Posts Tagged ‘Yellow’

Remember This in Time

Posted: March 2, 1995 in Poetry
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I promise that someday
I will be faithful
To my journal again.
Another sacrifice
To the fires of my economy.
The poet-sap has dried,
Hardened to a cloudy yellow
But I guess beneath
This bark I’ve grown,
The blood still boils
And the words still run
Like antelopes or
Like a persistant brook.

Target

Posted: December 9, 1994 in Poetry
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Look around you
at the wrecked shelves,
the damaged or opened merchandise,
the floors littered with tags,
sale shelves half-empty
with slower-selling items or
taped up single boxes
priced as marked.
See the hanging advertisements,
the red and yellow eye-catchers,
the signs leading to popular departments:
Toys, Electronics, Sports;
Christmas Trees in our Garden Section!
Follow the heavy traffic lanes
by the shopping cart wheel skids,
the grease marks from boot heels,
the ravaged end-of-the-aisle shelves.
This place is empty now —
the midnight wind whistles outside
the blinking store front
on Christmas Day.

perching like a poet –
I found a table and a bench
tucked away on a second story walkway
of the Arts building
just for me.
a yellow magnesium light
shines down on this paper
turning letters into dancing figures
that say something important to me
so I can pretend I am a poet.
a walk in the dark
took me silent and alone
wandering eccentric between buildings
past fire escapes instead of front doors,
tracing the short cuts college students create
and watching the eucalyptus trees
move in the streetlights that hilight half of their curves,
only the undersides of their leaves.

I smell wet grass and hear the rush of water
in automated sprinkler lines.
I sight along the patterns made
by erroneous pulses of silver
meant for grass or shrub.
they tease soap from the asphault instead.

the lagoon is one big black unmoving body of ink
lthe color of the folds of my cloak;
that’s whipping around my bare legs in the salty wind
from the ocean saying “shush, shush”
to the cry of a single seagull.
it passes near me; I look up,
through misty clouds low enough to
strain through treetops,
at a couple of dim stars
Escher drew for me.

what is left of the world is really not worth living for,
but it is a job, a challenge,
and I like trying to write it all down.
I observe like my predecessors:
civilization working itself into a frenzy
over nothing, there’s no advancement –
just continuing over and over to find new ways
to convince itself that it is working,
that we’re worth it, that we’ll make it.
convincing itself that we’re right.
convincing itself that we’ve done nothing
that we can’t undo
later.

By Yellow Moonlight

Posted: April 17, 1993 in Poetry
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I commissioned a cloak
black but lined with elf-eyes
to be able to stand still
in the graveyards I wished to wander.

The wind confers in my ears
then tugs like awkward bridesmaids at my hem
making parachute ripples in the fabric
while I ignore them, another statue
in this washed out moonlight
a faint yellow as watercolored flowers
licking the moss strands on the headstones of each buried poet.

Warm air flows, heat from the decaying memories
leaking from these toothy beds,
mixes the night air into molasses
thick and slow to breathe, supportive
of standing still in the mild curiosities
of the wind’s ivy tendrils.

Geoff, Laura, Joe, Brian and I
went to the river to play outdoors
and to sing, sing ho for this, the life of a bear.
warm rocks, chilly water, and a rope
were for flinging ourselves through the air.
the sun and the wind bathed us in yellow hues.
music from the car ran its fingers
through the roadside oaks,
anticipating every curve,
and setting the bones that Brian broke.
wriggling our way over the mountains,
we witnessed a weaver of wood.

I
I can wish as hard as I want without trying.
Maybe it takes a nervous breakdown
To examine the croak of a frog.
A rich man tapes his hands to his sides
Drowning in treasures but refusing to decide
Which pearls he wants to wear for eyes.

II
To the grey lands to search for the sunken man,
Glowering in the shadow under a rock.
“Come in under the shadow of this red rock –
“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
Of ash, of bone, of moon, of stone;
Cadaverous, skin a dizzying kaleidoscope of veins.
I screamed, hands clenched to my eyes, alone,
Falling apart under that brittle stone.

III
pretending to have misplaced my watch,
I asked a current friend for the time.
she looked at me curiously, sadly,
then asked why I no longer rhyme;
walked away as I demanded an answer
from myself; I never saw her again.
time to find another friend.

IV
Sweating and dirty from working,
I keep forgetting to steal some of the diamonds
I’m mining for other people.
At home, I’ve got this dusty blowtorch
Right next to my aspiration to smelt the world.
Been a long time since I burned anything
On purpose. Last time it was my wings.
Pushing the dirt around on my face
With the same oily rag, I promise
Again to go on a picnic in a forest,
Then pause, shaking my head slowly
To get rid of an echo.

V
O black soil, heavy and rich, warm
With the fires of life, thick and moist
Under my nails, in my eyes and ears,
Filling my lungs with blood,
Burnishing my skull with her coppery breath,
Arms sunk to the shoulders in the forest earth;
Black earth goddess.

VI
A poem incarnate: thee, poet.
Vision, mind, thought, dreams,
Thinking in every sense of a word.

And a blackbird.

VII
I came forth with a handful of seashells
(to the froggy applause
of the people’s jaws
creaking in their mechanical sleep),
Following May, who’s going home
To dwell with her enigmatic stone.
Placing shells to wait on the sill
And for her to discover
Like a faucet-spray of dry flowers.
Walking on the sidewalk I’ve
Empty hands in my pockets,
Imagining how she’ll find them
Over and over.

VIII
Flying through the rain on a wind of strings,
He flew with the ease of a soul,
Tall and clear-eyed with violins in his hair.
I saw him from the shore
And waved him out to sea,
Rushing over the water’s open grave.

IX
The dreams,
they poured their hearts
out into the bowl of my fingers,
flesh and water and soggy stitches,
Lost and drowned
in the ashes of childhood,
the sorry sons-of-bitches.
I breathed into my palms,
Taking each by their tenebrous hands,
And throwing them into the darkened heavens:
stars like two flung shoe-fulls of sand.
Spinning around and around underneath,
Watching them swim, these stars, good-bye;
Constellations of the smiling faces
of my parents,
One on each half of the sky.

X
I ran through the stacks of cars
After him that flew away by the seat of his pants.
I, too, cannot answer the question:
“What is the grass?”
I can no longer remember.

Standing under a leprous moon,
In a field of strobed weeds,
In a circle of garish flowers
Bowing outwards,
Heads trembling in a sort of gleeful fear.
Looking at my arms, my hands,
my fingers,
The vegetation was purple, orange, yellow, green,
turned pale by the light of the stone in the sky
shown bone by the fire suffused in my eye.
The moon grinned, sunken in the dust of a scream.

The King in Yellow

Posted: December 26, 1991 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

thee King in Yellow
lies still,
his face shrouded
by thee breath
of a thousand monkeys.