a cleaving

1. it takes at least a half hour to phase into
day one
from rock-sleep

2. lauren, katy, shiz and i roll
out our mats parallel
to one another
perpendicular to the wall of windows filled with sun
and the treetops that filter it
flickering their leaves like fans

3. katy
60something and handstanding
silver braids pinned to the top of her head
(not so far removed from the character pippi longstocking)
i’ll meet you guys downstairs in a minute
she says
and we can start thinking about breakfast

4. what, you act like you were raised in a barn
shiz says
to the four goats
while we manuver wheelbarrows past their
cloven hooves

5. wheelbarrowing through grass patches
past clucks from the chicken coop
along the gravel path
past the rosebush
like a bull
this body is meant to work
i welcome my callousing hands
my strong arms

6. we build nests
out of scythed grass
fill them with layers of goat manure, earth, kelp, bone meal
before we lower
winter squash plants in

7. ADIDAS clubhouse meeting
three of us stripped down to our sportsbras in teh sun
each of us pulls the nine of bottles

8. sunsprawled after a series of sneezes i realize
a cleaving
what i was there
and what i am here
do not cross over

9. i prefer not to use the word ‘breaking’
about horses
i say ‘turning’ she says perched at the overpiled kitchen table

train pullin out of the station…

dear readers / friends/ comrades / followers / lovers / colleagues

i am headed out of town on a two week adventure

i am going to dip my toes in the icemelt rivers that made me
i am going to find stars in the sky again
i am going dive into the sea of radical queers around bonfires, inside tents, on front porches, in living rooms and sweaty dance floors
i am going to say hello to forestfulls of treebark moss and ferns so green it hurts waving in the cool mountain clean wind
i am probably going to get rained on
i am going to watch the sunset from a grassy perch that overlooks the trainyards and the columbia river
i am going to visit one version of home.

while i am away, i will be detail collecting analogue-style. posting when i can. and catching up upon my return.

in my absence, it might be a good time to contribute your own details (just click on the headings under ‘i believe in collaboration’ column at the right).

thank you for being with me
i will return



how this body was woodcarved

like one trains an eye
through telescope lenses on stars / planets / shimmering milkspills
like one chases tornadoes across a flat
nebraska highway
like one who pilgrimages to the same body
of water every year
tell me you’ve been following me before i was born

some kind of farmers almanac
tell me about the catalogue
tracing my arc
charcoal on fiber
a history that pre-dates prehistory

my bones
tell me how they rose

not what will be
but that i have been
tell me
these veins
mapped the way rivers map (carve) themselves

the seed of suffering
small and round
like broccoli or poppy
tell me where in this body
like a pea under a mattress

of this blood
tell me you know
where the lines were cut
tell me
the grave
of my great grandmother

tell me i can finally rest
curl into the shape of sleep
that my elbows (star points) and riverways (everything you cannot see)
may be gathered
and held for a while

how this body was woodcarved
a trojan horse
a secret vehicle of fighters
or a vehicle emptied of fighters
offering refuge
to the people of
offering refuge
for the miners
the farmers / field workers
the children in india paid pennies to mine old computers for bits of precious metal
who will most likely die at 37 from exposure to cadmium and lead

refuge for those who are sold
for the man on the sidewalk today with a scab on his forehead dull brown and the size of a peach pit
for the maquiladoras

a vehicle emptied of fighters

so that it may ferry those with or without papers across borders
back to their lovers
their children
their grandparents
no questions asked but
are you comfortable? do you need anything? can i get you something to drink?

the gathering momentum

1. with a green hanky and a morning phonering
carry the spirit of fathers day
speaking the word papi
the way no one else could

2. whereupon taylor is included in the details
as if
we are spending realtime together
in today’s case
on the edge of a farmers market stand
dodging dangling plastic bags
is true

3. liz
even if we didn’t pathcross
i hope
you found the juiceman
that perhaps
you sucked down the sweetness
of mint
ice-cooled and quenchy

4. rachel and i
relocate our house meeting
to public park pool steps
where i eventually drape the scarf
over face
over eyes
while the rest of me melts into solar heat

5. in some places
in some places
in some places
overgrown yellow flower-weeds
in some places
sidewalk cement
in all places
i ran
birds lifting out of cricket-chirp fields
some patches
untouched by the long light

