Together,
you
standing
before me before
the picture
window, my arms
around you, our
eyes pitched
beyond our
reflections into—

(“into, I’d
written, as
though there
swung at the end
of a tunnel,
a passage dotted
with endless
points of
arrival, as
though our gaze
started just outside
our faces and
corkscrewed its way
toward the horizon,
processual, 
as if looking
took time to happen
and weren’t
instantaneous,
offered whole in
one gesture
before we
ask, before our
will, as if the far
Sonoma mountains
weren’t equally ready
to be beheld as
the dead
fly on the sill)—

the distance, a
broad hill of
bright mustard flowers
the morning light
coaxes open.

Eye Against Eye [excerpt]

As if nothing were wrong egrets dip-feed in near shore channels

the human genome reveals chromosomes from parasites

annexed by our DNA long ago

mongrels to the core and tourists

with cameras take the front pews

the enemy blows himself up at Passover dinner

the enemy trembles in a cave starving

the enemy lets go a daisy cutter

a million cubic feet of mud slides down the slope

toward a single bungalow in Laguna Beach

Witness

                     for Jean-Luc Mylayne

Or the vision that holds 

at its razorpoint 

the feathers of a bird 

goes blue. Each sleepless-

ness framed, behind,

by this whine

of insects. So a shutter,

lifted, offers 

to looking

the very oracular

interior of that

openness into which bird 

inserts itself. Its song 

shortening when 

there is wind. Comes

the visible and 

its remainder, a

blur, what? Tittering 

at lower and lower 

luminance. That the 

accompaniment might be

sufficiently responsive.

Related Poems

Field in Spring

Your eye moving

left to right across

the plowed lines

looking to touch down

on the first

shoots coming up

like a frieze

from the dark where

pale roots

and wood-lice gorge

on mold.

Red haze atop

the far trees.

A two dot, then

a ten dot

ladybug. Within

the wind, a per-

pendicular breeze.

Hold a mirror,

horizontal,

to the rain. Now

the blurred repetition

of ruled lines, the faint

green, quickening,

the doubled tears.

Wake up.

The wind is not for seeing,

neither is the first

song, soon half-

way gone,

and the figures,

the figures are not waiting.

To see what is

in motion you must move.

Vision from the Blue Plane-Window

In the round little window, everything is blue,
land bluish, blue-green, blue
				(and sky)
	everything is blue
blue lakes and lagoons
			blue volcanoes
while farther off the land looks bluer
	blue islands in a blue lake.
This is the face of the land liberated.
And where all the people fought, I think:
						for love!
To live without the hatred
				of exploitation.
To love one another in a beautiful land
so beautiful, not only in itself
			but because of the people in it,
above all because of the people in it.
That's why God gave us this beautiful land
for the society in it.
And in all those blue places they fought, suffered
			for a society of love
				here in this land.

One patch of blue looks more intense...
And I thought I was seeing the sites of all the battles there,
and of all the deaths,
behind that small, round windowpane
						blue
					all the shades of blue.

The Figure on the Hill

When I saw the figure on the crown of the hill,
high above the city, standing perfectly still

against a sky so saturated with the late-
afternoon, late-summer Pacific light

that granules of it seemed to have come out
of solution, like a fine precipitate

of crystals hanging in the brightened air,
I thought whoever it was standing up there

must be experiencing some heightened state
of being, or thinking—or its opposite,

thoughtlessly enraptured by the view.
Or maybe, looking again, it was a statue

of Jesus or a saint, placed there to bestow
a ceaseless blessing on the city below.

Only after a good five minutes did I see
that the figure was actually a tree—

some kind of cypress, probably, or cedar.
I was both amused and let down by my error.

Not only had I made the tree a person,
but I'd also given it a vision,

which seemed to linger in the light-charged air
around the tree's green flame, then disappear.