Archive | July 2013

35,000 Feet

I have stumbled
along these rivers,
trying to turn
toward forgetfulness —
toward mindlessness.

But here the clouds
are a thousand
venus de milos,
some thousands of feet
below.

And always when
high above an earth
grown to abstract
curvature —
a thing to be caressed
to vision —
I am returned
to this blistered
reality of the page —
how I have neglected
and sickened again.

And there is no erasing
these words carved
in bone,
the always returning
to flight.

So I walk along rivers,
and I think I am forgetting,
and I think I am forgetting,
and I think I am
forgetting.
And growing mindless.

But even these thousand
miles away,
where the rivers are strange,
and the plants are strange,
and the horizons are strange,

I find myself stopping
to look up
and wonder if you
look up too, at this
low half moon morning.

Would that it were possible
to leap through this window
and hang
forever suspended
at 35,000 feet —

watching the venus
and all her paramours,
all the passing river
that passes for living —
and remain forever high,
abstracted, alone,
and untouched by it.

Slip

1.
You’d better be careful.
We take our black magic
seriously.
And I could send
pages and pages
scratched and etched
and a cauldron of clocks
to prove it.

2.
When did waking
grow so perilous?
Better to stay locked
singing sweet
in a jail of dream,
where only imagined
dangers can touch you.

3.
He’s a beggar
for my blood.
Cresting a wave,
silvered and salty,
I bite my tongue
that he might have it,
and to keep myself
from whispering
the wrong word.

Coincide

With the moon,
we turn
to think
on all the pleasures
of a common language —
like finding
a friend
you’d thought lost
long ago.

And who can say
how many shapes
we’ve taken since
our descent from stars?
We’ve passed
this way before —
me,
always running away
in my spirit shoes,

you,
with your dirty hands —
and both of us seeking
the solitary,
the silent.
And there is
a spark that crosses
space and time
to bind us.

And there is
this common language
that surpasses
loneliness.
We plant seeds,
tend them,
harvest these words.
And this feast is much better
for the sharing.

Chameleon

I want to be
a good chameleon.
I scale myself
in iron,
in laughter
and every kind of green.

And he could still
be kindling,
and fan a flame
in my cold blood,
if he would
but try his influence —
but is busy
with the mirror
and all the girls
of summer —

and does not see
how I live out dreams,
safe and untouched
in this prison of page,
where words are
inconsequential
as smoke.

And he does not see
how I am
a good chameleon.

Tender

She waits
’til you are sleeping —
lights a fire
deep in the bone
and fills the bowl
with blood and thunder,
sends all the undefended
to lead the way
through a labyrinth
of riches
you can sense
but never touch.

Strips you down
to sunburned skin —
points
with her hard hand,
says,
is it any wonder
you are weeping?
All torment
is the crone’s choosing,
the mother’s sorrow.

Your hands
are still untried,
young and sweet.
Lift up
all the broken things,
carry them
with you
until you can find
the most beautiful place
for rest.

With thanks again to the random, anonymous commenter…

“This is my morality, or metaphysics, or me: passerby of everything, even of my own soul, I belong to nothing, I desire nothing, I am nothing — just an abstract center of impersonal sensations, a fallen sentient mirror reflecting the world’s diversity. I don’t know if I’m happy this way. Nor do I care.”

— Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet

Funny Voodoo

You have a funny voodoo,
don’t you?
And stars are
bleeding on me lovely
as the air goes
thick and sweet.

And I’m sorry
I have lost time —
we might have
visited him —
that golden
and trembling giant.

Now all the angels
sing of autumn
and the bittersweet
nuance of loves.
And I chase my shadow,
remembering winter nights
when we wondered
if we’d ever feel warm
again.

The spiders have returned
to weave webs in my hair.
Side by side,
we spin our threads
of vision
where impossible
is not.

And there is sweat
on my neck,
on my cheek,
on my back —
even in the singing dark
as we grow drunk
on summer’s fruits.

Fevered,
our shadows fetch away
and roam the night woods —
and you kiss away
the salt
while I sleep.
And we both
know better
than to believe
in endless anymore.