The Violent Pride of Flags
The Violent Pride of Flags
When the only hand left to play
is full of hearts and spades
When there is rain
sharp and smooth as swords
When there is stillness
violent and proud and flags
steel as strong as snow
blood as deep as memory
I will know you've left
When he lies with alabaster hands
folded across a fractured heart
When she sings for screaming
like her mother did
and finds a black knot of nettles at the back of her throat
and draws them out across her tongue
and speaks through pain
then I will know they're alone
When the king and crows are grinning
When the wind is brittle as the distance between bones
and I understand the paper frailty of skin
When the sea engulfs the island
and all the gaps are sealed by fire and gold
When your kiss is full of blood and poison
then I will know you're not coming back
When all the books open automatic
and all the words inadequate
When the only incense is your perfume
and the only letters I can read
are the scars you left behi
The Woman and The Rib
The Woman and the Rib
Dreamo on the last lazy legs of afternoon
still high from smoke and fire
sees something shine on the infinite invisible horizon
It is circular and clean
a spinning sickle in the sky
cutting crosses into clouds with the rhythm of sex and rain
It falls and splits the sea
a wound unto the rock
gouges out the heart of all the earth
The earth bleeds into a sky cut with crosses
Blood is measured into roses by the gallon through the cross
and roses burn the dozen trailing smoke and paper
each petal a page of inverse script
slick as knives, rough as rust
rubbing wrong along the skin of backward bent wrists
veins full of letters and noise
A scream wakes him
clean as sweat
and God is standing watching over him
fingers on his arm
Dreamo lays next to God
in the loosely tied arms of an unconscious woman
and he remembers
being drunk in the afternoon
stumbling along the shoreline
God not far behind
running from something that wanted them
or chasing something they'd lost
Angels and Octopi
Angels and Octopi
Empty glass clouds
Angels and octopi dancing
Angels with opals in place of eyes
footsteps like fire
and swords for hands and hearts
Just bones, stones, and feathers
sapient and strange
Octopi with tongues in place of tentacles
seven stolen winds from the seven silver seas
and an eighth all its own
a visible vibration the color of smoke
wreathing the body balloon
buoyant and soft
showing the shape of the wind
There is no sound save hissing
and rhythm of stones and bones
There is no song save dancing
a string of symbols without meaning or name
issuing from the mouth of the sun
IIIHer: When I come will you fall in love with me?
Me: You know that I can\'t do that.
H: I know, but you will anyway.
M: I won\'t.
H: You will.
M: I know.
H: It\'s sad really.
M: The inevitability or my predictability?
H: Our compatibility.
M: But we are the opposite ends of existence.
H: Which is closer than you\'d expect.
M: What keeps you here?
M: With what?
H: Innocence, freedom, distance, and beauty.
M: I am not beautiful.
H: And you never will be, buty ou might make beautiful things.
M: It depends.
H: On what?
M: On how close you come.
H: Will you break if I come to close?
M: Only if you come too often.
H: But then we won\'t have to worry about that with you, will we?
M: Ah, but that\'s a secret we\'re not sharing.
H: Which secret? The one about you and the two women or the one about you and wetting the bed?
M: You enjoy this don\'t you?
H: (Spins and grins and asks innocently) What?
M: Dangling me over the fire.
H: I love to watch men burn.
M: You love men.
Moment of ReplyMoment of Reply
Sleep well little sister
and try not to cry
for there is too little time to spend it on tears
or talking to phantoms without any faces
The world is too big
and your room too small
to believe that this is all there is
and ever might be
Despite the distance between here and tomorrow
Despite the difficulty of family
the flimsy silhouettes of friends
and hard weight of money and debt
there is still something else
something untold and untouched
a shape without corners or edges
a space undefined
a color you've yet to uncover
spinning somewhere inside your chest
A coin that is yours to spend
but yours to earn as well
It is yours to learn to stand
and discover motion amidst gravity
to wait and know patience among the hurried
to smile and know peace among the angry
to remember yesterday and not forget tomorrow
to see tomorrow without releasing today
There is nothing easy in this
nothing simple or true
and very little to hold on to
There is only the repeated quest
The Complication of CatsMe: Have you always been a cat?
Her: As long as you\'ve been looking.
M: And before that?
H: Before that I didn\'t exist.
M: You did.
H: I did. But it didn\'t matter.
M: Oh. Was that difficult?
H: No. Not really.
M: No? What was it like?
H: Like being naked.
M: On what?
H: On who\'s around.
M: Oh. But...you\'ve been a cat as long as I\'ve been looking?=
H: Yes. (She flicks her tail.)
M: I guess that might explain why you treat us all like mice.
H: Only when I\'m hungry.
M: What\'s it like being a cat?
M: So it\'s like being naked?
H: Yes, but furrier.
M: Do you like to be touched?
H: Yes, but not always.
M: Can I touch you?
H: Maybe. That\'s up to you. (He reaches behind her ear and she rolls on her back and bites him, breaking the skin.)
M: Ow! That hurt.
H: I like to bite too.
M: You could have warned me.
H: I could have, but what fun is there in that?
M: What fun is there in blood? (He sucks the injured finger.)
Dreamo in the Bus StationDreamo in the Bus Station
When Dreamo needs to go somewhere
he goes to the bust station
Sometimes a ticket appears
sometimes it doesn\'t
When it does
sometimes it is to the place that Dreamo wants to go
Sometimes it isn\'t
But even if it\'s not the place he wants to go
it becomes the place he is going
While he sits and waits for what he needs
(for what else is there
but needing and waiting?)
He watches children go by in strollers
and he sees them with gypsie eyes
like tiny jewels in plastic rings
to be spirited off
to be taken with ten hungry fingers
like spider\'s legs or tentacles
in an absent moment when mother looks the other way
at something shiny or special
with her woman\'s eyes
Sometimes if he\'s hungry
he looks at the strollered children
with unruly cannibal eyes
so that their skin peels back in a thick red line
and their eyes pop out of their still tender skulls
with two juicy sounds, one right after another
and the meat comes off their legs in delicate little strip
What Dreamo SeesWhat Dreamo Sees
What Dreamo sees is mostly not there
That is: it has yet to take shape, take form
take time to realise itself and exist
His parents used to say to friends,
standing in the yard watching little Dreamo play
\'Dreamo sees things that just aren\'t there\'
with their hands over their mouths
and their mouths filled with midwestern frustration
that Dreamo inspired in most of the hard working people he knew
He does his best to fill in the spaces he sees
the places between the lines that need attention and color
He uses the spray can in his back pack that clicks gently to itself wherever dreamo walks
as though counting the number of steps from here to there
Dreamo adds what he thinks ought to be and isn\'t when he can
Sometimes when Dreamo meets girls he sees what they are hiding
behind makeup, pretty clothes, pretty smile, and sometimes sex as a last resort
or sweaty bandage that, in the dark, seems something like love
He sees what they pretend is not there
and he smiles at th
When Dreamo Met GodWhen Dreamo Met God
Dreamo met God on a Tuesday.
God was rolling dice at the beach
with Paco and Sammy
when Dreamo appeared
slouching against the white flaked sea wall
with no shirt
his boxers peeking over the frayed edge
of his dirty denim shorts
´Dreamo´ God said
´Give this dice a little kiss for me.
You´re luckier than I´ll ever be´
Dreamo farted and God rolled 11.
Dreamo yawned and God rolled a hard 8.
Dreamo disappeared and God cracked the bones agains the seawall
one more time before the cops broke it up
and hasseled God, Paco, and Sammy all the way down the beach
past the 7-11 on Pearl St.