Monthly Archives: December 2015

in my hands (handbreadth)

in my hands (handbreadth)

He wakes from slumber
his bed only feet from mine,
and cries, whimpers, a monkey
or puppy sound. If I do
not go to him he will full on cry
out to communicate displeasure.
I pick him up and he quiets.
In my hands he calms,
rests, smiles—in my hands.
One day he will hate me,
loath the sight, fear these hands,
shame them, embarrassed at their limits,
their only one finitude.
But for now he is happiest,
happy only in my hands.

Shirley Temple Drinks

Shirley Temple Drinks

My life is a bowl of cherries
atop a farmer’s family
tablecloth, at an orchard
in Michigan, first grown
in Washington, packed
in plastic, foam, foil,
and wood, gasoline,
spark plug combustion engine
exhaust pipe emitting
carbon monoxide and
carcinogen smoke.
Mmm. Pure Michigan.
Delicious. All natural.
Fresh. Septic refuse.
Certified organic without
mentioning how I am
a petroleum product:
the pipe, the pipeline
the cancer hole in lung,
in ozone, in your family’s empty
armchair built by your forefathers’
hands. The pacific coast, the great
lake shore, the wild rushing pollutant,
bacterial microbe, protozoa, faucet
piping to households, to farmyards,
like this one in Michigan. I am
the bowl and its cherries, the freckled red-
headed little girl, her checkered dress―I am
in her hands―Shirley Temple drinking
a “Shirley Temple.” All smiles and lips stained
pink cherry mustache unaware, her early
onset diabetes, the insulin syringe. I am
delicious, our unsated appetite for
everything out of season, all of it
right now, without asking
at whose expense.

A Friend Found Today

A Friend Found Today

–for the great comedian Stephen F. on his birthday

The good old days depend
on how old you are and
where the endorphins
are stored in your memory bank.
Kenny Loggins, Phil Collins,
Ghost Busters, and the movie Rad—
details scribes might do without,
but you remember, and surprised,
all the skin creases and nodding
his face affirms—you are not the only one,
which takes both of you in and out-
side yourselves, on a tour
made up of your own
milestones, Rolling Stones, and Flintstones
somehow breaking through the clouds
of stress, strain, and complaint
to instead create—make up something
all together new, to approach the risk,
voice your invitation
to the game—volleying comedy,
to shoot so much breeze
that all goes clean, mind swept,
for a sea of thought to be explored
by open sail or submarine. Most
of those you’ve loved and laughed
with are gone—out of sight, not mind.
But you’ve found a friend today
who mentions many good old days
the same as those you can replay,
and find in him a truth:
to have a friend
who enjoys
the experience of any moment
the same as you do,
makes life—all of it—
worth remembering.

Animal Sex

Animal Sex

I wonder
about animal sex.
Not about having sex with animals, myself,
but them with each other—
a same species kind of thing.
I don’t fantasize;
I do have questions.

Like Porcupines;
what are the risks?
Or, Jelly Fish;
how’s that work?
Or, Wood Peckers,
you know?
I wonder.
Do they flee from sex to religion,
or religion to sex?
Is there repentance?
Or regret?
What’s their flight response?
Their joy? Bliss?
Does an octopus have a clitoris
or multiple clitori?
Do they get bashful? Feel ashamed?
Even know they are having sex?
Or are they being had,
all programmed machine, instinct, beast?
Are we?

I once saw a rooster
“engage” multiple hens
during just one conversation with its farmer
and I wondered
if he overheard our talk of slaughter and meat,
and the fear of inevitable death slipped in
a potent aphrodisiac.

I hear this works on humans.

Did the hens know they were screwed?
Cock never even made them breakfast.
All he did was approach, step
one clawed foot onto each of their feathered backs,
hold them down in the dirt,
and let out what was evolved into his being.
Was that rape?
What’s that say about intelligent design?
How’s that not like us? Animals.
How are we different?
Are animals conscious of survival or fitness?
Who is fit to survive?

I once knew a British Bulldog
who mated with a Yorkshire Terrier.
Their litter of one puppy didn’t live more than
three months—DNA too confused to support
its manifestation. This unstable compound somehow
made it out of the womb laboratory
into our world for a moment.
And I wondered,
have we lost touch
with the deep knowing that guides us to fitting mates?
Was this one born for love?
What does knowing mean?

Maybe animals can tell me
why I chase love in an ambulance.
Why is my loving bulimic?
Such large mouth, hungry stomach,
can’t hold anything down?
Why am I always running
from sex that can be so pleasurable:
electric endorphin synapse explosion,
chemical pressure geyser fire
in our soft tissue Tantien places?

Why is it a gateway to a cliff—
where some enjoy diving
but others just plummet?
Makes me wonder about the animals, you know?
Fuzzy little creatures roaming about
eating, making homes,
and having fuzzy-little sex,
or big-roaring sex,
or awkward-sized-middle sex.
Why can’t it just be funny?
Must we control it? Legislative control it?
When the animals just keep on being,
living, making more animals.
Why risk it?
Why reject it?
Why pretend all the answers aren’t encoded in genetic ink
when there is no deliberating our very real free will—
we, the sole species able to exercise empathy and communicate consent,
able to learn from the joys and pains of past generations.
When we can choose.
We can choose.

Do you ever feel
like maybe more
than an animal?