For Hong Kong

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because you are caged

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because you are free

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because the rain falls

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because the sun shines

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because it hurts too much

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because it feels so good

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because there’s no time to write

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because there’s too much to say

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because your world is burning

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because your leaders are blind

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because your job could be taken

It would be embarrassing
Not to write poetry
Because your life is at stake

It would be embarrassing
To be alive
And not write poetry


Truth Tables

Voices echo from the hilltops
Flat and bare as truth tables
Carved long ago into disjoint
Down to water condemned by the labs

South of the mountain
North of the bend
West of the creek
Eat of the sea

My invasion skirts around construction
Hard hats stabilize the cut
In the layers of rock
I search for the dust of Diodorus

Each slab supports a syllogism
In the argument that proves the sky
Look how high we are
Have you seen inside the eyes of God

All we ever were and all we’ll ever be
Will be buried in endless truth tables
Whose plastic outlasts teeth
One narrow slice of argument
       To suit any old conclusion


Subway

Amid gray time we retrieve license
From a tattered plastic bag
That lay between tired shoes
Where a million feet once rested
Crawling beneath the light
To erupt into daytime
We are high as the sun
Cutting shadows out of cardboard
As a song carves thirsty air
Passing names and numbers
Drawn down an iron rope line
Ever closer to the center of the world


Coloring Dust

Smearing her makeup on the ground
She colors the gray dust
Thanks to nothing goes the thought
Brushing against her cheek
Lighter than a loose hair
The rusted grease trail ends here
Dirt under her nails
A gutter caked with rouge
Finally kissing a cigarette
Both evenly burned
A match made for the grave


Fog Notes IV

I've found the lost set of Chinese drillbits
That were misplaced in last year's big move
I'm sort of proud of finding them
Since I was in the garage for mixed nuts
But it was good to appraise these bits
They are, without a doubt, made of Chinesium
The missing metal in Mendeleyev's big table
The beating heart of the cracked up Chinese dream


Waves

The waves tell the shore
Let me try again

And the shore waits
Listening to the loving sounds
Traced on her open palm
In papillary lines

The sound of one wing
Beating on a misty wind
The whisper of a steady hand
Smoothing skirts of golden sand

Waves bear gifts to the shore
Who picks them up and says no more
Waves boil and rage in war
Stern beaches echo back their roar

I'll try again, sigh sun-bright sheets
Melting away beneath our feet