Thursday, December 08, 2005

MFA Thesis

Speaking to Shadows

By Carrie Hunter

December 2005

Speaking to Shadows

Table of Contents

Incantation 2
My Madnesses 3
[J.] 4
Circle Poem #2 5
H.D. Says 6
The Rower 7
Wind Stories 8
Texas 9
Butterfly Stronghold 10
Dream Voices 12
Void Dancer 13
A Serendipity 14
"rapid, fragile, melancholy.." 15
An Anatomy of Knowing 16
Making Omega 18
P. Says From Underground 19
Saturday Night, Pre-Apocalypse, Ignuti 20
Purging Purgatory 21
Metempsychosis 22
Unlike Ivy 23
All About the Colors: Palindrome of Being 24
Kohl-Rimmed Forest Song 25
Tumbleweeds 27
Dreams 29
Prophesy 31
Cloud-Walled Organ Music 32
Vision #13B 33
(No Title) 34
Parable 35
( ) 36
Cornsilk Zombie Flowers 37
Precision Entrances 38
It is Suzanne's Birthday and We Are All Here in Our Hats 39
spiral trance forest flowers 40
7 Shades 41
They Say There's A World Outside Me But I Know Better 42
The Shadow Space 43
"then, capsized, hushes" 44
"with sap of the impossible" 45
The Hindering Night 46
Eggs 47
It Is A Purple Speak 48
Inside/out (while Catalina sleeps) 50
Preponderance 53

"The Rower" was previously published in the webzine Eratio, "Saturday Night, Pre-Apocalypse, Ignuti" and "Purging Purgatory" were previously published in the webzine Muse Apprentice Guild, "Precision Entrances" was previously published in the webzine Moria, and "Preponderance" was previously published in SCORE Magazine.

"The Circumference is Within: Without is formed the Selfish Center/And the Circumference still expands going forward to Eternity/And the Center has Eternal States! these States we now explore!"

William Blake Jerusalem 70.7-9.

"On the one hand, a deep-seated continuity appears to link all things and all events and to lend them a significance that provokes our wonder...[o]n the other hand, we frequently reach the point at which the routine, falsity, and injustice of life inflict on us a feeling of senselessness; things happen without any evident explanation beyond mechanical temporal sequence. In this vision of the world no meaning attaches to events and things, and any effort at insight or sympathy ends in despair."

Roger Shattuck in his introduction to Maurice Nadeau's The History of Surrealism.


Manifestation of light,
of sight.
Growing, manifesting, picture,
a picture, picturing a picture frame.
Amsterdam outside skirting
windmills, paparazzi.

Manifest clouds and light,
knotted gardens, fish-baskets.
Manifest sight.
Think in visions,
thinking visions,
won't you talk to me?

Candle offering
on the windowsill.
which god are you
that wants my prayer…

My Madnesses

In my first madness, I was taken
Off to a place where only torture
Was performed secretly in the night.

In my next madness I saw faceless eyes
Peering at me from the crack in the ceiling.

In my other madnesses, I saw:

A stranger as tall as a curtain
Unshadow and engulf me

Tambourined flappers dancing statically

Cowboys hiding, trapped in their stolidnesses

Red rainbows tripping and snowflakes trapped in mid-air

St. Francis birdless, dwarfed and urban

In my last madness, I saw windmills
Menacing, pursuing, chasing me.

This time I didn't scream or hide or cry.

At the end of my madness I saw a mandala
With the shadows of trees moving through it,
Turning it, slow circling with the wind.

[J. ]

( fluff )
( crone
fireworks for
cravings and bathrobes ) creatures fleeting )
glow somewhere bleeding asunder

sever to breathe ) set

secret dolls ) ( may I

windmills ) the
( chamber of ( she
( glaring

cranium stain)

( and the

Circle Poem #2

Every circle stands outside you
The edge of the grapevine
The drums in the forest
The unreachable reaches out
Touching nothing
I should've known nothing violet
comes from lily pads Running out at the edge
of the circle Why do I peer into the void
What on earth am I looking for

Inside the dance she knows inside the dance
It is known and what is known doesn't matter
Cry or run or dance or sing the pain is known
and say whatever to the pain A bell rings What
it knows What it calls attention to The organ
pipes in the forest What they call to Nothing and
yet they keep calling

The entire night none of us can sleep We walk out
and enter the silence of green watching the bells enter
into the roots of the trees and settle there

And what he thinks he knows about what she thinks she
knows of God

The suspense of the prolongation where is her
voice The validation of someone who knows
what you know who also sees twinklings in silences

But when you take god out of the silence
Forging circles onto circles where does it
actually take you

Stellar settling stars stupefying there is no song here
It is just me here watching for the rising sea,
the rising lights words failing meteor showers
of words falling

