D Press
Ellensburg 1982
Junk assemblage by the author
Photo by Richard Braley

for Luis

                       "Here's splotchy velvet set to hide a
door in a wall and there—there’s the man himself


Organically rising out
of common motor pools of 5
we find a new world
speaking a new language

Let's look at it—
            sky cloud bird
            mountain ocean sun
            smoke house man
            street dog bike

No Bike Riding
On the Sidewalks

While visiting our community
Please adhere
To a meatless, eggless
Non-alcoholic diet
And abstain from smoking
Mind-altering drugs and
Unnecessary nudity

Dig in—be happy
this bizarre circus stretches
beyond metaphysics   beyond
meditation   beyond your great
grandmother's condominium


or is this taking place
in a little espresso bar
along the peaceful Nile?

oh, I thought I saw
two shadows

I'm sorry—
I'm sorry, too

too much coffee
I'm damn jittery


we sit in a cool spot
amid the burning

the moon trine Uranus


miraculous water
partings, waves
in the sand

the Pharaoh's grave
a damn rib in
icy stare


There's an urgency
to his line, the
tension meant to hold

a wonder. Orion
lassoes an Atlas-bred
heifer by the hoof.
Nearly tugging free

Sterope is tied
hard and fast
with hemp.

Not too shabby, all
agree, and space is
taut in admiration.

The Olympian buckaroo puts
a silver buckle on his belt.

Sterope licks
her burn in
the calf pen.


by the creek where I squat
with nosebleed after smacking
my face in the slash

a crisscross of firehardened
barbed sticks, o mama
the dead forest
                       and the hills
lush in bitterbrush and ceinosis
sea of noses

o mama
there's no hope for the trees


slashier slash
rockier rock

this little unit
has snow on it
and's unusable

out of shoot #1
it's Flaming Hoedag
ridden by J. Root

o mama
there is hope for the trees


Orpheus instructs the treeplanters
Watch those scalps
Keep an eye on spacing
Don't plant too deep
No J roots
I only want to see asses and elbows


We plant ahead of progress rates
into full pay with laurels

We're paid to plant a tree,
and we'll come back
and back again until it grows

The trees—
out of their depth
with this logic,

driven around in vans,
debated about like dots on a map


Go Fir It Reforestation
in the Land of Many Abuses
it's well

trying to plant in a week
what, destroyed in a day,
took 1000 years to grow


No need to go
just ash out.

Quite a scene
at Joe Albertson's
during the ashout.

A man with a towel over his head
wearing swimming goggles
stocks up on beer, another
wearing a surgical mask
carries an umbrella.

It's dark.
We stay indoors and listen
to Orson Welles'
War of the Worlds.

After the Martian smoke settles,
trees drop their pyroclastic debris,
and birds start a new day,
although it's a bit gritty.

        for Alia

Here it is, your birthday,
and you're 34. Four
is before five, bunnytoes,

and three is one
before four. Remember,
too, I'll love you,
never counting the decades.


            I see you see
beauty, as we

            share sunrises,
join silences.


Sounds pathetic,
but back there

a goose merged with a gear,
a tick developed a number.


At first,
there was time,
and we agreed.

Summer bent into autumn,
then snow covered the rows.

If you go,
I'll be left the coals
that are the snowman's eyes.

To Volume 1, Book 9