James Houlihan




Just before dying I realized

We are echoes of the Mojave Desert

Imprinted with particles for whose charges we still yearn

Later you said good-bye

One shovel of Newport Beach dirt over me

Where olive tree clouds over green plots

Lean toward a lake reservoir entirely covered for fear of poisoning


What can you say to me

When I came through the ice-blue window?

I came for beauty


Fragments of what I mean by shadow


Where did you think I came from?

The place theoreticians of desire can only imagine?

That house where you waited is deserted now

Every afterlife rides a chariot with two winged horses

Why aren’t you listening?

Humans can’t focus for very long

Suddenly there are lilies but where lilies vanished

A misunderstood saint


What am I laughing at

I don’t really know I went out from your POV with all thoughts

Then you appeared in my apparition

Your repetitions our ambition our chiasmus

I hear you practice other apparitions

Don’t say why


I like speaking through others

You being the exception—you aren’t other

I am laughing at how in the Reno airport

You lost the notebooks of these revelations

Such panic for what? your isolate ambition?

But I led you back to them

Laughing in your dream


We stream in every direction

Asleep and awake don’t contrast

The sun is no direction—how could its orbit contrast with anything?


What am I laughing at?

There are things I have come to destroy

Without intending to

Without any consciousness of

You want to place me inside the beautiful!

But what are your options?


Would you be a decent god—if I showed you how?


There is [still] the organic myth I suppose

You know the way a virus reads code

You love contamination and ululate as words you love the Always


I could have released you—that I did not

Is one of my regrets

Everything else was too full

Coming here

I opened as I never could in that long body—


I could have told you before I died

Our families are in bondage—some tied up—some watching—

The military mind is not to be rejected without consideration

Vessels holding sensations break

So sky is refracted in shards

Is there any other way we could gleam?


Even to say the divine needs us is speculating

Or say the universe needs us to become aware of itself

That’s just presuming

By the way blue cliffs dissolve into gold


If you could cause a flood or visit your cities disguised as a courier

Would you?

I left a daughter with a child and a newborn

Sorry transmitting sentimental today

The child hiding in the cycads is she peeing?


My name was unified by a date

And boring clotted volcanic craters in rags


We were booking


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