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The white man has laid down his burdenin the middle of Broadwayand under the exhausted plane treesblack men lie like ragson the benches where onceold white ladies chirped in a rowwatching industrialized . . . . Continue Reading »

Passing Port Royal

I see the treesyou’ve seen and knownpoised in mute witnessthe baled hay hunchedlike insatiable livestockgnawing its wayback to the earththe river muttering madlyits secrets swallowedunder the . . . . Continue Reading »


This feast of a day on the river      is heavily salted with gulls. And the leaf-pared birch on the shoreline      is lightly peppered with crows, And from dawn’s appetizer      to the entree of noon,      to the hungering sweetness . . . . Continue Reading »


There is nothing left to say now and nothing left to do the tears will not come to the eyes of the child who has kissed her mother and watched the methodical men bind her with tape the child who has heard her mother’s last words before the death in the small Brooklyn house with her niece and her . . . . Continue Reading »


Structure of organic stone this vacant house built molecule on molecule by the body of a mollusk witlessly devising spectrums, stripes, spots, coruscations which it could never see or wonder at nor even hear within (emptied of its mortal substance) the sea which echoes certain power forever; This . . . . Continue Reading »

“Hotel Room” (Edward Hopper, 1931)

No angel with uplifted hand, no symbolof the Holy Spirit, gliding down ongilded beams—and for all we know the woman is no virgin. Still, any woman readingis an annunciation. Vermeer knew this:reading is parthenogenetic, magic doubling of the self fertilized by words.His girl reading stands in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Green Stick

“I used to believe that there was a green stick,buried on the edge of a ravine . . . on whichwords were carved that would destroy all theevil in the hearts of men and bring themeverything good.”—Leo Tolstoy When he was old, pate bald, skin sere.Back humbled as the turtle’sFor all his . . . . Continue Reading »

Working with Clay

Like the imprintof my two thumbs in clay,so you appear, my Lord,by what you leave behind.Disguisedin the tracery of fingerprint,the whorls a worldof delicate, true lines,you are revealed.You mark me deeper still,that imprint, too, indelible.You sayyou’d know me anywhereby that . . . . Continue Reading »

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