from Little Commentaries
I know a painter
Who fills every canvas with sky.
This makes his landscapes look lonely
And his figures bereft.
It’s a shortcut, he concedes.
Like adding wings to men
Or putting birds in poems.
Practice concentrating on an empty stomach.
Practice making love with a terrible sunburn.
Practice walking with little dried peas in your shoes.
Sprinkle sand in your food.
Sprinkle salt in your tea.
Practice pitching your tent in a howling gale.
Soon you will be ready to live in the house on the hill
Next door to the house full of parakeets.
Moonlight fills the bathroom sink.
If a person could drink from it
She would be her own ghost.
On Middle Names
Set out for a picnic
Beneath the green
A house burns all night
In the middle of a field.
A beautiful sight
Even if the burning house
Does happen to be mine.
Sooner or later
All burning houses will be mine.