Shopping music

It’s cooler/warmer/more chic in here than outside/at home/in class. Other people in the store have money maybe it doesn’t matter we’re shopping. The music is different/hollow/perfect for right now, where it's warmer/edgier/more mocha than the street. Ask the clerk who’s playing forget what he says keep shopping. Everything fits/lingers/slims me like I worked for it. The mirrors/lighting/curtains thrum. It’s Yes/recorded/a license to steal.


2011 limited edition broadside with Jill Carlton

She Is Not Luna

She is not Artemis he is not

Apollo. They wrestle anyway,

earth magnets looking up.

He says, It’s six o’clock it’s dark


I don’t like it.

Go to a pole, she says.

The southern hemisphere — that one.

You want sun? It’s there.


His mind’s hemisphere falls short,

starts its whine about cold and no

farmers markets. Happy with the darker

walk toward solstice, she limps it now,

begins again to light the tableau.

i value safety

my metropolitan ears

want the freeway

but it's too black here the freeway

is not black

on saturday night

the white dedicated birds although like headlights

are also

not black their loud talk uninterrupted

by ten thousand radio waves

open shutters on morro bay bring saturday winter night

air softer than my hands

terrific pacific yards from here

mimics the freeway so i can hear her

so i can then feel safe


from Color Voices Place

Good News from the River

What about that boy,

seven years old,

rescued in the river?


Did you hear his first words

when evening light 

hit his calm little face?


I'm thirsty.

And he waved.

Everybody else —


his daddy, his uncle,

his brother — was all right

for hours, bundled dry.


But the boy's uncle

refused to leave the water

'til something was certain


about his nephew in the cabin

of that flipped boat.

The uncle sat


in a dinghy nearby,

just quiet, the whole four hours

the rescue crew worked.


Don't you feel like they

were spirit in the water

then, those two? And


that you want to do that

for somebody,

save or carry them


in deep love?

Stay on the river,

hold the shining space?


--from Ground

Roundness Carries

Women and men looked on stars from slavers – just

a couple of times, aboveboard. How their horizon

curved back toward what they knew, then forward

to Lowcountry rice. How their bellies shrank concave,

their minds convex with imprisonment and flight.

How round a hole in the ground where there still

was ground. Over us, a discernible pattern of spirals

and swirls enchants as glittering tails swing and sting.


from Ground

Moonstone/Not My Son

Veins of greywhite

shoot through rocks.

Their forms would be easier,

little mountain-selves smoother

without the steady worry.

On Moonstone Beach

green yellow red seaweed

nouveau chefs will arrange

to look like your day at the beach.

Some son who is not mine.

I say this to protect myself

if he becomes lost to undersea adventure,

the red visor floater

marking his departing,

mocking me for choosing it,

shorts & cap to match.

Way out there

may be an orange boat    the people in it

drag his little body from the water    the orange boat

may be thick seaweed    i think it is

there is only one person out there

maybe he is a stick


from Color Voices Place


Don't just stand there

In order to have lost our way,

a path stretched toward us

and we ignored it,

or remained in place, or


were petulant, and chose

the opposite direction.

Why seek a new way?

Tales retold in verbs:


Roam, explore, plunder–

span discovery to this uncovering.

One purpose in staying is to remind.

As a way to talk the history.


As a way.


2011 limited edition broadside with Rob McAdams