Poem 67

on the sound of eardrums adjusting to submersion; perhaps the same sound of the crashing tides or a sinking ship

Upward lifting forces are the driving survival, a thrust for the air
and with it comes a raking across the subtle side of bones
and what drones inside wakes instead a jaw locking breech.

But below, where the cold sleeps scale side flicking through
basket pattern breathing aparatti, comes not one sound but
many. If the whispering masses cut short in their cement shoes
could shout everything all at once: silence is the loudest kind of sound.

From beneath, wrapped like the mischevious in darkess, were it only
for ears tuned to the pitch appropriate or eyes focused accurately
in spite of survival, a clatter might meet a breath-broken secretkeeper:

There where the sun claps quietly upon itself. There where coins pickle
peculiar in sailor-bed rust. There. Hush. It’s beginning.
–ECW

Poem 66

It’s the worst of all days… until I try and remember the days I’m stick under sheet and without the gumsure to rise and repeat. The days that my heart strings ache for playing and the light from the morning seems as drowsy and self piteous as I. The dead days. When the whole of my existence combated the color of the sun and I found within me the will to carry a tragedy like ribbons across my gift-package face. These are not the dead days. These are alive with possibility of settling and unsettling roots. We forgive ourselves for the things with which we a wholly to blame and take instead the awkwardly shaped parcels dripping of guilt and shame fresh plucked from mangroves. Water and weed. I am in between. Like the following summer after a glimmering barrel and a ruby-soaked root. When the seeds are dropped into the froth they take upon themselves the current and whittle their way past sober-sought startling etch-a-sketch silhouettes. The old pity the young and the young misinterpret the pity and I am three feet below with buoyancy in my tendrils watching as they crack against each other in rivalry Perhaps, like sperm, the first to land takes spoils. Perhaps they struggle with SeaLegs so Pinocchio that lying may afford them a pole vaulting advantage. I am weightless, with the root of something old and sinister wrapping itself about my ankle. We’ll be rid of this soon, they say. Not soon enough. 
–ECW

Poem 65

a second draft. i’m unsure.the water and the wake

I remember oozing from the crack in her. She was a tree limb; she is a ship.
I can still recall the white milk spilling out across the sea. A ship with a
wooden mistress leading us starward; arms outstretched and I came
from the deepest hull where the water beat drum-desperation against her broad sides.
I remember clawing at the gravel and reaching the caliche. Fracturing
every fingernail on the desert backbone and wishing still there had been water.
I reminisced of coming up for air after swimming for centuries in blue-bleak
blackness and gritting my teeth with sand for sanctuaries. Oh pity.
How many years did I live under-sod before they unburied my bones?
How long can I hold my breath; waiting for the tide…
–ECW

Poem 64

a poem for the ‘song of myself’ assignment. but it’s more about graduation than anything. a semester and a half away.


If the circus padlocked their pachyderms in a hurry I wouldn’t come back for you.
Even if it was raining and all the flees were merrigorounding round the thought of it.
I would gypsies my way–somewhere more exciting–sending you ruby-red
kissed postcards, maybe thrice a day.


I would miss you, like I miss the front door or the stairwell. Like I miss the portals
of a life tied to a fencepost. I would miss you in my fingers, when splindling my hair. I would
collect fallen fireworks and exhausted wrapping ribbons, all the pieces of excess, brightly
worn like a crown. Hastily tied and untied.


Sounds of the evenings. Falling water, melted snow, I would listen to the chatter of changing elements
on board the incessant rocking of lions on leaches and acrobats entangled mid-flight. At night,
when all the archetypes of three rings sleeping, I would wander barefoot to the edge-side and drop
petals in the water. All for you.


When the circus leaves. As I know it must. I’ll burst through the back window, thrust my temple
to the sunlight and say to you how sorry I am to be going so soon. But the circus must go.
As promised, I’ll go with it. So, for that, little remorse will wilt from my hemlines.
–ECW

Poem 63

After reading Wanted by Martinez

Dear little brother,

Do you remember when Mom sat us both on the pink living room sofa
and wrote down our phone number and address on two blank note cards.
One for each of us. Smiling: Remember these, darlings. This will keep you safe. 
Held mine in a white fist. We were six and seven, so I’m guessing you didn’t realize 
that La Mesa, our street, is a Spanish word for table. Like meals, on Tuesday, always
with fired rice and tiny shrimp. Mom insisted we put corn on our plates. Dad was never too
far from the medium  salsa. Little brother, your favorite day was always Tuesday, Taco Tuesday.
Do you remember? Or have you forgotten all the little parts of you Hispanic, bigot little brother of 
mine at that dinner table with tortilla chips between your teeth fighting with Dad about ESL’s and 
their encroachment on our land. Little brother. Have you forgotten landed on this doorstep  in 
wicker baskets? That someone advertised us in the newspaper. That we can’t see any traits in 
our faces. Have you already written your history arian with a brunette green eye’d glare. 
You two are Heinz 57, Dad always said. Even though I hated catsup. Mutts are those 
dogs in the pound that can’t recognize their mothers, I told you in the park that
day as we watched them fight territorial. Growling, flaring teeth. Why can’t
all these animals get along, your five year old voice asked me. I was six 
so naturally I knew best and I told you: they are unhappy with them
selves; I told you: they’re too scared because they might love
each other, little brother. 
–ECW

Poem 62

they came by car and train and hills
to rooten up the rumor mills
watched helpless as they–toothed
and clawed– scuttled after me.

I remember coming out of a well calibrated
attempt at raw religion; self deprevated,
poorly delivered across a stale glass
of cheap champaign.

I could recite those last moments of sheer
possibility and with them devise
some semblance of truth. they come, milling
after me; the truth and the possible.

two blows to the limping leg of propriety.
–ECW

Poem 62 RevisedPoem 62 Edited

Poem 61

Upward lifting forces are the driving survival, a thrust for the air
and with it comes a raking across the subtle side of bones
and what drones inside wakes instead a jaw locking breech.
But below, where the cold sleeps scale side flicking through
basket pattern breathing aparatti, comes not one sound but
many. If the whispering masses cut short in their cement shoes
could shout everything all at once: silence is the loudest kind of sound.
From beneath, wrapped like the mischevious in darkess, were it only
for ears tuned to the pitch appropriate or eyes focused accurately
in spite of survival, a clatter might meet a breath-broken secretkeeper:
There where the sun claps quietly upon itself. There where coins pickle
peculiar in sailor-bed rust. There. Hush. It’s beginning.