Death the Distraction

Overcast and hot,
the final week before school;
girls in tank tops and

cutoffs awkwardly
embrace. Reunion. The
tea shop overflows

with distractions. I
am a man of words without
any on this an-

niversary of
her death. I stare unseeing.
No heaven received

her: her vivid self
passed into the distinctly
indistinct being

we call God, Being.
Knowing this distracts me from
getting distracted.

Cat Wang Is Cool

My master (in name
only) takes cold baths in this
heat wave. Pathetic.

He leaves puddles for
me to step through. I just shake
it off. I am cool

by nature. Under
my breath I chant Cold Mountain.
It’s all about change,

this life. Take your goose-
foot walking stick and go. My
pillow is No-Mind.

Putting Our Cat Down

A poet of no
gift, not surely the belief
of minimalists,

not the courage of
manic transcendentalists.
Little things move me.

I was traumatized
holding my cat’s paw as the
good doctor put him

down. Can’t forget it.
I was the one dying, our
cat already gone.

When I got home and
had to tell my wife, she was
inconsolable.

Clam Cakes

And what is love? Two
years after our final sep-
aration (O Death,

you are not nothing),
the question’s academic,
philosophical.

On late summer days
like this we’d drive to the shore
for clam cakes. We’d eat

in silence, listen
to the waves come in and out,
a gently aging

couple doing what
always pleased at this point in
the fullness of time.

You Call Out

As peculiar
as a shout from Joyce’s street
but near the closet.

I prepare for bed.
You hated shouting. ‘Hello?’
Just once. You used to

call to me that way,
in good times and bad. But now,
almost two years on,

it’s a happening,
an epiphany then of
superabundance,

more than something, more
than nothing, finite being
called out of nothing.

Cat Wang Among Roses

Late summer roses,
small, pastel, communicate
more than memory.

The hedge overflows
as these beauties turn toward
us out of the void.

I headbutt one, it
bounces back. I want to eat
it. But Master says

(such an egoist!),
they are our masters showing
for contemplation.

On Fatigue: reading Simone Weil 2

I won’t be giving
the End of Time the time of
day. Anthropocene

suicide and the
Earth as we know it with it.
But until then, the

poem of the be-
tween concerns ‘the people’ in
Simone Weil’s usage,

the fatigue thereof
and the quenchings of desire
in the arts of love,

cooking, dancing, and
the like: I shall celebrate
these in small poems.