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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Medusa's Kitchen published this photo I took today. An angel choir.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Today Medusa's kitchen published this little Suite I wrote earlier this year.

SUITE

These pathways are lined with anxious

Dreamers, unable to sleep.

The floors are damp with longing.

Animals drift past unaware of our

Presence.

We speak to each other abandoning

Communication.

Some live their entire lives like this.

2.

The trees are terribly upset.

They shake their branches pretending

There is a wind. An elm of great age

Has split itself apart. Pale ropes

Cascade

In a rage from within the white wood.
Rain. Snow. Are you alone my

Darling?

3.

Can you hear the red voices

Naming your sweet children

Like an adagio or an intemperance

From the stomach. Unable to swallow

We offer them to your red seasons,

Our hands uncleam. We send them back

To God as if they were a charm

On a little girls first bracelet

That has become lost and causes

A crying as only little girls cry

For lost things. Take away their

Guns before we are all dead.

4.

The dream of the children inviolate.

A spinning our of control, beyond

All kinds of dreaming. Children

Are reduced to names. We forget

They shot from or bodies fully

Alive. We have no idea how love

Impacts the core of our being.

We will do anything to name

How we spin everything against

What we really want to happen.

We call it our lives. Then it becomes such.

5.

So still we think

It might be the young

Of some deep forest animal.

It is not. It is our heart.

6.

I’m breaking the morning.

There are spirits drifting

Through our bloodstreams.

We offer them to the gods.

We think we are smiling

As if there were more information.

Some how there never is enough.

We smile to ourselves.

Whatever we think is poison.

7.CODA

IRIDES

Window shopping

For souls. Sometimes

They are the broad

Leaves of the deep

Purple iris. Sometimes

They are the vestments

Of the eyes as they gaze

Into those of a lover.

Sometimes they are shopping

Four souls, forcing dreams

To submit to their fantasies

Without regard for the hours

Being chanted aloud before

The sun has even considered rising.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rattlesnake Review #24 has published the following in issue number 24-Winter 2009-10


NOTES ON WATER

We are always amazed at the way

Water says to us, reflections,

The cusp of foam upon its lips,

Those barriers that keep us

Away from the edge.

Color in the water.

The water on fire.

The way it sees all things

From love to funerals.

Sometimes there is a great breath

Taken, one we cannot name,

That, as it moves from

The body becomes the name of time,

But always we remember,

Not always a “new, new”

But a roiling up from the bowels

Of earth,

Built like a melody,

To hold freely without using

Any room. In the eyes,

In the ears. We see ourselves

Moving.

Sometimes we think we are drowing

But no, we are being carried.

It passes around us, through us

And WE ARE CARRIED.

Listen to our names.


GOD MUST BE CHLORINE GAS

God must be chlorine gas.

On Niagara Falls Boulevard at 1:00 AM

The red lights went on. All cars

Stopped. The air became green with

Chlorine gas as it vented

Into the air of Niagara Falls.

Five minutes of clouds full.

Dreams of death in its many forms

Caught in headlights and a view.

A road stretching toward

The Falls covered in green gas.

Claxhorns blaring danger.

A line of cars watching this

Terror blows into our very

Air. There was no escape.

Eventually the traffic light

Changed to green itself and

Suddenly it was safe to proceed

Through Klieglights on ghost figures

Closing valves against any future.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Medusa's Kitchen published this photo Lisa took on Sunday. It is quite a surprising image.

Medusa's Kitchen published these photos and poems today.


REMEMBERING THE JUNGLE

If we could only

Remember how the

Words worked, the ones

That helped change the seasons

So that no one would notice

Until time itself had piled

Up snow or leaves or

Rain upon rain into the center

Of a month, but we

Could not. Here faces were burned

Off, limbs were regarded

As cord wood, milk spilled

From mouths. We could not

Begin to disguise our disgust

Of the shape dreams made

On the walls of our villages.

Someone said the wands had been

Taken from the area long ago.

Still, we could see lights in the jungle

Night occasionally. They were music.

They were our voices.

We thought they were our homes on fire.



A MORNING FILLED WITH ROSES

Bullets dream the taste of flesh.

The parting of the skin to red

Fountains and the splinter of bone.

Saints speak with tongues made of fire.

