Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brood XIX

By the time we get to Nashville
the party is mostly over,
dead bodies strewn across the sidewalks.

"Two weeks ago,"
Says Dr. F, walking quite fast,
"We wouldn't have been able to hear
each other speak"

Waves to show the little space between us.

",above the noise."

Makes a sweeping gesture to the trees.
"I like it. It reminds me of growing up."

Down by the river,
desparate virgins lurk in the woods

(easy to take their songs for wails of frustration
these late-comers who might have missed their chance
but, of course
the male cries because that is all he knows how to do)

the path is studded with narrow wells
conduits to the past
and it's not too hard to count by thirteens
1998 - the Lewinsky brood
1985 - the Contra brood
1972 - the Watergate brood

only 14 broods back Old Hickory is in the White House, still grieving,
and wondering about his assets back in Hermitage.

He writes to brother of his just dead wife, son of the Col. founder of Nashborough,

June 7 1829 - To John Donelson
P.S. Mr. Steel has written me but one letter say to him to write me how much crop he has in, how many coalts, lambs & calves and how my last years coalts are–and of the health of my Negroes–I learn old Ned & Jack are both dead–Jack was a fine boy, but if hew was well attended to, I lament not–he has gone the way of all the earth–

[If the ages in the Hermitage register of 1829 are correct "Old" Ned, might have seen four broods, Jack, dead at 17, just missed seeing two.]

but the past is dead
the travails of man and bug are separate threads
they pull apart cleanly like an insect from its skin

we can search for meaning in the spectacle:
thirteen years of tax on the trees
sapped drop by drop by the waiting grub
then the explosion of screams and sex and death
the hungry mouths of birds
bodies dropping from the trees
a windfall paid back to the forest soil
less the hundred thousand eggs
stealed away in twigs
and some weeks hence
mostly unnoticed
a second rain
grubs fall to the soil
to burrow down,
through the husks of their ancestors
to search and find
the root

the promise of return
the fullness of the season and the gathering of things

but I'm afraid I've dug myself too deep
down here at the bottom of the well
staring up at my nearly teenage daughter
one brood hence
regarding me with exasperation.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Rufous-sided Tiger-cart

unlike its northern cousin, the Rufous-sided Tiger-cart is a solitary creature. Much like a large constrictor it ambushes its prey and then retires to a secluded location to digest the meal which can take several weeks. This individual has only recently captured what appears to be a juvenile Silver Spinner although without a clear view of the field marks it is difficult to place it to species. There are no recorded attacks on humans, and clearly this cart was full and docile when I observed it. Nevertheless I kept a safe distance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I'm not sure if anyone has ever posted a photo of some sunflowers against the night sky on the
internet. So I thought I would, just in case.

I think that bright thing is the moon, even though it looks more like a streetlight.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snakes on an inclined plane

this doesn't have anything to do with anything

i [never tried and] failed to photograph
the ring-necked snakes
that crossed our path

the first was like a meteor
slid already into duff
revealed in act of disappear

but I should have just grabbed it

the second like an ied
tread past; unseen by me
erupting after, gone again

and the third and fourth and fifth
which are like God


"Rattlesnakes?" I ask, with hope,

"Um. Yeah," Already gone downhill

"Awesome," I say.


"Thanks," I mean?

I mean awesome

But the shadows swell already on the trail
there won't be anymore
snakes today.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Collected Field Recordings 2003 - 2004 by neilkelleyca

I know how this looks.

Addendum: I swam in that pool. The locals eyed me with some suspicion. That's the "show-me" thing, I guess.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Heron hunts his shadow

budburst on the oaks and
maps the (?)
brains of a billion dead jays
(treescape is the corvid canon)

something I was going to tell you was
dream about a netflix queue I don't
this dream lost and found and lost and found again
so seemed significant
reiteration defines some emptiness


in the same yard
dread assembly
lost photography
melted eras and lapsed monthes

the way things va.