Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lamentations for Medusa

When can one moment bring you love?
Conversations for one in the hall of whispers,
Among statues of the hated and the loved.
When can one day see a moment of
Rock star ranting into a sea of shiny faces
All looking up for the second
When eyes will link in adoration received.

Pausing before the statue of a beloved maid
Where tears have stained the feet,
Shifting the unimaginable gown
Of an eternity of misunderstandings
Having to pass through an endless gallery
Of sculpted hate, so many, so many,
How could they have never understood me?

Having to measure time with endless disappointment
Having to watch all days progress
From more to less while new names define
The ancient wine as all becomes
A passing truck of two buck chuck
As grandeur disintegrates before the eyes
In epiphanies to minds much less than wise.

All these are tears if you wish to cry.
Dismembered faces of frequent company
Are always to be seen in the same old light
Focused on the physical and the need to
Not see me as I am – hear my song –
The passage of my mind from sword and spear
To kind act performed unseen to those obsessed with fear.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rubbing the Lava Lamp

I always feel as if I’m desperate.
Life goes so slowly,
It never seems to do
Something valuable.

I guess its incompatible;
It goes on so it has
Continuity but nothing
Ever seems to go together.

Elliot tells us of his insubstantial
Days of chores and mindless tasks;
We hope to see some change
But all we have is familiarity.

Life undulates through my hands sensuously
But never seems to escape the lamp.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Walking dreams

(For Luis Benitez)

In the dark morning of ritual,
in the mirror of the unacceptable,
is an imperfection
of the imagination
which must be cut and bled,
must be the elaborate object of sacrifice.

Mirrors must be foggy, steamy,
a universal mystery lives there.
Wash the corpse, bathe it with fragrance,
prepare it for the life to come,
meeting with other corpses
in the pretend world,
a world not to be entered simply,
a world opened only by ritual
and entered only by those who
have begun to dream a dead sleep.

Mending the dead is solitary work,
all flaws must be imagined in new ways –
cut, trim. Sharp objects, soaps, tools
of rubber and chrome must be ready
before the cadaver can be
surveyed dispassionately,
bending close to the mirror,
with the feel of cold ceramics
against bare thighs.

The transformation comes in
slow, sure strokes,
dull skin begins to shine,
untidy patches no longer
are a part of the living.
Water, lots of water rinses away
all signs of life, imperfection.

Imagining a world
where this corpse
walks with other such dead
doesn’t prepare us for
the chance meeting
with the living and dying –
the shock of broken things assaults us,
leaving staring bodies
with blank eyes
marring ritual perfection.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Khadisha and I stop for a picture at a rare moment when the Language Center isn't packed with students.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006


It is a tooth in a cloth
not small like a child’s treasure
but large, sharp and white,
hunting for the hunger
it has lost.

It is the anger you wake to
after a flood of emotion
pours through your dream –
it has no object and
seems to float in the room
above the bed, punishing the walls.

It is a grey sky that’s suddenly a sagging,
ponderous, black cloud paunch

(It’s me without an umbrella, missing you).

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Date

Ainura’s beautiful face
was brick hard
when she stepped
out the apartment door.

On the stairs down it
softened the way clouds
cover the sun.

The apartment above
started to float
and blew away
as if a wisp of fog.

The future sparkled like black glass,
the coded door opened in an adoring gasp and
she stepped out in the huge mansion of the night.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Test pilot

I live in a world
pretty much alone.
Sometimes, its true,
I take to the sky
and fly with Neruda.
Or I can be with Ashberry
as the character of a river.
Buk takes me to the bar
or better, to New Orleans
for the antidote to painful.

But most of the time
it is just little old me
floating above, through
and outside life
as everybody
knows it.

Sometimes with Ferlinghetti
I put on graceful shoes,
I love the tight rope
but I walk high above
using an old wound
for a balance bar.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

child’s riddle

cleanliness is an intention

paragraph is an indention

what am I?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sometimes a pearl

The whitest flower grows in a sea of mud,
Never seen, never knowing the lips of the sun.
I grew up in a culture of lost relatives,
Finding the ones I didn’t want,
Searching for mystery and what I don’t know;
Looking for John Merrick in all this deformity,
Trying to make my own light,
Trying to glow in the dark,
Trying to get past the hate and anger,
Finding gentle humor, licking a wound -
Sometimes not hurting so much,
Sometimes breath taken in the deep beautiful,
Sometimes a pearl trying to invent
An oyster I like.

(Orriginally published in The Banks of the Little Miami, Vol. 12)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ringing of the Bards XXIII

The Bardess of Blogger has whipped up a RINGING you won't want to miss. This is The Ringing of the Bards XXIII and you'll find it at SOMETHINGKATY or Click on the badge above and CHECK IT OUT!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


the candle called to the darkness

it was a tedious night

it was half past later

the regime of the night sky was ruling

the regime of the joke

had laughed itself hollow

had drunk every echo

from every light switch

which alternated lost shadows

with corners and halls

like lost kids in malls

like the lost I was feeling

just as

the darkness brightened

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brighter and Wiser

I didn’t know I lived in darkness, who but God could give this light?
The moth needs the candle, who but God could give this light?

I hadn’t seen the world because I lived on the back side of the moon
Suddenly there was you and lots to see, who but God could give this light?

Every night must end; I was dreaming I was sleepless.
Dark brightens when I whisper your name, who but God could make dark bright?

You have seen me naked and ugly. All my deformities are visible.
Your clarity alarms me. Who but God could give all this for sight?

Dumb in the darkness, I knew no better. I also knew no pain.
You illuminate me and I cringe. Who but God could give all this to light?

I know now I was dead in darkness. I need to be healed by your love.
You smile shines like a saving beacon, who but God could shine this light?

Your absence defines what I now know is darkness.
Plunged in awareness between joy and sad, who but God could finally make me bright?

Monday, November 20, 2006

(write your name here)

laughter rings
the circle round
outside the fringe
quiet abounds

my rhymes are futile
transparent as a bottle
empty too

I’m haunted
(snow flake tears)
I’m a ruined castle

you climbed my mountain
you found me
blue and naked
chattering with firs

my breath fogs
it has no meaning
unless I breathe again
for you

Saturday, November 18, 2006


(a 55 word sonnet)

They were ours
before we were born,
they are
the diatribe of slumber.

Words that feel,
flow between
you and me,
and we do not

wake to hear them
sleeping on the bottom
of an undulant ocean
made of silk in the wind.

