An eighty-five word poem came out of these two weeks of morning scribblings on Marquette Island. The finished poem is not enclosed and differs significantly from what follows, but Ryan and I have invited hundreds of artists to join our blog to write about craft and share work, so I thought I would open things up.

We could strip down,
forget ourselves,
leave sticky ifs
and cowed almosts
on the dock beside our clothes.

All in the name of sticky ifs

The sticky God of whispered ifs and
tame almosts is left on the dock beside
our clothes.

ginger-lit
floor where days
have wings of veined cellophane
and turn to paste under our soles

tinseled by a moon
nested in a switchboard of stars.
We need no phone here, where
days have wings of veined
cellophane and turn to paste under
our soles, slow-tapping to folk-sung
sins as mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamps ginger hum.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Days have wings of veined
cellophane and turn to paste
under our soles, slow-tapping
to the folksinger’s sins
to the folksinger
soles slow-tapping to the folk singer’s sin.
Cedars give their barbed sweetness to

They live one day.

Time has wings of veined cellophane
and turns to paste beneath our soles—
slow-tapping to the folk singer’s sins

It has rained.

Cedars dilate the night
with barbed sweetness
and a hollow psalm of plods.

The folk singer his sins
lake strewn with the moon’s tinsel.

Strung with the moon’s tinsel,
Lake Huron

Night dilates with a barbed sweetness
as cedars shed afternoon rain in a hollow
psalm of drying
Cedars shed rain
in a hollow psalm of drying.
They dilate the night with a barbed sweetness

The moon middles a switchboard
of stars and lays her tinsel on the lake.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Time has wings of veined cellophane
and turns to paste beneath my tapping sole.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

The folk singer offers his sins

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Cedars shed the afternoon’s rain in a psalm
of dull plods.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

A night without edge and water-soft,
leaves one prone to sticky ifs and almosts,
so that everything’s a little less than heaven—
the lake plaited with moony tinsel,
the switchboard ceiling of stars.
And I’ve no concern for twilight myths,
the burning history that does not warm.

Time has wings of veined cellophane and dies
at my feet, each granted day turning to paste
under my slow-tapping sole. A reason, always,
to find solace far-off, to figure gods as villainous,
celestial addicts firing horse-heavy spoons.
I miss the sun and when it flares pine for the moon.

Alone on Marquette Island, I am the froth
and melt of unnamed needs, glory’s hard
refusal.

A reason,
always, to find peace impossible, to figure

Each image is a little less than heaven—
Lake Huron plaited with the moon’s tinsel
below

The mind’s
left prone in a night so edgeless and water-soft

So fragile,
a mind left prone in a night so edgeless
and water-soft

Alone on Marquette Island

Only living one day, they pass their
sole night frenzied by an artificial light,
then come to rest, wings of veined cellophane
poised even in death to fly again should
some miracle occur.
They turn to paste under our soles
as we chase down to a rain-warmed
lake the moon’s plaited with tinsel.
The sticky God of whispered ifs and
tame almosts left on the dock beside
our clothes.

Cedars dry in a doggerel of dull plods,
.

It has rained.
My lab sinks down on troubled
hips and snaps at mayflies that
fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.
They are, quite literally, days
flying around us (easy girl,
you can’t stop time). Below,
the moon has laid her tinsel
on the lake and our boat rubs
lightly on the dock.

The chief jogging off into false dawn

every story less than heaven,
even the one about heaven

I’m reading Dickey’s tender violence

It has rained.
Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum,

passing their only living night
fevered by an artificial light

It has rained.
My lab sinks down on troubled
hips and snaps at mayflies that
fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.
If a
terrorizes twenty-four

Alone on Marquette Island
Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

It has rained.
again
on Marquette Island.
The moon weeps tinsel Lake Huron’s waves

My lab sinks down on troubled
hips and snaps at mayflies that
fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

on troubled hips.
Lake Huron. On the porch, my
dog eases down on troubled hips

Mayflies fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Mayflies fail in manic flutters beneath
the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

It has rained.
I am, again
on Marquette Island.
The moon tinsels Lake Huron.

alone again

Mayflies fail in manic flutters
beneath the porch lamp’s ginger hum.

Their wings of veined cellophane
are poised even in death to fly again
should some marvel occur.

then come to rest, their wings of veined
cellophane poised, even in death, to fly
again should some marvel occur

flutters beneath the porch lamp’s
ginger hum. Their wings of veined
cellophane are poised even in death
to fly again should some marvel occur.
They turn to paste under our soles
as we chase down to the rain-warmed
lake the moon’s plaited with tinsel.
The sticky God of whispered ifs and
tame almosts is left on the dock beside
our clothes.

Finished with their granted day,

tinseled silver

Veined cellophane
wings poised even in death

nymphs

has wept vanilla.

of wing in the porch light

In death they are perfect

It wasn’t the Pentagon’s razed fifth
or clamors of blood for oil

that kept two fingers on my neck
and the panic in my chest.

coming down
like busted kneecaps
apart like busted kneecaps

their knees cut

The dread had nothing to do
with blood for oil

my dread was tacky

And no poem could save me from that

no vague thought of a future content

perhaps I look for it in the wrong places,

the wrong thing sought after,

after, you convince yourself you
can write

its never quite right, the words

frothy and flecked, the pen like fire

beneath a horse-heavy spoon,

everything half-melted and
more unsaid for the attempt

I have heard an awful sound,

more absent than any silence

mossy dread like green wings

thin and mossy dread that sleeps
with the radio on

I am not worthy to watch a suffering
that noble—a mother turned back
to cigarettes for watching a husband
fail…I’m all worry and Clonopin

every story less than heaven,
even the one about heaven

Not worthy to watch a suffering

as noble

theres no weather after dusk,
the rain is just a sound

mentally ill patient deemed “safe”
eventually attacks,

lobotomized sheep.

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