Do what we must, yet cannot do alone
and lay your solitude beside my own.
-W.H. Auden


vapor drew the lines

there is steam rising up in circles around her face,
touching her brow, her long hair, pulled back,
her spanish cheekbones, her dark french eyes

i am watching her, listening, looking away
hearing the mountain stories, looking west into the deep fog,
the blurry city lights, blinking vaguely
the mountains i can't see for mist, but trust the same

we, the three of us, are deep in this hazed water
relaxing and fearing at once, still and quiet and whispering,

and the images, images, images!

the woman, murdered by Crow, in her octogonal wooded home,
the couple bravely headed to alaska,
the girl, hung from rafters, in the garage i was no stranger to
the man, snuck through window, to hurtandhurtandhurt the sister
(she's still alive, you know. she's a lawyer, she lives in denver).

i don't really know how to say things.
i will say it again.
i have said it before.

but here we are, this rainy midnight.
this hot jacuzzi tub.
here we are, clouded, surrounded by fog.
looking through a scanner darkly
a mirror shrouded
believing in beyond the veil,
or trying to believe.

oh january burning! with your stories that cut my life!


you may or may not recognize the sound of two owls calling
to each other, like the ones i heard in the pine woods this evening.
it was not far from my house, and i tread the ice carefully,
waiting to hear them sing.

and then there was the deer, running on hard snow
that unmistakable thumping

the yeast bread is rising in my kitchen,
made from freshly ground wheat
(by a motor, not stone and hand).

and i still don't know how to explain things
why some would kill a swan, senselessly, for pleasure
why a dearest friend's father would stand (deservedly?) accused

these are grave times, and hope in ourselves turns bitter
betrayal on the tongue
(so we are practicing not to hope in ourselves, anymore).

50 loves, 50 woes, our buddha has said
(a mantra we will not soon unlearn)
but you, in your backwards, insane way
choose all fifty.

to cry for the forgotten, suppressed things
to be tender in the midst of ice,
to look for the robins in the middle of winter.

these are your ways (to hurt again and again and again, as a child)
to trust and hope and believe.
well, nonsensical though they may be,
to follow them is the way to Peace.


I want to open up these silent cords, move your heart to tears of joy

I will throw myself into the ocean
Dive head first into a pearl factory
Clams will work me till I’m lovely
I’ll become a diamond in the sea

Ruby Parasols show Saturday night