how unexpected


do i expect to fly;
i feel my toes
avert my eyes

do i work
to unground;
i have stone-
stroking tendencies

do i ask phalanges
to web;
stop falling
for this feathered crap

do i let
heaven talk
for me;
fix future flights

do i know
what’s real;
can i actually
take it off?


inspired by Karin Gustafson
art at Real Toads

she noticed her hands

She noticed her hands resting palms side down, buttoned at her hips (for hundreds of years), but as she was filled with generosity of touch, of word, of beauty she instinctively turned them palms side up, first one hand then the other, as if they were cups that could contain the whole dazzling world from violet door, to beryl door, to flamingo door, to yellow sun, to turquoise door, to salmon entrance, to cotton gauze, to the absolute ageless art of the alfresco open air door, —  she was moving through all the sensations and sails of life, which in this case left her hands feeling marvelously warm even at the concrete hour of 2 a.m. while she continued to compose air, and then climb it.

for Real Toads

what’s the matter with you?

he’s one in a billion
counted bulbs with no choice
but to be reduced to a 60 watt love
buried in your big blanket sky
so, go ahead and sit there
trying to capture love’s free
faith escaping through the heights
to another night
let it strike you as odd
like a remembered math problem
you tried to solve in high school
by multiplying, by dividing
by doing anything you could do
to work it out

what did the watermelon say to the cantaloupe?
it depends — is this watermelon
odd or even?


Some Sally angst for Real Toads

[becoming] a poem in 5 acts


she doesn’t know
if she can go on
becoming every day
she does know she’ll
go on


she says,
it’s been a week
since she’s played
with her
internal organs


will she ever stop reading vitals?
working-over poems?
scratching out a perpetual
presence on paper, in passing?


to whoever’s eating this
reductionary, binary poem;
you must read the notes
[*perpetual presence means alive]


ah, she’s throwing stuff around now
& letting it land right here
at the better end, because she can,
because she’ll never let her being become
one un-becoming


for Real Toads

her condition improves

of course
she will
accept the charges
and the trouble
of who she is
why do you ask?

look at our heroine
happily burning
too close to dry brush
oblivious to the fire risk
arrow pointing somewhere
between moderate and God

her skin is fire she’ll tell you
and it’s why she can’t stop
romancing her stone
notorious for speaking
soul secrets out-of-turn
sometimes known, then not

and her pencil’s a yellow union
candle flickering in her blue closet
setting a blaze to her crappy notebook
&you can watch her wench that candle
between wrong fingers, long
–but she’ll never apologize

our lady’s chest
cavity brims with errors
a dangerous harmony,
a fierce compassion,
a divine spark

swirling, like the universe
she understands not everyone
will ask for a bedtime story
[parenthetically she scribbles
not everyone supernaturally bleeds
and doesn’t die either


for Real Toads

sheer season

i want that blond

i want that smeared

pepper jelly
from your jar

on my tongue

i want to sit on the ice chest

rolled in just in case
we decide to go

out on the lake
but go for sandwiches



for dVerse



you &i both know i wore the delicate gold link necklace
of emerald bright green lakes for as long as i could
&didn’t i say i would love our fragile ecosystem to death?
&did i not suffer daily sunsets? overlook watershed moments
to wonder, “how come our clasp is accidentally estranged in my hand?”
&couldn’t we un-break the dark corners at the continental divide, you say,

but i note a diminished tenderness, in that

aspen leaf floating
from nymph lake to dreaming lake
— empty is the bowl


for Real Toads

how should i sleep?

with his arm draped
around my softened shoulder
with his breath warming my left ear
which, by the way,
suddenly hears
everything assuredly now, —

he loves me,
he loves me,
he loves me,
only in beautiful ways
like Japan, shojis, and pagodas
without the listless haiku

he loves me in perceptible
clear stretches of exhalation
so that i’m allowed
to join him in vanishing
snow angel dreams
which will reveal this way
of living
[come morning]
with new shoulders


for Sanaa at Real Toads


, I confess
the combine at night
archangels churning their machine teeth
In precise rotating fashion

It’s really too bad
nobody sees The clean hum
the push and dig
of the five foot shovel
Or the flashy-edged table saw
with its red reverse button
i’m just saying
if you had known me
once with a paring knife
you’d still know me
yet this is no place
you’ll ever know me
living in sinewy shadow
unless i write down the wasted contents

if And when we were to meet
i could become less savage
promise To leave my combine at home


for Real Toads

she circles

in softness
in un-

expected math

she’s a break from

(carnation of stars)

is she hair, is she air,
is she eddies in the

you think about daffodils
you think about light
you want to brush

her arm
in extended fluidity

reach for a pulse
tucked under her knee
now hug-held
closer to her chest


playing sort of another Moon card
as imagined in Starry Night for RT