Wednesday, February 28, 2018

BEHOLD

My love for this place
is less like a thing
and more like
a thing's container.
It's colored
a nice benign lavender—

safer than either of its
primary urges
but, proportionally,
shaded much more
to the blue side
than the crimson.

Which is to say,
it's not a space
that burns, or insists,
or requires. It prefers to stay
a little far away;
to keep cool,

to wear its sunglasses,
to just hang-
out—and twinkle.
But not like the moon
or a diamond
would do, either.

It's more plasmic
than that, silently fluid-
but-viscous. This
weird oozing cool
thing that I've somehow
grabbed a hold of for a minute,

this thing has
no edges, not so much
as a corner. It can't
be held or folded or turned
over. And it never will be
finished.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

FIGHTING WORDS

If only.
something's missing.

If only.
something's wrong.

If only if only'd
if-only those if onlies!—then,

in order
to be astonished

you'd just have to be
available.

Monday, February 26, 2018

PLENITUDES

Blue or gray—each day, rise
and stretch
and meander

after coffee and
milk come together.
Do no do

what's new. Be
boring. Say
nothing

to onlookers
about this thing you've
been busy building.

Cherish the memorized lines
and the creases;
flirt with every

curve
in these naive
bodily props of inspiration,

your divine-
ly oracular theory
of sets—there is

just so much there, and
believe it:
you've got nothing

but time.
Remember, you are not here
to abuse the numbers,

yet, discord—is the spark
from which
the pure bonfires

of new thought start,
by which
the smooth and the

cornerless light
of awareness increases.
You must only continue

to rise
and stretch
and meander,

no matter
where you're going;
you can advance

just by counting—forge ahead,
simply
by walking there.

Friday, February 23, 2018

IDEA MAN

What if
this whole body of
mine is

just the hands—which are cupped
for dear life
around some matchstick;

protectors of some flagrant—yet
winnowing technology,
humble means

to the end
of that old outrage—thought,
irresistible, beguiling, the source impossible to detect.

Glamorous, that impossible glimmer,
but so-what. It's not
heroic. It's never enough

to create something
from nothing; the real magic
trick—is finding

some tolerably hideous way
of keeping the thing
going.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

HOUR GLASS

Figure it—all thought
and everyone,
adrift and slipping

inside this sloped
and beguiling container;
a thing,
an object in the actual world

which holds
and measures out an abstraction—
a sense
quite apart from it.

Picture it—apprehension
with a certain pace
and a definite
direction.

Patience (quintessence
of dust, province of actors)
grows headless;

it has no face,
is becoming the slightest,
the emptiest,
the least recognizable faculty
on earth.

A patient, meanwhile—
is still one
who suffers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WILL

I.

There's just
no living

in this
present tense. I am

of the earth,
and of the earth with the breath

of its silty
wind, I'll sing,

each passing second proving—
reality was

but an art-
ful delusion.


II.

Timelessness.
Dreamless
sleep. Non-
arrival. Boredom.

—these lapses

you cannot have;
I'm taking them
with me.


III.

Bury me—
in any body

of water

which hasn't
already—

got a name.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

GEOLOGIC

As time turns
uncountable, plates
pull apart. We
are now living

on opposite shores.
I no longer
see you,

but I still see
your light, still make
out its red-
shifting; so I

know, when it's
dark—you're right
there.

Monday, February 19, 2018

MISSING WORDS FROM "STORMY WEATHER"

When
all you can think is

even the rain
is trying to rain—

stormy weather.

When
dead relatives of yours
keep popping up on Facebook,

portend the disconcerting sense
that, somewhere
far off

against your
will, you're
being prayed for—

stormy weather.

Black and white, moving
picture: someone

whom you never loved,
were never born to—

in the future—
they're a spinster.

Emotional fermata, E minor trill—
keeps raining all the time.

All the time.

Swell.

Forever.

Friday, February 16, 2018

ECCLESIASTIC

Look—even
the hale sacred
sun goes a little

pale sometimes—
appears to tumble

backwards—
drowses late
and far away

in silver
blankets of clouds.

Even if it's working—
somehow
don't waste

your whole life—
working.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

MORAL WITHOUT FABLE

True Love doesn't try
to do too much.
True love knows life's too short for that;
it's never trying be clever.

True Love never says never.
It has no problem rhyming
"ever" with "ever." Over and
over—it does that sort of thing all the time.

And True Love isn't just patient and kind;
True Love is a goddamn sucker
and an enabler; it'll wait in parking lots
and dark kitchens forever.

Even if it saw something,
True Love would never say anything.
It knows better. True Love is
too cool—it's all-like: "whatever."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FEBRUARY 14

Afternoon
sky everyplace now—pink smoke,

not black;

me
asleep anyhow—things

looking up.

