Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Ultimate Narrative I

A wisp of cloud mistaken for the moon. West and a little bit South. Discomfiting as in "where are we in the day?" Time and place are both fictions, created to sustain the ultimate narrative, I. I still have that picture of Jesus you gave me for it hangs in the basement where I write.

Yet this poem is not that poem though the inner cynic (and his massive bloody cigar) remarks that one day it could be. I'm pretending to do math while working on a sonnet, that's what. The dream made clear that I not only avoid all teachers, I actively obfuscate their goal. Did Gertrude Stein speak the way she wrote? By and by wonder.

One does reach "a point." In which time any number of writing implements were stolen. Thus one could say later, "we expect a book." What rain, what camellia blossoms. If I have to read once more how Jesus and the Buddha shared a boat going down the Ganges . . .

The motivational speaker said when you wake up and look in the mirror, ask yourself, what kind of asshole am I going to be today. Timbers of cumulus or rather puffy white clouds reminiscent of a certain castle. The poet was not used to thinking of herself as anything other than a child. Your lost shoes at last. Broadly, excoriation.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Necessary Disclosure

The teeth of the poor are motivation for salvation. The holy voice grows faint in a sea of alien voices. In 1925, Hitler published Mein Kampf, a portion of which was composed in prison. Bubonic plague has not been eradicated, but treatments do exist. Also, swords from the Civil War fetch a handsome price.

A port of call that one has a bad feeling about, that one prefers to not go ashore. The "teeth" of a comb, the lattice work characteristic of some rose gardens. There is an inclination to be dismissive of texts that were excluded from the Old Testament. Yet history is not without a (discoverable) reductive narrative. In my dream, the first few words were excluded while the last was clearly "function."

A bookstore in which some real gems were found. We ate horehound candy on a hill that overlooked a swampy river, weeks away from your (untimely is not the word really) death. To what will you dedicate the forthcoming couple of sentences? As hard as it may seem, one has to keep their focus on content, not on form. As I often say to unbelievers, the Holy Spirit is not a bird and you weren't either.

Writing is a necessary disclosure regardless of intention (a truth often revealed in subject verb disagreement or parenthetical afterthought). If you speak with the heart of a sinner, and hear bells from the distant church, are you not being given a chance? Monstrous diction, vintage knives. Absolute truth is a virtuous commodity, as hard to hold as scalding tea. We are between full moons, we are grateful for the sky.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trains in Holland

You were wrong about that preponderance of crows line. I remembered it driving down route 112, yawning and wondering what the day was going to bring. All I can say is that plastic lawn chairs serve the same purpose as chickens. A dream of Rembrandt, a dream of John Denver. Your macro is my spiritual practice.

We stepped outside and found a dollar bill. The attachment to certain stones is no better than another. What you have a hard time with is the fact that all of this is unreal - there's no part of it to be saved. Rips in the screen are letting in bugs. The trains in Holland are full of dreamers.

Manifest a bottle of wine, a circle of friends, a small fire, famous songs. Between backstage and performance - what is that space and why does one savor it? Shades of mackerel, shades of blue. The wheelbarrow upended against the maple tree I keep meaning to cut. We could raise lambs, we could sell wild mourning doves.

The back fence repeated itself. It is my experience that the more attention one pays to dreams, the more likely one is to discover the seams through which God pours a mercurial light. Not confession so much as a 1970's camper rusting behind the barn. Spiders do indeed have surnames. Our guide had feet that resembled weathered saddles and a smile so insistent it delivered us to the Lord.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Better Able To Breathe

We picked up broken chairs all morning and beneath one found a picture of your grandmother when she was young and living in an orphanage in Boston. Life is what's behind what happens. A lowish rumble of thunder, the silver tantrum of wind and rain. It was like the Lord tossing bracelets at a people he'd forgotten. Contractions have their place.

We visited other states and returned unimpressed. Poetry is a lot more fun when you're not trying to impress other poets. The inherent bias of sentences for time is what's blocking you right now. Don't be new, be you. What if waking up is like lilac, which is to say, beautiful and all, but a bit on the brief side?

