April 13, 2020

Reductionists want to reduce our actions down to one reason. They want to sell the idea that you walk funny because of your dinner. But our actions, our habits, have a whole world of reasons, a whole history of them.



Landscapers trim the grass border, while father and son are walking to the bus stop. Geese! flood the sky


All the things a smile could say

All the things a smile could say

could also be said with the eyes. 
i’ve heard people say that they try to
replace their smile
with a hand gesture, 
but that turns out to be an awkward
understanding, one which only the
person performing the gesture
actually understands.
Most say they use words to replace a smile.
Though, words are always
only place-holders, besides
couldn’t they just announce:
I’m smiling behind this mask.
Of course when they say they use words
to replace a smile they mean tone
and aren’t tones also heard
through the eyes?

morning fuzz

While everyone is
pushing and pushing
back the morning
fuzz of autumn,
grasses bloom
in place. Children
holding parent’s
hands walking
to the bus stop
Magnolia petals
drop to the street. 

Virus Dreaming

I woke up writing a poem.
It might have been a continuation
of my dreaming, though, because
I had taken out a newspaper
advert to write a short two column

by six inch persona
poem for the Virus.
If the Virus had a voice,
what accent would I give it?

Suddenly a locomotive of a thought,
Why is it that if given the choice
I will choose fear every time
In other words, why is it so easy
to succumb to fear?

The tone would clearly be villainous.
It would say something like,
You people love to talk. . .
with a long pause to convey power,

and authority, . . . about the
greatness of the human spirit.
Before continuing Virus
would take a breath in
through parted lips sucking

like a saliva ejector on fleshy
mucous-lined cheeks
sucking excess saliva
passed tongue and teeth, 

You love to talk. . .
about when this is all over.
As if it will ever be over.

I’ve got news
for you
this is over,
when we learn
to live
together.

The Virus points out.
For some reason
I look to myself to guide
me; reading over past journal entries
I come across one that says,

my knowledge is so fragile.
And it is
because it is known
through the experience of others 

Another entry that goes,
sound and meaning are tied so
closely together. Sound is a finger
pointing and meaning is particular.

Then I begin to wonder if
Virus isn’t just the finger
pointing at me. 

Self-isolating


Self-isolating


with your hands pressed together
it’s hard to know
where one hand ends
and the other begins,

impossible even.
with the National Guard deployed
to three different states,
to your state,
it’s difficult to tell
if what’s normal here
is normal there.

impossible even.
it’s too easy to want to
hunker down
with some snacks
and turn on netflix,

irresistible it seems.
reduced to a voice
and drowning in a sea of voices.

Updates, notifications
can’t come fast enough.
batteries are drained by mid-morning.
overuse and gaming
will do that to a phone.

looking out the window,
you see
the daffodils are also eager
to get some sun.