Posts Tagged ‘World’

I.
There was a woman
Who I loved with all my heart.
It’s the only way
I know how
to love.
The problem I have
With falling in love
Is that I just keep falling
And falling on through.
It’s a perpetual autumn;
Storming leaves of memories,
Possibilities,
Skeletal trees.
And turning my collar up
Against the cold of this world.
Holding my hands out
To the warmth of the fire
That we had kindled
To keep the darkness at bay.
Every time these things end
I look up from the glow
Of the smolder, the embers,
For the ignition of a smile,
That familiar, beloved synching
Eyes to eyes:
It’s just understood
We’ll revel in the work
To pile on more fuel
From our common woodpile.
But nobody is there
Across the coals from me;
I’ve fallen through
The bottleneck of the hourglass
Along with all these ashes.

II.
Songs get tied
Like complicated knots
Around my feelings;
They remind me of how
I used to think about forever.
Some are bright blossoms
Stolen from yards
On the way to your window
In the middle of the night
To kneel and present you
With a moonlit bouquet,
My Juliet.
Another is the crosshatching
Of spray painted poetry
Hanging in midair
Amongst the tree branches
Between the shadows
Of the stars that were ours;
Witchcraft and wizardry
For an unrelenting passion.
Tapestries of smoke
And of tie-dyed freedom;
Soft paws of haloed kittens,
The chocolate and the champagne
Of the once in a lifetime.
Threads on a magick loom
Synchronicity unparalleled,
Spiderwebs like a hammock,
An embrace as if I was coming home;
Touch burning like the fire of a faerie,
Or the resurrection of the phoenix,
Tracing sigils in the sky,
Re-ignition of belief
Like a firestarter
Or finding a soulmate.
I am haunted
By the breadth of my music
And the depth of my commitment.
The failure
of my eyesight.

III.
The carnage is absolute;
A battlefield strewn with my corpses,
Beer cans and shrieks and cigarette butts,
The best of intentions and
The stench of taking things for granted.
These raw wounds
I have sustained over my lifetime
Of loving how I should have been loved
Never seem to heal;
They just ooze and pulse
Making heartbeats painful;
A crazy accumulation of luggage
Like owning an airport carousel
Of baggage you can’t strip off.
It just grows with you,
Older and less attractive,
Smelling faintly of urine and gangrene
When you can’t bear
To perform the required surgery.
It hurts too much;
I’ll excise memories I want to keep
Along with the decaying flesh.
Retrospective or post-mortem;
It’s still the death of a relationship
That I thought would live forever
As if I had infinite chances,
Infinite quarters.

IV.
I was pinned to a mortarboard
Like a butterfly from a caterpillar,
When I had to eulogize my friend;
My brother, my partner-in-crime,
Someone who understood
By the merit of not being female
The depth of love and an enduring relationship.
I don’t ever want to do that again.
It is the same with love;
I know I can, and it will be better,
But the pain of losing someone to provoke that work
Is too much to accept;
Besides, who the fuck will do that for me?
The answer is as clear as hindsight:
20-20.
I listened to my voice echo hollow through a church
That he wouldn’t have appreciated
To the people who were left behind,
And became even more haunted.
I did my best to represent,
Tell tales, romanticize, believe
And I went home with ashes in my mouth
To cry, cry out, want to evaporate,
Disappear, erase myself from existing
Because I had lost something precious:
A true friend.
It’s a lot like losing your love
Because you have lost a friend.

V.
The light switch is off.
This is the eye of the storm for me.
Now I deal with the still shatter of leaves,
The cold of being alone,
And shoving my hands into the campfire.
There is no warmth.
This destroys the fabric of memories
That took deep commitment
And sweat equity;
Deeper resources than I had without you.
And I see them all retreat,
As if they never existed;
Vanish into the thin, thin air
That I breathe.
Flatlined.

VI.
To move along,
Because there is nothing to see here;
It’s a pretty penance,
My cross to bear;
One that gets weightier
The more years I carry forward,
This boulder I am pushing uphill.
It’s that lost luggage from the carousel;
It’s those old wounds from the battlefield;
It’s those lyrics of happier times
When I would write, compose, sing
Of how I loved being in love
And how I expected forever
But you only had right now to give.