Where they go there are no ladders
Shattered bones lie in heaps
Showing no signposts you can rest here
Or you can walk perhaps it will be in a circle
The distance makes it too hard to tell

H.D. says

Overmind and jellyfish and I am
further away and everything
is yellow, there is too much sun,
too much everything, and here,
there are cacti but they don't speak
to me and I don't experience Overmind.
I am me and puny and mundane or
I am God. The presence of God
and clarity in my puddle and I can't steer
through the woods without my hat on and
something in me knows
what that means but it is not me.
Is it Overmind? But there is no middle
zone, H.D. Did you experience a half-way
zone? I am me and stupid or something else
entirely and I don't understand that something else at all.
It is barely even my business, H.D. I am only here
for it. Spicer's aliens I understand better.

The Rower

Oars coming out of cabinets
and me in pigtails
searching for something
in green and maybe I am Holly
Hobby, and the rowing oars, such currents
inside of cabinets—where are you, rower,
coming from?

The insides of walls contain such secrets.

What is hidden that wants to come
out? What is hidden that wants
so badly, to row . . . and who, and sliver, and shiver,
insatiable ceilings—more and more,
and dipthongs and seaweed. I know
where I am going but I don't know
where I've come from.

One day I simply realized that I existed.

Oars coming out of the core
fighting against the current
to be born, to be here, to be . . .

olive oil and judah juice—I don't complain,
with such self-sustaining seafare,
crouching blankets and dolly graves,
we see fair and far but only here, not
what is beyond, in the other sphere.

Wind Stories

The wisdom in shallow connections.
Indigestion. Elephantitis. Enjambments.
or not. The things the wind can do. But.
This is not a list poem.

"Really Salacious" "Cuomo" "Don't allow
Ethel Kennedy on the plane" "You can do things"
"Austin stone. Isn't it beautiful?" "Let me finish"
"You tell the story" "You tell it"

How should I know which stories are important?
The meaning must be
in having them.

I follow your sounds. The owls
of the morning. inexactness. memory
of seashells. I let go of meaning.

I see your face in the sand. (and it doesn't
matter) I look. Where else (?) can the sand
take me, scatter me. I want to be scattered.

What else can the wind do.

The stories in me are disconnected. Wide gaps.
Like multiple personalities, they don't speak to one another.
The sensations in my body I suspect are my stories
but they are like wind, occupying voids, they will not
coalesce into words, want to stay inside, inside hollows
somewhere, avoid existence -- it doesn't have to be real.
One can be storyless, walking emptiness, remembering nothing.
Occupying wind tunnels. Sensing the activities just outside, not

A green table, banana stick ice cream, giant speaker Sousa
"Stars and Stripes" fairy-winged teenagers, hula hoops and flutes.
This experience is not story. The direction of the wind in hair.
My collie rolling in the grass. There is no truth
inside plot. Only sitting here with my ass on the bark.
Heartbeat continuing, clouds slowly moving. Occasionally, a
butterfly. Except, I am on the third floor of a library,
sitting at a green table, immersed in a memory. There
is no truth in plot, there is no truth in experience,
there is no truth in memory. Or is memory the only reality, is
truth whether or not truth, truth?

"What I know tends to become more and more unstatable."


A verdancy I never knew. And counting.
19 deer. How many different kinds of bugs?
Such green, such blue. Watching lake ripples,
such texture. A mateless swan, hissing.
The bachelor next door, hissing back. The mayflies
did not come this year. Everything clean.
Grackles everywhere. I dream I killed
a bird, I think I must have heard them
from inside my dream. I kill the messenger.
I've killed the messenger. Sick of messages.

I count 14 pregnant women in the grocery store.
I bring back 8 different types of Texas-brewed beer.
Such verdancy of life. Symbolism seems to be everywhere.
A vision creeping just around the corner. The stagnation
I used to feel, I don't feel it now, here. Cicadas
underneath my skin. Something is about to happen.

Butterfly Stronghold

This dizzy equilibrium. You know it, too.
Too tired for colors but yearning anyway.
You are always forever so far away.
Even shadows flit, hiding away.

A sinking mythology. I am too tired
to save it. This sinking geology. Slow
Terra body sinking into her bath.
What will make her rise again. Evaporation...
And then you do what you must do.
Ching-ching and bling-bling,
but sadly, and showers, and pounded
down flowers. But ring-ring,
and slowly spring. Sunshine
laughter and eventually you respond.
I know you do. red, green, blue and
red, green, blue.

