Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Walk #11 (I Went Out)

i went out
in bleary winter
to gather in some raw ideas

but the frozen ground 
just glared back up at me
and groused:

Who are you to catalog,
What catalogs can't hold?
You are not the engineer,
But the imaginer of cold

incredulous, I sank back in my boots
and quickly started doing calculus:

these boots are stiff and salty.
how's that? who wears them?

the sky's the color of a road.
so what? who rides it?

the falling snow is writing Bach.
falling where? who hears it?

again the ground flared up at me
bald and rumbling:

There is no such subject
To an object uncreated
They are perpendicular 
And thus always related

and sure enough,
the more I scribbled
the less I mattered,
and the more I vanished,
the less got finished,

until eventually,
reams of no poems
snowed down to the ground in shreds
unwritten and unread

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Walk #10 (Without Apology)

Hurrying through the glum lot,
I saw 
a distant herd of 
unemployed umbrellas,
standing proud in cold rain.

They looked green
and dimly mocking,

and I believed that they existed.

Just then, a faint horn blew-
it echoed,
filling and redefining all space.

Those umbrellas were over there
because I was over here,
and I simply believed they could exist
without committing to their existence.

Stopping, I now stood sopping
and watched them shelter nothing
without apology,

no longer straining to imagine 
what it would feel like to be 
so resolutely useless,
so unemployed. . . 

which is to say,

self employed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Walk #9 (Can I Just Say)

A warm day in January,
is perfectly plausible
but intimidating

How can I just say
it's wet
and grey today
on a walk so unconstitutional?

How can I just be
bedraggled or
beleaguered or
bedeviled or
bereft of 
decent adjectives and sleep

While the bulging sky 
ripples with laughter  
in breeze-motivated mud puddles

Then again,
maybe I'm not so constitutional either

Maybe I can just say
that I am breaking in a pair of new boots today

Or that I'm perfectly plausibly wearing 
the wrong coat

Or maybe 
if I just keep walking
and stop clutching at the clouds
all sorts of novel words
will soon rain down
to bail me out

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Walk #8 (Spring Preview)

in the post-wet morning,
clean pavement gleams-
and vaguely satisfied with
its oblique take on
distant grave stones

everything else in the lenient breeze
just seems to smear into the smell
of fecund mud
and mild rot

both of which 
tickle hunger

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Walk #7 (Unpersuaded)

and obtuse,
i step redundantly 
through the vague morning,
reaching past the dull strain of lingering sleep
to wonder dimly
which of the following i am most like:

that snowy pond,
a silent, unpolished mirror,
keeping nothing, giving nothing back?

or this empty bench,
a ceaseless proposal,
always so-inclined?

or a proud battalion of flag poles,
unpersuaded by the wind?

but then i grasp
that i can choose
which makes me all
or makes me none

i'm not so unreflective,
and i could never be so constant

i am happily irrational,
intensely free to change my direction

maybe, then
just a few dark birds;
pointless arrows
colonizing power lines

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Walk #6 (Tacit)

this mottled path
those boney brambles
everything is silent
steeped in indiscriminate gray

two faint gulls wheeling
are one in a million

i am in no mood
i am a product of these mild accidents

nothing under winter's dull pall
feels the least bit clever
every sign looks empty
every sound unstruck

all is just

far off chalk smoke just curls
stray flurries, they just swirl
and my footsteps just fall
one after one

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Walk #5 (In Blue Hell)

in blue hell,
every thought is
smeared and 
like the faint 
vapor trails 
that streak the hollow sky,
the wreck of all fact
and ruin of all time

nothing bound
is happening,
and nothing definite
is bound to happen

my skin 
is not deaf 
from this mute shout

and i'm 
definitely not thinking 
i can't walk smart in these 
dumb boots

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Walk #4 (No Future in Weather)

Streaked by January sun
in the wide shot of
a skyless blue
that stiff caucus
of bald trees
is demanding
company. It's titanic
to hear the measure
of far sirens, or pass
that short lusty
fence, or view the crisp
right angles
of high-definition
buildings with windows
in light, and not
to think—
like Deadalus—of what
first dreamt them up.
But the truth
is there's no future
in weather
or adjectives; there's
no winter in these
fractals and
no past in Greece
or January. There's
no intention
and no artifice
and nothing to append to trees
but vogue ultimatums: Tomorrow,
I'll stop writing
rectangles where there are none
and I'll start
praying to myself instead
in the boundless
company of no good
words, because this is
a mad crowd
and aimless—
and I could never draw it if
I wanted to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Walk #3

Sometimes I'd like
to say I'm Stevens

Trudging down 
a cold skinny road

Clad in stony 
workday wool and fixing
this to frost and that to pines
hanging spangled mobiles on the raw wind
and pinning Christ to flighty birds

But let's just say 
I can't just say that

And let's just say
this coat's acrylic 

And let's just say 
one word: thesaurus

if you want to imagine a thing 
like frosted pines
or the sound of land
or the ice-shagged anything
you can't really go out and get it
you have to stay at home
beacause even a mind of winter 
can't imagine New England 
ever moving inland

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Walk #2

along the scraggly  

by a two-lane's rudest 

Tidelines of sunbleached garbage 
look too readymade for 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Walk #1

This morning while I walked to work
I watched the hysterical sun try 
to sell a heedless strand of geese
on a whole showroom of
shellacked branches
while a glitzy array of sharp crystals
winked hard to erode the asphalt's
coldest grudge

Awed but undeterred, I just resolved
to step more conscientiously
around all the frozen dowels of
salt-marbled birdshit