Saturday, October 31, 2015

Especially Umpqua

The season is slow to change
slowly turning down blankets
on its banks its rivers and creeks
rivulets and swales the ditches
especially the Umpqua's valleys
oaks their brown leaves brittle
holding branches not letting go

We're looking for the fox
at the same place we pass
each time after Metz Hill
meridian widening the size
of a small country all ferns
It's not there nor is a carcass
a relief soon forgotten again
in a trance driving there's fog
mist catching on the slopes

You are here with us we see
everything more that we did
more than usual this season
refusing to go to sleep it's
supposed to be at least 68
today and almost the same
tomorrow this time I'm lying
it will be cooler tomorrow

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Wordle

Wordle was my teacher
in the larger scheme of things.

My pants
in Nevada--
crazy crosswords going
every which way.  Right on brother
sister and peace and joy and love.

No matter where
we saw the same Great Basin
and then suddenly didn't
mountains and their sage
getting in the way scratching.

Exactly like Wordle
but it isn't and then it is when
it isn't that's me walking with Dad
around the block and Shumagin
prancing his malamute dance
tail curling and cottonwoods shedding.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Mean

Sometimes I could really see him
Wearing velvet
Smoking a cigar
He was the little prince
Harold and his purple crayon
But wearing bright red.

He was unapproachable
And very protective.
It went both ways.

He probably had the bright idea
practicing "walking the line"
After a can of Dad's beer
At Tina's birthday party
In the third grade.

He probably told Tina
I was the big tattle-tale
That time and later
She was immune
To the cat food pate'
I served up on crackers
Maybe that's why.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dear Monsieur Albert

Please tell Tina to speak
the sister competition is off

Should I address you as Alpert
(Herb) Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

The album we hated most
in Mom's collection, musically

The one we looked at
more than Woodstock--
Corine stuck on Marty Robbins'
Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs

Is that where your name comes from?
Was there a battle I missed?  Not counting
Mom and Dad and that summer of John.

Is this the possible reason for your Ezra Pound
silence?  A protest against the past any mention
of it now

The voice you use in your work
is the one you use in real life, Monsieur

Please use this voice to tell her
I've come to no conclusions

Please tell her I admire her pergola even though
I called it a credenza by mistake trying to sound

Please tell her that the stuff about spraying
and having to spray the wicker furniture
underneath the credenza--

I'll use pergola
so I don't appear so foolish
plus that is what it was

Monday, October 26, 2015

Missing Years

between those decades
Trees grew attitudes

fragile kiwi and peach
Against the high rises

tame geese
Bats claiming more

this list without you
My sad bench no longer

waits as it did
Tucking into green

miss you next to the fountain
look at its light splashing

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Millrace Spectres

Now it is the future
with its no trace
of Agripac

With holes looking out
the steam plant's
impossible windows
one light left on
for us?
To come in and begin
again?  A patrol of the cages
wires and splicing--
extra rags in our dungarees
creating something out of nothing
that would be our job

Too-sweet pancakes
at the diner its name escaping
because it was right there
customers obvious
the Four O'clock
wasn't that the name?

Upriver cormorants in the snag--
their ancient throats singing
the same silent gulping song
in the sun
we walk along
looking at everything
twice as much as before

Friday, October 23, 2015

When The World Was A Clock

I lived inside an almond
not one named Steve, please
but machine, nonetheless
broken into parts--
a surgeon.

In attendance.  On a shelf.
One day, I became a flower.
Mind, a leaf.

We are ever in the time
of the bad cupids--

Tell them to leave
listen for ticking.

Now, this and that really happened.
We are too busy sorting to even look up
except when we enter the forest.

Floyd Skloot Mister Amazing

Hope lives magic waiting
Old Gold
Parisian Blue
Mr. Osprey Mr. Sand Mr. Dream

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Night Life

How can I leave the apartment knowing
you died out there years ago
strangers without houses conversing
your street not exactly quiet but also exactly
the same at 2 a.m. Remember that guy
going door to door selling buttons
exotic wood and how
I thought that would likewise
be my future only the wood
dense without any animals
dark danger living stumps
did the same idea pass through
awhile ago just asking

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tales To Tell

Miles to sleep
Before I weep

Tea to drink
Under the drip

Clouds are cloudy
Trees have wings

I miss driving
It didn't seem

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

House of Starlings

Get up and go
to the place Bride never went

it's the river's task
reason with bright leaves

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Big

Thoughts were left there
A big question mark
The missing person

Could not answer

but is supposed to

The fields are wet
Their mouths so dry

Only three blocks away
I live in their shadow

Buildings absorb the sun--
the dust is kept down

usual life not as usual
as murder everyday

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Apple Cider

La Grande Drive In
closed for the season
what decade is this
valley flat
boxcars whining
night of no agreement
there is another elk

