this morning, the weather is cooler,
and there is threat
of snow again in the midwest.

there are
heart-shaped messages
in my inbox that aren’t
really hearts, just
numerical symbols
that vaguely remind
of my struggles with multi-
variable calculus.

that was a long time ago. this
morning, the cat
won’t let me work.

he sits on my hip
as i type, scrutinizing
every last alphanumeric

there are
fast-moving clouds
of i-don’t know-what
kind; they make his tail
twitch and my eyes

i am thinking
about storms (about you),
about dancing (about me),
about how they ought
to make a good poem

a story of spirals and dervishes,
the solution
to some deceptively
simple equation
that explains the mysteries
of mathematics,
or metaphysics,
or something.

the cat
is a terrible spell-

July landscape, mid-Virginia

train whistles its late-afternoon
warning over the banks, shooing
herons from their nests, dockworkers
from their reveries; downstream
an earthbound descendant of
graffitied cement and rusty idealism
derives the ebb of the river’s summered
bottom with circles formulated
around the circumference
of heaven and lines drawn
up by hell’s indifference:
equations like battlescars written
not in flesh and blood but in
currents and railroad tracks and cut
deep in post-modern