ember & ash

now the city’s once-poets,
rock-chained and rail-thin,
spout river rust
and rain-washed chalk
plans for overtight epics,
back with
dinnertime gigs
and dimestore glories picking the dead
bits off mediocrity-ridden skin,
become suburban and
of cheap tequila
Tuesdays that can’t quite erase
the foregone diagnosis
of cancer where
hurts the
most. hearthfire
wasn’t sacred
before it existed;
where is your


Caught up in microcosms

and forgetting to breathe

I dance, shivering

over quicksands baked under desert suns,

phenomenon no less strange

than that I am at home in overcast lowlands

dripping dew and melancholy.

Huddled against a prying wind

and shielding what was once flame

from altogether extinction,

I look for direction

to a changeable sky,

try singing,

scribble in mud, hope

only not to become buried

in metaphor.