Vaguely Magical Creatures

We learn the rules:
the garlic by the bedposts and
running water circling the farm,
we read all we can and find
peace in the contradiction
we know they can’t get in without permission
(except when they do)
we know they turn into bats and wolves
or control them, or
are merely bestial at times.
we know that some would claim even
gods and monsters must follow
our flimsy rules,
we know that every city on the earth
must operate on the same basic principles
as Alliance, Ohio
that in Belgium and Dubai
a tossed ball falls equally fast
and the creatures of the night
all fear the cross.


The late year lingers in the lungs
emerging in wheezing coughs,
desperate expulsions,
ready to be gone, to make way for the
fresh inhalation of a new, crisp day,
replace the mouldered goal with new promise,
more durable, perhaps,
like to live another year and
be gentler to those you love,
(and especially)

Hole in Ohio

someone has gone and poked a hole through Ohio,
and all the rivers are circling, circling and
burning and rushing, down through some bottomless
insubstantial place;
and they’re washing us all away, all of us,
bitten through by fleas and asbestos,
we who sipped on sweet waters from ancient pipes,
washed away like particulate, like sediment,
settling down in some hole, somewhere,
where we can get by just fine,
i guess, just fine,
somewhere foggy and freezing where
someone important won’t have to see us, somewhere
dark and dreadful, dark and dreary, a real
place called “home” by the starving,
somewhere in Ohio,
and – who knows? –
everywhere else, too.

Gone to Rot

Bare are the woods splaying out in the frost
Shallow-dug graves full to burst from the loss,
Haunted old farmhouses, Century barns,
Their ghouls, gone to slaughter, can do no more harm

Needles have dug far too deep in the land
Thickened the blood that once surged to our hands,
Overripe Melrose are crowding the tree
Waiting to drop, to rot and be free.