Monthly Archives: October 2010

Jack Spicer does NOT like Father’s Shoes

On another note, I did write a post on WaysWeAreLost. Take a gander. It’s rather….different.


I wrote a poem on my blackberry about Jack Spicer riding with me into New York City as I was sitting next to a priest. Jack didn’t have much to say as far as granting me a poem. We just sat there and watched the sun go down, reflected off buildings. Jack said he was concerned that the priest’s shoes were too shiny. He said he once wrote that he wanted to ask Christ to give him back his childhood. I said, No, Jack, that’s the wrong thing to ask for. We can be children now.


Jack and I didn’t get along the whole way into Grand Central, but he said he was looking forward to dancing.





I’m reading Jack Spicer on the train. There’s a priest sitting next to me. His shoes are newly shined. I can’t stop looking at them.


Jack says he’s going to ask Christ to give him back his childhood.


No, Jack. Let’s be children now. Let’s touch Father’s shoes. Should I ask him why I used to dream I was on a cross, getting off on people touching me?


No, Jack says, ask him where he loves God.




No. Where.


Oh. On his body.


The priest keeps looking at me, Jack.

Must be the cross, Jack says.


No, it’s your poem. You talk a lot about the Virgin Mother.


Where are we going? Jack says.


The city.


Oh. Right. To DANCE!


I wish I could talk to Father.


He’s very shiny. Notice the sunset off the buildings.


Hmm. Yes, cliche, though.


I like your boots.

Thank you. But honestly, Jack, I was hoping you’d help me with this poem.


No, I don’t speak to the living about poetry.


What do you speak to them about, then?





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Please Touch

Oh, very lovely, indeed. A new WaysWeAreLost blog post, which ties in very well to my last Wordling Poem.

Please touch This KNOT to read

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I didn’t know what to do with my body after being born,

so I sat with sadness, floating around in her bowl like that.

Can I touch you, I asked?


I did. I called you two minutes later,

after taking a bath,

after biting my wrist instead. You said,


I said, The sky! It’s wearing herself thin today.

You said, Should I send for flowers?

No. No. Just your voice takes me there.


You know, where I’m flying above a corn field,

touching the tips of things, imagining it’s your hair,

then my hair as a child,

and I love everything in pain and everything singing.

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Aura Girl No. 15

I’m feeling dizzy today. As though the tops lifted off of everything.


Last night my friend gave me a capsule of fish hooks from the 1930’s.


There’s a cellar in a farm house somewhere in New Mexico.


There’s a land in her hand as she opens it to me,

Stars, she said.


Tell me anything you can remember.





See these stars? See these

Stars in my hand? See

These stars. SEE?


The girl in the field swirls

Twirls herself dizzy till she

Falls down, laughing.


I help her up, take her

To the river, wash her

Body clean. See? She says


And suddenly, there’s a river

Suddenly, there’s everything

We ever needed. She tells me


To tell her anything

I can remember.




Stop, stop the singing, stop.

Why? She says, lifts her dress.

I’m feeling funny, I say.

I got the skin-blossoms to grow.


The fish like to lick me, she says.




My great grandfather built a farm house somewhere in New Mexico. In the cellar, his fish hooks. Fingered them as a child. Wide-awake from coffee and last night’s fall of whiskey.




See how the river appears out of nowhere, the girl says.

Yes. I don’t know how it happens.


Me talking to you.

You waitin’ for the man by the East gate?

Suppose so.



I think the fish like words.

Why’s that?

They lick my skin-blossoms. You want one?

One of what?

Skin blossoms.

No. Don’t they hurt?

He writes to me in sleep. That’s where I get words.

Just scribbles, aren’t they?

My body knows what he means.




The man by the East gate wakes slow, wrapped in a blanket made of wool. The patterns make him dizzy. Flies circle his eyes.


Damn flies. How you make a home outta shit? I just don’t get it, he says, lifts his body up then down the loft ladder.


The mares wait for their feed, pawing sawdust till he can’t breathe without coughing.


Let me tell ya, he says toward the stalls, I got half the mind to starve you lot. Ain’t singin for shit and I’m runnin’ outta hay.


Joe? You awake yet? Get your lazy ass up.



No. No I ain’t drinkin. Unlike you, I gotta work ethic. Look, I need you to take a couple ponies off me. Runnin’ outta feed and half the lot are duds.



Didn’t I call your ass last week to come pick one of em up?


Well congratulations. Glad to hear you’re runnin’ em good in Ruidoso, but for Christ’s sake, you know what racing does to their heart, Joe. Pulls it right out their mouth and into the mud. Kills em! I don’t give a shit what you do with your ponies. Stop sending me the spoiled ones. Listen, when you get a break in money-makin’, come take a couple these duds off my hands, OK? I’m runnin’ outta feed here! If you see my wife, fuck her for me.



Yeah. Yeah. Whatever you say, Joe.






I’m getting too old for this shit, he thinks, tears flakes of alfalfa.


He stops in front of the third mare’s stall, hands shaking, pulls the latch back.


What you thinkin’ sweetie? What the hell kinda nightmares are runnin’ around your head, huh? I got a little girl’s gonna fix you right up. Sun’s out good and strong today. What about a run in the river? Damn. You were once a hell of a spirit. River’s cold, but good for the hocks.




