for Guy and Lori

who left the pen,

“micro inks for fade proof lines,”

on a book of mine


You who have supplied the key

To your own apostrophe,


Those microscopic lines

Whose fade-proof drift defines


Our standing in small doses

Of apt apotheosis,


And the mercy sellable

Revealed to be indelible, 


Wherein the fingers’ wayward flesh

Pens ball bearings to enmesh


A celestial cast of gears in favor of

Dedicated drafts of love,


Contours traced and blazed around

Seas that are by bearings bound,


That draw their clean necessities

From the hand’s unsure geometries, 


To put its path in scribbled lines

Where temporary sense combines


With lower, wounded, mortal pairings;

For those of us who’ve lost our bearings,


Who ask the ball for guarantees

From words floating in the bottled seas,


Discovering our counterfeit address

On a flotsam’s SOS,


Who chart our winding human plots

Around a ballpoint’s pointless blots,


Spellbound inklings that invoke us

Into never-ending focus -


Into scrawling boundless futures when

Authorized by a drowning pen -


May these momentary lifelines bind you with

Their rolling, calligraphic myth:


The map of valor, grace, and charm,

Preserved by ink from time and harm.



Tippet Alley

January 22 - 28th, March 18 - 19th, 2004