Thursday, January 17, 2013

POEM: You Are Not You

You are not you, but a shaft of white,
The chance starlight that I look up to see,
Who is the boat that carries me home
Over black water, beneath a new moon
When the dark is a velvet soup.
Who is not a kiss, or madder red lips
Or even the sound of a pucker, thinned
By fear.  Who is a fire blazing within,
Not a lone voice but the communion
Of many dead poets conspiring rebellion.
You are not you at all,
But a wind that whisks me clean,
A sinful lushness of summer greens
Against the long-shivering hours of need.

Monday, January 14, 2013

POEM: Favorite Words

"Why. I'd love to hear your ideas!"

POEM: Light Borrowers, Framed By Bits of Dark Matter

1. “Every woman adores a fascist” Plath wrote and mine is the darkness. I want to have an affair with it. The dark is a fascist love.
2. Horace Greasly held love like a bread loaf.  He escaped Germans camps in WWII more than 200 times but always snuck back in to see his German girlfriend. 
3. The hissing that I believe is my tea kettle is just a common sense escaping.
4. Love, love my season that I cannot be made ready. That melts over everything.
5. Come, my wounds. Glimmer like fresh skin. 
6. I show off my stigmata you gave me like a tattoo I dreamed of having removed once out of your sight.
7. Tulips are baskets that carry color. They lick their own petals, like a grooming cat, they raise their heads to catch the direction of the next rain, or the next frost as a bad dream, presaging the desiccating autumn.
8. Curl up now, curl up into your bulbous hideout, grieve fading embers, O gardener of clouds, take a gulping breath and keen long winter.  
9. Go imitate the lost wandering blue lust of sky.
10. Harold Whittles heard for the first time in his life, when an earpiece was placed into his left ear, He alone is credited for the discovery of sound.
11. Streams are tinted glass, made by all the weeping world. 
12. Splintered over streamstone, water is often disguised as birdsong. Birds imitate streams whenever they sing. 
13. I am terrible at small talk but my heart wants to carry you  in its back pocket    
14. Everything is a whetstone that sharpens colors, which is what tulips dream.
15. Tulips are packed with mud and bone meal far below a noisy surface where everything seems to matter.

POEM: Tattoo

The tattoo ink was very old.
The sleeve of words tumbled
Down her arm like ivy:

“Face the pith of everything.
To the flower that is a breath.
To the toughness in standing up.
With nothing to defend.
Palms open. No Fists. Always.”

She is afraid of her future.
She is afraid of the future of everyone.
She is afraid of what will happen
To her children.

I see heroic things in you.
and that will simply have to do.

POEM: Elegy

Now the ordinary day begins, though
The graying hours have yet to pass.
I say a prayer: I want to be useful.
But today I will not sing any hymns.

My lungs are stuffed with cotton. I admire
The songs of the serpaphim among us.
I know every one of these songs of heaven.
But grief clings to me, inert as soil. I

Beg for its release, but it’s sewn to my bones.
My tongue is just a sparrow but wants to
Do big things. Pain’s tidal flow has set it  
Adrift in an ocean of suffering.

Watch how light falls on us now, after quiet
Violets offering no resistance
But their gentle fragrance are crushed beneath
Violence’s cracked ice, & purple spills.

The bloody mornings will always remind us.
I want to be useful.  I want to be useful
To engage on the battlefield of love,
To healers, & caregivers, who know these songs.

A child is a promise from our pinkest flesh.
Always willing, we dangle on a hook,
Crying out in recurring boot-black dreams
of a coffin, into moonless nights to come:

“Save my children,
  Save my children,
  Save my children.”

Watching Fox News

“Sean Hannity is the most unfuckable person on the planet,” she says. My friend is a shepherd, down from the mountains for a visit.

“I feel that way about Ann Coulter,” I say.

“They could make an antiporn moving with those two,” she says.

I nod. “I’d watch them just to see them put their clothes on,” I say.

“They could threaten to NOT have sex with each other as a turn on,” she says.

“The whole thing could be sponsored by Beano or Gasx,” I say and we giggle like school kids.

