Imports: Middle East

Would you believe me
if I told you once the
carrot was purple
but a sickness came
over them and they
turned the color of curry
and all the carrots in the
world come from the cradle
just like you did—the cradle
and the angel—see, you
said once, see? Where
the angel dips her hands
in the ocean, there lies
the center of the universe
where you are from and
will never return
for fear of war and nitrate
and sickness that comes
not from nature but man
the violent pursuits of
kings and farmers
who dip their hands
in the center of the universe
and create chaos
and call it science,
are we not all on the verge
of utter transformation
teetering between extremes
is it rotten, you asked,
with my teeth halfway
through a purple carrot
not rotten, I said,
just rather old.

–ECW

Advertisements

A Native

This place, this now, you can see it

you can see what it is too, beside

the quiet border you trace around it

this is a home town too, among other things

among everything else. I was born here, 

in this empty lot, that was a hospital

in a room with one rectangular window 

packed with people I would never see again,

including my mother. Cities are cruel that way

but not all together so, there is a mother here

in the rubble and the dust, and as far 

as I ever got I came back to it, 

I learned to love it

to love myself in it. 

The west was won in a saloon

over a poker hand 

and a screaming slot machine. 

This place remembers even the drinks that were spilled 

the out turned pockets, and moment before 

the wheel stopped turning and any number 

was a winner, you had to pick one was all, 

and you did, because the charm was ammonia 

on a weary life. There was beauty in it, and I 

can remember coming home over the valley to 

an oasis of light. The stars were false

but the city was true, I felt it then, a fortune 

of gaudy joy, be this city, it said to me, 

and I was, suddenly and always a native. 
–ECW

Shadow Box

It’s the detritus I’m after
the quiet accumulation of time
along the back walls
of the closet
in the underused drawers
of the night stand.
I purge them
only to regret my harsh
judgement of ticket stubs
and tidbits of parcels
it’s a life after all, my every
everyday, and I’ve kept them
for one reason or another,
because I am afraid of forgetting
or that I may never be happy like this
again. But they collect,
the casual evidence of suburbia:
receipts, wrapping paper,
whimsical notes,
until I gather them up
and feast of their sadness…
sad that I kept them
sad that I will
never change.
–ECW

love song in E minor

contemporary-paintings1

love song in E minor

I want this quiet to kill me
I want my last image of us
in this crooked wave to be endless
I want your words to come
out of my mouth like i’ve said them
I want everything in this house
to glitter with dust because
I’m not fidgeting, I’m contented
in the mess that is our nesting place
I want every book on the shelves
to be bloated with love notes
I want to hide my intentions
in a formfitting dress and imply them
I want coffee mugs stained with tree rings
because the conversation was sweet enough
I want the candles to burn out on their own.
I want a love song in e minor playing
low low low in the background
so low we dont hear it, but we feel it
low low in our bones.

–ECW

Poem 154

Thinking of you all and hoping it is a moment in a long memory of your home.

American Dream Houses

Losing a house is more about losing doors and hinges
the borders between outside and inside
and the everything beyond the fine line of what is mine
losing a home is about kitchens and toilets
and porceline enclaves which have only been touched by us
what long list of sacred cabinets to hold our yearly intake
of nusances, now to be woken suddenly and purged

Because without a home there is no time-kept
we have no memory of what is now and what was then
cataloged in sameness and changes – high contrast
on minutia that is everyday boredom. We are street lamps
on and off and on and off and on and off and everyone
watches us to see if someday the light will go out.

Even dream homes have rooms one never enters.
Which are left un-cooled in June and the furnature sweats
on its lion’sfeet, and we live down in the kitchen,
running the faucett longer than we needed and laughing
at ourselves for being so poor at domestic arts and so
remiss about dishes.

Yard sales full of dishes; 10 cents a piece. Each one
comfortable with deflated caserols and pittiful
on display, outside of their cabinets, watching passerbys
in perfect wonder of their houses, which would also
have cabinets full of dishes, equally succeptable
to foreclose.

–ECW

Poem 150

tempstate

I set my life on casters

intent on leaving,  certain

I would soon be gone

this resting ground, meant

only to slow the heavy inevitable

but I was stayed/weighed

by my own lovely fears

of moving, now that I had stopped

ah what trouble to begin again

my own limbs so clumbsy—

hapless with wheels and I

so wooden with apathy

the stubborn barbing of my soul

exchanging flecks of essence

with the things I hoped to waive

and the hollow carved from wandering

was at once a pleasant whole.

—ECW