Here are two poems from Spring 2011 that I don’t think I ever posted.

On the Properties of Night

(The sun is a führer
who scrapes gelatinous shards of word and animal into a column several feet high
and on threat of death demands it stand up and endure citizenship—
but I don’t want to talk about that.)

In every mutter and cloud, in brooks in the coldness of January,
is night. And in every oleaginous dollop of oil (like fish gills) on wet cement,
every opaque tinted window obscuring dealer or diplomat, in hunger, in power,
but not in contentedness, is night.

Believe me when I say that even in the glare and swelter of July is night,
that it is always night in prison and on the internet,
that even a white dove dark against the sky is night
and that a porch is designed to contain night at all hours of the day.

I do not know whether night is in amber waves of grain,
or in a well-mopped art gallery, or in a particle accelerator.
I cannot say whether blue jeans hold night in or out,
but probably all clothing is night.


Just like the oak’s yellow rain
stealing my tears and my windpipe
with its yellow grit, with its autogeny,
a ghost of great illness in perfect weather,

the basil growing in my yard
reminded me how it would taste when I tasted it
and that I had not tasted it,
and that for whom I thought of and whom I didn’t
a shattering was coming by highway at night.