Opportunity slips in without knocking. You can fall into anything, not just love. We watch a lot of television but who really cares? He could take or leave alcohol and preferred to take it, okay? Remember the guy who walked into the zendo just as sesshin was ending and said loudly "can somebody tell me how to find route seven?"

Drops of rain on each pane of glass, perfectly placed. Take note of who you fight with in your mind - they're going to be your best teachers. Peaches, blueberries, appointments closer to noon. We are always angling for what did you say? The storm passed and in its wake we were cooler, better able to breathe.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Storm That Happened Years Ago

A mouthful of coffee grounds is something to do. Heat lightening to the north, salmon-colored clouds southeast. A rooster cries a couple of yards over and you can climb into the sound, you can live in it, it lasts forever. What might one call a Thoreauvian theory of time? We are still picking up refuse from a storm that happened years ago.

Yet in all that walking, there was not even a hint of bear and so we came back saddened, heavy in a way we resist. The neighbor's dog growled as we approached and so we said quietly "good morning (insert name of dog here)" and turned around. The old streetlight, the old gang, the old way of saying please love  me. One is always angling for the graveyard. And another way of saying it is to say there's nothing to do and never was.

I woke angry, but the anger cleared, and so the walk went smoother, like tea just so. A cool breeze preceded the thunder which arrived as dawn was slipping off its veils. Luck or God, you decide, but leave me out of it. Certain streaks of cloud suggested an energy that was in love with itself and held little regard for the comfort of others. Be not afraid, indeed.

A theory of poetry that involved umbrellas is perfect for the moment! If you're going to sleep in a manger, I hope you're not asthmatic. One keeps  pliers on hand, one is always ready for "the show." You get closer to the quill and think you're there but you're not, not really. Try this one for size: there's nobody out there to save.

Friday, August 26, 2011

There Must Be Something To Lift

I forget the sentences I thought earlier, walking into the forest under the moon. Fear in all areas, making me a child. The little boy says dance, he says make people happy. So there must be something to lift then that only I can see.

Certain people I miss, others I just remember. We are coming back to what was once called "the bird-shaped hole in the heart." Relearn what ruin means. You are justified by truth, which creates you anew each moment, and so.

He "leaned" on coffee, he "listed" in the lecture hall. A spooked killdeer takes flight and minutes later one hears a song. Her dog came back smelling vaguely of skunk. I dreamed of the old barn where as a child you raised turkeys in secret.

All fathers pose a problem to their sons but remember that all sons are capable of resolution. Circles meet in a defined way or they aren't circles. Writing came easily - some writing did - and so I call myself a writer. Imagine each sentence outside of time, outside the paragraph.

There is nothing to do is the last lesson before learning begins. He worked on a journal entry  - what we call rewriting - knowing it would be his last. Your lark doesn't nest anymore than you do but then you knew that, didn't you? What I'm saying is, Emily Dickinson's letters are good summer reading.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Sickness Manifesto (Can Take Years To Finish)

Is it me or are we all prone to deity? I missed the old dog at 4 a.m., traipsing along between round hay bales, the moon listing in its bower of mist. The tractor ruts kept our feet dry, relatively. The test is you can make a god of anything except God. Like this: I prayed for contact and you made contact and so now what.

One achieves a heightened state by killing mosquitoes without guilt. A perky catbird sang on the satellite dish. The bear paused lazily a few feet past the rotting pumpkins as if to indicate choice. One might be money, another well-known poetry. The sickness manifesto can take years to finish.

Two nights running, such sweet dreams! We huddled in the truck bed, smiling and kissing, while a city burned beyond the highway's edge. Ruddy light inside the stove, a mind considered a hymnal. Your tradition, my stubborn practice. Is it time yet for waking up?

