A Field Guide to the Darkroom (3/3)

Grisly poplar whistles through Sunday.
Gays dressed for winter gossip about
Cigarettes, various habits of
Addicts. Puma women smile at
You. With no face, no shame. Facing
The wall, she came in. Stuck in dark,
Closing in. You felt like a hug
And gentle rumbling. I remember
Leaning my face against you and
Walking in the wind. I heard the
Muffled quietude of boomsticks
And canyons; where the hungry crowds
Sat appeased by paper and
Scheduled bells, formal attitudes
Of progress, fear of suited dame,
And power of anvil and sword.

Back to the wall, she came in. Mouth
Full of peppers, hesitating.
Or, pretending you were ever there
Speaking something just above hair.
To pretend to have mended one
Who found beauty in being broken
And built monuments to the theme
Of isolation. Holding hands
With the boatman underneath the
Clean lamp. With multitudes hidden
Like monsters in the hulls of thoughts
That shake us. Whether these voices
Carry us to another land
Or, upon the rocks for a death
At sea (plunged Odysseus
Deafens the monarchy). Cortez
Covered with disease. Columbus
Ripped to pieces by hounds armored
Metal. On the prow of gliding
Mansions lay the worshippers of
Gold. The Pirate Sea is mastered
By a grandmother in silks.


A Field Guide to the Darkroom (2/3)

The Pirate Sea is mastered
By a calm command.
Despite the swords and mirrors,
Trolls and phantasms, of the mind.
Masked men who play witness
Harmless from separate boughs
Where the final leap of bathers
Are games they play in the setting sun
Turning to raisins
These sweet little grapes
Left by The Creator plucked
For contents of purgatory
Or a bottle of Calcu.

The Pirate Sea is mastered
By men and women
Who tattoo corners
Of their faces and play the
Jealous games at round tables
Under smoke.
Endless translations of faces
Bodies of men transformed
By the cave-dwelling act of
Seclusion into erudite
And euphoric bats.
To play gambits of faces
Undisturbed. To observe
Each mask within the shade and
Shaded grass. And exclaim, “Limbs
Have been stolen!”
By tricks of senses
Unforeseen. Climbing
Through windows of cars
In the dreams of famous men
Wishing runaway
From a petting zoo.
These emotions have been pawned
Before. Stuck to panes of glass
Individual like highway
Flies. Moments, vision, leave us.

And with breath come back again.
Main agent – respiration.
From plants to me, we
Breathe the Pirate Sea.
Far from the bough, plucked
From the tree. Where the vine still
Quivers, and The Snake questions
Naked women lulling there.
Between the roots and running
Water beneath me.

Iron and The Seeds

I put my head down on the iron rail
Started waiting for the poor train
Conductor stepped down and said my name
Said, “Son, why don’t you board here?
We ain’t going nothing but one way”
And he held out his hand
“Get up off your knees my darling”
Follow me, joy or pain”
Joy or pain
I felt ashamed
This machine was made by man
Not to kill
But I was making a murderer of this man
By seeking to die by his hand
Have mercy
He took me by the hand with fingers
Warm and smooth like
Polished stone
I laid my head in the desert this morning

Now before my eyes is an open field
I see a woman in the train car with me
Rocking with the wheels
She said,
“Every year I plant these flowers
50 daffodils
Yes, 50 daffodils”
I sit down in the booth across from her
She is watching the window pane
Eyes following the world falling away
Past her reflections of thought, she says,
“I planted these flowers for my heart
The yellow warms my heart
And keeps away the Wicked Deer”
Says, “The Wicked Deer doesn’t eat here anymore…”

Morning was coming to and end now darling
Sky the color of autumn leaves
But youth was still alive
My baby you can still see the green

I stepped off the train
Onto the streets of a neighborhood
Just outside the city
Staring down the Iron Line
Electric wires, tops of trees,
Magnolia lowers, birds and bees
I see an old woman out walking
Her little girl
She was dre4ssed in a beautiful orange dress
She’s matching with an orange hat and ribbon
Wrapped like a carnation
Beautiful wrinkles of age
Around her bright smile and
Glossed lips
Lord, have mercy
From her lips I heard the words spoken
To her granddaughter
It drifted to me like the mist
Of a violin
Sounded like a piano
Sounded like a guitar
Oh Lord, I might have left this Earth
Everything melted away
I heard her sweet voice and
What she started to say
But they kept walking, turned the corner,
And I was left standing amazed
… Someplace…

With the magnolia petals fallen to the ground and still
Or in the sky with the wind
Against the dark green, broad leaves
And people walking the their shade
With posture and skin
Just like bamboo
Walk in pairs with kids playing in the grass
Everyone is dressed like everyplace is church
Every hour
Leave me here…
Even the bugs in between the grass
And clouds
Tickled with the sunset
Were sparks set floating in the park
Like pollen from the trees
My breath carries me away and
Suddenly I’m there again
Crushed like a watermelon

