(Introduction: The title Dancing The Solitudes first awoke from the Franz Liszt piano composition Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude which was first sketched in 1845 and came to its final form after Liszt retired from the stage in 1848 to devote his life to composing, teaching and conducting.  It is included in his collection of piano works Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses from the early 1850s.  Because I didn’t translate the French title properly to myself, I understood it as “Benediction of God dancing the solitude” as opposed to its real translation “Benediction of God in the solitude”.  I thought of it as God giving its benediction as it danced in the some great solitude, or, at the same time, if we dance in the solitudes we can receive the benediction of God.  So once I figured that out, I kept thinking about that act of dancing in the solitudes, thinking of it almost as an etude (a musical study) of being alone, thinking of the solitudes, too, as a landscape, an eco-system that can be danced upon or danced in or danced into being.  I think, also, of this collection of poems as somewhat impressionistic.  I think of impressionism as working with images, language and music at a level beneath a solid, concrete final form, almost in a way a pre-form, that can find various solidities, various sharper focuses, in various listeners and viewers.  Thus, there is a lot of space which can be filled by the audience’s creativity.)










–for Isi and Gabi










A Muse To A Muse


Autumn by opening one eye and closing the other arrives

by looking through your dreaming hair

into the distant wind coming

And your dark skin that will reflect the snow

as I read to you trained by solitude to read the winter fire

brought down by wind song strong

persistently born

branches falling into heat

into veins

into breath

shimmering with change

and winter wind sworn



Green eyes meeting like leaves lit by sun that the wind called to touch

that wind we give to the gods is someone’s midnight prayers

lifting from apartment to apartment













Temple Song


We’re driving on a temple

We’re sleeping on a temple

The temple is snowing

The temple of birdsong

The temple of deep cacophony

The temple of god’s body

That’s why sometimes you gotta be still

to be the mosaics of the temple

The temple of stars

The temple of the moon painting the earth

The temple of tracks upon the shore

The temple of breath


The moon-drenched beach is strewn with shells

and sleeping bodies

that have fallen from love


On Highway 395 I glimpsed a temple in the cliffs

and said: “Myron, there’s a temple up there”

and Myron didn’t even look

“We’re driving on a temple,” he said, absolutely sincerely

and we drove on


The temple of stars

The temple within the ritual

The temple of the plains

The temple of caves full of horses

multiplying into dawn

The temple of the Pleistocene

The temple of scenes unknown

The temple of poems

like beaver-chewed logs

deciding whether to come

to shore














The Moon Waits


The moon waits

And the snows shed all their light into

sunken fields and singing streams

the cloak that reveals that the woodcocks

have never stopped peanting for a second

beneath the losses and lights of winter

on this tanned skin waiting for love’s radiance

that always reaches out from deep within

to return

Like this bright starface pitted and blue

this flower that gives only the edge of itself

in every gulp of wine


From my five hundred dollar car’s hood

I pray for love

and light a match off a patch of rust

and take a second look to see

if I broke through














Gates of Birdsong


With birdsong among the gates of fallen human bodies

I’ve climbed to the highest peak above the burning city

only to sit next to myself

and look over my own shoulder at a morning poem

from the other side of smoke

some flute song as fleeting and real as a swallow’s dance

that doesn’t begin or end or even find its middle

in the regurgitated mass of insect forms that inform her reaching children

inform their forms into forms endless


Autumnal tunnel

Autumnal gates of falling leaves

Autumnal shrine of morning

Autumnal smoke

Autumnal gold falling into our childrening hands

Autumnal morning cloak

Autumnal bodies married to the wind

Autumnal, I look over your shoulder at a dress of gold

Autumnal, we’ve married beneath the fountain

Autumnal tones hardening into frost on the edge of leaves fallen

in the breaths between

Autumnal dance of morning cloak lifting into fallen shreds of dawn and sunset

set free all our costume pieces and cat-patted skeins and eyes disappearing

in the forecast of winter song unbending into earth and beneath

replete this smile we walk upon in valleys so deep we’d never know

Autumnal, your body the ocean from which this bell of night is born

Autumnal, your body a bell beneath the falling summer

Autumnal, when I close my eyes we are only breath

Autumnal, I’ve found a map on your body where cities are night bells

Autumnal, all the trees have risen into smoke

Autumnal, all of time is only our hearts wondering how to reach

Autumnal fire of summer falling into sleep

Autumnal beauty of gravity

Autumnal, this is the smell of dying

Autumnal, this is the smell of being born

Autumnal, I awoke with someone next to me

their eyes autumnal

Autumnal, this is the bell of the underworld’s dawn














Snow For Snow


In the depth of winter

in the depths of myself

with the snow so deep

a fox came into my tent

in the middle of the night

and sat staring at my woodstove

I gave him a cigarette and a cup of tea

not knowing what to do except love the way he smelled

After a while he said: “You people have no idea what it’s like to be a fox”

