Daneen Wardrop


Rain slows to snow,
                    his breathing as he falls asleep.

Snow smells like a little rock.

That is, his breathing as in this future
          I have had to remember it.

Snowmobiles electric carving knives.

I'm never warm in winter except in the shower,
                                        soap, a rounded smell—

Water left in a glass on the night stand
          tastes in the morning like sucking kleenex.

A friend of mine—her spiritual practice—
                    music with no tremolo allowed—
                              no vibrato at all—

                    no violins, cellos,
                    certainly no human voice—only squarely
                    hit notes—

The one thing worth not forgetting...

Snow's without tremolo.

          Saints open their voices,
          close their mouths.

Saints are sort of souped-up
                    therapists—their job, to soak it up—

Open my case, close it,
          Gibson, no Gibson. I'm
          rock time, snap
          myself to sleep.

I'd like to tattoo us in invisible ink.
          Then he and I could go it under ultra-violet light,
          winking skin.

Snow blows against the motel,
                    light against doctrine.

The windows, uninvolved.


When I try to represent aspects of my former "career"—playing lead guitar in rock'n'roll bar bands—I'm presented with the difficulty of trying to articulate what was to me often a largely inarticulate (and also nonarticulating) way of life. "After Tear Down" is the result of one such attempt.