Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I don't know how old this ornament is
maybe it's very old
maybe it's a relatively recent reproduction
I found it in an antique store
& it spoke to me
maybe it chirped
maybe its gilded wings stroked some chord
of memory or of aspiration
I have a soft spot for bluebirds
Although I certainly am no ornithologist
This little bird sways on its string
whenever anyone walks by
it spins a little spin
& when I see it
it always makes me smile

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dream Deferred as Irrelevant

in the dream i am back in china
i am in the corridor
just outside my room
saying goodbye to some friends,
two women,
& i decide to go to the 10th floor.

i pass through floors of generational gap
assorted levels of tecno decor,
an electronic picture frame,

but for a second i glimpse
a snowy mountaintop pointing up
into the blue & there is a car bridge
aligned w/the rising sun
of the winter solstice.

So now I am back in my dear old LEXUS
heading out through gracefully rolling hills
although the mountaintop goal
has somehow receded out of range....

surely it never moved, yet
there remains that possibility.

I decide to walk instead,
abandoning the car
for the chance to absorb more aromas.

I find an old touring bicycle
& am pleased with it...
very pleased.

Such smooooooth synchronicity!

I become slightly disoriented (hah),
so i turn a corner, looking for a spot
of technicolor, grinning like an archaic Kore,
as a tall comedian tweaks my headlight
for the amusement of his stubby companion.

I shake the detritus off my hand into a wire
rubbish can & move along, pedaling, shifting
gears. I realize I am changing again,
changing--I cling to the side of the bike
with my legs & one arm
like a Comanche showman,
aiming my camera up through the handlebars
at a particularly appealing moon gate where
a young girl with a backpack smiles & waves.

Although I realize
I have left the car behind
i move out
into the streaming humanity,
merge w/the traffic
flowing back onto the bridge,
& I can see
my hotel

but i've gone ...much.... too...... far
to stop now.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Watching a dead leaf float by...
what kind of thing is THAT to do?
Is it Spleen
or is it some
species of selfishness
that makes a person stop
watch the drift,
clicking away at a shutter,
clicking away at a keyboard,
clicking away to a new window,
deserving the world full of clicks,
part of it,
just as we are part
of that floating leaf,
never knowing
how far our shadow reaches?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Of 2 Minds

Today is a remembrance

of fine souls given up as sacrifice

to power

to greed

to "principle"

Even if you read between the lines

something needs to change

and soon

Friday, November 2, 2007

River Birch

November 2,
& all is in suspension.
We don't hit
the glorious peak
until Thanksgiving,
but here's a glimpse
of what awaits
outside the kitchen window,

(always wanted to use that word)

that golden light
that finds a brief window of opportunity
after a few frosts & then the sun
decides to light it up one morning, or one afternoon
depending upon all the factors combining
& then what you see
is what you get
to remember.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Wave in Progress--an autobyoddyssey

Antonio Carlos Jobim produced

what I have read described

as the emptiest music on earth.

It is the music of The Stepford Wives.

It is the music of the upscale grocery store,

the Bottega Veneta theme song.

The emptiest music.

At first it was fun.

Then it was escape.

Then it was opportunity.

Then it was titillation.

Then it was retribution.

Then it was a challenge.

Then it was an obsession.

Then I thought it was real.

Then I thought it was imagination.

Then I thought it was so cool.

Then I thought it was a miracle.

Then I thought it was a threat.

Then it seemed to be a duty.

Then it seemed a Divine Obsession.

Then it seemed to rule the earth.

Then the earth grew smaller.

Then the world grew even smaller.

Then my heart grew smaller.

Then I went crazy for a while.

Then I took a road trip.

Then my heart grew cold.

Then I came home to an impossible situation.

Then I realized Aroo! Aroo!

I re-visited the zoo.

Then I remembered my friends.

Then I felt better, much better.

Then I read the Book of Nature.

And I thought about it.

Then it occurred to me

to listen to some music.

Then I went electric.

Then I joined a Lost Tribe.

Then I felt ensnared again.

I wandered aimlessly

to counter purposes.

I found my mother

and she did not know my name.

I swam in a sea of delusions.

I was surrounded

by my own smoke and mist.

Murky images of the future

danced before me. . .

Shades of past music

patches of light

laughter, raucous or subtle,

bitter tears and broken glass

Then I noticed how rays of the sun

magnify through the bits

the infinite variety of sky

the waving grass on its way

how everything seen breathes

through the invisible water-crystal

how things unseen move through

the crystal that makes it happen

that saves life for the fire

and I thought

Psychics can never accurately

predict the future.

Of course not.

The future is ever-changing.

It changes even as you notice it.

True for everyone . . .

True for Everyone.

So, then, it follows that our only possession

is this control of the present moment.

