Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rise, Sun

I before he except when we see. They watched a bucket loader all afternoon, which bored him. A quill at odds with how one understands feathers. Most rules adapt themselves to social settings and not the other way around. His father's guitar was black with a sunburst. One recalls how it echoed and rang.

Ask if it really happened or was it only a photograph. Currier & Ives were an early profluence. In those days, everyone was bearded and complicit. To follow seemed at times the only option. Creative minds falter as well. I prefer the closet, its coats and umbrellas that remind me of mother.

In the kitchen we were able to cobble together both pie and a brief peace. Toad eyes never blink. You can't say, looking back, for whom it was hardest. Five rooms is plenty of space so long as you've got a barn to go with them. At no time was the possibility of play raised. There was a noteworthy window.

Rise, sun, on the jack rabbit's corpse. He spread the newspaper on the table and read aloud that the war had ended.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amateur Again

They allowed a thermostat to come between them. Isolation in a crowd is a sure sign you're onto something! But then frost on the window panes, that reminder that the universe appreciates a pattern, maybe not so much. They pass each other like ghosts in a castle. The rooms were full and still you could see your breath. In the end, it was familiar.

There was a question of how far one should go in the pursuit of salvation and too often it was answered by professors of theology. The prayer that works because it is felt in a deep way and the one that works because it is an engine comprised of words. Family energy was banned at the dinner table. Yet it was precisely her ability to consider what most people would not that allowed her to insist that marriage mattered. Working with bread dough in the dark, curling one's toes against the cold wooden floor. You could hear other bodies working on it as well.

Oh but dreams then were all about leaders, leaders of lost people, and not the people themselves. The house was never as finished as when those inside it longed for one another. The ticking of any clock puts me in mind of Emily Dickinson, that difficult pleasure. A theme of folds taken to illicit extremes. One does want a heart and dismantlement and all of that in their poetry, but first one has to eat, no? So much for gravity in the middle of the night.

But what a blast, holding your hand! He wrote at dawn, numb with joy, an amateur again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pilgrim Discipline

Pumpkin symbolizes wealth. Growing pilgrim discipline means left behind stunted. The second the sea was left behind we equals too fast a house. While hunting up love letters reading out deer. The chain saw's little garden growled a brief piece. Green M & M's remained a signet cobbled out of trapped. Together we pie, ha ha. In front the bigger garden toad eyes me out back. A laugh is a grinder in my ears much longer. One would have expected remained the color of sand. A bird in hand a bear out there my heart was. Squeaking with saltiness and about that solid. You can hear it warm in the back of my throat. There's an anchor coming to shepherd's staff. He grew up even though his father was still alive. An orphanage amused everybody who then took pictures. Also a grounder. I followed him in which trains. Farms were a toy ideal. With which tractor was else?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Emperor to Empress

Out of many troubled dreams comes an inclination to be gentle, peaceful with others, and yes, receptive. What can be done, Emperor to Empress? It's a spiritual sickness, those coils at your throat, that ringing in your ears. He wrote, concerned that the space around him was shrinking too quickly. Reliance on metaphor is a symptom of avoidance. Take what from there, from that?

Looking ahead, Tuesday was bad which meant the whole week wasn't good. Those who demand the sentence bear water for the paragraph are doomed to wet chins. She recognized her tribe and it wasn't at all like coming home but like falling a great distance to the same place from which you'd started. I said to her after, outside the parrot store, weeping on my knees like a penitent, but how did you earn that wisdom? The river came down from the mountain being somewhat in the nature of a prayer. What will you think about in the moment of your death?

Commercial overtones haunted everyone, particularly repeated use of the word "product." Oh ye of such variegated faith, why do your hands flutter like a bird? In snowbanks, wholly veiled moons, and bottles of alcohol lined up like little children. Inside its armor, the monkey was capable of shape-shifting, first made of crystal, then burnt sugar, then a handful of sodden grass from the pasture. A faceless Jesus stood at the end of a long hallway saying "I'm only a word, only a word." All throats clear in a preparatory way.

And I dreamed of you again, as you had been in the old days, the Albany days, and saw you age as in the world you must have, becoming not the woman I loved but another woman. At last then I am split open, all bitter and raw, a fresh cut lemon voluntarily on the altar.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Habit Of Winter

This house or another can serve as a container but for what ghost?

If you are alone may also be a kind of prayer simply.

How much can one poem contain and is it now or ever was it a question of size?

It is not to inquire about being lost that will give offense but rather the fold of certain birds' wings that undermines a mostly pending immortality.

If one is looking to justify narrative there is no way better than to say how else is one supposed to capture and retain a reader.

Another possibility is the mail when it arrives is independent of even that much semblance.

What is it about time and ideas of embrasure that make anyone long for at least a slow darkening?

On any slow fist can be a required inward folding of petals.

Within the idea of apples there is also a room though what exactly can be done inside it gracefully?

No mail is ever relevant the same way the weather is.

Meaning can have the habit of winter.

Ascension does have to do with belief but there are other engines that defy explanation as well.

Return is the master of most descents.

As bright yellow as any tunnel would rather not be.

