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BY Michael

06/01 Direct Link

I must have fallen asleep again. 

I’m not sure how to account

For the extra sleep these days.

I sleep the same at night.

I’m not taking any new drugs.

Well there is that inhaler

That is supposed to improve

My regular sleeping.

I can’t say…

I don’t seem to be

Dreaming any more

Unless I have failed

To wake at all

And this has all

Become one dream.

My life these days

Does have a dream

Quality;

Or perhaps a

Hallucinatory one.

I’ve been trying to remember

How you can reliably tell

The difference between

Consciousness and the rest.

06/02 Direct Link

I must have fallen asleep again

I’m not sure which part

Wakes up first or if it is even

A part that distinguishes between

Sleep and awake.

It must, because it tries to

Just before I go back to sleep

Again.

I know I wake up like that

A number of times

Every time.

 

I have taken to

Suddenly sleeping at the

Odd moments and

Places,

Sleep overcoming me

With a dark hood

taking me from

Things that might otherwise

Be harmful to me

So that lately I have to

Be careful about where I go

To whom I talk.

06/03 Direct Link

I must have fallen

Asleep again

I wake into a wild windy

Day

Green bushy giants dusting

The sky

Cottonwood seeds swirling

In the close passages next

To the house

And the Sunday bebop

On the radio.

It must be June,

I’m thinking

As my eyes close again

And I start to remember

Canada and the cottage

On the Bluff

And my children running by.

 

And I wake again

Realizing there is something

Buried in these dreams

Calling to me

Something that makes

Me want to not wake all.

 

Counting my options

I find

There are many ways to sleep

06/04 Direct Link

It is the dream

Of the cottonwood seed

Where the body has become

Dried and vacant

Where the spirit has moved

Out newly naked

Into the cool air

Tucked and tumbled

Drying, opening

Touching, untangling,

Flattered by the heat

Of the sun,

Lifted by a sudden heave

Of wind to be left

Whirling two or

Three hundred feet higher.

Slowly spinning between

The bright blue

And that soft

Distant call

Of soft moist earth.

Moving rivers, hills, towns

And freeways below.

The flight of the seed

Between the lofty centuries

Of slowly rocking

Spicy wood tugging

Slowly into the ground.

06/05 Direct Link

Darkness?

Is there some Darkness?

Does anyone have some Darkness?

We have a woman injured

Over here.

We need some

Darkness.

I’ve done what I

Could which was

Next to nothing. In fact

I think I may have made

Things worse.  People

Are

Beginning to stare

Please

Do any of you

Have any Darkness to shed?

Something to ease her pain

To aid the breathing?

To stop the flow of vital

Fluids?  Those eyes!

Oh is there not

A Samaritan in the house?

Not a one of you with a back

To turn?

Not a scrap of Darkness

To lend?

 

06/06 Direct Link

I don’t know why I feel I am gasping for time.  I have another eight hours left today easily.  I know it would be easy for it to slip away.  That song nibbles at the edge of my brain, “We never seem to have enough time to do the things we wanna do once we find them.”   And I don’t know that I’ve found anything except fillers, things to keep out the ghosts from the sensory deprivation tank.  If you don’t keep your brain marching in a straight line the world begins to break in on you in unwanted ways.

06/07 Direct Link

I looked at the young botanist.  “I wanted to get rid of weeds.  I’m not sure what is weed.  I think these are weeds.”

“No, those aren’t weeds.”

“I thought they were.”

“No,” He stoops to part the thin light green leaves that seem to have grown too tall.

“They do have flowers.”  I pondered for a moment the saving grace of having flowers versus not having flowers.  I realized the question was more complicated than that.

 “Those are weeds.”

“Definitely.”

“And those are weeds.”

“Those aren’t weeds.  They are blackberries,” I said.

“They are?”

“Yeah.”

“Hey, these are good.”

 

06/08 Direct Link

It seems I cannot be

In two places at once.

