Arse Poetica
Herein the question
of what a poem is is
more important than
what it says. That said,
no poem ever fails
to extemporize
its reason for being
what is essentially itself.
Trees smear
train window
more immediate
forehead grease
(what I write about the everyday is
not my experience of the everyday)
a vestigial armrest ashtray.
A genome isn’t made
of letters—this is

hard to remember.

Narrows, shallows, knee
pockets, sockets I can’t see

the back of, my body is half
a map and the rest is history.

What I can’t know
beyond recollection I put into words
to see how it seems.

How I Look in the Mirror
One day I will have lived
between two points in time
but how many in space,
that which describes
what it displaces—
head, flag, beach
bucket. This isn’t
right. What is displaced
by described light?
“To survive” means to be
alive despite what nearly
took you or did the dead.
My faceful of arrowheads
pointing at—
don’t say don’t talk
to me like that like that.
Cold Comfort
If I could find just the words
to necessitate this occasion,
I’d have the golden apple
to let molder on the sill
of heaven—dull, sunless,
more or less than “cerulean”—
instead of this resonant
coffin, its silence
the tossed clod
you didn’t intend
to soften the sound of the rest.
My footprint, as in footage,
is all around you, as in snow
shapes you take
to follow home.
My outline is missing—
you pulled it out
from around me
like a thread.
But nothing is lack
of anything, even that
which we don’t know yet.