Thursday, November 22, 2012

thank you (& tales of a nude man)

thank you (& tales of a nude man)

we part at the coffee shop
diverging again into our separate lives

turning i say "i love you"
later you send a message:

"thank you for saying 'i love you'"

many months pass
even years
november to november to november

i slip off my clothes
sit there


and no one comes

no one

& like the present

i am not in it
i have the mirror to prove it

my reptilian brain (beware the buffalo): anniversary of my sorrow

my reptilian brain (beware the buffalo): anniversary of my sorrow

I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn't say it, well, I'd still have felt it.
Where's the sense in that?

your presence sates my reptilian brain

your absence tramples my soul
like a heard of stampeding buffalo

like the last day itself
the anniversary of my sorrow
passed before i realized

but realization is a luxury
lying in a warm bath relaxing
not scrubbing away the grime

the reptilian brain lies beneath
layers of other ways of knowing
blanketed by limbic and neocortex

and yes i smile and even laugh
but memories buried are not faded
these masks evolutionary camouflage

a sorrow seeded by circles of secrecy
a sorrow like a Sisyphean boomerang
a sorrow born and one year gone

and now my ritual of being is me
i am my rite of sorrow and recollection
at least that is what i think deep down

hoof-battered and caked with dust
sand in my mouth and across my lips
the desert floor has made up my mind

the bones of birds and dinosaurs pressed
so deeply into stone that we have forgotten
how to love the imprint of life in fossils

your presence sates my reptilian brain

your absence tramples my soul
like a heard of stampeding buffalo

i am a flying dragon
i am a flightless rhea
my sole performance
pretending to be human

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

dragons (R.I.P.)

dragons (R.I.P.)

There's a ghost in my lungs
And it sighs in my sleep,
Wraps itself around my tongue,
As it softly speaks…
“I’m Not Calling You a Liar,” Florence + the Machine

i am in no hurry to slay the dragon
these beasts lurking in my mind
occasionally stalking a dream
but mostly my ever-present demons

i am in no hurry to slay the dragon
these beasts lurking in my mind
whether with somnolent pills
or perpetual sessions on the couch

i am in no hurry to slay the dragon
these beasts lurking in my mind
because on that other side of slayed
the only thing i’ll be is rest in peace

living you see for me is this waking fantasy
a quilt a collage a paper mache a cacophony

without the dragon and beasts i might forget
and walk into this room or that as if i belong

novocaines of sweet therapy and tranquil pills
remove the ache yes but erase my longing too

i am a bachelor committed to boulder and hill
always wed completely monogamous to you

who became only the memory of you and us
lurking in my heart you fire-breathing dragon

furnace of my alienation my desert dwelling
cavernous are these depths echoing you you

i find a slip of paper and a pen
and i write frantically
something i long to share
with you only only you
rendered gray and hollow
and solitary as a dragon
there like shattered glass

i force myself to sign this note
like all the others

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the lesser of two evils (2102)

the lesser of two evils (2102)

Post-apocalyptic ignorance hid their civilized past,
but there remained a trace of this thing called Democracy:

They all had two days—
one day to hunt and protect,
and another free to choose.

After these sacred days
their new King would be chosen
and a certain peace declared.

The choice was in fact simple
because the numbers were clear
for White53 and his family.

The GreatD promised to eat equally
black, brown, and white babies;
this was his pledge to the land.

The Great R promised to eat only
black and brown babies, the custom,
for he believed in the White traditions.

Deities, I suppose, or historians and archeologists
far, far in the future may wonder about slumbering babies…

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

choice (Vote!)

choice (Vote!)

Circus was a festive land, especially at Festival.
Every citizen was proud to be part of the 3Rings.

This day the Tent was snaked with lines to vote,
and he had learned the slogans by heart as a child:

“Your Ring, Your Clown, Your Choice” and
“A Choice Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

So he waited his turn to choose between two cards—
Ring 1: Barnum Party Blue, Ring 2: Bailey Party Red.

Either choice he already knew, but dared not utter:
When he chose his card and returned to the elephants,

he remained forever Carny1691 with a shovel because
nothing was ever different behind the paint of a Clown.

Monday, November 5, 2012



I am disembodied,
free to travel in space or time.

I come to you
without coming to you.
There, I take your hand
without taking your hand.
I ask you to remember
without asking you to remember:

We met as we often did
after long separations
and at intersections of us.

You asked if we could not sit in a car
so you could hug me standing, saying,
“I couldn’t wait to do this.”

I always cherished being near you,
but I can admit this now I think:
I failed to see how frazzled you were.

I failed to see, to acknowledge
how hard you tried to hold onto us
and how that frayed the edges of you.

I ask you if these failures
killed the possibility of us,
or if you simply grew out of me,
out of us—my greatest fear.

I found the movie again—
the one I’d stopped watching
in the middle the night before.

I never intended to watch
this movie that seemed trite
but compelled me to watch.

And it was there in this film
I saw flashes of myself,
flashes I didn’t want to see.

And then the predictable:

she kissed him suddenly
raised on her toes, eyes closed.

She pulled away softly and slowly,
still on her toes, her chin turned up,
her eyes closed against this thing, smiling.

These things matter, these givings,
these precious moments lingering
in the space between us, disembodied.

I am disembodied
and I raise my hands that are not hands
to feel the vibrations of the universe,

to reach out to reclaim the moment
your heels returned to the pavement
that day you raised on your toes

to hug me, to kiss me, and to let me know
that all of this was everything to you—
if only I had known how to know then.

I am disembodied,
free to travel in space or time.

I return to the day I handed you
a Milan Kundera novel.
I hold the book firmly
as you take it in your hands,
And I look straight into your eyes
looking back into mine to say:

“I am there now and always
without being there now and always.”