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ladd Marsh

They were interested in removing
Any trace but that was after the fact
In the investigation The criminal
Remained condemned possibly
Remembered for more than
What seemed to be meat
Along the roadside we name it
When we are too late
Closing our eyes to the crime

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mind Of Its Own

I had them take a picture
Just to see its eye
however evil
the oyster flying at night
Not that great of a hiding place
my opinion a rocky landscape
my fertility for all to see
we're not talking zip codes
or even time zones
finally rid of futile things
crushing them smaller
a large project

Monday, October 12, 2015

Convex Mirror Tina

Tales of her teddy bear hamster.
Begin and end here.

She didn't spend much time weeping.
That was me.

I was the one with the bag on my head.
Sure it was paper but that still counts.

She spent endless hours regarding powder puffs.
I noticed that the world was existential.  Especially Dad.

She wrote off all of us.  She wrote as a spider.
Even Albert was jealous.  That was the secret not The Secret.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dear Tina

How lucky we were that summer of no parents
where you and I could act young especially me
our sweatshirts saving us again and again from
elements the Lower Fork's deception you forgot
that's what you said although who could believe
a particular seven month-sized stone lived inside me
all those years.  How it hid there like the dickens
how I ignored it even when it was discovered.
To be hiding an organic mystery seemed no big deal.
Even now I think of Doctor B and even H and remember
how they had to go on their family vacations.  Aspen
and Disney.  The Internet said that to be enormously
liked by others it is important to listen not interrupt.
There was also some junk about repetition and reinforcing
but that's ounces too much like teaching which I would
rather avoid for the time being.  Your hometown is waiting
to hear.  How splendid is your silence.  The tarp is open.
Now please get in this time before the others start
screaming.  Charley horses.  Catching light in the dark.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Our Next Conversation

But not in this life.
In the hands of the inebriated.
We met then left.
All to chance. Could you say?
Near campfires I find you.
Just a trace of ash.  Dragonflies.
Glass babies and how her sister
spoke about salad in a most irritating.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Union (city) Blues

Ring-necked pheasant
All faucets turned on
Their line-up

The valley is made

How she told about her mother
Who will never die
Never emerge from never land

Thursday, October 8, 2015

In A Year Without Berries

Hear it breathing
tugging on something

on your dream

of sheep

big horns



nice and hard

into America

what's leftover
on the Middle Fork

tangled in the tarp

then shooting

unlike autocorrect

teeth remaining teeth

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Transaction

And you
will look at you
I will look at me
in our
ever after

Monday, October 5, 2015

Glacier's Pace

Some talk it neat straightening
egos above the many valleys
grimacing strangers
listen distractedly
arranging their pedigrees.

It's liquid not porous.
At least take some comfort
in the halfway meeting
understanding slipping
into miles and miles
freshly scrubbed wheat.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Old Oregon Trail

The henge is
a contented circle
in the middle
of so many angles
criss-crossing dashes
competing elevated designs

as life moves
the hell on.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hill Mansion

I live in a cave
off I-84
the mansion
my days

spent counting
the lights of Biggs
two shades of yellow
reds all the same
green is in the middle

Mosquitos bring news

This was supposed to be

Rest In Peace

Then Mom said someone from yoga
among the dead and her voice
the fish ladder parking lot
where CNN and all
their dishes pointing
up the Umpqua's
outer space.

A break finally
that struggle
in Hollywood
where cooperation smiling
personality friendship happy
occurring back on Earth
solving math problems
not the English ones.

Friday, October 2, 2015

What If Douglas County

We lived on a watery planet.
We depended on a bright orb
hooked on its warmth its being.

Peace and love.  Starlings.  Red-winged blackbirds.
    Douglas fir.  Douglas County.

Would be enough.  

               What if this holding a candle
yes holding a candle.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My LaGrande Hair

A small white gorilla
riding Dad's shoulders

at Winchester

and up the Umpqua
with Mom
in front of
a slab of
old growth

the sun
a weak pewter question

Slinger sd
demure surreal
(a whole new world)

I remember
and looking it up.

At tiny tin house
they're avoiding gunmetal


muscular is in the literature
quite a bit.

Dontcha know now.