The silk snags on a thorn
and I awake at your caress.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Getting ready for the coming holliday season with a special show! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006


The dream didn’t come
Until those little eyes opened.
Possibilities sat vacant
With no reason to consider

Days and days
The ones like yesterday
That run to become tomorrow
Without any heart.

Songs sung from
Frustration and anger
Become sung by love
To close sleepy eyes,

Of someone who matters,
Who is dreaming you matter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Late night snack

I was hungry for cheese.
I wanted some of that
German white cheddar
flaky, dry and cleansing.
I was also thirsty.

It had been warm
in the day as a
Spanish spring afternoon.
The cap for the cold sat on the table.
The night changed to Russian bedclothes
and snuggled close as darkness.

I wanted borracho;
I wanted to slam dunk
against the skylight of the stars
banging my forehead at
the glass ceiling of the night.
I danced with the cap
and cured the disease of closed.
I shouted my affliction at the night;

I shouted dark words into the darkness
and watched them disappear
knowing I would dance in the day
knowing in my arms
I would find the smell and warmth of you
knowing I am so familiar with
your lips, wordlessly
telling what I am
and me, like a stupid tourist
puzzled and hypnotized
by this strange language
enjoying not to know.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


It seems late to me.
I know it is after that time
when the last rocket of day
sputtered past the horizon
and was gone.

Late is now defined by
how much it is past
that moment the diamond
fell from your eye.

It is late but not very late
still it is past the moment
where I am who I was
and I no longer know
who got trapped in
this glass in front of me.

I feel sorry for him
like a brother who cares
for a fellow victim.
I can’t console him,
I barely have the strength
to even watch.
It is late.

Monday, October 30, 2006


It is inexplicable to me
we are so wet
even the air sags, laden
or is so heavy that,
when in bangs into something,
it knocks it down.
Our sounds are gurgles and burps,
bubbles in water, punctuated with pressure.

We are creatures of wet land,
We are the commonness of water and air,
In a world where water stands
and watches or, worse, chases
after you, moving at frightening speed,
then bites you with huge,
thirsty teeth
leaving you laying,

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A few sunny afternoons ago, Zhenya and I took this picture between classes. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 20, 2006


Did you say tomorrow?
I’ve been promises,
I’ve been darkness
dogging crevasses,
with little hope
of covering the distance.
I’ve spread too thin.

And the promises?
They tunnel blind darkness,
nibbling love like a termite.

The nights are edgy,
I don’t hold them well,
they slip from my fingers
and shatter like dark, greased diamonds.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The barn

The sky was dogback dark
Close but still somehow too distant
To scratch where it itched.

I was in the empty barn of my life,
in turns, collecting the belt
with the red, raised skin of my back,
saving it for happier days,
to remember how to smile
(and why),

in turns, I was hollering
in the emptiness, looking
for the corners and edges of my voice
in the squalling building
where life went on –
independent –
of punishment and loneliness.

In the barn you see
shovels in the stalls
waiting by the manure,
you can pick right up
where you left off.

Even if I castrate my days,
send them to the office
for coffee and politics,
when I collect them in the evening
they head for the barn
to figure it all out again
as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Couplets, dime rhymes, and cheap thrills

Why is the doctor crying?
Is he in love with you?

The pick pocket wanders the aisles
of the empty bazaar at night
dreaming of the day and fat pockets.

He sees himself out-running them all
Suddenly he’s safe in his limousine –
the pockets of his fine suit are full
and everybody wants to give him money
for no reason; girls only want his love.

Envy, everybody is dying of it.
He rides to his mansion and is safe
in its cocoon-like emptiness.

He lies down in the empty aisle,
beside the cold metal container
and smiles in his fast paced dreams.

The doctor is hanging a mirror in front of his eye;
the cheek behind it glistens and sparkles.

One dreamer dreams the other is also asleep.
The other dreamer dreams only he is awake.

Elena, your sparkling black eyes
are the only night in which there is light.

The fat man is starving
inside the lard bucket of his body.

Zhamilla’s smile infects the poor boy with incurable happiness;
after she leaves, he dies of unrealized emptiness.

The night is collected in a cup;
the day drinks it up.
Each night there is more darkness;
in winter the day will die of indigestion.

We completely cannot see through
the dark overtaking me, you.

Fish have it easy -
They cannot drown
no matter how we cry.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fourteen lonely lines

The day trips like a clumsy child;
I hate it that you are so far away.
I am not calm, nor happy for no reason.
Others do not see me as myself –
none of us are happy to see coming
the me that lacks you.

We have to struggle with the darkness;
Your absence is a kind of darkness.
We hope to know what we can’t
and our fears fill spaces already unhappy.
I hate it that I am insecure and
jealous pain sees where pleasure walked.

Longing and memory have become
the important parts of fruitless days.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall change

Climb the ladder to the day;
climb out of the dark cloth of night.
There is a nakedness in the light
that has nothing to do with clothes.

Press the silk of ruined dreams;
smell the wet and hot of protection
sleeping bag tight in the cocoon –
metamorphosis or death.

That which is different
appears as broken glass
treaded to crumbled sameness
becoming yesterday.

Tomorrow springs to life
in words and dreams and falling leaves.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

An evening program advanced class Posted by Picasa
Shooting a cooking Show Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

To my daughter

That my heart is like a spike stuck in my chest
is natural because you are you.
I would not want to change you
although we cannot cross the same bridges.
Promise and truth have never been friends for us although
I would still lay down my life for you (and that is not a promise).
My eyes dim while yours grow brighter.
Your son makes my smiling face absurd and, at last,
I have harmed everyone by wanting to be good.
I always kill myself first like a coward;
I could gouge my eyes out but am still afraid I'd see you suffer.
My vanity is my legend, large as a lake,
with me trapped on the shore like a small intention.
Every time I flail out too far from the shore and drown,
I see your smile and know it was worthwhile.
We will always be lost in this love which has found us.
Regrettably you will always be small like a bright and shinny seed
and life will always thwart the fast running feet of our dreams.
Still you and I will face the world, hand in hand,
clown-like, in our Halloween costumes.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I was a gulp of high air -
a bird breathing in,
a black dot on blue paper,
a privileged recipient
of finite sacrament
of souls of flying saints.
That all happened the moment
you taught me splendid roundness
as defined by the touch of your lips.

