Two Poems


Squirrels are eating my porch     it's their world too 

I call the exterminator

Every day brings filthy compromise


I call the vet                      the cat's old enough to be neutered

(Just because I'm bigger than he is
Even though he didn't ask me to take him home
Rarely do the small and mute have things the way they want them)


Everyone's tired of my patience  my turmoil has carried me this far



When I look a cow or pig in the eyes, I see a person I don't feel that
way about salmon

I have kept     I have lost     my religious faith    I'm eating a salmon
The salmon died in terror and agony I'm eating him with a vinegar


You'll like what you are told to like

This we call the reality effect

So many I could love and do not      so many I could kill and do not

And walk through the world wearing this white face

(w/moisturizer serums & mascara)


I don't know anything    I observe so closely     I haven't lived

I thought I knew death    what did I know

Sylvia and Anne thought they knew death       they didn't know anything

(Didn't know they were going to die anyway?)


Her body one long tube with an overgrowth in the middle

My friend to be even one more day with you.


(Every day brings filthy compromise.)


I came from salt water        in August I swim in salt water

Cancer is my default horror

Fear is not the way for me now I need something bigger?

There's a crowd of people and animals heading westward on the run
There's a pack of beasts and people heading westward on the run
Powerless under the moon     powerless under the sun

Meaning is made – Wonder has no shade

(Says a placard partway down the Grand Canyon)

These dark days the clouds hide the sun.

Gravity's a bright snare

(Say I, standing on the edge of the North Rim)

To keep us locked here.

At the mouth of the ravine                                    (we are home now)
                         the Weckquaesgeeks camped

They fished swam collected oysters and clamshells planted corn and possibly tobacco

We walk every day through a haunted house


Dear values absurd chaotic and tight,

I never want to forget how this feels                 I will of course forget

Dear values absurd chaotic and tight,

Appraisal makes me nervous aggression      makes me mad   is true

The reality effect is true

Her body one long tube with an overgrowth in the middle is true

I can stare and stare and still not see it          (truth)            is true

My life is true                 my death is true                 the ravine is true


I wouldn't pay slave wages     I wouldn't sit down and have lunch with

without checking my texts

Modesty kindness humility acceptance              these too are genius

the kinds we need now

       YOU ARE


This one has no soul and that one has no soul      Death is OK for some

In the summer of economic collapse     in the summer of widespread

(can't bear to look back have done that in last book)

I execute      I exfoliate      I Gothicize


What caused the economic collapse        me so feckless and dreamy

I've been irresponsible     I have no pension       I will die in poverty

I'm a poetess       I'll be killed and eaten           I have no money

I make a beeline for the essential           I think I'm so great

(Ultimate putdown of my childhood            "She thinks she's so great.")

I ride a zipline over the ravine it's great


Dear values absurd chaotic and tight,

I think I'm so great to avoid losing light

I sit on the banks of the river        the bodies of my enemies float by

(Death is OK for some)

salmon         Weckquaesgeeks         children I'm oblivious of


I don't want much       I want        at my best       to be most loved

At my most ambitious to be most coddled

I want to be oblivious and kind

I want to be rich and humble

I want to believe in reincarnation               an eternity of do-overs

                                                                                 and because I want to

I find the hidden sun:

There's a crazy bright object stapled to the Western sky
There's a crown of fire bragging in the Western sky
I'll brag right along with it     I am never gonna die