Goes Away

Where one leak seemed fixed, another springs up.  Well, isn’t that the way it goes?  Stained wood, stained mattress.  Damp kitchen, scary room.

Stove going.  I was in the dirty attic.  Three-legged chairs, canceled checks, dauber nests by the hundred.  I go up there because the attic is my place to intercept the rain that finds its way through the farmhouse’s old, fallible roof.  Like me, the rain keeps returning, keeps coming back to this remote piece of cattle country in the middle of the state.  

A mist rises from the pasture, hangs there like a cloud.  Above, the sky is clear.  There is, thank God, no wind.  It is still.  I can hear nothing but the nothing that is, the nothing that once will be everything.  If you would be so kind as to scatter my ashes here.  If you would allow me to play the part of the sandstone, to let the water through.

The mice are back.  Two traps, old cheese, picked clean.  Leave the droppings where they lay.  Wise rodents.  Re-bait, try again...

A short missive from Farm, from late last year...

Grosvenor Slab


Imagine the sound of that comet,
Its tail a contrail split in two,
Dust and fried ice, the Sun
Seething with impotence
As the comet passed it by,
Somehow staying together.
Then I saw it the way I saw it,
Wicked blue morning,
Cows in the field with
Better eyes than me
But there on the horizon
A comet
Upside down, breeching, glowing with
Prank light
An hour before dawn...

Entire poem this way...

I am Attending To a Sunrise in Jamaica

First Full Day — morning

I am attending to a sunrise in Jamaica.  Rightly I am not awake yet.  Waves, waves, dolorous waves.  Peltering shores at dayfall.

Why is it getting light in the west before it gets light in the east? The east is dark, blue.  A tiny boat out ripping the water is black.

Last night a jumbo airliner flew in from Costa Rica, I’m sure of it.

Brett got a taste, Pat a tree.  I put a tiny leaf in my pocket & smiled at the smell.

Full account here...

Betty Cave

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Cleansing begins with the
eyes closed
and thoughts of
A cave
an underground stream
pure and cold
making slick
the heft
of vague & ageless rocks.
Who was this woman
Betty Cave:
(A) minor poet
(B) darts champion
(C) president’s wife, or
(D) the first American shaman
The sound of wind chimes
is air’s soliloquy
Pine needles fall
and bring to ground green fragrance
In her clinics by the brook
no one sleeps alone.
Not she
not Elizabeth Taylor
Not Kurt Cobain
nor any of the other
27 suicides.
In the morning it is
pecan waffles
with falls of syrup
(world’s highest)
Coffee is OK
In her words, “Permissible.”
With the gleaming ink of morning
she signs the executive order
of waking, satisfied for us all.
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Morning At End

I need morning as the dune does sand.
Everything smooth as a pond
tucked away thick in a woods
no one hikes through.
Until the neighbors,
high on coffee and grits,
take their cute little dog out to piss.
That tree it lifts its leg on
used to be morning.
Now it’s stinking-wet noon.

The Reward of Daybreak

The sunlight wraps its arms
around the place.
The cats lap milk and
lick themselves clean.
If it is a weekend
time stretches out before you
like a state you've never been in.
Maybe Nebraska, or the Dakotas.
Nothing but rock and wheat and
where you'll be sleeping tonight.
You go to bed old but wake up young.



I walked from one end of
this city to the other and saw
sidewalk after sidewalk with
Maufrais etched into it.

Maufrais the maker of concrete,
Maufrais the master of sand
and aligning right corners.


Rick from Travis Heights,
Rick of Vietnam and Austin High,
Rick the one-man mowing company,
made of cords, engines, and gasoline.
I said, “Rick, do you know Maufrais?”
He offered me a cigarette but
my bus was on its way.

At home it is late and quiet.
I am not sleeping, just lying here.
I can hear the low rumble of trucks but it
doesn’t bother me, in want of sleep.


I awake the next morning
to the gleeful bleats
of a garage sale across the street.
Timid myself, I send Lenore over.
It’s just a bunch of junk, she says.

We decide to talk about baby names.
I offer one up and she shoots it down.
No, that name is ruined forever, she says.
In her lap is someone’s baby-book.
Mmm-hm-hm-hm! Look at them
in their dresses and their
cute little shoes.

I remember now that it poured
this morning at 4 a.m. but
I missed it, awake enough only
for an instant, only
enough to realize it was raining.


I offer up another one: Maufrais.
She does not reject it outright saying,
I have no doubts about it myself but
I wonder if the Italians would accept it.

All day I drank coffee,
eventually got so high my
hands were shaking and
I had to eat the leftover casserole.


Outside, Rick is lurking.
When he fires up the lawnmower
lines of poetry
gather on my skin,
like beads of sweat.

For more on Maufrais, try this.