The other mysteries fell, one by one,
cities under siege,
watched by the terrible army of our love,
filling all the horizon, insatiable, made indomitable
by human frailty and sheer force.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The danger of sleep

I did a dream at night,
as I knew I should.
I was whole in it,
so whole that I crossed a barrier
and couldn’t wake up,
dreaming until I died.
Crossing into heaven,
which was where I had been
when I was dreaming
I dreamed that I was sleeping,
restlessly in the night.
In discomfort I crossed a barrier.
When I awoke
I looked round,
sat up and cried.

Friday, September 15, 2006



Turn to the horror of himself, look at deep within
He knows there is a growing burden, He is guilty
If he hadn’t done what he shouldn’t do, no problem,
But he had to; no one takes care of you but yourself.
Steal that candy, break that toy, nobody will see it.
Don’t worry if they catch you, you can lie (as always).
God smiles at him from heaven, he is completely free,
Take that money, he knows he wants what they won’t give him;
Life passes into the hands of the greedy and quick.

The burden builds like a dangerous house with a short,
He can never relax because it’s all coming down.
He looks to the sky and thinks with a frown, no one home.
What there he sees is a reflection of him – snake eyes.

And so are you

I am that silhouette rain makes
as it falls on me. I cut this invisible swath,
sidling between Betty and death,
squeezing between beauty and the flower,
walking bower heavy under a barrage
of bougainvillea, just a notch below
the breeze and an hour beyond ice melting.

I cut the day with a line
that leads to dark. I am the nothing
in between everything.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What a class! this is the first shot I took. Posted by Picasa
This group studies intensive English. They are really great! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 08, 2006


The Carnival Comes

The trucks have rumbled down the road.
At night they rested in the new spot.
Sodden thirsts have woken up early
to assemble machines before the dawn.
Speakers have been set up for there will be music.
Soon there will be food and noise and light –
bells and calliopes, hot dogs in paper
and lights strung in a row,
mirrors, mirrors, lots of mirrors
(for we must see ourselves as happy, amused).

Looking in the glass we see that
there are two of everything except us,
how disconcerting.
But there is little time for rumination
for we must buy this illusion,
we must purchase it from pipes and painted steel.
Smells rival one another, last nights rain, the fragrance of moist earth,
pop corn, pickle relish, mustard,
oil and iron, hot incandescent lights.
And always we pass the mirror to peek inside, and wonder,
watch them turning at the heart of the carrousel.

The music stops, people exit and the ride fills again.
Another tune starts, the carrousel spins,
the mirror scans for strange new views
in this place of Cartesian Duality.
It circles and circles –
we ride the painted ponies to where we started
(somehow we always end up there).
Children giggle, mothers smile, lovers embrace, wind caresses,
lights sparkle, in the mirror you see the world spinning behind you.
Eagerly we get in line again.

So much noise – the crack of rifles ringing bells,
music, loudspeaker voices with their Doppler second selves,
whirring motors, the wail of wind singing
its last song in airplane wings,
the calliope (associated with poetry, for we dream tonight)
and, behind it all, the mirror turns
showing a world that we know is silent –
cacophony and crystal.
Turning, turning, everything spins,
we are dervishes in the moonlight,
separated by having spun together,
each with our own ears and lips and heartbeats.

I search for yours – lips moist and warm –
I learn rhythm, friction and not to fear entropy.
But somehow I have lost you.
I see us in the mirror, wandering away.
I look back, we have turned away from the light.
We are another couple I recognize,
who have sated themselves on cotton candy and illusion;
we are fat and starving.

The lights go out – one last look in the mirror
on a world now of shadow. In the profound silence
a cricket sings to solve a lonely puzzle.

Thanks to all the wonderful poets who graciously contributed their works to this RotB XII, you are friends and fellow strugglers against the loneliness of words. Please enjoy all the fantastic writing they have done. It should be a great, leisurely oddessey to touch their minds and souls. It has certainly been my honor and pleasure to have been touched by them!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The students of the Intro to Films class I teach Posted by Picasa
More Academic English Comp students at the board. Posted by Picasa
Students at the board in Academic English. Posted by Picasa
Some of my Intensive English students, aren't they great? Posted by Picasa
Some beautiful flowers! Posted by Picasa
My off-campus KIMEP students! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 04, 2006

These are some students from an intensive English course I teach! Posted by Picasa
Hi csperez! These are master students. I'm teaching them to write essays. Look on the whiteboard behind us. In faint blue (my marker was dying) it says Hi Craig! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006


THE RINGING OF THE BARDS XI IS AT Poetry Springs Boing, Curl, Sproing CURRENTLY. I WILL BE HOSTING R.O.T.B. XII SOON. PLEASE SEND A LINK TO YOUR SUBMISSION TO ME AT chefrr (at) yahoo (dot) com (Take the spaces out and insert the symbols represented in Parentheses; put ROTB SUBMISSION in the subject line) BY 10 P.M. FRIDAY EVENING PST. I am looking forward to your submissions!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why didn't the timer work? Posted by Picasa
It sure has become tough to get these things through cusoms lately. Posted by Picasa
They have been around the world many times. Posted by Picasa
My knife roll Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


You perhaps have on a loose fall white dress
Your summer legs are brown and bare
You are in a hurry to not be late
Exhaled breath will get you there

You will blow in on a crisp breeze -
Morning scented with aroused air
Hop scotches my dwindling hair -
I’ll catch you as an autumn leaf

I will hold you there
In that room of sickness
We must cure
The only way we know how -

Well again at last
We’ll manage another misspent hour

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Poetry Carnival

The Wizard of OZY has spun you a poem you won't want to miss. This is The Ringing of the Bards X and you'll find it at Paper Tigers or Click on the badge above and CHECK IT OUT!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Need in deed

Chasing a horse till sunrise
Why don’t I dream that it's night
I slide across her lips
Round as a robin’s breast
Guilty in youth, guiltier still

Ruleless as an empty paper coffee cup
Trying to put the other half together by quarters
She had gotten tired because
She was holding on to him
Hoping he was holding on too

The long warm months had bounced by
With eagerness and confusion then
Finally the summer road drank her
As if she was a frosty glass of water

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Work permit

(please view the orriginal artwork that inspired this poem HERE )

I have been dead all my life
Flat like the sea
Choking horizon
Close and endless

All the pleasure I have known
The guilty touch of shiny leather
The crude grail of silk
All the rotten reals
Of dead animal skin
And no hope of transformation

I have surfed like a job
Over the birthplace of clams
While a solitary skate
Is flying on whale song
Across the valley below me

There is no home
That wasn’t a house
(With a hanging hat
Strangled in haste)

Diamonds strung on spider webs
Were pictures in magazines
On orthodontic visits

The sparkling world and shinny teeth
Presidents and Princesses
Long cars with fins
Sputtering whales

Couldn’t prepare me
For a moment alone
A spastic second spent
In my own embrace

Friday, August 18, 2006

Triptych Centerpiece

So superficial are the suits
That make us grown.
So real the forgotten children
That are the growing
Shadow within.
Our discomfort is
Endless as the sand by the ocean
And comfortable between our toes.

