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.