So I said: “Tell me”

And he put his forehead against mine

and what I saw was a garden growing from a golden bed

like a fox’s eyes

a garden that grew itself

out of the depths of the night


from shedding born

born of shedding

fire of summer fallen from shedding born

born of shedding

the shedding of birth

the death of shedding

death’s shedding

and suddenly death’s shedding is born

the shedding death of birth

death is the birth of shedding

death is the autumn birth of shedding

death is the autumnal birth of shedding born
















Your face like a bell struck as the birds come to listen

and stand upon the smell of morning

Forehead to forehead

we walk and climb

through each other

toward the first sip

of the next dream dawning


In the night silver ring to be struck and shone

slid upon this bone

of the moon’s finger

Between us only room for a shadow shaped

like the stencils of ferns

like steam among the web of frogs

stringing the music

of this shore

a hem of silver

full of otters















Lake Lore


Dancing along the edge of this dream we call earth

to take that extra step and don villages of cells

and stars so eager they formed a shimmering physical house

with humanly opposable thumbs

windows green as summer’s hungry heart

washed by the sculpted sun of lake lore

all the artists down in the sand building their cities

with buckets and little bodies

beaver-chewed sticks and logs

from night

washed up

the sky has grown

and painted this allegory

like a chapel dome

as the sun like the true burning artist of the day returns to its divan

orange and purple

just beyond the point

and in comes the night crew

dripping fire for us among the falling blue hand

in that folding glow of density

like a hand made of the molecules

of a different music

molecules who stand naked to become the lapping lore of evening bells

and here

faces of children



reclining around a simple campfire of driftwood

“We’ve been waiting for you to lose your way back to us, my love”

the monsters of beauty sing

from the other side of smoke














God of the Shore



do you remember when you captured me?

so proud to be a statue

so nervous and stubborn in bronze

standing on a cliff

gazing at you on the deck of your ship

in your human forms

And you were going to sell my clothes to the wind

and drink to my ransom

laugh my true self from the cave of pride I lived in at the edge of the sea

turn me into a sorcerer

to set you free with transformation

The bearded sailors you shed lifted like a song and patched your torn sails

Your new skin spoke my spell with me gleaming and smooth

and returned laughing to the waves














Morning Closure


Morning glow in this breath of streets awakening

Birds finding warmth in gold

Potted arrangements watered by a lady

with coffee in one hand

already headlong toward the next dawn


–and closures within

the selves of closures

on the dancefloor like fountains

like ships sending up their sails of love

this canvas fulfilled between sky and sea

heaving toward the gold where clouds are born

sailors given the gift to transform

between dolphins and bearded men

have only left the sea to leap and laugh and tip the daylight

with coins of return


Builders of centuries just below the receding dream

they swallow all the fullness back and leave us

in sweatings of cloud-dance

sculpted sun and moon hewn


as bodies and solar systems and artists

with little bodies divining sand’s shape

like combinations safe

as night’s lifting hand














Dancing The Solitudes


Winter moon of shore

Winter doorway of night

Winter, I’m born from you

Winter, you’ve opened your cloak like a gate to the night

Winter populated with solitude

Winter tracks becoming new beings under the snow

Winter feet above the earth

Winter ripe in the frozen morning

Winter, I’ve come to you without weapons, alone

Winter, my bones have lifted from your contours changing beneath the moon

Winter deep

Winter where the stars are born

Winter, you’ve opened your cloak like a gate to the night’s body

stars wet from the moon’s bridge of blue

moon-strewn our summer clothes have fallen like husks left behind

to dream in morning’s pulse

our summer clothes have fallen moon-strewn like shells

in those autumnal days we dreamed out

of the edges of morning fires


On this frozen beach every forgiveness leaves a shell


On this morning, beauty for beauty, love so ancient, like water, like air, notes of night music sung so freely to become this first snow as the stars took them and blew them into another dream—I’ll take your theme and do the best I can in every space between raven feathers tender and storm lit with age, their sheened edges like cities adorning the night distance where I was born—sweep the morning, my raven friends, I’m in love with you, too, I’m here to listen, I just went to the moon to talk to my dreams, and saw the notes of night music printed on the moon of shore, so blue and bruised, dusted sandbar of ocean-sky where angels alighted with their feet ebony bound for birth.