(See the picture here )

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who’s there?

Emily, mother of my sorrow –
Genes of my prison cells.
You stuck out so you didn’t
Want others to notice
That you did what few
Can do. I could have
Taught you to
Build a disguise,
I who have hidden
In dishonesty.
You were right,
Your way was better
But there is no good way
When you’re a
Tear drop with out an eye,
A peach without lips
To brush against it.

(look at the picture HERE)

Balloon Air

I don’t know whether I can,
Sweet katy, there’s always not,
I mean, I’ll try.

(He hears her.
He hurries through his day.
He almost makes it.
And then, out of the blue,
Like thunder)

He always does his best, though.

(The picture that will make this clear is Here )

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good News Friends!

Banks of the Little Miami will publish four of my poems in September! Yay!!!!
go to: Banks of the Little Miami

Monday, August 14, 2006

No ladno, ne vazhne, eedoo!

My body tossed troubled through the air this week. You land soon enough. It’s important not to land! Piles of paper are on my head, pushing me down. Still God, in his infinite mercy, has held me up to the sky, has made me part of the air, has let sunlight filter through all this impermanence. No matter how tarnished I become, I am allowed to sparkle, turn, changing as a kaleidoscope does, patterns, color, light. I bank into the breeze, I am still in motion.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Odyssey between afternoon classes

Walking in waves of heat,
Tide pools washing over the difficult asphalt,
Walking from the Minotaur’s dacha
To the hat rack of Madusa,
Scraps of poems are scattered in places
Too difficult to hide in.

You were dizzy in my arms.
We drove the highway up to Eden.
It was my dream so when we
Should have been the happiest,
When we got there, it wasn’t real.
We stumbled picking up our shadows,

They were cool in our hands.
We were naked children on a deserted beach.
You turned me into a pig
And I followed you everywhere, making noises,
Teaching you to smile
Discovering you were sunlight and motion.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Brown bottom sonnet

There almost always was time
Parade rest bottom shop
Love got behind in its conquests
Fool full out
There was always
Never anything like this
No time
Since the end
In my sleep I caress you
Restless to wake
See that room
We have long since smiled
We moved
And are dead

Monday, July 31, 2006


And then there’ll be an anchor!
So that’s the end of the poem –
Let’s get it out of the way.
Good, now we can talk.

I was at home yesterday
In the morning –
Didn’t grade any papers until afternoon.
This life seems strange to me,
I like it, yes, but there are grays and shadows
I’m not used to –
The kitchen is so much more desperately alive.
Another dinner crowd, no time,
Suddenly the magic erupts.
You know it is up to you,
The others who can do it are in other kitchens,
Doing just as you are doing now,
Something special, something that
Looks like everything else but isn’t.

But this is good,
Getting to watch the young grow,
Helping them when you can.
Such young lives, so unprepared for the
Restless rolling, the searching and finding,
And finding you need to search some more.
I remember this innocence
And how hopeful and frustrating it was.
The hope always leading into
Contradiction rather than answers
And the contradictions and frustrations
Being loaded with answers you can’t peel away
And enjoy them separately.

Life is such a mess of stormy waters
And calm too – time, yes but all rolled together –
Present, past/future –
Papers, un-sortable,
Magic, still somewhat out of reach,
Got to find it so that things don’t stay the same
So that life is not just another day
No matter how others think it is –
So that I can give something to these kids
They will always be able to use –
Words that find the chance of describing
What it is they will soon
See and feel, so that they can tell their
Own kids so that when the storms come
And everything seems so fragile,
Insubstantial, changeable -
So that there will be an anchor.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ruined Choir Exit

This is that day we’ve been dreaming of
This is the day when all words rhyme
And are such sweet music,
When the sleeper next to me is
No longer lost between the canvas of the mattress
And the landscape of my dreams.

Ends, now, the morgue of the cloudless sky
And the tyranny of perpetual rain.
We will not pull from our pockets
Odd dust balls and hard, rolled bits of paper
On which were written the sad truth.

Step now into the kitchen, laboring with our minds alone,
Sleepwalkers on the prowl,
As Morpheus bakes a cookie.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

can’t scratch that

summer on my skin
prickly dust baked with sunshine
simmering, itching

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Poetry Carnival

The Crunchy One has hosted a terrific poetic meal this last week for all to enjoy and now the new carnival is about to start at Clear Candy Daily. Click on the badge above and CHECK IT OUT!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cezanne’s blank spots

white tension black
laughter time sigh
story memory truth

what is the substance
in between things

trust hurt help

In Control

She is the queen of continuing sorrow,
Tragedy has a nickname,
Tears a leash,
Doggy sweater for despair,
Mercedes and driver for misery.

That beehive hairdo is for her burden,
She will not go out until it looks correct.
High heels click the tattoo of iron rain –
The sadness of city isolation.
Hollow homes on hillsides perfect her wail.

There are other places she could live,
Other towns without glass mountains.
The sea is glorious when subdued by a window,
There are things that must not be remembered.
I have been sitting at my desk for hours; I have been drinking in information – my soul and spirit are numb – I have been dealing with the growth of others but I feel shriveled, dying. I am overloaded in plainness and painfully dry of rainbows. My mind has been subjected to regression as it thinks backward into the norm. I hope to spring the trap, unlock the doors and set a bunch of students free from the narrow boundaries and plain words of the skills that bind them by being small like little rooms with almost no windows. My sorrow compresses me – I’m boxed in until I can work the locks. I ache to be free but carry my prison with me. I am the cat asleep under the car, in danger but I can’t wake from some crushing dream. I long to peel off skin and find a poem.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Who taught them to play like this?

So all the little children,
All the dusty little children,
You see them lying there -
Mother’s milk spilled.

The television has a hole
In the dark, cracked tube;
The crumpled swing set only has a
History of motion and rhythm.

