Tuesday, October 27, 2015


For Sylvia Plath's birthday. Born in a difficult part of the year.

Clear the Table
Everyone looks uneasy when you say you'd like to help.
They might murmur a little kind approval, but the truth is
They resent you for making them watch, and making them pretend
They're not watching. You stack it all up high,
And then a little too high. There you go.
A matched set shattered. Your mother's mouth
A gnarled line. It had been
In the family for years.

Photo: Mine. I think they'll be all mine from here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brazen Mail

Split Skin

The years come down to naught but
A catalog of places to avoid touching.
Oh dog, stop gnawing your sore spots.
You forget where all the wounds are
Until night, when the coffee table grows claws,
Or a bright morning--you're clearing the garden,
And a wild twig, light green and high
With grassy juice, snaps back at you.

The last condo office lady used to put a poetic or inspirational quote on top of the weekly bulletins she'd hang in the foyer. Last year around this time it was from Longfellow: "Magnificent Autumn! He comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent." Except she had a typo in it and it was "His crimson scarf is tent." And I'd see it every morning and think, that's really interesting, that a scarf could be a tent. What a weird sort of modern construction for Longfellow to come up with.

Photo: mine