Monday, August 31, 2009


Child, I am writing to apologize,
though you cannot yet read,
for every moment I have been rough with you.

Seventeen years your senior,
I know too well the moments that
life will be rough with you. Without apology.

Child, I am writing to apologize,
though you may never remember,
for every time I have been impatient with you.

For the preschool rush, the hastiness
on with the shoes and out the door
for snatching you up and snapping you
into your booster seat, your little feet
swung from their spot before you could
examine the cicada in the driveway that scared you.

No doubt the largest insect you had ever seen,
it glistened holographic on the asphalt in the near-noon sun.

When I hurried you into the car and drove away,
dismissing your curiosity with a sharp lie:
"its just a big bug"
I failed to explain that fantastic root dweller
who emerges only once every seventeen years
to molt its skin and begin its adult life.

May you always have time and forgiveness.
May you be surrounded by people more willing
and worthy than me, to explain the trivial and fantastic-
ready to revel with you in the smallest wonders. 
May you blossom, emerging from this home
brilliant and beautiful to rise high above this asphalt,
and may you not wait 17 years to see another cicada.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The prairie underscores the bright blue
of the 10 a.m. sky and a train slices
the whole scene diagonally:

running beside the long straight
black of route 66

carrying the cogs to some massive
machine that makes another part
of the world run

but not this part

if every train stopped and every
telephone pole fell and all the
wires tangled in sparks on the
ground, nothing would change here.

These red rocks
thick clay
scrub bushes
lean hawks
don't mind.

Laws of Nature

Two men hang glide near the dam
they swing on the wind
blown dandelion seeds
then drop
all red and yellow parachutes
and crumple on the ground.

Two girls drive through the desert
top down
all Joshua trees and sand
heads turning all directions
the dead parts dropping off.

The west canyon rises high
and hard into the clouds--
the only objects casting fat shadows
in the noon sun.

The dam restrains the gushes,
human laws for wild things.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Notes from the desert

Since I haven't written in so long, I thought I'd post a little preview of what I am working on. Some Notes from my cross country road trip. Love from Albuquerque.


Driving the long straight stretch towards Barstow
heading the same way Hunter did
in a smaller convertible, decades later
wondering what my reaction will be to the city of sin
and whether or not the great American dream has changed.

Smog so thick it swallows the tops of the mountains
and taller billboards in the the distance
follows us up 15 N and hasn't burned off by 10:30.

Hit Hesperia and see a few wind turbines,
sad attempts to prevent the destruction
of the atmosphere, but considering the fog,
seems like too little too late.

Alison takes us on a mad, GPS guided search
for a Starbucks, which dot the landscape like cacti,
and we fly through the drive-thru with two
ventiskinnyicedcaramellattes with extra shots,
almost faster than Alison, with severe ADD and
years of practice, can order them.

"we'll be in Barstow in an hour."

Costco, Walmart, In'n'out, and Del Taco
line the route out, begging drivers to stock up
before they hit the strange stretch of barren desert
the last un-commercialized space in the nation --
coming from Disneyland, where a platoon of
cartoon characters has made a police state of Anaheim,
the desert is a welcome sight for me.

We pass a 2009 revisit of the Camaro
and discuss the streamlined recreations
of Mustangs and Chevelles. Alison likes them.
I think that good things always come back,
sleeker, updated-- never quite as good as before.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


My sunglasses,
the big ones
I always have on

the ones he said
he hated once
because they hid
my eyes

another said
they were retro
or something
like that

and you, well
you bought them for me, but
I've been wearing them
so long I'm not sure
you notice them anymore...

they have a pinkish
yellow tint, that
makes everything
more beautiful.

Intensify the
effects of transient
light on stable earth
the greens of plant
the blue on white of sky

They make those contrasts
more deliberate, and
gentler too, somehow.

On this deck, now
admiring the backyard
I realize I am not
wearing them, for once

and that the technicolor
I see is all 9 a.m. sunlight.