Mending Frida

Is it only because I’m human
That I seem to notice the feeling
Of Time slipping away?
It seems to rush over the body
A river
Plucking secret sensations from hidden
Human hearts
It pulls your chest into the center
Of the current
To possessed cooler of water
A vacuum is there – A pane of glass
Inside my mind and beyond
Only the still movement of autumn trees
Autumn clouds and pines
Different oranges and green
Pushed by wind from which sensations you
Are hidden
Behind a pane of glass – An infinite wall
And thrown against the pane like a mist of water
You observe the products of your mind cast in array
Like stars
Leaning against he glassed locked in admiration
Staring into the rounded mirrors
And with the tenderness of a lover
Softly indent with your thumb the
Philtrum of whom to you there is more than affection
In this silent moment against the glass
You trace the path of their lips
And watch the beads of water disappear
Or, run down collecting all together
In a stream
Tears which show the origination of our sadness
When things can no longer stay the same
The pain of forgetfulness and death
Leaning against the glass
You wish in your heart
That your eyes
Were falling upon a mirror
That you were holding a mirror
because we only desire to hold communion
With our true selves – To be understood
You contemplate the spaces between beads of water
Which now appear as diamonds or colorful glass
And feel the silent emptiness
That is existence as man
And find that these untouched positions
On the glass
Are comfortable as home

How you pass the time;
Watching the mist collect upon your mind
Like a lover – Watching the water collect together
And runaway

There is no individuality here
Against the landscape of our celestial home
Here is the discovery of home
No human is experience is alien
To their brothers and sisters
Upon the glass
Whose mists attract each with secrets
Of childhood – Voices of mother
Cooking with papa, the soft,
Warm caress from grandma that seems
To tell us all there is to know
“You’re okay. You are beautiful.
Don’t cry.”

Moments that are buried like coals
From the fire underground which provide
The body warmth through night
Absent of light
The space between the memories that build
Is filled with a mystical Nothing
This is the home of humanity
And each man stands against the glass
With the sensationless perspective of Earth’s
Landscape ahead of them,
Like watching a violent storm from
Windows of a fortress…
Alone I feel the shadowplay of a Puppet Master
He does not control my physical body
But direct my Time
And stirs sediment in the Lethe
To whirlpools

These waters
Are what makes you believe
That you have never been me
Makes me forget the moments
I liv’d as you…


Stepping down the face of a butte
Out east
Down the faces of a mountain
Dancing with a lover

Across faces of the original
Across backs of limestone cobra

Across pebbles skipped in time
Across the blinking eyes
I see

Across the face of the imaginary
Across the face of you
Of Ruth

Against the moss of stars
Against eager participations of circular
Dances in the Seven Below Heaven
And the gripping shadows that reach
For you where you bend

Dancing with Medusa you lose feeling in your toes
Outside is a man no one can watch for too long

What we don’t touch is hideous
It chills us to the bone
Cow hooves across the metal grate
Minotaur and mustangs
A rolling Iron Train
Against the body of a preacher’s
Suicidal daughter
Denied love of Job

Labyrinth of mind
Labyrinth of heart
Longing for the mindless connection of blood

Wordless conversation between eyes
And memories shared between diamonds

Howling wolves
The hound’s cut throat
And the Harvest Moon

Little Metal

Pulling strings in the grass
The kingdom of bugs crawls across my knee
Across the wood too
To listen
I don’t bother shooing them away
While renaissance pilots fly
Rocketing steam white exhaust
The path of sword’s blade
Against the face of the moon
Across the deep of the blue
A dragonfly stops still in time
As if molded of cedar, cypress and pine
He’s landed near a book I’ve misplaced
Since last week
(At least a few days)
And the words on the page
Intoxicate me like a wine
That melts the world away
Pulling strings in the grass
Watching the trees
An aphid, he’s my friend
He’s watching me with sight-see antennae eyes
I’m watching him too…
Raven in the morning confronts the silence
With a bark
And all falls silent after him
The voice of a man who’s been alone
The voice of a lost woman saying hello
A young boy rests the rifle on his shoulder
Eyes locked upon the large, rounded seashell horns
Of a ram
I’ve been the hidden boy
And I’ve been the man
I’ve been the ram
And I’ve been the bullet
I’ve been as heartless as stone thrown in the face of man
And I have buried the dead with pity
Love in my heart
My misty eyes…
Pulling strings in the grass…
One young girl can’t be but, 22
Sits somewhere her family can’t find her anymore
Surrounded by white concrete
Watching faces in the stone
She got some tea
The Watchers gave her to calm down
But she’s plucking out the staple from the green teabag
She ain’t nothing but, 22
Too young
Curled in a bed so she was hidden
Cut her wrist with that little metal
Dead when the morning came