Sunday, July 02, 2006

Taxonomy of Loss: Bodies of Water v3.4

Taxonomy of Loss: Bodies of Water


relentless rain,
the cistern overflows
the distillation
and collection of all the sadness of the left behind.

water, dissipation in
swirls and ebbs, eddies and whorls
of blackness into light
and back to black
of water.
(the long night)

the all encompassing ocean
is the drop of rain
concentrated as essential loss.

1. Containments and Releases

a. Volcanic: Crater Lake, Oregon

purpled by altitude,
the granite bowl of ink,
the sky, dull and listless by comparison.

drowsy with color,
drifting in all directions;
trunks in silhouette
gnarled by the short light of the long summer morning,

in a car, nearly 45 years ago;
with my parents and my sister.

b. stagnant puddle

teaming with larvae and pollywogs
losing tails to gain legs


The spent and smashed battery,
the clot of leaves,
runs the gutter.

outside of Woodland,
after too much beer
and too many reds,
Cookie Del Rio wrapped her Rambler
around a light post.

where would she be
30 odd years gone down?

chasing after Mexican boys
outside of Winters?
Or reformed, working her program
and swimming laps at the Davis Y?


oak table
in a green room,
the glass vase holds
daisy water from days gone long.

that room was your bedroom
and is no longer.
there was a time
whenever I passed the room
I was reminded.


The ocean keeps getting deeper
15 years falling
into the end
that never ends.

cold fingers of memory
rescind the real and move it darker,
into another sadness that is
the ocean getting deeper.

15 year passed
and gone still, and utterly forever:

water over rocks
in sun.
fishing for trout
on the South Fork of the American River
past Placerville, Strawberry and Lover's Leap
past Tamarack and up the hill and at the Bridge,

or in the secret spot
down by the red cabin.

Salmon eggs
on a hook
on an afternoon in 1963.

two rocks hanging onto the side of the bank
a rainbow trout skitters under

there is the scent of queen annex lace,
shocks of lupine across the bend
there is the glint of the hook as it splashes
into the darkness.
the current carries the bait under the rocks.
a slight tug
and the hook is snagged.

the slow hum of Highway 50.
The South Fork of the American River
flows through Sacramento, through Cortland and
Rio Vista and Antioch and Martinez
to the Bay and
out the Golden Gate.

(bridge to bridge)
(mountains to oceans)

2. Streams of Arrested Desire


did he save or sell his soul?
did she walk to work?
did he try to get better?
did she ever really feel connected?
did he want for affection?

did he ever want to jump from a bridge
into a frigid lake
under a titanium cloud cover
in a wasteland of discarded furniture and bric-a-brac?

did he ever love a man in a cabin on a beach
on a churning night
in a summer
in the forties?
did he ever ford a stream
with his heart full from another?

did she fill his heart or
did it ever?
does it ever?


Was it parenting in absentia?
under a spring moon,
on the cascading water,
blossoms drift through the breeze.
birdsong trails into a quartet.

did you ever sing for him?
did you ever reach under his arms and lift him from behind?
did you ever sit silently?

Did you talk about the watery weather?

under the bridge


how much is real?
how much is what was memory of what was heard
or some combination of
memory and having been told?

On the back porch
being washed in the concrete sink.
Happy singing in her cage
hanging over the raised floor above the basement door?
Sansaveria in a ceramic pot in the high window sill
the scent of cleanser and linoleum.

out the screen door,
a shrimp plant and carnations
and metal lawn furniture painted silver.
the ballerino's house was beyond the hedge
through a gate.


So will there be some kind of a bookend
on either side:
a neat package
of banality and revelation
a final gift before
what is left of life leaks out?

Will it be reflected in the pond outside the window of a hospice
where just within hearing are red winged blackbirds and pheasants in the reeds?

e. sparkle

bounces off the shimmering waves
elevates the quivering motes
into a rippling and roiling current.

dappled iridescence elicits
slinking charcoal and coral burst of
slipping into an aqueous sunset.

f. Absence of Love

is Hell

g. The presence of the past
20th and G Street
Said yes
and didn't:
a living room on the second floor
a flat above the Pakistani
who beat his wife, Ali.

solace, liquid in perpetuity.
it is mostly light now,
dappled and wandering in memory.


Mona, Gavin, Roger He is So White He is Wong,
The Lady Montessa de Rambova and
Dino might have been there,
but I am not sure,
one by one
jumping out the first floor window into the hedge.

the dew dampens the back of my shorts.

around the table in the dining room,
peaking as Mona talks about Pioche,
I see spheres within spheres,
and hear the sound as they radiate outward and to the side: Spheres
sounds within (within Spheres)
sounds within (within Spheres)
sounds (within Spheres).

July, a midnight blue under street lights and stars night.
You will always remember your wedding cake and
the back of the red couch
and the scent of the disintegrating hotel rug.

Who can forget the drops of light
that sparkle in geometric patterns from every object?

h. Mona took me to
The psychedelic shack high in the sky.

Behind another house
and up a railless steep staircase.

The black walls,
patterned with fragments of broken mirror,
shimmered reflections of leaves and sky.

The psychedelic shack high in the sky
was more shack and less psychedelic.

3. Currents

a. Riptide
pulls out stronger than in
go under
and go out further without a raft
into the night

there are no stars under the water and
phosphorescence is no substitute.

b. Lumahai Beach
on the island of Kauai
with John and Zella and Bob and Chris.
We were the only ones on the beach.

A steep drop from the mangroves to the water,
but enough room for mats
and places to drift off into the afternoon in the
overarching sun.

Body surfing:
swimming out and waiting
for a wave to catch
to ride back to the beach.

Zella got caught in a wave
and was tumbled to the floor of the ocean.
She twisted her shoulder
and had the breath knocked out of her.
She lost her confidence
around the ocean for a long time.

c. Water Falling On Rocks in the Redwoods