These laws of physics

May not apply eternally

But they seem to rule

The heart and mind.

 

And there are truly limits.

I feel these warm winds,

Summer gusting around me

Lifting me into a simple life

And I wonder

More than question

What this is about.

 

I am afraid to go

Yet I am thinking

That I will do it quietly

With little fanfare

Or celebration.

 

I will not stop looking

Here for that purpose.

I suspect that it has

Been laid out for me

On alien shores.

06/09 Direct Link

You always told me that it would go away, so I am waiting ; waiting now for it to go away.  I wonder how many hours, days, weeks and months I have spent in the past waiting for it to go away.  I have no way of knowing.  It seems different lives are ordered by different rules.  I watch out through the leaves and a bird glides across the lawn for a landing, borne up by some hand that I am unable to catch.  And so, created by the same god, washed in the same sunlight I continue to fall.

06/10 Direct Link

It could be

A day like any

Other day.

It can’t be,

Simply can’t be,

I hear a voice inside my head sighing.

 

We are looking out over the corn,

Out over the joined fields so far

That the air turns into mist

Out into the woods

That one of us walked as a boy

That the other cut down as a

Young man.

 

He is crumbling the soil

Between yellow fingers in my

Mind,

Remembering the smell,

Feeling the heat on

My shoulders.

 

Oddly this is the only

Thing that stops his

Complaining

That I won’t let him die.

06/11 Direct Link

It could be

A day like any

Other day.

It can’t be,

Simply can’t be,

 

It’s not.  Never is.

I close my eyes.

 

It is odd how ideas come

Into a man’s head

Fully-formed

Out of nowhere

And alien

Like a single insect

Crawling unique

Beneath a magnifier.

 

This one is armored,

Heavy and slow.

This one has wings,

While this one lives only

In darkness.  Its name

Cannot be known.

This other one is one to

Make you think yourself a god.

And this one is death.

 

You take your eyes away

For a moment and

It is gone.

06/12 Direct Link

It was a dream this time

I am sure it was a dream

The small tell-tale

Waved and rattled

At the top of the pole

Red ripping

Against the blue sky

 

The young man

In the grass at the end

Of the long

Telescoping fall

Had one hand cocked

Beneath his head.

 

His right knee was out at an odd

Angle and his olive uniform

Was neatly pressed

As was his hair and beard.

 

His eyes were blue

And still fresh.

There was nothing out

Of order save the

Thin tell-tale crack

Of blood at the corner

Of his mouth.

06/13 Direct Link

I seem to have lost

My white hat

Within the same week

That I gave an identical

White hat to my father.

 

It was my favorite hat and it is not as if

I gave him my

Hat

(Although I would have—

Am notorious for that

Behavior.)

(Although it is the same

As if

I had

Given my father my favorite hat

Because he has one now

And I do not.)

 

I would have given it to him

Had he asked for it…

But then he did express

Admiration for it

And I did buy him one just

Like it.

06/14 Direct Link

Long ago it seems

I took pictures of you

In those pictures you

Danced

A diamond in the light.

 

I never learned

Whether that was a

Trick

Like so many I have seen

Now is time to walk

Away from him

To cross your legs

To widen your eyes

To put on your lipstick

To dangle a shoe.

Although I have seen it

Attempted,

I am still fairly sure

I can tell the genuine

Article of light from

Some fakery.

The real thing burns

With a magnesium

Intensity with no thought

Of flicker or wear.

The other

Must pace itself.

 

06/15 Direct Link

You left a chair

On my bedroom balcony.

An older wooden chair

With knobs and gingerbread

A thick scooped out

Wooden seat

And large flecks of

Bright green paint peeled

And fallen to the boards below

Like leaves in the fall.

It has been badly flogged by

The weather

And sun

The joints loosened

Cracked

And swollen in turn

And while it still sits their

In a piece I have no idea

Whether the thing is

Safe or not.