Dream Voices

Dream Voice I:

Eclipse on - the full of the moon
I felt an earthquake - in the other room

Dream Voice II:

A wind came to rest
Upon a strange girl's chest

"What you don't control is the spirit, the voices, coming through you"

and wolf spirit, dog spirit, brake pad spirit,
rubberband spirit, Cynthia says
"I can help you" Raking rivers
under the rug, moth spirit, I see you.
Voice of Echo, I hear you. Rye bread
spirit, I eat you. I think Hilda
sends me goose bumps and I stay
with them for nearly an hour.
So many failures, but the men selling
roses, they follow me. I can laugh
too at despair, Henry. Rebecca,
collecting daisies, things that fall off trucks,
I have a daisy and some Bubba Dog beer
I want to give them to her, but for some reason
I don't. The Bubba Dog beer spirit laughs
and laughs. The spirits follow me and quieting

I want to wear spirals
--explanation of vertigo
I fall against walls sober
and I think perhaps I am
going somewhere – but no, I
am only going to the place
where onions go...something
about the center and never
getting there.

Void Dancer

"And behind that, perhaps the Void dances, not black, cold, or empty as we have believed,
but dancing with light, sheet lightnings spread as a series of surfaces over nothing"

And a bouquet of lights, blinking
the void is winking at me
and it is a moment of relief
things can be relieved
a momentary breeze.

I drink the watermelon drink
knowing full well that it is not summer.

The void, the place I visit when I am not listening,
um-hmmm, I say. I am split between places
and both of you want me and it is an equal
magnetism. And yes. And yes. And
oh yes. But to stay would be devastating.
Tornado turtle and kiss kiss.

A Serendipity

It's like the opposite of serendipity,
but it is somehow utilitarian.
Missing you, remembering what I forgot.
The view from here, the trees, that skyline.
This, writing with my dog.
Utter independence and that that
is the most free you can be – when you're alone
and there are kites and I notice the birds and
maybe, actually, serendipity.

"rapid, fragile, melancholy.."

and plashless, utterly.
and flies, of course.
and out of nowhere, completely
unprepared for, a Vision comes.
I don't think I believe in this
anymore, yet it is there, static
as the first one, still waiting for me, I fall
back asleep, can't even be bothered
to be bothered. rapid, fragile, and now,

An Anatomy of Knowing


To vow anything, ever.
In another place. To be certain.
Of anything. Ever.
Those that drunk themselves to death.
For art.
The hand of the devil.
What it knows.

How the voices of trees
will speak. Softly.
Rustling in the wind.
In another time.

In another time,
he spoke to me,
would tell me things.
I'll never repeat.

Different petals
on the same marigold,
rubbing together, whispering
and listening, whispering
and listening.

The things they never speak of.

Listening to the guiding trees, whispering.
Or was the wind merely the wind.
Even in that time.

Incense rising in a straight line.
Sure where it was going.
A certainty.

But through time, something happens.

One's hands are chopped off.
One loses one's feeling,
does not notice the soft mumblings
against the skin.
Is consumed by something else,
A crumbling inside.


Jerome in the desert, abandoned.

One abandons oneself.
One's certainty, lost.
One remembers nothing
but the present desert.
Forgets what time does,
how it changes things.
How tears evaporate. The certainty
of the salt-paths that are left.
The engravings there that strengthen one.

How many triptychs are abandoned,
never completed.

The Juniper tree waits and listens.

How many flower petals
dried and forgotten,
sink into the sand?

Trampled on
or carried off by magpies,
secreted in caverns
for the future to remember.

The rocks erode
around their shapes,
certain where they are going.

Making Omega

We're going to go make omega
and unmake it too.
maybe it was a sword hanging over me
but I saw it as a rose.

P. Says from Underground

say then that sound comes
sacrificing sound
throes of if and when
and I don't know. So

when it comes say what-
ever when it comes
sever when it comes.
Shading sounds for shame

at least you can se | ver when it
does come.

Saturday Night, Pre-Apocalypse, Ignuti

Shopping carts converging, something
is about to happen. Inside
of a cloverleaf concertina,
a cumulus clot.
Cirrus, incredulous clouds converge
in a cumulonimbus cornucopia basket, mirabile dictu.
A cloudberry cloudburst,
coyote clown trickster,
clupeid fish, closeted flies.
buzz buzz. Whatever, storm out
inside astral valentines,
bloody is next year.

Purging Purgatory

In this poem I am not a seal.

Nothing is about to happen.
The apocalypse is postponed indefinitely.
There is no music, no clouds,
no silence exactly either.

Shutterbug, shutterbug
trifling in truffles
that shuffle away
in their nightgowns, a hospital stay.

Methodist meteor showers
mean nothing, detail suburbia dent
metastasis slows but does not stop.

Metallic metamorph messiah messiah.

There is a leak in the back somewhere
undetected. No wonder the cancer is everywhere.
Mermism trout catches another.
The seeress sears me.

But wait, bloody was last year.
How many puncture wounds must I endure?
Seagull on the seagate says wait, wait.


