Dale Smith co-edits Skanky Possum from Austin, Texas.






from Notes, No Answers



Should I assist or

desist, resist

or insist,

persist or exist

in status

quo stasis?






What we have

anymore is it

common or

comedic, de-

motic or







Will we fail each other

if I want too much, or

find such hope in

faithless needs?






Don’t you want a bite

of the pie or at least feel

important too?






Is there love

between us, or

wet grass, maybe

car exhaust,

a political opinion or

a scene transacted

at the curb

through a window?






If you have to ask

whose history think

of ants burning

under magnified

glass and ask







Is knowing believing

the unknown’s reach?






Not the night sky,

not the moon, and no,

not the stars either, or

the sun after a shower,

not the slick streets,

day or night, knowing

we are plain and

numbered—that’s not to say

there weren’t flowers in her

hair, on his shirt, with their

dinner on a table next

to wine and a bread

basket below the abstract

paintings for sale—now—

how much were they?






Did I fuck up

something you







Will I forget this

in the morning, or

in a moment as words

take what I thought

I thought and turn them

back on me?






If I persist on the course

I’m on will I find faith

worth the effort?






Is history a myth

or a name,

a corpse or a sign

for something we

forgot so the past

will keep living

inside us?






If I sing the song

of myself in American

will there ever be

any other

to live free

of who we are or

where we’re from?






If it’s so good to meet me

why’s your cell phone ringing

your desktop open

your words loaded?






Is the name an instrument

of teaching and separating

birds from trees, or pebbles

from grains of sand?






Are you happy

with what you’ve got

yourself into, or

are you like me

looking at this stuff

to fathom

what’s next?






When you think of

fidelity to love, what

bodies inform

your decision?






Wherefore the wind

that carries seed out

to extremes of soil,

and birds or bees

pollinating, or like

young lovers nude

in the flesh of

the other?







What questions and what answers

without taking so many words

away, to disperse them in romantic

silence, or metaphysical combat?






Was it the wind

or a word, a certain way

she tossed back her hair,

the late hour with our friends,

the wine, the black table mats,

washing the dishes or brushing

my teeth in the dark while

our son slept, the turn

of her profile in shadow

in the hall in pajamas

and outside new fall

leaves scratched concrete,

the traffic dull moving by and

loud trucks grinding me wide

awake to think alone while

they were sleeping?






Who will recognize this

when no one’s here

to explain it?






Who will know us like

we did, or turn our bodies

gently to enter

the softest regions we guarded

to look after our

places, close as we could come

to loving, our locus, shared

or alone?






Should death make

a difference to what

life gave for







Would someone please

put the moon out

of its misery and

rabbits out of theirs, and

while you’re at it could you

tell the birds we aren’t

listening ’cause something

beautiful that doesn’t

really matter

took charge

in the last ice age

in a cave where

Plato got it down?