Archive | October 2012

Witches’ Night

Don’t tease.
You know I melt
When your pen bleeds —
Trapped in the suspense
Between minstrels’ words —
Reality,
The safest escape.

Imagination keeps
Draggin me ’round
And gettin me in trouble.
34 degrees —
I’m experimenting with
Windows down.
And the cold is clarity
But it sets my bad nerve
To twitching.

Tonight’s the night
We learn to feign strength.
Tonight’s the night
We hide within masks
And then shed all disguise
As the calendar burns.

It’s a good show
When you can rise up above it.
Pass me a beer,
And be careful what you say.
One wrong word
Might send the thing
Careening back to earth.

Some mornings,
All I can think are seeds.
But inertia lingers
Like a frost
In the low places.

So we paint our faces
And intentionally obscure
The truths that underlie
These confessions.
And on this witches’ night
It’s simple to hide
In plain sight,
When only the moon
Knows what’s real.

Face of Privilege

Too late.
Should have turned
A quarter mile ago,
And the decline
Is hard and fast.
The streets
Full of garbage
And the buildings’ eyes
Blind with boards.

Ahead of the front,
It’s warm,
So the windows are down,
And singing with the poet,
I smile before realizing
The air’s filled
With something
Out of context.

Back in the present,
I’ve gone too far,
And my heart gains
Altitude.
Try to swallow
This fear —

Pray lights
Stay green —
But none of them do.
And afraid to engage,
Look anywhere.
Look up.
Look ahead.
Look anywhere
But into an eye.

Pause beneath
A bluelight camera,
And all along the street,
A community watches
For the rain’s release.
A baby splashes
In a dirty puddle,
Adjacent to 16
Handshake exchanges.

(Remember,
I am not looking.)

Imagine growing up
Without green.
Imagine growing up
With an empty belly
And a dirty puddle
For a pool.

Finally,
A right turn,
And the fresh downpour
That washes the streets,
And the traffic —
Unbearable to think of
Mere minutes ago —
Are a relief.
So I press on,
And give thanks
For the accidental
Circumstances of
My birth.

Lawndale, accidentally

Shared for OpenLinkNight No. 68 at the dVerse Poets Pub. Head on over and read some poems, friend. Cheers!

Moonwatching

Walking after dark —
Halo ’round the harvest moon.
Witches’ night is near.

Arrivals

She wants me
To reach for her,
But lately
We’re never awake
At the same time.

Walking after midnight,
Or climbing a hill
At sunrise to kneel
Under the harvest moon
Before she slips
Into the long dark.

We await
Winter visitors —
Shrike and harrier,
Kingfisher and the goldfinch
In his gray-green jacket.

And I want to be
On a mountainside
With you,
Measuring the snowline’s
Descent.
We could climb a tree
And watch fat flakes
Melt on each other’s cheeks.

But I get sleepy
At all the wrong times
And stumble through
Dreams full of strangers —
Whistling,
Winding new rope
To bind me to the earth
And watching for November.

Reciprocal

These assessments
Are honest,
But the questions
They raise
Are dry wood
In a storm.

Of late,
He brings the new,
Sets small fires,
Shows me the structure
Before it finds form.

I play the lucky
Witness —
Burning within
The weight of worship —
And seek out
These most reachable points.

Test my footing
And survey
Neglected landscapes —
Beds of cold comfort,
Easily made
And waiting for kindling.

Here I cannot
Release his soft gaze.

Here there is no
Kissing of hips.

Here dangerous questions
Intrude:

What muse shares
Your thought-dream?
How do you make peace
With vulnerability?
Can you find the way
To reciprocal?
And how much wood
Is left to burn?

Indian Summer

Push a blunt needle
Through calloused skin.
Indian summer
Wants blood.

Waiting for
December’s dark,
Every breaking
Begins in these fissures
Born of rigidity.

And we are still learning
To bend.

And we are still learning
That alone or lonely
Is a matter of perspective.

And we are still learning
That both are lies.

For all this railing
Against the clock,
There is little point to it —
Nor does there need to be.

And it isn’t a lack of will.
And it isn’t a lack of faith.

We have everything
We need,
But find our all
Is wanting.

So we intentionally
Lose the way,
Overwhelmed by the weight
Of emptiness
That gathers near the ends
Of these paths to self.

Pick a shadow.
Watch it lengthen
Into another season
Of misses.

But for all of this noise,
The focus sharpens
In time.
The world sings with it.

And I guess it’s better
To keep heading
The wrong way
Than it is
To go nowhere at all.

Indian Summer