Giving up
on the bus,
I cross the street
and see it coming
mid-cross, but keep crossing
anyway. Somehow,
what it takes to turn back,
is more than I have.

The man kneeling
over a box
on the other side is staring
at me, he knows
my lack of impeccability,
my laxness, my lack
of will. I think
he is the crow
I saw yesterday crowing
like he meant it but
then scratching himself just as much
like he means it,

I itch everywhere yet feel nothing.

I look again at the man but he
is gone – ghost, dream, vision –

"…dreams and visions are an obscure coinage
No sane person takes faithfully"

To believe in visions, in stark, sudden appearances
of beings from other realms, is more, is so much more
than I have or can do.

Unlike Ivy

Ladder into ivy
to know where one is going
to not know where one is going
there is just ivy
a plethora of something
and the past that…
a plethora of something else


the absence of plethorias
absence of utopias
absence of the known
and trust is required

"Unlike ivy, I die when I become attached"

All About the Colors: Palindrome of Being

"[God] shows Himself here more in that
which is not than in that which is…"

The good luck of sitting
next to a house painter on the bus
clover spells, clover spells

…and finding upon returning home
the house has been painted
what luck what luck the smell

of improvements and maybe
we are like that house on the corner
that changes colors
every few weeks. Purple and then
orange, mint green, turquoise, yellow.
Boredom, indecision, something

in our core
is kaleidoscopic, we change
we are becoming, unfolding
but never do come.

That which is, is always dead.

and the "souls of dead librarians"
a dream of gigantic jars,
encapsulated science and
lollipops for sale.

Kohl-Rimmed Forest Song

How can I call you back
without any Circe sea-magic
How could I call you back?
I've already given you my ocean,
all of it, my bay-leaves, my secret drugs.
How could I have?

In shreds I am sewn, ripped apart
¼ asleep, with my thrown hilter heart
diadem of crash crash, fury lurid fury
Hiding sinking buttercups, florid hells, I sing to you.

Which petal are you, which petal are you
brushing up lightly? But I am not a petal, you
are not a petal. We are not touching, we
are not humming. Drumming in a honeysuckle circle

Dreaming such wide circles, I cannot even see you.

The nightingale wails, the nightingale. Singing
of blue stars, I can do anything in the night. It is empty & anxious
& willful & something must be made in this time.

There is much work to be done. The circuitry must be shattered,
I shatter, how the wind can change you. Tornadoes, thorns
tumbleweeds tearing through the desert. Shattering
sandmen. Broken glass everywhere. And
that is where the sewing machine was, my mother
tells me. Sitting on the swing, motionless, surrounded
by broken glass. The desolation. The sadness of trees,
bending over, wanting to pick us up. Wanting to cradle us,
Caress us. But. They can't find you either.
You are in the wind, sometimes.
Sometimes. You are only in my mind,
in this ghost-beast paradise.
And all Time is cyclical.
That is why I cry
but I do not worry.
Buzzing bees
must mean honey somewhere,
light somewhere.

Things repeated return,
crumble into moats,
are rebuilt,
crumble into moats.

It shatters.
One steps away shivering
and sings anyway.


Do you know what I know
if I know what you know,
do you know, do you
know, Ophelia, do you know, Delia,
do you know, Helga Doorn? I
only know hallelujah
I can sing I can sing alleluia.
I will cinder in the center in the silver of your eyes.
Do you know what knowledge does not
know. Do you know

the answer to everything is (the answer to
everything is) keep, keep singing always,
no matter what, keep singing and songs
will follow you around like butterflies
(echoing) and whatever else wants to follow.

Everything is contained
in the intricacies,
seeing what sewing needles see, inside.
I know who you are in the interim.
Only in the interim do I …

talk with ghosts, I talk with ghosts,
nonexistencies, inaltruistic joys are the ethers
I am part of the ethers
I am not here
I am not writing this
I am not here
I am not writing this
waves and waves equal negation, but where am I
stolen epiphanies so far away, so far but
I’ve heard others talk about them. ice cream

leaves fetters in the wind
and I keep running back
but there is nothing here
not even the wind talks to me here.
Deserted in the desert what do the cacti want
from me calling out Desdemona
running around in circles
but not towards water,
never towards water.
I stay away from shawls
and sandstorms never protect me anyway. remember,
remember horseradish and hay rides
there are songs there are songs
floating around in that memory
memory of singing
no memory of song
just memory of singing.

Where are the tumbleweeds all going to anyway?
That summer of the sickness
before the sickness that killed him
there were tumbleweeds everywhere
while I waited outside
they wouldn’t let me in
waiting to hear the news
watching the tumbleweeds
and the sand-filled sky
I wondered what do they know
what do they know
do they know

that I am so far outside that I am inside of something that they can not even see?



