Reading at Alice Osborn's March NC Writers' Network

Below is the text of the reading:

Car battery died. 
Rolled down a hill, popped the clutch.
Gravity still works!

Streams rush, snow not in
air though on air. Loaves rush off
shelves, fish follow selves.

Trying not to think
about you for a minute—
fell asleep, and dreamed.


Twelve Days of Christmas Haiku—based on the meaning of the original verses of the song

Four birds call—Fourth Day.
From air, from earth, from trees. One
white, one black, two gray.

Seven swans swim seas.
Sons sisters souls celebrate
sacred stars sigh, sleep.

Eight blessed maids milk
love from clouds. Today's for the
poor, the peacemakers...

This day, nine ladies
bearing fruit, spirit dancing
as the tall grass sings.

I-440 spins
with the whirr of a turbine
in the distant breeze.


A "found" poem—a blank page, John Cage quote: "I have nothing to say and I'm saying it."


Beltline comes or
goes—roar, howl, 
sigh, growl, groan.
Sun frozen below
this horizon, event
not yet happened
today, but happening, 
sooner than yesterday,

later than tomorrow. 
Air, metal, rubber, 
cold tar, hot steel, 
warm hands grip
wheels, carbon wisps
rise in the business of
such flow, swirl, blow.
The inner, outer, circle

spins both ways, dug
deep in Carolina clay.
Dim sun enlightens, 
rising as always in co-
motion. December 25th, 
tomorrow, the sun will
rise again, tomorrow and
tomorrow, and tomorrow.


A humorous take on a domestic poem, as Robert Graves called Robert Creeley's "poems of the hearth:" 

Life is Clean

Ah, yes, what is life? Just part
of that great cycle we call
Whirlpool. 20 minutes. Lathered up, 
agitated, spun, squeezed damp
against the wall by forces we
cannot control, then tossed
into another hopper, 

Hot/Cold, Warm/Cold, 
Cold/Cold, Warm/Warm. 
Choices we must make. 
Normal Cycle? What is
Art? Perma Pressed
to stop time? Do we then
come back to be used,
soiled again, tossed once more
into the Maelstrom without
even a boat? 


Inspired by the opening scenes of Un Chien Andalo Part 1 by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí 
and The Moon

There is wind in the trees and
a very full moon in the east
mottled with seas. A pine tree
bends over to the west and a
thin cloud cuts across her face
but she does not bleed.

It’s just an illusion, of course. No
ancient mother looks down on us
with a cloudy gray eye, impervious
to a dark streak of water vapor that
just dispersed in the high wind
which has now brought rain.

Still, one thing is sure: when the
sky clears later and the streets
are lit up by her big round face, 
a lot of people down here
are going to go crazy.

The three poems pretending to be about science: 


I'm still frustrated by
things falling
But I'm OK with entropy
And I'm OK with the arrow
of time.
If the arrow suddenly
and it all headed crunch-ward
(galaxies, the universe, etcetera)
and the shattered glass really did
back from the floor
up on the counter,
I'd be perplexed—liking
the one change, but maybe not
the other.
You can't have


I read the universe
consists mostly of
smoky stuff we can’t
see, maybe can’t
understand, our brains
not evolved enough
to ever understand.
I should have known this
after all that time spent
looking into your eyes.


The Fourteenth
Dalai Lama and the first
Albert Einstein say
everything’s related.
Yet we feel no movement,
no planetary rotation, no sense of
ellipsis, riding this rock around our star.
Nowhere on Earth
is the illusion of relative movement
more profound
than this self-serve carwash, equipment
going back and
forth, pitching up
and down, while I sit
again, childlike, feeling the car
when it’s not, my
gyroscope confused as easily
as a moral compass.

Big cloth rollers knock
the mirror askew: I see
that twin, who left on the spaceship
in 1969, has returned, not aged
in 40 earth-years. I'm
wondering if he's
come back
to take my place.

And thus endeth the poesy for the night.