Monthly Archives: March 2013

Libel

Here we have impoverished settlers

Holding paper fans that threaten self-immolation

Where the rumors live, Tiger Ridge

(Just as soon kill you

than look at you)

There’s good in everyone

I suppose

Ignore the horrors seen behind

Cataracts

Couplets and clippings and nativity scenes

Butterfly blood pure as

You’ll never find what you seek.

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Earl

(September 2010)

At nights like this I dream in blue because you

Were everything I once thought to be true

At night when the roar of the street turns cars into clouds of smoke

Beneath barefoot feet,

Rosary beads and a broken tambourine,

Tapping tango of a vintage cigarette and only the dogs and the cats knew

What was coming next, oh Earl

When a volcano threatened to conquer our trembling city

You took a taste of this, and pondered

The life of a coal miner and

Being insane in sane places

Where everything results in a yes or no answer

Silent footsteps on the dance floor

Mother nature, you weep.

It’s like throwing a drop of water into the ocean

When everyone wonders what its like to be you

Wondering what its like to be.

Checked and balanced to hell, books stacked high, vistaril

Pray tell, as you wander the third and fourth floor

Is any of this real?

Looking for some angelic eye candy

Dreaming of going to sleep

In a tropical storm

Trying to say yes-yes no

But dear god, you never go.

In the alleyway, you heard a tale

Of explosions on a mountaintop

And men painted black with soot trying to escape.

There are disasters everywhere and you once thought

You would go back in time to the roaring twenties

Until you realized you might be poor.

Sometimes we must remind ourselves

we have changed, we have changed-

But Ethiopia is sovereign, still

Or so I have heard.

And the best of tanks and poison gas could not triumph

Over spears and rocks, or so I have learned.

And each night

We falter, stumble, wonder

Jealous when everyone else is on more intriguing drugs

Asking could violins scream a more desperate love?

And the moonbeams have not answered me.

At nights like these I dream of two

Cards facedown on calendar papers

The sentry engages our escape, nightly romps to homeless shelters

Left behind in summer swelter

Fanning my elegy

White lies are lies nonetheless

And I can sing in the dark or slip out of this dress

Will a glimpse stave off, satisfaction for today?

I could exceed wildest dreams

It’s disappointment either way.


I Am

I am

Every day of the week except Sunday.

I am the living, breathing, groping form of vegetation

Called afternoon fidelity.

I feel

Fingers drumming on the back of my neck.

I sit

Three inches from the window.

I smoke

Where we used to breathe, and sometimes

His apparition appears

Asking why I no longer grieve

Flaunting a grotesque reflection in revolving doors and sometimes

Lingers beside me.

I give

Food to the homeless-

I know

You know my reasons.

I use all

Three lifelines whenever

I cannot stand still

Any longer.

I fear

This open ended weakness.

I don’t want to stop

Living in a light bulb

I don’t want to surrender-

These novelties make

My world a little tighter.

Before

I lived all alone in a

Glass terrarium and displayed my

Talent—just shaky religion and

Entertained the intrusive the ordinary and the trivial the

Bored hung back where I hung each

Old pair of ballet slippers, each year a different hook, in the closet I called home, where

I once ran away from home, where

I dreamt

Of grown up things, I cried

During infomercials late at night with

This person I did not know, whose fault lines paved the way

Mornings could be glorious if you know what you know

If it starts to hurt, call Dr. Herbert Snow

Things he said in life and death

And on a chilly night when I saw my breath.

But now

I think

About his crucifixion, he said I hope

I look like Jesus when I die.

I might try

Not to sanctify, sometimes

I drive blind just to prove

I am driving away.

I wish

I could meet Glinda, she would

Teach me how to sing, I prefer

Waltzes two and three, she

Would not compromise this wish, she would

Come alive and dance in a soap dish,

Bubbles that look pink without reflection of light,

Light my way as I walk

This off-color terrain.

I fear

Omniscient predators

I am

Frantically setting spools of tripwire

To make

Each superstition

Seem less personal.

I watch the portal close when he says—

Je suis perdu—

But I will not return for you.

Just in case

I pull back the rope ladder

And wish the phantoms all the best

Six feet under ground, the grass determined to stay fresh

In Nassau, in between burial plots

His mantra resonates:

Tecum vivere amen, tecum obeam libens

I try to stay away.

I survive

Squinting at the sky

And the hope

For a three way call

Withers down to whatever.

Those moths

Wearing but black

Scream regret

As the white lights never fade

He’s reduced to brush strokes

Riptide lines.

He is

An anchor, masquerading love

I am

Painting his tidal wave landscape.