Without I, Imagined

For no more or less than me
I am the sea change
Here to remind those
Unaffected by my will’s anchor
To dance freely
With the ageless breeze
To the Music of long
forgotten melodies.

Harmoniously
Connecting each beat
Outside of your heart stands
A circle connected yet
Stepping in and apart
We dance without rancor
In every color every flavor
The scent of bodies
At play - like the candle’s
flames lick
Crackle and flick fireflies
to tickle the night sky:
The stars laughter
Echo infinite eternity.
For a circle meets everywhere
On every point passes every line
There’s no beginning
And without a place to start
Time achieves nothing.

Dissolving into the ground
around my bare feet
Raise my hands so high
I hold the arms of my
Own shadows
Casting them away
From the sandy shoreline
Into the inky gulf
Polluting the water with
fear - worrying about
Whether fish cry tears
Or weep with the air?

Yet here I sink into the soft Darkened earth
And time, one day, escaped my gravity.
What unseen glue holds
The ocean inside a shell?
Not nails or wires
Hang against the walls of home
Like photographs no longer
There leave a ghost
Where faces once looked back
From window frames
Through panes of glass

I spiral inside
And outside the jetties of the present.
No one finds the truth to see me today.
Too much energy to find the vulnerary
My fragile broken barriers
Save me as I walk achingly
Into the tide now rising up to my chest.

Shifting to my back
I float flat and exposed
Looking down at my feet
Splayed out upon the anatomy table
The length of the sea.
The waves bring me closer
Between the distance to the moon.
Watch my blood flow
As it pours downstream where
Mississippi delta met me with a handshake.
But for sake of safety
Landing on the sandy shoals
Where time erodes and separates the shallows
From the depths where I will drown
And where the blackened muscles grow
Attached to me by overgrown
Beards diving down to a wreck.

In fear and longing (all the same)
The light confides in me
To worry less about the dark Night, guiding all that is lost towards
What dreams come in the sunlight. When
Truth arrives with you and without
A compass to guide the course
By the purple will of force:
The simplicity of freedom.
To draw charts upon insight
Instead of knowledge
Is comforting.
Still hearing the names of the stars in daylight
And imagining what’s unseen:
To stand by such conviction steadies me.
How night settles in too soon on the day
I find my direction in the dark
Through stars that call upon my inner vision.
Yet I was lost.

Allow the body to tend it’s inlets
As light fades too quick -
The long river flowed without a guide
Pulling us along in muddy groves
With the length of a yardstick.
Across my back tales of youth along the banks
And silence provides our course
As we flow now towards the delta
Fingers rise from the underground
Pointing toward the open water.
My tears the sea themselves
And come forth from where
Outer space once lived
By now replace with gravel
Now hidden away in ancient dreams.
Drawn upon some old part of me
Anything possible comes to find
Us awake but still asleep.
Here lying in my darkness
As the constellations blink alive
The blank forgotten horizons
Thats wherein lies eye sight.Fear less pain and “not agains”
Why say “We are born to die,”
When those who came before us
Laugh right at eventide.
Through memories written by hands
Shaky and unsure
The hidden books for
Guidance lived inside me all along.

I write my nervous hands shaking
With the fear of knowing real despair
Not a person alive breaks the silence
All at once waiting and leaving
Staying and going
We cannot cheat ourselves
Out of a journey without end.

Fulmination: A poem in photographic parts

To my aram cara, who knew this poem prior to its appearance here, I decided to publish its parts as photographs. We may never get a chance to see our images together in a picture. Perhaps one of us hands our phone to a passerby after asking if they’d not mind, “oh thank you so much it means a lot to us.” I imagine we grasp hands, walk over to an ancient wall by the seaside on a lucky sunny day. We’re both in big sunglasses, floppy hats, blonde hair peaking out, bright smiles. Our flowing white dresses bought the day before, when we heard it would be unseasonably warm. It’s close to lunchtime. We thank the passerby and we say nothing and I slip the phone into my backpack. Sighing simultaneously, both of us know the value of that photograph. A dream.

The Fulminating Infection

The Last Poet Standing

For Melissa Blank and Ben North 


Lasting longer than the rest
The final poet stood up
Amidst thousands of books
Burned down around her feet
Now ashes to ashes, now complete.
Dust to dust sunrise to dusk
She asked the gods to slip
Into her mind what she couldn’t find
Descriptions, colors, thoughts
Flowers she’s never seen, people she
May never meet.
And instead of bursting into flame
The room cried a storm of tears
And their ashes washed away down to the street
Where they sunk into the earth
Melting the soil leaving only
The voices behind with her to hold.

Yet only the words “death”
And “afraid”
And “cancer”
Came instead.
She cried out loud
“You don’t even know me, yet you defend me.” Pleading,”please. Give me back my words, please.”
Their brilliant brains battered them.
Now in their silence and rest,
The fates leaving her alone to give some reason.
Resonance of what happens now,
What do we do today
Now they’ve gone away.
A child asks these stupid things
Adults respond without a clue
Nothing to say, less they can do.
Yet,
She persisted and insisted on their behalf.
It’s no good, to herself again
Another crumpled page atop
The mountain piled high.
That night she sat
Opening and straightening and reading
But throwing each into the stove.
Her words cremated and remain forever unheard.
Her heart beat hard in her chest
Under the thousand pounds of weight.
She’d heard a ton of stones
Weighs exactly the same as a
Ton of feathers,
Rocks kill quick
While feathers from an unseen bird
Float into her mouth taking her breath and
Slowly suffocating the poetess.

The world turned again
And written in her hand the morning after
She picked up the papers reading
Only “death” and “fear” and “cancer”
Not one the right answer.

The poem, it’s complete
Yet one simple question remained
Unanswerable. What’s there to gain
By knowledge, here anyway?
But why choose me?
In her head a baritone voice said:
“You tell me why.”
And then she did.

This video dedicated to Melissa Blank whose death took a toll on me – not nearly what her husband and loved ones feel…but doesn’t every death from cancer feel harder and more personal the longer we go on with our own diseases? Thank you Rudy, for your friendship and for these memories for us for everyone when we die, too. Cancer friendships burn fast and bright and I’m grateful for ours. The Brain Cancer Diaries Music Version Stevie Wronder Higher Ground