Thursday, November 18, 2010


And I felt myself falling,
      not through
the mattress, but rather,
off to the other side.
      Yet my mind was
scrambling for an out, even while
my back seeped down
through dark molasses air;
pot of fear burbling in the gullet.

And the bedpost stood so close,
but my arms, straining against
      the glut of night,
wouldn’t move any faster.
A woman 
in Victorian bodice and skirt
stood at the foot of the bed,
      her hands wrapped,
her spectral head 
cocked slightly askew,
eyes so forlorn.

And I fell through black.

At the Café

the way the biscotti
slides back and forth
across the little plate,
as the breeze blows
just hard enough
to entice the trees
to whisper her name
      as if to me.

Snow Day

Duluth (watercolor on paper)

Brine Sludge: an artistic/poetic mélange

Friday, November 5, 2010

Andaigweos - woodcut by James Autio

Thee Constructed: A Love Poem

1.   I’ve built many a wall.
Out past the pastures
lies a yellow meadow, lush
with bees and buttercups.

I’ve walked where my workboots are
let down with each soft step
by thickly woven shoots.
It is there where you

and I are
mostly intertwined, melded
like brick upon brick,
my mind to your mind.

My body too is a shell,
a husk you’ve planted, furrowed,
hoed as your desires dictate,
clocking time until I’ve returned home.

O, pity your barrow’s wheel
has sprung a sprocket.
I’m pained to watch you
from afar, your basket

filled with lilies,
the weight of which drain
the joy you’ve held
in your belly.

Your neck, you feel, reacts
with each inch
my carriage slips over
the rim of your former world.

But oceans of tears
are the drip that feeds seeds.
Together, we are that quivering sprig
that juts from bunked earth.

2.   I’ve passed mountains and rivers
to build cathedrals, erect nunneries, but
you are every stone I quarry,
every piece I lay.

You’re an edifice,
a massive house of worship
towering over heathans.
Into the sky I build you.

Were I drawn
to distant Orient nations,
I’d raise you once again
to show the cold world my love.

I’d hire an army
to protect you, defend your
holy places
to the bitter end.

Were you assaulted by Visigoths,
I’d raise a wall. Stormed by samurai,
I’d train wooly mittened ninjas
to repel down your glorious buttresses.

3.   As I travel
you lay me to rest at night
and resurrect me with your morning.

I’m withering and turning to ash,
tired of having cut stone
in place of you.

I’m eating curry paste and unleavened bread
instead of dulling my knife
over your crusted sour loaves.

I miss your yeast
you keep by screw jar
in the pantry downstairs.

In gentle places
and dangerous lands filled with pitas,
your lips mouth secrets to me.

Alone, I hold myself
betrothed to my love of you,
while you are home with our farm—

hands kneading, kneading.

Six Foot Rise

I’d like to build a ramp
to make me more accessible
to crippled children in wheelchairs
and the elderly. Rise established,
I’ll extend the run so they’ll come
from far away with an eye on me
as an end prize while they shuffle
or roll, whichever the case may be.
The climb toward me will not be arduous,
but will require a prolonged commitment
(assuming of course that they have the time).
I’ll stand atop the ramp holding a tray
of sweetened treats. I’ll whistle ditties
to encourage the struggling kids
and even catcall the cute old birds.