Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet is sweet in any language

When my mother sent candy, or cookies, or anything special and edible to me, I would always have some, have a few, and then let it sit. I would leave it for a rainy day, try to spread it out and delay gratification, but it always ended in the same way. The candy would dry out, the cookies went stale, the breads that were sweet became moldy and green. I was always afraid that love, that her love, would run out if I finished those cookies – that if I ate them all, it would be as though she’d left, or died, and the packages would stop coming. The oven would shut off for good. There would never be any more sweetness arriving as a surprise from any part of the world.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Softly speaking, or touching, the voice says

Softly speaking, or touching, the voice says
whatever it means to say
given the proclivity towards fast love
we both adopt the idea of choosing our words
careful, and slow.

But neither of us know lagging in practice
nor is it our concern
so we circle closer in and closer out
waiting for punctuation to a sentence
neither of us care to end.

We want our words to be complicated
to complicate
to make the other believe we are ready
not to care about a consequence–

funny that we’d both care.

Funny we turned out to lie together,
the same way.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The waters were quiet, the wood was dry.
Old men sit in the sun and doze, while the women inside bake
for no one in particular.
One woman stands, eyes out to sea,
fingers crushing the life from her balcony rail, though no one yet knows why.
They are all waiting, for different reasons
but with a common hope – that the men come home

so fathers can clasp hands with sons,
mothers dote,
so women can lead their husbands to warm beds.
So children can have a father again.

But one woman stands with eyes apart of time
every day she waits,
passes a whetstone over her future,

meditates a red tide in her mythology
as yet, unwritten.


“His stomach was warm”
-Michael Ondaatje

The sun came out from behind the clouds
I thought how it ruined a perfect day
made me believe within without
I wanted to pull one over on the world

I wanted to pull one over on the world
made me believe within without
I thought how it ruined a perfect day
The sun came out from behind the clouds

Friday, January 28, 2011

I dream in objects

I dream in objects
and so do you, and rarely is my mind tickled
as when I view the counter the morning after
the coffee cup, the small black computer drive
their atoms compiled into familiar shapes
but what echoes from them, in my eyes
surprises me as radiant fire beneath my skull
and inside my brain

So does day follow night follow day
and the fear that fills my hollow spaces merge
into the fullness of my fibers. I know there is something inside.
But is it fear? And is that where the poem comes from?

And is that a weakness,
or a truth?
It fills the muscles in my neck,
with a twitch and a power,
and if I didn’t feel so powerful I’d know I was weak

Weak, because this is a discovery,
and fear under lights is still fear.

Love stays there, with fear, is fear,
too old to live,
too strong to die.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The semester is over, and I've made it back in one piece (despite my travel agent's attempt at the opposite). There will be more stories. For now, I need to get over the jet lag.


Monday, November 30, 2009

And also, a rant I might have entitled "An Ode to Art of Interpretation."

Theoretical Establishment

I have this theory, see, it looks like a silent film
first, there’s me scribbling excitedly,
then some frames from Metropolis,
cut to you, or perhaps a chorus line of yous,
high-kicking, jabbering, and pointing
up at the drafts which have been hung
as a massive backdrop on your stage. The theatre is full,
people hoot and shout, nod in agreement,
and then cut back to me planting a bomb under the stage
walking outside, pushing a little red button, and watching
as the whole place comes down.

If I wanted it all explained, I would have asked.
If I’d wanted all the doors opened, the lights turned on,
the corners changed from small shadows to bare white
I would write about paint peeling, or American football.

Give me back my sense of wonder, idiot critics,
give me back all my mysteries.
Where would Prometheus be without the darkness
we needed fire to light? All I ask is that you leave me,
and give me the beauty of words
before your science makes them boring
and they become your subject to vivisect
your phenom to explain
formulaic pith, all bone
no marrow.
Surviving November
“I shove joy like a knife / into my own heart, over and over”
-Tony Hoagland

Let us acknowledge our inconsolable fact:
there is excruciating pain in the truth that we are human.
I can’t understand, however,
how there are so many, legions of lovers
who are making the fun scene
and the bliss scene
and dropping it like it’s hot
and smiling constantly
and laughing.

Do they not feel the weight?
or do they, upon shouldering it call some emotional Hercules
to hold it when as they shrug it off?
I want the secret to that normalcy, since that is what normal
seems to be, or at what I hope it is.
Can money buy happiness? Tell me, Warren Buffett.
Tell me, Rupert Murdoch. Have I got it all wrong?
Is this why Hemingway bit that steel barrel?
Did Faulkner drink all that hooch to calm the sizzling fire in his brain?
I can see why he would, anyway.

There is one answer I do know.
Rebellion. To hunch against ourselves and weep for it,
to bray out like donkeys being led cruelly,
or better yet burn the mule as an offering
to a God that may or may not be there, but in the act of burning
this throbbing life pulses slower and mute.

That is our love, the love of saying no
to ourselves, storing up our own defiance for winter
building it up, throwing it out
and saving it again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Nice Thought

You didn’t need an explanation
and neither did I
for why my eyes were green
or for why you loved those stories
written by Romans long dead.
It was easy to see the reflections of a future history there,
how we knew we’d die before we were dead.

It’s what young people talk about: love and death
we are clearly no exception–
actually, we left death out and and stuck to one another
with love, dove into bodies and decided
we liked it so much that maybe we’d just stay
skip the many years left to live
and die – that we,
the common fate
of what had been so rare
could learn together.