Around 3 a.m., stars twinkle

in the last of the heat

rising off the pavements.

Even big dogs have gone to sleep.


The city lifts a little,

expands without weight of people

and machines and all that worry.

You can even hear it breathe.


The day the U.S. Army lost the war


Headstones in the cemetery at Ft. Buford, Montana:

Son of Owlheadress, beat to death, July 22, 1868

Owlheaddress, dead of drink, Aug. 20, 1868


At Sally’s, Son of Owlheaddress,

swayed before Cap’t Johnson

who turned him out into the night.


Egged on by moonlight

and stars like stripper’s veils,

he went back and got beat to death.


At the bar, between two whores,

Owlheaddress turned to his drink.

Cap’t Johnson, back at the post,

polished his boots.


Full moon, one moon later,

Owlheaddress sprawled over his son’s grave,

eyes wide, galactic debris

tinkling in his heart.


El Jefe

We grieved as our cigars grew short.


Tree frogs screamed in the silver maple;

the dog next door awoke in a frenzy of growl;

a congress of cats behind the fence wailed.


The whole neighborhood wanted

just ten more minutes with Castro


A hot place, four dried pines from ascension,

and willing to spread, like smoke,



People shimmer in mirages—

sticks quaking in sun

coming off all that trailer park chrome.


And dust, lots of dust,

chokes throats, chafes eyes,

makes noses bleed.


But it’s good here, and quiet.

Especially at night. The cool settles,

even those pines seem alive.