Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

don’t push on the air—it won’t push back. don’t hope—it won’t hope
back. you can take notes, you can wave to others or selfie
the whole damn thing. with a license you go alone.
pull the cord or don’t pull the cord. no one will be around
to criticize you. the diver dreams of nothing but sky.
i was never meant to be a lover. falling is an equation
that brings us together. landing is a sky beyond the sky.

                        to earth, to earth. fall as you have to


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         she made me live in the only way i’ve ever been alive, with
         a chance to forget everything except how a train can’t see its own tracks.
         she probably never knew how much one can cultivate from terror. that i was
         never someone someone couldn’t live without.

though she combined whitman’s earthy personalism
with sylvia’s insatiable rebellion she often couldn’t compete
with technology or tomorrow’s oblivion. something
which never occurred to me while i wrote my first poem
under the shelter of her suicide. and what daring! she can’t
have been much further along than me when she wandered
away, like i soon learned to. that’s where we want to be, poets.
close enough to hear another pulse. far enough to want more if it’s there.

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When there are no yesterdays that concern a people languishing in sorrow,
no consolation for loss. O cantata of memory and morrow
what can I do for you? Draw a string across the land between us,
a tin can phone to call after midnights, and whisper only
secrets so that no one shall know our quest. Is it a farce? Did
we discover something no one else could have? More than
the laws of physics that opposites attract each other across
a gulf of instantaneous causality? No corroboration.

Or dawn, my dream.

A daughter of mine once told me she didn’t trouble such rules,
didn’t much mind having to travel up one side of a mountain
and down the other, reciting poetry all the way. Not like a puppet
on a string at all, really. She said that mathematics just shows
us the workings of our own thoughts. For her a language more primitive
than ours never existed. In it we talked about like things routinely.
She was a puzzle. Always making light of whatever I said.
Always intelligent and kind. I’m a mystery even
to myself—she used to say—you try and think without words!

Just you try it.

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How many times did Judith do just that, scraping paint from her canvas
hoping somehow to unwrap another dream, carp round her task
covetously by bringing home the claps of an uncupped hand.
Should she try a little less. Undo the doer at the door. Is that romance?
Who was the very last person she ever met urgently while night
wore itself out and hope twisted dawn back from
namelessness. Where could she banish fear
of failing which was everywhere. To test this every morning
she recited to everyone she met all her words backwards.

                                    Dr. Lecter meets Agent Starling for the first time and
                                    realizes he has an ally in his one man war on cruelty.
                                    Clarice had an elder ½ sister while he, he
                                    hated census takers and other routine sociopaths
                                    like us daily skinning others for our newer selves.

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questions like

do you sing when you should not
or write against the tide
do you feel like crying in church
do you do something else instead

what clarified the path of overcoming   untangled then gone
what returned twice the inspiration of a native bird
winging past its own end to re conceive a dawn of
traced out hope   do we ever over grow a beginning   learn
to pair accountability with no blame

can you make your peace with cruelty
can you make it your life s work

i wanted only for forgery in the depths   crimes without
appeal   a trash strewn room   dry dock
without a wheel   why

not redeem your cash value   god underwrites it all   i m
a dilly a dally a blandishment of aught
or black hats that dot

the wailing wall at noon


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read this poem. read it now. of course,
you don’t have to read it. but i’d advise
that you do. in case it turns out
you don’t want to.

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aquí en el silencio
de las cosas
en la eternidad
de las
un ojo
de polvo y
ojalá que me lleven
para dignidad
de calles

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as long
as we still have people like you
it’s all good

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because all my children died before i knew them,
i did not notice i was old. at a certain point the
younger generation must kill off the older—
it’s a question of space.

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when ophelia finally came to, she was pissed.
all soaked through and her favorite dress ruined.
what the hell was she thinking? probably that
floating down stream was just the most pleasant
thing to do for the moment: forgotten, the skills
her father awkwardly though lovingly had hoped
to impart. gone, that self-absorbed prig of a
boyfriend! she realized she could do better.
would do better, now free of them all. so she
picked herself up, cleaned off the worst
of the mud, ripped her hem on some thorns
yet made it up the bank anyway to assess
her situation. a bird chirped at her. a bee
buzzed on its merry way. somewhere a dog
barked and she wondered what his name
was and what the time was. the town
slept on under a hot sun and she,
she was alive.

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