Monthly Archives: November 2014

luminous

gold-capped bottle
of plumeria oil
transported in jacket pocket
revealed in fading-sun kitchen

_______

white man’s land liana comments
upon the discovery of the
collared / leashed status
of the barking dogs
that compel her to reach down and grab a rock

_______

there are no stairs
in taos she declares
near the goldfish pond
noting the seriousness
of this slinky dilemna

_______

poet/farmer/activist she says
perched in an oversize
wood-carved chair
that requires a short ladder
to get up and into
whose perch offers peak views
and the pinking of clous
in a dusky sky
posing a question of preferences:ropes and knots

_______

the trick she syas
(to hula hooping)
is wide feet
one in front, one in back
and rocking

_______

perched at kidsize
blue picnic table
we lean in
laughing about the difference
between a chimineeeya
and a chiminea

_______

blue handled scissors for
cutting along the lines
a sheet of temporary
math tattoos
while the four of us sit
and sip at the best seat in the house
at the adobe bar
(sunken area
next to the flame-filled fireplace)

_______

arm-in-arming it
down the curving
sidewalks of kit carson
in the dark
which comes so soon
these days

_______

i don’t call them my dead
instead i say those who no longer inhabit
this world of the living
and introduce them
photo by photo
name by name

_______

fellowhsip of the fellows
minus the mysterious nicholas
gathered for the final time
around a pot of thai bastard soup
passing stories in french/english/spanish
partaking in a writing game and
engaging questions of community programming/arts practices
luminous generosity one might say
about the tune/tone

_______

to fall in love
says violeta, 70 years
when asked what’s the big change
she wants to make
in her life
_______

leon tells me
at the table
how to say hello in navajo/dine’
(yah’ at’ eh)
talks about not making eye contact
(a glance at first, but then looking away)
because it’s read as aggressiveness
and mentions conditions
similar to a third world country
the kind of thing there is no way
to prepare for
_______

brilliant collaborationship (small projects and life projects)
meaningful work
banishing fear and what gets in the way
deep connection to land and people
same shit i write every month i say
joking about my addition
to the go-around of wishes

_______

jeff the percussionist/projectionist
grandfather of three (each aged 2 1/2)
and the power of what he wishes me
for my journey into the four corners
which i take into my heart
strength
hardyness

_______

you’re walking away from yourself
leon describes the psychological condition
of leaving one’s creative practice

_______

we shut this place DOWN i joke
with mara making my way out the door
of our soup gathering site at 12:45 am
after party at my place i pretend shout

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and me my bear claw

under shine of sun
in gravel parking lot
muddy cat prints walking down
windshield from roof to hood

_______

i’ve decided it’s my treat
sheryl says sitting
across the fern table-cloth
while she awaits her bread pudding
and me my bear claw

_______

sometimes the man with the cows and alfalfa
(our neighbor) will call us
when he has extra water
to see if we want it
and then he’ll send it down the ditch
tania says in the field
pointing out the acequia

she shows us the sandbags
in front of the pvc pipe
used to block the flow
when one field has had enough

three-to-twenty she answers
when i ask how many show up
for the acequia community weekly meeting
which starts at 7pm
but if you are there at 6:59 or 7:01
you’re too late

_______

exchange:
i leave a small bag of
sandhill popcorn
on the weathered kitchen table
and on our way out
tania hands us each
a plastic bag
packed with dirt-covered carrots(either too small
or too broken
to sell)

smell of earth and root
home

_______

where the dirt road
turns to pavement she
asks me the length
of my longest relationship
and somewhere in there
i mention gratitude
and mediocrity_______

peach/rose painted water tank
rising up out of
sage-brush
into  skyblanket of blue

_______

IMG_5919

(foreground: irrigation ditch
background: taos mountain)

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a bloom

practice reading
in a living room
filled with
natacha’s french
manuel’s spanish
and my english
unraveling the tale of
milaya
and the mountains that hold her
but don’t have arms to hug

_______

what unfolds at a table
over an impromptu lunch
of salad and home-made carrot ginger dressing
is served
along with  splashes of red wine
(mystery age revealed: 47
and talk of chinese zodiac
and the major shifts that occur
every twelve years)

_______

blanket of snow still laid out
beyond the north-facing door
of natacha’s casita
while all the rest
spent the day melting

_______

what do you mean
when you say
you felt low?

