My thoughts are
curious as to what's
beyond the fences.
a bordering plain
where they wander
in passing tenses.
A Tired Excuse
My northern spine bends southerly,
backwards and polarized.
Bones once content to fly
now reach naggingly
for their Earth mother.
I am grounded,
grave and primitive
on the cool linoleum floor.
My textbooks are on the counter,
fathoms above me,
conveniently beyond reasonable grasp.
Midsummer folded nicely
and now my winters meet unchanged.
I feel unswept leaves under the snow
and beaches under that.
I've been trying to erode.
All the water I drink
becomes lazy glaciers in time.
So I lean against them,
accepting the ice as mine.
I'm worn from sport
with this damned memory
who strangles my neck with caresses
and burns me in the post-kiss.
Succumbing to the violent crash
of a rewind button,
it holds me to a chair,
making me watch us on a
making me look into the eclipse
of a pair of dueling suns.
When the static comes,
we don't care -
our eyes (and much else)
Locked into a riot behind each ear,
cells swept along in the protest,
sending pamphlets down amorous veins.
Neuron picketing tells me someone's here.
Toes, indifferent islanders,
question the revolt with wriggle,
whispering to each other sedition,
royalist digits, pre-emigre.
Hands conspire left-wise,
craving foreign tyranny.
Tickling too long familiar grounds,
Lips busy in civil war,
cannot forsee the onslaught.
Shores intent to bite each other
part for something kinder.
This girl feels dual stigmata
framing her spine,
of wings once used
I want that I must be
a leg-maker -
giving tools not adequate
for this crippled, crawling angel.
I wear empathy in couplets
around my ankles,
making the knowledge seem
all the starker
that the help I give this girl
comes heavier to me.
are heavier than me.
My Audience: a sestina
Parents gone, making less
substance for sound,
giving way to inner mass.
With mindwalls open,
I am the epicenter; I am the other
A house is nice to roam,
making for less
lunging from other
people with their sounds.
Now - posterior open -
I leave watch from my mass.
Now, it's a convict's naked Christmas,
a one-man coliseum jam in Rome,
my previously patient mouth now open,
quiet than before. Willingly captive by sound,
screaming past the other
invisible people, each seated at a Ghost Mass -
people I've known and known. People who take in my sound,
people who kissed me when Rome
fell. People whose faces turned, leaving my mouth open,
toothless except for the other
enamled gifts. One for each of my seated ghosts, open
to my passing gallop and my mass-
ive, unclothed vibrato. They grip witness to my rom-
ance with sound,
ing contra to the housewalls, through the motionless
people, still with prayer, offering offerings to their kodachrome
god of the lightning song - the other
ing bolts for these ghost memories - each with eyes open.
The sound of the opening garage
digs the war cry from the pitiless giant, the brittle mass
of another small boy in a small house - an arena in Rome. They enter and he is alone.
(these next two are dedicated to my girls)
banter across the bedspread
a teasing little bugger inside
gobbles a puff of fluff
with every insult,
with every well-smithed blade
shouted through the
bitter nursery air.
"The Patch Girls"
Us patch girls
flaunt hidden gaps
in oppressed fabric.
We hoard our patches
the consideration of
thread and needle,
never daring a speedy
peak into the abyss:
Labor lies there.
Us patch girls
staple scraps of
to our clumsy holes
with ample space between clamps,
leaving lazy pains and troubles
with a tidy escape route.
Why would I
expect to sing
and safety bear gazes
overflow the need
to radiate bassoon beats
When my curtains are locked
chastity-safe with board and nail
I don't sing the blues.
"The Apologetic Bumbler"
Arrid cotton tongues
are the diving board
for ungroomed words
Like an empty
insightless in spotlight,
I offer images
of doomed jesters
to the impatient minds
of an embarrassed audience.
You, Nearly Bitten
When I looked in your direction
fondly at first, I saw my reflection.
I saw a frightened, desperate boy
clawing at others, searching for joy.
I saw a vampire in haunting glory,
painting out this bloody story,
and when I saw what he had in store...
I did not love you anymore.
The spectre of your meanings
teases my pondering skin.
My gossamer veil is no fine filter
for jumbled jabberwocks
and muffled mome-raths.