The guilty pause. He wrote there was no such thing as a stranger. We make up our mind for the "whole wide world." Memory insists that it knows something we don't, that's why it's so hard to let go of. I waited for you all night outside the cave and at dawn realized that you were never coming back but still sat there till noon letting hope get good and gamey.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What The Ego Dimly Senses

In a sitting position, one's thighs fan out across the chair. Why did I write that? Language is optional, meaning is not. We are all tracked, one way or the other. Fratricide remains illegal I'm afraid. Spirit see what the ego dimly senses. She said enlightenment was bullshit, just another way to glorify one's radiant personal dysfunction. We met for ice cream and it was as if we met for ice cream. Form equals pressure, content spills across a transom. An orgiami practice, a kite-making workshop, twenty sentences a day. Reference bleeds. When scaling a ladder, first you look up. What a fine teacher you turned out to be! His wedding ring fell off, rolled across a bridge, and as he pursued it, he passed an old television set, its guts hanging out, its face cracked and blistered. Consider the possibility that what we call content is just space bounded by what we agree to call form. In other words, no sentence at all. Illusory cauldrons, boot leg recipes. A box of peaches above which wasps dance, while we loll in the hammock, revisiting old kisses. Grace by whatever means necessary. We burned our marching orders, we sang as we loped across the countryside.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Communication Avoidance Mechanism

The space in which reading becomes a communication avoidance mechanism. Thought and thinking are not related. All these kids are sticks but you are a really big stick. In a dream then, the love I believe I was denied.

We moved in the direction of tea and many people celebrated. This sentence feels wrong and - surprise surprise - so does the one coming up. Channeling is all the rage right now, especially for people who give a shit about separate gods. I am that.

One draft writing is not what it wants to be. Can a road linger? Does a bear copulate in hidden groves that human beings pass only once every thirty years or so? He asked - it was a good question - what the point was of trails.

A writer is not better than. That old game we used to play - lifting the parachute and racing underneath it - took a lot of hands to make it fun. Injustice only decades later subject to the needed amends. It was nice yesterday, talking to you in the sunlight, about nothing much at all.

What then is really necessary? The Kingdom is obvious but you have to give up the world and who wants to lose Coney Island hot dogs? Grudges meet what hidden need? A real blessing elevates exactly none of the five senses.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lists Seem To Matter

The psychological space in which lists seem to matter. Cool honey in the middle of summer. Mushrooms sliced and fried in butter, later salted and tossed with red peppers. Tea counteracts some but not all the effects of a hangover. Her son died, which made idle conversation impossible. We swam in the river at dusk and later observed what we both agreed might possibly have been an angel. Dogs wait, it's what they have in common with certain types of people. Jesus must you always be an enigma? There is as always a light by your shoulder. Shiva did it, which explains a lot. Where two roads met – and a great deal of summer greenery seemed to contain all that could be said of the human condition – a wheel turned, dropping silver tendrils of water into a cresting, otherwise irrelevant river. Blue herons taking flight where the road turns. Hunger was another theme, one we took up rarely. You want my advice? You wake up and you walk if you can and when you get back you make coffee. Stop saying you want a new religion. Try this: there is no such thing as a mistake. The deer - which signified treasure, which signified imagination - was standing at the side of the road, waiting to cross into shadows. Wild blueberries for those who care. Because that's when you're most comfortable with the necessary invitation, that's why.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Exquisite As Whiskey

To a black bear, the whole world is the back yard. We drank the last of the beer and had to do without insight for the rest of the afternoon. Bread baking, pizza dough rising. It was that kind of day you see.

The dogs nuzzled their mother's belly in my bedroom, I remember that pretty damn clearly. Over the years there have been a lot of dead snakes. My father owned a guitar and many guns but so far as I know, no baseball cards. Violets in memory exquisite as whiskey.

These three-sentence stanzas own a kind of reluctance, don't you think? A friend came by for muffins and tea and ended up staying for supper. We leavened everything with honey from bees who lived in hives out beyond the old barn. It was exactly as if obfuscation were a sort of vendetta, one that included an instruction manual.

