Thursday, October 17, 2019

SHABBAT

Christ's sake—
from one measly
sundown
to the next,
why not
just relax?
Take a bath, read
a good book,
or both. Heck,
nothing beats
a little candlelit
Yoga by the river
Styx, and you'll
never reach Valhalla
without taking
a quick dip
in the Lethe
first. So forget
about running
around 24/7;
turns out those
ancient Mayan
mathematicians'
calculations were
off a bit—from
a modern Astro-
physics perspective,
it's just as effective
to sweat every
threat to your
chosen ideological
provenance
twenty-four-six.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

ACCEPTANCE LETTER

Even if all you recorded
was the getting
out of bed,
let us say thirteen
thousand one hundred
and forty or so
times by now—all
in a row, without ever
questioning it—
you'd already be sitting
on an epic more impressive
than Homer's in scope,
more inventively
quixotic than Cervantes',
and several hundred
times longer than those
numbered days even
Jesus of Nazareth could afford.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

PROOF

Just so you know
there really is a book in which 
everything is written 

but the catch is 
you're not allowed to read it 
until after

for now I'm afraid 
only 

the muteness 
of touch 

the silence

of the voices calling 
and calling in the dreaming 
interior of the mind 

and of the doubt
that rises 
obediently to follow 

the peace 

the kind best exemplified
by still
water in light 

the unfalsifiable claims
to beauty made repeatedly 

by each burning daybreak 
and every irreversible 
immolated night—

for now 
only this much 

is safe
enough to be 
underlined and annotated

as true beyond reason
beyond purpose 
beyond question.

Monday, October 14, 2019

ANACHRONISM

O, conspicuous
fleshy pink
hibiscus

still waving to me
on increasingly crisp,
persuasive breezes

and foregrounding
now, from the threadbare bushes
nearest to the avenue,

the neighborhood's
canniness of
Halloween decor—

how I wish
you could tell me
what it is I don't notice

about the moments
in which I am
truly contented

until the colors
have shifted
and the whole planet

tilts—and they're
so out of place, it looks
ridiculous.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

BESPOKE IDEA

Believe me, I'd love for the words
which we've already got
to work. But it's no surprise
they don't; you know that, and I
know it too—there will
always be this flimsy sort of
something between us, some gauzy train
of see-through stuff, some tailor-
made fabric smartly furled,
and yet routinely stretched to a
shape we can't name
and a color we've never been able to
label. We can't explain
the ritual; we've glimpsed it
in dreams, but it blazes
up way too quickly. So now,
miles and miles from that hotbed
of emergency—and safely wide awake
on a cold dazzling Sunday—
the best I can do with these
prefabricated phrases
is just to say that it's
life-size, enact a swooping dance
of pure gesture with my
hands, and leave it at that.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

REHABILITATION

It's hard at first
but once you're bent
you tend
to bend there again.

After a time
you might
even start to arc—less like
a yogi

than a wizened
ray of light
on its way through a filmy
glass of water:

still play the lottery
just skip
the ticket; more than once
let your kid come

with you to the
convenience store
dressed in her
Halloween costume.

Friday, October 11, 2019

OBLIVION

If you can when
you're old,
think of this:

loss itself
is a kind of flaw-
less memory;

a cognizance
which, at last
is yours alone

a blissful sort
of looseness
you can hold—

the only gone
you ever get
to own.