The Blue Ones

i. I know that statistically, some of us are meant to be stabbed. But first there is only a slight pressure, a metallic taste where my mouth could be. And some muffled sounds I have learned are cuss words. Or the shaking they do in frustration. If that doesn’t work. If that doesn’t render me in their hands, there is …

Aide–mé·moire

I am sins of decades despite duck and cover and breathing mushrooms of imagination draft age wars jungling heart attacks in the genes and pollution in bottled water fires in the belly stringing the lobes in spider webs aromas and penstrokes a mess of bedtimes numbering thousands no need to pull a Roman when Broca has forgotten   by David …

A Perfect Piece

Once upon a time on an outskirts bus to center Paris, I found her rapt in a magazine.  She shared with me a photo: a wooden sculpture, an Afghan treasure, once stolen, carried  place to place, a beautiful river goddess – flowing skirt, tight waist — (a noticeable backside crease).   She spoke in slow French, for me, how the …

Sunrise Matinee

Audio from some movie playing in the next room You wake up to the sound of it Without remembering having it on before you fell asleep   Sound of an unfortunate sequel In an unnecessary series of films Rom com or dramedy or buddy cop action   It continues in the background of the morning, like wallpaper You wonder if …

Best Intentions

never planned for much, really money is nice not spending much of it gets to pick roles now monogamy being one still lives on south side, one bedroom no car has to show up jamming with friends playing transports former second stringer to starter at rolling stone his soul releases its fears stage fright still problematic, inherited achilles heal like …

All Earth is Dull and Muddy

your body is still your body, even though they took everything from you, like the famished hare who pulls even the bitterer berries from the wilted stem.   they came easily, jarringly, and pried everything that you carried from your tired, trembling arms while the assorted leaves were making their slow descent; or while they went moldering from green to …

My Dad Speaks of His Father’s Death

When dad’s grief unbottled itself, when he could not square   his guilt over the dad he could not love, when his beast of a past   coiled him, a rattler ready to strike, he would tell the story.   I still try to picture it, my grandfather, deep lines in his red face,   trademark overalls, a Fedora tipped …

Stepping

When I go to places The seaside I am already leaving there Rehoboth Beach More water than sand More sky than water Bones of fish laid bare A new tableau each morning Tides take back All that they lay down Washing me to white To bold To bright A seagull screams just once And dissolves in my skull Naked sun …

Modern Medicine

This thing I wear around me like a talisman is copper from the earth I don’t know why it stains my skin but a healing naked mumbling tribesman will rub shaman ashes into my  wounds while cucumbers settle on my lids and warm eggs in the air pool like small white pills reconstructing a sweat lodge meditating body and knife …

Rich Ives, Featured Author

An Essay on Indifference   the technology was basic and difficult to understand the outside seemed to have removed itself from interference   as in vice applied to territory as in acceptance of questionable forethought as in don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone   No One appeared like a young boy popping out of a white shirt No …

Cage

Here, this darker map of sand. Piss and otherwise. There, your steel bowls— water and dry food. The tarp blocks the sun’s worst,   but you keep to the shadows of your house. You’re a brooder— no pacing, no bark, bite indeterminate. From dark oblong of doorway,   yellow eyes give away nothing. Sometimes you emerge, pad across cage to …

Train at Night in the Desert

Georgia O’Keefe, 1916   Georgia, it’s been one hundred years since you stood in the dark Texas dawn and marveled at the multicolored haze clouding toward you down the track. You thought the rest of your life would unspool from Canyon, Texas. You wrote Alfred Stieglitz that you saw the train, thought of him, and blazed. You had never even …