Venus

Sharp forest of oceanic pines,
a toxin that inflames giant seabirds
and drives them to the annihilating shores.

In the opening of the sea flower,
the awakening of the wounded whale
that cries beneath the sand,

and a pleasure that assaults a coast of disintegration,
a song of salt-invaded girls.

In the shell’s soft folds at your core,
the voice of the sea is unassailable.

What enters us overflows,
while the stones that vibrate in the surf
propel us toward the deeper ecstasy of loss.

We, the ones already marked for death,
find here the vessels of other lives.

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White Cat in the Garden

It seems everything wants to disappear
in your white clouds of cumulus fur.
Even the early summer sky
is tamed to something smooth and un-reflecting.
What doesn’t plunge in
and never reemerge to this place of
unreal divisions?

And we know that the day can only begin
once it has passed through
the terraces of these arcane eyes.
Whether it rises like a garden
full of dreams or prey,
or falls beneath a shadow of roots,
depends on the way you will
flick your listless tail
in the moment of your rising.

White cat in the garden,
is it that this hydrangea path,
like all things we are surprised
to chance upon, springs from you,
in this long hour of the fierce guardian statues?

A Kind of Madness

I couldn’t say where she is,
who she is with,
or what time she sleeps.
This sky stretches out
like an eternity of whispers,
and a tearing need blows from the east.

You ask why I can’t forget,
why I can’t just roll up my
pain with my sleeves
and get on with the business
of dying with other lovers,

fucking and bickering,
and making up,
until the sun herself
grows jaded, evicts me
from the wasted night.

You ask me why I can’t forget
a scent of wild hours
that dwelt in the dark armpits
of her fragrant life.
I don’t know, I don’t know why.

I am infected with a madness
of un-returned salt,
and even the calmest hour
is an ambush of memory.

I would like, somehow,
to exit this body of
congealed thirst,
the way one absently leaves a room,
and go far beyond
an earth of remorse

to a hill, a tower,
an unfamiliar town
that doesn’t recall me.
And then, I too
would know the liberation
of the one who kills love.

Wild Coast

They were right to call it wild.
Even here, the houses of this
wind-beaten city grow taciturn,
and in their huddles,
speak only in hushed tones,
seem poised on tip toes,
and feel like stiff tourists,
or those who don’t stay long.

For there is still something
it commands in us,
as with the uneasiness of children
in the matriarch’s cloying room.
Here, we learn of limits,
and find again
the muteness of our steps.

And what do we know
of its quarrel with the sea,
which has left deep scars
in these cliffs,
or of the burden of salt
which it carries?
We are a passing of seabirds,
a foam of scattered centuries,

while it carves us
beneath a weight of solitude.
Between the waves
that breach like whales,
it remains the last
untranslatable, wild word,
a shoulder of wind.

First Star

First star,
open like an unreachable bud
in the still blue skin of the
evening.
Pale, silent, saying nothing,
yet somewhere once
a fierce energy,
a nebula of music,
which through the
immeasurable time
that it took islands, diamonds,
arthropods, tetrapods,
oceans to rise up and die,
through all this,
you reach us only now.
Still, you reveal nothing to us,
while we chew ourselves
into mouthfuls of
hate and love and fragrance.
Now and then, some of us flare up,
some, just now, petering out,
for we too
revolve around our own
dying sun.
You, slow burning, linger long
until red death comes.
Do you envy us,
our short and brittle fuse,
the heat of our precocious days,
our exquisite elaboration
on a theme of life,
our insatiate coming and going,
while you only remain?

Message

I crest the hill of this salt swept morning,
to a sky of violence.
And the wind,
that marauder of trees,
upsetter of crisp clothes lines,
that Attila of the ferocious sea,
brings me angry messages from afar.

It will not let you remain, you know,
forever and forever, like a stone ornament
sunk in the phlegmatic moss.
Even if you want rest, you can’t have it.
Even if you want to be silent, you can’t.

Everything in the city moves
like an earthquake of air.
The wind peels the paint from the windowsill,
and tosses dogs out of doors,
and the city evaporates
with a flock of dispersed seagulls.

You cannot hold this,
like a clutch of bills, a purse of longing,
for the wind brings an angry message from the sea,
brings a bruised fruit
that dropped from the already afflicted tree.
And I walk in this annihilating hour
with a lightened soul.