Friday, March 29, 2013

virtue or beauty (she reads in class as if nothing else matters)

virtue or beauty (she reads in class as if nothing else matters)

She's suddenly beautiful
We all want something beautiful
I wish I was beautiful
“Mr. Jones,” Counting Crows

his life ended & began again
at the exact same moment

in class one day the teacher asked:
would you rather be virtuous or beautiful?

he found it hard to concentrate
as his classmates answered & argued

mostly about the importance of virtue
the superficiality of beauty

the way young people will
no ideas quite yet their own

as he found it hard to concentrate most days
because his eyes & mind always drifted to her

then she spoke certain & clear
her eyes never leaving her fingernails

as she rubbed lotion into cuticles at the edge of black polish
her hands just above the novel fanned opened on her desk:

i want to be beautiful
the kind of beautiful that makes people rethink beautiful
the kind of beautiful that inspires people to be virtuous

[she paused]

like a painting or a novel or a poem or a song
that kind of beautiful

she was to him
she had for him
he wanted then with all his heart to be that for her

Thursday, March 28, 2013



i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

alone she sat in the passenger seat of the car
windows up and talking on her cell phone

to the one she loved with all her heart

she was glad to tears to hear his voice
she was sad to tears not to be against the curve of him

and she tried to send the aching of her heart
through the voice she also fought to hide the trembling

he (the one she loved with all her heart) was busy
on the other side of the phone miles and miles away

and his voice was all distraction and rush
everything except the longing she wanted to share

so she sat alone on the cell phone crying
silently behind the windows of a car for anyone to see

he walked out of the restaurant and saw her in the car

he did not know her
he did not know the other side of her phone call
he did not know why she was crying
he did not know what she was saying

but he knew that she was beautiful in her sadness
wordless to him a total stranger except for the shared longing

he knew somehow what was beneath the tears
and behind the windows of a car he did not know

and in that moment of knowing
he wanted to tap the window gently

meet her eyes briefly and clearly
before opening the door and leaning
close enough to slip his hand behind her neck

close enough to bring his face to hers
and kiss gently the tears across her face

and he also knew that this sudden need
to show this stranger he understood

stood pale and distant behind his longing
to run at that very moment until he reached

the one he loved now distant and lost to him
and say to her with his hand warm on hers

i know
i have always known before i knew you
i will always know

Saturday, March 23, 2013

this quest for sweetness

this quest for sweetness

i have set aside
crystalline sugar

for the golden lacing
of honey drizzled

but this quest for sweetness
can never bear the fruit

of my lips lost once again
in your field of sugar cane

Thursday, March 21, 2013

in case you ever wonder

in case you ever wonder

i don’t use
the weather App
on my smartphone
the way most people do

hourly or 7Day forecasts
simply do not matter to me
i check Now
and hope for you

because i long always
for only you now

Friday, March 15, 2013

a few words about being wrong & after the monsoon (holding on pt. 2)

a few words about being wrong & after the monsoon (holding on pt. 2)

“I can't take my eyes off of you”
“The Blower’s Daughter,” Damien Rice

all the times we were too tired
all the times we were in a hurry

we were wrong

i bought you a book today
a book i have read & loved
never given to anyone else

i have no hope of ever handing
this other world to you face to face
or at all in this time after the monsoon

the flood waters battered everything
but when the waters finally receded
there on the beach he lay alone & dazed
holding on to the book he chose for her

holding on (our zen odyssey)

holding on (our zen odyssey)

 I tried so hard to leave you behind me but I am more faithful than I intended to be…. Anything that will blow your candles out. For nowadays the world is lit by lightning. Blow out your candles Laura.
The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams

But tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
“White Blank Page,” Mumford and Sons

we are driving down the interstate
alone in the car

this is something rare for us

we are momentarily quiet together

this is something exceedingly rare for us

we are close because the car is small
i reach for you, slipping my hand
under the hem of your pants leg
and then into the top of your sock
holding on to your ankle as we drive

heyi wave to you now across
an expanse of time and space and decisions
free-floating, a disengaged astronaut

heyi shout into this vacuum
just to say that i have not let go, i cannot
i am, i am always holding on

my world is a Stanley Kubrick film
an Arthur C. Clarke novel

i have no bonsai tree
or meticulous zen garden

but i have this impression
in the palm of my hand

your wonder-filled ankle
solid as a Buddha statue

the music fades
the camera pulls back
until i am so small

you cannot see the tears
the book clutched to my chest
[like an ankle or tiny monolith]
the song on repeat in my mind

and then
everything appears to stop

except my heart

Sunday, March 10, 2013

you (i do not think)

you (i do not think)

i do not think

i do not think of you

i do not think of you as other people
i do not think of you as other people do

i do not think of you as other people do including you

maybe you
could not see
in my eyes
the you i love

who you have been
who you are
who you are becoming
who you are without me

i imagine you
imagining yourself
disembodied to witness

the world of me
you chose to set aside
for you without me

you see the books
i am collecting for you
as if i could matter still

a biography of Vonnegut
signed by the author

the colorful boxed paperbacks
of Murakami’s 1Q84

the book of your father’s
i was unable to return

i am a solitary librarian
i collect i catalog i preserve
with the faith of a shaman

i write poems
like birthday presents


i do not think of you as other people do including you