That is the only thing we can own,

even though it often seems otherwise,

and it constantly moves, like a wave.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dancing the Wheeeeeeeeeeeel

(Nine goes for Three)

a soldier many times, I died
in nameless battles, white, yellow, black, red,
bellowing warcries, a good day to die,
grasping the atlatl, banging my shield,
the assegai, swinging the double axe,
whistling arrows, poison-tipped,
longsword, lance, crossbow,
grenade, bayonet, sniper'’s rifle,
all of them mine and for me
the gore, the pain of fallen brothers
all of us nourish the grass again

walking through tall cypresses
treading soft, a wary victim
choosing berries, snatched away,
abandoned child, left behind,
I wail for my mother.
an open door for anyone again

a spilled oil lamp, a tree trunk fire,
cool water in a jar
I danced and sang the hunters home
wearing bones, teeth, claws, a turquoise
to keep away evil and remember the sky again

A Huguenot in a cathedral
the bodily memories flow through me
the flames at every door
bright windows blackened with smoke
conviction of my stiff-necked pride
and proof that I was right again

whispering silk, lace, diamonds
my art in swaying an ivory fan
laughing at fate, afraid, timorous,
haughty, humble, a spectacle
to give the people hope
a burden on the privy purse
a cruel wit, avid for gossip
falling down in fear of the mob again

scraping the hides, rubbing in brains,
softening, nursing a baby,
nursing a grudge, on horseback
seeking vengeance, being avenged
suffering pain, causing pain
chosen for sacrifice
tempting fate, a stumbling-block again

a confident creature, a builder of arches,
rejoicing the majesty
in the colors of stained glass
in the strength of my fingers
mastering the stone again

the joy of the ripple of oxygen
in the blood that carries the memory
from the tips of the toes to the legs,
the belly, the chest that warms
the odors, the bouquet of life
that savor of salty water
again and again

in the aqueous humour
the prickling flesh
reptilian, limbic, the neocortex
explosions of light and the
knowing again

to aspire to express
to build to inhale it all again

I don'’t want detachment
It's union I seek
to merge
to engage
with life
again and again
and again

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Empty House

Each time I went back to see Belle’s house after she died,

I always found something significant to her memory

I found that others had been there, and the beds

were tumbled and rumpled, then gone

One dresser was marked with adhesive tape

and someone had written in schoolteacher script, Eloise.

Now who was that, I thought, it was Aunt Bunchie,

dead before her mother was, and so the dresser

was for my cousin. I found the little bobble-headed

Chinese children with magnets in their lips

a provocative plaster mammy notepad holder

Grannie’s seasoned pie pans, her crockery mixing bowls

Monday, February 5, 2007

Dragon Boats

When you look at clouds
& see something
not a cloud
you are seeing
what is really
on your mind
when you tell
someone &
they see it, too,
exactly what
does that mean?

Friday, February 2, 2007

A True Story

That summer Gramma Belle, ma belle grand-mère
communing with the fireflies,
enfolded in the heat, dusty gardenias, cashmere bouquet
heliotrope, lilies, citronella candle, cotton blooms,

told me of the time when she and Aunt Maddie
sat together on the wagon seat, holding hands,
two rosebuds, one pink and one pale yellow,
in their Montgomery Ward silk dresses,
Gibson girl chignons,
like two geisha hopefuls.

Grandpa Purvis chucked the horses to a trot,
humming into his red beard, “Sweet Adeline.”
as they drove over to the Winnsboro Ladies’ Tea-Dance.

Then how they sat together,
legs swinging under the barren pew
while the Philistine preacher castigated them for pride,
his vitriol left sparks that rainbowed in Maddie’s hair
and Belle had all but snickered at the sight.

How they laughed over his red face and clumsy hands
gesticulating, and how they from that day kept joyous Sundays
at Home.

How grand-père Jean Hardin came to visit
and his horses trampled the strawberries so flat
that Grandma Purvis never forgave him,
even though he lived under her roof,
until her deathbed, where she grandly forgave
everyone, everything, and left this world smiling.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Letter from Gracie

Last words from Atlantis: Glub, Glub

Well, yes, I have just discovered that there exists such a thing

as the Louisiana Tumor Registry. As I searched

for the number of the Registrar to locate my tardy

paperwork, there it was. I could just punch in a number

and talk to a person who sat and archived state tumors.

The possibilities! Sooooooo, that led me to ponder

why my home state has a tumor registry.

I mean, isn’t it bad enough that the Cajun Riviera,

the shrimp, crab, and oyster haven for the country,

not to mention the cloaca of the entire Mississippi River Valley

and beyond, as far as Saskatchewan and the Catskills,

is dissolving

into the Gulf of Mexico

a football field’s worth every 45 minutes!*

So now we have a tumor registry, too?

Am I the only one to find all this extremely alarming?

Last week the nice giraffe and one of the threadbare

ostriches at the sad local zoo plunged mutely

into a great sinkhole that filled with water,

and they drowned.

Now, that is tragic,

and do not think for one minute

that I feel otherwise about it,

but the distraught zoo director,

after another sinkhole appeared,

requested that the road crew drive their equipment

round and round the enclosure

to see if any new holes would swallow them up.

I suppose

he felt it would be some kind of poetic justice.

Another sinkhole took Calypso Street under,

and that runs just south of the Courthouse.

It took a whole year to repair it. Some wag

from the Mayor’s office has re-dubbed it

Collapso Street, the best joke I have heard in a while.

And the same thing could happen to New Orleans.

Anyway, the Saints always stink after the first half.

Hey, why should I worry?

I always wanted a house on the water,

and the next hurricane could make my dream come true.

Anyway, I still, and always will, just love to swim!

Much Love to You-All,


Alive, and well on Tralfamadore,

Special Thanks to Janis Joplin and Billy Pilgrim XXOOXX!

And, MLL, thank you for reminding me that the tea at the Palaz

is still very fine!

* Bayou Farewell, by Mike Tidwell (the solution)