There is no time to stretch but plenty of time to ache today Bowie’s birthday longing for those bonus tracks now lost to eternity but once freely given with the purchase of The Man Who Sold the World or Scary Monsters and I think that if we slow down so we’re just crawling through the toothpaste of our days then just maybe we’d notice the truly strange small things disappearing around the corner with that look in their eyes daring us to follow

always wondering where to start but I’m always here so what was the question again some escape to range out over the hills note cannot even imagine mountains some people the fields and squares with manikins so realistic you almost see little clouds of smoke on a cold morning but the world is flat and without much detail apart from this pen and the shuffling of the dog occasional whiff of that cup of coffee and see I’ve fallen into my own trap and all the sudden there are things here in the world around this black hole

sometimes you just want to let the poem glide away but you’re afraid of what it might say about you though you know everyone knows already but that’s hardly the point of all the wasted nights developing bad tastes into the tender and pastel dawn with who can remember at this point all the lives you meant to live the expeditions and raids the ballads campfires recitals karaoke bars and I forget where I was going with this though that leads us full circle down some drain

no matter how many pages, this, sitting in your chest and tomorrow, well, we can’t leave it here, not with his allergies, and like the art of conquered people, the distant clouds, what’s the word for a menacing sound in the distance, of course this is hardly a proper sendoff, still, the heart, and in his pockets the crumbs have pockets, though listening to these books won’t put groceries on the table, and the trees stopped blooming so suddenly, as if tipped off about the whole affair, sitting in the corner drinking water, as the poets of the anthology warned us about, and suddenly deer on the edge of downtown, this humid air and itch, and I lose interest in the delicate structure of the pastries, will you just open your mouth and say maybe

My eyes burn from that screen and the brilliance they seek why do you smirk when I say that like you’ve never let the air out of someone’s balloon just to see and yes my arms are asleep again but it’s the third night in a row hearing that strange rondel in the woods and though we try to ignore it there’s something familiar if not quite comforting there like when you can finally take off those wet clothes close the door and sit down to a nice hot cup of what it would be like to finally start that immense project on the sea floor

. [pauses to examine a small blood-smeared stack of index cards]

the rumble of dump trucks recycle part of the dream where I rush into the heart of this subterranean distillery because my feet are cold no matter what my ears itch where I can’t scratch I wonder why they say snow is coming it’s always the case so what do we do if the insects really are gone is there a new equilibrium for this house of cards all this time growing smaller and needing reading glasses to see what my hands are up to but these different wails who might be butchered for their oils and in the end the meat washed out to sea but you don’t need me to tell you

. [drinking a small glass of green liquid that smells vaguely of bandages]

those stale dreams discarding seeds into my nest if I try to remember to remember by dawn when I will find a pen that can stand the weight this season nearly over so how small can you make yourself when the new fall lineup means sure destruction for the likes of us who never knew the touch of an industrial mother or even a decent chocolate chip cookie though with this small and responsible lunch I’ll speed my way past new apartment’s skeleton frames and these tiny parks built for squirrels and what is this cramp in my hand has the timer ended and I missed it or hasn’t any of it started yet

When the woodpecker stops we long for the woodpecker in the smashed cups maybe a clue to someone’s mood but you could learn as much with the simplest PhD course of course it comes in a matte finish though you really should shower if you’re going yes I agree that the smallest movements of hand and eyelid give away what we would keep hidden though they say billions of years ago we were all part of the same supermassive star so how much are any of these secrets really worth

but that’s how it is with the old suns dying new worlds being built wash repeat flies finding their way and the song losing its magic the meal you once loved so you try some new devotion a different mountain but if that spark is gone there are still ads for medicines we can’t afford and terrible news every day where was I going with all this I guess what I’m trying to say is that the patina gave the piece most of its value and all that went away when you cleaned it

Echolocation

But it’s good. A place to start. Drips on the sill. Stop. Inward. Not out. If possible. Where we are. What to sacrifice. To cultivate. Sometime. The work gets done. And you don’t even realize. Which streams will lead to the ocean. Hard to concentrate. With. This. Silence. In her travel journal. The dance books of bees. The work of decades. Thousands of millions of minuscule parts. When it rains one way. Drips here. Drips there. This hat won’t do. For a deluge. But my new favorite ink. Finally this life back in stock. Through smudges. Hard to account for the grown-ups. So few. The grass grows long. The doctor appointment. Your signature. And here. To drill down to this moist moment. Forget about the moment. Breathe more drink less. You’re nearly arrived. That sound in your ears. Can be safely ignored. Stars are stunning. In the other room. A silver fish already knows. The weight of his decision. After tea. Which ones need question marks. And maybe if this season’s colors suit you. Forever and a couple of days. Don’t say it’s nonsense before you read it. The hair clipped just so. Forwards and prefaces were her specialty. And behind the couch. Where the mandolin was stored. A clear or colored gem. Which was built to the specifications. But ultimately

one day maybe we can breathe in this smoke

we waited but no one came so we went back to work which was engaging but your shirtsleeves tended to snag on the machinery which could cause a cascade of failures and then you had to set it all up again but this was fairly rare and at least the terrible coffee was free though in summer you couldn’t help but look out over the green tree tops and long to be a bird catching flies which of course we all said at predetermined times and had a little laugh like a moth escaping a musty closet but in the end but well we’re not there yet we were repeatedly told to keep specific limbs straight and noses somewhere slightly dangerous but you don’t really take these things to heart climbing the ladder though when it rains the special boots made us all feel like we were typing a letter in a dream in which we wove all of our secret thoughts but woke before we could mail it and so another year began

How many weeks have I wished away for what? A few steps closer to saving Zelda the weekend blur and mid-range scotch laughing at a show that ended decades ago on my fourth run through and what, should I pine for the tall pines, the crumbling sunset ruins a flight away or look microscopically and find the hidden gem of my days between the legs of hungry mites who live and die in a forest of eyebrows or is rarefied complaining enough to drop another Wednesday into the scrapbook no one reads high on the shelf to be thrown away the instant I am ash

the utter breath of new morning flowers in undiscovered optimism in the left side the word wasting a pain keeping up with the right twilight with astral orchestrations the forced merriment continues too many pains in the fan noise creak moon glow of the painting of Jesus and his personal trainer on the final rep my heart in my thumbs swiping sweating 39th floor cool breeze black bug holding on out in the sky propping this mood up with some part of a whale