Monday, November 28, 2022

DEPARTURE

Again and again, 
what is gone 
tumbles forth 

in the drum of our minds
as a stone
to be polished;

it rolls off 
our uncluttered tongues 
so discretely 

that we measure 
its weight, and then call that
the truth. 

But what persists 
cannot be 
parsed or counted,

or owned 
any more than the air 
that fills the room; 

while we mill around
and think and speak, it wafts 
between us invisibly,

evocative as perfume
or the taste of good honey
to our taciturn senses,

and so inexplicable, 
even to our voices, that we 
fudge it slightly 

in our recollections 
and judiciously call it 
the beauty.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

BAD ANALOGY

Even though 
it would be more 
straightforward,

we don't want to believe 
that grief works
like a street, 

on the other side of which 
are all the places 
we need to be.

That would mean
that all we had to do 
was wait patiently 

for the traffic to abate 
before we take 
our opportunity. 

But really, we don't dare 
venture across 
until we're ready—

and we're loathe to be ready 
(even going so far as 
to resent the conceit 

that we will be 
eventually)—because
readiness suggests 

we've accepted the premise 
that this absence could infest us 
in the first place. 


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

READY OR NOT

It seems now, in 
everything 
still to follow, 

nothing at all 
will rigidly follow.

We've been told
there is so much light 
we can't see,

but none 
that won't use us,

none 
that we might not 
someday be—

and that 
where words would never
dare to go, 

feeling 
still remains.

But nothing will change 
the feeling of dismay 

that the weather today
would dare be 
so fair 

or shame 
that food still tastes 
pretty good.

We think: if we could 
hurl ourselves hard 
into that wall of all experience 

and burst, in an instant, into 
frenzies of pigeons...

but no. Only you 
could do that 
and get away with it.




Monday, November 21, 2022

ALL THERE IS

There ought to be
no such thing
as culmination,

for there aren't any limits 
to those things 
which stay hidden. 

All of the options, 
all of the spurs 
and passions that we weigh 

are measly little bulwarks 
against the pure flood
of confusion. 

So I guess it must be 
true, then—

there really is 
no extent 
to what is possible;

there are just a few
prerequisites. 

Firstly, that the beautiful 
must stay shackled 
to the temporary; 

and second, 
that an absence, the instant
it is felt 

must then remain 
unbearably 

present 
for the duration.




Friday, November 18, 2022

AFFIRMATION

Do you still wish 
those errant, 
ungovernable parts of you—

that uniformless 
gray 

which sometimes 
smears the blue 
sky of your body,

those bottle caps 
and six-pack rings 

and rusty left boots
in your oceans
in your brain—

would submit 
to your rule 
and keep themselves contained?

Is the Earth 
the raison d'ĂȘtre
of the moon?
 
Does the sun 
ever seem to be 

ashamed 
of the rain?



Thursday, November 17, 2022

PORTENT

By this point in autumn, 
the moribund sun 

has begun to take its 
own appearance 
a little too self-consciously—

draping itself 
in stiff muslin of clouds 

so that none can see 
how pale, how 
slight it has become 

and keeping even lower 
as it lopes its daily rounds 

to avoid being 
spotted—or, heaven forbid, 
adored—

by stark, starving crowds 
of finches, for instance,

who, instead of singing it 
sumptuous hymns,

are compelled to dart and argue 
on the dusk-
darkened grounds

over cold, hollow husks 
of yesterday's bread.



Wednesday, November 16, 2022

MASTERMIND

I guess I can only 
believe it 
when they tell me 

that eternities 
of time 

and all 
of vast space 

had to converge
like a car crash 
and congeal 

just to create the rough, 
serrated edge 

of my milky-white, 
brittle right-
hand pinky fingernail. 

And yet, it makes me 
nervous enough 

to chew the thing 
clean off 

to know that 
there ought to be 
so many melodies—

discriminate 
and ancient, and all 
bundled up inside of me—

which only some set of fingers 
distant and opaque to me

knows how 
to choose from—and to truly 
play well.