This morning I awoke speaking Australian
To a group of high school kids who
Loved my books and the TV series
Based on them. They wanted to know
How I allowed this certain actress
To play the ballerina assassin. So
I asked, what actress?
What TV show?
What rights got sold?
Why am I speaking Australian?
So I called my agent up and
Her office was closed and
It would cost $20 for her
To call from vacation.
So I called the film agent
Who was on vacation
In the background
The high school kids
Chanted my name, “Rob Thomas! Rob Thomas! Rob Thomas!” and
I realized things had gone horribly wrong
In this dream I was dreaming in Australian
And learning that I
Was a Veronica Mars knock off.
At least I was still dressed
And wearing good boots.
But even if you’re dreamland naked,
You can wade through a lot
Of anxiety if
You’re wearing a pair
Of good boots.
If I had eyes of Janus —
God of beginnings and endings,
Gates and doorways,
Locks and keys,
Whose two faces looked Continue reading
Sparks and clouds like stardust,
Her soft kisses lit my mind,
Filled it with fire and darkness
That set my lips ablaze.
But the taste of her was fleeting
Like a whisper on the wind
For among the stars she dwells now
And not in the earth I know.
I’m left drowning in the river,
Straining to taste my star once more.
My appetite left unsated,
Throat as parched as dust.
The boy played in the dirt yard. His mottled back was bare as the wind blasted fields around the house. He sifted the loose dirt like flour through his fingers until it drifted and faded into the breeze. He chewed his thumbnail, ground tiny rocks between his teeth, and spat out the remains, skin and rock together.
The boy’s mother rocked the porch swing to passively fan herself. Lines creviced her face, eroded by a flaccid life, a seeped-out balloon. Her hair tied back by a faded blue ribbon, she watched her boy as he rolled the dirt between his fingers, crushed it in his palms.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” he said then laughed as if he wanted to cry.
“Your Daddy says he’ll get a job.”
The boy wrote his name in the dirt. “Doing what?”
“Down to the chicken house.”
“That’s work for trash.”
“It’s getting to the point where we is trash.” Continue reading
My neighbor the seahawk
Joins us on our morning walk
Diving from her nest of needles, twine, and bone
Built in the boughs of the longleaf pine
Taller than the tall, its last arms unsnapped,
Weathering decades of hurricanes
And half that in urban sprawl,
Eighty feet above the dead pocosin swamp
Upon which our nests are built.
She swirls high above the power lines
That separate the roads from the sky
Filled with downy clouds painted on
A wide canvas filled with Caroline blue horizons,
Waiting for the warm air to
rise from the pavement
Where the dogs pads click in rhythm
My sneakers squeaking out of sync.
Three bird shadows lifting from a loblolly pine.
Dead squirrel eaters, cacophonous cawers,
Feather-flinging wings beating the air,
Trying to hunt the hunter.
My neighbor dives, wings tucked, white belly
Crows lurching through the air,
Drunken flyers with bleating cries,
Pecking her wings until
She banks and dives and catches an
Invisible updraft, lifting her two trees
Higher than the pack.
Above the crows, above the wires,
Above the dogs and me
The seahawk circles and whistles a screech.
I mimic her cry, high-pitched and loud
Enough to fool the crows who caw back at me,
But not close enough to fool her
As she flies in growing halos,
Silent as angels’ wings.