. . . . .
I woke up this morning in a cloud. My sleep was still receding like a stone into the bottom of a pond, the planet falling became a seed. . . The birds chipped away at it and then, just before I was fully out of its atomic pull, the sky fell through its middle, torn violently by a purple scar, the scar shocked--disappearing.
I'm captive in my room by the broken cages of the rain, all the pouring of the light into these lucent explosions. A cool electrocution. We need the rain so badly here in Southern California, and I think I need the day to work.
I prefer the stormy prison to the light one. I think of Jean Genet in his childhood prison of Fontevrault, a prison without fences, a blue autumn surrounded by dark hedges that seemed to glow like an evil halo over his life: "A man must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur, and dreaming is nursed in darkness."
I remember another rainstorm early spring, some years ago when I was living in Tempe, AZ, and missed my friend:
a small poem to my friend Cody Lee Cloud:
The rain is soft as script. I can feel it
the door to the street--it's
a hail of silver stones, even louder,
apple split apart. Can't you hear me,
Cody? Shouting your name across the Light?
The seeds dark as letters
trailing my fingers with their luminous oil.
Smell the clean world of petals
shocked to bliss by each
little barb of the mirrors! O Spirit,
I taste like pinecone. It hurts to
feel good as a blossom disrobed
but I do
give myself to all
little sumptuous mouths.
I take off my shirt
to search for you. I drink the blue halo of these tears.
. . . . .
This is a an imaginary diary of facts, confessions, or messages. This is a notebook of working but broken ideas, lines, images, notes on books I'm reading, writers I admire, and brief fantasies of language. Here unfiltered all mannerings pseudo-private, publicized, ur-. Here I am art and unrevealed: poetic, political and pop. These are my moonlit rough beginnings and should not be taken literally, directly, truthfully, reliably, and none of it is legally binding. These lies are all choreographed, but only haphazardly. Beware.
My work has been awarded the Katherine C. Turner Prize from the Academy of American Poets, a Swarthout Award, and has twice been nominated and shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize. My first book, A Book Called Rats, was selected for the Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry (Eastern Washington University Press 2007). I'm curating editor for the online journal of poetry: PISTOLA and my poems and reviews most recently appear in Massachusetts Review, Beloit, Ploughshares and RAIN TAXI. I currently teach writing and literature at Santa Monica College in southern California.
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