EasterRemember what you love,Easter by riparii
you with sand in your teeth
and the feral burn of hunger
in your eyes.
God sends his regrets.
He made you grasping and slow,
in a late hour
when the wine washed low.
Remember what you love.
Fall to your knees in the toss
and the swell, quell
the appetite of the cold black sea.
Beg blessings for your home
and the salt-sick trees.
Reach what lies near:
the fat-faced child, the sweet-soft lamb;
tether the tantrum, trickle the blood.
Offer psalms to what is holy,
whisper the name of what you love
as it bobs in the bleak mad sea.
PrescienceI shall die with words like minnowsPrescience by riparii
still attached to the strings of my heart,
swimming like sperm, jostled and mad,
bearing the prologue of life, the opening bars,
the glorious first drone of the chanter
that moves blood in the way of volcanoes to war,
to explosion, the crepuscular exuberance of dawn,
these minnows attached to the shimmering lines.
But the little darlings get confused in the shadows,
panic when light breaks above the tiny Os of their heads,
while the heart-pole bends
like the long slim fingers of a willow,
down, pointing down to the cress-edged creases
and rocky seams of the cold water shallows
that only the babies of the brook trout know,
beneath the laughing poplar and the somber pine,
where water striders tickle the surface of the quiet pools,
like children tracing raindrops on the glass panes
of a grey-lit room on the longest day of their lives,
I will die like minnows, still attached.
Hunting CoyotesHunting CoyotesHunting Coyotes by riparii
Footfall of a frost-faced hunter
heavy with a winter kind of hope;
one paw raised above the stream.
You thought I would shatter with the sharp bark
of the gun, but moonlight still sparkles
in a spray of wet pearls along my sides.
I am cold teeth, I am the blood-stopping stare.
Between ActsHer new lover had buckets of moneyBetween Acts by riparii
and twenty years more than she,
but her hair was the yellow
of every happy ending,
eyes blue as a January sky.
We sat one night eating cranberry bread
that Nancy had made, crumbly and dry.
She liked it that way she said,
by way of self-defense, and we ate it anyway
because it was something to put in our mouths
that reminded us of things that tasted good
the way dreams remind us
of who we were when we were young.
He bought her Prada shoes, Margaret said,
her fingers twisting in the black fur of her restless dog.
I don't know what to think, it isn't how we live.
Well it's how her daughter lives now, at twenty-two
with her streetlight hair and police car eyes.
We could wear Prada shoes to the grain store
or the Town Hall, we decided,
with our old jeans and our winter coats.
Xiao HuziYou are born to the sunset of the last day of summer, a titian crown of autumn leaves already in place upon your head. There is a thickness in the air and it drapes itself over your newborn skin; pale flesh mottled by both the luminescence of the orange sky, and the shadows of darkness' steady manifestation. Your head is too heavy to watch the moon rise gently into the heavens yellow and swollen, the mother of night's vast wonders but, perhaps by the touch of her light on your eyelids, you know that she is there. Likewise, some inborn inkling tells you that the stars, late in their nightly awakening, are still shrouded in a heavy dusk blanket. You too are still drowsy, and can empathise with their reluctance to rise.Xiao Huzi by Concora
In this vale the birdsong is thick with sleep, trees stand still, slick with wood resin, and there are no beetles amongst the moss to set the undergrowth humming. Even the river has slowed its effervescent churning, calming to an indolent stream. T
A Cloudy June SunriseI had been awakeA Cloudy June Sunrise by glossolalias
since rain fell against the window:
exciting the glass
but not disturbing your sleep.
Instead, you woke to the alarm and found me
revising my thoughts on humanity,
our frailty and guts.
You asked if I was okay,
if I needed anything while you were out,
and I answered, "Just some sleep."
Unconvinced, dressing hastily,
you promised to come home earlier than you had
any other day that week.
"I just want you to know
you can bother me with those obsessions
that make you feel evil
or at least a little fucked up,"
you said before leaving, though I can't blame you
for assuming my pessimism.
It is, after all, the disease I came fitted with,
as well as my tongue of choice
when problems convolute,
but that morning
the sky was so beautiful,
and what I needed to tell you was this:
I offer my poetry
as a blatant exhibition of trust
for you, for your curiosity,
because I didn't believe any man
had inherent goodness
until I met you.
Bringing Down SweeneyI asked him who he was, and he said, "I'm Sweeney," and I believed him. I probably shouldn't have, except that it was true. I can always tell when people are telling the truth.Bringing Down Sweeney by tweedledoom
Mum and Dad were still in the last battles of the divorce, so I was trying to keep myself out of their hair as much as possible. This was why I had packed two cornmeal pancakes and an old plastic dish of syrup and was heading out into nowhere, where I wasn't necessarily wanted but sure as hell wasn't unwelcome. Not that I was resentful about it or anything. Nobody wants to fight in an amphitheater. Well, nobody but gladiators, but you don't see a lot of those around these days. Goes to show you.
So out I went, with my book and my pair of half-crumbling pancakes and my yellow wellies and an old, oatmeal-colored jumper that had holes in the elbows. "Get a new one, Linnie," everybody was always saying. The truth was I had gotten used to it, and now it felt weird not to have my elbows out in the wind like that. Out