The house to run home to
Sags skull like and roofless;
The blown up kitchen is cold and laughless
Like the dusty, limp hand

That stretches out to the parents who should
Have known better about indiscriminate killing.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Collateral damage made real

(For Ash and his birthplace)

Within the rubble,
Child’s face, doll’s face, unblinking
Blushing in red dawn

Thursday, July 13, 2006


fuzzy friends with car seat memories
pears that blush but do not apple
axe sharp life
to fell a cactus
the dirtier dog is mean

in his eyes
sharp images stick like pins

tears are natural
in such bright light

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Electric Friends

Songderella ever turning
half-life living
half-dream hoping
music is playing
waiting to waltz the prince.

TV is playing
dark room
newly dead snore on the couch
the happiest moment of her day
she is watching -
flickers show her grin
breaking into an unshared laugh.

Nightmare ghosts of happy people
haunt evenings of the lonely.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sorry I'm so busy!

Second summer session has started and I am developing a new curriculum for and old course -- please bear with me. I'll start to post more as soon as the load lightens. Meanwhile, go to the Somethingkaty button on my sidebar and check out the Ringing of the Bards (2) poetry carnival. Katy has done a great job of putting together some wonderful reading!

Thursday, June 29, 2006


It doesn’t hurt so bad
I bought some nicer ties
Got cooler today when it rained
Remembering a wind swept summer
I just wanted to say that

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I would that I was sorry

I am a poet like a Trojan horse,
hollow and dangerous

I am an emptiness you cannot say
but know so well

tell me your story
ask me my name

and prepare for emptiness
attacking from the space between echos

and how it has the name
of unknowing

Monday, June 26, 2006

On thorns and flowers

What shall we do with the time given us? Did the hour of hurt so disable us that the days and years of our lives lie slain at the feet of rebellious men? Do the violent own this world and its trees only bloom with bitter fruit? Can the yards built for children only be the chance for harm where swings creak in dark rhythms and the childish blossoms of dreams grow unviewed because all the vases are shattered? Tell me my bruised eye can look on man and see some hope.

I watch the dying and see only resignation to the perverted state of their lives.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Katy is poet of the week!

Look for my link to Poets 101 and check it out

Monday, June 19, 2006

Pat’s carousel

There is no fragile place to this dark humor.
It doesn't pound fresh, it hurts
long term and hard like a scar!
Candor is here, as always, but also
stinging whispers in the aftermath of the train wreck.
We have a taunting nursery rhyme; too not for kids;
a hint of vivisection, no blinking.
too late to get off the ride,
we’ve seen too much!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Clandestine meeting

Hoorah! Finals are over!
Now I can get laid
by the lover that time is;
we can sleep together;
weep together;
stumble, snore, and speak together.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Early buttered web page morning
sun streaming in the window -
screen hard to read
radiating reflected sunlight.
Clichéd gladness washing away
clichéd malaise as I
rise again to dress
in this tent of day,
hoping for once
to step outside
with my head
in the roof of the sky.

Just one line
might change it all!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Dizzy sky under your voice -
Could my longing be fulfilled?
The train has been here,
I can see the tracks -
Where has it come from?
The bulldozer changes everything;
I thought I was happy
The bulldozer is a hand
Reaching out -
What is its source?
I am the factor that multiplies minutes
So that it takes so many to make an hour.
I am the mansion of love -
Why don’t I know what room this is?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sculpture - illusion, cast in stone

Time is always misremembered
shallow beliefs are shaking leaves
shade sorted for destruction
left is right remembered
in the mirror of time

All we have left is time -
the same as mashed corn kernels
on a well eaten ear of corn -
everything seems to be finishing
the last moment, the last
goo of something once ordered

The last of this moment
is the first of the past
still so close it even seems like now

Then the decomposition starts
the good begins to glow
in the growing dim
and the unpleasant tarnishes
to a pile of rust without
any hint of what once was
the terrible morphs garish
eventually becoming
late night, sweat soaked
horror movies
for our morbid fascination

Love is always badly imagined and
the past always suffers sculpting in storage

Monday, May 15, 2006

Doing a March

I’m in your step
I can’t help it
anymore than
you’d want to be
out of mine
I breathe your sweat

Sunday, May 14, 2006

For Natalia’s Trip

Dark brown soil you smell
tangible as a childhood
dress, the swing has changed
but that doesn't matter
old and new is all there
the life you know
from remembered to forgetful -
everything gathers together
like raspberries in an old bowl
at the dacha.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Epidemic emotions

It’s like a secret language, my heart
the day that dawns with hunger
the night that beats dark drums until pale morning

in the evening I watch the room as poisonous thoughts fill it
I dive deep to swim under the thick corruption
she begins to die from what she says

I hate her for poisoning the dinner
the children are choking and the old friends
it excites her, she is proud
this murder is hers, she is
strong in her fear, strong in her secret evil
she smiles as if she was doing everybody a favor
she smiles as everybody gurgles

desperate for air, I try to surface miles away

Monday, May 08, 2006

Show me what hot means

Your beauty strikes the sky like a match
and lights up the day. I was shivering but
didn’t know how cold it was until you warmed me.
Surely somewhere there is a salvation but the
only hope I know is when your fire consumes me
and I am lifted from the ground like a burning bit of paper,
flipping over and over, scorched, consumed
and happy to flare in bliss.
From the sky, I realize I have never seen the earth before.
Cold ash is all that waits in that dead place.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yard Party

If just for one moment I knew you’d be watching,
I’d twirl again the spinning boy
To gather the thread from sparkling eyes
To weave the clothes that we could wear
In God’s own shiny afternoon.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

chameleon shift

green in a world of leaves

darkness, yes darkness is good

brown, try to remember

slither and segue from safety to safety

for a moment, on a leaf

long, slow, staring

legless as a cucumber

restless with recklessness

rage, standout and return

Friday, April 21, 2006


so she lightened up, smiled

unbridled laughter for such a dark horse

sticky note on the monitor

unmoving, moonlight on the water

the earth poured in where the sea opened

birds fly because there is land

so he dreamed poetry but couldn’t write it down

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


voices in the dark

back door, front door, next door

paint chips off in your hand

random as an idea

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

naked echo

tired dervish

exhaled breath of water

contemporary rhythms

falling aluminum cans

worn out gears winding down

brain trust rainy days

side to side shuffle

standing still

that holding pattern for possible

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Real or the Reel?

