Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"From 2002-2003"; or,

"This is what happens when I'm alone with my closet of old stuff."


Red turns to white
The light
Still lives
But diminished long ago
No more are the stairs
So easy to climb
Bones not so strong
Once upon a time


I am alone,
There is no one
Worth speaking to
In my midst.
Only far away
Are the people I care for
But do not know.
I am alone.


Dear Samuel,
My love for you stands
Still thru our years
Of Apartness, and my only thoughts
Are of you coming back to me
Your love is something I cannot
Do without

Dear Joseph,
My one-and-only Joseph
I yearn for you
As a cow yearns for grass
In the driest drought
Your love is something I cannot
Do without

Dear Isaac,
When will you come to me?
You write but take no action
I need you to be here
With me
Your love is something I cannot
Do without

Woodland Path

Here I stand on a woodland path
Leaves flutter by my still figure
Watching an orange sunset
Where flying silhouettes take form
Against the milky sky.
I bask in orange radiance
And shut my warmed lids.
And forever I will feel
The peace of that quiet
Woodland path.


I was sad yesterday
As the daytime sky
Wilted into suffocation
Branches drooped
Reaching for the ground
Absence of the sparrow's song
Silence in the dark


No one knows I'm here
The clouds ignore me,
Moving past
The leaves hide me in their entanglement
A garden snake
Pushes its scaly smooth skin
Against my bare leg
As I stay still
Watching it slither
Away into the undergrowth
No one knows I'm here
No one ever will

True Love

a Light through yonder window breaks
Love plays its Shadow on the sill
and yet no form does True Love take
no understanding of, until
a Home in Heart this Love does make
if or not by someone's will


Swept by darkness
Drenched by rain
and tears
Tilt head back
Ice-cold bath
open mouth
Nature's nectar
Cleansed of life
Pure rebirth

Free Me

find me
i'm lost within you
somewhere deep down
pull me from you
don't want to need you anymore
forget your memories
try as i have tried

find me
i'm in the icy waters
of your heart
frozen by love
tortured by fear
broken by my desire
cleansing myself of your touch
believe as i have

forget me
and my eyes
through which i loved you
you swallowed them
i am gone now too
needing you
going to wash up on the shores
the oceans of life wanting more
free me as i did


If I had one wish
I would wish
For another
and another
and another
and spend my life wishing
So don't ask me that question
or I'll start wishing
you wouldn't


broken by experience
hammered by fear
my world will soon follow
all i have held dear

shattered by remorse
been picked at by
so many demons
soul falls and i cry

no refuge left
no hidden paradise
i have been looking
broken, tried to find Christ
no purging now
have to help myself
but i'm broken
soon my world will follow

I Tried to Hide in a Silver Bowl

Heart like the sun uneclipsed and rays like
fingertips layered in a skin of haze, a warm thing
with a hot core closing in
quickly – turn your face to the west
and run.

He did not throw himself around.
When I think about the way I serve myself,
overcooked, overdone, to the watery lips
and wide throats of men
already fat, all ready
for seconds of servings that loudly
distress their taste.

Our house is a ribcage; I will hear no more about it.
The fence licked clean, the porch kissed clean,
whitewash whiter in the sun’s eye,
blinding. Keep your dry mouth closed.

Whose Leaf Does Not Wither

Speak strength into these / thin bones
burdened by pulsing meat / I feel a flood / starting
to drip, loosening tight joints and jaws
to know this song come flying above my head
and warming the sore soles of foot I have forgotten
belong to me
and my legs
and my breath / the whole
of me strung by fibers of white pearl together
layered and layered over by so many
fluid things.

The widening stories are true / true / true.
I knew the whites of his eyes better with every step
toward the tree / standing
like a thick-skinned man with long arms before him
akimbo / toes dipped in the river
like glass
cracking and mending and breaking toward salt seas.

