The 13th Month

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In the pause

the year of our Lord

with moons soft skin surface

she did remember

ashamed to be on cemetery road

with a wearisome lover , a toxic presenter .

her light lit in strangers

his first underground tantrum

the animals digging demanding ransom .

she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrill trumpet

one long note , a siren cry .

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in the pause

the lunar month kingdom come November

she did remember

relief to watch the fish swimming shallow

scales of gold leaf a washed in splendour

like spaceships on cathedral wall frescoes ember

with Saints and kings

their cut off heads in glass case transgender

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .

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in the pause

in the headlights of the dark

she did remember

the moon , her body massive

a swell , no bones the cosmic fish anointed

river salmon swim the wrong way

yearning to be back home

the second tantrum

the compass north to abandon .

platinum gifts arranged before her ,

potatoes cooked in caves and grottos

a blind pony , perfect braids , a shiny shell anklet

the Good Harbor passage running

herds with broken heart clefts

a whirlpool startling birds

causing snake movements straight into a tree

where again the drum

booms lyrics now of Vermeer mood to see .

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she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrilling trumpet hallows

its final note , Michigani’s brutal storm

her throne to sail on rising confessions possession

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .

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Last photo by Rosemary Alpert Photography

They Meet October

 

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there sways a hammock on Orcas Isle

yet shall she go towards Manitou

she moves upon a passage kissed

suspending ore the northwest sea

resting rains of pale pollution

to change the clouds of milky water

to hear the heron landing

to bend the limb from sky

a borderless world exists

a daybreak smell persists .

 

we are here now

truth turning feral in flight

where bird eggs roll

to smash on cliffs felt far below , a revolution

her wound a souls disaster

cracks at the feathered moment seen

his pupils naked thru the clothes of mist

a nest of sap flowing blood in substitution

ore the cobalt sea

a borderless world exists

a daybreak smell persists .

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there stands a doe

the deer of Mount Constitution

the ravens  caw giving words to sky in echoed elocution

and from under forests debris

infant squirrels twist

a heart huddles

how she reaches

his thighs , his belly

how she reaches , he stares

the sky now jealous of his eyes

will he shoot the sheltered deer

if a borderless world exists

if a daybreak smell persists .

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there sways a hammock on Orcas Isle

but will she sail to Manitou , alone upon

her land of blue , beloved blue

her land of blue .

 

Poem for my soldier

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decades three times gone by with tides descent

silvers sliver

mark liquid light upon her skin so white

the warriors sword cuts gold the blues deep sleep

a memory weeping

nocturnals curse a fragile stain

at choirs of gulls positioning

Shakespeare’s lover listening

I love you her breath glistening

there it is he said , there it is .

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her body multiplied

mirrors of eternity that wouldn’t die

began that summer in the Falklands burning

the footlocker laying still , laying long

medals looking from the wall

the soldier and his conquest quickening

pictures of her there inside unfolding in their christening

anywhere with you , anywhere with you

I love you her breath glistening

there it is he said , there it is .

 

Aria of the Lake

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There goes myself along Lake Michigan

naked back walking before me

there goes an uprising

a piling of stones so sorrowful

a ritual of calm tumbling

gusting god out of our heads .

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There goes the sky

compressed into a moment

there goes an uprising , a murder

a bewilderment , bewitching

the sound of sunrise

of which nothing can be said

and when this happens

there goes poison in the forests

and all those hiding

want to escape the immense of this world.

 

She sleeps in the cinema of muck

the trauma of stones rebellion

haunting the howls strangling

off the South Manatou Island .

it is everything at the same time

in the same place

trembling from a tiny hand opening .

 

There goes myself along the shoreline

the Great North Lake my courier

naked back walking before me

no mirror needed

brown nipples uncensored

lustful flight voluptuous

the souls , our flesh drowning

the beauty is blinding .

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There goes the Sandhill crane

over Pyramid Point

writing the ending first where

tonight at dusk

the moon will lay in our arms

the moon will lay in our arms .

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Lament

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the everywhere

the moment somewhere

when nightshade laid its

iris black

my lonely figure

astonished

in loud serenade .

 

the everywhere

oozing blisters

upon sore feet

deserts old from clouded heart

bleached bones stark

from faces brocade

the everywhere startling

almost afraid .

 

the everywhere

black shadows

of celestial beings

flower and fly

whose eyes wide open

have their silence

an endangered species

the iris nigricans .

