Selected Poems II


Ted Jean

Regarding wife

She is no warmer than merely mammal.
Her breath ticks like the twitter of insects
sewn thickly on the grassier planets.
Her scent the incense of corporality,
no holier than one horse or another.
Her bare legs the complex but common
function of oil and muscle and motion;
certainly somewhere there are better.
Her long black hair is the hair of virtually
all Chinese girls; her closed eyes precisely
the color you might guess; her lightly
burnished white gold skin could be
assigned, I suppose, to simply yellow. 

She moves against me, and the world
rolls out over the void on a unique arc.

Going clamming by yourself

where you drive up Gale's Creek into the Coast Range and the summit arrives without tragic announcement among the rocky green clamor, don't you hate how it becomes the narrow Necanicum whose descent, you must consent, prosecutes thirty heartbreak miles of faithless beauty to mineral beach and the infinite leaden Pacific

Fort Stevens

Paul's pickup threw a rod and seized up on the beach in the fog a mile short of the shipwreck but as he had sandwiches and vodka and a walking stick he had packed for a weekend of clamming and the weather being mild he slogged up and over the dunes snuggled into the salal beneath some pitchy shore pines meditated a while upon the surf of fog tatters hurrying overhead and fell forever asleep