thrift is the ambient name for
            doing what you have decided
            & not spending any more time
J-6 is the name of the exit
            expecting little traffic
            to impede your trek to the
when the baby is sick, one must
            stay home from the Lion’s Club
            rummage sale, even
            in Mexico
absinth is the name of a
            labyrinth in the mysterioso
            question about the organization
            of hairs all across the human
whatever the case in this case of
            lack of sufficient exercise
I don’t care if it makes my
            legs tremble I need to
            move these limbs until I swear &
            all the lymph in every part
            recirculates like a
            bubbling Zen desk fountain
what do you mean— there is no such thing
            as a bathroom punch card
            these things are not rationed
            by a rational person
awake all night listening to the
            antique electric light timer &
            knowing exactly what shirt I would wear
            & which hat would put me
            so clearly in the center of any picture
thrift does not apply to lotion
thrift does not apply & should
            never be mentioned when speaking of
            human affection
in the lilac room with the red dispenser
            I have a dream
on every page of my calendar I see
            a picture of a man & a woman together
I carry my own food & water
            so need is not an issue
I’ll take one of the small black ones with straps
            & a slim cardinal suit
            with a zipper
I’ll go to the world in the trappings
            the banter the fashion
the style the excitement
            the polish & wit & gloss
            the full expression
            the sofa the grand sale
            the music the baile
            the dancing high heels
            the invulnerable leather
            the checkpoint the
            customs the permission
            the menu the risks &
            passions & all that could
            ever occur on the





  the hair, the in-motion
the past selves— the little girl
the dry October grass, the in-motion
the boat on the lake, the earrings
the hands, the whole
selves, the cold camp, the moon card
the legs & feet, the dog the dog the dog, the girl
the porcelain artifacts, the purge
ephemeral carpet of flowers, the in-motion
the heights, the dizziness, stop
spinning, the in-motion, the curtains
the dirt road, the wooden porch, the neck
the throat, the hands, the pulse in motion
the past, the days, the past
the collar, the trial, the exercise
the chair, the ground, the future
it’s a long way up
the airport, ancient terraces, the eyes
the boulder, the bull in love, the sliding slope
the knees, solitary, dark mountain
the cup of water, the rose, the relic
balance, the rest, the walk
the climb, transit, the ground
the gaze, the walk

describing her character is an essay in the state of grace
in a curved generation it’s the whole generation
& it’s her character—
this is an old girl a tall Alice
& Wonderland is Walgreen’s in this case
& she goes to work with a briefcase & a bag
& her character frames her
& is written all over her face
she’s more than a portrait yet this portrait is barely
moving is is is a bit static is is is is a bit quiet
the shout is on the other side
with the train, but wait— hope—
wait— what is her face
a presentation, a cause, a launcher
of some ship as yet unknown
a lift of a certain element in a bottle of tea—
the front is more difficult to find—
so fixed it disappears, as in the case of certain
elements or the bankruptcy of a worthy cause—
which is not to say anything is wrong
but just to say at times
even noble things
need to change

there was one day at the schoolgirl’s desk
whether between listening to a popular song
or going to dog class
herself as female for many lifetimes & at all ages
innocence & the practical, practice & patience
she is the landscape in a body
with a voice but most of all eyes
some residual 19th-century helplessness
close the door you’re letting in the heat
I insist
you’re letting in too much
so long till I am recognized
but the study of the world is reward
the battle & the bottle
the male’s armor & departures
value & honor
keep going
the wrap of the disappearing constant





  at the end of a year
whose gift, sweetheart, was having less
I cleared a place to stand
& name my birthright
I have waited for the king—
for the tap on the forehead—
the golden crown—
as I turn over the ground
& bury the wooden couple in the yard—
not to end a dream, but
so something new could rise
from its hard seed—
to have less, to clear & clear
down to the shelter itself—
ease into the long
hibernation of our lady
taming the demon—
the gift this year was
staying in the full fire of my heart
living in the dear body of my discomfort
gripping & gritting, pulsing & turning loose
days of no appeal
just the lay of the land
& all its mystery laid bare
& vibrant
an aperture