Various and Sundry Poetry


there is a book

I am supposed to be reading

or worse, writing,

and instead what do I do

but think about how much my eyebrows

could use some shaping,

and why haven't I found the perfect lipstick,

and how there seems to be an endless,

rotating pile of dishes in the sink

neglected, perpetually in need

of washing.

I don't think enough

about that book I'd been meaning to read

or the essay I'd meant to write so that someday

my name might appear in the New York Times

in full, fascinating italics.

I don't say it enough, really,

don't say enough about a lot of things,

don't push them out of the door of my head

and onto the beautifully traffic-snarled main street

where there is the disruption of snow or fog or heroism or even, yes, tragedy

because keeping them inside means a kind of hot chocolate warmth

and there are so many lovely but meaningless distractions

which take more than enough time

like dishes or lipstick or eyebrows

any attempts at organization and aesthetic prowess

I take ridiculous amounts of time

just for this


I won't say it, won't push it out the door,

that thing, that dream,

the engine behind it all,

keep it quiet, instead, and I mean "it"

as in everything,

"it" as in the ruddy moonscape of my life

all the nameless, imperceptible furies and fantasies

the life that refuses to be categorized

the unarticulated life

that life

I keep it

where I can see it. Inside.

But how the wind

whooshes on the outskirts of the windows

a howl, one delirious heart-splitting song,

the wind is this grand sweep of desire

a chemical want

a cataclysm of such horrible love

it topples things, changes their shape,

changes its shape, too.

I can't imagine it.

What would it be like

to rise out of the cozy chair

and put my cheek against the glass

to feel even the muted intimation of that wind?

What would it be like

to rise from my cozy chair

and head, my God,

out the door entirely?