You keep wearing that tight shirt in places you know we'll meet which must mean something. Hurry hurry hurry! We drove into Boston and came back (mostly) healed. I'll be your concertina if you'll be my Bob Dylan lyric circa 1979.

Your name has been uttered a thousand times in dark places where safety just barely outweighs reverence. Solitude is not without risk, a lesson that Henry David learned but failed to adequately explicate. Love with a couple of o's in it. Why does Jesus always visit when I'm drunk?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Burned And Thus Unreadable

They sing songs about you at night, they meet in secret. The full moon is a ridiculous ally. Is it feasible to love the world and still know the richness of Heaven? We made preparations to invade the question. And your image was carved into marble floors by men who understood intuitively that time was just a proxy for the eternal.

When, brother, did the devil learn you were dead? Bad news accompanies men on motorcycles. A decade later one finally grasped the right way to make coffee. It is always "your move." God provides, man divides, and we all somehow survive.

There were always life plans, each a segment of some larger, rarely perceived, whole. The sentences were hard to find, the one didn't suggest the other, and all inferences felt burned and thus unreadable. I prayed beneath the Flowering Dogwood tree while the neighbor cursed his lawn mower. Visiting chickens at rest beneath the bird feeder. What is fear, what is love.

I prayed for icy clarity regarding direction, got a vague sense that I was wasting time with a particular dream, and otherwise just felt like God was a bit bored with the whole "give me a sign" thing. Weeds amongst the rhubarb, sunny blossoms on the tomatoes. We made love with a blend of urgency and fatigue, intent mostly for the quiet union of "after." Wrote this poem, made coffee, called it a day. That's prayer and it always ever was.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Mortal Sadness I Feel

What might be a chicken hawk - what's maybe a couple of miles away - is a black shape against the late morning cumulus. You leave angry despite my efforts to be "spiritually sound." The other way - the infinite way - is thataway. Can we buy tickets? Growing up was church hall basements, spaghetti suppers with vanilla ice cream and afterwards a raffle with prizes nobody wanted.

There is a musty smell in the instruction manual (the way moths flew out of his wallet). It's funny how we say things like, "I can't believe he died," as if there were such a thing as special dispensation. Yet there are raspberries coming into season, just as the strawberries fall back into the dust. The black bear at midnight reminds me of God - how else can I explain the mortal sadness I feel as it leaves, not looking back? It's true that rivers pose a challenge but it's nothing Heraclitus didn't solve.

One does chores in place of enlightenment. We harbored vanity, hence the busted mirrors everywhere. There's a turtle in the sky, looking down on us with love. Our idea of embraces shows the way we're lost. Yellow moon, tattered parchment.

I set the chainsaw down reluctantly, accepting at last the gangly beauty of the front yard pines. Certain words cannot go before another in a poem without throwing the whole in disarray. The unfolding begins here, the rippling and tearing. Missing you feels like letting you down, who pointed me in the direction of grace. In flight then is our sure release.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Old Friend Up North

Hay fever? The metaphysicians I trust say there is only ever one problem, thus but one solution. Weeds along the back fence are a lush green. Watered-down coffee, a plastic chair that's God knows how old. After chores, it's nice to sit down and see how the chickens approach their lives.

This morning's meditation: goats will eat a whole bucket of one hundred dollar bills. Another way of saying that is to say that I've been watching too much television. The miracle at last understood as a gentle shift in perception, oriented toward grace. What color is your name? In my dream, an old friend up North urged me to reconsider my aversion to lists.

The swallow's loop, the ant's objective, a cat dozing where last year we planted bulbs. The presence is felt, yes, but still at a distance not under one's control. They left their dog out all night. Bears trundle along the path, hardly without mind. It's cliche but I have to ask: where have you been all my life?

