Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Braiding of Moments: Ambulances to the Heart

—Photo by D.R. Wagner
—Poems by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


We were standing by what
Used to be the fountains.
We had been told there
Was to be a swarm near
The long ridges.  We had
Wanted to be there.

The low green sound
Of the cruisers could
Be heard bending
Metal in their peculiar way.

“There must be some reason
For all of this,” you said,
Sweeping your hand across
The burned fields.

“I don’t think so,” I replied.
“There are no records of any
Thing being wrong before.”

“You float a lot,” you said,
“And get high on bullets too much.
You forget the reasons easily.”

I tried to see your eyes
But you had snapped
Your visor down
And the blue-lined light
Coursed back and forth
Across where your eyes
Should have been.

I slit the tubes
Near the fountain.
We could hear the swarms
Begin to gather.



Artificial heaven.
Artificial sun.
We kept hearing heat

Crêpe paper smiles.
Cellophane eyes.
The day is gray tin foil.
There is no lower number available.

We were told we couldn’t
Wait this one out.

No one will see us.

We have tattoos applied
To our bodies to commemorate
This single event in life.

They insist we leave.
They send ambulances to the heart.

 Tumbling Chairs, UC Davis
—Photo by D.R. Wagner


I could see
Your body of
Lights clearly.
A network
Of luminescent stains
Stabbed into it.

Bleary with talk
Of radio curses,
Arc lights bouncing off
The puddles,
We ate lunch
In the park.

For a few minutes
All the channels jammed.

You scratched your neck
And pointed out the gray
Vans, bristling with antennae
Like the bites of red ants.

“Final furniture,” you said.
Grease spots appeared
On my hands.



We could see the lights
Blinking along the edges of the lake.

It becomes difficult to know
The relative sizes of things.

Right now your mouth is
The entire sky.

A tiny thread tied to a pool
Full of a dark liquid.

It could be the night
And I suspect it to be the night
Except no stars.  No moon.  Nothing.

I await the swarms.  They will
Bring silver to us who wait
There, expecting anything that
Doesn’t smack of the gallows.
Even a girl walking home will do.

 The Great Carp
—Drawing by Yuan Ji


While I was sleeping
They unlaced my dreams.
What was it that slipped
Away from me?  Guards abandoning
Their posts.  I saw their swords
Flash.  I had never been to

They whispered that I was blind anyway.
Why would I care.  “He has
Dreamed enough,” they said.

The shadow of a lover
Slides away across a floor
I no longer recognize.

What is clear now?  Moonlight,
So slow it can reach out and take
My breath away while it fills
Room after room with the still smell
Of flowers and the sea surrounding.

I break away from my body,
But it is only the morning.
“Remember me?” it says,
Its splendid mouth resting
Close to my ear.  

 Evening Light in Locke
—Photo by D.R. Wagner


You teach me to listen
To the braiding of moments,
To notice those eddies
Where the heart swings toward
The riverbank, then slides
Back to the mainstream
As if it had a name.

What if I called it love?
Every pattern chatters and proclaims
My foolishness to spend such precious
Time in your words.

The breeze I feel comes in
Through the window.
There are small lights on
The towers that blink off and on.
I know they are kisses from
Your lips.

 —Detail of a Drawing by Perry Wong Costa


My body has other things
It wants to do.
It still loves me after a fashion,
But it is uninvolved with what
I have come to call desire.

It keeps showing me heavens
And acts like it doesn’t trust me
To do anything worth noticing.

I look at a leaf,
A landscape where I cannot
Recognize a single thing.

“See,” my body says.
I’m not sure what its point is
Supposed to be.
I decide to abandon my memory.

My body laughs and makes
My feet hurt, shows me
Dreams of my mother and father,
How lovely they were.


Today’s LittleNip:


This wind that listens
Charms my ears.  It unwraps
The curious grasses that bend to
Hear its strumming.

It finds me on the deck
Of the heart, away at sea
Singing, as I am singing
All in its wide wake.  I hear

The chants that coast the headlands
Down to the sea, carried by the waves
With their fine throats.  They plan together
With the tides, where nets are strung

Like harps and dare I, dare I, dance
The purple of the evening.
The crisp gold of the dawn as
I chance upon their choruses.


—Medusa, with thanks to today's fine chefs in the Kitchen, and a reminder that in the daily diary on this side of the page, photos may always be enlarged with one click for their full effect!

Nighttime in Locke
—Photo by D.R. Wagner