Driving to Work is a Spiritual Experience

The sun rises in shades of tuna

I can only hear

One song

See the trucks moving

Like ribbon around me

It's me and this machine

Somewhere are the bodies

I've put my mouth on

When I am old

And held in

I hope words

Will be lusterless

I want to be

Buffed so hard that even

The highway

Can't scratch

When I get to school

One kid reads a piece

About how he wants to give

Relationship Advice

For a living

He says that a cheater

Will always cheat, and of course,

He wants to find a way

To make us learn this

The other day when locking

My house I had

A vision of a field

Behind it were three

Smaller fields

I can leave many times

And still not be


This Deepening Takes Place Again

What if everything 
were revealed: where I was
last night. You, etc. The rain
is coming down like salad.
My sister's hair
reminds me of my sister
so much I can't 
stop looking. Who am I
to have arms? On the plane
one short dream:
a baby so small
it wasn't even human,
just a bouquet 
of light with wise
cellular eyes. If losing me
is the worst thing to happen,
your life is still a good life.

A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self

In California we went to the dive bar and I lost my wallet
I remember falling into it

And maybe kissing against someone’s garage
I fell on city sidewalks

In California and other places

The trees looked at me tenderly

I’m guessing

You do not love me because your mom did not love you

I understand the equation

Meanwhile, I make a butter fire in the kitchen

Two times I heat the butter for the eggs

Both times I burn it 

Just observe, I tell

My students, describe what is

The woman next to me on the airplane

Moves pictures from her wallet to her pocket

In case we die

I cry with my eyes closed and the Sprite goes by

The unconscious drives us to master 

The childhood situation

I wonder if there are spiders

Here, in the carpet or between the seats

A place with bugs is so

Much more friendly

The book I am reading tells me

Ours is an earthbound crisis

That until we cease to dominate

With doing, we will fail

At being

My fingernails

Are the color of rotten peaches

On Orcas Island there’s a stone tower on top of Mt. Constitution

Some days you can see for miles, the many

Mountain ranges and pine-crusted bodies

In my mind

I practice dying

I throw myself over the edge

The plane is making its way into the streaking

Sun of this country

In Mexico I slept in a clay structure facing the ocean

I could hear the wind constantly

I bought you a tin heart with a hole in it 

I brought it back in my backpack

In bed you said Don’t make fun of me

When I’m old, okay?

When I think of your face

I have to think of me 

You are holding my knee

And now I look into you

Now I look up and face

The abject fear 

I am an animal

The bedroom is trees

Go limp a voice tells me

When a person passes me on their way to the restroom

I pretend they are the kindly face

Of god

Look deep into the eyes

Of the divine

It’s so beautiful isn’t it

To believe you are looking

At the future


You might think you are not thinking, but you are.

A thought moves from dirt up through me and if I do not
    disabuse it, it grows.

To suffer, to bear from below.

Coming down the mountain I could see a reservoir through the
    trees, fat and glowing.

You are alone in your one life and no one will enter your

Teenagers sit on the sign outside the nunnery.

We are so afraid of failing we can't live.

So we leave apartments, not breathing, breathe on the way

The potential is not the actual.

I was not a good skateboarder.

As we allow for suffering, we live.

You took a picture of me at sunset, thighs drying roses against
    an orange sky.

“This alone is deathless and everlasting”

In the dark we know one another finally.

I can be as you as I am.

“The mind-body problem”

You did things to block out the light.

Yes, another reference to morning.

When I am feeding myself I hate myself.

I was younger and not planning on dying.

In the forest between trees we dismantle thought.

Bed of summer branches, us gently.

“Much learning does not teach the mind”

And, walking across the road to the post office, able to see the

You: I googled “If you postpone love will it not end?”

To feel you have to exit the body.

To use a higher mind is to be part of the cosmos.

Then she lowered her voice to a rasp and told those assembled
    a secret.

There are no edges.

Waiting on the patio with whiskey, girl, they said, he’s not

The ethical implications of thinking.

In order to understand nature do we have to die?

Affixed to us driving the road to a mountain lake.

One must stay diligent to avoid becoming a symbol.

Let us bow down and never leave the island.

Me: “Did you think my angry phase would end?”

A day, a peeling scrim.

The moon looks into our lion mouths.

The mind’s hedge in an empty neighborhood.

If god is reason the mind is dead.

Ornate Senate of Loss, Call Me Forth to Announce Myself as
    Infinite Mystery.

You’ll use what I taught you to manipulate others.

This gives me sad pleasure.

Orange rose.

Related Poems


I let him do what he will to me—
we are traveling into the waves
and the ocean is torn by swells.

I am cautious. The moon,
it can barely be sensed,
it cannot be helped.

I learned something, I am learning.
I am untangling a rope.
I am caught by a breaking wave.

The boat is rolling from side to side
I tell of my going to town—
What he threw broke through,

it has broken away.


Translated into English from Inupiaq by the poet.




Nuyaqtuŋa. Taqqiq,

Ilisiruŋa, ilita.tuŋa.
Ilaiyairuŋa akłunaamiik.

Uaałukitaaqtuq umiaq.
Quliaqtuŋa aptauqtuaŋa—
Iitaaga pularuq.



A Life Inverse

My life circled round
every side a destination  

—I’m a budding stone
the sky at my fingertips
I exist beyond the silence
inside voices and their words
inside voiceless words

And inside these insides where blue arouses the clitoris
as my dead pass teeming with sky
to the wonder of the earth floor dizzy with birds.

A floor within the swoon?
it is me passing by, it is we the budding dead
the sky within another sky
to the wonder of two eyes kaleido-scoping the horizon:

I have skies at my fingertips
and I am not short of ground:

My life, a circle route:
everywhere destination!

The Artificial Infinite

like a room with an open window, we
               were haunted:
                                         neither exit nor entrance,
fully: so the ghosts crossed our thresholds:
               they have all gone out, they have all gone in:
the little houses leaning into the field of grass, the water
               tower levitating into the sky, the roadside drill
that digs in the grit:
                                     shock of the human
continuously beating but irregularly: so absence
               fills with expectation, overfills: and the thing is