Aftereffects Of Fire

Here, where fire once raged

Our voice is diminished

As if our speech leaves through

Lungs weighing only of paper

And this trail we have carved

To stand next to old giants

With charred arms

Comes with symbols and words

Revealing deepened ruts

A string of infinite finites


With sunburnt shoulders

We watch the eyeless sun

That harsh gardener….

Pierce through a ghost canopy

Wishing to reclaim its spent dust

Thinking only of its collection

….Cold baubles of gravity


All witnessed by the moon

Who never blinks once

While we lay naked

Underneath its glow

In several forms of desire

Waxing, waning,

Silver, blue, and crescent

Its face constantly upon us


That burning face in the night

We claim as eternal muse

And use as fire for the poetic

Inventing expressions

To lay upon Luna, leading us

To scramble and patch together

scrapings and scratches

Producing representations

Of a once noble fir

Which lies deep in our lush memories


Binary Stars – The Kid And I

The kid comes in, snaps a few photos of a living clutter, the retail store.

“We don’t have anything like this.” The standard review, spoken by the parent of the kid who shares the photo on Instagram, Facebook, or some other app.

The shop sits on a tilted, bottom floor, two blocks from the Willamette river, not wanting to budge from its spot.

The rest of the shanghaiing office building was abandoned long ago.

The old offices, upstairs, real ghosts, shades of what they used to be.

I write receipts in illegible handwriting, transfer them to yellow, college-ruled paper for inventory, translations of the ancient product.

There’s a million means to be misunderstood, just as many to understand. Two sides of love I recognize.

If there is a dead spot in a day, receipts rest. I read Dante’s “Inferno”.

Crawling through levels, until you reach something frozen, eating away, without regard

to what’s around it, all attention spent upon what is being chewed. Virgil and Dante crawl down/up the leg of the Devil, out of the ice, a double paradox.

“This must be a dream job.” The parent speaks again while buying the kid a logo T-shirt of the shop.

The kid looks hopeful, if he moves here, there’s a chance to reach paradise. He can go to college like his parents want him to, live the lifestyle he’s always dreamed of, get away from strip malls, advance placement classes, bullies, lovers, and parental expectations.

He has been misunderstood so many times. He desires to reach understanding. Two sides of love I recognize.

I smile, showing all my missing teeth and think of Virgil as I write up their receipt.


Salmon River Spring

Cool kiss from the forest

Stirs an inner revival

Charged by its music

Fresh from the source

That drums upon rocks.

As if my very bones

Were strewn underneath

The stream of Orpheus

Whose rhythms sink

Past thirst, deep within

My core, my atomic spirit

Embedded in my soft clay.

I am as tall as shadows

Of family fir and cedar.

Old growth is in my pitch.

I cup my hands, tightly

Holding what all life desires.

My fingers are born

Into this song shape

Pulling Parts

“If it were not for our wrecks, the salvage yard would be empty.”




Hi — Elan Mudrow Photography

Feeling a little Hi.

Columbia River Gorge, Cape Horn, December 2017

via Hi — Elan Mudrow Photography

Scapegoat’s Paradox

Holding it in, close, became a strength

An essence, a nugget, bloom’s heart

Shaped by chinks, cracks, and splits

Of a shell you wished was a softer hue.


Relinquished, expelled, produced a body

The lucid form of your careful ambiguity

From a cold clay, carved and baked

An Image of remedy, poison, and sacrifice

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