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Chinese Encyclopedia

Somewhere between the wheels of disaster

and the foliage of dreams

Somewhere between the biographies of driftwood

and the mist of buried cities

Somewhere between the fornicator's last confession

and the scumblehunk's first unsteady steps

someone will be thinking of you

someone will be wondering

why you did what you did

and why you didn't do what you didn't do.

And somewhere between the breaking of the wave

and the breaking of the wave

Somewhere between the first experience of purple

and the last squeeze of the toothpaste tube

Somewhere between the unanswered letter

and the forgotten lullaby

someone will be thinking of you

someone will be wondering

what's going to happen to you

when the going gets going and is gone

when there's nothing left of summertime

but a handful of broken shells.

And somewhere between the beginning of the circle

and the end of the Christmas sales

Somewhere between the seven gold keys of the twinklebox

and the grandmothers of Kentucky

Somewhere between songlight

and the moon of the fallen angel

Somewhere between here and there and now and then and impulse and regret and the smells of Old Bailey

someone will be thinking of the promises you made

someone will be wondering what happened to the dinosaurs

someone will discover your reflection

in the undiscovered pool

and the golden bells of Magnolia

will never sound again.

The poem

        • Of all the poems
        • in the books on the pages in the ear on the tongue
        • of all the poems
        • with their wandering pathways their minor discoveries
        • terrains where the footprints are everywhere
        • of all the poems
        • written rewritten rejected and cherished
        • only one
        • will be remembered.
        • There will be a mountain in it
        • and a tree or the feeling of a tree
        • a small bird singing by an open window
        • although none of these may be referred to specifically.
        • As you read it you will hear your voice
        • as though for the first time
        • singing as once you sang
        • laughing, crying as you used to.
        • There will be an ocean wave in it
        • early sunlight on wet leaves
        • the sigh of someone who has reached the other side of pain
        • although none of these may be referred to specifically.
        • And there will be elements in it
        • that only you will recognize
        • and that you may not be able to elucidate.
        • After you have read it
        • the poem will linger in you.
        • When all the conversations are completed
        • when the unspoken thoughts dissolve into silence
        • along with the dreams the memories
        • the aspirations and the passions
        • the poem will whisper in your ear
        • like the song your mother sang
        • when you awoke alone in darkness
        • like the light of a star that you looked at
        • before you forgot to look.
        • Somewhere in the house
        • where you have lived since you were born
        • a door will open
        • that you never knew was there
        • and everything you see
        • will tell you its name
        • the rocks will all open like mouths
        • and the springs they have ached for so long to release
  • Only one of the poemswill be rememberedto write it

    I would give my life

    over and over again.


White Noise

White Noise

It’s the cannonading of it, the bombastic bomb-burst

barrage of it. It’s the crashing smashing bashing

splashing force of it and the roaring storming wall and

fall and sprawl of it, and the hit split white bright

flower tower shower firework fountain of it

carrier of wet shells crab claws torn kelp dead logs

and it’s the blossoming bloom and boom and spume of it

and all the tumble rumble bubble of it

the cappuchino froth and foam of it

the cidersnapping pepsisudsy brineybeady hissywhisper windfringe

the glossy corruscating nonstop poppoppopping of it

distributor of ripped nets plastic bottles scoured glass wet balls

and it's the rock smack shock and shudder of it

and the restless sleepless endless dogdrenching

thunder of it, and it's the gleam and the glow and the glare

and the glint and the glimmer and the glisten and the glitter and the glory of it

transporter of dead birds broken surf boards bent beer cans and strands of dark green seagrass

and it’s the in and the out

the push and the pull

the ebb and the flood

the thrust and the suck

advance and retreat

forwards and backwards

attack and withdrawal

churn and return of it

generator of salt, happiness and

white noise.


I huffed and I puffed

and I blew a balloon

as big as a Boeing

as round as the moon.

I love you was written

all over its skin

and I sealed its mouth

with a silvery string.

High in the heavens

it floated and flew

following breezes

that led it to you.

Into your garden

as gentle as breath

you took out a needle

and stabbed it to death.