Rusty Morrison Poems

Hit Title Date Added
Measurement Fable

Eggs, transparent and sometimes red-veined as insect wings, might be hidden
in bark crevices

or a scatter of tawny leaves.


crowded Monday subway its mindlessness botanical
you take the first seat claim it for your age your figural
effaced your t-shirt smelling already like somebody

I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop
it was only from out of my thoughts that I could climb stop
not from the room please

History of sleep

(a myth of consequences)
The ivy across our back fence tangles gray
into a green evening light.

How a second emptiness
un-punctuates the first.

we attempt to construct.

An ache will tighten
but not form.

Making impossible
even this upsurge of crows across our sightline.

The Mayans invented zero so as not to ignore even the gods
who wouldn't carry their burdens.

Too slippery as prayer, too effortless
as longing.

Our problem was preparation. Premeditation
neutered any rage potential.

Years later, the spine of our backyard
appears to have always been crooked.

White jasmine, dove-calm in the lattice, is not
a finely crafted lure.


In through our bedroom window, the full dawn-scape concusses.
Difficult to sustain sleep's equilibrium of wordlessness.
Naming anything, like stepping barefoot in wet sand up to my ankles.
Name after name, sinking me farther beneath waking's buoyancy.

House, this morning, is pale with the rush of what night siphoned off.
Objects, still emptied of resemblance, hum their chord-less cantos.
Bloodless, my knuckles knock on walls without echo, testing singularities.

Sun on the cutlery offers an ageless sheen.
Though it ages the silver relentlessly.

New, but still rudimentary tools to be gleaned from my over-used weaponry.

in the flood

"yes of course" was one speech too many
now you've done it exposed your
obsequious emphases
hardly speech if disclosing nothing
thought to stay blameless in a
well-tended hothouse that's now
out of use beyond wear not in your possession
to break out so lay blame on
ritual pronouncements like
the unitary root of the whole is torn
try knitting cozies to hide
your household aporias
a little more than mortal
how yarn can knit a surface
that will flaunt its absences
looking at it as though it were behind you
is how gnats spin a hole in
air & then slip right through it
caterpillars moles lost limbs
try a little blind reaching
surprising what you can find

in the decision of a beginning [3]

No sensation of falling, which suggests that this condition may be flight.

My eyes might be open or not. My coffee poured into a cup or

onto the countertop. This, a ball of saved rubberbands or the thick clot of tremors

I usually keep deep in the drawer that I can trust will stick

when I absent-mindedly forget, and try to open it.

What would it mean for a body to yield?

A use.

That is to say, dew moistens the grass and is gone.

The body moves from out of its past with each glimpse of its own

disappearance, cumulatively. With each drop of rain the earth's atmosphere pelts

its grove of tall cedars and saplings

with equal force. A body

negating itself as an object possessable. To hold one's breath would be to drown

in order to avoid drowning.

I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop
it was only from out of my thoughts that I could climb stop
not from the room please

my father's dying offered an indelicate washing of my
perception stop
the way the centers of some syllables scrub away all other
sound stop
his corpse merely preparing to speak its new name at the
speed of nightfalling please

each loss grows from a previously unremarkable vestigial organ
will I act now as if with a new limb stop
a phantom limb of the familial please advise

the rustle of a Sunday bundle of newspapers tucked under my father's arm stop
and no father walking toward me stop
on the branch only oak leaves reddening as wind ripens their talent for exodus stop

on the lawn a scatter of wrens head-down but tail-erect stop
no bringing back the other world though every silence sounds for it stop
soft hiss then only all the rattle of useless memory caught in the unwieldy bundle of his dying stop

where I've tied it stop
waiting for the proscenium that the warblers' song might once again build around me stop
I purse my lips in an exaggerated exorcism of breath please advise

my father's dying makes stairs of every line of text seeming neither to go up or down
that I make the nodding motion to help myself feel I understand stop
in common with his bafflement I find comprehension alone will not suffice stop

that I begin to find other books in other rooms were always the same book stop
affiliation which comes from the Latin ad- plus filius meaning son stop
a correct word would steady more than itself like a banister please

first will I need to write any one of the letters that neither of us wrote to the other stop
one cannot predict but only open the hands that are inherited stop
and watch what they do please advise