Monday, August 12, 2019

poem

Sidewalks


A neighborhood without sidewalks
Is a world unlimned.
Staggering along soft shoulders
One leg slanting lower than the other,
It’s dumb and dangerous.
Cars honking, swerving
You can't trust your fellow man
On the arbitrary grids he’s laid out
In the dark
You leap into the boggy ditch.


Beyond the ditch is a rising plain,
But it’s just a yard
Goose-bumped grass iced in frost
Like it’s afraid of the dark
A lawn bounded by another.
Homes and fences.
It all belongs to someone else.
Stick to the road.
But this old road is no good.
This road just goes into town
Which is just a place 
To pour out the asphalt
And lay some red bricks down


I want to make a home
Beyond the borders
Of the known 
dutifully mapped world.
Let us trace a path,
My hand guiding your fingers
Across conjured maps 
Composed on blank sheets.
Look, we can’t help it; 
Straight, cross-hatched lines 
All across the page,
Hopscotching from thought to thought,
Leaping across cracks
In our imaginary sidewalk.  

8/12/19

Saturday, August 10, 2019

poem

Poem #6

This one doesn’t have to be about sickness.
I don't need another ode to chromosomes
or anaerobic metabolism,
a sad dirge about suspicious adrenalomas.
I don't want to write anymore
about the provenance of dark stains
on my blue scrubs,
the strange odors that linger on my palms.  
The post call anguish of alone.


Doctor so and so has written another poem.
Look, he’s alluded to lungs,
the last gasps of life.
The fearful wide eyed last days gaze.
The true heart that lives in a cage.
Must he go on like this?

Look he’s switching gears, 
he’s describing a beautiful woman;
perhaps he had once operated on her.
it's always about that.
Maybe he’s wistful and older and tired
of scalpels and salves and bandages:
Almost done here.
Let me wrap this up.
Shower twice a day.
Apply this ointment.
Take this for the pain
that comes later.
Kiss me when you find me like this.
Hold my hand, later
when you see me like this. 
Ask me about all the mysteries
I've already dreamed the answers to.
Be right here at time o’clock.

I've stopped writing about chromosomes
and sicknesses and unbalanced hormones.
This is a lump
I find in your breast.
No, no, no this is my hand against your heart
that rises and falls in your chest.
It swells like a mass
without edges but
I swear I can feel something.
I want to describe it precisely
using the proper terminology;
supple, caudal, infero-lateral.
I want to classify what this is.
I am reaching  for your heart.
I have been flailing for your heart
and so this poem for your heart.
My love, I cannot speak
for the lump in my throat,
and for all that's beneath
the heaviness of this white coat
obscures the sounds that escape,
an exhalation of garbled words
for the time we have lost.
for the time we have left.

The doctor will see you now.
(I’m sorry I am so late)
The doctor is ready now;
he is sorry he is so late.

8/10/19


Saturday, August 3, 2019

poem

Lookout


We passed the carrion, the mangled deer, 
On the side of a bend in the road
That wended its way up the hill
To a lookout I wanted the kids to see.
Ooooooooooooooooo, they scream,
daddy gross it smells roll up the window!
The rank gamy invasiveness of odor.
I wanted them to see the valley stretching out below
The mist enshrouded trees
The generational timelessness of 
All that falls below,
All the unnavigable naturalness
They'll never probably go.
But don’t stand too close to the edges.
Goddammit what did I say!
kids
You don’t know enough of 
the buzzed moss or
blotched whitened lichens,
the blood against rock
in the noonday sun,
the slippery humors
that ooze from the 
dead along the way

8/2/19

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Poem

Hollow

This is the way it all will end
Not with a whimper
Nor guarded whisper
But a boom clang
Pan to the floor crash rattle
Blast a hole in the drywall
Ball through the glass bang
Everything smashed
While only on the inside
Do the walls crumble
Without a sound down
And I'm standing in rubble 
While I sweep
The shards of glass 
Poised to pierce
the unprepared hide
On the outside

7/21/19

poemm

Optimism

Glass half full
Sipping wine by the pale glow
Of a half moon.
Those were the good old times
Full circle quarters and silver dimes
Change for a tip
It’s all we had left
Heads or tails,
Stay or go,
Anyone could love you 
In that sliver of bursting June moon;
Visage radiant,
Freckles like browned pebbles 
In the bed of a winding stream
Flashing in the tree refracted moonlight
Half past four, happy hour slow
But I am the one
You’ll loathe and love
I am the one to praise and damn,
Make your stomach clench 
Drive you insane
Make everything fall into place
But I am also
the one who writes for you
who will find the words as I
wander through the rain,
in the gray contused dawn,
Unsuspecting soul,
your face heavier and drawn.
trudging off to market:
milk for the kids
low on detergent
(it's raining again
it's raining again)
I see you as before 
I see you as when
I see you as next then
fully realized
you seem surprised
to see me now
Half way home,
Half happy, half pleasured;
Paradoxes of Zeno
It always feels like a full fledged pain.
I pour myself and I pour myself
But there’s a hole in the bottom;
A heart always half empty
reserved for all that's to come

7/21/19

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Poem


Fear

I saw you post that quote 
On your Facebook page
(Inspirational lavender paisley background,
Slanted challenging italics)
You’re free to enhance the font
But the other side of fear 
Isn’t always what you want.
There are sharks circling in those dark waters.
Better to remain in the boat
It isn’t enough to peg everything on hope.
Just stay right here
Bide your time and wait
I know I'm just talking to myself.
You’ve already dived in and
are swimming for shore.
The fins are closing fast,
I can’t look.

7/16/19

Poem

Lone Flower


You were a flower of ravishing beauty
colors of kaleidoscopic complexity
shimmering, shadowed, sun-splashed
and there you were----- suddenly, 
standing in the middle of my path


I was halfway home
back bent beneath the
weight of time and duty,
portents of resignation
just around the next bend.
My heart was heavy
and my hands were full
and there you were;
defiant, singular, untrammeled
as if you’d chosen that spot 
to bloom for me alone


I stopped and reached for you
(Of course) 
They say the one true flower
blooms but one time
for one man
and so I had to stop for you 
that one time
in that one place
and reach for you 
rising from that dusty path.
I damaged a few petals
(in the process)
that fell to the dusty road.
I even bent your stem
and I am so sorry.
I should have known better,
I am so very sorry.
But you will bloom again
I know that you will bloom again 


The best that can be said 
is that I didn't try to steal your heart,
rip you roots and all
from the earth
to press between the pages 
of this old dusty book.
I had sense enough to only touch,
that one time, in that one place
which was the wrong time 
and the wrong road-----
But it couldn’t be helped.
For this flower was meant for me!
If only for one day
along a well trod path
that will never be the same.
I don’t know anything about flowers;
can’t tell a dahlia from a daffodil
from a bleeding heart from an orchid
from a longing from a loving
but this is the thing I know
as sure as a smile when
caught in a summer shower.


My solace is a place
outside of time
beyond the edges of maps.
Here is a field of flowers
swaying in the wind,
straining to receive the sun’s rays.
I will find you there
in the chapter I have written,
when my loads are lighter
when my work is done,
my little flower,
the hundreds of ways of you
all together as one
and the summer wind
and the sun and the stars and the moon
waiting there in this hidden meadow
my ever blooming you.

7/16/19