Saturday, March 08, 2014

Daylight Saved

Hidden Vault

1. Spring Forward
The government’s at it again, tampering time
and we must stagger behind, wishing Salvador Dali
minutes would lag instead of broad-jump.
April, the month of taxes and poetry. Light
trails us like a street urchin dragging his bags.
We are thanked for our gifts to government with jet-lag
and loss of easeful dark, pumped with big-top minutes
and forward-swapped. But where do they keep
the acrobat hour? I find in my purse
only shadows and stars.

2. Stashed
I imagine that Congress stashes that saved hour          
in a teak box with mother-of-pearl stars
and blue satin lining. Or a big penny jar
shaped like a trumpeting elephant, the lock
in his upraised trunk. But too many of us
have a key, for every fall we find it looted
and empty as the bank for sale I once saw.
The silver-hinged vault lay open for deposits of dust.
Ghost hours danced in that twilight mouth.
I can't put my overtime in anything so wide
or keep my worries in such an open box.

3. Fall Back
When skeletons dance and red devil leaves seesaw,
the clock spins backwards. Spring forward, fall back,
I repeat to timepieces whose hands I wring.
The powers-that-save loose a phantom hour
to imp my dreams. Afternoons are still-life,
a hummingbird’s whirring immobility.
I see now why we must hoard every spark
against twilight's snip-end, against the dark
dot of a question mark.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


I'm thinking of doing a series of small video readings, just for fun, from my book Gods of Water and Air. And maybe I should put it to a vote: which poems would be best to read? Here's one I'm considering.Thoughts? Advice?


I had a beautiful bowl of cherries
to paint, stems perfectly arranged, the jade
bowl offsetting the pale red fruit.
I ate them. Such is the fate
of so much art. But only the serious kind.
At least this artist won’t starve.
Looking at a half bowl of cherries
I still want to create. Maybe a painting
of the pits in another bowl, so much life
gone by. Or perhaps a poem about the greed
of the painter for sensuous delight, story
of artists and their models through the ages
and also the story of the art
that was never made
while they became their own
works of art. Jade bowl. Stems.
Hungers ripe and aching.
Summer’s half moon warmth.
Tender flesh. (Note to self:
They were so ripe and cold.
Put cherries on the grocery list.
The dark ones this time.)