Graveyard Lilies

The morning's pages are stained
with sugar, flakes of skin,
the very breath of the stars.

A ghost dressed in dust and grasses
dances alone
in slow motion


There is that chiming.
A fall of hair,
golden ashes of pure thought.

The crickets are fainter, there.
I imagine a rose of glory,
a poem,
a suicide's note,
just past dawn on a Sunday.

Cold dew, silence.
The muses are everywhere,
dying, dying.


I hear voices
where there are none
yet dark words are spoken
between these streets
and the moon of memory.

Late afternoon.
Already I want wine, another poem, sleep.
I want the word cusp made grey porcelain.
I am ready for November, sleet, eternity.


I sip the mist,
crush peaches and steep them in cinnamon.
I can hear a distant wren, a rill.
Last night, the katydid songs were so huge,
I thought I was a dream in a folktale.
Today, a white breath chills my heart.
Shadows and ghosts swallow the world,
bells start ringing,
a blue light settles on the page.


Fallen like webs over the red grasses,
words drip like dew
from night's black tendrils.

And poetry, that dead angel,
sleeps next to me
every night.


August morning.
Thoughts of red satin.
Whitegold of insect music.
Stillness of ducks on the river.


At first coffee
these oracles and silences
of rooms within rooms
from all the kitchen years.
are but shadows that come and go,
like clouds, like clouds, like clouds.


Time of the crickets.
Velvet fantasies of the afternoon.
I faint for awhile into the tiny sounds
of birds, gravel shifting, leaves touching,
hoping this is how soft and sweet
death will be.


Red ink is everywhere.
The sumac is before me,
the pokeberries, a thousand years
of ironweed. I see the clouds
reaching for September,
I think again of the vodka in the closet.


There are some days now
like slow flowers in a slow breeze,
the world edged in soft-focus lace,
clouds of drunken butterflies dancing,
time itself turning clear violet
in the winecups of our dreams.
In my head, I fling my arms high,
into the sky, the cold grace, the future.
Gravity and surface tension remain,
like old friends from Earth.


I crave the heady wines of deep autumn,
the gold and red trees floating in the mist.
My head is filled with freight trains.
The unbearable beauty of the stars drives me mad.
I return inside to lamps, thoughts of red pears,
these words that disappear as I write them.


Ivy in moonlight, her limbs,
her silences,
tendrils of sugar,

A whispering pinkness
on my green bones
like a mermaid's gills, a breeze at midnight,
the sound of Rapunzel's hair falling.


These white morning glories
are still wet
with a mystic dew

I look deep into them
how deep can whiteness be?

I am dizzy like a boy
seeing breasts not his mother's
for the first time

falling and falling
into that bath
of milk and cleavage


All day long an insect cries
outside my window

Sparrows with wings of dust
dart past into the shadows

The light is a strong wine
on these aging eyes

I write in gold powder
and quickly blow it away


Another empty day to fill with poems

I dream of water and persimmons

The taste of iron and whiskey permeates everything

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