Rusty Morrison


please advise stop


pale fingers of inheritance do not disintegrate until they touch us stop
 meaning collapses on the inhale please
gestures too quick to catch are the guarantors of the given stop

the true keeps calm biding its story stop
the arsonist’s perspiration stains the sky black please
 the gray-and-white patched cat licks her paw till value becomes again incalculable stop

I wasn’t traveling westward only into the power of its place-names stop
the water puddle sways like an earthbound kite stop
the stickiness of this instance seals within it every expression of its menace please advise


please advise stop


it was once believed that metals grew in the earth the way plants fill air stop
skin of my fingertips pulling itself taut to receive sensation stop
this stubbly, chapped rough-cloth is my passion and nostalgia stop

erecting my window to hidden faces and wrapped hands please
 touch this last flash of sunset where it cracks the glass city stop
I turn into the mineral of my obsessive imagining please

 floodlit in an otherwise lost memory please
an inner harbor where infected mice scuttle from ship to docked ship stop
 the chord sung must be higher because I’ve gone to roof’s edge to sing it please advise


please advise stop


our pleasures inventoried us like cutlery stop
 no histrionics just two brass lamps a stack of old newsprint from Paris tied in twine stop
the glamour is in asking first Are you happy? stop

I’m elongating the upward curve of my handwritten “f” please
 years of growth sanded away to make this beautifully varnished myth please
the stories so often describe the homecoming as some kind of relief stop

the flower stems will always seem to break at the water line stop
 locked in the grandly tapestried room while upstairs the phone rings stop
touch the velvet gone stiff from fingers’ sweat please advise