Natural Sight Near Mt. Stuart
a lonely child beds
in damp straw
lives in fence rows and ditches
its flesh
blossoms and molds

gods are startled birds
vanishing into the hill

fishing on the Teanaway
thigh deep in long lines
of women brushing my legs
splintering groin

the current is green slime
feeds the black lights
down in the yawn, down in the edible portion
the guts
out with the hook
spread upon moss
to look at with tendrils of moon

a woman from Fla. says mtns. are the spines of crocodiles
a woman from S.Dak. says mtns. are the teeth of coyote
a woman from Ariz. says mtns. are the stings of scorpions

they believe in signs
the bear paw in the mud
buttocks ripped, they wait
for balsam, for soft ferns

precious here for gaunt polish
as temple for ashes

what is left to sacrifice is a stare
bones of powder

Ingall’s Lake thaws in summer
opens its lips
Looking At My Class Photograph: A Dream
In my red-brown shirt, I had a gold one too
gabardine that draped
heavily over my belt,
my face round and quiet

except as I look more carefully
the photograph is streaked and in it
my eyes run down
in watercolor wash

I sink behind lines
of other children
through rotting wood steps, melting
under the eyelids that watch.
“Oh Rock And Roll I Gave You All The Best Years Of My Life”
Trying to break through,
trying to say
oh god, this is me.
Cheap, yeah, but
it’s not the cheapness
that matters, it’s
the ripple the voice
makes on the unknown
order of things, saying,
I’m lost, or,
why have I come this way.
No, there’s no sense
in it, no justice
or beauty, just
sadness because the words
spread over so many, and
because they’ve said so
themselves so many times.
Response To A Poem By F’ang Chu-Shih
“Old Pang requires nothing in the world;
all is empty with him, even a seat he has not,
for absolute emptiness reigns in his household.”

A rock is full, a
fist of noise;
its shadow is weightless and still.
The sun has perfected
explosion and silence
to live in the same body.

My house is expressionless
it cares nothing for
heat or for light.
The air that leaves it
cannot remember it;
people that enter
remain perfect strangers
perfect friends.