Intentions Against Translation and Other Poems

One Moment in the Middle of Things

Virginia Beach, the late 80s –
dying already.
A pale imitation
of its former self,
the shops along the strip
selling paper thin pastel t-shirts
and shells painted
in gaudy shades of satin.

We are pretending
that everything is still fine,
that everything is still
as it always was.

The sun climbs over us,
burns our sandaled feet.
We are tourists now –
Sightseeing through
our own lives,
transient and fading.



Intentions Against Translation

What we meant to do
in order to do
that which we mean
to want.

Simple variance, simple
fluctuations in the feeling
of the individual.

In the sense of the personal, I have personally embraced the vocabulary of water.
Which covers faith. (Whether, perhaps, this characteristic conviction
is meant – or not – in all readers.) Despite what little it means.

Fingers wetted.

To this point in time, that is not
the problem of it, these intervals in meaning.

This is what is given us by indifference:
(reservoirs of)



Translation of a Song and Its Echoes

There is a music to the tune of you,
a remix of your breathing –
our exhalations a hybrid melody
with percussion on stable fill.

There is a thick heartbeat in memory –
the industrial pound
of your thighs wrapped around me
in the water
off the coast of 1994.

I remember the breakbeat
of your fingers,
like there was a keyboard
along my spine,
our bodies related
by pace, bound
by rhythm.

Tonight, this syncopation.
I breathe your name
in the soft reflection
between echoes.
I breathe your name
into a sort of sweet



Self Portrait as a Season of Thirst

A naked man,
in my own skin

half covered
by sheets.

I am no longer
on fire.


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