Saturday, September 9, 2006



—for Sharon Doubiago

The carnival straddled a limnal boundary
between civilization & endless fields of corn.
A miracle in the bright dust and mirrored lake
deep summer bloomed in cotton candy colors.
For a moment she was screaming,
& laughing against a bright sky
as the Fairest Wheel lifted her
weightless against the burden
of her father’s darkness.

In a constant elegy of ascent & death,
the Fairest Wheel dizzied them up to the stars,
& plunged them in o the dwarfed laps of broken families.
For a moment, she forgot she lived
the enchanted sleep of Snow White
where in dreams she rode a carousel pony.
Between her clenched teeth, not a rose,
but a blanket emitted a high-pitched sound
as a bright bloom escaped from her gown.

As she loosened herself from the horizon,
she was forever tumbling against a silken sky.
Her blonde hair, a temporary sun
eclipsed & eclipsing the retextured sunlight.

For a moment she forgot what she was
becoming, a black dahlia.
Dust & parched earth. You could taste it
in the air, acrid like carbolic soap & sweat.
Soon the rains would come.

—Maureen Hurley
Walker Creek Ranch, 10/15.2006

MAUREEN HURLEY who grew up in the wilds of West Marin, a watershed away from Walker Creek, was Area Coordinator for Sonoma County for a decade, at present, she’s learning her urban skills in on the shores of Lake Merrit in Oakland. Published in the 2006 CPITS statewide anthology

From Thoreau, TC Boyle. Oates, Wright, Merrill, etc.

We were observing
Replacing the old style cells
In which a window
Measuring 6 x 8 feet
More movement there
Perhaps I was not thinking coherently
In this state I was careless
Their faces showed consternation
I was confused, so I smiled

The color drained out of the treetops
It was like looking up at the emerging stats
But who was counting
For a long while she didn’t say anything
I don’t know what’s wrong with me
He foresaw every disaster so no was on his lips
Listen he said, speaking tot the sky
The spilled paint of stars
Softened his voice

I won’t give anyone another chance
It’s been a long dance with death
I realized that I’m possibly quite mad.
I know he is.
The world is full of people
separated from themselves by families
What was her favorite song.,
the name of the lover she took to the grave
I never adopt a person who doesn’t have

In the case of numbers
It allowed me a substitution
The trouble with Mike was
We had become middle class
But our dog had not
They turned towards us as if praying
She believed he betrayed mongrel origins

We were all, in all places
A picture of Brazilia,
a white mansion shining in the jungle
The music is powerful, blessed
In this fine white afternoon
Paying no attention\to our own little brick utopia
Sort & discard
The heavy-footed building
A lazy reach & sigh
These are the papers I need
It begins to thin in the air at dusk
The one, a poet, the other an action.

MARGINALIA After Jarrell

I had started to walk down the path
These are the roads you find yourself traveling
Homesick for anything, she asked me in her windswept voice
Occasions for the grief that left me seething at the sea
She heard a lot of it when she came home from the hospital
Help me! The pain in her bones paralyzed me
So I wrote these words in the margins