The story goes /
One day we were made
in love and another in jealousy drowned and now
our weakness is wrapped up in linen, white linen,
and gold, and wood, and strength.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Conversations

Your hands are incorruptible
ice in fire, orbs of burning gas in
the frozen expanse, wells.
Oh thirsty soul, why don’t you let me?
Don’t shrink in

Sea-deep— Be good to me and give me leave.
My flesh is bigger than these hips and knees. The flesh
is brain and eye and hand and tongue, and love


Oh, how sweet, how / tender the little shivering gosling, how it hooks / its heart to my hand without a second or even a first single thought. How sweet. But its tremble / calls a wisp of some hardness up out of me, some active and soon-sharpened blade, sparks / shooting from the space between what I call my whiteness and the self I won’t name.

I looked down and the earth was sharp

Of course, this place I come to, placed perfect on the point of some dull knife, is thin and / tired. Of course, no one has ever escaped. I was just free, I was just / doing something. But there is nothing / to be done, here, but keep doing. Please / I am in a sea of need, necessity like little tongues of flame that like my taste. I begin to forget. The rider on the white horse. I begin to wander from waiting on hero, husband, savior, my everything in a bloodied robe riding victory’s hooves hard down on cowering death. / I don’t want to forget. Everything / contained in a thin skin and me / riding the knife come down too soon: / I don’t want to, don’t let me / let go of the blade, of the jagged-tooth press, of remembering red grapes / and whining’s fruitless hope.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have no strength
left for the putting up of hands and of
elbows in front of my wide face. Hit me
if you want to, not meekness mildness nor
love implores you: this is the broken face, clean
of everything that’s good and all that’s bad.
Once I would have (yesterday even) asked for
someone to stand in front of me, but since
I have stopped becoming a little child and I have seen
that rarely will someone for a better someone even die,
why wait? I am not good or even
better. And I have no strength
for putting up my hands I have no strength.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Psalm 38

Work? I come to libraries to cry; the book towers
make me feel appropriate. Did you know we sleep in hour-
and-half-long circles? I figured that means I could run
two laps and be fine and it was true so I started cutting down to one.
My friend thinks poetry is self-indulgent and I think she’s right.
Sometimes I want to be right but then I remember my thoughts
and change my mind. Did you know our minds can hold
two simultaneous antitheticals? like a double-ended spoon but
once you realize you forgot to not let the rooster in the coop
it’s too late, game over. You have two fighting chickens on your hands.
Feathers everywhere. I side-stepped a pile of either dust
or shaved black hair coming out of class by the back
stairway and my imagination wanted to entertain me
with dark possibilities but I was too tired. Sometimes I feel like a withholding wife
which is creepy because doesn’t that suggest having sex with myself? but
the metaphor’s stuck in me and masturbation isn’t a sin anymore;
it’s therapy. My friend thinks poetry is self-indulgent and I wonder
if she’s on to something. But I’m not going to ask around
because let’s say I find out from unreliable sources that it’s good
and reliable sources (yes I still believe in reliability, almost) that it’s not?
I’d be stuck in a tight spot not quite like that rock and place but like
between a plastic side of one of those bursting moonbounces which have,
it seems to me, very little to do with the moon, and empty space.
I have been thinking about structure a lot, the way we organize infinity.
Take this desk for example, the way it creates a sense of womblike
wooden privacy, with its high walls, its wonderful strength.


This time was going to be New
with a capital N: the peak
and payout of what we have been
through, that beautiful
carved bearer of weight
on which the necessary but no less
plain majority of sanded stone
tons depend, to reach the ceiling:

the time I have crawled up
a decade of base foot and bent ugly
leg and long trunk to get to,
thinking, as I hung from the collarbone,
swinging my free arm
up it would be there, surely.

Monday, December 6, 2010

But I Feel Slight

I feel but the slightest / bit alone, Lord, will you come to one / who longs beyond longing for the new name / and the white stone? But longing / cannot earn shorter coming, does not overwhelm / your understanding: You knew me / before any other could know / I was coming, before / coming had meaning and meaning had come. / Even then you loved. Before I was / to love.