No one has tried to sit

There since your last

Visit.

And you have obviously

Decided this chair

Is not safe.

06/16 Direct Link

At the Doctor’s office

It takes me a

while to find

Something to write on.

The Symptom Check List becomes

My tabula rasa

And a Bic Clic my

Instrument of navigation

After I discard the first pen I find.

(Something someone left.

Something that died halfway into

The third line.)

I use the back

Of  

The Symptom Check List and so

Am not tempted

With paths labeled

Pain in your buttocks

Or

Weakness in your legs.

It had occurred to me

On my way out the door

This morning

To grab a notebook but

So many things were

Occurring then.

06/17 Direct Link

My son Tom calls

From Anglund

He is at the car wash.

 

He always calls when

He is doing something

Else a habit he may well

Have gotten from

Me.

 

He says he is coming home

In mid-September.

At 34, my house is still “home”

And I pause to think

How many of my children this

Is true for

Or whether it may even be true for me.

 

He has mentioned this before but

I appreciate the reminder as

His son has been using his room for weekend

Liaisons with his

Girlfriend.

 

Things are not as my son left them.

06/18 Direct Link

I was taught

In a certain place

In a certain time of a purpose

That transcended power;

That the power was only

Distraction.

 

That purpose was to seek

Out truth from the

Most insignificant crack

In a seed,

And to never let it go.

 

There were dangers.

As one came closer to this

Truth the universe would

Bring more and more

Wondrous and more beautiful

Things to tear your attention

Away.

 

And over time she has

Piled so many

Things of holy beauty

Against my door

That I can no longer remember

What I was supposed to be

Looking for.

06/19 Direct Link

There are things that belong in the dark

And things that belong in the light.

 

There are things that cannot

Live in the heat of the sun

They dry and shrivel to husks.

 

There are things that cannot

Breathe the water

Or sustain themselves

In the air even if they strap on

Feathers and wave their arms like

Madmen.

 

There are simply things that we each

Were meant to do, to know, to

Understand, to touch.

And those things meant to escape us,

 

And perhaps there are things

Meant to tease

And entice

And always stay slightly

Out of reach.

06/20 Direct Link

I have to smile

Because it was

Like any other day.

The boy was walking

Along a road

Country summer

Corn stalks whispering

Sun baking the blacktop.

He could feel the heat in the hairs

On his head

On his shoulders

And there was no one there

When his eyes suddenly went wide

Soaking up the arc of blue

The scribble of oak branches and

Bubble of creosote from a telephone pole.

No one there when his brain

Caught fire

And he crept softly

Into the county ditch.

No one to enlighten

But a dragonfly

With the most iridescent eyes.

06/21 Direct Link

I saw the picture:

Your front porch

Full of willow tree.

I could imagine much of the rest.

The standing puddles of water

In the front yard and

Relentless heat that

Was not going to go away.

 

I close my eyes.

I wonder if it matters if

I cannot see you.

Will it matter as much after

I am dead and cannot see you then?

 

Your cosmology allows for the possibility

Of my looking down

As if I were leaning out the window

Of some impossibly large

White

And sterile house

Being whisked away

With the rest of your willow.

06/22 Direct Link

There was something

Clearly something

I was supposed to do.

I cannot remember.

File not found.

Was it at the desktop downstairs?

Was it to take a nap here?  (I

Am so close to doing just that.)

I had considered last night

Hiring a Russian?

What for?

And what was that dream I had?

It woke me up!

Why can’t I remember?

 

No.

There is something I am supposed to do.

Something to eat?

It is downstairs.

It is waiting for me there.

Maybe it is even on the schedule.

If there is no schedule

Do I make a sound?

06/23 Direct Link

I don’t need to panic

But that is not what

The chemical spill

Is this time.

I may never know.

I did something upstairs.

I moved the air conditioner

Again.

The doctor says I have

Diabetes now.