We've got finances to settle, dreams to score. The doorknobs are falling off and once again the builder you like won't return my calls. At bedtime, "she" disappeared. The neighbor's chickens have no regard for either fences or legal documents. And yet we still say with straight faces that we long for the peaceable Kingdom.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nobody Promised

Tattoos in the 1970's. Green windows to a factory where nobody we knew made chocolate. Driving the backroads at night one could pretend they were lost. Certain types of tears were ignored. Permission - granted or not - was a dominant theme.

Yet there were also fish circling a bucket, their silver bodies creating irregular whirlpools in which one's finger might rest. Elvis died - we knew it from the t.v. I mistook a ballerina for a cowboy and everybody laughed and still do. Steak, corn and home cut fries. Crabapples are bitter but necessary.

Coffee fuels a familiar stance. We throw jarts at the neighbors, rocks at a cat. It was not comfortable, it was known. Like vomit at funerals. Stuffed animals torn open with jack knives, staring at the walls.

It's a lie, yes, but whose? We always read, we always teach, we always covet another way. Nobody promised me anything. The phrase "coming to terms" is synonymous with God. There is bliss in decomposition, everyone in my family knows that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Nature Of All Infections

A breeze ruffles the heat as I crest, bringing a smile to my otherwise tired face. Oh the price you pay at 4 a.m. One fumbles for the Holy Spirit, sifting through tendril thoughts. Silence does not breed creativity, it is creative. Did I mention fatigue?

He turned back before the bridge. Stars were muffled by thin grey clouds. A sock, a dead extension of pinkish Hollyhock. I'm trying to go where the body cannot. The dice one secretly fears.

By sunrise, they had run out of coffee and the horses were still in their paddocks.  Even young trout have deep voices. We are on account somewhere, coveted but not yet committed. On the main road, the body of a skunk, its ropy guts reeking of Heaven. Circles of ash then, spirals of dust.

We studied ornithology and discovered gaping holes in our bird-shaped psyches. The carpenter left the job unfinished, never responded to my patient overtures. It's the nature of all infections. You say love, I say luck. It's a long walk just to peek inside.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wind Horse Hesitates

The fox appeared to leap across the road, blonde in the street light's halogen glare. Firefly gelato. There was in all that field a bracken entrance, one that dissuaded followers. We know you, God, as we know ourselves. A big thank you to Sigmund Freud!

Where would one be without Ecclesiastes? The wind horse hesitated, even though it wasn't his job to judge the merits of each prayer. One can ask for money for any number of reasons, and can refuse to ask as well, and the Lord God made them all all. Ceramic flower pots in which a few scraggly Patiens bloom. Seeds can be tossed anywhere and are, so there.

Absolved of text, one begins at last to pray. Houses make for a strange confinement. Yet I too hope this will work. He talked to her often, despite the fact that she was a thousand miles away, and often she answered. How many Hindu Christs have I been?

With this ring, I thee bed. Nickels and dimes in the collection plate, whiskey on the old priest's breath. Shiva always reciprocates if you don't mind crazy weather and unexpected travel plans. Black cats, chess for kids, fathers falling asleep beside their sons. The old war is over, the new peace is finding its legs.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tinder At A Bad Time

Be my face carved from concrete. Face to face with broken glass one attracts the absence of faith. It was a language in which there was no word for goodbye. You always did what you were asked. The church steeple awash with gold light.

There was a sofa on my back, there was a bird in my chest. To be Zen is to be stubborn in an enviable way. Water trickled down the washboard and a chicken approached it, not thirsty so much as curious. The skeleton of a falcon in which the skeleton of a mouse resides. It's as old as Emily Dickinson.

Max Ernst smoked tobacco on the park bench. I fed tea-soaked bread crumbs to the misunderstood rock doves. Use caution indeed. Oh God I'm coming. There's a falling apart to it, a crumbling.

Nobody had my five senses the way you did. All night watching the moon slip up and down the marble stairs. Katie my heart for you was tinder at a bad time. Sunlight. One hears in a familiar song the strain of her voice and falls - unexpectedly - weeping.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Wreck You Knew Was Coming

Do we ever really experience longing? It is what I have in common with both elephants and turtles. Crows eyed his broken body from the guard rail. It hurts, no matter what language you say it in.

