Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Billows


Billows of sheets and things, a spore’s rusty stump. Making me eat some things, narrow hungry hump. I have a dear whose money is wind and humming. Rip me from this very vine. Petrichor. Dangle me in rain. There is no time for time, only when punctuations circle ends like prey. But wait a moment. I was addressing the billows, under which a lissome arm is nestled between my knees. He is sleeping. I am sleeping. No—that’s not right. I am under undone tulle, hardly unconscious, even less young. This arm: a merchant of heat and string. It is only a sheet. Filaments so insouciant. It is very rude. But do not think I don’t suppose all the rickshaws running. I considered it. Remember the humming? No one loves me. So on with spore-burst and rusting. On with the eye-blink and dusting. On with the mellow sun, the lonesome earth, and the dying sea. Take your song and eat it. I am woebegone.

Love Poem


1.

His hands are large steaks at the end of strong branches, and when he closes his fingers together, they form such a perfect surface, a tapered oval, flat edges coming together that it appears as if the hands were once land masses shaken on fault lines into five peninsulas; the shores still mirror the other’s across the ocean of splayed hands. His fingers are not radiating twigs of a branch; they are slices of bread from a loaf, vertical cuts in a cake.


2.

His hair is black and salted. He is hardly aware of this. But he knows about his eyes. What color are they now? -- he’ll ask a woman looking into them for the first time. I answered, I don’t know, but they are too light, too light of some color that is not green nor brown, certainly not blue, and they are reflecting most of the light rays here and sending them back in the other direction.


3.


His luck is a whiskey drink; the reliability of broken things tied together. Maybe in the original order. Maybe not.


4.

He’s assumed the suit of a train-jumper, generations behind his time. He’d play the banjo if he could, and says he’d prefer to be on the way. But for now, his train-legs aren’t rocking, and he sits on the ground with me awkwardly strumming.


5.

His middle is the fulcrum for his see-saw shoulders; it’s where I like to hold him best, and his arms are crusty with soon to be scars from splinters and nails and pieces that fell free of the things he was building: houses and roots for other people.


6.

His sounds are dinner bells and symbols and books falling off shelves sometimes. I jump ten feet, but then he reaches out, and his hands are cradles at the ends of strong branches.

Tax Season


I’ve been saving my pain since I was very young. Before my peers, I’m not ashamed to say.  Measuring each discrete romantic insult against the others. Writing it down in the general ledger. A betrayal: twelve brass coins. Lost love: thirty in the bank. The interest paid to me fluctuates and correlates to the rate of my hopelessness. This past year the rate was high. And it’s time to add it all up again and see where I stand. Report. Fill out the forms; I claimed zero for insecure. But your affection costs me. In the morning, when you hold me, when you nestle me into your chest, under your heavy arms, and you say “I lost you in the night. Come back,” this fund loses value. Preciousness depletes. I think you aim to squander it all, this which I’ve spent a lifetime collecting, my darling hoard; you’d take it from me without regret, a second thought, just to live with me in lovely poverty.

Beleaguered

Happiness means giving up.
I tell you that, I!—professional supplicant!
Who has bowed before so many testaments.
How else could be live under a tyrant two hundred year old?
A ruddy gold scepter of media, black magic marauder
spraying pesticide and other perilous clouds.
A disease spread through osmosis while the TV is on?
Breaking our hearts in order to preserve our personalities.
Men drowned in their weakness, women in their imperfection,
and specters of shoulds haunting the obedient.
Or perhaps it’s an illusion—of progress and improvement
the curve of the circle too slight to perceive. (Don’t laugh! It’s a trap!)
and like the trap of drunkenness
where everyone sings and then regrets, then come round the bar again
we try and try again, every rule we follow unsung, achievement we claim, unimportant, but so necessary, cling to it, so inhumanly difficult, so disappointing!
How then can we cope with that?
Giving up is our rescue.
I tell you that – I, Beleaguered the Youthful, (and I, for one, your insolent servant, Walton, Gwen) Giving up is our only chance.






Ghost Battalion

 


She sees a formation.
A Spartan square,
men with rheumy noses
and walking feet,
unison steps beating up the
dirt and the dust
with muscles and direction
and erections fueling
their charge toward her
down the hill
They came yesterday
and the day before
when she was washing the dishes
and driving her car


The one in back
has been here the longest
And he’s the tallest and the
youngest
He pioneered these grounds
when there was still grass
and white flowers
Now there’s only weedy mallows
He’s giving cues to the one in the front
Who joined last May.


And all the marches, foot metronomes,
reenactments of love-war moves
harmonious combinations executed
again and again.
They take in-breaths together
And the out breath makes a cloud of
stinking gas -- biological warfare.

Have the men she loved really become
a ghost battalion? A flock, a pack,
a singular desire to eat her heart?
If so--
call her Captain.


But sometimes when it rains
and the dust is wetted down
She sees a field of weary men,
one drags a stick in the ground,
another stares at the sky,
and the tallest looks impatient
as he strums his thumbs
on his thigh.


United as a flock of hens
her memories poised to die.