Your vorpal tongue tears away
a thin sheet of my finest frustration
and sheds babbles of bloody brooks
carrying the liquid of my complaint
to the spring of your discomfort
where we both drown gleefully
in teaspoon fathoms
of best-kept secrets and lies.
years have passed
since you came
our little tigger
in the grass
the sparkle in your
the playful things
you used to do.
with a mouse
or a feather
are done at a
the bright orange
in your coat
has softened to a tan
your perfect patience
replaced by old
each time you sleep
i check to see
that you're still breathing
worrying you're not
how can i go through life
not having you
run to the kitchen
when the tuna
can is opened
not having a furry friend
to stroke when
I've had a bad day
who will listen to
all my fears
and keep them secret
who will keep my
feet warm when
it's a cold night
at 16 my life
is just begining
but yours is
The pale soft moonlight
drifted in the upstairs window.
It fell on the child's
the wavering notes
left the music box
inside the pink cat
lying next to the
wrapped tightly in a
warm fuzzy blanket
the soft moonlight
is covered by a cloud.
The golden locks
then an artifical red.
The music box
inside grey cat
in a box in the attic
the layers of blankets
lay on the floor
kicked off by nightmares.
I appreciate the comment, Dan.
Here are two Fine Lines rejects. Their loss, I think. The first is a old one, a variant of one of the poems in my Revolutions (February-October 1998) cycle. The second attempts to capture the joy of irrational and forbidden thought and action... enjoy!
navigation at thirty-thousand feet
night turns black the open hemisphere,
the barren land below is barely moving;
the last rays of the sun left behind brighten my hair
and light the pillar of my salty flesh to golden
in one last glimpse. the fading of the day
lingers, and its beauty is not kind;
the ever-present mist obscures any destination
so left no other choice my eyes deny.
constellations shine above me and below me
willing us to know less vibrant shades of blue;
beginnings seem unthinkable, no mercy granted here:
but I’d endure a harsher clime in the return to you.
dryad in a dream what wears she -
what wears she tonight, to sleep?
her heart to bind in flannel deep
while fifteen watts of shadows leap
upon the cluttered walls.
emerald forms for her a skin
smoothing fingers buckle in
the rebelling body. two
snaps finish it, curves plumping at
a tight fit; not knotty but
vinelike is she now.
how moves she -
how moves she with empty hands?
flaming candles where she stands
caressing smoke from burdens, plans
to ashes on the wind.
drawing on some darkling grace
she pushes rivers from her face
and willowy, begins. three
steps hesitate, a sound advises
that she wait, and she crouches,
what hears she -
what hears she besides her heart?
reverberations pulled apart
she twists from her aborted start
and concentrates again.
shivering and panting freed
the rhythmic echoes of her need
strike her a pose. four
limbs tear gracefully through
the air, yet silence keeps
its heavy counsel.
who is she -
who is she in motion still?
driven by unconscious will
she reaches for someone to thrill
by every glimpse within.
a subtle sparking of desire
lends her mane an orange fire
as she spins. five
on each hand, outstretched fingers weave
the strand that willing, lingers entwined
in the nymph who would.
a Shift in weather The year of poetry is over.
Fire and ice have left my veins
the sound and fury of the words relinquish reins,
calmly content in the storm's wake.
And no one writes about acceptance.
sorry closed The sun shone on the staircase like some incipient devil
with flame awaiting me at the top.
Here I am again, bruising my knuckles on your solid door.
the knob almost turns-
I never had that courage.
Besides, anything to be found will just hurt me more,
be it vacancy or an ignorant you, unheeding
of my cries.
Not good enough-
what did you mean?
I can't be sure.
The light plays dirges on your plate-glass windows
boarded against a traveling storm of sales.
Will you open
tomorrow at eight?
Muddy puddles of emerald green and
fourteen miles of sandpaper skin proved
the roughest frontier
(This is a little poem I wrote for English class in the style of Emily Dickinson...if you couldn't tell. I credit also Tink and Mariamne for coming up with some of the words and images that I worked into it - thanks guys! In the way of explicating a poem, I now know how it feels to be on the other end. I know what I was thinking about when I wrote it, but some people see things in it that may have been my subconscious, or are so far off from my meaning that it's funny...)
Relative the silence Sprouts -
Picked - the Daffodils -
That languished in the Willow's shade
Aloft on velvet hills -
Each Blade of green - now rests - with Care
Vain barrier to View
Like ant - disputing Puddle
Or Thrushes - in a Queue -
Window laced by Cobweb threads
Left to Bees - and Ruin -
The mantle empty - likenesses
Shall soon be all but gone.
