Psalms [excerpt] – S.M.H.


what absence grew
in the crypt of his room
in the worm of his being
in the fetal prayer of desperation
he rocked
prayer hands
clasped hands
loading guns
loading clips into guns
the metal
black and heavy as a
in the rocking
he tried to cry for
his mother or
his father
felt only
the black swell of rage
in the bile of his hurting
bleakness swallowing eyes
a grey grout of pain
“not an act of despair, but of abnegation.”
I do not want to hurt
I do not want to hurt
I do not want to hurt
I do not want to hurt anyone
O God forgive
the pain
and the limpness of feeling
and the rage that burns the stomach lining
there is no soothing
in this buzzing land
with the fires burning up the cheatgrass
fires running down the spine of the ridge
mountains standing solid and huge in anxious judgement
and he is Judged who moves like a snake in the grass of our times
and he is Judged who moves like a snake in the grass of our times
and he is Judged who moves like a snake in the grass of our time
and he is Judged who moves like a snake in the smooth cloud of
and he who waits at night
jerking pearly beads out of his desperate sex
and sinks down into covers thick as clouds of death
and cries in his lonely truth
that there is no one there for him
Who rots in the basement of his parents
Who counts the fibers of his mattress in the aching need for sleep
Who leaves wet spots on the linen from rivers of tears
Who buries his head in the forgetting of fiction
Who cannot feel the light without feeling burned
He will be saved
He will be saved
in the coming of the end



a brown belt
aged in its slaughter
hung above the door frame
white as fire
I reached out with hands
still and calm
as a pond in winter
i reached out with hands
I tried
to rub out the face
of God



he died with his hands
inside me
fingers like crossed lace
knuckles blue green clouds
splotched and floating
my back lifted
navel pressing towards the ceiling
spine cracked in the quaking
I came
crossed in prayer
stuffed full of human meat
pregnant with what was left
of his long and sullen shape
I felt strongly in that moment
that something good would come of this


Two Crows

two crows
flew out of belly
pecking flesh till it was ribbon thin
eyes swirling oceans
black and knotted
vibrating in the dark light
of the second
there are two paths
there are two prayers
both bleating
both bleating through



In the mist
the pine boughs quiver
wind flowing up
up through the branches
I have come to mix
the ash into the soil
I have come to bring him back
into the hollow
I have come to where
the old people pray
I saw a bird with the skin peeled back,
bone white as pearl
or spit
I saw a bird with his beak broke back,
mouth pink as a dogs
I saw a man with his arm bent back
hanging low
like a swing
I empty you of your golden blood
into my arms
the bloat keeps spreading
I have broken down there
i have broken down there
in the utters
of it all
dirt is  black
is black