Magnetism

I keep a piece of stone in my head,
just behind my eyes. It is magnetic
and points me home.

If you ask me “where is home?”
I will say “ask the stone.”
I am not a map.

Sometimes I come to a body of water.
I build a boat. Is this not why
anyone builds boats?

The boat sinks. I build another.
I drink the water and die of thirst.
I build another.

If you say to me “tell me your story.”
I will tell you the story of the stone.
I am not an author.

If you say to me “I am your home.”
I will say nothing, but start
building another.

satisfaction

balloon-shackled
plummets (scuttled) cloudward

its choice we undertone
understandable we mutter

such humdrum business here
our vast concretes

we who navigate by torchlight cigarettes
who guzzle uncountable cakes

its chosen sky Jesus
its sensible harp sweeps

not these thunderheaded alleyways
not these lightningous fingers

Toronto // Nowhere

A man walks down a street
but only the street exists:

You can visit it if you like.
He walks through an arch

slung over his back.
Only the arch exists, barely,

a sad little thing, a facsimile.
He leans out over the water

and the water does not exist.
In its place is another water.

He takes a picture of a reflection.
Only the picture exists:

The reflection has washed out
to the other reflections.

A different man holds the photo.
I would like to meet him,

he thinks.

Jaw

with your jaw i have
slain a hundred men

slack
dulcimer ploughshares

the book that should not have been opened
says what if the book had not been opened

smooth teeth you
have eaten the world

The City Is Too Full

Who works very hard not to see
Past the fence past the buildings
Past the road to the plain beyond

Who works very hard to keep from
Chewing its lip from grinding its teeth
From obsessing about stamps

Who is obviously not a horse
Who wears a tie who eats sushi at lunch
Who knows the words who must shout

Who works very hard not to stare at
This speaking in tongues streetside
Who thinks the city is too full

Or —

your bird
pressed up againt the bars

becomes a
hoarder of newspaper

whatever scraps
remain shitcovered

she will
take them
wash them
knit them
paint them
bend them
iron them

until that other bird
that 2/5 of a 1/3 frame

returns
or —

The Republic

the magnificent plundering animal
all brilliance all deception
tilts at mirrors
blows dually bolted smoke

jealous for its spangled unborn children
who can’t understand
why you can’t understand
you unumbilical
who must gulp great gusts of air
and exhale roughly the same

the scintillated homiciding beast
its razored horns its soft-furred arm
speaks peace peace
to the cradled corpse
who wouldn’t have any of it

its spit-dribbling children speak:
we in the brazen belly about to die
salute thee

the feathered frenzy mounts sunward
ever calling with another’s muscular voice
behold the glory
of the
republic