Wounded Love’s Sonnet

 

I’m not accustomed to love, not this kind.
Time shrinks when you’re here, billows when you’re gone.
Our heart-songs withheld, and contracts unsigned.
But here you are. I kiss you every dawn.
There was a time when we took a shower
to wash the camp-fire soot from our skin?
Through din I heard, as dark shines on phosphor,
through echoes, a fan, (your voice held within)
“I love you,” you said through calloused fingers,
You touched slick skin, and scars that won’t be soaped.
The soot is gone, but the smell, it lingers.
We both pay doubt deposits of our hope.
I didn’t mean to, your heart overhear.
So, while waiting for disaster, I’ll keep you dear.

 
 

Petrichor

Petrichor


I didn’t expect this to be so
ruddy and arid. Everyday. So perfectly
dull most of the time.


I didn’t expect this to be
so sad. Most of the time


grocery stores oppress me.
The laundry and the growing grass
stress me. The weeds laugh.


But then, not often, it’s dewy.
And I forget the toil of desert life
as though I’ve never felt pain at all.
My eyes water with petrichor.


I didn’t expect to be so
perfectly seized, a flood that
captures my cynical roots
and sends me adrift by--


By what?


Different things.


A man playing harmonica
who is only half good
(but he means it),
for one. And then, seized--


thoughts awash in the sudden
change of pressure and density
and cold evaporation
on my skin--


I gasp.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

in the morning

He resigned with a puff from a wet nose. Out of the room, door shut (gently) behind him. He slinked to the soft part of the couch and rested his snout tight between his little feet. Another body would lay flush with her tonight, sleep to the mild breath and the kicks and the flips. In the morning they came out and made smells and heat and calm shuffles back and forth. They fed him rips of bread and salty meat. He waited for it (patiently), his heart a little faster at the sight of flat plates piled with redolence. Then the other body went out and shut the door behind him, and she sat down with a cup of steaming something until it was not steaming anymore. When he knew the rips were gone he rested his snout on her little feet. She sighed and made a string of whimpers and plosives. Like she did. Most he didn’t recognize. He turned his ears toward the sounds but found no instructions. So he went to sleep and the words she spoke out loud—was he sent to me as a gift? Or a punishment?—dissipated into the afternoon, without meaning, and he dreamed of cantering legs and her calling to him from far away.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One who is now gone.

A freeze came in the summer this year. Killed my beets and browned the ground. And who (me) wears boots in the summer? Those unlike me, not only in spongy and dangling flesh, but in prickley mind, flocked to the south where it is colder. And now in the winter that changes our clothes and our bed times, I left my boots aligned with the square design of a rug in a room to the left of the fireplace. A boot worn but not weary. Just a boot afterall. Quiet as you. Patient as you and your silver hairs waiting for the rest to arrive. And while I opened my palm against the tongue like skin of your solid side, makes the sound of a brush. Gesso on canvas. Fear came in the same door I did. And sniffed at my boots and knew I had been walking in hope. and went out stalking at the fence to see where I had gone. A hunting ground not yet discovered.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

HeHaw

An Agnostic girl has a faith crisis, and the universe laughs... well... she thinks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Anti-poetry

There was nothing too unexpected. It is the middle of January, after all. The wind made me miss the sky, and I realized I should have thought the knit sweater through. That is to say I should not have worn a knit sweater. I meant to appreciate the quiet and the desert grass, the earth bulging in sediment peaks and solitude. I mean to feel right. That is to say: not so fucking wrong. And it was lovely, and it was cold. And my failures wouldn't be left at home. I've been trying to figure them out, of course. Do the math, since logic doesn't seem to apply. Please select from the following options: A) You've made mistakes, many of them, imperceptible to yourself, but disastrous in effect B) Accidents, many of them, seemingly a pattern, but not. Just accidents. C) Something the likes of a curse, but not exactly. A design. Whether it was earned, who's to say?
I've been thinking C.  Maybe it's a generous act, sparing myself blame. I'm not responsible for the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people. Men, I mean. I'm talking about men. But a celestial victim? That's what I am? Each question leads to another, no answer fits. Anyway, the point is, I've been trying to work it out. Then I found myself thinking of nothing but the cold. I walked down the path, following my dog. And what other conclusion could I come to but: What's the use? All that pushing and trying justified as courage and openess.  Look at these pages! Filled with vain effort. Abandon all hope, it's for the better.
 And then there was a jacket. Laying on the ground. And it fit. I'm not quick to say that the universe provides what you need. In fact I reject it. The universe? Benevolent or indifferent? Concious? I just don't know. Besides, too many questions. I'm not apt, obviously, at solving these kind of problems. Faith is slippery in me. I'll just accept it as a reminder that it's winter. The walk home was warmer. I came home and burned my strategy book.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'm back for now


Dear Diary, it wasn’t until the day I died until I realized I had it all wrong. As a child when I fell out of a tree, I swore God pushed me out. And little oranges he ripped out of my hands, every time time. Or big. It didn’t matter. After only a few bites  the sugar and the radiant damp heat of it, hims. Hes.  Subject and Object both at the same time. I was a mere article.  So many first bites of hims. Lost hes.  And so I was stingy, in under this absurd celestial punishment.  When I loved someone I tumbled them in my mind until they were shiny. Until they were dust. Every other year I would try to predict my future, and then the next I would try to change my luck. Again and again. I’m dead, I said. And now, when my mind has lost its devices of thumping me, I see what an accident it all was.