// no one but me //

It’s okay to feel sad I guess when the morning light is far too critical and I’m holding my head in my hands to try to keep breathing, keep creating, keep hope swirling underneath these white shallow limbs. Where did the beauty and the mystery go? Why are there so many eyes and nothing to show for having witnessed all the mindless tragedy of this world?

I hear them shouting but cannot see down the train tracks to warn them, it’s foggy over the hills in my chest and it’s all too loud, all of it, most of all when you hear the silence alone. A ticking clock, dust on the typewriter in the back of my throat.

I used to trust you to do that for me. To hold my hands when I got lost in the clouds in my coffee but I guess I was always a little selfish, mad in ways only you could make an aphrodisiac.

As I stand in the doorway I’m trying to remember the poetry I wrote years ago, before it ever occurred to me that being a poet would change the way they thought about me, it was urgent prose but had more meaning than that, or so I’m fairly certain. I don’t worry as much about my skin anymore, I’m told I look much younger than I am, to which I do not respond because I don’t think we mean the same thing even though you are smiling and I am trying to make you feel less uncomfortable. Mostly, I’d rather not be seen.

I know I gave the words everything I had, all that blooms inside my pink sky body only makes sense if the page is there to catch it. I know it’s hard for you, I know I move too slow when you need to chase the wind; I know I drink wine too early and question so many things you refuse to talk about, or can’t. But I’m here too, last I checked, and all this has to get out somehow so I’ll keep on with the writing, the terrible fire I warm myself next to and curse as I dance in the flames.

Feathery snow is falling from trees and I am only myself so often. Footsteps shuffling down the hall, too many old hair brushes cluttering drawers, the pages of my favorite books folded into exotic birds. I paint my lips the color of a clean slate and the plastic things you cannot forgive but make love to anyway.

What do the shadows think of when they fall against the ending of days that don’t seem to move? The headache continues down my spine; I’m drinking tea with fresh ginger in a room which bothers no one but me.

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// slide //

Where is Bukowski and didn’t
he predict this:
brown sugar bread crumbs placed
upon thick pink tongues
draped over the broken backs of these
delirious days.
In your bruised hands braiding through my gray stale hours
there are blue painted iron doors in the floor
and crushed bitter wine
bursting from
dark wet seed.
I open my mouth but shut off the scream.
~
Twilight, bewitching and twisted, is awash in childhood dreams
hanging from empty subway cars,
alone in the night, hurling themselves into nowhere
in particular.
We count eleven million stars and each of their oceans,
one by one for centuries,
trace constellations on each others bodies by the light of
pale bedroom eyes, breathing along my hips
in the tides of full orgasm,
trembling by a river of moonlight
flowing through your chest.
~
Strange the texture of innocent things
the mind will not remember,
the heart will not forget,
and my fingers can’t stop making the shape of you.
Cigarettes. Shadows. Hauntings. Mirrors. Halls.
A girl betrays herself
too young,
beautiful landscape
burned by too many suns
as they orbit split knees.
~
Statues. Angels. Graveyards. Nudes.
The afternoon heat is the swell of late lilac blooms
as they lay you on a bed of sacrificial ivory lace
touching you tenderly where it aches;
your cravings like sweet peaches
drowning in cream,
I watch you swallow hungrily such an elegant song
before the kill.
Folded and unfolded exposure,
heavy brocade curtains, impenetrable veils upon the wind;
I hide for days in a quiet room for castaway souls.
~
Across the tops of street lamps the enemy speaks
in a vocabulary of cruel needles:
sharp, clear, seductive destruction;
you say they never told you this
but the truth is when they did
you missed.

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// prize //

Paint your walls
high on the hills and look for me
elsewhere,
the memories we spun like
royal garments
coming undone
can’t hold a candle
to a returned lover’s face
you could reach out and touch.
Tall buildings collapsing, windows –
ceiling to floor –
exploding
half way around the globe,
I can hear them inside
when I close my eyes.
I’m sleeping again, dreaming of blue canvas sky
the way I’ve heard that satin mourning doves
mate for life.
The way you used to taste me in full;
hard hot rain down the bare soak
of my benevolent
skin,
this darkness has torn my vision away
from the sun.
Just like her, just like him, just like they said it would be,
we – you and I and none of them – we in our aching blindness of being
rise like train wrecks to the next occasion.
Don’t you look for me in your disfigured instruments,
don’t you look me in the eye and bloody my hands
over the absurdity of sculpture in your withered gardens
all but overgrown, concrete limbs climbing along the vines;
beautiful horned creatures carved in black sand,
wander your lavish labyrinth of
tender flesh, steel traps,
rust in the back of the throats of those gone mad
from screaming.
I will be gone.
I will be gone.
White wings on heartache, pricks on the tongue.
You will fall thirsty, beloved, and I
will be gone.

