october in april.

[notes from a compulsive list-maker.]

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Lying to the Yodler

Yes, the ski-lift enhances
your polished hollers.
Again, please.
Crescendo again.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Camping with the Xenophobe

After all this cacophony
and crowd—string of articulation
and character—I needed some
hermitage. Is he even here?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Exploring with the Welder

You’re always seeking out bridges, examining
how ore is made molten and hinged.
Tenuous arching makes me tense. I’d like
to lie in a field—see no steel in the sky.


i will (hopefully) be post-dating poems for the next long while and posting them. so scroll down before you abandon me. cheating is better than failure, right?

summertime is almost upon us. it will be a new form of analysis if i can write in seasons and not simply between.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Waltzing with the Visionary

When he stumbles, one can be sure
that he has momentarily left our
circle of senses. It must be tiring work.
I hold up his shoulders until he recovers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fantasizing about the Ukulele Player

Of course his fingers are lithe.
What really slays me, though,
are his heel-taps; the way he signals
me to tremble the tambourine.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Leaving the Telepath

It’s no longer a relief,
the unspoken. Every moment
my guilt engorges. Your wary
eyes are two wounded foxes.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pleading with the Spelunker

Damn it. Put on your helmet and wetsuit,
you agoraphobe. Oh, will our anxieties
ever align? I claw inside the paint shed,
light-headed and nerved as you descend.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Star-Gazing with the Radiologist

He places the radiometer and readies his
angstroms. Bodies are always being penetrated,
he explains. By solar, direct or obscure? I ask.
What about gammas releasing? And the diffusion?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Rebuffing the Quarterback

What did you expect, some long-term
strategy? A pass and a goal? Sorry sir,
this ain’t no dynasty—I’ll watch
but I’ll never play. Stop calling me.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Missing the Painter

You left your linseed and raw umber;
a smear of ultramarine on the sink’s drain.
Each morning I frame the scene and prep
the canvas. But you’re not coming back.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Questioning the Occultist

But what of my expected birth date versus
the actual hour? And where Orion emerged?
At first the alchemy was enough . . . Now
my eyes are not sated by sparkling things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Seducing the Naturalist

No polish on these toes,
no plucked eyebrows here.
Think of me as your thistle,
worry-lined and hair tangled.


here we go, catching up. thank you, t.h., for encouraging the art of the four line poem. although this probably isn't what you had in mind.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Riding with the Motorcyclist

It’s not really the leather, though I admit
it helps. Neither is it the chrome. I purr
on the back of this ’74 Honda, arms stiff,
cheeks rouged and wind-whipped.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Kissing the Literalist

No, I didn’t mean
dance or give-take.
I meant green apple.
I meant lighted window.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Arguing with the Kiln-Stoker

Fine, I know nothing of real heat
and my clothes aren’t coated
in coal-dust. But sometimes I
need to walk in the snow alone.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Handling the Juggler

He is liable to start without warning.
Pick your public appearances carefully.
Do not over-excite. Scheduled maintenance
necessary. Rhythm and frequency may vary.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cohabitating with the Icthyologist

First, just a Bluegill. Then some Shiners.
Next a Darting Quillback. But honey,
this African Lungfish won’t do,
and I never really wanted the waterbed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Abetting the Headhunter

I thought soul-matter would be less opaque.
He labels the tannins, teaches me to shrink—
but won’t let me track or trap. He says the community
is at stake. In bed I burrow under several pillows.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Vacationing with the Glass-Blower

I want a tan, he said, I’d like to surf. I should’ve known
when I found lathes in the trunk. While I scan
the turf for sharks he wanders the shore
in cover-alls, filling small vials, lighting fires.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Drinking with the Francophile

You always order the chardonnay,
sniffing at my flute of sparkling wine.
What’s so bad about Napa? Mon Dieu,
I think to you but your fantasies are over-seas.


so there has been a lack, a dearth, a falling-off-the-wagon. but, my lovelies, today is my birth-day, so please be patient while i climb back on.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Excising the Exterminator

Some creepers can’t be poisoned;
some crawlers scuttle under sills.
Sir, please evacuate your sprays.
I have my own brand of fisticuffs.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Admiring the Ditch-Digger

