skip to main content

Some Things Words Can Do (Sheep Meadow, 1998)

Some Things Words Can Do cover

This volume brings together two collections: Some Things Words Can Do and the prize-winning A History of Small Life on a Windy Planet, originally published by the University of Georgia in 1993.

From Some Things Words Can Do

Some Things Words Can Do

Play. Teach us
to play. Play for us.

Take us. Take us in.
Take us out. Introduce us.

Make something
of us. Make us ours.

Leave us. Leave
us wanting.


He had no rights, they beat him up, you've got
no right, he said, and he was right, we thought,
we saw them beat him up, right? it happened right
over there, but it was proper form, the jury
said, and they were right, if you could judge
the beating by what happened next, our driver
said, right off they up and burn the place,
this rights stuff goes too far, next thing it's an-
imal rights, vegetable rights, mow 'em down
I say, he said, and turned, he had the right
of way, license to get where he needed to go,
but what it they stopped him anyway, they're
the law and that's their right, the right side
of the body's on the other side of the heart.


The window fell out the window
and having only a frame
to refer to, we entered

a new field, the space filled
with lightness, wheat field, sweet
field, field of vision, field

and ground, and the puzzle became
the principle, a page without
a single tree, but you kept coming

back to the place, your fingers
reading my skin, and I cried Love!
before I could stop myself, love

is a yellow shirt, light
is what it thinks when it thinks
of itself, and now it shines

through both our skins, in
the field, out of the field,
two in the field where none

had been, field to field
with particles stirred
into being where we touch.

Top of Page