All

The problem of signs —
or that of divination —
defines the poet

as spiritual–
that is, material. Time
unravels words lack-

ing height, depth, delight,
brimless sorrow, all the a-
bove, all at once, all

in one, into which
the poet disappears for
good, that is, for love.

Peace

The art of the nap
is one I am perfecting
now that you’re gone. In

your final months I
got a running start, crashing
whenever you were

peaceful. I like to
think you are at peace now as
I stretch out and doze.

Image

Just how do you say
it when you cannot name it?
Take today’s weather:

drizzle if not rain.
The street shines with it, the light
shadowless for now.

The dictionary
rifled to death adds nothing
to the distinction.

Containing zero
and hyperbole the im-
age transcends the thing,

and by doing so
surpasses the poet’s will
to be just that whole.

Shook

A sudden mirror
faced me from my usual
place in the cafe.

Thinning hair, mocking
eyes, a stream of cursing and
blessing, surrounded

by her things. Homeless.
At first I thought Baudelaire
then shook with despair.

Perfection

The coming thin hour,
given to the transcendent
other, deepens the

emptiness your death
maintains in my life, it’s true.
And yet you were so

perfectly yourself,
you transcended the very
finitude I loved.

Box

Between the shark’s teeth
collected in the river-
bed and the still sharp

flints of the Yokuts,
the horizon of my child-
hood rattled around

in a box for years.
Lost now, it fixed my iden-
tity in Dreamtime.

I’d love to have it
back, but memory, mere mem-
ory must suffice.

Commuter

First light on the tracks.
How many years, how many
trains to catch at dawn.

I the commuter.
I’d fall asleep on the re-
turn trip, miss my change.

That was years ago.
Nothing so punishing now,
this open routine.

Now I work with the
shifting boundary of time
and eternity.