Again with the incessant call for clarity. Sit still a moment and see what happens. She wrote in a letter that I cannot cause the grass to grow. Somebody spiked the punch and now look.

A window, a miniature. The hungry blue light of twilight on their wings. He ordered me not to cry. You surface less and less, as if you finally found the wreck you were searching for.

There's a high school dance in this sentence. Cross words. My whisper was your voluble lyric. There is never time for what we think we have to say.

A road, a lift, a dance, a lesson. In the valley where one last time we met the mad inspired teacher. The wreck you knew was coming is now gone. It was just a game but still.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bricks That Hide The Light

Serpentine memory or at least its equivalent. What would I do without Dante, the steam rising off scrambled eggs and you talking by the window about Moby Dick? I mowed a corner of the yard that's usually left alone. Grace is not difference.

Grievances are like bricks that hide the light. A glass of water topples and a precious book is drenched and the afternoon becomes an exercise in salvation. More chess moves, please. The smell of hay, vulnerable mice. All walls are constructed and you are a demolitions expert as well.

What we're saying is, there's a relationship between sentences and paragraphs. The stairway goes up, not down. Romanian folk dances and charts that say your foot goes here not there. Observe the grizzle, meditate on bluets. The butterfly in the window box is neither a message nor a sign but that doesn't mean you can't read it.

All waiting assumes ancestry. We need to eat which means we need to remember where the food is. You can fall on your face and call it ballet and who hasn't? Simply know that God is a good idea. A kiss that was groomed by north now offered accordingly west.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Prayer That Is Uttered Inside It

A tenuous discord prevailed outside the Kingdom. Rose petals in the wake of an afternoon thunderstorm. What sentence am I supposed to write next? This one.

At night the moon skims banks of cloud and the stars are so white they're blue. The one who wrote spiritual architecture was without a home. A preference for certain words or phrases - maps, say, or cartography - is a sickness. God is not a part of anything.

We weakened the braces but could not bring ourselves to topple them altogether. A temple is never the prayer that is uttered inside it. Your metaphor is my beleaguered doctor's note. Spindly roadside maples, a handful of mustard seeds, the sale of well-trained doves.

What now? The argument for boundaries in one's living quarters can be a sign of either progress or regression. In other words, grace. The waitress said you want that with everything?

The old canard reframed. We followed the trail until it came to a hill and then it was time to make a decision. In choice lies the idea of God. Darwin blinked.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An Otherwise Fatal Communion

We move from the grounds of burial to spiritual certitude. Nobody theorizes about art around here yet there ought to be a connection or two. Can we say there is such a thing as excessive nutrition? A comminatory God plays well on Ash Wednesday but it's an otherwise fatal communion. So who is designing the new emblem?

One aspires to reproduction. One reluctantly lends credence to the Victorians - and also the Puritans - for adhering to a difficult order. The fingertips will almost always reveal the motive. Also, you can tell an atheist by his missing thumb. Don't rely on medicine when you can still be bound by stars.

Please do deny aboulia. At the freak show, we heard a strange folk song that seemed to go on forever. Emily Dickinson was carried through the fields in dissipating sunlight. It's not unlike the rural trade of race horses. Creation reviewed.

A renewed vainglory while puffing through winter fields, jerking the red wool scarf to stop it from icing over. A long time ago I stormed a beach, climbed a mountain, came to a crossroads. When dreaming, try to inject a little bit of Poland into it. To be overly attractive is to meet the definition. Thematic makeovers, obligatory concession speeches.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Silence, A Keeping Silence

One finds wild strawberries in the middle of the trail and then walking there forever changes. He invented a small basket that held fried potatoes and it pleased the nineteenth century greatly. There was a conical hat which, when upended, was sufficient for a single serving of hot peas sprinkled with pepper. We can arrive at Heaven no other way.