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the everywhere

blooming from stream side

meadow , forest margin

the everywhere

sky becoming lake

the everywhere

black snakes with no limbs

swarm into soft luscious wounds

the everywhere

the nightshade of the earth I ate

the everywhere

the black mole on my face displayed

and the fragrance , an oasis

that one night

when tulips

they died so beautifully

the everywhere

the everywhere

my son beloved everywhere .

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the everywhere

of nightshade

the poets weep , the sheep graze

next to uncovered embalmed corpse

the everywhere

bodies a thousand with eyes

the everywhere

blue iris like lightning

open to the sun

the everywhere

music calling music

the everywhere

spectral tenderness

beautiful , beautiful

and beautiful again

something more than human

the everywhere here laid

the everywhere .

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For my son ….

 

Paragraph : Blue

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The sky was blue on April 16 at one minute before noon . It was to be my debut onto Avenue Magdalena , one street over from Clover Drive , the pale blue singing me into life , a life we are all born to die , the blue pushing me through onto earths keyboard , the blue stealing my heart , the blue separating the land and the sea by only a membrane . I’ve been watching , always watching , looking into a hued haze of violet swirling my days in New Mexico now , vast this country , nostalgic , old , fragile , faint with dark blue veins connecting canyons , cottonwood , cattle , antelope , crevices , plateau , juniper , tumbleweed  and the breath of sage sighing like dust clouds , moving ghosts over dry land , land the color of my body . Nothing is hidden here , here where melodies of wind bring forth imagination as if tears dropping from blue , drop compassion upon these hills of ivory skulls and bones .

I have been alive for sixty-five years today , today with the blue sky a circle . Those holes blue , drawn by the clouds becoming navels , the dark purple of the night are my east and west , the rising and falling of my nipples erect and exposed , the north and the south are my womb and stomach swallowed by the moon . I wish I could have another baby . I wish I could dance the flamingo . I wish I could hold onto my mother once more or play the accordion ( the green one I always write about ) or live at an ashram or walk the Camino de Santiago or fly like birds do . But I am a ” poem painter “. I was born in the bosom of Mother Earth , in a place beyond the horizon , a place whose residents have an inclination for precipitating miracles , a place under the bright blue sky of 1951 . Who stole my heart ? I’m always looking so far for it . I wish I could have back the round black mole that was once burned off my cheek bone . It came with me , an onyx from somewhere before , the day the sky was blue .

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Photos by D. Cook Photography

My Sun

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I sat watching on the sheepskin rug , watching as the desert invaded the room , invading my body becoming like the hollows of the rotating earth . I am tired . The houses gaze at each other with beige pueblo faces . I watch the wide sky , the soft ending lavender of it all . I was once married to a Christian , and once to an artist dead now , and once to a carpenter.

What is that boy doing pulling a skull along the street with a string ? Watching , there appears a light of pale pink from the moon so far away . And in that blush glow I hear my youngest son say , ” I sometimes miss my father “. How do you explain God to his own son ? It’s too much for me . I look down at my drooping breasts , the dark purple nipples he once suckled and the scent of crushed juniper berries passes into my memory , a memory of his father , his fathers paint and ink stained clothes , the very look of him , his gentleness  , his father and I walking , walking as he takes the garden shears , clearing a way thru the woods , showing me the birds , the wildflowers , the sun . He hums a song by Jim Morrison , it was to be the last song I ever heard him sing . There was that place of his contentment surrounding his studio , a place now faceless , that place I cry about . It’s been twenty two years . He held my hand so tight before he left and I wanted to lay down on the ground and smell the mud in my nose . You were only five years old sleeping with batman on the wall over your bed .

I sat watching from a room in Santa Fe  , watching the night invade my life . I am tired . Your older brother hung himself on a stove pipe a year later , his body growing plump and rotten like palm wine before anyone found him alone in Brooklyn , alone on the Road of Perpetual Tears .

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In honor of Edward “Ted” Dickerson

June 1932 – February 1994

photos by Denise Thomasin Photography

When Did She Go

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The old paint on the canvas became transparent , when ? A tree appeared , when ? A tree inside the interior of the room , when ? And a dress with no one in it , when , floaters in a landscape , when ?

