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I take a drink of coffee
I love the taste of the coffee,
have told you this.
I love the warmth flowing into my body.
I love drinking coffee,
love the weight of the warm mug
even if it makes me think that maybe I have to pee
and that in turn reminds me that I am growing old,
that I have a date with death waiting for me as
surely as the clock
will strike 1 AM tonight.
And I am aware that when I get there all this will
seem as if it were but a
few minutes time.
The Sun bleeds as she rises.
in several stages,
asleep in the dark,
calling to friends to come witness.
Now, she is queen of the morning
gushing colors across the empty sky.
I am heavy with sleep;
have been for almost a week now.
Cranking the engine, waiting for the spark.
I watched the sun come up.
watching her seep in over the river,
calling out to friends along the bank.
Now, strewing colors across the empty sky.
She is what she is.
I am heavy with the thing I am
Cranking the engine, waiting for the spark.
Cleaning the studio, my friend Steve used to say.
When he was getting ready to paint,
he would clean the studio.
He never finished cleaning it,
because he was always painting within an hour.
It was the movement around the thing, the easing
That was cleaning the studio.
I remember him in his apartment
He never finished his cleaning.
He was always painting.
He had a filthy studio crammed
with beautiful paintings.
There was movement
around the room
The paint, brushes,
and records everywhere.
The smells of solvents and maybe
visual holes in the disorder.
It feels icky. It feels like a bag of glom suspended in the middle of my body, arranged over a pulley to tug against my spine. It is sucking at me, sucking at my head. I saw the thing outside yesterday. I think it was yesterday. It was a grey-brown knotted rope of a dragon fly nearly two feet long, the tail waving behind to balance it as it flew. It flew up to and beneath a sign attached to a building. No one else saw it. It was all a blur of wings, tail and motion, moving so fast.
Whatever happiness we have gleaned will be held fast
in the eyes of the survivor.
Which do you want to be, my love?
Do you prefer being the survivor or the one who leaves?
The survivor has to be alone,
has to experience the loss of the other and
that by the time we reach that point
the loss will be great,
will be felt keenly leaving someone throwing things against
the wall in anger
and I say that
because much to my own surprise
that is how I reacted
the last time a friend of mine died.
Your presence requires a poem.
I have noted this before.
You probably understand
that it can take years
to birth a poem.
I have some that are
decades in the writing,
and many that will never be finished.
Oh my love it takes time to write a poem
and a poem such as the one you require is very difficult.
It is like a living crystal vase
and this is a lump of coal.
Yet this is what you will get for the first shot
and you will have no doubt that this was written
with me thinking of you.
Even when I
do not have the presence
of mind to write,
there are times that I can still
breathe out words.
I take a breath and
I breathe out words.
There is a pause on
caught in my mouth.
I can breathe out
words and inhale again.
A mystery falls behind pain.
and there I am once more
It is clearly a new escape
between so many vague notions
of dimensions and
dark and light.
It is all really overwhelming
and all i really can do
is breathe in
and breathe out words.
Looking at things slightly hot, a half syllable away from innocence and gooey rolls dripping with sweet madness. Frenzy...I'm sure her name was Frenzy She walked down the sidewalk along D-19 in the middle of the day wearing flowers and a sun-painted long spring dress that caressed her as she walked. The slabs of cement tilted this way and that in the cool shade. All those colors,
All the things
that memory keeps
There is never a need to rip
off the wrapping
to discover what
memory already owns.
It was obviously made
It does seem to be part
of the gizmo.
We are decision-making things.
and then we decide.
Is this what the wolf does
When he comes to the edge of the trees?
When he pauses, feeling the wind pushing
cooling fingers through his hair?
When he sniffs the strange wind,
And then changes direction to circle around?
And what if he cannot decide?
Does he stand there feeling the breeze,
vaguely aware of the sun slipping over
burning its way down through bare limbs?
He blinks, looks behind him
And then falls into the long lope home?
Puttering in the
cool damp mist:
Where did I leave my early spring?
This passage of time is unreasonable.
What sense could we make
if we could see
down that long hallway;
a museum of old cars it must seem.
What else would there be to attract our attention?
I watch you sleeping across the room.
I could almost sleep myself but something
me from it.
It is the sense of doing,
the necessity of doing.
There is a thought that I will
exist if I do not,
that I will fail to pass
through the hall.
Iím back here again
behind the eyelids
working out something
And itís the kind of thing
I trust the least
because I already know
where itís going.
Itís one of those dogs
you turn loose and it runs home.
Same place every time.
So you know
where itís going to go.