I placed the capsule of fish hooks by my bed. Dreamed a snake wrapped around my throat. Woke up screaming. Back in sleep, dreamed a swirl of trout tried to eat my body. At first I was scared, but warmth spread, tingled. Carried to shore. Lips stuck, eyes wide. Woke up again, wet.




What’s the book of life?

You still asking that question?

You think the sky knows?


If it’s a skull, it has a brain.

Where’s its brain?

In the heart of birds. You see my egg?

The circle you drew in the dirt, yeah.

NO! It’s an egg!


You wanna run to the river again?

I’m tired.

My head’s dirty.

Wash it yourself.

How’d you get here?

I don’t know.

Maybe through the skull of the sky.

What happened to your knees?

I crawled around, looking for my blue jay.

Should have looked in the tress.

No, he can’t fly.

How do you know?

The scissor-tale told me. She was crying.

Where’s this man? Does he know anything about 33X07?

Your demon? Did he eat your orange?

Not my demon. That man you’re on about.


Why are you screaming?


Hey! Don’t kick me! Where you going?

The river! My heart’s dirty!




Something inside wants to push through. Curtains like tongues, fish hooked. In my apartment, an old AC unit sits under the window. If I plug it in, it shakes. Shocks the wood paneling, sends dust up in waves.


Once, I ran through a dirt-devil. Could see the horizon for miles, asking me to escape down a hitch-way, nestled in a field I should know about. But it was spring. Snakes out. Which road to follow—what’ll eat you first—jaws in the dirt, or some stranger-jaw on the sofa?


Used to lie on my mare bareback for hours. Something large when you’re impossibly small, breathing underneath. A body believes it knows when it’s safe to love. But it doesn’t.

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Aura Girl Series No. 14

I don’t know what everyone’s goin’ on about. Not that great to see auras. I mean, they tell you things. You know, in your gut. Like one time, I ran into the field and twirled myself around so fast, I fell. And stars in my skirt flew out, became birds. My Friends! I said, laughing. But you know a cloud, real dark, can sometimes make you wanna hide? The man by the East came over, wobbly above me. Cloud-coat, swinging side to side. Get up! He said, Get up and help me with the horses! I didn’t know who he was then, but sometimes you just gotta do what they say. His boots made puddles. I hopped all the way down the road. I’m a bunny! I’m a bunny! I kept sayin over and over. Couldn’t help myself. I was sweatin’ and laughin’. Just wanted to make a sound. Like the sound was a bubble around me to keep him out.


Here. Stop that hoppin’.

What’s this?

Magic. Drink it.

Will I grow wings?

You bet.


My bluejay landed on the wire next to my scissor-tale. They’re friends cause they both lost their mama. I know their names cause I got a bird book by my tree.


I kept my eyes on them while I drank.


Taste’s like dirt!

Dirt’s good for ya.

You know what kinda birds those are? I do.

No. You know what kinda horses those are?


That one’s got a broken spirit. That’s what I need you for.

How’d she break it?

Well, some man out in New Mexico ran her to the ground. Won’t let me touch her.

What’s her name?

Don’t got one.

She needs one.

Well go on then. Name her whatever you want. Just make her sing.

I feel funny.

Give me that bottle!


Sadness comes through in the aura. His cloud-coat whistled when he looked at the horses. That’s how I knew he wasn’t gonna eat me.




What’d you do to the horse? I said.

Made her become a bird.

What do you mean?

Wanna see my bird book?


He writes in it.

They’re just scribbles.

No! Words! Isn’t that what you’re lookin’ for?

These are just scribbles. Not words. You write this?

No. He tells me what to write when I dream.

What do you mean?

My body becomes his. Makes me sing.

When was the last time this happened?

Wanna see? You can tell by my skin-blosoms.



Stop starin’ at me! Says the man by the East gate. A barn owl hoots above the beams. You ain’t gone tell nobody. He says, kicks the bottle over. You ain’t gone tell nobody. She’s got hands like a sunset. Damn. Gonna find the woman in her.




This morning you fought for the door to open inside you. Thought you’d find the girl in the field, so she’d speak. But the body is stubborn and you couldn’t come completely.


I’ll write about that journey. I’ll write about touching the self until it sings.


You’re scared to go there, that’s what it is, says the girl with no face.


What the hell do you know? You haven’t spoken to me in weeks.


Keep typing.


Why you scared? What’s this about knocking the body about, anyway? You got a plan to dig the voices out or what?


Keep typing.






The man by the East gate pulls a on his ear. She’s got a ring to her, he says, watches the mare chew on the fence, eyes wild like a boar.


I got just what you need, he says, walking to the barn.


A blue jay circles in the dirt, throws his body into a ball, shakes.


Broken. Ain’t gonna fly again anyway, he says, steps on its head.




Sometimes I think the sky’s a skull, says the girl in the field.

Uh huh.

You ever pull your hair out?


I do, too. Birds make nests from hair.

What do you mean, skin-blossoms?

See? Like auras, but on the skin.

Damn. He did that to you?

If you push on it, it glows. See?

Doesn’t it hurt?

Stars. See?

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Some Use Sharp Instruments, Such as Wire

After hours of trying to be wild,

I asked the coat-hanger,

Am I an animal or a star—

can I be both

distant and close—

in body and out—at once

taste of dust and blood.

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You’re Afraid it Does

You’re afraid to touch me / No.

I want to hit you, but the Lord will

Deliver me. / From what? / Believing

The body pulls in light, it doesn’t,

No. / You’re afraid–it does.

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