Are you gonna let Mars go there by himself?


Your eyes are nothing like a sonnet.
I know you are not the faceless sun growing
large with patience and yellow tempera, growing
upward into uncertain washes of firmament.
Your skirts are predetermined and aligned
by acute focal tilts of movement—sitting on
somebody’s cigarette—sweeping down
boundaries of open night—burying
instant daylight in the underside
of absence, in the drop
of dissatisfaction, in rare
chains of desire, rare
as sardine cans,


For you, I can inscribe awry
fields of silent touch in points
of ink—an interior landscape
following trails (of mold? of dirt?
of ash? of mascara?) that first
appear smudged but will soon
resemble a mosaic of disquieted
coasts and disjunctive hollows
hidden within blind spots, within
sun spots, limited by declined insults
written, then spoken in disorder,
fluctuated words in five minutes
becoming tissue-wrapped skull plates
—knocked off aluminum components
held in my fist at arm’s length—
and the rest of me naked
as an emperor under
masterly camouflage.


You come from the imaginary space
that cannot be colonized—I live outside
myself, observed in the clean fabric
of narrative and habitation. We can speak
to weather, we can speak photosynthesis,
we can speak acknowledgements to
the disappearance of summer predators.
This is the polar attraction called travesty,
called abandonment, called permission,
this laying down of possession
for the sake of discontent, for the sake
of indifference, for that lack of recognition
from the one who will free us.


copyright © 2012 lcmt

Other Etiquettes

Wild animals and children
spend, manage, ration
their luxuries in
a proper manner,
and wear strewn
flowers as cloth.
Fieldstones or
pieces of wood
become trusted servants,
accidental companions,
arranged with acceptance
and remembrance
in the world beyond
tin cherubs, gilt angels
and cellophane grief.


copyright © 2011 lcmt

Nuestra Señora

She cannot renew the day
without his cloudiness of glower
She cannot abide coiled without
his prudent appraisal of joy
She cannot revive her doubt
without his hasty precision
and clipped verities
She binds without disguise
what he avers twice
—she unfolds unlike truth and honey—
and at least she will be
but never a beggar
doubled by a queen

She gives and hinders
careless of stones
She occurs without limit
groundless and late

She takes in and talks out
She upholds her descent
and conserves her heart
without moderation

She cannot bury or
narrow his conceits
She cannot certify or
deny his reconciliations
But she will always disbelieve
his hidden stillness and
her lamplit recompense
She often revisits
his thickset robberies
—she will mistake less than he seizes—
and at least she will be
but never a beggar
doubled by a queen


copyright © 2010 lcmt

Koan (The Fog Room)

I live in a room of windows with no door. A room of glass. I made the draperies, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, to cover the windows at night. I made them of heavy fabric, lined with linen, interlined with felt. When I close them, I light the lamps and the room is warm, comforting, intimate, protective. All day the draperies are open and hang gathered straight as columns, straight as royal sentinels, in the corners of the room. The room has four corners, four glass walls. All day the world outside the glass is filled with fog. All day the room is filled with cool distant light. Outside one window is a view of a city street. Outside another window is a view of treetops. Outside the third is a view of the ocean. Outside the last is a view of cacti, but there is no desert. Inside is a soft bed, a comfortable chair, many pillows and many books. If I never leave this room I will have a better life than you, anyone you know, and anyone on this planet.

Why do I choose the lesser life?

copyright © 2012 lcmt


Cold huntress.
Night descends from shadows giant between the stars,
walks invisible, deadens sound.
She comes,
ice alive in chalcedony.
Drawn by dead horses, her chariot is the moon’s wing
—flowers and suns die at her touch
—her eyes bleach all colors
into pale liars.

copyright © 2010 lcmt

Grain Knot Eye

In this tin containing fire
is a natural object knocked against
the young echo of a whistle heard
before the end of attachment

—is a new meadow in two parts braided
with a clasp and sacred flutter
of six pages dimembráto

—is a one-legged journey across
the anchor-ice of a century twisted
into a stream of armor

—is a wax cake of fretted nettles gleaned
from Van Gogh’s fallow management
of poplars straight and twined

—is a house of serpents wreathed
one neck into another chained
to the form of a pear tree

—is an imperial foil cap crumpled by a few tinkling promises

—is a one-lung diesel engine pushing a few carcasses

—are a few silken sheets overgrown with southeast breezes

—are a few wooden answers cut from twice-a-day letters

—is a brief variation on a strain woven
to shreds of costly insolence
cast from a kitchen spoon

—are worn shells resounding
with noises beaten by bowed
pipes clutched in brassy
fear and wonder pointed
towards an evening falling
apart in dry husks wrenched
all to flinders cut from thin
stiff paper and wands coated
with clean brown memories
fresh-lighted under lavish
skylines of ungrounded sleep
laid between roped diamonds
straw-packed in contours
of joy crumbled into this
tin containing fire.


copyright © 2011 lcmt

Gehry (the red brindle bulldog sits beside the orange pylon)

The bridge, a horizon elsewhere

—green strain tensor,
infinitesimal strain
tensor, lateral strain—

spans and rolls and aggregates
alchemy with nonlinear obsessions
built into a strong-willed scaffold
of flying giants and runaway sentinels
shaped by the din and strut of siege.


copyright © 2011 lcmt


A woman named Melissa


she said


with a thick leaden glare.
Her sulky lisp
carried a whiff

of damp black earth.

She turned away
and hunched
her shoulders
in a sullen heap
against him.
He thought
of small cadavers—

old crows or perhaps young rabbits—

soaked under a pile of leaves
and branches
spoiled by the thaw.


copyright © 2011 lcmt