Posts Tagged ‘life’


Some hear the pound, pound, pounding
of their heart confirming their life.
Such metaphors sting the rickety
piping of a noble 17th century colonial
trying to push against a nighttime
decline. The uneven hobble
of expanding warmth frightening children
in the cacophonous choir of inflexible
wood frame structure straining the wind.
Howl. Whistle. Crack. These words
have no place in our understanding of the heart.
Instead these blunt aggressions –
thump, beat, and pound. That is what meat does,
isn’t it? So name it this way. But when the twilight
of the age of meat dawns, don’t come to this haunted
colonial and cry tragedy against the gentle tyranny
of a ceaseless whirring fan. Against its coldness.
Against its calculations.

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Before the balloon was let go
into the blue infinity
she said goodbye.
Not that the balloon wasn’t beautiful
or fair
but just that it was a balloon
destined to do precisely that.

The park was filled with others
bobbing in the wind
tethered to a parent
flying from tiny grass ledges
toward the blue infinity
but they all rotate around
her – mine.

The expectation of tears
was gravity to me.
Her daily present,
a sign that life is a harvest
of plenty,
was running into something
as it left us with nothing.

My assumption
was that the daily sign
had become the opposite –
a sign that life takes everything –
and so I held her
in silent expectation
as tight as a string tied around a tree.
But she didn’t cry.
She smiled and in a playful whisper
said: “It is free.
Watch it dance.
It it is dancing
for you and me”

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Our eyes are not alike.
I only see pictures.
Somersaulting [images
and illusions of] movement.
But time stands still
in your eyes.

The feeling I get
is that everything is real
in [you]r eyes. Refusing
to digest
this food
into fictions.

Something reminds
me of friction
when light grates against
them. Nights awake
[in] front of [the sky.
(The window to the soul)
That is where I feel]
your absence.

I still get [butterflies]
without you here.
Love without first sight.
You are as out
as I am in and that hurts

[Because] my eyes
want to bring [you] in here.
To [take] you from
the cold to be with [me].
But I cannot tear you [away].

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We met between parenthesis.
A silence just long enough
for a kiss.
It never happened.
The beginning and end
of the New England summer curving
like your hips.
Like your cheeks
on either end of a smile.
I awoke for a second
on your couch
and left what I saw unsaid.
Putting words to that moment
seemed apocryphal.
In all the worlds
where I held your hand,
none were real,
not to anyone else, at least.
I still revisit those nights
in the shadows of a train.
The way you presented
a hoppy beer
with eyes so wide
their parenthesis could
not be distinguished.

Until a blink
washes those memories away.
An aside in the story
perhaps more interesting
but only so
because it isn’t the story.
Would it have been better
if you stayed
and I tried.
Would you have gone
to California
where every day is summer?

I still wonder if you miss
snow and the knit wool
that caught falling flakes,
how warm your smile is
on cold nights,
and me. I wonder if you miss me.
I wonder if I exist
in those parenthesis
on either end of your smile,
my name on your lips.

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I don’t know.
The water runs
over the humming heater
and something invisible
makes everything go
but what enemy of freedom
tucked under the hem of nature
makes this so?
I don’t know.

I travel in time
but not in space.
Like a stone.
A sinking stone
with water like hell
around me,
and a thinking stone
to make it all tragic.
Why must I feel this way,
and why burden you?
I don’t know.

I drink a coffee
with ghosts rising
to tickle my nose.
My baby child having escaped
his crib is silently stacking
Each a pixel of color,
a letter of meaning,
and the shape of foundations.
He laughs when the tower is no more.

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Burn it when I go

Kafka once said
“Burn it when I go”
and I agree.

Stuff it in a tower,
light it before a mirror
and use it to tame the sea.

I folded my words
to push against the water
so the tide and I could flow

But when I die, it will
become a bridge
so burn it when I go.

Thomas Aquinas once said:
“Burn it all like straw”
and I agree.

I reaped enough
to stay alive,
but it fed only me.

I lasted long enough
to see the whole world
and love everything I saw.

So gather these things
against my silent chest
and burn it all like straw.

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That summer my beliefs
so consumed me
I created reality
rather than experience it.

Fury. Nothing significant.
A beating fist pounding
between heart and God.
Iambic confessions
first inward, then skyward.

My foot alternated the breaks
until warning lights
and break pads wore to nothing.
I drove that leprous scrap yard
into every summer night.

The shadow always chased
the car. My car couldn’t grasp
its impending death and so
worked harder the more it failed.
The rosary swayed with every hard start.

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Outlasting Life

Make-up was her second face
for years. She lightly applied
blush for rosy cheeks. Perhaps
embarrassment or coyness.
A spent life being overturned
scrounging for seconds like change.
Another foundation, another skin tone
supplement to confer humanity.
His dead body survives for another night’s
celebration because of her art.
She kisses his cold lips and counts the remaining
seconds until work is over.

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He pats
a slow beat
on canvas so tight
it could be a drum.
His brushing fingers
leaving invisible
lines in the natural oils
of her body,
barely clinging to existence.
Creation and destruction
in the valley of her lower back.

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After Shock

We stood in shock.
Our city in flames.
Praying for rain.
Until the flood came.
We took shelter in the church.

We died in shock.
Laid to rest by
our shocked friends.
Pennies on our
eyes trembling
from waking terrors.
In nomine Patris.

Wet ghoulish faces
sipped soup from cracked
bowls on those Lisbon night
too shocked to care about
its salty broth stinging
like sea water in their lungs.
Amen. Amen.

History connects
like an equator.
That costal giant
and those of us
on this island.
The same Latin
songs from soggy
hymnals comfort
us until we can get
back to our normal lives.

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