Category Archives: Self

The Season Of It

Some summers I would write
Poetry in the night
Automatically as if possessed
By the house I found myself in.

The old walls and wide floors
Like water to float a body in
Making my thoughts quiet freely
In the silence of it all.

I resent my porousness now
The power of my circumstances
To cause my head to fire or rot
To make good sense or not.

I fear my life draining away
Without the notes I need
To know where I’m going
To see where I’ve been.

A moose in paint looks down on me here
Alternately sorrowful and confused
The conscience of a butler
Brought far from home.

In the parallel universe of myself
Sat on some other couch
I am elsewhere and happy
I envy him and hope he knows.

 

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Space

When my house is empty
But my heart is not so

I will write of all that is here now
But goes unmentioned

Because of the space
Required to do so currently inhabited

By the daily dust of the doing
Which does not require reflection

And thus in its own details goes unrecorded
And is fading all the while

And day by day and on top of itself
Until an older man without distraction

Finds himself sat and cautious
At the task of even slightly remembering

And he will ask me then
Through the walls of these years

For help with his task
But though willing I will not hear him.

Jacob’s Ladder

Sometimes a ladder falls
and you move one way or another,
not realizing until afterwards

that your instincts or your luck
saved you (unless, of course,
you were on the ladder).

The relief your split-second decision causes
is strong, but will be replaced at some point
by questions about the next ladder,

for all the laws that govern these things,
probability, fate, circumstance,
cannot be tempted or relied upon.

What will happen to us
and how much worse would it
if we knew?

A love letter

In perfectly clear water I laid down about as still as I could, as though it were a game to keep this little sea asleep while the giant was thinking, and I saw your face in two thirds profile and your hair all like spun girl straw and not a thing harder.

Beneath this sheaf, and taking up the picture, were eyes so wide and soft they looked pulled from some mask painting where it’s only the eyes you can see, faintly amused. By now I was sailing almost, as though a ship of a body upon the sandbar, but even now beginning its move. My heart like a motor, like some buried down generator, began stumbling on as those men in their dirty undershirts shoveled in the coals of memory.

What work they do those men. Endlessly breaking up furniture when their anthracite grows short, pushing in the slightest combustible pieces and never thinking of a future without fuel. They are massive, invisible, and have sinews made strong by the pathways of true feeling. They will never stop.

Because of them, motionless, wet, yet traveling fast now, my five layered fingers trace down your back again and again, while my tongue moves across the line between your upper gum and teeth which do nothing but wait patiently.

What a thing it is to have details no longer just imagined, and yet still have so much left for the imagination to consider within its altogether separate housing, built here so cleverly beside these pistons of memory.

The water grows cold. I do not.

Man and Superman

One of the monotonous staples
of parenthood, and Hollywood,
is the prevalence of super heroes
here in our daily lives.

I always imagine or presume
that if there were beings or
people with superior adaptions
they would surely utilize them
for the general good.

This notion persuades me
on further reflection
that the God complex
is alive and well
in this agnostic heart.

The Sky Daddy
the munificent being
the force for good
acknowledged as both dangerous
and impossible in the benign dictator.

I am a fool and an optimist;
common bedfellows.

Evidence of normal human beings
given or taking power
only demonstrates
that the Gods amongst us
do not operate under the awning
of noblesse oblige.

And thus is the illusion
and desire so strong in us
that someone somehow
might indeed do so.

In our dreams. And prayers.

Domestic revolution

I have a theory
that the exact amount
your brain had to move

as a child
is the exact amount
it moves now

and so as a child
if you had to spin quickly
to be safe

or become noticed
you will spin similarly
in your adult head

and be required
to deal with these revolutions.
This will be exhausting

cause uncertainty and result
in a poor allocation
of your emotional resources.

This must be what her problem is
or alternately and long ago
my own mother ignored me also.

Rain and fire

After many days of sun
here comes its equal opportunity brother
the New England rain

just cold enough
even on these last days of June
to cause consideration of the wood stove

not only as an object of mechanical beauty
but also for its immediate capability
to warm flesh and memory both.

We lived here in the East
before then moving to the West
for reasons of broken hearts

and alcoholism
the requirements of a fresh start
and a change in all the weather.

And it was effective mostly
for it’s a dry heat they have there in Texas
despite the many bars.

But while we are alive again now
we are partially also gone soft.
in ways I wouldn’t alter

Perhaps these are connected states
just as Maine and Austin
will also now for always be.

The bloodstream
filtered only by coffee
is thin and clear these mornings

as I sweep the ashes out
and see the wood of our days
so thankfully rekindled.