Posts Tagged ‘White’

Becoming

Posted: January 13, 2002 in Poetry
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A winter white sheet covers me
As I sit in this chair, unmoving.
My breaths are shallow and I can’t see
Whether to move or stay very still:
I am hung on that decision
Like a meathook.
The longer I wait, the more my weight tears me
To get off is still more painful
But there is no mistaking impalement
On the pike of indecision.
What to do? I don’t know;
I will never know unless I do
Something – anything is better,
But to throw off these veils
Is to see what I am afraid of:
That lonely vista of sunrise
Over faraway mountains from another mountaintop.
No road nor path presents itself
In the gloaming beyond this sheet;
Light-shadows shiver and mold to each other
Unknown consequences and results
Which my feeble calculations
Cannot fathom as I am staked here.
Nobody knows who I am anymore,
But if anyone can it must be me.
Count on a breathless ride for part,
Meandering, enjoyable inner tubing for another,
And yet other unpredictable situations.
These are all definition-grounds,
To file and hone the self-blade
And the mind-sword.
Be born and becoming.

The Pier

Posted: April 2, 1995 in Poetry
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The pier is flung out past the surf
Into the deep water
Like a sleeper’s unconscious arm
Idly hanging over the edge of the bed.
Sunlight scuba dives for the flickers
Of schools of little fish
And warms the top of the waters –
Where the seaweed loosely hangs
Like bead curtains or piles of laundry. –
Frosting on the cake of the beach.
And the seagulls! Clouds wheeling,
Settling, screeching insults at each other
In the dingy parking lot
At the foot of the pier,
Lone white-breasted panhandlers
Eyeing the people fishing from the deck
From a safe distance.
The swirl of wind-borne sand
By the land-bound pilings,
The whorls of water around its sea legs,
Troughs of wave swells
On their way to the board-straddling surfers
Flash the wealth of sea life
Clinging to the stilled beast.
I leapt off the pier once,
Disobeying one of two white-stenciled laws
That decorate the fading grey-green railings:
One: no jumping or diving;
Two: no overhead casting.
I lost all my air on impact;
Between the shock of wallop and water,
It was all I could do to swim in.
The pier teaches endurance in many ways.

Archeopteryx

Posted: March 22, 1995 in Poetry
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The joy of writing
With a well-inked pen
Is enough to make me
Write again.
Now that I’ve found one
To lie by my bedside
On the open white page
I’ll have the tool to try.
I used to write a lot
When I didn’t write
For a living, but life is
Surprisingly forgiving.
And maybe, just maybe,
Someday something crazy
Will emit from my pen tip
Stunning and startling;
A poetry-trimmed drawing
Of an Archeopterix
One which takes off and
Flies away, makes itself free
Making me content to be me.

I’ve hated myself for so long
for other people
other opinions, other lives:
here goes my hair —
look in the mirror,
watch your steely blue eyes wink:
lighthouses to steer ships by.
Bring them home.
Home is the sailor,
home from the sea,
and the hunter,
home from the hill.
home to your heart.
Quit renting the space from yourself:
laugh and languish
with the rest of the apes called human beings.
Life is a dualism;
you are understanding
dum-dum balancing act of whatever.
Equilibrium is so nice.
So is the shift of the teeter-totter but
gain control,
remain under control;
O Captain, my Captain,
you are not yet cold and dead.
Breathe in and out,
live until the end.
It comes not from your hand;
it is not believed in your heart:
the sides of life and death
are one shot kamikaze missions:
one, then the other.
Enlighten the lighthouse.
Strengthen the beams of your winks.
Find meaning in living
to bank hard against the 100% house of death.
The Love comes:
a white ship,
a black frigate,
the swarthy faces of dream-lands sailors
set foot on the dry land
of your once-fertile imagination,
bearing gifts of gems and spices,
flowers silks and brocaded tapestries
unique to your mind and your magic —
so you trade them to the rest of the world.
These gifts are your giftedness;
these waves are your talents,
and when your life is lost,
you will trade no more in this heady marketplace.
Learn to be a good merchant of your wares,
a good businessperson,
a good man;
everyone barters and sings praise and stabs.
Be better: be the best
that your will and imagination can conceive,
then focus your lighthouse lantern
to illuminate,
to enlighten,
and to greater things to believe in.

I went to find my childhood
buried in the morass of my memory;
discarded in a moment of adolescence
trying to be an adult
before I knew what that was about.

So me and a shovel and a dream
go wading through the cattails and the frogs,
looking under lilypads and scouring the undersides of logs;
hopes waxing and waning with the flux of a dark moon
laying with my arms behind my head
in a dark room.

There was a little gold-gilded crown
once made of paper. . .
I thought I had drowned my youth
in a premature effort to be a man,
coated with cars, money, girls, sex, and truth,
white picket fences and two and one half kids,
a loving wife and instant happiness.

Ah, but so many can’t and so many others won’t
dig up the countryside grave of their little one,
content to weep and dream with a withered imagination,
or they chase ghosts of happiness in platinum nightdresses
taped to the part of the elephant they can still feel.

why can’t I
just be another guy?
but I’m a person
with a snake-sharp tongue
and I’m a ripped flannel…
I shoot my mouth like a shotgun.
riddles and rhyming and rhythm,
not taken seriously enough to stay honest
just another number in the GTE phone list.
I lie and I lie and I lie
to convince you all
that the poet is just another human being;
that I am just another guy.

I thresh through these lines
like a dog wrapped in seaweed,
thrown with stones in the ocean:
I can’t breathe –
there’s all the smoke from the fires I’m lightning,
I’m telling the sheriff that I’m struck by lightning.
when does it all stop echoing ‘round in circles?
I think it’s just another dream.
I’m on a porch with a candle and a carpet;
there’s crickets all around
and I feel wonderful without the world dragging me down.
look, I see you don’t understand with a frown.

I can’t even repeat what I’ve said.
I can’t think of a poem I’ve written,
then read,
and thought that this is it, this is perfect!
I’ve even given up trying to rework it.
I don’t want to write for a living anymore
I feel like the homework that’s always lost to the dog
and I don’t remember whatever
I expected from myself anymore.
these fireworks of joy that I wished to paint the skies with
are nothing more than explosions
of white-winged moths from a log
that I’ve kicked walking alone in the woods.

Rats in the Walls

Posted: July 7, 1993 in Poetry
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there are rats in the walls
of every relationship.
they knock about at night
or surprise you scurrying from the trash cans.
the glint of a narrowed eye or a chiselled tooth
or the sounds of skeletons being gnawed,
teeth clicking as they polish to white
the foundations of an unsteady heart.