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Historical Inequalities

penny embedded
in road twists my gaze but not
that pink bottlecap


Brownheaded Cowbird

Blanketed in blueblack sizzle,
chocolate head gazing up, always up,
at spirits only you see.

You are Cherokee, piping
an old old tuneless song
from a leafless tree.

I wish you weren’t so mean,
littering others’ nests
with babies, or so many,

crowding my feeders.
Then I could maybe,
just maybe, love you.

Good News

I found God today. And saints. And spirits.
(There’s no end to what vodka can provide.)
But the best blessing–yes, that too–was
yellow. Or maybe valley or secret.
Or cottonseed. (I have long needed seeds.)
Or buttermilk–a beautiful substance–
or hurricane or replenish. Or touch.
More than half a sonnet (son + net)
littered in among the roadside flowers
longing to be gathered up and savored.

Bread for Lulu’s Homecoming

Process (so as to avoid goo
on your hands) to a wet dough:
flour (lots)
yeast (a little)
salt (same)
sourdough (some)
water (enough).

Go play a game or read
or garden—though
why would you handle
earth but not dough?—
checking every so often.

When it’s big, bake it on hot
till it’s partway black. Eat
with black vinegar and pepper
and good green olive oil.



Mean in the face. Vicious beak
made to spear living food.
Above brown, below the color
of dying leaves. Fat but not
in the appealing way
of other fat birds; rather,
to house giant lungs. And it
is for this, your wacky opera
lungwork, that you are loved—
how, from some high place,
all by yourself, you stuff
our vacant insides with sugar.

The Unknown Bird

Blue head, white eyering,
dark brow. Below white, above
birdcolored. Small. Its comments
unspecial but insistent:

chee cheeeee chee!

Fierce in flight, plunging
out of the leaves and back
in. I must have neared
its nest.


High on a pole you
hop and
flush your white striped
insisting your friends’
oneaftertheother without
Communicate. Com
xxxxxxxxxxI fail; I fail; I
xxxxxLicense your penis?
License your penis? Too
steep. Too steep. Tooooooo

I try to follow but can’t
keep up, can’t make
meaning of it.

Redheaded Woodpecker

A blackandwhite redheaded
woodeating bird makes its
I keep expecting it to vomit
the contents out of its long
hard mouth, but it only
swallows and knocks further
in, dreaming of babies in their
dry bed, looking out, wanting

Indigo Bunting

Brightest blue against
greenest green. Happiest
song, singing summer.


Heaven Hill. I had
no idea vodka came
in plastic bottles.