Above me the steamy jungle pounds in nighttime frenzy,
Roasted warriors turn on spits while
Naked bodies lurch with frightening motion
To frantic drums in the bright and shadow
Cast by firelight. But its noontime, really
And downstairs baboolya’s cruelty and cunning
Squeezes shouts out of Natalya
To make sure she’s paid the price
To the last drip. Throttle that pound of flesh
But find no justice, I think to myself,
Which makes me hear my students
At the university saying there is
No such thing as a happy person
There are just people in happy moments;
Everything is grey in life
Until we color it with our love.
So I kiss your lips,
Know what the color of grey feels like,
Put on my headphones,
And watch Groundhog Day again.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The joke

If you are Andrew you will cry.
If the world gets kinder
Celebration is red hot kids
In real foolishness
As the dizzy hem of the dress
Spins our humanness is known
And we are lit up like cities
Where it is a mystery that the night
Is not the day when we do the dervish
So as to be still, so our sins are forgiven,
So that is good, so what?
We are human and that is what must be!
The one who would be the master
Of this world is cruel but not humorless.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Working Heart

Working heart, love factory,
Generations of stored excellence
Perched on a straw nest hatching tired
From the constant ache of egg laid want.

Turned and turned but not from feeling.
Star bright dreams of the distant present,
Unblinking daylight telling all the fictions we believe,
Fears with words that wake us almost speaking
From nights of almost dreaming.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Dawn Haiku

Mud blacker than shade,
rippleless silver mirror,
Morning dark dawn kiss.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

To my students from the University:

Please feel free to enjoy this Blog. You are welcome to enjoy what I have written or taken pictures of and feel free to leave comments. To do the latter, however, you will have to sign up for blogger (just click on the button in the grayish brown bar above and to the right that says: “GET YOUR OWN BLOG”). It is free and I encourage you to do so. If this is new to you, welcome to the world of the blog!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


It is not my ears but my years
that wants to hear the shuffle and thump
of dance. It is not my mind but my age
that longs to puzzle out of another
passionate irresistibility that is consuming
all my faculties with the intensity
of hot, wet oblivion. Does wisdom come with age?
Obviously not! Am I a fool?
With every ounce of strength I can muster!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spraznicum Esho

Happy International Women's Day!

Sunset in Sun City
(for mom)

Wheelchair ruts in faded red carpets
Crowded lobbies, hushed corridors
Grab a seat, the matinee is about to start.

Ancient limos, giant and shinny
Pull up to the grand promenade
Before the majestic doors.

The music of large bands is
Swinging in syncopation,
Swaying in orchestrated phrases.

It will soon be flashing lights, fancy dames,
Reporters bending in to catch what’s said,
Cigarettes and whisky until the dawn.

Alone in the school yard
Two miles away, the squeak
Of a metal swing fractures the silence.

She actually enjoys the sound of it,
The desperate cry of some
Tortured giant metal bird.

No mom or dad around.
Nobody to play with,
The metal shrieking in pain.

The old begin to gather
In after dinner sitting rooms
Chairs roll on careful rubber treads

Across padded carpets, or glide with a lisp
Down level linoleum paths as if descending.
A walker makes soft metalic clunks

Bangs in muted hollowness
Against the table as the woman
Surrenders to the chair.

There the show begins;
Not talking, staring straight ahead
She sees what no one still alive can remember.

She cries, she sighs, she smiles,
She holds dad’s hand.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sleepless senyru

Downward arching moon
Pale rectangle on the floor
Blank screen of moonbeams

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Of Humble

The railless train of dreams ploughs through my night.
It whistles and chugs and races out of sight
And I am left in the bed before dawn,
A set of muddy ruts with no memory,
A headache and the corrupt taste of forgotten sweets,
Listening to the last cluck of laughter,
Incomprehensibly hanging in the air
Of an empty room that once was the party in my sleeper.
We are faced with the river that loses its freedom
When it becomes a drink of water and
The rare air at the mountain’s frosty summit
Which becomes a tired sigh.
Things go from what they once were
And our forgetfulness is puzzled by their halos.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The arrogance of work

He sits and struggles, wracking his brain;
He’s arrogant enough to dream of fame
and assumes that work will allow him to learn
the secrets of chocolate, stars and rain.

No matter how hard he works,
Those who have more talent will do
Whatever it is better than him.
They will not have earned a tiny parcel

Of that advantage, grace has put it there
And, no matter how hard he tries,
He can never make a miracle
Nor equal by sweat and tear

That which they found waiting for them
With wide open arms and a cheer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Happy Men's Day! Can you not cry for the millions? Are your tears dry as newsprint?

You dream headlines, I weep

I was on the road to a surprise
and the sunrise scratched at my window
long before the high above
Satchmo sang Brecht in German.
Bavaria breathed a flurry of yellow leaves.
Wine whirlpool.

The naked form of gluttony
danced before my eyes
less funny than hippos in tutus.
Wander to the bathroom
slowly, drop the seat,
no time of day,
there’s nothing better to do.
Hotel room.

Do you care this is about a person, not people;
does it matter this is about everyone, not me?
The plate is greasy in the restaurant
the food slides off and we might eat it
but do not, we were born full.
Song empty.

We are weakness strong in number -
Marx was right, he was wrong,
he knew the answer could
only be imposed or
no one would get it.
He knew I didn’t deserve to know.
Pain teacher.

Tear lake.
Swan dead.
First bird flu.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Can you set the sky right?
Beowulf could. Can you avoid the
Temptation to take advantage of what you know?
Doc Brown could (most of the time).

Can we save humanity from panic
And keep their ignorance intact?
J and K could no matter how many
Bugs came for a killing spree.

Can Neo come to understand
And save us from our slavery?
With love enough, of course.
All you have to be is a good person.

Can I learn to be a good poet?
Can Sisyphus roll a rock?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gulya wore her heart on a sleeve

The world was a morning that became the afternoon
in which children ran all over the meadows and
in and out of the small ravines.
Of course the banks of the river
hung precariously over dreams of an
unsupervised time that should have been
a school day but was an entertainment for
somebody, I don’t know who, as the adults
nervously got together, worrying about how
they looked and what their kids were going
to do, which they had already done and were
getting ready to do again, as playground fantasies
became real trees and streams in the mountains
with the same bees and ants making
small, soft brown flesh to have the same red bumps

Busses and classes and kids and cars
and everybody segregated so we could be watched
by each other, always not noticing what
someone was doing, everybody always
in ever changing groups except the adults
who were already overdressed for the wrong event
and anyway I brought my samovar, so strange
that the one foreigner should have an
object so common, it should have belonged to
somebody else but the strange man who
visited the English classes (after the kids had
done a forced march through two weeks
of dialog memorization – you know, the usual talk,
which nobody ever has) had agreed to be there
and wanted the impossibility of being a part of the thing,
which he was, but not the part that drooled on his pillow
or chatted with the other guests who were parents of
the kids who were sneaking off in plain sight everywhere.