I need a dog that will sniff out fairies
or at least one-eyed frogs
Even if it is an ugly dog with three
legs and bad manners indoors.
I want a dog that will howl
at the moonís reflection
in its own water dish.
The television sort of drove me from the room. It is a little too harsh and jagged for me in some way. Hulu is not so bad, but network television is too loud, too garish or bright or something. It sets my teeth on edge. It makes me physically uncomfortable such that I'd rather come here to this dimly-lit room and its tiny wooden chair. I'd rather be alone in here just now than to be exposed to the colors and sounds of the TV. Maybe I will feel differently later. There are some shows coming on at 9 pm?
I saw clouds skimming
a damp steamy sky.
I was running a narrow path
shoes turning sideways
slipping in ruts
of a root-tangled smooth
chocolate brown mud.
Sleepy moss waking and grabbing
at my legs.
Deep and dark woods
flowing like magic evening
Like waters of the flood.
My shirt flying dark and
against long beaded
scratches on my side.
Hard ivory manic fangs
plush and playful paws
leaping twenty yards
at a bound
snapping crisp behind me,
swaying a mighty maw
left and right in time to some
barking calliope parked over the next hill.
It's a wet day.
But not so much
Like any other.
It is the red wheelbarrow
which has been there
in most every other day
leaned up in the dance
It is a slow dance
with the rain bleeding rust,
paint and the sweat smell
strained through webs of cloth and skin.
There are so many variations
on this day,
how are you to know
when you have stumbled
over a root
a blinding retrograde blood sugar
smack into a different day?
Is it the dance?
on the Red shed?
I would have crowned it a
I would have made a reservation,
ensuring that I would be
In a different place.
But it sucked me up
Through the sheets
And bleached me with light.
And though I refused
itís breakfast I couldnít ignore this day
Any more than it could ignore the night.
is a concept in some
place in this universe.
I suppose there is a spoiled spot
For those who know how,
But no matter how I cower,
scramble, dissemble, howl
not a single day ever
slows down for me.
I am all dressed up and I do have somewhere to go. It is a cloudy spring day and I have checked the weather forecast. I know the grass needs mowed at the house on Christine and this seems like a perfect day to do it, but I keep stumbling in my brain. I have these things to do. But I'd rather be with you. And we are in different places in the same spot, you getting ready for your day and I am under the headphones. I keep circling the poetry machine, unable to approach closer than 18 inches.
Write. I click on "Write" two times. That is how the site works. You have to tell it twice you want to write. Am I complaining? No, I am reciting my experience in this world, and in this life, in this world, I click on "Write" twice to make an entry to 100 words. In this life, in this world I am surrounded by green. Green trees, green grasses and green bushes, ornamental and simple weeds are scattered across the landscape wherever I go. This sun-fueled greenery is so hungry for life, it is pushing itself out everywhere.
I have been thinking about my experience in this life a lot lately. Out the window I see the fringe fluttering on the tiki umbrella. I can feel the press of the rumble of the freight train outside and I can read the graffiti on the sides of the cars. There is a hummingbird ornament hanging out there, and a wooden frog and worm are sitting on the deck rail. I think I am no longer afraid of this place despite its size. It appears that most of the things that are important do not take up so much room.
That privileged one-percenter
son of Zeus
steers the sun
behind another bank of clouds.
I am thinking about his
and wondering what is going on
Ennui and debauchery
I have seen
the cockpit one time
and that only by accident.
Perhaps the same kind
that made me not
or a third-world child
for which I
am truly grateful.
The same sort of
gave me awareness
to understand the economic machinery
and compounded machinations
that perpetuate the stainless class system
in the land of the free to do
In the cloud garden stiff stems pierce
the heavy mist.
The stems surprisingly strong
keeping the young clouds from
leaving too young.
Eventually a cloud will grow
strong enough to break away
and drift off on its own.
They seem to do this in groups
so it is natural to see a dozen or so
gaining in size as they move into the lighter air.
Perhaps this is because they are young
and the initial release causes
a kind of excitement
that sparks from cloud to cloud
until all that are
close to ripeness
break loose and rise.
A bee drowns in a dream of sun.
It pierces his eyes, splashing yellow,
drowns in the drone,
grass flowing like a river,
his belly hung out over
the hardened long dark roads.
A bee dreams of heavy heads
drunk with nectar.
He dreams of cold clear skies
with stars that move slowly
keeping time from generation to generation.
He remembers his motherís dreams.
