Choose the negative space,
And focus on what is filled:
Either the knobby vase,
Or the faces in profile,
Twins or reflections.
The failing daylight
On the last day of August
Or the almond-shaped
Shadows of leaves
Smudging the walkway
The endless options that fill
Ready to solve our needs.
Can you flip this scene
And see what these obscure?
Hunger, the desire to clean,
To control our neck
Of the woods, the anxiety
That hovers above our choices.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Choose the negative space,
Friday, August 28, 2009
We planted the vegetable garden,
Across town, to a home with a smaller
I often pictured another family (blond
Dark-haired father, two little girls, not
My family, but just not us) kneeling or
Uncovering the carrots and onions
To warn them—do not dig too far to
What would they make of our pets’ bones,
That stay until they have crumbled into
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Nordictrack, Gazelle, Bowflex:
These sound majestic, like Greek gods
Or names of mountain ranges.
When they arrive at her doorstep,
A heap of metal bones collapsed within
An enormous brown box,
At that moment, the dream dissolves.
She called a stranger and asked them
To send it to her, two weeks ago.
Ever since, she’d been imagining
Carving herself, as a sculptor reveals
The figure within the marble
With a sharp tool, a blade, perhaps,
Or a chisel. These machines could cut away
Everything extra that had settled
Around her body: routines of
Seatedness, rewards she bestowed
Upon herself, generously as
A parent, her persistence and
Her comfort, the fatigue and aching neck,
The muffled longings.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
For I have looked up at the steep, towering buildings
Forming the maze of the city,
And have been sent reeling,
Have felt the street tilt and pull away from my feet
The sheer grade of its stone face
Tipping the horizon on its axis
Monday, August 24, 2009
Teachers, editors, designers disrupt the sacredness
Of the typed page. Their comments grow amongst
The printed lines, crimson grapes on evenly-spaced
Vines. Arrows traverse margins like laser beams,
Lassoing disorganized words. Teachers, editors,
Designers—you must thrash about in our documents
Like a dog caught in tangled reeds, I know. I do not
Fear your decoration. Step into my words. I invite you
In, an unexpected guest. Pardon the kitchen, the mess.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
For one summer, I loved swimming.
I spent hours at the municipal pool
With my eyes open underwater.
The painted concrete at the bottom
Was smooth beneath my feet,
And the lights embedded in the walls
Shone, tiny portholes on a radiant ship.
Pallid legs and tips of feet, like felled timber
pierced my aquamarine haven here and there.
I don’t know where it went, my thirst
For water and chlorine. It passed swiftly
As a season. But the body remembers
These sensations--the desire to be submerged,
To be slowed and cooled, weightless.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009: Quoted from: Design You Trust. World's Most Provocative Social Inspiration.
Rained down, larger shards that fell to the floor and snapped.
On their way out of class, the students run fingers along
The metal gutter gripping the chalkboard’s lower edge,
Touching and gathering the fine powder, the sediment
Of long division, vocabulary, instructions.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Look out from the coast in the day, and there are barriers
For your eyes to crawl over and cling to, like barnacles.
Maybe the grey, smudged fingerprint of a mountain,
the tip of another piece of land, a blurred edge of foam, sand.
At the very least, clouds bunched and catching the wind
Like white linens pinned to a clothesline, reaching into the breeze.
But at night, looking out into the ocean of inky sky
Perforated by pinprick stars, where can your gaze settle.
Sky and star flatten into cloth, embroidered with connected
Dots, with constellations. How can I accept that the sizes
of stars denote not size, but distance, that the tangled strands
of lights unfurl like bulbs loosening, receding, drifting.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009: Quoted from: Postcard pack (vol II) front cover final draft en Flickr: ¡Intercambio de fotos!
The buildings gleam,
Steel and glass fingers on a robotic hand.
The skyline says hello,
Welcome to this part of the world that we have built,
We claim this land for you.
The human urge:
Let’s put a tower here,
And build it higher and higher
So that we can see and be seen.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
photographs and songs now appear instantly,
summoned by a button.
Did you ever pry a cassette from clamped-shut
Tape player, and find skinny black ribbons
Spilling out like tinsel?
Have you slipped postage stamp-sized slides
Into a notched carousel? Tamed the flickering
End of a wild film strip?
Lifted the twig-like arm of record player
And gently set its needle to the ridged disc,
Black as repaved road?
Have you beckoned to a recorded voice,
Released portraits onto a screen? Have you?
Does anyone know how?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Since he touched the piano.
But he moved away from home, and didn’t
Own a piano, nor did his friends.
In his sleep, his fingers sometimes fluttered gently,
Releasing scales and rehearsing.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Any section of forest requiring at least seven minutes
To walk through, or any clump of trees
dense enough to obscure roads.
An indefinite place, characterized by trees, leaves, dirt,
Patchy shade, solitude.
It begins where you say it does, and grows
Up around you as you walk. If there is path, you might
Follow it. I have lost an hour,
Two, beneath, inside, surrounded
By the woods. You can read the seasons in the leaves, the future
In the tangled clutch of branches. You will
Lose your way, at least once.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009: Quoted from: The longest solar eclipse of the century - The Big Picture - Boston.com
Transformed sun into crescent, then thin ring
The black disc of the moon blotted the light
A dilated pupil, a black hole
For six minutes and thirty-nine seconds
Some people watched with the help of a lens
The rest of us saw only through replicated images
Photographs of the eclipse and eclipse-watchers
With flat, black filters like 3D glasses
Shielding their eyes, mouths agape and full of shadow
Friday, August 7, 2009
Dark mornings, puddles,
The squeak of rubber against elementary school linoleum
The surge of rainwater
Unleashed from buses and large cars
During rainy trudges to school
You were warned to step back from the black, shiny road
By the wavelike whoosh
A hushed crash that could drench the hems of trousers
If it weren’t for the galoshes
Those boots reversed everything—shoes over pants,
Morning dim as evening,
Water unfurling from the ground, rain upside-down
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Old railroad tracks are embedded in the asphalt
In the road behind your house.
The metal snakes along the road, both buried and visible,
like the blue blush of veins in your forearm.
Someday, these tracks will also be buried in an ocean
of cement, and your house, and also mine,
and only the tips of telephone poles and their wires
will peek out into this new landscape, volcanic, reconstructive.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Day gloves shielded her hands from
What—from sun, perhaps, or dirt.
From the elements.
In chemistry class, I used to stare
At the periodic table--the
Sympathetic sigh of gold,
The metallic gag of silver--
And wonder, which of these
Was a threat to a woman’s hands.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Brown paper bag, the plainest and most mysterious
Of all wrappings. Whatever you contain, you also
Conceal. Crinkled around bottles, you allow any
Beverage to appear in public. You hold lunch,
The meal of modesty and obligation; groceries
Fill your cavernous angles, and breathe three
Dimensions into your corners. I take you apart
To cover a textbook, or a gift, and voila! A second
Skin is born, tan, even, coarse. You’ll become
Whatever I use you for, without objection, and
Hide what’s inside from any prying eyes.