Finch

The poem you are holding in your hands

Is the true story of what never happened.

My bird, a finch, came back today

Though where she went

I will never know.

She had once

A broken leg

Which has healed brokenly—

Also the true story

Of what never happened—

I am not a truth teller.

This morning

Wind crosses the lake

Like a speech

On temperance.

Stay awake, it says.

My bird, a finch, came back today.

Visualization

“I know what you’re thinking,” I say to the dog.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I say to the tyrant’s photo.

“I know,” I say to my hammer.

And sometime last night

I dreamt I was alone

On an island.

I said “I know,”

To a fistful of grubs.

 

This morning

I write “I know”

When Longinus asks—

What are we to say

of inquiries and questions?

 

Of pleading eyes

And voiceless inquiries

He said little.

Perhaps he tried

But there’s a lacuna

Equivalent

To about three pages.  

 

A Sweet Herald

 

Whether you see or don’t see

A Baltimore Oriole sounds occasionally

Like the door to a cellar

Where sometimes a child

Might hide or having

Once been in love

A man may bury love letters

For the cries of birds

Are not what we suppose.

What ails you

Can be greenery though

You’re defended

Overtly happy

Spring has come

So who’d imagine

A whistling bird

Or two building

Their hanging nest

Can stir up

A ghost from boyhood

A hospital room

A window half opened

An echo

From treetops

That wasn’t ever meant for you?

Dig a Hole

–for Nathan Bell

 

Luther’s ink pot, play that guitar!

Happy the one without devils!

 

Leadbelly:

Gwine dig a hole

To put the Devil in…

 

Hereabouts

Lots of small “d” devs

Each with barbed wire

On the mind—

 

Please

Get a guitar.

 

For the love of babies

Play something.

 

Don’t talk “recording contract.”

Banana

Now that I’m old I say things

Like “bananas are good”

As if it’s Manichean

They’re of the light

Lord knows they taste fine

No one’s seen the Devil

Holding one

And certainly I’m foolish

Half naked senior citizen

Up early

Exulting in his fruit

Childish before fucking eternity

I try to savor its sweetened ash

Clinging to a toddler’s joy

Only to think of slavery

Neruda’s “United Fruit”

The sorrows replete

In every picked thing

Now my banana

Is a flavorful ticket

Eat now, be absolved later