Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Hard Problem

A grim 
cut on my soft 
right thumb,

smartly dressed.

The husky 
aftertaste of 

sustaining bitter pleasure.

Another sidewalk,
beige and shoveled 
(not by me),

freely inviting my easy, thoughtless traipse.

like patience 
and generosity
are difficult to explain

but easy to understand.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Poured a Bard

I poured a bard into his boots this morning
and he caffeined out the door,
but Wednesday didn't look at all to him
like Wednesdays have before.

I assumed his song would quickly solve the snow,
but it didn't fall in chords.
It was too ubiquitous, or thick, or deaf 
to plow with metaphors.

The clouds that hung above his head wouldn't sigh
and weren't so musically
condensed into the milky ones that bloom 
inside a cup of tea.

Instead he said he'd recommend I skip
the poem and stand the drink,
so I sipped and sketched the only lines I thought
spit pith enough for me:

Sometimes days are written
By words a page can hold
But most them are given
By ones we'll never know

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Separation Anxiety

behind thesauruses,
I drove mute
through a fortune 
of snow

and thought:

how poor I am
at owning this moment,

how rich I am 
to be alone,

and how 
indescribably wrong I am
about both.

Monday, February 25, 2013

the truth is

a few specks of wild birds
winging loosely through clean light
crying wild truth

the indiscriminate bulk of luminous snow
concealing an asphalt path
hearing none of it

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Poem to Stop Looking

Walking out 
under the thick and 
endless canopy of clouds,
I strained to see new colors;

And finding none
but enduring grey,
I decided to close
my eyes instead
to see what sound it all made.

At first,
a dull whir of traffic,
the drone of jets,
that scrape of desiccated leaves 
did little to improve my sense
of somber muted silver;
but then I realized
that I was still looking-
obliging and inviting
and demanding dusky slate.

Finally, I just gave up, 
and I heard birds.

Not the sound of birds,
but birds;
bright blue and green ones,
there and here ones,
singing cheap and feckless,
bald and fearless songs
of what came before red
or goes after purple,
off east or west somewhere
cold, then quickly warmer
in gold
in circles
in warbles that dove and 
ones that didn't-

And I felt I heard
or heard I felt,
there in dark bare winter,
nature blaze in brightest emblems;
only, now I saw
no longer straining
(and hardly breathing),
That I didn't even want to look at it that way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

No Apprehension

Today, the sky
was so much like itself
that it didn't really 
remind me of anything.

Starved words leapt
in apostolic succession,
wheeled through mock horizons,
and dissolved in irrevocable blue.

The pleasure 
of sun on skin
is no such thing 
when apprehended-

a quality to behold,
not to be held.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

After I dropped my coffee outside this morning, everything seemed to change, or maybe

Obtuse, pointless,
Tuesday howled in-
or seemed to.

Without care or criticism,
the steady, edgeless air blew-
or was blown-
toppling all containers and 
moving shadows,

Picking up and walking on,
I nosed for form in the cold sprawl,
for some meaningful monochrome insight
that i could coax later
when i was warmer,
for savvy in the bluster,
for willing feeling in numbness.

But I found no rhetoric in my frozen fingertips,
or acumen in a puddle of spilled coffee
and my greenest of thoughts 
just bleached white
in the wind

There is no shelter
that isn't made of words,
and I can't use them anymore
than I could use the weather.

After all,
who in his right mind
would dare call that distant, rippling flag 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Confusing Villanelle

Form and content breed each other
The bound becomes its boundary's mother
I can't tell one womb from another

Confuse the gift up with the giver
A holy land, a sacred river
Form and content bleed each other

The metaphors are nearly dead
All they'll say is how they're said
I can't pull one word off another

I know these ripe canals by heart
Their contours are their works of art
Form and content need each other

What once was fresh is freshly frozen
A cavity once closed swings open
I can't hold one breath from another

Nascent fruit on ancient trees
Hard roots, soft possibilities 
Form and content feed each other
I'll chop one down and eat another

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Appearance and Reality

In late morning
the long light oozes down
through stilled mobiles 
of bare branches.

It drenches ponds
and it blesses bushes
it kisses grass
and it stains park benches,

pouring thick and quiet honied glory
on every inch it touches.

But though i feel illuminated
as any rock or twig so-blinded,
i alone can look and see
the place from which the light rushes.

And though that glory seems
to ring from every bit of brush,
i know that it really lives 
in my hunch of the bright as such-

and not on what, when brightened, 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the Collapse of Purpose

this morning
i slipped outside 
into the sheer 
inconceivability of tuesday

all at once,
my purpose collapsed
and i just fell to pieces
on the cold, sharp air

blown out 
over narrow streets,
above rectangular buildings,
past flocks of dark birds,
i felt so wide
and complicated
that i didn't really notice
the easy way my particles moved 
into the spaces right in front of them

and instead of insisting 
that i knew something 
about what it's like 
to be a bird,

i only wondered,
dimly, dumbly, 
and for the first time,
what it's like to be 
a flock

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Zipper

i was a zipper,

tunneling onward
through the interstate wild
along the straight line of old thought.

Everything that fell behind me lay bound,
and that which was still in front stood open, 
ready to merge.

But i never once tore past 
the filaments of true trees,
the plain mentality of hills,
the decentered sky, streaked with disintegrating vapor trails,
and wondered;
who is it 
that made the rules?

I am the one who zips-
the zipper of zippers-
and I zip them quick,
because i'm late for for something 
or other special
and very worried about the weather.

But I still don't inquire
while i'm busy integrating:
"who is it
that makes the rules?",
because I'm just too busy wandering.

Instead, I ponder what they are,
and whether zippers 
can wonder.