The names of God split with desire’s

Sweet tooth pulled up against the spine.

The night is away from home.

I have seen where it goes,

How it borrows morning

From the dream. Listen to this wind.

It clots just below the sky,

Squats on the tops of hills,

Staring down at its own rivers

Deep, like blood.

Look here. A hand dips down

Into a palace of feeling.

Perhaps it is someone loving someone

We might not have noticed except

That the hand squeezes drop after drop of blood

From the wells from which we drink.

This kind of language is full of pretty

Things like this. Come out here with me.

The sun seems about to move from

Behind those trees, to wake up the birds.

If we are so perfect just this once

We can watch the bullets pick their way

Through the body. The smell of gunpowder

On the air. A morning filled with roses.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I have an image of the poster for the poetry reading I did with Jim Morrison of the Doors and that incomparable poet/playwright Michael McClure. This was 1972. The poster was designed by Bill Yates.

Saturday, November 28, 2009



Today I am most fortunate. Medusa's Kitchen has published an entire issue of my poetry and photographs.. I found the photo in a pile of books in Jan Jett's backyard that had been out in the rain for some time.

HISTORY

We thought then, when we were travelling,

The children knew something

Special, the way the light moved in their eyes,

The kinds of sounds they chose to become

Words. We would watch the owls

Beariing gifts of curious silver on silent

Wings. Not one of us said a thing.

I supposed that all things were

Like this. The rising of the moon

Was on everyone’s lips. How wonderful.

How pale. We had never seen a moon

Such as this one. Each time it was new.

Now, standing on the high places near

The edge of the water we think the wind

Has something important to say. It does

Not. It speaks but it has no words. It is

Tongue for the trees who tell us of

Bees, the names of the seasons,

The kind and number of the breezes,

How light makes sound through the cambium.

We have been so often wrong that for a

Moment we doubt the children.

We discover a red color we have

Never seen before. Language

Abandons us just before dusk.

We question each other with gestures,

Frantic to recall how it was

We made fire, how we knew to use

These roads, where we had been.


FOLK TALE

When we lived along the edge

Of the sea we used to heat our homes

With a certain oil that burned

With a particular clear green flame.

As children we thought this oil

Came from the fish that were

Our livelihood. Allejandro said

That the green was caused by the

Fact that a type of fish caught here

Shared a common dreaming.

They dreamed they did not live in the seas but

Instead swam through the oaks and

Firs that surrounded our village and

Because the entire fish was pressed

For this oil, their brains gave

Up the greens that were the color

Of the drempt leaves. Maria Xavier said, no,

It was only the food they fed upon

That graced the oil this way.

As we grew we found out that

The oil did not come from fish

At all, but rather from a sacred

Well on the cliffs above the sea.

This well had a peculiar

Property to it. It was impossible

To pump the oil out. It had

To be withdrawn by placing one’s

Mouth to the ground of the well

and sucking the fluid from the

Earth. We were the fish,

Our mouths pressed to the breast

Of the earth, our life breath

Drawing up this oil with fish

Mouth and exhaling emerald

Flames that warmed all the

Winters of our youth.


IF THERE IS NOWHERE

If there is nowhere for the spirit

To move, it builds its house in that

Place. We find wonder in the way

Distance reveals objects on the edge

Of disappearing. We find names for the way

A hand opens.

We give special attention

To the gesures trees make. “They are

Caressing the air.” We say.

There is a story, seldom told, of seeing

And not seeing, more than opening and

Closing the eyes.

We say dreaming is a way

Of seeing. We call from our sleep to

The waking world. It is a place

Where sound neglects language and

Spills from the lips, unhinged. It

Is unseen, a particle of the night.

What is seen: a body writhing beneath

Sheets – an avalanche of form.


HISTORY

We thought then, when we were travelling,

The children knew something

Special, the way the light moved in their eyes,

The kinds of sounds they chose to become

Words. We would watch the owls

Beariing gifts of curious silver on silent

Wings. Not one of us said a thing.

I supposed that all things were

Like this. The rising of the moon

Was on everyone’s lips. How wonderful.

How pale. We had never seen a moon

Such as this one. Each time it was new.