TO DO LIST

1. Try to get sick
of gazing

at the indiscriminate sun-
light—draping

sharp cornered walls of pink morning
brick.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

YOU'RE WELCOME

What if?—beauty,
truth, for
example—were no
crown and scepter,

did not appear marvelous
as crystal bracelets
or clank and rattle
like necklaces either,

weren't even the precious
jewels set in-
side them—but rather
are themselves only

facets—two levels, different angled
planes—in the face of
one worshipful 
but hideous old stone

known as Good—
which sits
like the squat, sharp
skull of a little kid

on a simple wood stand
in a small empty
room, on a thin
blood-red carpet;

and after you
enter and praise it,
and you've knelt
low and kissed it—you're welcome

to ask it—one pure-
ly
hypothetical
question.

Monday, February 12, 2018

LON LON MILK

Empty vessel, proud
rare container, glistening capturer

of all that which
countably itches and wriggles

and of many mercurial
mass nouns, which can't—

inviting us tongueless
to fill it with our coldest

whitest thoughts—daring us
to cover

and squirrel away
pure universal

energy somewhere
personal, somehow

for later,
capped tight, and quiet

in curved glass—blessed
and sacred are you

for holding back, for giving us
just a little space,

for entreating, with neither
any menace

nor urgency, to act—but not necessarily
until we grow tired

and sick
of our main quests—or really

ever, unless
we feel like it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

HISTORY OF POETRY

This is just how it was: numbers—
it was always only numbers—

little ones first, flailing and falling
in larger and larger numbers, 

through holes in older fatter uglier
numbers; landing on piles 

of broken spines of smaller 
fallen leftover numbers. A contradiction

perhaps, but that was just how it was:
it was the rhythms of their falling—

over time coinciding,over time over-
 lapping over time cracking open,

hollowing out, creating space
for the declining rhythms of their rising.

That was just how it was;
and so, now this is just how it is—

an accumulation of vanishing,
a great contraction,

a thing that shrinks and compacts
as it's stacking; it's all just

so much nothing—but nothing was
ever so satisfying. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

INTERLUDE

Consider.—
My mind is a tree.
It will live longer than me.

My heart is an ordinary
but particular bird,
searching
the four directions.

How could a thing be concerned?
in the face of such

transience: the sure
oak—the quick cardinal,
paused in its

snowy morning limbs.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BELIEF IN BELIEF (IS STILL A BELIEF)

Some days,
I believe
in love

and in the truth
so much—that I can't resist

turning them into these
cheap little gift
shop knickknacks

and taking them with me
everywhere I go—

I carry them both
around in my pocket,
the words feel smooth

like tumbler-polished pastel
talisman rocks.

When I'm feeling fidgety, I
can reach in to fondle,
click and rub them together,

shuffle and rearrange their orientations
to each other in the dark

and it relaxes me;
while I'm pumping gas, waiting
in line at the bank,

debating calling, dialing, pacing—
hoping you don't pick up.

Other days, though, it's heavier. Love
feels like
just another goal,

and the truth gets so thick-
ly narcissistic, that I think

it's likely that all of my depth
has just fallen out of my pocket
though the holes made by hope,

and if I'm not careful, all my
sincerity'll go next.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

WATCH THIS

Like the rainbow
down a

fish's tail, the broken light
keeps playing

on the surface
of the lake—

the lake
which keeps playing

on late-night TV—and I wish
I knew

more about this
subject.

Monday, February 5, 2018

ABANDONED

Snowy vacant
parking lot—black crow's dreadful

pecking
at a dead rat's pelt—very

unself-
consciously.

Friday, February 2, 2018

HAIKU (FIRE)

Deep winter evening—
 
two sticks rubbed together—in 

the kitchen writing.

HELL

Black snail—lurches
under

staggering
weight of his shell,

softest little secrets—needing
the worst protections.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

NUDE

Watercolor
moon—

slight
magic, real magic.

FORCED CONFESSION

Dark times—when you find yourself 
admiring

the abysmal cold—

pale neat vampire,

ruthlessly good
at draining

every last 

cloud from sight

and crushing 

the irksome snowbanks down a little.

COMPLEMENT

Hail thee, itinerant alley-
cat softly licking,
a little matted,

still full
of grace, still fat—

absent
(there are abundant milkwhite
adjectives like that)
but not

agonized—
I see you.

I, too, am
like that—

absent not
agonized

(though this
licking thing, for me
is a coarser feeling exercise),

royally tonguing holy
sores wet with vulgarity,
these repetitious attempts

to recognize—does that look like 
the kind of 
nipple you can drink from?

to figure—was that a 
shrug, or was it
a shiver? 

to decide—do you run 
out to pick some up, or 
get it delivered next-day?

to discover—what's the very best way? 
never to have to rule
out any possibility.