How to Read Unedit

First, pretend to trust me. Trust that I’ve spent time on these poems and that I’m actually leading you somewhere. I won’t remove my hand.

Read aloud, or at least whisper the words as you think them. The rhythm is practiced and goes in your mouth.

Read slow. These poems are meant to anchor you to a deeper, more connected life.

Read in weird places. This one’s for me.

Most of my poems feel the same way about the world. If you’d like to narrow that feeling click on a LINE —>
It will group my poems into little pockets.

If you’re on a mobile device, you may not be able to see the LINES. In that case, scroll down forever, or start with this group of poems I think are my Best.

And do respond if something strikes you. I find talking helps.

Flat Earth

I remember in church
a woman was having trouble
praying to God

sexually abused
by her father and now her husband
she couldn’t take another man

Make God a woman, the pastor
told her. Granted, this
was a Methodist church

Mom liked it for the choir
Dad always felt
he could ignore what he didn’t like

the matter of interpretation
some things did happen. my brother
did slay his memory

he did find a dead spot
in the woods
i knew of it

in the way one knows our planet
through pictures
through the elements of trust

wind, fire, through blood
like a meteor disintegrated
how can I ever

get far enough away
to see
what is really the world

to see it touched
by the hands
we are told mean time

and know the forest
for the stars
how on Earth

will I recognize
my mother, her face
like there had been people

The First Person to Try Milk

I think about this with drugs
how someone
had to try them first

the farmers, their crops
grown to burn &
gasp as they were lost

grasp toward your body
hand me the lid
& neck of a jar

the kindest animal’s
milk, no
running

fuck your brains out
put them back & mail them
to where you’re going

tell me the poisonous
plants you’ve tried
so I don’t waste my time

After Climbing a Tree

half of you begins alone
cast in doubt among rocks
by chance fossilized
inexplicably timed

asked to trust the atmosphere
to observe your body’s
race into alignment
without really participating

the mind wields
a sword-stick
of soul

time will enclose
the others, their colorful
straws poked through
puddles of air

you learn man
from dangerous man
the mountain range
at which love
becomes too much

you know things like
righty, tighty
lefty, loosey
bleed the faucets
for a freeze

father will always
come get me, even
if I’m not myself

night brings the sun
in, out of the rain
father’s armpits
smell of brown fruit

you know things like
if I got up here
I can get down

Voyager 1

baby birds cry
to expose the red insides
of their mouths

so that the parents
can deliver food
any sound

they make
is just screaming
it attracts possums,

raccoons
we sing, we scream
in both joy & anger

we certainly cry – in
everything we say
we are saying

Here I am
Come get me
like baby birds

preferring the company
of whatever’s out there
to nothing

The Earth Two

when a child picks up something
delicate she often crushes it
or pulls it off the tree

her hand
may as well be
a tube to the brain

the insides of worm
and aloe vera
upward

each first contact
a benevolent ownership
so nothing bad will happen

no, because I
will put it back
such confidence

the minnow, the grape-like
clutch of frog eggs
especially the flower

how do you explain
what is alive?
once we killed savages

I find myself saying
if you leave it, it
will get bigger

as in
there will be
more of it for you

 

“..finding a second Earth is not a matter of if, but when.”
-Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate