Tag: poetry blog

The Light of Reason

The light of reason
Shines least
On the most alluring
Accompaniments.
Good works gleam
With diamond dust intensity,
Arrested by a photographer
Caught setting jewels:
Emeralds, sapphires, rubies
Where the eyes once saw you.
Scintillations and
Ministrations of cold
Creams to cover girls.
Replete with therapeutic virtues –
Liquidsolidgas
Scientific foundations
And loosely pressed theories:
For lips
Two-fold
Exuberance.

Mine Fields

Is the rain bothering you awake?
No honey, your breath tries my dreams.
Silence, broken by my
Finger tips tapping out
Warnings in barbed Morse code.
So even a clock stopped dead
Is twice right, like opinions or
Pain medications.
A real mistress knows that
Night whispers her end.
Pearls, wisdom and
Idioms stick to the black
Floor of a yellow city cab.
Like all irrelevant souvenirs,
We leave it on the seats.

Do you hear the cat snoring?
Yes, he lies back pure in sleep,
Swift tail whips a dream’s fiend.
Wagging sinuous and snapping,
Fortunes of thumbs and scams or
Of more dexterous hands, of
Beasts who feed and caress.
Swiping the tiny dimple up
Right between his almond
Eyes. Exactly where four
Fumbling aimless paws
Aim yet miss. He must always
Itch, just as you flip and fumble
Over to find a cold field
Covered head to toe in clover.

Florida, State Your Name

You carry our secrets whispered into cardboard boxes tied tight with candycane twine
(That kind you find in old-time kosher bakeries.)
Tall cakes topped with buttercream flowers in new-fatigue green and suburban-Mustang blue whose
Stemless petals rise above yellow spongey layers with strawberries.
Pure as curbside snow. Pure as little girls with pinch pink cheeks.
Too early for my birthday the trail of a mistake runs upstairs from cheap paper doilies.
Pin striped suit coat and sea glass blue shirttails waving gooodbye, or hello,
(I never knew the difference.)
My hair twisted into a gilded fist as you push my resistance down,
Down into the drowned warped boards.
Raising my right hand, I swear you found a pushover:
A raggedy doll tape and bubble gum, of bare burlap, plaid, and buttons, of red yarn
Covering my torn skin where I stitch myself up and over
(And over to hold myself in again.)
A stray calico cat sits in the window right above your shoulder, startled by your loud heart.
I can still hear you slapping your thigh and then,
Distant laughter cries at your day-old jokes jokes and overtold stories.
Your hysterical, foul, scorn defers a look at me.
I hated you for that minute, then carrying on again I forget you already told me.

My face looks tired, uncooked, undone.
While white hot light sheds the palmetto scrub
Covering the non-natives invading our country- bright boisterously green parrots.
Which fly in on an uncommon flight schedule,
Catching a torrent of wind the turkey vultures wind into a tornado
Turning up higher and faster into the late afternoon rain.
Here, every shower comes in on time right at four.
Bursting open ladies with umbrellas, with daisy dresses, tulip capris, white rose tanks,
Waltzing by the front porch screen doors squeaking,
Slippery dimpled thighs sing together,
All sweet, easy, glide by leaving their perfume behind.
Then zipped into black patent leather hand bags powders, compacts,
Glossy rippled heat waves us in on a 45 degree right angle sun ray.
Show up the hidden mildewed sinews of ductwork,
And the hum of air conditioners masking our words.
Slowly dripping outside busy windows pelted by huge mosquitoes,
Or rain?
(Probably rain cries outside)
Only two minutes, like soft boiled eggs on timers,
Now done cooking. Her eyelashes, false
Newly bred widows sit with spidery eyes,
Single fingers silently making reservations for you.
They reapply the glue, so unkind, that damned humidity.

Shadow Dancing

Until the day comes when my breath no longer returns from the night,
Now visible from my lungs, vapor trails hang frozen in the wintry air —
Then if my labored lungs must remain longer, I remain.
When the last black bloom of your want wilts and waivers again,
And my secret history garden fades into the night like dreamers in the shallows,
Tumbling (at the seashore, swept up with any undelivered moonlight)
Until my breathlessness sheds the air’s sour taste,
Returning me to the source of persistent music and its instruments
Tuned by invisible, merciless hands.
Voices sweet like memories singing,
Louder than every sound ever heard all together at one time,
To drown out my questions,
Your ciphers long forgotten yet tested for time
To the unknown names of every crime.
Yet to ask from nowhere, I insist —
There, how effortlessly you knew when I waited until the day turned and left.
(You cannot say the name “Forever” again.)

While my words waltz to the end of time,
Dancing to a rolling lento drum,
I sent you a present, a tune wrapped up
With yesterday’s news knotted in pale silken twine – please
Right here in black and white, look at it.
How do you refute indisputable lines?
(Though now every last bite of it tastes rotten and bitter…)
Untie the infinite ribbons of light opening my hands, lost in midair
Drink deep from the water of my solace,
As it drips with words from my lips
To quench the ache of every moment:
Find a small skeleton key in my laced fingers,
Weakened from solving all history’s lessons.
As a body folds in on itself
It holds faster, together.
(We question the answers and quickly bury our words.)

Maybe next year we can awaken the annuals again.
The stuff of sudden daydreams —
You falling into the arms of the air,
I sit and wait although not selfish with my hope,
Yet this alone drives me home again.
(If cure becomes your solitude, then shame reminds you of my defeat.)
As the truth emerges, lighting dim violet walls,
Our bedroom shadows sway dancing, slowly.
As I sing softly in the key of grace,
Hold on to me so that I may keep you still
And reach gently into your memory’s halls.
Your open windows – please,
(Tonight unlatched, just this once I may return unharmed.)

Now, go back to sleep, stay still unmoved until
Morning as its long fingers find your cold cheeks.
Starting you awake once more,
By hearing some faint distant laughter you think,
“I know her.”
And you may possibly recognize my voice like notes of an opera,
(Now impossible to discern my spirit, ascending towards starlight and mournings bright sun)
No one takes anybody or a thing into the ever-years aspired,
And where the memory serves no use, we lose our hearts and fears.
And though we know the futility of life’s take, we all roll at once and descend to die trying.

Present Perfect

Ashen long shadow-colored faces stare back from my past.
Time sits in my lap a small child, hands raw and worried, consoled
Comforted by stories of never lands and ever mores.
Today, my words rendered illegible, erased nervously.
All the while
Darting back
Shoulder
To shoulder –
left right
left right.

Somewhere a darkened classroom with every wall covered
By blackboards waiting, vacant for me.
Now, turning deserted like a Western town,
With chalk wisps ghosts, picture the sentences
So long ago hung on a nail struck by an invisible hammer.
Tonight’s erasers let out old chalky coughs, like a smoker’s
Thick with phlegm and gravel. Cleaning the felt gills free
From years of numbers and letters,
I beat
Them
Together
Hard
And fast.
The remaining clouds too thin to grab hold
By the sky, shimmer, unlined heavy lids shutter eyes
So weightlessly, lashes feathery, they move too easily,
Then blow past us, like a divorce.
Folding myself in to bend at the cracked window,
Seeing a reflection in the mirror panes,
I shiver first at the draft, and as the stars give way to the day,
I see everything.

I find all the sunshine ever shined,
Filtered through my forests, my pin pupil eyes.
And I, without permission,
Acting out against all advice –
Finally stare into the sun.

Overcome by warmth in my extremities,
My silhouette against the wallpapers,
In a still house framed by night.
Looking over the unnatural hills a flutter appears.
No birds yet, not a song, no flights, no song.
Though late enough for a gray mourning dove.
Listing up over the trees, on currents along moves
The flightless wings floating delicately, white.
At my feet: paper with a single seam
Addressed to only me,
Retun to a boy named Eternally
I unfold but once, then read.

“Make one promise if you please: only now and for you,
if for want of love to capture the clouds,
snapped still like a photograph,
take just enough and give your heart to listening alone.
Talking creates your deafness of thought
and silences your laughter.”

Foresting

I drift down, into the needle
Bed, and dream of spiraling pine
Cones. Yet again, I find a broken
Offer instead, because the forest
Only knows honesty. Lying
Gently in my hands, I cup
(Like my heart) a broken shell.
A deserted robin’s egg, hatched
Speckled turquoise, open,
Fallen from branches, a cradle
Rocked by the wind’s hands
From the green canopy above.
(Like love) I listen for anything
Hungry. Hoping to hear frantic,
Open red beaks. Tiny beggars’
Purses, singing safe and
Sound. Napped, maybe stolen,
Straight out of the blue?
(Like a thief) A prowler,
Spiriting away to the hills,
Ducks into a fox’s den:
Just a stone cold hole,
No longer vacant or available.

(Cracked like an egg, now
even I cannot afford emptiness.)

Ray Today

Inside a coach
Filled with diamonds
Rings and starlight
Gentlemen born of
Sparkle and cut
Open to remove those
Blasted ugly things
Radiating with half
Life and spring
Practices. Moments
Yearbooks cheerleaders.
Say Ray,
We love you.
None knowing twisted
Grief made a new friend
This week when Ray
Hugs my tiredness
He says I’m so happy
To see you.
And for the first day
In I don’t remember
How long I believe
Somebody who says
They really wanted
To see me.
Expansive arms held me
Up, I guessed like one of
Ray’s boys but better.
Three month check.
Six month check Monday.
Say Ray
My god, no one said.
No, how are you?
He asks again, again.
180 days since
180 degrees spun
A son into gold
Holding me up
Groceries in hands
Sparkling, always
Because I want to say
Stay please, I can only
Tell you the truth.

Sparkle

The Country of Illness

*Fearless (David Gilmour, Roger Waters)

The country of Illness
In a town called sick
Squabbling or wordless,
Rounded outwardly thick.

Bellicose brick towers
Bruised smokey blue
Indian summer showers
Over babies bathed anew.

Watery heads doused by the sea
Drowning deep in kitchen sinks
Forks napkins politeness and please
Cheeks red as lipstick all pinched and pink.