He jack-hammers all day, refusing to explain
the holes. Even sleeping, I hear him sift gravel
in the back yard. For smuggling fossils? Burying Bibles?
My mute simply rinses his hands—oh, his hands!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Locating the Cartographer

I ducked into the store for some smokes and you
disappeared. Yes, I understand you found
and followed a fault-line—but this uncharted
territory’s too vast for your shoddy navigation.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thumb-Wrestling the Bureaucrat

The only time I've won at sport,
ever. We writhe, wince and I
take home the dimes. He simply
has no head for small jousts.


are due. i'm playing catch-up. retroactively-dated ditties will be flung through the inter-ether late tonight.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Loving the Astronaut

You always return with your epidermis
sheening metallic. Must you insist
on eating ice-cream in bed? It's too much
for my medium-sized American heart.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

By the Line of the Arch *

Beringed dynasties—
the Khan peer lowered
his sunset sovereign, one of talking that
every am erased.

Increase higher, balcony
eyes, the things when
(like zigzag sunlight here) only of the Phyllis,
deep as urchins.

Recognized fisherman,
blanket by them who
Adelma laid. Circular lines, interwoven oracle
of truly through Great.

Assemble dried such lathers,
base by two, that deepest
labile mists longer movement or of too. The sweat army,
from sacks withdraw

beggars by terrain,
(through emerged lairs)
like funerary harem on of together shape.
There arranged order,

incongruous, within,
built by true. Their been
load city, final street other of tried that cleaning as
arranging occasionally with

bric-a-brac: by true
checkmate, operation
lean lights pink alleys on, of those who pleasant
any trapped each nothing.

* Exercise based on Jackson Mac Low's Ridiculous in Piccadilly, using Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Corydon, 1846 - 1965

I see you’ve arrived to appraise the latitude
of our light box. Well, sir, we’ve dove-tailed

planks for want of nails. When the stagecoach
comes from Steamburg, we load the handles

from our factory. Grist, too. There’s Ms. Marsh
who meanders daily by the river, gathering cattails

and arbutus, thistles and lady slippers. She presents
her bittersweet willows to the Good Templars

and Odd Fellows, murmuring, Typical name
for an enamored rustic. And here’s Mr. Tome who feeds

the wolf-hunters at the Griffen Hotel. Myself? I look
after the river-ice and arrange the annual ox roast.

Come morn we’ll go down to Woodbeck Grove.
What, you see no urgency in our slip show? Your eyes

betray dam-lust, dear sir—already I believe
you’ll wager our township for fierce watershed.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Notes from the Northern Lights Truckstop and Motel

I strike the dinger for a room, a book, and a beer.
For eleven days, I’ve been carrying my silver self
on my back. I think of your question (little else),
What is the difference between a rational fear
and an unfounded one? So I had to leave polar fires
oxidizing. Listen, I buried my camera in heather soot.
Perhaps I am tarnishing; still I play and then put
the cloth to my metal. My dear, the trills I desire
are simply to still my brain’s incessant, bleak
arpeggios. Polish does not suffice and of course
you washed clear. I tire of this lens-grainy sight:
the film that shows only the grimace of ignited
trees, withered and weathered. I request its source
stay unvoiced—your limbs cast the senses, oblique.

when all else fails


Saturday, April 02, 2005


Dump truck, junked: round fenders, steel box.

Whittle the wheel-base and cut the cab. We tinker,
we toil. “Street legal,” commands the commissioner.

Tweak ‘til the plate reads Instrument of Animal Husbandry.

We weld and bolt, we glue and scrape. A marriage
of wheeling and gear. Radiator leak? Creek water.


all day. more hasty imperatives on their way.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ochre Hour

You’ve entered the main reaction zone.
Stay star-fixed. Even though Madder Lake’s
in vogue this year, don’t worry—
there’s no malachite in-sphere.

Before rising, tether the wooden dragon.
Wait for nautical twilight—Etamin
will flare; the lignite lantern will turn
the window goethite. You must hold there.


welcome to stephanie's attempt at national poetry writing month, or NaPoWriMo.