Friday, May 23, 2014

anniversary ceremonies (the things we cannot incinerate so we lie)

anniversary ceremonies (the things we cannot incinerate so we lie)

Why would you shatter somebody like me

My memory drives the people in my life crazy because I remember everything, always, in exacting detail. My memory was a gift until it became a curse, until no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t forget things I desperately needed to forget so I might survive.
An Untamed StateRoxane Gay

this weekend returns each sunny May
billowing smoke that forces me to lie


first i had to gather everything
in order to shred it all carefully

i formed a frame with six sticks
where the pyre smoldered to soot

the smell lingered reminding me
of melting 1000 pennies or dreams

this is how i turn from year to year
collecting ash to ash for the rising

because there are thunder and storms
in springtime leaving a blanket of hail


the heart is not flame retardant Kevlar
and memories never work as kindling

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

miracles & dust

miracles & dust

Don’t talk to me about being alone.
“Fretless,” R.E.M.

I may have been a lousy painter, but what a collector I turned out to be!
Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut

when i fell
in love with you

the gods & faeries
with their miracles & dust

never showed me
the whole picture

i’ve glimpsed it now
well after the fact of us

a giant mural hidden in the barn
at the end of a novel

in this smoldering aftermath
the calculations do not add up

to any other possibility
as if free will matters to a heart

because except for the end
i would not have it any other way

the truth of a detailed painting
fixing everything right there to behold

exposes the sincerity of a relinquished heart
in the body of a frail & flawed being

hollowed out by the inevitable subtraction
of the human clock we couldn’t stop if we tried

i am walking across a parking lot
where years ago you yelled at me

“Hey, old man!” standing with your mother
who apologized embarrassed by your rudeness

all of us then were unwilling to tell the truth
to ourselves or anyone else especially in a parking lot

now when all those truths have been buried again
i pause listening before i look over my shoulder

just in case

i hold on
tight enough not to let go
loose enough not to strangle

now a patient monk
tracing the images i designed carelessly
conjuring tomorrow today on our yesterday carefully

meditation at last
on all the ways i could not handle before
blinded by your miracles & blinded by your dust

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

withering plants, bloat kings, & hangovers from dreaming of you

withering plants, bloat kings, & hangovers from dreaming of you

Not this, by no means, that I bid you do:
Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed
Hamlet to Queen Gertrude
Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4, lines 181-182

Human touch is so distant
“Metaphoric Diary,” Sally Wen Mao


plants wither
drawing into themselves

the absence of water
impossible to hide

if we care at all
we can see what needs to be done


humans on the other hand
inflate as we age

puffing up against the loss
in bloat arrogance & denial

like kings pilfering their brother’s wives
as if they shall not rot


prone to drink
i have often risen in the wake of hangovers

but all that practice
(and there has been ample practice)

could not prepare me
for the mornings after dreaming of you

no hair of the dog or pints of beer
can still the staggering swirl of you there

arriving angry in my dream
at the inevitable me who fails you even in sleep

i swell with the absence of you
barely able to lift my feet against this headache and dry tongue


if we care at all
we can see what needs to be done

Thursday, May 1, 2014