A fat bike tire, a bent back bow
Digestion, plagues, and like tissue
Blowing out each open widow
Oh, he whispered: maybe I’ll kiss you.

In Illness, my country
Sick towns allegiance to my space
I swim free as concrete
Cold deep water displace.

(Fearlessly the idiot* dying
Yet with whom that scares me so.
Reap later you enemy spying —
And now too too late to sow.)

Playing the Cat

Scene 1: Enter Stage Right, Cat

This year Cat knocked Mary down.
Mother of Jesus, Carpets, Jews.
Last year, Cat ran off with the Husband—
Taking Joseph’s coat, too.
Not seen since the incident,
Neither man, nor carpet, nor cape.
Cat, exit stage.
Three years now since,
Cat, spuriously,
Dragged down a turkey.
Bigger than his head, feasts Cat,
Dinner of greasy fowl, used and
Orphaned. All shiny fat prickly sinews
Cold kitchen floor decor.
We retired in living color,
Cat waits on sock rugs,
Chasing bugs and saints.

Eyes devour the Lollipop Guild,
Feasting on colorful Witches brews
Enter Wizard. Sleep in straw
The tin cans sending queues
Heads with curlers, spitting nails—
Shake and roar, black as night.
White pictures of spoiled babies.
“My,” gasping grandmother
Hungry, yet we search the air.
Relief, at long last,
A manger all in tact,
Still missing:
Carpentry’s first common
Union worker.
Cat stole him three years past.
In stretches morning, you gripe
“Such an imprint for a wife.”
(I am the knife.)
Cat, please take leave —
Please leave, leave the coffee.
Four years back, for I
Then me. We sighed, “no cat.”
Dreams of dances on tippy toes,
A vision of homes built round,
All trees and ornaments and we’s.
Petting slowly, backhanded
Head to tail.

Cat purrs waltzing,
Jesus asleep now, Joseph
Warmly herd sheep sows, Mary
Wailed and cried still.
Windows shuttered,
Elbows under chins, on sills.
We keep all the straw for a manger.
We each pull out one for luck:
I forgot to count the flock tonight —
Up to number 10 to silence
My weeping, I shivered.
The Egyptian visions,
The escaping slaves —
The sundown desert —
They eyed green knaves.
The riddle the answer the
Four Footed beastly things.
The long tail sweeping
Dust up on wings.

Nestled pyramids, soldiers of sand,
No servants hand, no strangers.
No one died today, no saints
Made. Cat wore the Ankh,
Carried the dog headed staff,
Drawing along the sea crooked to
And fro on the sand, wand dragging
Wagging a tail — Happy in now,
Yet name him Memento.
Cat, built it all alone, he meant
To say, “I made that,” in peace
Aligning November’s
Surrendering sun.
Cat dreams of Cat things:
Play, sleep, sun, warm, eat.

Return to your lines, to track back
Over three years, to four.
In scene two: sorrow and worry,
Cat pictures Mary, Joe, and the baby boy.
Rejoice, back in the trunk
Running for the fifth term monks.
Cat: teeth glitter with hope
Of centurions and scarabs run.
Cat, to you surrendered or given
From your own meaty dinner,
pulled. Drowned asunder
All in a Dead Sea, deep
Asleep, dreaming wonder.

Swaying, overhead wire flying
Cat awake and wicked green
Snipped, he nips at grass.
His game — Cricket.
Slow, moribund, drying spice scent.
Boring holes, hearing voices.
Charming. Then crack —
A bat. Eyes followed us
On western war bliss.
Then rob the sun, beaming
Warm like a kiss.
The Queens pearls go dark.
Yet to remember:
Do not face
Anything larger than you
May forget
To enter: open this moment.
Exit the Cat.

Merciful Sister

For Janis

Peace.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace.
Return to grace —
To feel my heart,
Beating through miles, through space.
Time melts if you just dream,
Now close your night eyes tightly shutting away all else, but leave —
One small place, but only for me.
Return your brandy, your gray dove
Let her out in the open, but cage the olive branch.
Close your arms and fold them round your self, warm fires
On the distant beaches, white night sands.
Do not fail to wash your soul in the gentle waves,
Dip your feet in with the moon tonight
Alight in your grace and alive as your desires.

Still, surround us around you find love through pain named “Time,”
Find my breath in autumnal air billowing redgoldyellow and sublime.
Tend to yourself warmly, engulfed by the day’s
Lost rays of sun, of seasons, of salt, of skin, so fair.
Gentle, perfect and golden, somehow washing us so clean,
The water rains from somewhere unknown, as the bees hives gleam,
Returning to home overflowing with so much honey.
The Queen waited watching us, in the dark you tried to find me.

Merciful, ribbon-hair’d woman,
You with strength to cry for all who scream,
In pain enough to walk eyes shut,
Walk away from all your dreams.
Cry for the little girl inside yourself—
On the strength of my broad back, oh
My, our weakness shows. I shoulder the breadth
Stretched across the wide sea, arriving we
Heave and cough then stand with time,
Still both of us in tact.

You may seem an Angel to some, a demon you who cannot see,
And yet a sister but for one alone, and one for alone me.