You cannot eat a color no matter how hungry your poems indicate blue.

One has a certain instinct for the archival.

If you fear hunger then you are without a particular childhood.

In tea one can also divine the past most pleasantly.

Is there any order and before that what else must be constructed?

Liken the forest to a kind of poetry and then wait for the bells that are always hinting at the next stanza.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spikes At Anchor

She cried, retelling the story. My tiny shimmering beans and how one by one how I tucked them in. Who wasn't bearded, wasn't complicit. The property line at the low stone without them ended. I was a rich uncle pissing hammers and nails for reason alone. The first time I saw her war wounds was midnight writing soap. What would we do to her parents that his mother collected? He that railroad spikes at anchor is promising a letters. A half-shadowed moon ends album cover. I believe I've turned inward with words, yes. That depression is road walked to rage. There were apple sauce and pork chops on her pillow. Into my ear they paused on a wall. The mail was never a birthday. Their faces resembled and his papers as one. You can lifted as enfolded be the tune. A low stone said laughingly is this where slippers ends? She was the family willow tree we honored by outside. Please don't beggar his heart that like when else can do. Hurt things please a nobody me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Rain falling off this rock about that far. What will you give me if I do? We are no longer a family farm. At night you could hear the river like a loose wind furling over the tops of distant summer trees. Traveling was the perennial cautionary tale. Everybody else has a tire swing, why can't we? There was, in those days, little possibility of boundaries. Are measurable knowable smiles reassuring or affectionate or both? Of all the rules, that was the one I learned best. Nobody here knows much. The male mallard's colors in direct sunlight are proof God loves and wants us happy. One should sit when removing their belt. Tame ravens feed baby mice to your blind old snake. Heavy tomato baseballs. We shot but never cleaned our guns. My sisters were made to be art objects, which rankled all for decades. He favored certain pronouns as who in those days when there was time did not. But of course, of course. Any container can fashion daily the Pabst Blue Ribbon of beers. He collects old-fashioned farm implements while maintaining sincerely his opposition to nostalgia.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Finger Pointing Only One Way

Gunmetal sky. Two crows fly south. How many lifetimes until Spring?

A blue river at dusk. She counts hawks circling the mountain. Breath comes hard to some lungs in winter.

Clouds blow lazy this March. He makes tea. Between snow buntings on the grass, his daughter sips it noisily.

They tossed their Christmas tree behind the barn. Threw handfuls of seed there for the chipmunks. Now the crows come, blood in their eyes.

Dawn on the melted lake. Beneath a pine tree, picked-over trout bones. We put whiskey in the coffee to stay warm and don't say a word.

My daughter learned to walk in a frosty field this winter. The dog followed, watching her all the while. The mountain is visible even when it snows.

All this fear! Like a finger pointing only one way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Away From Other Bodies

Hours falling through veils of no sleep. Vales of no sleep? There's a body on the couch, freeze-dried coffee in the cup. That ought to be enough. To get you going, I mean.

She had dreads last time we saw her, didn't she? He wrote, deliberately, trying to omit any reference to signifiers. Doing so was a faint embrace - or so she hoped - of the early work of D.W. Winnicott.

Did I mention I'm tired? A little puffy from too much salt the day before? With no interest in gum of any stripe?

Meanwhile, in the text as it prepared itself, his beard itched and he refused to cut it for what were - look how quickly that happened - religious reasons. It's a lovely city, Montreal, but a site of personal horror, and so I avoid it like the plague. I was about to write that historically speaking one couldn't really avoid the plague, but then couldn't you, even if only by luck?

You had to get away from other bodies, was what you had to do. But that's not what I want to say.

Yesterday, walking slushy side streets, we saw a Christmas tree suspended by grace above the intersection. Where I said grace I meant hooks and wires. What I'm getting at was the idea some body had to do that thing, put it there.

A poetics emerged, driven by the premise that how how is never as interesting as what.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Day For Traveling

Snow, over which wind tracks of small animals, all circling the sole crab apple, like rough sketches of a giant lavaliere. A few last apples, brown and wizened, crowned with snow buntings, remind him of the monastery in Vermont ten years earlier.

He is essentially a eulogist, even unto himself, though playing fast and loose with the form.

The older dog goes back after lifting his front right paw to limp through the snow. An injury possibly feigned, if one can say that of dogs, because once pointed home he positively dances. A confrontation with snowmobiles a few weeks earlier has permanently altered his sense of the trail they walk, its safety. The other dog, younger, once blessed at a Buddhist temple in Thailand, harbors no such reservations.

He sees Blue Jays - predominant bird this winter, one that his grandfather - the one he is beginning to think was hiding secrets more painful than just the orphanage - hated for their raucous cries. Since the blackout, no lights or heat for six days, the cold has been impossible, interior, as if he swallowed a chunk of ice that now stands where his heart once did, its freeze adrift in the network of arteries, veins and capillaries. He wonders if there might not be something to this whole "flee to Florida" thing after all.