Walking in the void,
the fear is
what if you don't ever
get anywhere,
walking in the void
no cities, no lights
just dust and darkness
the sameness continuing…
perpetual tunnels that never open
into light


To be eternally in your passion
there must be colors everywhere there
with everything bleeding and there is no
subsiding and there is no letting up and there are colors
everywhere, eternally in one's passion, the sun never
setting there is always light and always colors and the grass
is always growing and there is so much to do and the colors
never stop their demands


Here in the darkness here there is
hail spiraling down
in the moonshine, spiraling down
no one notices the moonshine.

Moonshiner, moonshiner I can't see
make me some light so that I can breathe


If our shadows are red then we
are already dead.

The wind shapes around our secrets,
covering us, Vesuvial.

No one is capable of speaking to anyone else.
Mouths open
then close a defeat…

And what the eyes speak of no one can tell.


"A nice happy funeral"
celebrating loss. There is
balance, and bells.
Bliss, bliss, bliss and even
Sadness carries flowers, everyone
with flowers. Nothing is shattered,
bells ringing and nothing shatters
but hearts, but that is a joyful shattering here.
like glass piñatas.


He knows me
Yellow he says
and chickens and gardens
and left behind curtains
He knows me he says
and yellow he says
and knowing and
I know him and
no thought is left behind
behind the yellow curtain

Cloud-Walled Organ Music

An impossibility
between us.
Something unvoiced, silent elephants
standing still
nothing stampeding
between us.

Katsu says Samurai
are like Clint Eastwood.

What about the Samurai
of the heart?

Strange topiaries, too strange
and statues, but not, moving slightly.

There is no threshold to walk through.

And we are not statues (or are we?). Perhaps we are
that third thing that is not “is” and is not “is not”. We

are neither statues nor humans, but topiaries swaying, moving
against our will, being moved by some Plutonian wind
from underneath the earth.

Vision #13B

A man of copper, waiting in line
stares at me and knows
that I thought he was made of copper.
Maybe he is the hawk I didn't notice
the other day, because I was
preoccupied with my own pettinesses
trying not to be late, wondering
what does so-and-so think of me, etc.

They are all laughing, but the not-copper man
is laughing harder.

I could think anything of anyone/thing
at any time and it could be
a vision too.
Soon my list will top a hundred.

The difference between
when shadows speak to you
and when you speak to shadows.

orange juice grapefruit juice pineapple juice


larva juice pickled-toe juice Peter Pan juice

sanctions/sanguine will recover who?
I am the walrus
and soap cloaks
surrender sangria
Sahnjeen in Pumpernickel
I swell Sousa and so-so's for froglegs
larva decay snails in their shells.
what sordid sails shine?
No shining/signing
No signs
for today
Dropping signs – write nonsense
for oracles
It is true. You can't say any of it's
not true

Larva is true and rose-juice is true
and so-so is real
we drink tea on Sundays
and Wednesdays are my day, not Steve's
and everything is truth
and everything is true
and the lexicon-chant t(r)opiaries
and the checkered-face
and elephants are true.
and pineapples are true
and Ginger loves Seymour
the spinach is true too.


In the sea without a name
immersed in colorless sounds ~ someone calls
for Dana ~ in the waves
there is no one. Somewhere, on land,
someone is playing drums, conga, a ritual
is taking place unseen.

Someone is calling in the mist
a white foam stills the shadows.
The boat putters slowly. There is nothing
to see – each moment produces more
of the previous moment. Moments
become undifferentiated – all moments
are the same. In every moment the same
piece of seaweed brushes against my hand
floating in the water. The seaweed is
an oracle of the future. The seaweed is meaningless,
predicting only the present. This present moment
opens my heart
and the future seeps into it, moment by moment.

The future becomes an oracle of the present.

I forget about the mist I remember
I am the mist.

( )

(Dreams are parentheses) ()( )

(Dreams are) (a series) (of parentheses)

(Reality) (is) (a) (series) (of) (parentheses) (put) (together)

What is between?()()( ) ( ( ) ) how do you reach ( ) ( ) the

(really) ( ) real ( ) that ( ) which

is between ( )( )or under?( ) the ( dream) ( ) or under


(Parentheses)(back)(to)(back)()()()()()()()()()() Where is the question

that resides

outside? ( ) Is that what is real? ( )

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
(where does it reside)
and ( ) (how do you get to it) ( )

( )

( )?

Cornsilk Zombie Flowers

Seeping I sing.
Sleeping I swim.
There is no dew on my eyelids.
Centaur shows the way. This useless
seeking of sunshine, Centaur show me the way.
Sewing dark-time flowers onto my wrists,
they will lead the way
I follow the flowers
iridescent blue in the darkness.
I don't bother with weeping,
I'm walking
further on singing for company…
I walk further on aching
for a darker darkness shining.