A bee dreams of the float,
the splash of earth so far below,
the crush and light weariness of the long flight,
the scent of the run,
the wild thrash of the honey dance,
The rain is something. There must be a word but I cannot recall it. That word would describe the rain. It would describe the touch of individual drops as they sunk into the hair on my body. It would describe the uncertain sensation of the first drop...was that rain? It would describe the dark roll of the clouds in the sky and the way individual leaves tremble like lovers when struck. The word would describe the raindrops, individual at first on the highway and then gathering together. It would describe the chill I felt coming inside with my shirt soaked.
The sun is casting a blue glow over the grass
while tickling the clouds with pink, violet,
Naked trees crawl out over padded roofs
seeking the sun.
Their wooden tips slowly
slipping into the sky.
The body sleep hovers nearby dropping
a damp cloth over my face and eyes.
Muscle me out.
Drop the rubber hammer.
We have come home too early
and the children are writing on the walls.
It was either that or
Let them play with the ducks.
explains the babysitter.
She is outside
on the swing
letting her hair brush the ground.
Well I cannot play the piano as long as I want to. I have other things to attend to. I have to eat and sleep, for example. I have a job. My life is full of shoulds and obligations and stuff. In fact I suspect I need time away from the piano just so my brain can process and organize what it may have learned as I was playing. So just how much can I play? I have read that six hours a day is necessary for consistent growth. There is no way I have that much time every day.
It is really beyond me to crawl
into someone elseís mind,
to creep down the moist, rotting stair treads,
batting the heavy hanging cobwebs away.
They cling to your arms
as you duck the angular spikes hanging from the low mildewed ceiling.
Thatís what itís really about;
what itís really like.
The bare cement floor is rough and stained,
and always wet,
a puddle spreading from a side wall.
The walls are set with deep shelves that recede
into darkness that swallows any light
from the single dirty bulb hanging
Somehow, I had expected something else,
I have nothing to say.
It is beyond me to crawl
into someone elseís mind,
to creep down the stairs,
hanging onto the wobbly
two-by-two railing and
batting away the sticky webs,
ducking the rusty iron spikes hanging
from the low mildewed ceiling.
Thatís what itís really like.
The stairs are uncertain but for one detail:
they are steep.
In one certainty they run straight down,
a carpenterís ramp,
twelve or fifteen of them,
bare and rough, always wet.
On either side narrow walls rise from the ground,
capped by a round cement top.
Somehow, I had expected something elegant.
It is my job to crawl into someone elseís mind,
to creep down,
heavy cobwebs batting my eyes.
Iron spikes are always pointing through
I get an image
of my head embedded on one of them,
Hard against the low mildewed ceiling.
The stairs are uncertain but for one detail:
they are very steep.
In one certainty they run in a tight circle
and are made of strange stones and pieces of wood,
water constantly dripping down them.
You follow carefully,
hands pressed against the walls
navigating in uncertain light
wondering when and how they will end.
I crawl into other minds.
Itís what I do when I do anything at all.
Difficult sometimes, it is
never what you think it is going to be.
Sometimes, it is just me,
they are usually happy to
let me have full control.
Sometimes it is not a surprise;
them already being used to having visitors
on a regular basis.
They usually know I am there.
Sometimes however, it is a problem,
because some people are suspicious when
someone else goes into their mind.
Sometimes they are not very nice about it.
It is not elegant
Like you would think.
I have struggled with this for months. I believe the two words can be fused, yet I find myself playing favorites. I have special feelings for ďtimbre.Ē I need to write first about Timbre as the resonance of life. I want to show it as the surface tension of spinal fluid. You should be able to feel it like the heat of a loverís body at hairís end. Even now the idea nudges the skin of my scalp again. See it? There is a bulge moving across my cranium like a babyís foot across the inside of his motherís belly.
What is the timbre of life? If we strip it of all the garbage that clouds our perception, with what are we left? What movements in air are produced by its passing? So I go out into the yard, out between the pines, and I lay flat on the ground, sealing one ear to it. Below me now, do I hear a heart beat? No, it is only the cars and trucks thumping along Carpenter Road. Above me, over the rush of the pine boughs and fighting jays I hear a neighborís stereo broadcasting songs of violence and unrequited love.
Back at my office I hear the whirr of a refrigerator, the push of air through ventilators, the yammering of the Pica ball against the platen. These are the distortions of life amplified and processed many times over and many generations removed. I can elevate these sounds to the status of timbre. I can denigrate them to mud and misery. But will I have discovered anything? The soul of life is not rapped out undistorted on the anvil of the ear. It cannot be seen, read, touched, or smelled. Yet it may be glimpsed in parts through any of these.
The Tip Jar