Tuesday, May 17, 2022

UNDERSTANDING COMES WITH TIME

How many drafts 
does it take 
for a poem 

to wither 
into abiding truth? 

How many differing 
slight iterations 

before its bright, pliant lines 
start to stiffen 
and darken? 

How long before 
all of its slick words 
start to dry

and its stark, solid images 
soften up enough

such that any future reader, 
no matter how doubtful 
or artistically-uninclined, 

could read the instructions 
and easily reproduce them?

I have lost count 
of the nights it has taken 

for the full moon 
to change 

from bloodless—
to dovewhite 

in the lowest-pitched hope
that, in the mind of a person 
I don't even know yet, 

it may hang everlastingly 
in the heart 
of their cosmos 

and never start 
to wane.




Monday, May 16, 2022

ALL AT ONCE

The truly secuctive thing 
about Spring 

is the way she doesn't choose 
to dazzle anything 
gradually. 

One day—abruptly, 
like a fist 
which is opening—

on the bright-kite breeze
surfs the balmy smell 
of lilacs 

already relieved 
to find themselves
decomposing—

not to mention
every speckled starling 

who immediately begins,
when he lands 
in the green, 

to contribute his insights
to the raw mind of nature.

It's as if, 
all at once, dolor 

begins holding 
its breath

as the distance 
that exists beween heaven 
and earth 

collapses
from the width—

to the depth 
of one leaf.



Friday, May 13, 2022

SOVERIGN

Ironically, 
on any paricularly 
warm day in May, 

lurking in the shade 
makes me feel 
so much braver—

as if 
this great rolling 
penumbra of shadows

cast off by rooftops, 
tall fences,
and branches 

had lept forth expressly 
to anoint my forehead 
as it passes.

Perhaps, 
if every last thing 
the light touches 

with its inquisitive 
fingers and 
unblemished eyes

is the kingly dominion 
of some fierce, 
noble lion,

then everything it doesn't 
might as well 
be mine.



Thursday, May 12, 2022

DOUBTING THOMAS

They insist—
any line,
and each sovereign part,

and every act 
of speech 
is virgin;

there's 
no such thing 
as repetition—

And that this 
isn't tyranny, 

but rather, 
salvation—

an unerring religion 
for the already-chosen

who succeed 
by teaching the truth 
they've been taught.

But it's nothing for me 
to prove 
a truth wrong:

first, I say 
maybe—and then,
maybe not. 



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

NAIVETE

With our notions 
of the truth 
so incessantly evolving, 

it's nice to know 
simplicity 
always exists. 

Often, guys like me 
try to use lots 
of huge words 

to reproduce 
complex and 
beautiful pictures;

we conjure them 
deliberately, then 
present them to others 

and call them 
couth tokens of our 
unsmoothed emotions.

But here once again, 
the truth 
has eluded us: 

it's always been 
those one or two 
elementary sketches—

so facile 
and innocent, which we 
never gave to anyone—

there lay our world 
at its most serene 
and authentic; 

there shone the clarity 
which always was our 
greatest gift. 



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

IT FIGURES

How convenient 
of the dirt 

to keep its big 
mouth shut,

settling cleanly 
what words could not.

That compulsory 
mercy 

which is 
heaped upon the dead

is exactly the kind 
I want.



Monday, May 9, 2022

LAST OF THE ICONOCLASTS

Would it make any sense 
to study 
only one insect—

a lone, discrete bee, say—
instead of a swarm? 

Why, then, are we taught 
even as children 

not to imagine ourselves 
as superheros or jets 

but instead, as the men and women 
who design, draw, 
and build them?

Today, when I looked 
from a second story window, 

I didn't think 
of the boundaries 
of The Possible; 

I thought of its rhetoric 
and the physics of flight. 

It's ironic: all this talk 
of frontiers 
and horizons 

keeping nonconformists 
stupefied—
stuck on the fence,

with the vastest 
extents of their 
ungovernable spirits

now the province 
of someone else's 
educated guess.