Precision Entrances
(For H.D)

ethereal jellyfish
knotted garden
pearl vision of a
waking bridge
quiet transitory gully
screaming and sunlit
tides of dream
seeds in the ground and
oyster abounding

the delphic charioteer
flies three times right into
the mulberry symphony
trance skeleton drunk in the vineyard

again with her domed music and tripods but this time

Delia is further underground than you,
this time, Nike has further sundered her wings,
this time, there is a lesser chanting in the woods,
this time

It is Suzanne's Birthday and We Are All Here in Our Hats

September 26, 2003

puffy bananas, precursor to peanuts,
elephants angle and shout "Éclairs"!
Sophie is sacred and seasons don't dare
oak leaves and antelopes quake hopping for hand-outs
barren-trains eagle and stumble for sunshine
sodas become shadows, while phantom-less suns
beckon five collapsing bell-dreams and if glum-shine
is sleeping where are the sad dogs with sand-mops
and why won’t they shine
with recipes of half-clocks The bell hops are hoping
for ding-dongs and senses and listening elephants
feign sleep while leaving shattered salads for Sophie is
grieving not listening, to mad willows and water-sun colas,
she is blinking and blinking.

spiral trance forest flowers

forward trance forest
winding tighter
and tighter
winding curves.
greener and
entering spiral,
spiraling, inward
an inward forest
with poison flowers
a winding road
winding deeper
and poison flowers,
the poison flowers grow
spiraling larger
yet there’s no meeting
only a strangeness
a potency
turn by turn
stranger and stranger
shadows grow longer
and darker and
the poison flowers grow
larger and stronger.

7 Shades

All about the talons
and so unlike the seven
we shake, create some
several, even seven, sail-aways
and shanties and the hail slows
I'll see it when I want to.

and shade here and
shade is here.

Seven. of them here.
all about the short ones
all about sheerness and soldiers
and sometimes
and sadness
and hating it and
not pretty at all. But there,
and there is shade
There is shade sometimes.
and shadows quaking, shadows
quake too at times.
Seven quakes at star shines.
further shades at further stars

They Say There's A World Outside Me But I Know Better

shadows sing softly and there are no
elephants in place of chimney tops
this time
this time
there are only chimney tops as chimney tops
and nothing magical comes, there is no drala
tonight, in the air, there is simply the air…
and footsteps and laughter and sirens
and the breath is the same as it always is
and it continues and we continue, walking,
looking at chimneys and then finally, not,
just looking into the air, at the faces
that appear. Maybe drala, after all, from inside
of not-drala.

The Shadow Space

There is a dearth of drums
on rainy nights
And in the silence
is the key
to something vast and wilder

In the silence is the sea
of lightning fast and
glow worm glass, last
joys don't last

I saw you tumbling down
and chanting, sighs flapping
we will be there in the interim
as we always are

Lightning fast and dancing…
chancing glistening
I love you every time.

"then, capsized, hushes"

and even
and soaking
and you are not you in the evergreens
even light
solar solder
see, it is the same here
after all of this and
the night has passed
and there is no peace here
but there are people

the smell of cinnamon,
hot cocoa
and lanterns.

...and singing, hushed, in the distance
beyond the trees.
we sink, hills fall after us

"with sap of the impossible"

and china, bent
tornadoes of the unforeseen.
I'll shadow the sense-trains
Sotheby's in ashes and Elohim
in “trimmed-down”. Will you come
when the wind is at the bridge,
when the sour song is sung, when
I am at the traitor's door?

Elegy in ashes –bleeding sores,
sheet-thin skin, vapory grin,
about to jump. Glumness of the afterglow,
it stays and curtains and we
are not where we once were
and the cobwebs breathe, saying break
down the windows, escape, sheet-metal skeleton,
don't stay with us. Curlicued

shale-droppings, dust of the floor, make way.

The Hindering Night

The hindering night. Girls trapped inside lassos. Scarecrows. Burning sage. The
night watchers. Gesturing invisibly. A halogen christ. Something is mollified. A
thorn crown burning on barren ground. Miles away. a broken cradle sinks into water.
Crashing waves, breaking land. The earth cracks. Dry straw. Burning holes in the
ocean. The girl itching. bound. Fires inch closer. The sea looking up the sea drips
down. crocheting. her hand back. The mother is weary. Land seeps into skin. Skin
seeps into land becoming... All evaporates. in time. Where do the shadows
disappear to?


Elephant eyes and
eglantine thighs.
I am the sorceress
of always
and yesterday.
I am the sour grin,
Cheshire trapped in this world.
You are here too now.
No more interims. Still,
sea-foam and shale-stone,
it is what it is
and I am not done
with cellophane cedars.