Now, standing on the high places near

The edge of the water we think the wind

Has something important to say. It does

Not. It speaks but it has no words. It is

Tongue for the trees who tell us of

Bees, the names of the seasons,

The kind and number of the breezes,

How light makes sound through the cambium.

We have been so often wrong that for a

Moment we doubt the children.

We discover a red color we have

Never seen before. Language

Abandons us just before dusk.

We question each other with gestures,

Frantic to recall how it was

We made fire, how we knew to use

These roads, where we had been.


DELTA MOON

The moon rose, thick,

Orange and damaged.

It was the horizon for a few

Moments, then, bleeding its

Refection into the river,

Lifted itself into the delta

And became the Autumn night.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

Medusa was kind enough to publish this one today.

ONE HUNDRED POEMS

The way light eats the horizon.

The way Japanese ghosts

Have no feet. Birds gather

In the trees. They say things

To each other that we can hear

But are unable to understand.

A glass reflects the rising

Of the moon. Reading secret

Messages in the pattern of leaves

Upon the ground. There were

Pieces of conversation stuck to

His teeth. A great cultus of

Admonition flourished around

Any mention of the present tense.

The rafters were draped

With banners showing the most

Intimate secrets of the verb.

Landscape is spoken of only

In regard to feelings. There is

No middle distance. It becomes

Inevitable that dense conversation

Cover the face of the moon,

That night untie itself

From any reason and reduce

All poetry to whispers which

Remind one of the wind.

One hundred poems are written

At exactly the same moment.

They are mistaken for oceans,

And fished and thought of great

Depth. One crosses them

Full of wonder, lingering as long

As possible to watch

The waves, the shadow

Flight of birds across

Their sweet surface.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medusa's Kitchen published this poem today

WALKING ALONG THE ROAD WE STOP NEAR A STREAM IN SPRINGTIME

You have found bits of song caught

In the spillway of a beaver dam. They

Are church-like in their praising. They shake

The collection of sticks

Piercing the face of the dam like so many

Bayonets. A rain begins and spills

Upon the surface of the pool, each drop a book,

A crowd, a child, a Golden Heart siging to the fools,

To what is left of the dancers, the poor shoulders

Of the river made to bear a cascade of tears.


They have built a monument on the edge

Of a cliff. It is impossible to get close enough

To look at it without plunging into the mind of God.

We stand watching the little fires in its towers,

The pitiful way it seems to contemplate the end

Of day. A vibrant eye peers from every window,

Some of them weep as only ones who have seen murder

Can weep. Ships send up flares to illuminate this place.


We walk along the edge of the pond where the grass

Grows tall and yellow. We stop and kiss each other

Before deciding to lie in this place and create

Another world, full of wings and the silence invented by snow.

We are unquenchable as acrobats before the highest throne.


House, knife, wonder, tears, cold, a flute,

Lambs, bridges, hills, the beautiful dark,

Silver bells opening like journeys, a crying,

Weaving a web around the heart that it may

Not break. All of the heavens resting

In the corners of your smile.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


`Medusa's Kitchen published this photo today

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Medusa's Kitchen published these two poems today, this Halloween

HALLOWEEN

She filled her hands

With winter light and November's

Crows, a calcophany of wings

Against the blue of early evening.

Children used to come here.

There were hills and copses and woods

Challenging the imagination with shadows

Caught alive in stories of the Fall.

The road ended at her mouth,

Full of weeds and drifting terrors

Searching for a body to accompany

During the dark evenings of the waning year.

Shaken, she reaches for the twilight

As if it were a vessel of some kind,

Easy on any sea, unmoved and with sails

Painted in the colors of forgetting.

To dream was to vanish into memory,

The twinkle of an eye,

The brush of a hand across a shoulder,

No place for sharing stories, whispering.

This time of year is full of stuff

Like this, fine of hand and bathed

In a crystal construct made of wood,

Made of fire, made of singing.

She was not given to understand

More of this than her hands covered

With the cool and brilliant light.

She wishes us luck as we continue

Toward the shoreline, the same light

Glinting off the water, infecting

Our minds, making everything in life

A challenge and the turning of the days

Borne on the backs of black birds

Exploding time with cackling and shrieking.


THE BURN

There are no stars in the sky tonight.

It is not because of the clouds.

The ego is so immense.