Present no reflections - here -
In plot nearly Paupered -
Instead - Reside in Mouse-hole - than
Recollect the Shattered -
'Twas easier oneself Remove
Than see - Revivified -
Some congruent Ancestry
In praise of Past - and Pride -
a last injustice (October, from the poem cycle Revolutions: February-October 1998)
so what am i
supposed to do?
curse your name, slame down the phone?
is that in your tome of Ultimate Knowledge?
is it scripted that i should
slice to bone?
no matter what
i rail at you
these wounds don't ever seem to heal;
in cornered memories imprisoned by my mind-
thanks for appearing, for
making me feel
all the ups
and downs anew
just to let the record show
no matter how you treated me i proved
the one who could
not let go.
parking lot poetry
is of a different breed.
the world suspects your scribbling hand
and makes it known
it will turn without you.
the sun fades out
and the storm makes itself heard.
yet you could live for days in solace
subsisting only on
the car's offerings.
a panorama is
illuminated by your lights:
a flat surrealist picture of static future
holds no escape from truth
in the rear-view mirror.
Kind words are all that can be said now
too late for their recipient to hear;
these are unfamiliar paths you tread now-
there was never inkling that you'd disappear.
So up the lightning, temple-bright
hoist the burdens perilous to fear;
if one votive every mourner light
and in telling stories shed no tear-
No one shall even doubt they are sincere.
two blue eyes glow from the depths of the freshly polished mirror:
my only glimpse into a world where i am
sinister, where i am not myself.
watching her play gently with an earring,
i feel a kinship between us.
are we sisters? anti-twins?
born at infinitely opposite space and time
which is strangely one and the same?
yet we are two growing together through the years.
i cannot see the words on her pages as we contemplate one another.
i learned in physics that she is simply
a trick of the light,
a reflection of me.
is that also what they taught her?
away in those faded places
could there still two aching dreamers be?
Beyond Me (April, from Revolutions: February-October 1998)
a cold smile from the sun
malicious with the wind
and everywhere I see shadows of his lines
echoes in the ceaseless waves
so faint I can hardly hear
opposed to the pull of this satellite's tides
I don't know what truth is
and I force my mind's words
through the filter of my hands
and stare at the horizon
as if it holds all the answers.
(May, from Revolutions: February-October 1998)
i will not cry.
i will be a big girl
making my way in mommy's shoes
with eyeshadow blues
and smears of the rouge
spotting my cheeks.
dress too long,
but imagination never,
i waited (like the stories said)
glass diamonds trailing behind me
to prance gowned with my Prince
at the mystical Ball,
the Adult Conspiracy,
the Crystal Palace of perfect clarity.
i will not cry.
i will be a big girl.
i will not take charity
even when my dreams
are so far from reality.
This is dedicated to the cats of Topper: to the one who has already left, and the one who shouldn't have to.
You had your precepts early:
from birth you heard wailing, anguished,
and your eyes opened quickly
to the fear and repression that surrounded you.
What shadowed, half-forgotten events
shaped you, twisted the lines and angles of life
into complex geometry are unfathomable,
lost in a past I do not share.
All I know it that, even when your
alien mind knew happiness, was freed
and we frolicked carelessly in the pattern
of sunlight through the bamboo and the river
Some dark, fearful piece still moved you
to sharpen your claws and practice your pounce
in case the beast of norms should return
from memory to stalk the paths you tread.
And in the end you were right and I
was so very wrong to be the optimist,
as circumstances beyond our feeble control ended
swiftly and surely your time by my side.
So, so far away, and so disconnected
in another time, another place that is still
not your own I can hope those reflexes and that spirit
prevail over the darker powers of
Motivated circumstance and ignorant decisions.
perhaps you'll even find happiness
on the roads through unfamiliar territory
but you must survive, because
This world needs your wild innocence
and insight, lest we succumb
and quietly become
To the killers of our creativity.
Lydia's Fragments: pieces that don't quite fit, like a lot of me.
and she said maybe i'll remember
and maybe i'll forget
but with her those words are empty
only an idle threat
in the mistaken belief that hers will be art
and similarly writes
in the forlorn hope that it will console her;
hands smeared with the words of others,
copied, recopied, trite
and somehow clearer than the grey
images haunting both her dreams
Email: comments? questions? Don't worry, I haven't figured out some of these poems yet...including my own!