THE PALM OF DEBORAH

Breath begins
in a crack of the rock
the builders rejected

before the beginning,
before the conceiving,
before the receiving

when time stood still,
riding on the speed of light,
the speed of darkness,
the speed of leather

drying in the sun.

Little hand,
reaching for the rock
that splits the hour into seconds;

little hand
that plays cat’s cradle
in the shadow of the rock
that splits the seconds into dust,

I see scarabs drawing lines
in the creases of your hand,
saying,

“a short life and a long death,”

followed by a whimper
from inside the rock
the builders broke
and left in shards
when time began
marching to the beat
of a different light.

Advertisements

BIRNAM WOOD

  ~ “Come, let me clutch thee.” ~ Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1

Do it
in the crack
in the wall
in the kitchen
of the alchemist’s cottage.

Do it.
Just do it.

Quickly.

Like Macbeth’s dagger
dancing in the crack
opening and closing
in the wall

before me
and behind me.

SAUSALITO POEMS: Number 32, “Dona Nobis Pacem”

“Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.”

1.
A broken clock
is no longer greater
than the sum of its parts.

Time, broken,
limps along a path
of shattered glass

to the beat
of a crippled drummer,
a bitch in heat
on a hot tin roof
of a house of cards
in the center of a faerie circle
of psilocybin mushrooms.

2.
This is the floating house
where the Gods swap wives
and fuck their daughters.

And the windows are open!

This is their seventh resting place,
that smells of anointed feet,
overheated breath

and the armpits
of sweaty things
that go bump in the night

behind you.

SAUSALITO POEMS: Number 36, “Losing My Way”

Lost.
Even the compass, lost.

Time is lost.
The hands of the clock
are lost.
Your keys to the car,
your way back home,

lost.

O lost, lost ghost,
O displaced daughter
O taste of salt

discover me
lost in the shabby pockets
of these unzipped pants:

these pants
that walk the walk
while I talk, talk, talk
and, for the last time,

lose my way back home.

SAUSALITO POEMS: Number 35, “A Midrash on Sand”

1.
The soul understands
what the wind cannot,
nor the sea foam ride.

And the condor
stalks the sand,

and the viper
stalks the shadow
cast upon the sand
by a lone saguaro cactus
in the sand.

2.
I shall not go there
where rocks and time collide
and the scapegoat wanders.

No. I shall not go there.
Not even for the sake of sand,

or a condor feather,
or the peace of my soul.
even should it understand the wind,
the sea foam, and a lone saguaro cactus
falling over in the sand somewhere

beyond where i am standing now,
on this rotting dock.
__________
NOTE: Midrash (in Hebrew, מדרש) is a method of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal, or moral teachings. It fills in gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at.

SAUSALITO POEMS: Number 34, “Whispers”

Do you see what I see?
Do you hear what I hear?

Bleeding eyes?
Whimpering stones?

A silence
where our two skins meet?

A separation
between our sleep,
the width of a ten foot pole?

Or slippery eels
poking through the wall
between our end
and our beginning,

between the inhale and the exhale
of that stranger coming up behind us?

SAUSALITO POEMS: Number 31, “Strange Bedfellows”

1.
A serpent tickles my ear
with its tongue in my sleep,
coils around my trunk,
shaking my leaves until they drop,
like dead flies on dead sheets.

2.
Get beneath me, serpent!
Get under the bed,
under the mattress,
under the mandrake.

3.
Reader, I tell you:

This little sleep is death’s other kingdom,
a foretaste of the bigger sleep to come

where a strange sister
(twisting under the bed sheets)
bangs pots, augers sand,
skins the serpent,

and reads the creases of my hand.