I feel I have called this to myself.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

today Medusa's kitchen published the following


ANOTHER HALLOWEEN

The moon is unsteady, trusting its light

To the stars it cowers behind clouds

Not allowing beams or dreams

To release themselves from its foggy

Journey. The voice is gone.


From the jungle floor we are able

To see those stars with proper names.

We do not greet them nor they us.

From here they seem cold. Distance

Is such a detatched maiden, full of thought

That have nothing to do with our petty concerns.


Closer, a night bird tells the darkness

Another secret, crazing the place where we sleep

With lines of sound. Fear begins to rise from

Its shadowy rooms, tells us we should be afraid,

Of what we have no idea. Just be afraid

Comes the message. Halloween arranging


Its crested headpiece in orange and yellow,

Glaucous whites and using the wind as voice,

Begins the seasons tales. We have heard them

All before and we have never heard them.


“Wait for the moon to return.”, someone whispers.

“She will be round and huge and full." We will be able

To see everything the night conceals clearly.


Perhaps this is a good idea. Things fly quickly

Just above our heads. We smell the cinnamon of

Autumn rising to the top of the night.

Someone calls our names.

We never recognize the voice.




CALIFORNIA HALLOWEEN


Bright orange CALTRANS

Trash bags piled on the side

Of the freeway: Seansonal garbage.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

new poem published by Medusa's Kitchen today.


GOD MUST BE CHLORINE GAS
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

God must be chlorine gas.
On Niagara Falls Boulevard at 1:00 AM
The red lights went on. All cars
Stopped. The air became green with
Chlorine gas as it vented
Into the air of Niagara Falls.

Five minutes of clouds full.
Dreams of death in its many forms
Caught in headlights and a view.

A road stretching toward
The Falls covered in green gas.
Klaxons blaring danger.
A line of cars watching this
Terror blow into our very
Air. There was no escape.

Eventually the traffic light
Changed to green itself and
Suddenly it was safe to proceed
Through Klieg lights on ghost figures
Closing valves against any future.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


On September 14 Medusa's Kitchen published this photo of mine

Sunday, September 13, 2009


new work published in WTF magazine
For Saint Paul


When the mountains are burning

We are flushed with the anger of living,

Standing on the narrows above

A pit of unknowing and a collection

of halos gathered around

our souls like the demons

of the ego, unexplained

deities

We recognize as our own

But refuse to own, orphans

Relegated to canals and

Tiny railroads where the freight

They carry is transported

To those we love

With the least possible

interruption

So that the pain will have

no dominion.


Let us dance there, together.

We will be naked as art is naked .

And we shall have children

Born of this dancing that shine

With the same glow we allow

To consume us as we touch

Eternity in loving one another.


Saint Paul drunk with fear

For his own life, admonishing

Us that our beds are

Temporary at best,

But beloved refuges

Where we may lay each to each,

Watching these very mountains

burn

And feel that it is a privilege

To stand near the fire,

Not burning, but singing.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Medusa's Kitchen published these two new poems just two days after I wrote them.

VISITATION BY MIRACLES


A night train grinds

The edges of our understanding.


We make light of it, thinking

It is only a small disturbance,

Something we can overcome,

A brightness there in that late occurrence.


We are given to know many things.

Why I cry being so much different

Than why you cry and how would

We know what fills the heart or leaves

It open for visitations by miracles.


Somewhere it comes together, where

The tracks seem to converge in a distance.

But that is a place we cannot reach

Given all things from sleep and dreams,

To heated arguments and cursing at one another.


Eventually the sounds recede, a long

Hollow road into a further darkness.

We essay to bring songs, some kind of gift

To it, It remains an unknown god,

A blistering of angels just before consciousness

Decides we have had enough and leaves.



KEEPING SHADOWS


The lights come on.

They insist we move toward them.


We cannot recall that everything

Around them is without sound.


We follow them. Sometimes they are people,

Sometimes they are a fulfillment upon

The spine, enticing and crippling simultaneously,

As if it were a dance we learned

In grammar school between naps,

Between learning and listening to stories.


Sometimes we can go no further.

Everything is pain. Everything has finer

Clothing than we could ever wear.

We can barely stand to look at one another.


We keep shadows as guests.

Night after night they tell us

Beautiful tales of death and suffering.


Knowing they are lies.

We believe them.