Everybody was doing a different time, the afternoon
was already too long, we should be getting back, Pavel and
Slava had found a path down to the mountain stream,
not fast anymore but broken into a hand with, intermittently,
too many or too few trickling, snow cold, clear fingers, so that
Katya was telling Roza we couldn’t go back yet
because they had to get there, that place they always
go to but hadn’t time to get to yet. Wait a minute
so we can sing folk songs in Russian and the fool
can sing Strangers in the Night in English to
the absurd afternoon gathering and
they all smile and clap, no one understanding English
but the teacher of the English class who was trying
to keep me from feeling so strange
in this setting just like I might have done with my own kids
in another time in some place on the other side of the world
not feeling so different and not needing any
hot tea, cold day, parents and teachers, kids running everywhere samovar.

I kept trying to escape so naturally I was really trapped
The children kept wandering further away
And were so preoccupied with every anything
finding joy in being able to get away from each other together
that I saw my chance and looking at some dangerous branch
wandered off to save the children from their freedom
created by the society of adults I so desperately
needed to escape and they, of course, were glad,
what was I doing there anyway and there is so much
to talk about only not now because, although his
Russian is really bad, he might get the gist of it
and we are trying so hard to make him comfortable
I think the English teacher’s going to have
a nervous breakdown and what is she thinking
about anyway, oh, thank God, he’s across the ravine now,
I hope the kids are safe, how will they talk with him?

What do they need to say? As everything is obvious anyway,
even though it only looks like what we think it is,
just as we only think we know what it looks like,
and that is why the kids are all so busy looking around
and the adults are trying to avoid it at all costs as
the little corners with the rips in them and the
frayed places in the processes of fooling ourselves
where we have grabbed them too tightly for too long
and the holding on to them has worn everybody out,
especially the kids, but they are not so desperate,
you can hear it because they can still laugh and
it doesn’t sound like a policeman dragging a table
through a crowded bazaar when they do.
I’m obviously trying not to be noticed and the kids
understand that part because that is why they are also
wondering around out here in plain sight where
people can hardly notice them. I’m getting lucky at it, too,
which is a relief, as the strain of being a happy adult
was starting to fit me too tightly like too small underwear
and all the smiling and nodding was just the basest bit
of something so thin and fragile you are afraid
to hold it any longer. The kids did and didn’t understand.

They just made it so I could be there and it wouldn’t matter
(which was something impossible for the adults)
and I began to look down and up and around, finally
starting to see brown leaves and spider webs and ugly little
round pebbles everywhere and there was sparkle on the
wet, grey stones where it didn’t belong, just as it
had always been. I was so relieved to see it again
that I wasn’t prepared for the next moment when the
whole mirror cracked and the kids came and got me
to show me that he whole view had changed and
everything was back in place now, just as they
had always known it was but I had just started getting used
to fooling myself about it again. They silently brought me to
a cold and clear and fast flowing bit of stream and
stood there wordlessly waiting for me to see it where it was lodged
against a big round stone that was pressing it to the bottom.
A young woman’s arm, neatly severed at the elbow,
sat there like a dully grayish pink bit of trapped driftwood.
The fingers were relaxed and rounded as a handshake but the skin on
the tips of the fingers had been abraded in some places
as it had tumbled in the water down the steep mountain.
Her fingernails had been neatly trimmed but had no polish.
It was surprisingly light for being waterlogged. I used dead
branches like chopsticks to remove it from the water and hid
it behind some rocks on the bank where it would remain
among the fallen leaves and traveling stones like history.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

surrender to making war

for Laura

funny how the days slip by
an urban surrender
to a time tsunami
filling the tide pools
of the nighttime’s passing cars
it hurts too much
this world of scars and sharp steel
I have no other way to talk to you
do not race your wheels too slowly
we have too much to do and say

Friday, February 10, 2006

I learn to oppose creation

I have asked my name of the whisper god
But will pray it loudly and with violence
For there is among people a certain deceptiveness
Which cannot be hidden and the whisper god
Is too kind with it to be tolerated
Nor can his hand be trusted to do
As would be satisfying for me.

Though there is nothing he cannot do,
He would tolerate this thing which I am
And let me make him weak and foolish
And a servant of my pleasure.
He will hear the horrible things which roll my drums
And march on trembling legs to my glory.
Thus he will be my greatness and
All shall fall in fear and death before me.

I will fight to raise myself up and
He will be the battle cry my crowd will yell.
As I have watched his faithful minions
Shame themselves with sin and pride,
I have heard my deepest longing
Gurgled with their dying breath.
The pack of little dogs that bite from fear
Inspired me to power this year.

As for his eternal glory,
We will have our day this morning.
My short heaven will only be
The hell I create now.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


The light is precisely as bright as always;
Your eyes have grown dim.
Why bother to turn the lights on
It won’t help much
So pull the unseen darkness
Around you like a blanket.
It will not warm you,
It’s more a comfort as you
Do as you have always done,
You could do it with your eyes closed,
As you now prepare to hang the wash,
Wandering the dark corridor
From the pitch black laundry room
To the dusky room with the folding clothesline.

Curtains are not important
You cannot draw them wide
To flood the room with light,
If you could, you’d gladly
Tie back the curtains in your eyes,
Or maybe not, perhaps
Now darkness is your Taj Mahal.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sotto voce

I have this voice, it’s over there,
In that box under the dusty case of beer.
I just found it again, by accident.
It slips away and, truth be known,
I sometimes forget to look for it, although
I need it more often now.

It is the most surprising thing,
Hiding here and there.
I never know where to look for it.
Sometimes it lurks to the ruin of a comfortable chair
Or can be found in the fridge’s cold foods.
Other times it’s in a book on the shelf or a shadow under the stair.

