Wednesday, February 29, 2012

recollection (dreams blossom like a garden)

recollection (dreams blossom like a garden)

The dream of your trees and my dream
still flow together in the night…
“The Flow of Memories,” Jorge Luis Borges

yes my darling a dot
 on the fathometer is
tinkerbelle with her cough
"Knee Song," Anne Sexton

is writing recollection
or misdirection

in my dreams
with no Freudian eels
no Jungian Morlocks
no paintings stretching around the room

you transmogriphy
not like a mermaid off port
but a shapeshifter
among these women i have failed

these recollections from

eating greek yogurt laced with honey
walking down the aisles of grocery stores
listening to Marvin Gaye we never shared
finding an Anne Sexton poem in your hand

i am in a perpetual state of remembering
drafting and revising the pieces to this puzzle
that reassemble a map to all these places
like a memory called and recalled in a dream

in these words i recollect
i create
i correct
i misdirect

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

here is my Secret (shhhh)

here is my Secret (shhhh)

and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers…

so my life is filled with backhanded compliments
about all the work i do

“You write so much” comes my way again and again
intoning the weight of volume

or “How do you get so much done?” in exasperation
and maybe disbelief (or anger)

well here it is: this is my Secret

time is like a vast and even endless desert
if you are willing to notice it stretched before you

and love is a blossoming oasis that draws you
into its fragrance and warmth and soft embrace

an oasis so comforting and this thing called living
but there the desert disappears no longer endless

ok that’s not the secret but it is the start
here is my Secret

i am surrounded by sands dry and vast
no blossoms of love or even a whiff

i have more time than you tangled in love
and that is the source of all this work

an endless stream of words pecked out
where a beating heart prefers her warmth

so i’ll leave you with this: which would you prefer

a mouth filled with sand and endless volumes in hand
or the dizzying lull of lovers intertwined among the flowers?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fisherman and The Siren (vortex of desire)

Fisherman and The Siren (vortex of desire)

this fisherman fully clothed and hatted
finds himself no longer in need of oars

a siren nude lying head turned back against him
and reaching for his shoulders and flailing arms

they are caught by Knut Ekwall’s brush
in this blink of painting and vortex of desire

the siren’s red hair mixing into the spinning water
swallowing the boat as she, the fisherman’s heart

we have only his face and her white body
to speculate about art and myth and desire

but we know what this sounds like and how it feels
to let go and spin away into the heart and flesh

i, no fisherman and you, no siren but all the same
we know what this sounds like and how it feels

this abandonment of being drawn into the depths
and facing the inevitable slide of you and me

breathing the water of us

Sunday, February 12, 2012

these boxes (an antiquarian's Valentine’s Day card)

these boxes (an antiquarian's Valentine’s Day card)

"So it's all over with Julie. Over before it began. And instead of sharing a future with someone, I am back again with the past, with Desdemona who wanted no future at all ... Everything about Middlesex spoke of forgetting and everything about Desdemona made plain the inescapability of remembering."—Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

my chest remains anchored to you and these boxes
you asked me not to collect

last night this box of names and initials
lit my sky like fireworks or meteors

so in my dreaming i added this 4th of July
and then put it back on the shelves i manage

beside the others that sit there inside me
patient as wax paper or powder-sugared lips:

Box A
everything i never said or did”
(like a wall of stones or capsized boat)

and Box C
all the things that led to this”
(like bread crumbs erased by bluebirds)

and here is Box P
the henna tattoo i never drew across the curve of your back”
(like pheromones or honey)

or Box Z
every moment we were within arm’s length”
(like a dyad sweetly on fingertips)

and Box III
a broken shoelace”
(like the hiss in trace or bee’s buzzing)

and even Box DDDD
the heaviest box of all”*

all your clothes and shoes i’ll never see
and the dreams you’ll never retell to me
and your palm never again warm against mine
as we walk along a street we’ll never share again
(like dynamite in a honeysuckle vine)

* although this is poetic hyperbole:

the stuff of Valentine's Day cards or
something like a lie or coping strategy
for Tourette syndrome or craving chocolate-covered raisins
hidden behind these boxes and shelves masking
the meticulous cataloging of an antiquarian

who dares not dwell on
songs that make me cry&smile
holidays we’ve never shared”
books i want to read lying near you” and
my growing problem with verbs and apostrophes”


the box i cannot move is labeled
i love you”
(like red letters on a tiny pink candy heart
hummingbirds in the thoughts of Adam Lonicer or

Thursday, February 2, 2012



I like your hands
All full of glory...
"Low," R.E.M., Out of Time

the doctors had never had this request
an autopsy while he still lived

but the results were even more unusual
since he himself had to explain

that the trace minerals they discovered
were the remnants of always her

“Please excuse this,” the doctors began,
but may we ask…”

“Yes,” he said, knowing this was coming,
this prodding to examine.

“What is this here?” they began.

“The day she asked if we could still kiss
although I had a cold.”

“And here?”

“The pale blonde hair on the back of her neck
and tracing her stomach.”


He winced against this and then:
“Her ankle bone in the circle of my hand.”

“And if you could, here?”

“Her laughter, yes, I mean,” he paused,
her laughing.”


and this was the autopsy for hours
this tracing always her and the gone

"And here?"

"She is wearing a swim suit top and wrap—"

he paused, "and carrying her bag."

"She is walking to the beach to read," and he smiled.

"You mean she was?"

"No," he said, his eyes far away,

"she is."