Less Here

Like the clotted sky as it strains in its weight,
and loses itself in bits, as rain —
Like the grain by grain march of sand off the bar
as each rolls to the ocean floor—

Like the wood core of the log and the flame,
the embers that smolder through years of rings—

So are all my moments with you.

Last week when you brushed against my shoulder,
I think I lost at least a year, and
Two days ago, just talking, your voice grabbed me just so
—I forgot what listening to anyone else was, and

Then just last night again, I think I told a random joke, you laughed,
and I forgot everything I thought I needed to say.

I am always forgetting myself these days.

The minutes between our meetings pass as moments then hours
then days, the distance between us shrinks and swells like the tides
at the call of the moon, and my thoughts turn back to you like a
rabbit to a secret hole just before the fangs catch.

I can’t even imagine who I am anymore.

Let’s breathe me away like desperate divers on their last tank,
let’s set me alight like a midnight flare on the desert floor,
let’s rev me, race me, plunge me down the freeway until
fumes and speed and steel are all that’s left.

Hold me, please, until I’m
less here

Elegy

I

This was supposed to be—

—this was supposed—

    —this—

And when I hear an echo

    Through but your voice—

When I hear you hear yourself

Through the words that we find together

    Across this poem, that poem, my

Line, your

Rhyme, your

Return of my words back and better than

When they left me—this was

Supposed to be—

II

A lone feather in the wind

Becomes

Like the last condor in a sky;

It becomes the soft flutter

And cry and echo

Of the shadow sky empire

Of condors now past—

The skies were once so full

Of distant majesty, of promise

But promise now somehow

—broken—

As though God himself gave up and

Took all his condors back, and went home.

III

This was supposed to be

My elegy for you.

This was supposed to be

About you, and us.

The future was supposed to be

About you, and an elegy for me

Written by your son.

The future was supposed

To be mourning the forgetting

Of me.

This was supposed to be an elegy about me,

Written by your son, ten or twenty

Years from now.

IV

This was supposed to be the poem

I would never write

—an elegy for my son—

Lord, I am not worthy—

Poems like feathers

Collected from the beach sands and

If you didn’t stitch the feathers

And left your son only wax, then

—I am sorry—

—I am sorry—

—I am—

This wasn’t supposed to have to be

My elegy for you.

Coronation For The Crimson Emperor

Good morning—good morning!—

My sunshine daydream

You, my love, this morning you

Were—there, next to me—

Blooming, bloomed! Out indeed

Between us—

Your pale skin and body

—quiet next to me in hum—

Blooming like a deep red rose

—this and you so sudden in the

Morning, in the dawn next to me!

You deeper still you, my

Cherry-blood mouthful

Red—you, my bold

Bolder man maroon

Deepest maroon

Red!—you!

Flicker fire fire

Engine red

Across me

In passion

Passing here

Between us,

Passion past

Across your skin—

You! Your body!

—so red—

The deepest of dawn—

And then here beside

You red you within you

With these perfect pools

Of such pale purple

That swell and the silence

Somehow that passes between

The silence and tender between

Us—I can finally see—

There, here in your deep red’s

Night night-est light night

I can see the how and the

Delicate of that blue of me…

You always seem to yearn

To be lost—consumed—

Within!—with my every

Touch softest touched with

My eyes—my glance

—Press’d deep and so

My eyes the pale of sky-blue

That—there within those of mine

—Twin skies, their glinted sighs—

You my ripe reddest man, love true

Pay in love back to me my gifted

Desire as blue within blue

Pay with that weight of your

Warm and red and smile and red

—and body and red—

—and so long years—and red!

Everytime I feel your rogue glance

And too your red candle candescent

So iron-hot Rogue red

R o y a l R e d Emperor

Here, in this quiet of morning

Please, come stay yet

To yet rule this the

Vast empires of my azure—

Oceans of love

Oceans of air

Oceans within with me—you

Emperor Red of Me Deepest Me

Deep Deeper Space,

Deeper Blue, Bluer

Blue so infinite in within you.

Utah Gothic

(for June Alice Thedell)

Silence—the shutter—chill and still

Across grave stones in a graveyard

In Smithfield, Utah, its

Claim in the dirt—Sacred Soil for

Souls—Radical Souls, Soul Revolutionaries, Souls who lifted Themselves up—translated themselves

Into Americans, citizens in and of Utah.

Utah Gothic.

Smithfield, Logan, Roy: northern cities

In Logan, Grandmother Alice’s house

Was across the street from the Mormon

Church there. It was a short Summer walk,

For me, to the Logan Temple:

God as immediate as a trip to the grocery.

Slightly more distant was a campus

For Utah State University, the Aggies.

Cache County was seat of North Utah;

This Mormon Empire—citizens from

Norway, Sweden, England, France

Were here for a new God, a new country.

Utah Gothic.

Retired by the time I visited Summers,

Grandpa Garnel kept his

Watering equipment left over from the

Farm: canvas hoses, tin and wood

Fittings and boxes, to use for irrigation with

The Spring rain mountain runoff from city

Gutters. He’d water the lawn, bushes,

Trees on the front side facing the church, watered the backyard garden, its raspberry, blackberry bushes.

You could walk to downtown from my grandparents’ house, to the

Town library, to storefronts there since the 1940s, 1950s: the Bluebird restaurant, the Beauty College, the ice cream factory outlet. 20 minutes drive brought Gossner Dairy: cheeses, bulk curds, milk in sealed sterilized boxes and guaranteed for ten years from purchase, produced with equipment from a manufacturer in Sweden.

On a distant edge of

Logan was a petting zoo; opposite that was the giant grocery outlet.

Drive past the outlet and you’d arrive at what used to be Grandpa Garnel’s farm.

Utah Gothic.