Stepping From Silver


landing like a silver spoon

this night garden so rich

shores like children

their dark skin giving off sparks blue

from costumed silver

burning mist of spice

every beautiful angel’s eyelid sweeping the sand

is an impressionistic theme

from in-between


do we know anything about dreams except to love them

like wild horses?

and feel the herds forming the hills

like a rich potlatch giveaway

coming and going from the psyche’s valley

who had called us home


landing from silver

this bed of garden

this garden of dreams

planted from beneath

grown from the sky from fall to fall

like seeds we’ve breathed from each other’s hair

to set us free

this garden rich with spaces between

stars and odes

we’ve brought back

from home to home














Childhood Moonpose


The monsters of beauty gather around the crimson cave, at home in the right of night, fixing conveyor belts of joy and sorrow unseen, chosen by flame, until our earth-thoughts arise and pour with the weight of glaciers and lightness of planets spinning in sky’s home to appear filled out with dance’s humor, with bodies finely coalescing into wood and moonlight, into smoke’s acquiescence, into its other side story born into a leaf sky lifts to examine and place turning against cloud—the monsters of beauty are in new positions, childhood moonposes, cities beneath blankets, and the excitement of just holding each other without any machinations: it’s almost unbearable to be the entrance of this mounded cave, in our breath too many worlds to count, too many jewels, and within each diamond galaxies where beings feel a pregnant wind rise from all directions at once—the monsters of beauty step through us and change us not at all, and we step through them like birdsong, like the music of a clock, like a bell, like our love rung again and again until there is no looking down—dawn birds dance upon the monsters of beauty, spoken and shimmering, vast in tempests and silent breaths of sleep














Lake Superior Eclogue


Watching the notes of night music

upon your shores

in an exchange like lovers giving gifts of beauty so thoughtless

in this life

the power animal I dreamed

is dressed as a human

stepping from tea fires

and morning smoke

and the effervescent cloak

of seasons never to be the same again

by design


Laughter in the snow’s childrening

Dancing into being the heart of this body

we walk upon in sand

expressed and glistening

for cooking our tenderness into meals and anniversaries

and temple bells ringing among the heat and barbeques and beach

contoured like your ear

as the storm reshaped it

like a single heart this sea

we flew and knew we didn’t even need

to forgive ourselves

the beauty of this shell


I’ve listened to the shell of your primal beauty

the night bells hidden in your folds

the shape of love like a wing

dropping feathers

only seen by the angels of autumn


Autumnal days of smoke and azure

and what our hearts are really after

stripped down and loving in white winter gowns

heat from fountains of earth-faces falling


Autumnal eclogues I’ve put on my fires

The taste of your body is the only thing that gives this form

it’s shadow

and tells the night it’s time to awaken

into your folds of breath

with no thoughts between us of disaster


Autumnal eclogues where the night sky has found you

and landed ships in your eyes

Eclogues of cave-mouths

opening to dream what’s outside our doors

from wombs full of herds peeling like leaves from their walls

to multiply into dawn


Eclogues where the night finds its costume


Autumnal eclogues in the fallen petals of birth


Of all the species we’ve come to love the earth

like ships coming home

like great trees with scaffolds fallen

like castles abandoned to a thousand things

Autumnal eclogues, I’m listening

Autumnal eclogues, there’s something coming to meet

with this rising heart with every maple leaf

this ship full of broken dreams and dreams yet to come true

this heart setting off among the flames

chasing cargos of sunset pressed into leaves

and rumors of white oceans with jewels beneath


Autumnal, the moon is listening

Autumnal, the smoke is listening, too

Autumnal, the earth is giving us everything we need

Autumnal, the moon is storing our dreams

Autumnal, the moon is in the house














Doorway of Spring


So beautiful the unconscious rain

And within my white canvas house washed with soot and dreams

Unfolding aspiration’s undersides always so tender and storm-lit

By pulses of love and lightning

This ego on a wedding cake divided

Trying to imitate that blazing campfire turning the world

Into fuel

Forgetting that it’s all reaching from one great mother sea


Mysteries of fallen farms

Mysteries of sunken machinery

Sumac torches above the coral reefs of blue lichen and autumn’s forgetting

The rain musing the piano keys of the seasons

So tuned the peaking from within the shell of spring

That ring just after or before the lightning pulse

Like the sky’s bell

All so fresh

And graveyards only for the purpose

Of living