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The Gospel in the GroundTaos hum hymnalsWith banjo twang,Pick-guard scratchesAnd raspy voices,Tambourine hip-hits,Muffled mumblingOf backing vocalsAnd bare-knuckleBone-clap hi-hats.The skeletons can't sit stillWhen the gospel in the groundIs the only sound in the sod.
CompathyI've been told it's irrelevant;An acquaintance is a friendly faceWhether I reckon I hold themAs confidant or coincidence.An acquaintance is a friendly face;I hail friends from crosswalksAs if a confidant or coincidence,In reference or in reverence.I hail friends from crosswalksWhether I reckon I hold themIn reference or in reverence;I've been told it's irrelevant.
TrellisI teach a caterpillarHow to conceal its markingsOn a grapevine that graspsThe trellis, trimmingChewed leaves. BiggerBite marks upon bite marks.A rotten apple-core chrysalisIs hanging on a vine.All it ever does is change.I taught the grapevineWhere to grasp the trellis.And all it ever does is want.
CaptionsDiodes emit dialogue,Her eyes pursueClosed-off captioning....cough...Toddlers rev their lipsLike idling engines."You know," he began......background conversation..."They don't have some-One typing this all up.It's all machines."...whistling..."And you thinkI don't know this?"Analog signalsAnd homophonesMisplaced, theSitcom continues....Wagner's "Ride ofThe Valkyries" plays...Wiretaps andMachines saying yes.
DialysisHer timbre tastes ofClavinet andClavicle.Keystrokes inConcert hall attireDuring dressed re-HearsalsAre heard; she'sPlaying whatHer audiencePresumes to hear:Hearsay andThe deodorant of perfume;The schlit! of a coronerCracking aSternum;The audible inhaleAfter dialysis,Prognoses on a podium turned dais.She knows that peopleDo not approach the podium,But the lecternTo speak;That the young conductorRises on the podium withoutA lectern,And speaks anyway.
Mouth to MusicCompressed audio codec;Album on repeat.PentatonicScales breatheSecond languagesAnd resuscitateLyrics from the listener.Compress, breathe,Resuscitate, compressBreathe, resuscitate.He'sDeaf onArrival.
StrataEstranged siblings, parent-child relationships, separable friendsDry feetIn frosted dirtPause, sinkForward;Wry smilesOn dehydrated facesCalculating,CalcifyingInto memoriesAnd onto Polaroid'sBunk beds, three-legged races, Chinese finger traps.Hands entwining in theOpposite hand,Emotions entangling themselves.A man says hello;The monster.Conversation is engaged,Depressed voicesGathering like dust collecting.
Let the Sparrows InI.Blackbirds rest on the power lines,their silhouettes form the notationto a dawn song set on the sheet musicof telephone poles contrasted by the sun.Curled leaves are land mines litteredon the lawn where imprints of twigsand a nurturing robin's tracks collect.Branchlets and leaflets stem fromporch step railings and mailboxes;the numbers read odd on the east,even on the west side of the asphalt:seven-seven-thirty-six.The engraved letters onthe siding reads, "Davis."This house is home to familyso let the sparrows in.The house,with its branching hallwaysandoverhanging décorandfurniture rooted to the flooris hometofamily, friends, the occasionalneighbor's kidlockedout from home.Let the sparrows in; letthe finchesfollow.Let the door'sdeadboltloosen—let the door stand ajarandbe let opentothe night owls andmorninglarks;let the dovesaloneto pirouettein pairs in the iridescentquiet.Let the sparrows in.II.Framed on either side