on alchemy

Never much good at judging distances
or my own physical strength, I imagine
this morning that I could swim across
the Mississippi, be in Illinois by lunch.

I can see it clear from here; the grass
you’d be surprised is just as brown yet
still it’s humming: other. O! to emerge
today, on that exotic bank; a tip of my

hat to the cool affronted swans; slowly
stroll to any boxy old café; seek deep &
portly chairs, strange hum, trim cup of
soup – how warming, how well-earned!

Or, more: not swim …

First New Year (Taos, New Mexico)

The mountain I hadn’t met lamented. It was you’re welcome; I’m sorry you don’t belong. It stood, said you don’t fit—sun hitting its middle—but stay. Far off, Gladys …

Songs To Make You Feel Safe

Grateful for the Poplar Tree (1988)
Spring is Monolingual (2004)
Choir for Private People (2010)
Tranquil Stoneware Exhibit (2018)

In all songs, time is a vessel.
They mistranslate vessel, in reality, …


A better-looking version of you 
fleshes out the interesting impulses 
you suppress inside that 
mediocre sweatshirt. 

At last your fantastical love  
scenes receive proper lighting. 
Your meandering dreams? 
Sharpened by focus groups.