Monday, November 14, 2011


1. Among twenty gleaming pitchers, the only moving thing was the swirl of the milk.

2. I was of three minds, like a table upon which there are two cappuccini and an oatmeal raisin scone.

3. The barista swirled in the muzak. He was a small part of the pantomime. 

4. A man and a woman are one. A man and a woman and a loca moka are one.

5. I do not know which to prefer, the beauty of lattes or the beauty of loca mokas. The toilet in the rest room flushing or just after.

6. Commuter cars filled the long window with barbaric shimmers. The shadow of the parking Subaru crossed it, to and fro. The mood traced in the shadow an indecipherable cause.

7. O thin men of Rose City Cemetery, why do you dream of ‘dem golden slippers?’ Do you not see how the Espresso Blasters pour down the throats of the living near you?

8. I know noble smells, and lucid inescapable aromas; But I know too that the French Press is involved in what I know.

9. When the young intellectual put his foot on the coffee table his Birkenstock marked the edge of one of many circles.

10. At the sight of my doppio oozing into a little cup, even the district manager of Superbucks coffee would cry out sharply. 

11. He walked down Fremont wearing a beret. Once, a fear pierced him in that he mistook the shadow of his nose stud for a booger. 

12. The Marzocco is hissing. The cash register must be beeping. 

13. It was Tuesday all afternoon. It was raining and it was going to rain. I sat drenched in the Caffeine Meditation Garden

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Our rowboat has drifted
Into the middle of the lake,
A willow leaf, fallen on gray wool
Turning slowly in the rain.
In the cabin window, your yellow shirt sings.
Pans steaming.
Fat birds collide in the wet black limbs outside,
Skunk cabbage horns choke quiet.

Walking home from town late, and drunk,
I gleam on the gravel road like a ceremonial Chinese robe
From a distance I see you,
Your face like the circle of the moon

Inhabiting its dark box of sky.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Here at the end of the lane of shade.
The house is a mousetrap set beneath tangled trees.
We can’t go on.
Stay parked and re-examine the maps.

In an armchair beneath the window
My grandfather spots a darkness in the river.
Deep green, rollicking, inhabited by salmon
The water sings the long afternoon
The song the prophets sang of old.
His thin hair shines in the weak sunlight.
Isaiah, Hosea stand up and declare God's glory
From the old leather book on his lap..
The wife has the garden club and is out for the day.
In every drawer faded pictures
Bite their lip and “wait to be asked”.

My shy wife and I, empty handed
Panic and look in the glove box
For something to bring with us when he opens the door.
Old beliefs, or new electric gifts,

While rapidly, beyond the dark porch
The old man’s chest is filling with roses.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Left behind by the sunset, a car 

Passes roses growing on the state line
And hurries into the shadow of a cliff.
From then on the passengers' words
Are beyond them, fixed,
A star above the snowstorm.
High up the night is clear.
The large rivers of wind flow over the continent. 
There are many stars.

Out in Oregon I walk beside the ocean.
In case of an accident, I carry my I.D. .
I am the man who means something by my gray hat.
Late, the fog rolls in. The dogs and Frisbees go back to town.
My prayers graze out on the sea like sheep or clouds.
Roaming for hours far from my mouth
Wild, unrevised, I cannot call them back.

Behind me in the mountains
The car is heading west
Passing the numberless hills.
Everything I do is a kind of waiting for them. 

At the House on the Rogue

In summer my wife put up blackberry jam
And reached to place the jars
On the wood shelf in the garage.
Now the river roars white below us;
Entering the park our city fathers built this fall
It sees the swings and plastic whale for climbing,
Orange on the lawn and begins lifting its back.
I go into the cold where the car waits
And hear the river behind the house speaking with the trees
The impatience of the world breaking their voices into a clatter.

Grateful, I touch the glass
The sweet food, dark children of August
Waiting under paraffin.


A last scuff of slippers is heard
Crossing the blue tiles in the night, and then
At last the earth is silent.
Well, we must have said something.
From the cave’s lip at the edge of the valley
A creek begins to flow again into the corn.
The cave, after thousands of years,
Draws a deep breath and exhales in a long cool breeze
Its sweet perfume of moss and bones.

Finally the whole of the earth
Has ceased to remember the LORD.
As a parting shot, the retiring deity swats the tourists off the volcano
In a spectacular spray of bicycles.

That makes the papers. But overall we're glad.
This is the day our ancestors dreamed about.
We can walk without fear through the city.
The pointed remarks of the penis
Are repeated openly and with gusto.
Something to brag about, it is widely supposed.
Tonight we will sleep safely drunk
Under the walls made of flowers
And wake up to a happy breakfast in the public square.

We too  are proud of our crowded harbor
Where the fish-jawed mouths of alien ships,
Laden as fat bass,
Have come to visit us in our time from a great distance,
Lapping up the rancid butter
Of ocean’s cold claws, here to show us a new day.

Tomorrow the sailors will walk through the town,
The new arrivals, pleasantly smiling.
Marked with a strange but nubile smell
Resting, available, in the public gardens,
A song from ELSEWHERE
Pinned in their mouths like a note.


The river slows to a flat shine
Here at the edge of the Republic.
Look in the shallows just before daybreak,
See the blue uncles, trampling the cattails,
Their great coats flapping like herons.

These are the ones who followed the white stones
Out of the forest back in the day
Making deals with the little creeks
Dignifying even their own feet with medals at the end of the campaign.
Now their ancient faces shine like weathered wood.
The blood struggles to move in its pattern under the skin.

And now there is trouble.
An airplane is stuck overhead in plain wind
Like a note pinned to the sky.
It buzzes like a stalled bee.
Trampling and splashing,
The blue uncles bawl in the reeds like cattle,
They don’t know where the sound is coming from.
They think there is something wrong with the ocean.