_______

a bloom of plastic bags
in a garbage bin that reads
no plastic bags
_______

sunset softest clouds
blushing
except for those along the mountain ridge
glowing molten fuchsia
_______

final installment
in the seemingly endless
haircut series i think i
got it right this time

_______

how fast and slow
the same week can pass
time meted out
in the space between
correspondences

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fellowship of fellows

mike brown
is still dead and
darren wilson
is still free
and ferguson
a metaphor for what’s inside of us
still burns

_______

natacha and i talk
through cracked-open desk window
(her outside, me in)
and i want to make a joke
about a drive through

_______

pointing to the empty chair
at the round table
i say helene is with us

_______

the skitter of a rhinestone button
(throws rainbows in sunlight)
across the floor
as i pull the cardigan (buttoned)
on over my head

_______

luminaria lined up
licking warm light
into the well of night

_______

after a report on being on high alert
it doesn’t take long
for the evening’s joke
(about a drug called lert)
to form itself
and has us laughing in the night
as we head north on paseo

sounds like a dr. suess word
snerts doing lert i say

_______

bubbly water
effervescing
in globe-shaped
wine glass
while candles flicker
light onto off-white walls

_______

how hard we (fellowship of fellows) laugh
in mara’s red-carpeted living room
as tom reads
and how hard
the silences land
after that

_______

light moves through
blown-out black velvet
tacked to wall
10 feet tall
fabric kinetic
what we find
in the shadow

_______

under the adobe arch
i thank mara
for reaching through my antagonism/ambivalence
about this day

_______

sky burned out
stars glinting through

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land and sky

other other news:
the mountains and sky are humming
today bright blue
is the theme color

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today is an oyster knife day

times like this
(the news of no indictment
meaning no justice
meaning no restoration of some dignity to the brown family)
times when unearthing words
that are difficult enough to find
not to mention dig up
call poets to step up
to push through our own muteness
not to give voice
but to add voice
to the swells in the streets

times like this meaning
enough rage to raze a city
and that’s just what blazes in me

i was once handed an oyster knife
and given this quote
i do not weep at the world
i’m too busy sharpening my oyster knife
(zora neale hurston)

today is an oyster knife day
stepping into the street
(and those there in spirit
but unable to make it)
a version of sharpening a blade

(every day in the u.s.
is an oyster knife day)
as long as black people are disproportionately
harassed, arrested, shot and/or killed by cops
today is just one
that twists the lens
bringing brutal clarity
into sharpness

not that this helps anything but
a fantasy: more unarmed citizens
reaching into the windows of cop cars
for the throats of their killers

not that i want war
but it has already been waged
(and is raging)
war: that darren wilson’s testimony
is 80-some pages long
while all we get from mike brown
is the silence of his blood-drained body
face down in the street
for four and a half hours
(a text too dangerously open
to interpretation)

war: that eric garner reminds someone of their father, their uncle
that trayvon martin resembles too closely a teacher’s black teen students on the west side of chicago
that mike brown is built the same as one’s younger brother
which is enough to feed a fury of
can’t-sleep-at-night fears
for the safety of loved ones

war: riotcops
sporting badges
that read
i am darren wilsonadvancing on the grief
tamping down the outrage

 

 

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plundered

thanks uncle leon i sing-song
to leon who bought me
a $1.50 sticker book
of authentic kachinas
_______
how i cheer/clap over the phone
to chane for his ukelele tune
naming the specialness
of this serenade
_______
in case you should be wistful
for your norteño new mexico landscape
i say i’ll write you a weather report:
mountain tops cloaked in cloud shrouds
snowsmattering under a heavy skyblanket
_______
squeak-crunch of boots
across new thinness of snow
under a starsky walk
down the drive
home
_______
she calls the plundered plumeria
a thought-bridge

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