It always takes me by surprise.
With my tousled hair and rolled up sleeves
As I sort through things looking for it,
Suddenly it is there, making me wonder
If all is not as it would seem,
If it hasn’t been looking for me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Four Postcards

I have seen you wearing
nothing but urgency
and it was beautiful.
In the calm of dark
I have held you, felt
your tenderness and fire

and glided quietly
to the distant shore.
The answer to the
questions I’ve forgotten to ask,
I have seen burning
in the sunset that

shines behind your eyes.
Please come in my room,
look out my windows to
see yourself standing outside and
find the quiet and excitement
I feel when I see you on my step.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Vesuvius the butterfly

So now shall we go to the other side?
It is the violence of birth
And transformation

Because it takes one thing
And makes it radically different.
So shall we now go

And be with the tree as it bursts
Its bark and becomes as yet unknown?
Shall we now go

Into the madness we’ve always feared, to enter the silence within, which is
Trembling and surging like a symphony
Saying shall we now go

And find these words as they burst free?
Then they become that song your heart longs for, asking
Shall we now go free?

It is your chance and your dream
Wrapped up in the cocoon of your fearing it, that asks
Shall we now go?
Shall we now go finally free?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

There is hope yet

The silence before the beginning of words,
Where you are afraid everything
Has a name but you don’t know it.
The knock at the door before
Knowing what that is, still startles,
Breaks the endless dream of
Individual being, or starts it,

Aware you are in tune with things
And Sextus, Montaigne, Hume
Rattle the bars of their hopeless doubt
For disbelief of the door that is all around them.

A room of doors that serve as walls
Where Jeddai trees battle motionlessly
With their shade sabers cutting lifeless swaths.
We are motionless as ideas
Separated from all life,
Empty as the shadow of a person.

If we realized, we would open the door
to discover a dusty brow and a glistening road.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tribute to the startling truth

As we celebrate the superficial
In the daily drama of small change lives,
As our big city/little town without
Meaning motivates tears and endless talk,
Waves of nervousness well up within to
Make us restless as an English August,
Make us hope for a change from summer’s warm.

Will we walk rough and scarred through some kind of
Portal into a time and place with no
Illusion where ugly or shockingly
Brave, a mirror’s gaze will tell the truth and
Find that reflection is not only ours?

We so often see you there,
Photo of our dreams and fears.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mister Rogers’ last kill

I sit quietly and alone,
World bombarding my head and ears,
The base line almost shakes the glass
From the apartment just above.

Power talking rappers posture
Greed, sex, violence, arrogance,
In a language not know to him
Who listens over and over
In the room above. I have heard
him crying when his father yelled

Less louder than his stereo.
He is grown now, his father’s gone.

He has gotten used to it but
His father’s anger still lives there.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


i hear your ring
ask who you want
you tell me
he is not here

do i know you
are you looking for me
can you stop calling
can i stop answering
do i want to

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ars Poetica

for Andrew

As the moon sat high in its
Westward ark, not clear and visible
But intimated by its ball of glow
Infused in gathering clouds in the
Opposite way from which
Dark spreads in warm water
Around a tea bag,
He stood in a dark room of a
Sleeping house staring out the
Frosted window, filled with
Thoughts which were also high in their ark.

Early next morning the snow was falling,
Large fluffy flakes, slow and erratic
In their nearby descent. No hint now
Of glowing globe, neither sun nor moon,
In the illuminated dim. In his breast
A burden blossomed into musical syllables
Of what he hoped you would know.
Sometimes a story of beauty
Which surprised him, sometimes
Questions which everybody asks but
Cannot answer. In failing words
He sought to invent that
Forgotten language that both of you
Could understand, that would save you both
From irreconcilable aloneness.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beneath the ice we waited.

Grimlin snow suddenly starts,
Forgotten but now remembered in
That time when it just happens.
When you go outside
Ironically, at last, because
You were waiting, because
The children know it as
If it is the first time, as if
With sliding and laughing
Or with simply lying
In the snow, watching, that
The change in dullness
And staying inside is made
Into that strange situation
Of happiness.

And who could guess that state?
But we know because
Beneath the ice we waited.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It was always a box

I was the box back then.
That was before the door
Opened and the box blew up
And the present began
Running like a river without
Gentle bends past groves of
Apple trees in late summer
When the fruit bulged
In wind singing branches.
Thereafter sagging, the fruit
Grew oversweet and browning
Fell in soft plops on brittle
Dry grass above rocky banks.

Little bare feet that ran so
Harmlessly, that shot the sky
With fingered guns and
Laughed among the place between
Dung and dirt and bird filled skies,
That carried the triumphs and sorrows
Of the smallest things
Without knowing any largeness

Or the Emperor’s strange need
For bright swimming fishes or
Dark heart weaning from mother’s
Milk before the portent toothing
Of inflamed gums in moist
Motion of thunder clouds
Imminent of the richly deserved
To him who would get it
Like everything else
In much different ways
Then those thing are usually
No matter how inevitable.

Those things which fly out
From the box so fast
They can’t be caught
And spread themselves around so
That they will not be gathered,
Cannot be separated from the
Rest of everything, some which
Is normal and some which is not,
But can’t be told immediately
From the things they otherwise
Look like because everything
Looks pretty much the same
From the outside.

Do you hear me
At the certain age of a child
The child is no longer a child.
Does the time tell you lies
About the present?
And merry Christmas may
It wrap you with gaudy glint
And whisper absurdly
Get back Loretta
Glad ribbon lessons in
Delayed possession
Which is the nature of history
Which is where I am at.

Beyond the box
I am human but not
Like I wanted, I am
History but not the kind
I want to read or write.
My imagination is not
What I imagined and
I continually must redefine
What happiness is by
Looking at my own
Surprising happiness
Made up of dreams
So strange they must have
Belonged to someone else.

Where did today come from?
It is as if my tomorrow
And somebody’s else got
Mixed up and our
Lunchboxes got switched
And I was expecting a
Sandwich and I opened it up
To find what I am eating
Is not what I packed.

Do you want to know where
My father is? My mom
Can’t remember and thinks
It is because she has forgotten
The moment her box blew up
And life slipped past
Childhood dreams that
Kept us from being sleepless
Although they never allowed us
To fully be awake.
Now my dreams are like
My lunch (somebody else’s)
And I can’t guess what kind
Of me would have possibly
Wanted to dream them
Just like one day when
My father turned out to be
Somebody else.

Oh brave new world
That has such creatures in it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The flame

It’s the smile, she was the virgin of the garden
and the garden is where I look for her.
I gaze into the candle and the candle
burns out in the cat dish.

There is a thin line between religious ecstasy
and fanaticism, the laser grids guarding
the vaults in the bank robbery
that sets loose the demons.

Can benefit and harm live together
where they can be rats in a maze?
What I am seeking
Burns within my eye.

My hands close
on something ordinary.