Monday, September 27, 2010

Ants (Brighton Writer's Workshop Poem #1)

If you smash an ant
in a specific way and drag
its scent-organ along a surface
other ants will follow
looking for food.
If you find a child
who does not wince to tear
an ant apart under a microscope
you can guide its hand in swoops
along a surface, until
a river the color of pupils navigates
the labyrinth of its name.

Monday, September 20, 2010


In the long curl of a tentacle:
a kind of laziness,
an understanding of currents.

At the edge, where the bell sweeps in
the way a person holds herself to herself in a crowd:
an understanding of space.

In the crush of a large bloom, and in its quiet:
an understanding of going-and-returning.


Jellyfish have no mythology
and leave few fossils.

They have no lungs or gills
and cannot lie.

They can sometimes perceive light
and sometimes make it.


Jellyfish are not really fish; they are
a language, at least

if I had made them; and if love
is every frustrating, terrible thing
I sometimes think it is

then its vocabulary would live in seawater
and understand currents,
and space, and going-and-returning;

and it wouldn't breathe, or lie,
or believe in anything but itself;

and if you wanted
when things began or ended, or at other times
all of that soft, close language would be there, luminous and solid
the quietest of paper lanterns.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



The light hit Xsphthl first.
The ants poured into the nest
clicking their mandibles.
Xsphthl was disemboweled.

Lkmnstf thrust his big head
out of a broken tunnel,
stabbed and stabbed the blind
weight of it into the ants.

Kmtynnn, the soldier
split himself open
entangling the leader ant
in the sticky stuff within.

More soldiers came.
The shouted chemicals
made them furious.
They attacked everything.

The ants stacked the fallen
in mounds, to be carried back
and eaten. Tonight they'll return
and hide, and wait to kill us.

This is the history
of the Rdskld Colony
from the dense heartwood
to the shelter tunnels.


Small fingers pull and pull
the branch free. Above,
a voice says, "Mom,
it looks like writing."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Prayer for waking

This. and then/
humming from beneath--
no more water--

Check temperature.
Look for hands, for only hands, for both hands.

With the skin's vision, see
the bundle of self
sockmonkeyed among sheets.

where the air gets in it makes
the self of interior surfaces
from the leavened matrix of lungs.

The first movement is always forgetting.
Then some sort of roll or curl.

Like two untended aquariums
the eyes pull the light in
the body resolves:

In front of the mirror, fingers;
after a shower, mouth.
There's time for one last question
but it already seems not to make sense.

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