The art of telling




In our family we held each day

in a slack semiloop

the stories always felt drunken

the art of telling like mapping

a thousand-foot ridge


the blue steal lifting me up

our hands palming stars


It’s hard to imagine

a day after tomorrow

it’s hard to remember

the silk-wrapped shimmer

of being young


the way I wanted four aces

without quite saying so


I walk to the creek

my father lifting me up

to wade across

our heads turned like street fighters

fish splash parting time


morning and evening spread and slip

when I look I see half of myself

swimming downstream






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Watching earthquakes at home




You can keep watch

on earthquakes at home

with odds & ends

scraps of copper wire

an empty tin of

Planters cocktail peanuts

a diamond stylus (never used)

a motor from an abandoned alarm clock


The urgent temporality

of underworld shocks

and death-dealing blasts

your new routine


Transported for a penny-a-day

to the Aleutian Islands

(steam rising from snow-covered cones)

or the fault six miles beneath the floor

of Sagami Bay


A permanent signature of

River Red Gums rising

granite tors splintering

rainwater tanks bursting corrugated seams


Marks for every minute

the turning drum inscribing

a parched wind  a cresting wave


our juddering palimpsest




Watching earthquakes at home was described as a new hobby in PIX Magazine, September 26 1953: The Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1 1923 emanated from a seismic fault beneath Sagami Bay in Japan.

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