Thursday, August 17, 2017

INDEX

If feelings
were stones

littering huge
ancient cliffs—and

words were
the cumbersome antlers

of ferocious
dead animals—then

the first poem
on earth

was a hatchet,
chipped and chiseled

from the rough
chalky flint—

and this
most recent example

is the polished
obsidian tip

of an arrow,
aimed straight

at some heart—which is,
basically,

a sack
full of stones.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

AFFORDANCES

This poem is my poor, honest
excuse for an airport,

since I doubt I'll ever get around 
to building you a real one; 

stubby runways 
of instruction—in digital code, some 

short bits of information, to which 
I only hope 

you'll give me a break 
and apply a little energy. Basically:

keep flying towards the light 
at constant angle A. Then, just 

trust me—you'll make 
it someday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

FUNDAMENTALIST

Confession—still usually makes me
feel like a deity
to swoop in

from outside
of her own
furiously honed ontology

and to smash—
the occasional floozy
brown spider

who scuttles alone
down the edge of
my basement hallway molding—

like I'm silently teaching
the whole universe
some ineffable lesson. But gradually,

spider by spider,
it's seeming
slightly more radical—

to learn
instead of
to teach the lessons, to pivot

on that
retributive foot
and leave unseen, to become

truly invincible
right here
on the earth,

as an indispensable
broker—not of mercy, but
nonchalance.

Monday, August 14, 2017

QUALITY CONTROL

Don't worry—real white
looks nothing like a glass
of ice cold milk,

nothing like a bleached
square of toilet paper,
nothing like some freshly

washed bed sheets,
or that special kind of
toothpaste you use;

real white
is something so pure
and true,

it would never let you
just go rubbing up against it
like that.

Real white is so good,
and so right,
it is not even like

the thin, soft light
by which you first recognized
your own face in the mirror.

In fact, real white,
real rightness,
real innocence, and the like—

those things
are much less
like light

and considerably
more like—Einstein's
equations describing it, or

like the time it takes
a cloud to rain
itself clear out of existence.

White is not even a feeling; it's
the feeling of
whichever feeling that was

slowly dissipating
once you understood—it was doing
nothing for you.

Friday, August 11, 2017

ON AND ON AND ON

Passion is loud
and sloppy and sudden,
is something

that just happens—
like
the mumps.

But, at it's quietest, love
comes across
much more like

fidelity—
not at all
glamorous,

simple and slender
as a promise
when it's whispered,

something you
don't touch, but catch
glimpses of,

too steadfast
and unremarkable
to be a miracle—

like July fireflies
in those considerable moments
between flashes

or dusty dented boxes
a little too full of
Christmas ornaments,

like beautiful wind chimes
hung up
in the window of a closed shop,

or exotic garden flowers
at night
when no one's there looking.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

LET'S PRETEND

Imagine your
relief—when you're
finally dead,

and you end
up in
heaven—a place

of infinite
harmony
and order

to which
no one can
possibly object,

where there's
no such thing
as danger—

so you don't ever
have to be
brave.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

On a quest to completely
disown all my preferences,

I set to work
inventing a brand new piano—

with no sharps and
flats, no black

and no
white keys, to play fantastic

modern melodies
which would neatly upset

all expectations—
and huge heroic chords

unencumbered by such
baroque constructs

as good notes
and bad ones—

but once the thing was built,
and I finally

laid my hands on it
and discharged my first

ecumenical message,
the tone just didn't strike me

as functional
at all. The good

and the bad
were still calling out to me,

like small moans
on a breeze

from someplace
far away.