6. sunlight
edging in through bathroom window
through showercurtain
the last white glowburst
before sinking
orange and gold
how the sun bends around the building
to slip in this sliver of window
only later do i realize summer solstice is two days away

7. came across a photo featuring your foot
and didn’t recongize its 26 bones linked under skin
nor the curve of its toes
nor the skin itself
how is it
we magnetize until we are
climbing inside each other
against time
against the structure of language
against definition
(which is worth celebrating
that we give ourselves over to love
without fear
huge-hearted and present as we can)
yet nearly every lover i have inhabited
every lover i have become
pixelates into something other than known
is there a way we might ourselves from dividing like this
layers of mica peeling apart over time
maybe we are more than we know
which allows us to give selves away
maybe wholeness isn’t the point

8. in spain
the indignados
in greece
the gathering momentum
like the swell of an ocean wave

9. it’s true, corinne!
this is what it’s like when we talk art


1. don’t let me down
phoebe says
in a firm tone with her finger pointed in the kitchen before she leaves
and because no on has ever taken this kindof force/ tone with me before
i like it

2. some kind of response to robin coste lewis’s ‘fable’ entry from the encyclopedia project volume two:

the caged bird sings only because someone called it that
the caged bird sings because song has been used as code
as secret
as an arrow pointing ‘this way to the underground’

the caged bird may not even be a bird for all i know

the caged bird sings because she cannot believe she made it back alive from the coalmine
and had she known the cage was coming
she would have flown deeper into the oxygenless dark

the caged bird sings same as the caged human sings
it is indeed the thing that calmed me the first time in a holding cell alone in madison wisconsin
(downpresser man, where you gonna run to
downpresser man, where you gonna run to…

the caged bird is no longer a bird

the caged bird sings because if he was talking to himself
you would call him crazy
not that the caged bird even gives a fuck
but he doesn’t want to give you the satisfaction

the caged bird
is singing
about how napolean asked
what is history but a fable agreed upon?
the caged bird is singing to tell you that i’m taking your best lines
unthreading them and trying to re-weave them for myself
it is an exercise about getting inside
rather than an exercise about stealing
like that german film (the edukators)
where the kids would break into rich people’s houses
and rearrange the furniture
but never take a thing

i made a chart
of how you went from
to slavery
to buddhism
how you said there are slaves in our bedrooms, our cars, in between the pages of this book
how you said i am a leaf that grew out of you
how you stacked
and i was determined to follow every bend

the caged bird is singing in alarm for my uterus
when i perch my computer
on my lap for hours
me foolish enough to think
that a pillow provides enough of a barrier
because the caged bird is me and i don’t want to
see me
that way

the caged bird is a mascot
for every hostage of the prison industrial complex
the caged bird
is not singing
but shrieking
because he still recognizes sky
through mesh through curtain through plateglass

for our mutual adoration of sky

1. for every animal we cross on the dirt/dust path
there is a symbol
lizard = contentment/contemplation/well-being
snake = transmutation
rabbit = fear
squirrel = gathering

2. they way you walk is great
phoebe says
but your right foot pronates
and before i know it
i am standing on a cement bench with my shoes off
while traces the helix of tension
from arch up along ankle
into hip joint

3. two tiny teaspoons of cang er zi tang
stirred into hot water teacup
plus a pinch of goldenseal
chinese herb scent eliciting the same kind of comfort that some people derive from a steaming bowl of chicken soup

4. over 1.300 peaceful protestors have been
killed in the streets of syria with
thousands more detained and tortured
despite this and the severe communications blackout, the syrian people
are still in the streets
the email states before it leads me here
which might be what sends me spiraling

5. and then there is the garlic
snipped from its perfect
curing/drying perch

6. for our mutual adoration of sky
and other details

7. i spend the day
in alphabetical order
to songs starting with f
(somewhere near ‘father figure”)
the grief over very ex lover
spilling expanding via
antony and the johnsons
otis redding
midnight oil

8. corinne tells me
about the end of the film (the polymath) with samuel delany
how he made the rule
that all of his students
must raise their hands
after he asks a question
and if he calls on one of them that doesn’t know the answer
they can respond
i am uncertain of the answer, professor delaney, but i defer to (point to another student) to answer the question
and this will go on
until one student
offers an answer

9. photodocuments in the inbox:
the bruise
the altar
the letting go
the summer feet
the blue food color contrail-split sky
the overgrowth
the slip n slide sleep over
more of the bruise
the fancy eye