.

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// messenger //

Your lips part silently
around words I cannot hear.
Muted, but calling to me
just the same
and persistent.

Your face the promise
I’ve been waiting for,
a message behind the walls,
how the beautiful take long baths
in the
crumbling.
Please tell me what
I came here for.
What the syllables
are.

What is this developing distance
between moving and
standing
still.
The words have stopped
falling from your mouth.

“Patience.”

Time is held by the hands,
held in your hands, sliding
through vanishing palms.

And I am waiting.
I will wait with all the world
for the tremble of
a single word
from you.

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// artistry //

“I was born with an enormous need for affection,

and a terrible need to give it.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

I have never melted into the folds of a truth so deeply as I did when I first heard this quote. It is so strong in its vulnerability. We are only as rich as we are willing to own these things about ourselves, our need for intimacy, our need to find little flecks of our own souls in other people.

Our need for togetherness, for kindness, for seeing one another.

These are very tumultuous times we are living in, they can feel vicious, dark, lonely, desperate. But if I could beg of you just one thing, it would be that you do not abandon your sacred craving to give and receive affection from other human creatures.

Affection, affection, affection. Compassion, compassion, compassion.

This is who we are. This is true artistry.

This is where we belong, in the gentle hands of one another.

Love.

.

.

 

// patience //

Perhaps the darkness
will learn to give way,
in time,
to slender suggestions
of light.
In a dust blue
shadow room
somewhere across the world
the first sound is heard
by the empty air,
so very few
believe.
And in the streets below
this broken window
soul,
nothing passes
nothing flows.

.

.

what will you do?

Hush, my angel,
in the quiet bend of the
wrist, this
is my most tender
undress;
this is the way I slip
inside the gap between the
thighs of the birth
of my resplendent heaven
through the fires of an ancient hell, this
is the way I
open up.
What will you do with
the coming true
of us?

.

.

beautiful light, can you hear me?

Bare feet below me, thrust of chalk white sky
stalking above and I
see myself
flesh to the press of candle glow
eyes,
through the window
the rain is swallowing tears
long dry, returned.

Sorrow curls his fragile spine
inside the hands of freedom,
an ocean of ghost bodies walking
side by side forever.
There are new worlds inverted,
refracted and coming into view –
palm touches palm, cheek to sternum
they bloom, flower, and
disintegrate.

My life is a glass face:
a curious gaze without
and within.
Beautiful light, beautiful light
brave mouth opening the dark,
can you hear me?

.

.

“The great courage is still to gaze as squarely at the light as at death.” ~ Albert Camus

.

.

// her //

I could have been there
a statue standing
in her marble skin,
the swan spun neck and the lines
of the collarbone
thin as ice.

~

My hips an eclipse
of white crushed velvet
snow sky,
the nectar in the clouds which
grace and skim the moon,
so overcast
so eager
so hungry for affection
was I.

.

.

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// where we go home //

What I think many don’t understand is that a writer is always turning back toward the writing. That we are either in that space, in that other space which we occupy alone, which we sink into with such reverence and need, or we are trying to get back to it, trying to understand and pull pieces out of the sky which belong to it.

We are an eternal return, an infinite homecoming.

It’s like we have a little invisible drawer where we keep the sacred special secret things and we keep bringing bits back: bits of nature, of emotion, of light, color, taste, texture, sound, impulse, desire, hunger, heartbreak, anger, fear, whatever – everything. Imagery, science, the painting on the wall in a dream – everything.

And we are trying  very earnestly to make sure we don’t miss any of it, not one thing, not one blade of grass or shadow or skinned knee. Not one memory or insight or glimpse of this One divine thing which we don’t know, but we know.

We know and we don’t know, that’s the mystery, that’s why we gather so many things – we don’t know how or why but we know they go together, somehow. Somehow all things go together, they fit, they hinge.

All things, all creatures, all words are turning back into themselves, there is an order threading through the chaos.

We know it on some level which grips at the veins. That the puzzle has no edges but it does have seams and this is where the magic is, in the creases.

Somewhere in the fitting together of the random bits, we find peace, we find meaning.

We do not know where the work will take us, but we know this is our work.

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