We traveled to Holland on an old train in search of another view of fields. I stayed up after midnight to begin composing a spiritual bromatology. Daniel Webster circa 1828 remains a profligate influence. As in, one who is thus afflicted might never know the wind.

The empire is whatever rich men say it is but the Kingdom of Heaven eschews all such definition. A stone, an ignote, an oaken rain. She came upon the pond just as the sun was rising and it was a silence, it was a keeping silence. One is aware of an intermission of sorrow, a commemoration of that sleeping in the tomb.

I married a heathen deity of the female sex. Please forgive this little gnomon! All ignorance is a blessing in disguise, much as a desert might yield certain insights. Such as, for example, a large and succulent root.

The world could come to an end tonight and you won't find me in it. Her nouns - or rather, the way she stacked them in sentences - caught him and kept him coming back. I am tangled up in pronouns. Salt the metaphor, salt the key.

Monday, August 8, 2011

All You Need To Know About Mortality

An oaken light that followed rain. She threw her head back. Prodigal and religion don't mix son.

The teacher asked the student to describe him in one word and the student answered shatterproof. A map could not have done it better. One asks about the bears, where they'll go come winter.

A shred of skin near the knuckle is all you need to know about mortality. He suffers looking for sentences. Mass-produced bells.

Pearl onions, Patagonia, patchouli. My fifth grade teacher in a yellow poncho. The windows were open, melodious light.

I resent you for making me resent myself. Resending old letters is a kind of spiritual therapy. You pass on the left, pull over to pee on the right.

All capitalization is dictatorial. The student yawned and stared out the window and that created a silence. How will I remember the judgment?

I remember your smile. It's not enough.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Single Voice, A Simple Message

The red bird, reminding me as always of your attendance. This borrowed body, this mountainous mind, this Kingdom of air. We can't say goodbye and that is why these poems so often mention coffee.

The barn was streaked with last night's rain. You woke too and helped me find the door. Recollected thunder still echoes in the sentence I wrote about it.

Your new camera, my Parisian fantasy. What we forget - choose not to remember - is that each step makes possible the next. We're not going anywhere - because there is not there there - but still.

This fabric of language across the architecture of one's bones. Sound has many dimensions. It's obvious, the way a calendar is not.

We'll laugh our way to Golgotha then. I took notes knowing full well the novel they imagined had already been written and judged a success. Dreams of oxen, dreams of tea.

Willingness - which is openness - is itself healing. We are called to a memory of rain by a single drop of water on an otherwise not-witnessed clover. Against the multitudinous clamoring, a single voice, a simple message.

And yes, I fall weeping. For you I fall to my knees.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ceramic Soup Bowls Left Out In The Rain

I dreamed of sleeping, of a sweet creamy tea, and also powers of flight. There was no breeze in the Saw Palmetto, you could hear drops of sweat against the flagstone. Talk of victory then is premature. Death is just a window cracked wider. "Tornado plants," ceramic soup bowls left out in the rain. The trailer park was cheerful that night, I remember walking with you from one party to the next, very Christian. That was the year she celebrated Easter in Ghana. Seven page letters full of who remembers what. He crept away with organic grapes. The cat was grateful when the house grew quiet. What is about you then? He kept telling me about this dream of sleep to which I could only reply I'm a cognitive not a Freudian psychotherapist. Adults are no better. What worked and can we replicate it? God has his reasons said the young priest and my sister snorted then threw up. We discussed the use of certain dyes in summer. Respect for her art was a condition of the dinner invitation which around dessert I realized accounted for my anger. The teacher opted against tiny hand cymbals. Not ever again! Don't say you won't regret it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Only the Foolish Understand

The first thing I do is write. Pray? There are ways to God only the foolish understand.

Turn on the lights. A black cat crossed the yard while I stood in the road admiringly. Visitor bane.

A lovely star is more likely a planet. The horses stamped and coughed, driving off a bear. Snapping turtles have tails, I know that now.

If you're reading, then write. Too much coffee, not enough protein. Identity shadows the ego standard.

