You ask me what is it

this brittle I’m speaking of:

what is this short temper?

And I am cracking the colours

having broken the blue

I say brittle is like this

and the shortness in my own breath

shows me how long I have been wanting

that exact blue of your eyes.

The red is no better

run like the Rio Dulce into murk

nothing can save us now

the sweet scratch of your nail

through the hardening colour

makes red redder and the

small smile you give me

is as clear as the sky.

Then, yellow will not shatter.

Yellow will not yield

my thumbs are worn, nail bed

lifting from my scratching at the

yellow you say brittle in my ear

and I know myself that I shatter

in the the yellow centre.

We have found the colours,

collected them and grouped them

we made them run and spilt them

we have seen that they each will do

the thing they themselves dictate

being made waxy and soft

until they cool. Then they are

as crisp as the day

and as likely to crack into shapes

spelling brittle across the board.

You sisters take the round ones

and make marks big and small

over huge sheets of paper.

The spangled colours are

as mixed and sweet

as the lines on the maps that show the way.

To Be Unseen




This morning’s disguise has boots on and a liberal coat of tung nut oil with its rancid tang. No-one will know me now that I smell like a workshop and have these feet that step along the new day’s path fresh plotted stamping on the leaves the wind placed just so and the light angling in now shy to enter the day’s numerals. Shellack in my hair so it will not waver to decision or judgement. I worry my sawdust knots will trail me and give me away, falling in pasta curls so; fusilli, gigli hair on the path thought I no longer need it each one is a sample of me; a map of how I was constructed and they leave me as I am planed by moments, the wind the twist in the air sharp as a saw; a genetics of timescape felled from me.


Beetles creep past my ears. Are they looking for the wings I stole to construct my own carapace? Will oil seal out the water that wants my skin or keep the tears ready at the corner of my eye? Why must I be the secret to myself, the blend of carbon and nitrogen I used to build myself from my mother’s own bones that will be blown around by this air I hold dear in my spongey lungs that then will spread back across the blasted place as it reeks of half made darlings and shaggy breath of things that were never polished til they shone? The wind’s tongue tastes of DNA long gone, made of crisp gold grass heads processessed beyond process so they become my daughter’s curls.


I wear the age defying oil, bead the rain off and plot my genetic code along the hour line.  So far we cannot say why this exact temperature fractures the quality I know and unmakes me in the winter glare; holds my transfiguration up to its eyeline but seems to fail me on some unknown point. The irascible sunlight. The way it can’t travel through me after all its travelling. It has gleamed off my oil and reflected so those deep curls travel in darkness behind my boot-falls, behind those steps I took to be unseen.



The Balance


I’ve felt the earth tilt

its great side shift against the nothing sleep pulls up from nowhere

as if gravity could gain a dream or pay for itself with yellow coins

the way we must to survive the flat shift of time right now.


You know it from the way it waits for that small moment among

the thrill of crowding moments the one that hits so surely

then sways you down the way a lover would take your arm and guide you there, just there

never expected but always present breath in the hallways


or passages lined red with pulsing – not dizzy so much as able to see

the waver in the moment how passing seconds rise

moving always moving never at one because there’s always another

as if height and distance made love in my ear


so that vertical and horizontal (those twins) were the same one thing

and no sense came from it except the one that

made sure the earth’s round belly was forever home

– look there, how it’s lines are curves how these angles are worn away…