Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Caves below the mountaintops and in our lives

Some of us went right up
to the mouth of the cave,
It was a long walk through
the hottest part of the day,
and someone imagined
pools of blue cave water
lit by uranium as the sun
lingered in the west
like a bad penny. This was
where some turned back,
where others hung back
smoking Marlboros, picking
at the nearest rocks for fossils.
I tell you we were there
watching as the climbers
pulled themselves over
the lip, into the darkness.

Of course, a few returned with tales
and some didn't come back
at all. Someone with a lantern
thought she found petroglyphs
at the far junction in the main cave,
someone with a geologist’s hammer
brought back handfuls of staurolite.
Even after it was found out
it was the devil lighting
the far end of the trail, the dirty
plaintive woods and even
the rocks themselves--I am
no longer anxious to cross
and am rightly ashamed
of the time I left you all there
so I could wander the far eastern
meadows below the peak
where ladybugs grew by the thousands
on granite outcrops warmed
by the summer sun.
The Bureaucratic Dangers

One time I told a guy
it was a big deal that
I'd climbed down
from the Rockies
to live in the deep
wooded valleys of the Miami.

I'd driven a red truck, towed
a short u-haul trailer,
lived all over the place,
discovering gringo
America in New York
villages and small
Rustbelt towns where

I was just another dark-haired
foreigner until I spoke,
told them no I didn't
want their jesus
or a way to heaven
that meant reading
another book known

already to me as tinder
for the fires my friends
and I burned to feed the huge
devils on our backs.
Like throwing chingazos at the moon
I come to you expecting
nothing. By hiking the deepest trails
of your heart I am burned
by the light I find there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Letter to the full moon from Huitzilopochtli

Tonight, I pray thee shine somewhere

brighter than you have before, salt

the sky with your presence. The thick

skin of our backs. The hard

moon rays beating down on wide

fat nipples. That summer I spent

in the forest, along the rocky creeks.

Drank beer all day, some of us

chasing girls, chasing boys. In that

long stretch of ponderosa and

white pine where there were rattlesnakes

wound up like bike tires left to rot.

As sure as the stars in the sky

were beacons of the unknown, for destinations

unnamed, O dear Luna, cover the night with your pale

light, that it may be the last reminder

of those years before the din and racket

of the outside world let us in the rough

door, the skin droor and the smoke roaring.