have you seen the chipmunk climbing up a tree
with his stripey coat as fast as fast can be
looking for his food a nut than he can chew
with his chipmunk teeth so he can bite through
jumping branch to branch an acrobat his he
a creature of the forest and a life so free
he has big long tail and stripes along his back
running up and down along the forest track
living in a burrow in the ground so deep
this where he goes when its time to sleep
Like a chipmunk, my cheeks are stuffed
with chunks of you, little acorns
I’ve stashed and hoarded, clung to,
planted praying for fruit.
Systematically sleeping in separate rooms,
I hear you wrestle with the moon,
but I cannot sooth you.
If (once) our bodies collide
like two stars sucking in one
and one the other,
I will trace your freckles, your scars,
your every limbs' meandering movements
with the gifts that have slipped from your lips,
glimpses of the gears
that have kept you crunching for years.
You love books with rough pages,
thick fabric you can touch with fingertips calloused
and still feel the words beating blood on the page.
like sun white
the gallop a harmony
to my listening eyes
what an idyllic
bringing excellence to rest.
tomorrow the white river
horses will fly like jazz
to my listening eyes
half stuttered premonitions ease
at sight of indigo accented flowers.
in goat land, clouds turn
to white wisps of doves.
a chipmunk at the summit
makes waves through the landscape
dancing like a tambourine
wishes and hopes curl
around my face enveloping
me in Washington air
I see you looking at the chipmunk
and smile like
Owl listened to Goose's secrets
Fishy could always use a smile
Duckie flew into many a dream
Cat lurked when the sun was high
Bear always gave the best hugs
Giraffe knew the summer's joys
Chipmunk shared in equal annoyances
Yet, Goose befriended them all
Owl was wise
Fishy was mellow
Duckie was comforting
Cat was kind
Bear was understanding
Giraffe was a laugh
Chipmunk was encouraging
And Goose loved them all
Duckie, Cat, Bear and Giraffe all
frequent the same little niche
Fishy swims down the street
from Chipmunk's tree
Owl and Goose fly in similar circles
And where would each be,
without the other
Our animal friends,
Or one another
With heavy sigh
A single leaf falls
The first I've caught in the act
It slides down my right shoulder
Kissing my skin with parched lips
A single, skittering chipmunk
Bounds across the soggy banks
Of Lake Fred
Unafraid and nearly near enough to touch
But keenly and instinctually aware
Of my innate barbarism
He keeps his distance
"Did you see that?"
I call to him
Pointing to the crumpled leaf beside me
"Summer is dying."
The chipmunk stops
Cranes its neck and twitches its whiskers in consideration
'Of course it is,
What else would it do?'
my cat curled into my lap then brought a
chipmunk into the house and I
had to lure him outside with
treats and he dropped the chipmunk and
I went casual hoping you'd
drop by because I felt
lonely and I wanted an
adventure but you
don't even know where I live so
I put on dark eye shadow and
winged eye liner
now if you come
by I'll look like a slut
I went walking and it started to rain and
the wind blew your image into my
mind and I swear to god you were
talking to me and I
started to cry
licorrrriiceee maaaaakees meeee bloooaateddddddddddd
I watch a cardinal fly
And a blue-jay perch
I see a squirrel climb up
That naked birch
All the dreams you see in me
Well, I see falling in the leaves
Those geese flock
And then ducks scatter
It's hard to focus
Over chipmunk chatter
All the life you see in me
Well, I see falling in the leaves
That dog barks
And then a girl cries
Then every bird
Escapes to the skies
Everything that you see
Well, all of it is leaving me
First I will say you look wonderful
Despite being out in the humidity
Your spirit remains peppy and full
Even over a temperature of ninety
Your smile brightens those around
Your hair flows freely in the breeze
You try to help those that surround
Telling them to stop and to freeze
You like to be surrounded by peace
You're still with some that are a pain
Even those like me that tend to tease
Now you silly chipmunk orangutang
I must ask you one thing before I end
Would you, Madelyn, be my girlfriend?
Billy got a shovel.
Chipmunk sat on his shoulder.
They wandered away from town,
away from the businesses and restaurants,
far from the counting and court houses,
past the auto service stations,
until even the roads were gone.
Chipmunk said, Stop here.
"This spot looks good?" Billy asked.
The ground is soft.
"It's too soft. It won't do."
Billy stamped his foot down onto the flesh of the earth
and his brand-spanking-new boots caked themselves in mud.
"No no, this won't do."
We're far enough, now. You can dig here.
So, Billy dug.
At first the digging was easy
and shovelful after shovelful flew behind them both.
Then, Bill struck a pipe
and clean water geysered straight up for a hundred and fifty feet in the air
and splashed down all around them, but they were in the eye of it
so neither of them got wet, and Chipmunk hated water.
"Not the place- I told you."
Three and a half miles later, the pair stopped for a slice of rhubarb pie they brought with them.
What time do you have?
"I don't have a watch."
I bet it's forty minutes past the hour. And this place looks perfect.
Billy sunk his shovel into the ground, again.
He dug and dug and dug and dug and dug
[and eventually found an old brass sheriff's star, which he discarded,
but not before Chipmunk sunk teeth into it and deemed it to be
"antique-trash that belongs next to a green glass Coke bottle and a dirty skull"]
and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and-
One more shovelful and we'll be in Colorado,
and we'll never make it back from that cold.
"What should I do?"
Put down the shovel, Billy Boy.
People had started to gather
because a tabloid published
a picture of Billy shirtless,
[he gets sweaty while digging],
and they wanted to know what
all the fuss was about.
So, Chipmunk got a hold of a megaphone
and addressed the seemingly-ever-increasing crowd:
If a wild beast sleeps under a poisoned tree,
and all night the tree poisons the thoughts of the dreamer,
do you blame the beast or the tree when the dreams come true?
If your heart is held together by very tight stitches,
and one of those stitches starts coming loose, and you feel it,
will a cold glass of cognac, and a warm hand to hold put it back together?
The crowd was dead silent.
An elderly man in the back stroked a long white beard
and a child standing next to him looked up at him stroking his beard
and the mother of that child looked down at the child looking at the man
and the light struck her glasses just so that the stars saw her light years away
and nobody noticed Billy, eyes closed at the bottom of the pit.