May 2009


sugar cane shadows


I am walking down green

sugar cane tunnels

like alleys I’ve never known

sitting in a corn field staring up through

glassy eyes at the starry sky

like I’ve never seen it before

while water rolls miles in from the shore, covers fields

where cows grazed the sweet grass

fills marshes and spills platforms

off oil field foundations til the water slicks like glass.

I’m passing by this green

corridor of canes reaching high

over my head, swallowing me whole

inside a memory–you tried

to run away from me

away from the shadows curdling the corners of your mind

but in this corn maze you would’ve gotten

hopelessly lost

(more…)

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…and I’m too busy right now to post more, but soon I’ll have time to catch up.  Meanwhile, here’s a quick post of what’s to come:

I.

Under the overpasses, up in the concrete-rib rafters

supporting the sky

there are pigeons

cooing bird-gossip about everyone

who passes by: ooh, did you

see her, dressed like a skank in that skirt

they’ve made their nests there for years

their shit splatters on tarp roofs

and a couple of trailers below

pigeons aren’t the only ones

who live under overpasses

down here, you know

II.

It’s been four years

four fucking years and still

I hate listening to weather forecasts

can hear the darkness creep into her voice

when she remembers

(no wonder she’s the serious one most

of the time)

graduation and her mama’s watching

from the seats where rain poured

gouged gaps in the ceiling where wind had already

raked her fingernails

and god,

there were so many souls lost here

is this some kind of game

you like to play with us when we’ve been sinners?

I sit my back to the house shingles, salt tears trailing

finger-marks on my face

because ribs can’t hold me upright when

I hear her voice shake

from the shadows four years have cast on her

III.

The river is far wider than it is up at Vicksburg

wider than I remembered it–seems the whole continent

is unzipping her dress here,

bare back to the Gulf and sunshine

warms the skin of rolling waters

water breathes, you know, waves roil like

diaphragm muscle

in and waves lap like dogs’ tongues in summer-time

out and you worry about walls holding

this place breathes deep as a canyon, wide

as an ocean and I’ve lost

all sense of direction

flying blind towards the sun again