I stick myself and

Bleed into a

Cell phone every morning

And it yells 95

95

95

Back at me.

Unless it says something else.

And I never know

When the sweats will come

And it will be all I can think to cram shit into my

Mouth until the shaking stops.

But that is nothing new.

The cell phone maybe says

85…

06/24 Direct Link

They are killing fireworks in the dark

And the heat is splitting the sky

Like dry guns.

 

I would ask where

You are

But I am afraid you would

Rise up like some ghost in an Elizabethan play

Pointing a crooked finger at me

Commanding me to rise

And join the human race

Again.

 

Put on a uniform

You might urge.

Go

Run up that hill.

 

And I have gotten some familiarity

Living this shadow life.

Along with comfort

And perhaps some angst.

 

I don’t know

I keep writing the same poem

It comes out different

Yet

Like any other.

 

06/25 Direct Link

Yeah, it was a day

Like any other day

My son brought a friend over

To get a carpet cleaner.

I had an extra one.

 

It was not clear whether I was

Giving or lending.  

Other things were driving my

Angst this morning.

 

My son was particularly proud of

The speakers I had made

And the little tube amplifier

Showing them off

Having forgotten about

The majestic panels and sixty-pound

Hunks of iron they had replaced.

 

I found myself wishing I had known

He would be so proud of them.

For sure

I would have done

A much nicer job.

06/26 Direct Link

I keep trying to write this thing

Day after day

And it slips out from under

Me every time.

 

I suspect that if I do capture it

It will not be published in

The poetry room

Or on Face

Book.

It will not find its way

Onto 100 words.

 

And therein may lie

My problem because

Poem is clearly trying

To scream something

At me

 

Trying to sling some

Possibly impolite spittle

In my face

 

I don’t know this for fact:

Poem may be a song

Of truth or

Love.  All I see is the insane

Difficulty of its birthing.

06/27 Direct Link

It is ninety degrees outside

(Thirty-two for you devotees of Celsius.)

I know there are people

For whom this would be one

Perfectly beautiful day.

And I can withstand extremes

Of heat and cold possibly better

Than most.

But that does

Not

Mean

I seek

Them

Out.

 

So for those who propose

That I leave the house

In search of adventure

And “life,”

I suggest that we wait for a better day.

 

This is a day for heat stroke,

Sun burn,

And skin cancer.

It is a day for unbalanced

Electrolytes.

This is not

A day

Like any other day.

06/28 Direct Link

They go out now to break the fire works

In the dark

And I am unshaven

And unclear

About this holiday significance.

It seems to find me

A man driving too slowly

On the highway.

An obstacle

If noticed at all.

And I do try to be not

Noticed.

Sometimes I know I will yell

Or wave at one of you.

I apologize in advance for this.

I am not sure what

Causes this behavior.  I have

Been assured that it is

A chemical imbalance

That cannot be properly

Addressed in any currently

Available setting.  Something about insurance I think.

06/29 Direct Link

It was a day

Like any other day

I had to stop and change the spacing after

The first line.

 

The sun once again baked the breath

Out of the air.

And you again

left me unaccountably alone.

Suffocating

Waiting for you to…

 

And I wondered if that was part

Of the routine

Part of the scam since I had been

There before and that is how it

Always works.

 

Keep me off balance?

 

I can sense your presence.

I know you are there. 

I just have to decide how much

Is inflicted by accident

And how much by design.

06/30 Direct Link

I can smell this month behind me

Or at least I imagine it so.

 

High degree of difficulty.

 

I knew that even as I began to climb

The tower.

Once you are on those steps

You are alone

These days.

 

I almost always pause

Thinking of the little girl in the one-piece behind me that day;

“You gonna jump or not?”

 

The air was cold this time.

The board cold on my feet.

And that smell was something of mildew

I was quite sure body already airborne

Tumbling, snapping and slipping deep

Into the water.

 

Never do wanna come out.