(the translucence of nature,
I could become Daphne anytime, but)

You know
only what you know.
Elephant eyes and
elegant thighs.
Love seasons and I don't know
what it is.
The untrustworthiness of feelings.
Taloned hope and seacrest jars.
I know what I know
but that is all that I know.

And you are not alone here.
And you are not with me here.

Shadows fade, become seasons,
there is nothing left but you,
turning, yellow, cobwebbed deity, only you
know where we are going.

It Is A Purple Speak

Delia will crave you, carve you, carry you
through the stain

elegant yesterday sees
me here again, nauseous again,
here breaking apart
again, breaking apart but
more solidly this time.

Delia what ribbons do you let fall on the ground?
Sordid salad stains
I am with you
in the meantime
always in the meantime,
dreamtime, between something
and something is there nothing//

I am in the nothing-time, and
secrets keep us distant, so
far away from the something,
secrets keep us trapped in the between

I am sordid with it and salad fresh
secret garbanzo beans, pine nuts
of stained joy, stained spring
I am here, am something.

(It is if I say it is)

I am here, something, stained and singing:

“Do you see what I see”

What ribbons have you let fall, Delia?

Delia Delia, what what what have you done?

like a fish out of water
sailor sailor take warning

my panic and his screamings are mine
my silent screamings are voiced by him
and with lightning in my veins and at 2 am even
and I could not ever I would not ever


“Do you hear what I hear”

but I am not here and I can not hear
if I am not here.

It does not exist if I am not present///

I stare at your eyes (what color are his eyes?)
blink blink emptiness I pretend emptiness
everything is breaking inside
everything is broken
How is the weather outside?
I look in his eyes I don’t see his eyes
I look afraid of looking

“A star, a star, dancing in the night”

Delia, Delia, where have you gone,
what have you done, who have
you become now, in the mysteries
that I cannot access, in the infinite

Malodorousness of where have you gone,
I might not be here when you come back.
I am here if I say I am and I am not-I am not,
If I don’t. elephants elephants hiding away, do
you see

“what I see////way up in the sky”

Inside/out (while Catalina sleeps)


In her dream of “something nice”: stained glass, blue horses, shock of sunlight,
star-ingly rearranged. “In the sky, to the sky, we are of the sky.”

In the picture-window…

asleep not sleeping seeming to sleep

Some things you only read about in books

triangles, triangular patterns
icicles frost on windowpanes

There are so many veins to trace to follow

We don’t even know what to call ourselves.
She doesn’t think to question who she is.

What you need, what you need
is not what you want.

leaves on my tree.
picking leaves off my tree.
what am I trying to become.

I look at the veins
drop them on the floor.

Yes I am
my tree is every moment I choose
I occupy


There are rooms blocked over
with ice.
Impossible to move through.

axes and chainsaws
and you are here too?

Austin stone does not mean you are home.

Ears of corn and pineapple too.
I am just afraid of being///bared, it is impossible

to move in here.
It is impossible to move with me in here.
I know. I am impossible and January cold.

Everything is utterly my fault
and I don’t…

You only speak to dissonance and atmosphere.


I can hear the rain in your heart.
“Shut up Shut up Shut it up”
a screaming sound I swear I can hear
underneath the thunder.

Underneath the sound of rain
there is someone crying
it is not you
it is not me ( I don’t know how)

it is the we of us together
that third creature
never born
half-way formed,
a sobbing in the wind.
(how to change things)

chalices break undiscovered, unsewn.
It is not me in the dust.
I am not me here!
But underground, buried
there is something left, small,
ragdoll waiting for the needle.
(how to change myself)

Something can be salvaged
but I am not sure if it is me.
Or you, or the we of us. Something else
altogether, something else.

We don’t know anything until it is over.


the sound of the clock ticking
swish of endings -- finality
what can barely be heard
in the background
what preponderates
what dominates and what
turns toward silence, tries to become it,
seeps into its edges.
with red fingernails and glittered skin
slipping behind mirrored facades
the mask becomes even less real
escapes the party -- barefoot dreaming
of the sun and of being maskless...
only maskless alone
only maskless in silence
sheepskin sleeping inside
barefoot alone naked inside
jewelry singing inside boxes
seeming seeming so still
but shaking inside, shaking lose
from what binds them. Breaking
free from Gold. Golden hells grasping after but
Gold can never fly the way diamonds can.


