for eric

a man spinning tire axle
looks at a woman walk
her dog. one leaf blows down
the street, phone rings
an urgent message,
cars go by. “did it cost
anything?” neighbor says

all the lugnuts and hubcap off,
the man is fat and bald like
a bouncer, digging at van tire
under whisk clouds of parking lot

people getting out their bikes.
sitting on waiting room chair
covered with winter dust,
streets grunt & sigh. no mail today.

waiting for a record to come, smoke
ring for my halo. spin of silver axle,
hubcap back on. windows
shake, a train’s coming

for esther

you call as I begin this. say
what’d you do last night?
watched billy jack.
what was your favorite part?
how he saves the mustangs.
I love billy jack.

we laugh like blue waters
from car sunlight. listening
to canned heat
and other songs too

for linda

heat of the light
I race your lawyer-
landlord clock.

if this is the cruel world
I must contend with,
I’ll beat it

for nate

to boards
of canada

floating on
water’s edge

for ryan

you said you’d be my
metaphysician, and that the light
from car headlights on dark
ceiling was really the shine
of us passing
thru dimensions

bird sparks
as I rushed
riding bike from work
thru parking lot made me
stop & smile thanks to god

the book at your kitchen
table spoke of dolphin
intelligence as universal spirit

you sang to me
about getting lost
& how each night you
dream of being a soldier

for megan

sitting on the stairs
with my friends
who wear boots
of spanish leather

feathers come busting
from my shoes and shirt

for rosmarie

you told us,
you can’t help
but write about
your obsessions,
but let other
stuff in too,
be a circulation
system, like money
& cars. be
like t-rex, laughing
at your work,
“it’s a rip off”

for terry

hockey coaches
stand in front of
river view
eating fruit
and cheering my name

for tim

all this music my heart’s transmission

trying to rise up to the sky
thru trees and fields
my head aches I smashed on desk

gone to meet with a billionaire
thru the rain
the rain

face red
not enough time

for clint

trying to buy a hotdog
at highway convenience
store – lady said there’s free
hotdogs next door at church
garage sale. you went outside
and found free pump organ.
demonstrating how to play
it on all 4s for us

for lucy

days when I wear
your crucifix
around and pray to paper

dreamt of you
giving me
packages of incense

flock of birds flying
fast erratic joyous
thru snow flurry sky

sound of my heart

for kathleen

crows screaming on power lines
& eating salt from highway
breakdown lane. old man
drops his pipe in the snow

last night entering
another person’s dream,
muscle shells under the bridge
walking home. rotten pomegranate
seeds like eggs. white shining
world of april storm. all I forgot

for patti

one of us in the hospital,
me scared, taking pregnancy test
it coming negative
relieved, the music making me weep:

tell me one more time why you went away, it makes a little sense in the light of day, when evening comes around, all my senses fly away

for bonny

reading about aftershock
earthquakes in japan
i cringe each time
i remember my aunt
saying natural
disasters happen
most in countries
where they aren’t

for john

gone to find
the river
in cracked mud

for ryan

found you reading
on rain wet bench
knew you’d be where
my gaze was going

the smell of lilies,
you tell me
my eyes have turned
gray and orange

for mimi

she speaks to me
of a woman who makes
the waves grow like

birdsong & pieces
of seashell coming up
from the street
as she says these things

for elmore

don’t be disheartened,
the world needs poets
just as much
as it needs farmers.
go ahead and say how
the forest was a spread of lung
spilling vapor & smiling.
say it over and over,
how the pine smells
after the rain, the fallen
trees so blue, the wind
so strong, I wanted
to go with it