which is to say

reflecting on the travels my loved ones experience
that are somewhat diluted in their retelling.

which is to say


this, the shape of a fist
a temporary stasis, we will expand
          the universe deepens,
          man colonizes frontiers
          families dig motes between them
there is beauty in it, beside the chaos,
a quiet loveliness in moving out and over
the spreading, its own kind of journey
the distance, a pattern of language

which is to say,

we’ve gone from here knowing
left doorways ajar with the best intentions
of returning, but we’ve never come home
that part of us so vital, rearranged to fit new perspectives
cannot sleep in our childhood beds
or eat quietly
amongst our elders.

which is to say,

I’ve missed you,
collected trinkets for your giving
met strangers and we laughed under greek constellations
but none of it was ours
not even when
you shared it with me.

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With Aura

How can I simplify
the set of lines running,
binding what is perhaps
a probability, to the reality
of me. Nerves that never
cross come in contact
with pulses, which are,
perhaps, thoughts or maybe
words that carry with them
the weight of language,
empathy.

This roots my migraines.

I cannot fathom the mind
with my mind. Maybe this
is the true hope of computing
to see through object
lenses a sense of human
unburdened by ourselves.
I would not imagine
that each cell is itself
a star, but I have heard that,
in passing, that the brain
lights up more connections
than stars, even though
we are uncertain how many
that might be.

This fuels my migraine.

Still I am uncertain of the soul
but have most certainly
seen it from the left side
washing over what is real,
perhaps, or maybe not real
in the least, a gesture
of light that beckons away
or might not beckon at all,
I just see it that way. I have
seen the soul, or maybe
my own soul departing,
returning again and again.

This shapes my migraine.

I know less, it seems,
in the morning
when the narrow
pulses have passed
and even these miniature
symphonies have ceased.
I am quiet.
As is the migraine.
Which is not separate,
as much,
from me ,
as I might have hoped.
I am the migraine.
Which now, it seems,
is not so imminent
to cure.
—ECW

White men no college

White men no college
never read Virginia Woolf
on the toilet in the morning
early morning, 5 am morning
not having woken up but
never having gone to bed
never having felt that sleep
was safe, or that time was plenty
holding her in hand like a white dove
Mrs. Dalloway on the roof
deck of a bus headed away toward the city
white men no college
will live forever without that scene
will grow old beautifully untouched by ache
dusted with golden flecks of hate;
white men no college
have in their canvas hands
the bald heads of daughter babies
whose eyelashes are infinite
and hold in them a future
empty of trees—perhaps—busy with busses
who might go away, far away, to college
and hold in her pale hands
a borrowed novel, a stream of conscious
a woman she might someday be.

—ECW

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

Odd Donations

Thoughts on cutting off my 20+ inches of hair for Locks of Love

The parts of me that still grow
will grow back again even
when I cut them away
to feel powerful
to change my face.
These are the things
that belong to me
the things that I can
manipulate and curl
the things I have mastered.
Today they are mine
but tomorrow
they are yours;
we can share my hair.
–ECW

Poem: Quagmire Kinfolk

Quag(mire) kinfolk

the girl in the marsh was me
when I was small and we were lost
I left the hurt there in the marsh
to be cleansed by mists
(to be) wavering weeds
the girl in the marsh was me
and I was younger then but
not                       so young
as to meet dread for the first time
he and I walked alongside
grassy heaps
and ferried our secrets
the girl(in)               the marsh was me
I left her there to wait on my return…
the marsh,  she           knew all
about the low hanging fog
and the weight
of water
in the
quag

–ECW