1 Henry Miller - "Wisdom of the Heart"
2 Diana Di Prima "Recollections of My Life as a Woman"
3 Diana Di Prima "Recollections of My Life as a Woman"
4 Marcel Proust "Remembrance of Things Past"
5 Robinson Jeffers "Cawdor"
6 Andre Breton qtd. in Mary Ann Caws "Andre Breton"
7 Umberto Eco "The Name of the Rose"
8 inspired by the Akira Kurosawa film of the same name
9 a line from Phillip Lamantia
10 "drala" from Chogyam Trungpa’s book Shambala: "When we draw down the power and depth of vastness into a single perception, then we are discovering and invoking magic. By magic we do not mean unnatural power over the phenomenal world, but rather the discovery of innate or primordial wisdom in the world as it is. The wisdom we are discovering is wisdom without beginning, something naturally wise, the wisdom of the cosmic mirror. In Tibetan, this magical quality of existence, or natural wisdom, is called drala."
11 from Aime Cesaire's Notebook of a Return to the Native Land translated by Clayton Eschleman & Annette Smith
12 a line from Lucie Thésée's "The Buckets in My Head"

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Because I couldn't find it online and it should be here somewhere:

Sonnet LII

It is a human universe: & I
is a correspondent The innocence of childhood
is not genuine it shines forth from the faces
The poem upon the page is as massive as Anne’s thighs
Belly to hot belly we have laid
baffling combustions
are everywhere graying the faces of virgins
aching to be fucked we fondle their snatches
and O, I am afraid! The poem upon the page
will not kneel for everything comes to it
gratuitously like Gertrude Stein to Radcliffe
Gus Cannon to say “I called myself Banjo Joe!”
O wet kisses, death on earth, lovely fucking in the poem
upon the page,
you have kept up with the times, and I am glad!

Ted Berrigan

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Not a dream poem but a phrase that came into my head while in the in between state between waking and sleeping:

I guess blood found me cold
by the time it found me

Sunday, May 01, 2005

New Vision

I was walking into my apartment building and at the top of the stairs in the entryway, for a second I saw a man, black, in shadow, and then he was gone. He was at the inbetween place, a threshold place between the stairs that lead to the foyer and the stairs that lead upstairs to my apartment. Something is being returned, the self is being returned, I am being returned. And for these things to happen there are certain other things that must be gently let go of. I took an Anusara yoga class today and there was a lot of emphasis on gently opening the heart and when you move out of poses to do it gently, emphazing gentleness of movement, slightly connected to the ashtanga flow vibe, let it flow, don't grasp or throw it down! just gently let go of that which you do not need anymore, it doesn't have to be violently or angrily left, but gently, no one gets quite hurt that way.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I don't care about a stupid lawyer dying but Robert Creeley!! NO!!! FUCK!! Its the end of the world now...

From my commonplace book:


Have I bricked up unbricked what
perspective hole break of eye
seen what glowing place what
flower so close grows from a
tiny brown seed or was it what
I wanted this after imaged green
round sun faints under blue sky
or outer space that place no
one knows but for this echo of
sketched in color the stems of
the voluptuous flowers patient
myself inside looking still out.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I think the combination of this never-ending flu and livejournal being down is a sign to write in here after I don't know how long it's been. The flu has been teaching me how to live in my new apartment. Living with 4 others for the past 3 years is a very different lifestyle. I know longer know how to be alone, to just be at home. But slowly this illness has taught me how to just be slow and reading and writing in bed and meditating and all the slow paced things I used to love. When I lived with others I had to escape so I lost the ability to meditate from being constantly escaping, always being in public view, always "busy". When you are always reading in public you cannot read 12 books at once because you cannot carry them all. Yes, I am reading 12 books concurrently! It is good having so many more ideas coming in at you, I am having so many more ideas, writing ideas, journaling pieces come out of me, I've regained myself but still miss the "public life," reading and writing in public is somehow proof that I am a writer and a reader, an intellectual. How do I prove it now? By creating great works, I suppose. I am no longer a student in cafes but a real writer and intellectual who writes at home. Professional writers mostly do not write in public. The real work is done in privacy where you can eccentrically throw paper and books around in a mad rash of creativity.

This flu has also gotten me in touch with god a little bit more, and this constant coldness in my hands and feet have gotten me back to meditation, it fixes it! God sometimes does want you to go to dark places, dark nights of the soul are a necessary phase in the spiritual life and unfortunately, it is not a linear path, one where step 3 will be over and done with, no it is circular and you repeat all the steps over and over, like reincarnation, I'm not sure you really understand something after you've solved it once, sometimes you will but not everything, you have to keep reliving a situation until you really get it.

My 12 books are: 1 novel: The Girl in the Swing, 3 books of poems: Cummings' Collected Poems, Harjo's The Woman Who Fell From the Sky and Killian's Argento Series, 3 spirituality related books: 2 yoga books and a book called Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by the seminarian John O'Donohue, 4 literary criticism books: 2 on Robert Duncan, Whorf's Language, Thought, and Reality, and G. Stein's How to Write, which I'm counting as lit crit because I don't understand her and it goes much more slowly, and an H.D. book of novellas: Kora and Ka.