When my neighbor, a cult leader, asked if
he could cultivate the
strip of earth on his side of
my drive, about half the width
of my drive, with a depth unknown to me, and
which in all honesty I did
not know I owned, how not concede what I'd declined
already?        Are you saying you
consented?   Not
exactly.           But you said “Yes.”  I didn’t say
“No.”   Plaintiff claims the strip
of earth was “unsightly.”     It
unsighted him from sight of
me—unforeseen consequence of unsighting
myself from him.      So you’re saying
you grew a wall of weeds intentionally?             What
do you mean “grew?” I did not do
anything.  I 
was unaware, at the time, that it was
even my property.
            There was no deed?           Exactly.
            There is no deed on record?
I didn't do anything.                         Exactly. Plaintiff
claims neglect of property.            But
I don't do anything exactly. That’s my way.
            Driveway not in dispute.     I mean
my habit.        Your
habit or your practice? There’s a difference;
that difference is motive.
I have no will. I have a
habitat that possesses
me that I over look. Do you look after
it?       Born so late in natural
history, I look after everything. Take care,
caretaker, I said to myself
at the closing,
there's a hoard in the root cellar of this
haven—old doors, window
frames, pitchforks and 2x4s
with nails driven through—with the
Readiness and the Already in their hone
and in their dust, in their bright rust
florets and in the interior rust of the
centennial lead water pipes
the whole stockpile
leans against that run brown water like the
internal bleeding of
a vendetta.    What did you
add to it?       Last night I propped
an empty poster frame and brittle sheet of
glass that fell suddenly from the
nursery  wall that had contained a rhyme I nailed
too crudely, now I understand,
in the lath and
plaster, which couldn’t bear the pounding I gave
it and in retrospect
should have been first entered with
a delicate bit. The rhyme
concerned the alphabet: ‘A’ is for Aesop.
A bucket of water, a clock
and an articulate swimming dog with something
clinging to its nape advanced a
mutual cause.
They saw the green strobe on the dock throb code
to the minutemen and
responded as planned.     Aesop?         
I meant to say Atreus.        
Motion to Strike from the Record  Motion           I
thought they  were animals               Denied
There was a dog who recognized Agamemnon.
She was on a dung heap scratching
herself in her
sleep when he returned. Madame Bovary
is what I think they call
that same dog in hell Jane Eyre
recalled when she heard Mr.
Rochester's riderless black horse chained to the
furnace—      Motion to strike         Motion
Denied          and I could already feel the epic
concealment of the shiv as I
leaned the broken
frame on the pile of weaponized wood in
the basement when a cool
foundational fug, like the
breath of a riverstone, washed
my heart of panic. The boiler points down. Twice
a year I change its filter and
start over. Every time I descend the stairs I
trespass what I already own.
“I dreamed there was
no frame there,” my son said when I laid him
down. A nightmare or a
wish? A wish or an omen?
An omen or a vision?
Was it literal or symbolic? Was it
this? “Good night” good night “Good night” good
night I turned off the light and watched TV until
I fell asleep. “It stresses the
root system, so
don't prune in a drought,” the garden expert
warned the host; I turned the
channel to a hand in close-
up unzipping a loveseat
cushion. What tiny steel teeth the zipper had,
like the baby mouth of a doll-
house-scale figure of the hit man from The Spy Who
Loved Me whose carnal name I can't
put my finger
on—let's call him Orestes—and when the 
hand tore a piece off the
yellow foam insert and fed
it to its chewing face with
such tenderness I remembered the dripping
dog, whose howling was a wind in
itself, wasn't a dog at all, so goes the joke,
but the first war lord’s cursed earth wife
and the henchman who troubled Bond, whose one
speaking line was a toast
to love: Jaws. Jaws 3-D, the
abysmal surfacing of
mother love; the most powerful jaw in the
world is the one that sucks. Viper
is what Clytaemnestra dreamed she held in her arms
but loved nonetheless. “All the ex-
plead that they act for just retribution…
Every correction is
a blood-bath,” I read in the
Oresteia, intro. Rich-
mond Lattimore. “Don’t read that in bed,” my hus-
band said. Okay, Okay, I’ll just
finish Jude the Obscure. Terrible children of
the modern world, a shark pup in
was nursed with a garden hose. “A voice of
fear deep in the house.” The
resident on call in the
NICU, let's call her Evil
Though-Well-Meaning who inserted the feeding
tube and the spinal tap said she
practiced on herself. “Here is my own soil that I
walk,” said Orestes but Fury
had to ask, “What
is this place, Athena, you say is mine?”
Deep fear with no bottom.
I stand in the basement but
the depth of my property
line fathoms the mantle toward a core of
freezing fire. “Bring me my burning
robe,” Agamemnon said standing like a glacier
in the bathtub. Imagine the
color of the
filthy bathwater and the fetid black
wave he made when he fell           
back down in it. Want to know
why my roses grow dead on
a living vine. Prayer against civil war: Let
us hate with a single heart. Don't
drink the runoff. I always wanted a ruin
so I bought a run-’er-down. Love
love. I pray for my water
and was given a house-
cooling gift of black tulips
that are decapitated
every May. Imagine my fear when I saw
his hybrid day lillies burst through
my property. Hypocrite Marys, first, pared to
an accusatory finger
that splayed open
then like a self-flaying fish, a bachelor-
uncle's game of here is
the church and here's the steeple,
open the doors and see all
the people gassed in their seats by an unknown
chemical agent pumped through the
vents during something like a Russian rendition
of Les Mis, Miserable die
another day
lillies whose theater is dispossession.
Winner of two Golden
Masks. What next? Swan boats? Do not
tempt the gods to board your craft.
You can not get them off. The wilderness goes all
the way down and pulls the roots from
underneath. A white rush where the fire burns hottest,
a white rush, like a sacred hart
ex machina
so Artemis enters the gaping O
to console us all. It was a deer,
she tells Clytaemnestra; a deer
on the altar; your daughter
lives; the wind is still;
and your father
is mortal.