While the sun makes no sound, at night I hear the moon scrape against my window. There was a time, long before we were here, that Moon was much closer to earth. Everything was better because of that. Since then, Moon has moved to a position some 250,000 miles away. Though don’t underestimate its importance. We need each other, Moon and earth; Moon and I. Anything written in Moonlight is off to a richer start than what might be written under other circumstances. It is a ridiculous oversight on behalf of Whoever that the sun is vital to life on earth in a way that the Moon never was. Strangely, as I wrote that line I was overwhelmed with an uncomfortable sensation. I am a poet of Moon10 and feel that I have just betrayed a lover.

Let me start over.

Man has been attracted to Moon in a way we never have to the sun. Yes, the sun is farther but that’s not the only reason there is little discussion about visiting. The sun possesses little poetry. Moon is rich, its topography a poetic table of contents. Earth has the Pacific Ocean, Moon has the Ocean of Storms11. Earth has the South China Sea. Moon has the Sea That Has Become Known. What I might write on a bamboo raft adrift in the Sea of Crisis! The Sea of the Edge is a place no man has returned from! Though men have returned from the Sea of Tranquility. Sea of Clouds. The Foaming Sea. Federico Garcia Lorca was a poet of the Moon*. The night he was murdered I’m convinced he fell into a puddle of Moonlight. I’ll probably never wade though the Marsh of Epidemics but I will write as if I have. Make Moon a planet, that’s what I say! One night in North Carolina I threw a rock at Moon. I apologize. I was drunk. And I was young. I’ve seen Moon in a bright morning sky. You’ve never seen the sun in a dark night sky. Ian Randall Wilson** has complained about my use of Moon. In fairness to his concerns Moon as metaphor, simile, pawn of figuration or whatnot does border on sentimentality. This is a border I have hopefully not crossed.

* The Moon of the Difficult Work

The moon like a puddle of milk.
If you toss a cup of moon into the air
what will it come down as?
The moon like a pale breast.
The moon like a hole in the black sky.
The moon like paper discarded by a hole punch.
Like the back of my eye, the moon, held between dark fingers.
The moon like a stranger.
The moon like a friend.
The moon like something forgotten.
The moon, a welt in the sky.
The moon is swollen.
The moon sinks
The moon sings.
The moon is the sky’s graveyard.
If there were no moon, would the sky need a new name?
Would that name be moon?
The moon of seven days ago.
The moon in another man’s poem.
The moon where I hang my hat.
The moon, what I reach for after I spit
in my hands and begin the difficult work.

** Ocean of Storms

A shark’s tooth in a previous life,
I shivered in the mouth’s broad horizon.
Felt electric fear as I sliced flesh.
Warmth blossomed.
I could taste the depths.
If I could I’d dig a hole
in the water for a dry grave.

In the next life I want to be
a tooth in a shark’s mouth
hunting an ocean on the moon.
Wreckage like praise.
Sublime fable.
The difference between
immortality and grief is delicate.