Sunday, March 20, 2005

School Figures
A student of harpoons
with holes drilled inside lungs,
and how to pack caverns
with compost from each day,

until there's no more
batting to stuff down there,
or she's unable to keep
cotton-mouthing his name,

when emptiness forms
a pond of tension
for some recognizable thing
to skitter across, or not.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Job
I've tested positive for boredom,
rushed to the balcony twice, no three times,
hung my head over the pilasters
and hoped for someone Romeoesque
to call me with his swan song
into discus hurling the whole thing:
pension, security, health insurance.

I've tested positive for Baudelaire
running giddy-up in my bloodstream,
invoking his curse for the ego power chumps:
"Manges la merde." Eat shit.

But what can I do? Centrifuge more results?
If I don't figure out something soon,
I'll be addicted to boredom.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Trees in Two Voices
Several trees crowd on a bank.

Does it matter what kind of trees they are?

Yes. Oak, Bay. A few others.
Here come birds to land in their green corona.

Can a bird choose between branches?

Yes. A department store of trees.
Right size, smell. Some trees grow more proud.

Do you mean more tall?

Yes. They steal sunlight.
Smaller trees scavenge beneath them.

Does this make the small trees cry?

No. They siphon water.
Growth is in the roots.

Can you hear what the stream says?

Rush-a-la, rush-a-la.
It's the sound of time washing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What's Going On?
Vietnam was televised,
but not the Revolution,
chants echoed across Sproul Plaza,
monks, nuns
doused themselves with gasoline
as an appetizer for a lit match,
Hmong storycloths traveled down river,
while different pieces of soldiers
chatted with each other on gurnies.

I am there on this last day
before cases are dismantled
holding an audio cassette,
but listening to something else,
as adults explain,
"The V they are making is the peace sign."

I am there in these last days of winter,
and see a man point to a display,
"I use to deliver that same newspaper,"
watch children nod with understanding,
as someone touches their finger
to history, how much it hurts.

--written after seeing "What's Going On? California and the Vietnam Era" at the Oakland Museum, August 28, 2004 - February 27, 2005