What I have come to know after love or long white winter spent
inside the panes, swilling Triaminic:
ruddy guilt is kept up in brown cement-
like tubs. It knows this story's bent is parabolic—
the rubine scent of onions in the air, geometry
yielding no answer but line and plane, a kind of armistice.
Blood leaping to the snow below from newfound cuts in me,
my belly tender with the AM jabs of song. Is this
the refutation or the proof? The patch of lightning-white lichen
shifting in the night beneath the cedar's toes,
the compost pile combusting, rhubarb in fruition; mica
slivers tucked away in burlap bags for later; monarchs caught and in the throes
of new jar death—meat-eater, beauty, poisonous to birds;
or viceroy, the corollary, mocker; there is no truth in words.



  I was told that French was true
the only true that I could know
that television brought the news
through the snow across the lake in both languages
that static burns your skin like snow
that coeur and jouer are not pronounced the same
that creve is cleft and hearts are rent
in two along the borders of the states
that dotted line set out on maps

that crossing the International Bridge
like Orpheus in a hearse
my knowledge of mythology being slim
my efficiency on lyres unrenowned
the word seeming like it should have a k:
unreknowned or unrenowkned
or something Canadian like ice or amethyst
that k mobile like a buzzing phone
that lights up like a heart in a theatre
where The Waterboy is playing
dubbed into French and thusly
is not as funny.

Hearts are dim inside
when seen; they rarely pulse
or beat like in the films
or buzz like in Operation.
They sit there on your plate
when removed, like stars
years away and awful.




  This poem        like you, my armless brother
is broken up and gold; its skin wet
with dreaming cysts        lines
that bust and bubble up from beneath
the milky epidermis, from some new and hidden
surly organ that, from the body's basement, breathes.

Its skin displays the features of disease,
the controlled blood dots       scabs,
the sores and holes that lay
still open to the air              unresolved
like the failure of a rhyme
to click         the lack of stitch
that brings the meaning
to a close.

The faceless specialists
inform me of its gaps
deliver the sad prognosis
say I must give you up
my brother        my poem
that I must turn you over
to scans and white machines
analysis and anesthetic.

Meters will surround your bed
keeping tabs on your progression
but of course there's nothing they can do.
It's written in the words
those cords         so taut
that tie your ropy DNA
to mine           to our gasping grandfather
and the machine that kept him breathing

and to all the collecting dead
that line the family's halls
like mourners cut in black
along an aisle
through which your flawless

armless body, brother,
slowly moves
in its march
down to the flame.





Angel of Incidence
Angel of Dream Violence
Angel of Reflection
Angel of Ziebart Rustproofing
Angel of Huge Snow
Angel of Gasoline Stored in the Basement
Angel of Phosphorus Bits Found on the Tracks
Angel of Alum Poured over Pizza
Angel of Unbreakable Combs
Angel of Carob
Angel of Domestic Beer
Angel of Poorly Made Beds
Bruised Angel
Angel of Difficulty in Brushing Your Gums
Angel of Dream Logic
Angel of Stop Signs Set on Fire
Angel of Running Away
Angel of Plastique
Angel of Saltpeter and Vaseline
Angel of Crushed Trachea
Angel of Gas and Detergent
Angel of Bomb
Angel of Armlessness
Angel of Static
Angel of One Too Many Emergency Rooms
Sexy Nurse Angel Who Is Featured in Many Good Dreams
Angel of Clean Amputation
Angel of Asphalt
Angel of Structurally Unsound Decks through which One Might Fall
Angel of My Friend Corey Who Lost His Hearing
Angel of Ore
Angel of Irregular Retina
Angel of Black Remnants of Mining
Angel of Michigan
Angel of Words Half-Formed in the Throat
Angel of Turpentine
Angel of Submersion
Angel of Electric Garbage Disposal
Angel of Submission
Angel of Petty Vandalism
Angel Who Is Anatomically Correct Much to My Surprise
Angel of Arsenic
Angel of Abandoned Mineshafts
Angel of Steam Hoists
Angel of Angles, Acute and Obtuse
Angel of Bear Trap
Angel of Power Tool Accident
Angel of Cancer
Angel of Toilet Sabotage
Angel of Primary Colors
Angel of Returnable Cans Found in the Ditch
Angel of Polishing Stones
Angel of Urination in Public Bathrooms
Angel of Mineral Deposits
Angel of All the Sad Beasts
Angel of Big League Chew
Angel of Not Making the Cut
Angel of Crappy 70s Rock
Angel of Sodomy
Angel of Pompeii
Angel of Careless Brothers
Angel of False Testimony Presented in Court
Angel of Snuff
Angel of Old Dust
Utility Angel
Angel of Gangrene
Angel of Pure Accident
Angel of Perfect Pitch
Angel of Bad Intonation
Angel of Getting It Right
Angel That Cannot Be Fucked With
Hairy And Terrifying Angel
Most Fearsome Angel Holding My Head In Its Fist
Angel That Impales Me in My Dreams Over and Over
Angel of What's Left
Angel of X
Angel of Resisting Narration
Angel of Pie