Wednesday, November 27, 2013

all the king’s horses (re-assembly required)

all the king’s horses (re-assembly required)

“…another jagged fragment in a nightmare.”
“All the King’s Horses,” Welcome to the Monkey House, Kurt Vonnegut


it seems there were at least two problems
with putting Humpty Dumpty together again

1. how were horses to help with their hooves?
2. there is no going back once a thing is broken


there was a soft moment
cold and blindingly bright

when he resigned himself to fragments
resigned himself to re-assembly required

but he was neither a king’s horse nor a king’s man
and he was completely loyal to gathering remnants

because he had learned the art of quilting in dreams
and believed we always own all the things we break

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

child of my child (exponential love)

child of my child (exponential love)

Here I am here I am in your life
It's a beautiful life
My life
It's a beautiful life
Your life
Hairshirt,” Green, R.E.M.

child of my child
not yet here among us

we have not made this world
as we should have as we could have

you will be among us though
in a world a beautiful possibility still

a world a beautiful possibility still
just as you are and will always be

when you arrive we will all hold hands
reach for you and cry and smile and cry and smile

and then together we will all look skyward
because all above us is the limit the sky

the sky
the sky

nearly as wide and forever infinite
as the exponential love for you child of my child

13 November 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The 451 App (22 August 2022)

The 451 App (22 August 2022)

“So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.”
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

everyone had electronic devices of course
when it began appearing harmlessly (it seemed)
a red fireman’s hat icon with 451 in yellow

no one could delete the 451 App (if anyone tried)
and no one could ever determine just what it did
until of course the date 22 August 2022 arrived

hindsight they said even then is 20/20 (foolishly)
but in the days that followed there was a certain clarity
about the words and ebooks forever wiped away

the 451 App turned from fireman’s hat to flame
that flickered and glowed on everyone’s device
as if waving good-bye to something no one could name

Friday, November 1, 2013

the proximity of entrances and exits (the only teenager i ever knew how to be)

the proximity of entrances and exits (the only teenager i ever knew how to be)

“If you think of someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again,” she said in parting.

“I won't need any help to be lonely when you leave me/It'll be easy to cover”

it is the day after Halloween as i leave for work
the black lab is sitting up anxiously in the dark garage
the chocolate lab lies just outside blocking the door and gate
he has always been drawn to the proximity of entrances and exits

the morning is unseasonably warm and wind chimes sing
in the breeze that is up well before the sun has risen
but there is enough light to see the blanket of clouds
covering the dawn as the promise of rain approaches

i am carrying a bag of comic books i bought the day before
a middle-aged man visiting a comic book store
like the only teenager i ever knew how to be
i pause before stepping into my car to listen to the chimes

i am six minutes later than usual for leaving
and my broken smallest toe throbs in the boots i wear
the interstate i know will be packed like a swarm of beetles
so i resign myself to a creeping trip alone in the car

i will turn on The National to sing along as i drive
i will change my mind from beetles to an infinite centipede
with thousands of red glowing dots on the segments
and then my mind will turn to you as it always does

foolishly as a teenager i thought i was as lonely as a human could be
gathering comic books to surround myself with the Marvel Universe
i could collect into neat plastic-bag rows and count on each month

and then each night alone in bed i would imagine you there
thinking of you over two decades before i would meet you
trapped then in the only teenager i ever knew how to be

what did i know of you what could i know of you i realize now
what did i know of being lonely what could i know of being lonely
it is a foolish and brave thing to imagine the one you love

it is Halloween when i feel compelled to buy comic books again
there is always long pauses of this adolescent compulsion
but The Sandman Overture series is published and my bones just know

i start reading a new Murakami short story before visiting the store
it is a story of Gregor Samsa falling in love in the wake of being a bug
his being human again for the first time and listening to the surge of his heart

i finish the story at home after buying several comic books and browsing
and it is there in the story that my mind turns to you as it always does
i am thinking of you as the woman Samsa loves talks of thinking of someone

she is assuring Samsa and then me who she does not know and cannot know
that people can and will meet again if the thinking of is true and warm
as i begin to imagine seeing you again for the first time as if that is possible

i will introduce the me who is not me but of course is the only me i can be
and i will hear wind chimes and think about my anxious black lab in darkness
while a warm day after Halloween blankets us with clouds and offers dreams

the truth

the truth

“When did you first fall in love with her?

sitting at a keyboard and computer monitor
the man asking the questions wore glasses
and a lab coat with assistants quietly on each side

the man being asked was sitting in a chair
cuffed at his wrists and ankles so tightly
that his hands and feet were essentially numb

he also had electrodes on his temples with wires
running to the computer where his questioner sat
and the two nearly identical assistants said nothing

“I walked out of my room.
I saw her sitting down the hall.”

Not when you first saw her.
When did you first fall in love?”

“When I walked out of my room.
I saw her sitting down the hall.”

“You had not spoken a word to her?’

“I hadn’t even seen her face.”

“What was it?
We just want the truth.
We just need the truth.”

the man being asked knew all about this searching for the truth
he knew that they could determine if he were telling the truth
and he knew that this particular truth sounded ridiculous

“It was the curve—it was the curve of the top of her foot.
Across her ankle and then up her shin.
She was wearing simple slip-ons and no socks.
And black leggings to just below her knees.”

“It was the curve?”

the man asking the questions looked at his monitor typing
the assistants stared vacantly across the room as if alone
until the tapping stopped and both looked at the questioner

the questioner nodded so slightly it may not have even been a nod
but the assistants stood immediately and loosened the cuffs
setting free the man being asked who felt suddenly lighter than air

“OK, then.
All we wanted was the truth.”