Like a burial when the body’s 

Been in the sun a few days and has begun 

To blister—


The reek 

Of human blood smiles out at us. 

And the day is true as the rain is true


As the rainbow—true as the rainbow’s

Sharp as the pool’s fine

Marble edges. 


The eyes are poolwater flame

And melt into the maws

Of hyenas. 


The day is a broken broom, 

Toothy, splintered, 



As a witch, courageous 

As Medea, mother of courage, saint 

Of clarity, who rustles her poisoned crown 


Of chocolate, child’s 

Blood, and cobra’s hood (to be fed

And re-fed 


To the one 

Who has a caterpillar 

Bristling in his stomach). 




Atma, albino god 

Of the slit of the air, 


Mint-white ribbon 

Of a thousand-thousand faces— 


Tell us


Is brutal concern


But especially 



And the worm, 

And cancer, 

And the dry well, 

And the mountain


Of pigs


Squealing and fucking 

(we call this 




Is brutal concern, 

But especially 


Polar ice,

Currency markets, trucks…

Trucks to suture our distance. 




The rainbow 

Spills from the well. 


The stones in our drinks 

Bleed brutal concern. 


Everything is hungry. 






What can you say to sing, nothing? 


Is it ‘cause nothing 

Has a little ring in it

That makes it Tristan and Isolde? 


Is it ‘cause yellowest 

Hangnail flower 

Is like a grub

‘gendering an eye? 


We were born to grip

And, if nothing else, 

Nothing grips, O

Densely tufted, sable flower. 


When the ring-sectioned

Length of worm

Eats and flowers, 

Nothing’s not—and grinds. 




Would shatter

And that is 


The point 

        at which

Nothing’s dragon-fly wing

Slips across the eye.


And that is not nothing,

Not the dragon’s face

Nor Lucifer, purveyor

Of devastation, knight

In a stump-forest

Of charred



But that is not truth,

Stitched to nothing

Like a little boy

Who has to go

And tugs at your leg.




O nothing of 

Sheening sweat,


Not just the withdrawal  

Of the gods, caesura,

Void, the possibility

Of world-awakening

And revolution,


But the point

That cannot be thought

And is not thought—

Tiny black crown

That hates us.


Lucifer, mirror slough 

Of worm

Spread out along

Aeon’s blanched coasts…


Evil that knots all life

And whose purple petal escapes us—

Purple and, like desire, 




The very dragon that engenders  

And desires to eat 

The holy-mouthed, purple petal;


Yet a counter-void receives us 

And gives us luck.


           Play it again, O wrinkled,

                       Ocean-zithered worm. 




From the Court of White Couches



Let there be days!

Let there be towers and rays and poets bounding

From conch-white couches!

Let there be ochre ink and stingray coronets!

Black wine and cherry tomatoes on every plate, on every surface!

Let there be love and friendship,

Sacrifice and sporting in the dirt!

Let there be love: commitment

To all possibility and in the brute certainty of failure.

Let there be days and rays, ardor and blood-filled work!


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