Mirror, Mirror

Upon a time,

thin black stalks meet the slope

turn into

                          a lean boar

                          runs into pine

                          hide hide hide

                          the hunters drop red coals

                          will cut shaft in heart vine

                          a needle hole

                          for tapestry            


                                          pressed against the wall

                                          since century thirteen

olive grove infested with strange worms

unpleasant, expressing

                          discord, plucked, shaved, sanctified

                          by Murasaki, beloved of Genji

                          Murasaki who knows the turn

                          of a dull knife

                          who knows the ill luck of the tide

                          kamikaze wind blots


O is the yaw O is the yaw

which is open O is the bowl

which is open and which will put

O is the jaw which will put and out

will spill

                          ears. They look nothing like the ocean.

                          In memory of Sindbad:

                          the steel bite beats

                          around aft yellow

cannonballs ping hollow

floorboards the adam

apple slides over

cut glass and peels

                          Adonis with premature wrinkles. Time to take

                          the epigraph? No, there is a lake

                          yet, lotus bending over reflection

maps across landmass. Shoreline

more complex upon closer inspection

is a fractal to follow is twine

linking cheek to cheek will meet

at nose. Treasure trove of Atlantis

hidden at the keel.

                          Call tort

the Queen’s strong men

witches brew and bad stepmother

the golden hen

forgotten brother

had been wronged

prosecution stand behind the tooth

tongue and court

fore, aft, head, heel

it’s cracked

                          but cured by pumice and lime

                          a slick volcano does smooth

                          lines cut fissures make no mark

                          but imprints in ash the last


Coast of Sicily

siren sets up keen incessant

keening spiral through

a plane

which meets

filigree frame

at ninety degree bend

                          Once upon a time,

                          again gold, again young, again

                          twelve princesses spiral underground

                          feet by feet wearing shoes

                          for dancing the tambourin

                          follow reed across lake

                          follow whisper of worms

                          lost their way lost their men

                          no good anyhow

                          each sister the face of


                          each eye its own color

                          each eye its own specter

                          drops from the vine

                          never found

                          blinks black in dark

                          the end