The dream he woke from - what even now he declines to write - is at last beginning to fade. Yet the conviction it left him while laying in bed - "I am not guilty!" - remains. This is partly a theological remnant of childhood, in which God was posited as a not-so-kind, all-seeing despot, but is also partly how the family secrets were - secreted, let's say - through his parents, to him. He is only just beginning to understand this in terms of its effects. If timing is everything, he is doomed.

Though the walk invigorates, pleases. He hears chain saws somewhere west, "a mile or more away," reminding him him of a Fall day in Kindergarten when Mrs. Gould took the class for a walk, asking them to stop every few minutes and tell her what sounds they heard, and all anybody could hear was chain saws. Her frustration was palpable - with the students, but also (he now sees) with whoever was cutting wood that morning, putting away for the gathering winter. The sound - a pleasant, a reassuring growl - now comes from the roughly the same spot in the landscape as it did then.

A day for traveling, this one in early January, 2009, decides the man without shoes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Always In Bodies

Winter pissing, staring up into the sky. He was always loaded, breaking things, broken. The cost is always in bodies, isn't it?

Or so it seems, facing North a last time. What do you want, really want from this? I don't know but it feels different.

He wrote, cold, wanting only to be warm. He changed his profile picture on all the social networking websites. And thought, there in the dark before waking up to piss, I'm not guilty, I didn't do it.

Coffee smells, furnace buckling and purring in the basement. Stories are about someone, so who is your character? Lately, I've been thinking about stories in terms of what's not in them, what's left out.

Certain losses can only be gesticulated towards. I don't want to leave and I'm nervous about arriving. Take a new road at least - can you do that, this time?

I can't remember, from the last dream before waking, what the headstones said. They came from many centuries, from the nineteenth on back. And I had secrets, big ones.

If I named you, instead of being coy, would the world change? Life does go on, until it doesn't anymore, doesn't it?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Previous Desire

To the lilacs there by the window I can only say, Violins would have done as well. A previous desire was unmasked by cheap wine, leaving me breathless amid redundant questions. But time does not come back, like a boomerang or otherwise.

Anarchy then? The dancers ate fresh berries, watched shadows creep slowly over the floor towards them. Everywhere I go, vengeance went first.

On the horizon is the other hand, blood in its veins. I would weep if only the caravan were moving faster through that rainy memorable morning. She wrote, I'm looking for a lover who only leaves the bed to make me coffee.

It's a class thing, a barred door thing. Distant monsters grovel as they approach, faded Polaroids of our parents stuffed in their back pockets. I mistook a toy scythe for a moment alone at the opera, was never the same thereafter.

Walking in London, just after it began to snow, you said, Hansel is so full of himself, I wish Gretel had just let the witch have her way. Soldiers passed on our left, bored boys but with guns. Muttering sonnets, desperate for attention, getting what you want.

I would like to forgive you but I'm so damn paranoid! Reading a biography of Hitler, an old one, I kept seeing a cold apartment, nearly empty, in which long planes of sunlight could be said to hasten, not linger, through a small window facing west. In winter one doesn't think that much of lilacs.

Oh, but I do think of you, fondly, as one recalls certain elements of childhood while falling asleep. Sentence after sentence, longing for the line.

Friday, January 2, 2009

By Photograph Only

Leaves fall, ten thousand of them, each your name clutching a blue dwarf star. I have longed all these years like a coward for the world. But you must begin with what you have.

The magnitude of a king's genealogy, preferably in a city where leaves are not swept quickly off the streets. Hours pass on the backs of minutes and so on. Crickets sing continuously despite your efforts to be new.

In Greece, ripe fruit is about to burst, and July continues into seed. The statue of a horse made of dried carnations. Cigarette stubs on the cobblestone, like blind eyes staring obliquely after a fox.

My loves are like butterflies with holidays inside them. I was the only one who saw them. When you stopped laughing, there outside the chocolate shop, they disappeared.

Balconies facing the hot Mediterranean: deprivation and simplicity: and no sleep. Marriages have failed, the kids gone far away. She told me once while stoking flames that her dreams were always of pigeons with broken wings and she had no hands to help them.

How much you are like her, with your untroubled eyes, always amongst loved ones wondering are you safe. Listening to my daughter sing on a rock jetty, my heart fills with greed and fear. What have I done to earn such favor?

While watching you tonight accept praise from those who know you by photograph only, I testified again to the fineness and rootsong of angels. And wake up no better but yes, thinking of you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Scent Of Heaven

She was the color of the first scent of Heaven surely. Pipe smoke is cracker and very fast. You sit when longing, you Carl Yastrzemski. Something I decided. Into the lower field geese would land, briefly, a small marsh where in fall drained out amidst goldenrod. Mist reminded women on the tractor of coming back. Long wrappings wave hello to the neighbors of him. Garage rabbits tearing up at their hidden young afterwards. My father had a black guitar earlier yet. One recalls a good reason later. One grandfather stayed other. You are broken for no fix. Apple peels, the gorging future, appetite of a bird. Born free as free as the wind blows. One is compromised when standing in the world. Jumping truck engines in winter tethered me to that community of men. Held forever in Andy's glowing tumbled rocks. Beginning fascinates. Giblets fried in ox blood, to later hold the mail.