Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ekphrasis for the, very much alive, raccoon beneath my dog last night in the southwest corner of the yard

[much snarling, spitting, biting, scratching]

the mate bails over the fence. "Clyde! No! Leave it! Drop it!"
[more snarling, spitting, biting, scratching]

I am in my stocking feet.

Finally, release is achieved the raccoon is rapidly up the tree and gone.

I tow Clyde by the scruff inside.

Later the dabbing of minor facial wounds.

I scraped my knee on the tree.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A trip to the dump.

These are some days after and once autumn-crisped thoughts have gone all fuzzy, one bleeding into the other solved by beer and stress.

Let me start over.

This I remember: sparrows skulk in the bushes like rapists. Speed-walkers. I take a handful of feral fennel seed and crush them in my fingers, the aroma marries-well with the wet-tobacco-leather-newspaper smell of the landfill.

A pheasant kicks up close across the slough. He's what I have been trying to imagine into clapper rails these crok crokings in the tules. I imagine reflexively throwing an imaginary twelve-gauge up to trace the cock's rocket glight across the way, &&&.

We're all strangers on the land here, me, the pheasant and the fennel. Exotic garbage piled up on the bay shore. We've had our uses.

Compulsively I compile a list of birds: white pelican, avocets wanding their beaks as they do, egrets, whatever, teal, mallards, some feral polluted mongrel duck with them, shovelers in loads, clouds of peeps blow about ominously, audibly I mean, earlier we watch a snowy egret hunting in the effluent kicking up poor scared fish like a freaking dinosaur, I already told you about the sparrows, ring-billed gulls gyre like witches, hawks, whatever, some terns, grebes, geese, I don't know,

Maybe a bird without sinister regard,

There was more to say. Another rail running quick across the mud that I knew anyways was just a mudhen when I saw it.

I want to say, "Isn't all of it?"

What does it mean;

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Elegy for the roadkilled raccoon

whisper under your breath:
Procyon lotor
repeat as necessary
(six times yesterday)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Writing Bad Poetry Is Easy and Fun

(for CS)

The vapor clots sit right here
not high or low
a little low, I guess
not fog
the announcer on NPR
shilling for pledges
just said
"get high or go home"
don't think that's what he meant
to say--
a higher register,
Pigeons: spin, strut and puff on lamp posts
Crows: more left to right than vice or verse
have you seen Robert Reich's tumblr?
the guy's so tiny and so smart
but I'm not finished
Gulls: several
Egrets: plenty but I wasn't paying attention
Cormorants: forgot to check the transmission tower but they must be there and I saw one later anyway
Buteo: fine but only saw, up by the clouds because now I'm looking
Turkey Condor: ditto
Pelicans: both flavors brown and white
but look less different in this light
Tern: turns
and dinosaurs across the bay

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August Bugs

it was not, anyways, this beetle but forgive, the details now escape me. But here is what I remember: the humidity, a tram across the tarmac out to the turbo-prop, this was Toronto couldn't tell you much about it, a puddle jumper across to Cleveland, this is August, the whine of jets, the whine of tree crickets and cicadas somewhere beyond which I surely couldn't hear, and beetles massing, landing on clothes and carry-ons dragged across the sticky concrete, this is the evening, twilight maybe, and the passengers trudging up the fold-down stairway and the beetles swarming about us, clouds express boarding straight into a cabin above our head, back of the line, front of the plane, beetles hurtling against reading lights circling in lazy loops to alight on window shades, many passengers are not amused, one woman particularly is upset, a cabin full of insects, the cabin doors are closing, whines from the engines and taxiing across the runway and the beetles are still restless, knocking, swarming, settling, the attendant struggles to calm the passengers, dole out snacks, we're in the air already I suppose, half-way there, a cart down the aisle and the irate woman is more irate about something, and more and more, I can't remember, a misplaced order? hurling abuse at the attendent, angry, evil, treating this poor young woman like crap, and she explains, whatever, I can't remember, patiently, ever angrier the passenger, griping, sniping, moving, the attendant asks her to take her seat, we are about to land, the angry woman refusing, and then, an army of beetles sets upon her, she's shrieking, now back in her seat but they keep coming, the attendant buckles in for the final approach, she turns to me and confides:

"they are my pets."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Smoke Break Ornithological Notes, ca. 2005

Crows are going nuts all over that palm tree, pulling tasty morsels out of the petiole covered trunk. Cockroaches I'll bet.


Anna's zips off right at the moment it drops a load into empty space. Looks like a miniature shit-propelled rocket.

Friday, April 16, 2010


cottonwood seeds dance Brownian
about a million tiny, shimmering
reversed snowflakes rising off the
patio--alates, termites,
Reticulitermes hesperus, I'd guess
a nuptial flight:
most organisms flood the world with babies
and hope a few survive;
termites force their reproductive
caste en masse from the dark
subterranean galleries that are
the only world the cast outs
have ever known
into the glaring sunlight,
a dessicating world filled with

the hapless twist in cobwebs
or turn pointless circles on the
concrete, fragile wings
mangled and broken
and still they pour from
clumpy towers and rise like lazy
sparks into the air

, the swifts collapsing chatters overhead

if I owned this house I suppose I would be
alarmed at this surface spectacle that
hints at goings on below
but I am a renter, and moving soon,
and I think I will have another beer
and watch the hummingbirds
hum and go

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two-bit tyrant

It's February and, for suburban california anyway, the flower situation is still pretty bleak. Some radishes, calendula, the first wave of spring bulbs. But this little guy is a visionary, a speculator. Perched on dormant grapes, he gloats. Carving out great U-shaped arcs above the garden each punctuated with a percussive squeak. "Some months from now, ladies," he boasts, "all this will be sage and epilobium as far as the eye can see--red blossoms bursting from silver bushes--paradise on Earth. You'll want to get in on the ground floor of this one, trust me."

what a douche.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bathroom Poem

Sometime past midnight;
Spiders doing
Spider jobs.