you are in the diode archives fall 2009




already the night has gone on too long and it makes some of us break: he’d seen the rabbit of the moon: heard the coyotes growling along the back fences: the night kept rolling on: the wee hours were everywhere: he could hear the cops backfiring: the streetcleaners’ futility: rats chittering out their new world orders: old alarms sounding: he was not a happy bunny: too many predators: he didn’t like pressing his face to the sliding glass windows of forgotten neighbors: he could see familiar furniture inside: blue couches like whales: ottoman raccoons: craning lamps: it’s enough to make his nose twitch: double-paned glass: you can barely make out his song: like an echo hitched to the moon

                                                                                                                             for Andy Jones


Moonfaced and Toga

he had a city on his back: all skylines and smokestacks: coming in up the river: fogbank midriff: small lights and pinholes: camera obscura: you are all moonfaced and toga: such lines as the two of you create are made for dancing: nights in the city: his and yours: someone blows a horn that starts a dream: everything changes: fast steps: strobe night: it’s all second chances and red scarves: new angles: triangle angels: here is the steeple: look at all those . . . : the clock strikes house mix: you know this one: you always know whatever’s playing

                                                                                                                             for Sindy Johal


The Urchin God

Everything spiral arms around the royal center.
Everything has its own halo. Sometimes you think
of the holy sea urchin. Other times not so much.
Maybe you could start a new religion, one
where it’s okay to be hard to touch,
                  a little defensive, and living
                                             off crumbs.
Everyone is out on their sea floor walkabouts.
Everyone is trying to say, bless you,
         but don’t get too close!
Maybe churches and other close quarters
wouldn’t work in this new religion. Maybe
you could forget to include the dogma and ritual sin.
Imagine a religion on loners, where everyone
simply believes in their quiet spiny way.
Everyone wearing their own halos, maybe
a little tilted or elliptical, everyone moving
around on the sea floor in one giant spiral galaxy.

                                                                                                                             for Louis Bourgeois


Ballooning Around the Room

one of your fellow balloonists says he’s fine sailing around the room: if only the windows didn’t mock you with the expansive sky: he points to the carpet which from here looks like waves crashing the shore: so much so that you can see spindrift: and now you see a few puffy clouds float by: the mist of them is cool on your skin: and your basket-mate says you know, I think if we hit the window just right, we might make it outside, yet: and you pinch yourself: because broken glass and balloons are known sworn enemies: but you can feel the balloon rushing with the trade winds coming out of the fireplace: you might jump if it all goes wrong: already the sound of breaking glass: and you rise out of the wreckage of your skylight: into true ballooning

                                                                                                                             for Pamela St. Clair


Floating Away at Night

you see a boat: almost too white in the night: as if the universe had forgotten to tell it to dim: its reflection ripples and drifts back to where you are: and now this feeling of needing to be on it: as it noses further into the dark: beyond the few visible white crests of waves: and it’s not for the leaving that makes you want to be onboard: not because you feel entrapped: it has nothing to do with escape or freedom: it is that brightness: slipping into the unknown: casting light where only the blackness of night is expected

                                                                                                                             for Martin Vest  


J. P. Dancing Bear is the author of Conflicted Light (SalmonPoetry, 2008), Gacela of Narcissus City (Main Street Rag, 2006), Billy Last Crow (Turning Point, 2004), and What Language (Slipstream, 2002).  His poems have been published in Shenandoah, Poetry International, New Orleans Review, National Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Mississippi Review, Verse Daily, and many others.  He is the editor of the American Poetry Journal and the host of “Out of Our Minds,” a weekly poetry program on public radio station KKUP.  His next book, Inner Cities of Gulls, will be published by SalmonPoetry in 2010.