Arrogant unlike Parisian soulfulness. Certain teachers I miss, others I just emulate. These sentences, not twenty others.

I insists. Deletions and mark-throughs and notes on the margin. Other branches, other tombs.

A way forward? Interior peace.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Grail That Surrounds Us

One yearns for distraction, even justifies it. A cultivation of indifference, as if facing a mountain and deliberately cutting off one's legs. Booze, maybe. Maybe crystal meth. Maybe a black bear pausing to look over its shoulder as if to say. God the avenger, God the penitential. Early summer tomato plants a source of infinite gratitude. We are constantly in a state of evasion, constantly missing the grail that surrounds us. Fell asleep composing a perfect paragraph. Enlightening prose. Snow in Paris, old men studying benches. Ever linked up? Welcome to the association of universal pogo stick makers. Could be music, which permeates at a cellular level, in a way that writing does not. Thankful marigolds, welcoming clover. A stunning purple against a minimum of melodrama. It would be a shame if you were not able to complete your quest. First you hike the mountain in your mind, then you tackle the illusory ascent. One dreams of waking up right? One walks a long time across the sand only to arrive at a new desert.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God Pretending To Be Otherwise

We have all the time there is. Ample distractions include real estate, special shoes for walking and politics. This is why I bow before quartz, he wrote, to the amusement of those who had ears. Yet after, poking through a back cupboard, one found a paper bag inside of which certain plants were drying. The map didn't prepare us for that. The world is not real and neither are you is hard to say to journalists who cover genocide, cancer victims and kids who just stubbed their toe. Love is more significant than chairs and potato chips but not vintage red umbrellas. That one can have an enlightened experience signifies the presence of certain critical brain receptors. If you draw conclusions, you haven't learned a damn thing. Give us a kiss then? A perfect paragraph of enlightening prose. A dirty cup being passed around for laughs was reclaimed as one's own and given a thorough, even inspiring, washing. Embodied architecture, academia, coinage, deli meats. Given the chance, most dreams won't do the bland work of interpretation. We changed the station. Her art was vivid but derivative which was easy to forgive, given the stories she was always sharing. The model straightened, yawned, but never took her eyes off the window where a winter lilac scratched. The influence of Van Gogh - Starry Night in particular - is obvious. Prague becomes a verb in the new language movement. We who are creations of God pretending to be otherwise.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Virginia Woolf Stared Sadly

In the forest I am always looking for something but what. What it signified by black bears. Water sounds below the ridge. An old birch tree perched on its roots, dreaming a dream of papyrus. What in that moment is attended by sorrow. An effect of joy remembered. Thorough notes on backwards causality. You never write anymore. There are many ways out of the woods (and each is a way in too). Paltry, as in a deficiency, as in confused. Not bull but Canadian and yes a profusion. A sentence that points outside the poem, as a bear might leave the woods, as the last one did for example. Hunger too is a sign. A sacred travesty occurs in its ambit. Nothing is that isn't God. Decrepit bridges, vivid moss. We leave the trail, suddenly living. What does it mean to say anything any way? As in Virginia Woolf stared sadly at a shallow brook. I am following a trail, returning, I am saying it as I go.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Men I know Did

The ferns trembled in the rain. I sat up, took notice, paid attention. You may begin to sense that you are here for a reason. The yoga victims could not respond. What in hell is enlightened poetry? No identity but in time. The new roof thrummed gently in the first October rain. Dust on the spider web, a sickle in the moon. One tinkers with the sentence, one struggles with a language. Your cruise ship is my laden canoe. The wake up call is not what you think it is. Nor are books for children. A sunflower way of seeing the world. Birth rags fell out of the closet which drew us up, which made us think. A rhythm inherent in the caution of deer. Unused train tracks circled the old neighborhood. My father cried a few hours after his death and was thus inconsolable. You find out where you're going by going and not stopping to talk it over. Pabst Blue Ribbon late morning, it was that kind of night. Frying stale bread, and not saying, and building a life the way the men I know did it.