or it was sidling down back alleys
and through the branches of landlocked trees
under moonpale clouds in the dead of night
squirreling away skeleton leaves
ghosts of plastic bags
and stale shreds of news
to deliver them unlooked for
months and county lines away

or it was whipping up prairie dissent
sometimes slamming a straw straight
into a phone pole
like a hammer drives a nail

or it was snooping up water for later
then freezing it to hail
the size of golfballs
pelting houses and cows
and fleeing into the stratosphere

so i knew not to trust the wind
even though it might never get around to
marooning you or
slamming a soda straw into you

ponder the still eye of the storm

you ll see what i mean

Under the hood:

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I learned it from watching you


I learned it from watching you: everything starts with oneself.
There’s nothing but tomorrow: a single shot, a single
Life, narrow as a line that runs through me. I fell in love

With the child of Dawn and Night: the sturdy one who set out
Knowing only one language; drank from the well of sorrows
Between the worlds; Spring-trap; Storm-starter, who set the earth to

Quivering. The stars wheel about us, and all that matters
Happens between us. The young leaves are coiled. Their uncoiling
Tells the story: nothing will ever be as we had feared.

Just think of it: one day there will be none to remember
When things were not this way: the sky grey, like no tomorrow
Will ever be enough to save us. And then the rainbow.

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If I Was Ever Going to Say It


Last night, everything still,
I still, all the people still, the world still,
A dream slipped in
Like a memory, not a dream.

He didn’t say Hello
He just said, Hey.
Hey. I got over it,
He said. The way you do.
It wasn’t so hard, or so bad.

And the time we live in now
Is the important thing
When nobody has to say I love you
Which is really Goodbye
Because nobody’s dying.

Then he told a joke.

Then I learned there wasn’t
A single moment
I could have changed.
Just all of them.

Later the stillness broke,
I waking, the whole world waking
As the line of dawn runs around the world
And the sky brightens and then
Everything starts to hum
Like there’s something inside everything.

That was the time to say Goodbye,
If I was ever going to say it.


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Question Mark

We’re not so happy in the future,
Are we, dear? Indeed, we’re not as happy here
As once we were; and what’s the future, but the past
Sharpened to a point at last?

Time’s our sentence, marked with doubt
Just as a question ought:
So from its terminating period, a plume
Rises like smoke; like foolish hope; like doom.

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Grandfather was a longshoreman

and as he went along the shore he hummed,
Grandfather hummed, and not for feeling gay,
but as a signal that his work was well begun
that he had well accounted for another day.

The cranes along the waterfront, grotesques
with names he’d mastered in a foreign tongue,
were marvels that yet left him unimpressed;
were giants he walked fearlessly among.

The immigrant assurance in his breast
rode him to a new world, and made him brave.
He passed what he presumed was each new test
and strove until he landed in his grave.


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In Cold Comfort

8507444415_5681bcb8bc_oThere isn’t much left for me to do
During this dead of winter
While the snow covers me up
Like language, like bitter
Hexameters, like a cold poem.
Like a long letter from home.

Like the fall of words
That piled up years long
That thawed and froze and thawed and froze
That one fine day were dislodged by a mere nothing
That avalanched all at a go
And strewed our bodies to the far reaches
Of the meadow, from which they
Couldn’t ever be recovered
When it turned out spring
Didn’t come.



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