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Countertop

Caught fast in a spider web of chance;

loose lipped & dangling off the cliff face
trying to jive but getting jiggy with it 

the past trips itself up at the edges

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Hurricane in a Teacup

Gales like whipped up egg whites
flouncing along this flattened island, the Sea
now rancid and unwrapped like frantic unpacking 
panic in the uprising 

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Working Day

Giddiness scratched in the sand 
lucid letters that catch the drips
from eavesdropping palm trees. 

Pigeon’s in the workplace again
a fine peacock, half lunch leftovers
in a smoldering turtleneck slamming

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Fresh Air

The brain — beholding itself brashly with chords of 
wrought-iron wrinkles — quietly slips underneath
the sheets, far enough under to savor flavors 
of cottony cool. Growing quiet, it lingers 

in silence; the wash of fresh nothing permeates
the underside of the cotton sheet. Light breeze sweeps
against brain, cool and sweet, gentle coursing of blood 
flowing, symbiosis. Big breath — if brains could breathe — 

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Sonnet for the Times

Underwater my limbs waver in front of me — 
gently, muscularly, I exhaust the ocean
scrubbing raw against the salt flakes, crystal above
the bleached coral. Clinical cleanliness, writing 
before you read, style, speaking before you think. 
Mercy plays in opposites:  monk seals reclining
decked out in caution tape; whole beaches receding 
and the distance between the islands increasing. 

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We Are Over Everything

Over the moon, to start with. Now

over the ghastly spoiled milk
over the howling bitter storms
over nothing. But over you. 

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Life in a Vacuum

Were the days but an inch longer,
I could have said all I wanted
& reached the sun by now. Instead,
I grope for the light switch – clamping
my eyes when it comes on. Blinded!
Always blinded – like frogs in the
hot desert, crashing through coarse sand
half-way rustic and rightly stunned.
Checkmarks pierce my paper soul and
yet not fast enough for cruel pen. 
Boxes futile, ever growing
outweigh my sense of peace. I seek

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This is a Dream I Tell No One




Parched. Parched like the texture of Egyptian papyrus 
the holy lands scribbling away at my bottom lip. I 
am abandoned. Have been. That is, not in some measure
to deserve attention, but in the manner of being 
completely free. That within me which soothes the aching self 
flies and joins her soul to willow, one city park over. 
My grunting aches fire out, eventually
no longer gasping for attention, no longer seeking 
any unification. I am what remains after
canoeing across the Pacific Ocean. I am 
what remains after swimming from Siberia to Babylon. I 
am that which claws itself to the surface again, again 

to open the inner sanctum. The air that breathes after
the candle. The light that wishes the world good night. ‘Tis she. 

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Fishers of Men

Damn that which holds itself accountable 
in my error— if I could escape I’d
sing, freely sing, but alas can’t. Rarely 
does time tick for me. Low saxophone wails
from the wine cellars, the unzipped tent in
the meadow wet with evening dew. Tripped up
and spit out, floundering like a struck fish
under Dunedin flashlight. I am Plath
without the oven. The bread I bake looks
back at me, eyes of mirrors, faulted ever
flawed, casting securely in rinds of iron

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Sobriety

The world in thumbnail fashion 
hanging limply from the window curtain
containing only impervious snickers 
and holding a big belly full of laugh. 

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Pacific Call to Prayer

I have found the reason for living 
in a town like this, our doorstep perpetually 
dusted with buttery sand and mountain leaves
brought in by a single sweep from the balcony. 
The sweet sea air circles the windows 
like a cat with her mouse or the roach 
with his drain. Curiosity comes and
goes. Frolicsome play at one with it all. 
A fine day, with rooster talons speckling rooftops 
all over this neighbourhood, a Pacific call to prayer 
in the earliest hours of the sunrise. Come worship 
the intimacy of land meeting sea. Come worship 

the stretched rainbow, which lances the palm trees. 
Worship the Soul that sets fire to the sun and feeds the skin. 

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Where, Then, is Paradise?

For the ones who whistle while uprooting pineapples
or clambering over basalt sculptures up Mauna Kea;

for the ones who tuck belly flesh into red shorts 
and walk the ocean on yellow planks; 

for the ones who slide on earthen pine needles
cascading loose rocks down Mount Olympus;

I see the wallowing faces in the canal reflection. 

Where, then, is paradise? 

Between the lines of gritted sweat that streaks a face
lined like sidewalk chalk? Underneath the sleeping dog 
who curls up tight against his bridge-like master? Tucked
high above in the zebra dove’s nest, cozy against cold metal? 

I see the faces in the canal reflection. 
Where, then, is paradise? 

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