“Watching Fox News makes me horny,” I say. “Not in an urgent adolescent kind of way, but in a sheep-screwing kind of way. “

“I’m not comfortable with you talking about screwing sheep,” she says.

“I understand,” I say, but I don’t. I change the subject. I promise to never mention fucking Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity or sheep again.

I am feeling the rawness of things. My head feels heavy.  My chest holds the north wind and I can’t breathe.

 “Let me teach you breaking wind pose,” she says, ever the yogi.

I want to slam my thick head into the floor.

We decide to eat waffles and bacon for dinner. I leave Fox News on.

“It helps my circulation,” I tell her.

“Oh”, she says, “I thought you were just lazy.”

She pretends to watch while we eat. We open wine and whisky and vodka. “No booze left behind.” I wink. I am clever, I think.

“Would you do Greta Van Susteren?” she says.  We go on discussing which Fox News casters were fuckable and which were not.

“It’s a completely subjective topic,” she says when I tell her I have science that proves they are unfuckable.

“Take Megan Kelly, for instance,” I say. “Even after sex… sometimes during sex… you have to talk, right?”

“And that would do it.”

“Do it?”

“Ruin it.”

“Ruin it.”  I scan the ceiling, wondering about echoes.

My head is cotton soaked in oil or no, mercury – a heavy viscous metal causing brain damage at slight exposures. We are watching Fox News, waiting for the fiscal cliff.

“Do you think it will coincide with the Mayan end times?” she asks.

“More important - do I need to dress and shave the day we go over the fiscal cliff?” I ask back.

“I always raise my arms on a roller coaster – think I should do it that day?” she says as a joke, but I mistake it as a serious consideration.

“That might cause a stroke,” I say, not believing what I am telling her. I wonder where I got that fact from. 

“Where did you get that from?” she says. She and I are my own worst enemies. We challenge everything.

Later I make tea. I serve tea and a coffee ring cake because she likes it. I like the irony of it.

“I like coffee cake,” she says.

“I know,” I say.  

“But I’d rather coffee over tea,” she says after a pause.

I change the channel to Downton Abbey. That was more her speed.

“Now this is more my speed,” she says.

“I know,” I say.  I watch too.

But deep in my concrete head I am making a mental list of people on Fox News I could never fuck.
Brit Hume? Isn’t that necrophila. Shepard Smith? That shitstain? It’s no good. I take out my laptop.
I begin to type every news reporter’s name on Fox News.

I think to myself, trying hard not to let on to my friend what I am thinking, “I would never shag Geraldo Rivera. I might boink his mustache, but that schnoz? And that ego? That would be a three-way at best.”

“What are you doing,” she says. I am silent. Then I say something.

“Not saying.”  I just keep typing.

I can feel my head sinking, lower, into the keyboard. My head is too heavy to hold up. My poor bean sprout neck bends beneath the weight. There is a pulsing. Like a nova – like a heart – like either one of those things that can explode. Only my head is imploding.  I am feeling the rawness today.

 “What about Sarah Palin?” she says. “I know she doesn’t work directly for Fox.” In mid sip of my tea, I do a spit-take. We talk for hours about not boning Fox News Reporters.

Then my laptop belches.  A serious looking message appears. A serious error has occurred.
“This looks serious,” I say.

“System is shutting down”, the message says. I try to shut down gracefully and am advised that I have no authority to shut down.

I am speaking to no one. Maybe to the laptop. “But I had authority to sign in?” I question.
 “What kind of fuckery is this?”

I hold the power button for 30 seconds. The beast gasps, wheezes and becomes dirt dormant.
“Fucking don’t tell me I don’t have the authority to shut down.”

My head begins to lighten.

POEM: She Is Off To Russia

At the end of the semester.
Her tickets are ready.
Rooms are let.
Passports tucked.
Luggage bowed.
Soon she will be dowsed in Russian,
looking for “Original Muscovites”
Who have left for history.
With her shy Russian friend,
She is building a language.
“My city is the oldest in Russia”, says the friend.
Of course it is her city.
“You must visit!” she says
“We are sisters of history,”
On this fish-frozen blue day
Fire corkscrews from her red head as hair.
“Yes. We are sisters.”