The narrator :

A repetition is seen , a repetition of a motif in different places , places where the lines suddenly possess music expressing a beautiful idea , ideas that sometimes become changed , replaced , painted over , the earlier ones disappearing , disappearing from view like all the questions Jack never asked Francie . And sometimes , sometimes the ghostly presence of older possibilities reemerge , a phantom code from an earlier universe , emerging like the voices of gods , ” you have a spirit inside of you “.

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Francies diary :

I didn’t love you well enough . Listening from across the street , I watched a man with a broom sweep the snow off his driveway , the sound strange . I thought of the ” umbrella girl ”  selling trinkets while shuffling along the beach of Sayulita . The sound of her feet on the sand , sand drowned in the sun , the sun where the horizon was just an illusion . Those trinkets of silver , bangles , old keepsakes lost and strings with bells attached , attached to my mind like a fine portrait on the wall in a fine museum . And then I remembered all the doors of my life even the place where I saw people standing on a shore but not able to see what they were doing . They appeared so very tall , tall like a row of skyscrapers , tall like Seraphim , the fiery burning ones worshipping continually . I was exhilarated and terrified , that sound like the sound of snow and sand , terrified that my dead mother could now be one of them, one of the Seraphim ,  and that she was calling to take me to God . Tonight , as I write , a hymn now fills the sky , a hymn so clear and sweet , why didn’t you know that I loved you ?

Jack :

You , I saw you today for only a moment . You didn’t see me . You , standing alone in a parking lot near the drugstore . You , you standing in the almost frozen rain , the rain seeming to fall only on you . I felt the water come straight into my arms . It was raining you . You drove off very fast in your car when you once took only a slow path lasting one year . You I loved . I loved you .

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Narrator :

There is a drawing on white paper she left for me . A drawing of lines , curvy lines so small and naked in their expression . A self portrait with her wrist watch turned upside down . When , when did she do it , when ?

Credits : paintings by Meg Dekorne

 

Once More , The Narrator

There she was , yes . Her choices were different , yes . The sky was grey and pink , yes . She saw out her window , hills that had eyes , yes . Eyes so brown that their softness created a city , yes . A city for only poets , yes . There she was , yes . She had become her own inspiration , yes .

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Once upon the earth lived a man , a man tender who she loved . She laid in the quiet  not sleeping . The night was to be the last with him . She remembered Amsterdam where tulips die so beautifully and she thought of northern Michigan where tragedy had happened one year ago , a tragedy in the forest , a storms destruction . And she hoped the forest would take care of itself , hoping for mossy growth on the fallen bark to return , hoping she could shove off into the snowy woods down a hill and slide into heaven . Hoping he could too . She planned her escape during those midnight hours , of laying so still while his sleep of anxiety and sweat created a smell that had always intoxicated her , a lingering scent whose memory saddened her now . With the haziness of dawn approaching , without speaking before he left for work , she dressed into her clothes of yesterday . She pulled the curtains down as if disassembling a nomads tent from an oasis. She did everything methodically , packing her clothes , blankets and rugs , paintings , her writing desktop , dishes from Mexico , her green accordion . She carried it all outside , placing them in a pile , waiting for her brother to come , the wall of belongings looking like a carved facade , carved like the Lost City of Petra . Feeling a desert in her heart , hot , she raised her hand to touch the bones of her face damp , damp as she stepped through the door .

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Days before he had taken her to dinner , I know as I was sitting alone , watching them from the dark corner table . Looking across Main Street from where they were sitting , I saw her black eyes become transfixed on the upper windows of the long term , newly renovated Studio Hotel . Something in her life was ending and another thing was beginning , she wasn’t sure what but she knew she was letting it happen . She told him a story about her soul , how it was like an intimate plot of moist , warm , well cultivated earth with the sun dazzling hot on it and how the appeals of that small heap of earth were unremitting if anything righteous was to grow , righteous of its quality and how this soul needed so much care . She told him it would be very difficult for her to live if it were destroyed again just now .

The night after her escape , alone , she felt lightening hovering courageously . And out her brothers window the trees were moaning like the lover she left , the shadows like wild animal tracks in the abyss of the winter , the winter of 2016 .

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It was beautiful inside the cage , yes . But it was still a cage , yes . He would always be touching her , yes , even when he could not reach her , yes . All the days are holy , yes . The sky was pink and blue , yes . The sky was unfinished , yes .

 

Credits : last photo by Denise Thomasin photography