Poems: Five for Staying Awake

One: August Song

In his stomach
he counts cancer.

In his stomach
he calls out
the counting
of cancer.

He looks around him.
Ghost cells.
An epistemology of terror.
His epistemology of terror.

And the mirror stands still
and the mirror smudges.

The food keeps getting prepared
and he is the one wielding the knife.

The following four poems were originally composed on a car ride from Wallingford to Brighton, Seattle. This was on 8/24/17.

Two: Unfantasy

For Tanya

A woman with the brown hair
who reaches across
and forms the cross
an intersection
then a cafe
whose dish bin
is loud
whose light
is faint and orange.

We discuss
and discuss further
the very variety
of darkness
and we wonder
what makes
darknesses differ.

Our recanting is precious
like the touch
of our skin
like the cross
that will disappear
into darkness
or into light
as we move forward.

Three: Driver

Beneath the city of light
as a city of light calls forth
the unity of power
of energy
I drive my vehicle
with a hunger
to be careful
because I was starving
and reckless
for so many years
beneath so many stars
beneath so many street lights
riding so many ridges and curves
and the city is as amorphous
as ancient stone
as the landscapes
that call my name
like mouths on faces
that stare into my eyes
and it’s here
in this woven path
of electrical current
that I cry for a just
and resolute pounce
like the bobcat
that was seen on my campus
this morning.
I exhale
and disappear
around the corner.

Four: Prose Cold

The weather is cold today. It is cold and it was cold when I first stepped out of my building onto the sidewalk where I made my way to my car to go to work. I appreciate a coldness in Seattle. It reminds me of the warmth that I experienced just earlier. Or was it later? Was it close or was it further? If anything, the stark dampening and bursts of chilly rain leave me in awe of the location that could open up and give us new amorous understanding of the role of questions in life.

Five: Summer at the School

Thinking of Kirkland, WA

A falling frequency
ruined by things in clouds
and helped by thingless leaves
with green grass among dead grass.
And the wind blends with the breeze
and the welders are silent
while their tools are loud
and I am allowed to be here
to hear here
to listen
before the blackberries
take all my focus away
to that way
and thank you for visiting
and drive safely.