DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Friday, June 16, 2006


See, once there was this fellow
called Thor, bigger than Mr. Jaws himself
and as good at butchering goats
as Father Abraham
skinning them without so much
as breaking a bone.
Well, it happened that he was also good
at eating
and fast, too
but not as fast as Loki, who ate so
it seemed the meal was consumed
by fire,
ate the bones and trough as well,
so it was plain who won that contest
heads down. Kept poor Thor
so weak he couldn't lift a cat.
Found himself outwitted
by somebody's grandma as well,
crooked old crone that she was.
Hoodwinked by Old Age herself, indeed
consumed by that self-same Wildfire
he chose to better.
Never had a chance,
knowing too late the cards
were stacked from the beginning
and the games were fixed.

Loki (

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Our footsteps cross the shifting wind
where sandipers dance down the shore.
You buy bananas-on-a-stick
that taste of salt, or tears, before
we lie upon that glimmering bed
below the cliffs where tides have left
shells like wet, white bones, and sleep
christcrossed, where sky and earth are cleft
by sea and froth.

Your lips taste salt, like creatures born
of green sea-water. If you bleed,
pale drops the color of the sea
will fall into the ebbing sand.
We please ourselves deliciously,
we're satisfied, and glad of life.
The world will end this way, won't it?
It will, without a doubt, and at
the speed of light.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Waiting at Main Street
and 50 South
for the bus that
never comes
and all the people
coming and going
past Continental Bank
and the FOR LEASE sign
CALL HENRY 359-8776
and the hunchback at the
pay telephone
and the woman weeping
outside the Delmar Lounge
as if it matters

Sometime I wrote:
'There is a black hole in me
that swallows light.
I am only afraid at night.'
This is not true.
At my left
another woman walks her dogs
two black poodles.
She carries a red bag
and walks slowly while
her dogs sniff at corners
and squat in the gutter.
Behind her
a window is broken.
The glass is shaped
like a W
or perhaps more like
a vampire's fangs.
Someone has shut up the hole
with paper and tape
as if holes
could be so cleverly

I see more clearly
things I cannot write
for all their clarity
before the world slips.
A thousand afternoons
the sky weeps drops
like small teeth.
If I had a throat
I would swallow them.
I have no mouth
only this pencil
and granite fingers.
The tears of the woman weeping
outside the Delmar Lounge
are fevers.
There is no hunchback
and no phone booth.
Henry is no one.
If I call up the numbers
no one will answer.

Great Salt Lake, 1984

In our moonboots
we sway against the wind,
step carefully across
the picked clean bodies
of two gulls
drowned in the floods,
feathers worn away,
washed out.
Even the sand flies
are gone.
Our little boys
kick at the wet rocks,
skip small stones far out
from the jetty.
The lake, as high
as an ocean
is the color of mercury.
It swallows rocks,
saltgrass, asphalt,
train tracks.
This morning
the moon hangs bone-white
in a blue sky,
horns upward
like the milk-glass skull
of a dead buffalo.
There is no signature
across these horns telling
who passed by, or when.

(image: Passport Journal, Lewis C. Prince)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

daddy's hard earned dimes

by chiminetty
my daddy grows lean
waiting at the scrubbed table
waiting at the scrubbed table
he reads the comic section
of the new york american
where der gink mit der viskers
is pursued by dose two liddle sissages
dose smarties
it iss vunderful

early evening
and he rests at last
in the twilight
of someone else's labor
all hard muscles
his sweat warm and random
in the loose weave of his shirt
waiting for the oven to bloom
with biscuits

my mother
superimposed on the edge
of his evening's rest
watches the bright horns
of the moon prick the horizon
and one by one the stars
write what they have seen
one by one they drop their
wide circles into her apron pocket
like daddy's hard earned dimes
turning the night silver

the biscuits are hot
the butter unwrinkles its
gold tongues down their brown skins
he reads
if I didn't belief it
I couldn't see it
let's go out for a row on der lake

und let us go qvickly

it iss vunderful


There are cats in those sandstone cliffs,
tiger-striped, black, calico, white as sea-spume,
all wild, and common, with eyes
like split yellow marbles. Beautiful:
the beach, rocky and shell-covered, the palms,
sailboats on the water, surfers, the salt wind
cool in the tangled, beached seaweed.

The cats stalk gulls, but do not catch them--
this time. Our footprints are soon washed
back into seawater, the patterned trail
we walked along the water's edge covered
with the incoming tide. We carry shells
in Pepsi cups, whorled sundials,
fanned cockles, speckled scallops
and rainbowed periwinkles, snails, abalone.

One long line of almost imperceptable horizon
separates water and sky. The cats
disappear into their caves, the sun
into irregular ancestral waves, the gulls
into the wide and graying sky.
There is no moon. And far away,
the low, receding voice of buoys vibrates
the vast and salty darkness.

And it is as if the frail sandcliffs
purr to the beach, and the palms,
and the heavy sea: Blessed, blessed.
Beautiful, the thin and marble-eyed cats,
the wild and honest cats
that dance and make striped and calico music
and comprehend a disinterested and flea-worn

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.