patterned chaos

with a hand turned inwards,
pressing hard on skin
until it’s red,
forcing a mark to be read-
does it matter if it’s accompanied
by a banjo?
can’t banjos be mournful
or is it just bagpipes?
the hand presses slowly,
as if turning
a screw.
I imagine a screw being fitted
to my heart
and I think it would be special
to feel a clockwork ticking
without wondering 
it will skip a second,
taking breath from the throat
where the right words have been lost.
I have been lost.
but all is well – so well –
with so much sky above
and all its patterned chaos.


I can be carbon-dated 

Halved over and over,
I can’t be obliterated
as my atoms keep splitting
and reproducing-
which I almost understand
(even while it gives me a headache,
I can picture my body’s renewal).I’m not sure where
memories are carried
or how spirit can be explained
with blood terminology
or atmospheric equilibrium.

Would you take half of me tomorrow?

I can’t vouch 
for three dimensions
when I feel I’m spilling over
into a fourth or fifth.

can you read me, Major Tom?

the jarring feeling of waking yourself
just as you’re beginning to slip
into a beautiful sleep…
your hand relaxes its grip
as the book you’re reading
makes a loud thudding sound
as it drops to the floor
you dream of floating…
and a book with endless pages
being turned by monkeys
and twelve astronauts trying to spell
on their ham radios
laughter doesn’t weigh anything
but it causes atmospheric disturbance
you can balance a book
on a nipple in space
but you’d rather eat the pages
than risk a paper cut
and reading naked in space
is not for everyone


These few days have been madras
with a twist of peated scotch.
I wonder at the cool breeze
chasing me from the mountains
and find I crave warm bread
and you.Would the leaves hold secrets 
or do they shed their storied colors
with abandon like veiled dancers?
With an upright stance
and a kick toward a spiraling tomorrow,
we flow the way of late summer creeks,
swift and ahead of the sun.