VII.
Perspective is a function of wisdom,
Which is a byproduct of experience,
That is what happens when you live and die
Through these things.
Perhaps they build character;
Actually, they create defense mechanisms
To try to prevent this from happening again
And again.
Expectations collapse
And you lay bricks and mortar in the fortress
That you think will keep you safe
But not sound;
You all are quite persuasive.
Certainly isolated
In the aftermath
Of bequeathing your everything —
Heart, mind, soul —
To your everything
Around that campfire
And you look up and discover
That she is long gone.

Nesting

Posted: May 18, 1997 in Poetry
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One time I found
That I loved the warmth
Excavated by nesting:
Burrowing so far
Into a pile of pillows,
A weight of blankets,
The I left the world behind.

These were the laps
Of my imaginary mothers;
They were the arms
Of my dream-lovers.
Safe and tight
Inside a womb of covers,
Tented fabric and
Down-stuffed sandbags
Kept me secluded
From the shellshock of
Existing.

The rain came down
Like cartoon anvils,
Spending itself on the cement
In an assault on the town.

The parachute-less troops
Gathered in the low-lying spots
And took over the streets
In order to regroup.

Rioting raindrops,
Seething and churning,
Swallowing curbs and sidewalks
And the floors of a few shops.

En masse, they moved
Like a swarm of fluid ants,
Chewing up the asphault,
Around, under, and through.

They occupied the intersection
Several steps from my domicile;
A congregation of soldiers
Moshing in misdirection.

The storm drain was debris overrun
By the midnight attack,
Mouth buried in what was handy,
Gagged by the silver-headed ones.

They celebrated down the gutters,
Their comrades swept down from the hills,
Retreating, they left for the ocean
Until their cries became gutters.

Discontent and garbled threats
Of heavy grey clouds yet to come,
Of their shock troops, the hail.
Big drops, little drops; they’re all wet.

Promises of thunder, their drummer boys
Their standards of lightning
And the wind-demons who bear them;
This I hear in the storm’s noise.

I stood in the lee of my apartment
Water draining from my hat and jacket
I watched the fury of the rain banshees
With a certain amount of excitement.

I love the rain and the wind; all weather
Which drives people inside to read books.
They boil kettles and build fires –
An opportunity to be together.

But I like to be outside in the dark
Of wildness and wetness and the glory
When the streets are reclaimed by the Mardi Gras rain
And the world’s turned into an amusement park.

And How

Posted: November 18, 1994 in Poetry
Tags: ,

And how
does the world bludgeon me daily.
Sanctuary with my door locked
and my heater blaring.
The smell of burnt dust clings
to my jackets on the coat rack.
I hear my exteriority shatter
with the tumble of the deadbolt.
Ignoring the intrusion of phone bill, electric bill,
auto insurance bill, CD club bill —
Williams I’d rather not be acquainted with.
The ceiling fan is strobing for my tired eyes
Into a mechanical African daisy.

For Galstephus the Mage

Posted: November 6, 1993 in Poetry
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You dream like a king
on a throne;
you are not like the serfs
and servants of this existence.
This world doesn’t want kings and heroes;
rather, normalcy is enshrined
and page homage to with certificates of merit.
You are a nobleman
and your heritage is not acknowledged –
there is no room for the likes of you
among the jaded and the complacent;
these powers wear blinders purposefully
to destroy the talents
that could change their status quo,
that could threaten their idols of stability.
These same closed eyes cannot envision
the wondrous sights you see;
they cannot hear what runs through your mind,
the musical scales of rivers and windstorms;
they cannot feel anything anymore,
walled into courtyards, shut out from the street,
unmoving –
they cannot even dream on their thrones
where you, my lord,
belong.

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.

A Letter

Posted: July 28, 1993 in Poetry
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Dear Mom,
I was so stoned the other night
that I was at awe with the world
like when I was a child
light and airy, care-free
and drug-free.
It’s just the weight of responsibility
that turns me to substance,
matter rather than mind –
a little more of the Kind
can sometimes give me back my pleasures:
the realities of the memories
I’ve dried and kept as treasures
from a time when my world was bigger.