The Ecstasy of Autumn

“To say anything—the mere effort alone—is a form of abandonment, an act of distortion. We can’t pin the world down in words, but there’s incredible pleasure in attempting to chart the slippage.”

—Joseph Massey


we slip

from being to saying

there is pleasure

in the tearing away

abandoning the seen

for the said

it’s the tension

between the two

between the too

many things

That old shell

That old shell of a Chevy 				
in the field down by the creek 			
became our base, our fortress,			
our refuge and our shelter.				

In all those days of story 
and eventuality		 		
even innocence placed its 
lost loves where we met, shyly, 
so long ago.  
		        We trysted, 
we parted, came together 
and parted gently again.						

We grew there.  We grew up there.			
We grew roots in our minds and 
hearts there that dig and search the 
soil there still, search for meaning, 
twine into leaning loves and 
tilted, quizzical glances,			
looks that say, “Maybe….again.” 									


And now the grass grows up through 
the floorboards.  Rust falls to dust 
the earth in a halo all 
around.  The blood of the place 
runs into the soil—our blood, 
our time, our labors of growth, 
the things we do and did that 
can not be counted as work 
and cannot be priced, all those 
lessons lost with the rust, leeched 
into the soil, washed from us 
like the sweat from our bodies,
like the mud from our bare feet 

when we ran like animals
through the field and through the creek. 


The rain patters on the roof, 
singing us softly into 
the night and we sleep.  When dawn 
comes there are bare drips from the 
roof onto the old rearview 
mirror.  They roll around the 
edge to curl under and fall 
down and splash on the dashboard 
where we put the candles the 
night before.  And we come back 
to this place, to this comfort.

I come here and you are there 
before me, that look on your 
face that says, “God, you're silly! 
Silly for coming back…..but, 
here I am again, waiting.”


Time and time, and—
God!  How it hurts 
to watch it go, 
to feel it lose 
its grip on you.


This space remains.  This space is 
never the same.  This space is 
never the same shape. It will 
not fit us anymore.  

Unheard Music

We were in the room next door,
the one that, 
                     when you enter, 
                                                you suddenly 
find yourself below ground, 
looking at the feet 
of passers-by on the street
but you don't worry about that,
about how you have found yourself here.
You don't think about how it doesn't 
make sense because it does 
at the time.

In that moment its dark energy rings truer 
than the dark.  It's dark and dingy like you 
imagine a bar in a building’s basement should be.
It has been abandoned,
raided and forgotten
with still uneasily spoken 
spirits that might be raised.

Eighty years ago
a thick layer of light brown 
dust settled, coating everything,
taking the room and everything in it 
and turning them in tones of sepia
with the sounds of the street coming 
filtered through dirty glass
disturbing nothing.

There is music that comes and goes,
music that no one is listening to anymore,
faded laughter like lost loves and stale cigarettes,
like slowly yellowing paper (we can see it turn
before us, we watch it happen there on the window sill,
the paper curls and crumbles).
Shadows pass and the passers feet 
become the passing of the light.

From the room, a quick, lonely movement 
catches in the corner of the eye like a cobweb
that you can not squeeze out.

The room can not decide which floor it wants to be
so it becomes the floor, and you are

flattened along with it.  You have 
become a shadow of who you are,
your own shadow that you step on.

This is a time when I was alone.
This is a place I have been before.
This is a time when I was not afraid
of any thing or any one
but of time's not passing,
of dead flies that have stopped 
accumulating in the windows.