Saturday, July 31, 2021
Deeper into the Dolmen
Friday, July 30, 2021
Pages of the Family Bible
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Especially Clear and Glittery
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Only So Many Destinations
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
A River I Am Not Afraid to Cross
Monday, July 26, 2021
Emotionally Vivid but Otherwise Unspecified
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Complex Interlacements of Identity
Morning coffee close but not too close to a swallow's nest. When you're trapped in Max Ernst's body of work everything feels like Italy at the end of the nineteenth century. Mist on the river thickest where it's flanked by cornfields. Blowing kisses. Shades of blue, shades of not knowing and being okay with it. We laugh waking up, our bodies stiff and soft, apparently readying themselves for some journey we only barely understand. I took prayer too seriously for a long time and though understandable the effects were painful. The hay loft is full of prisms, my glass bluebird collection, guitars and banjos and penny whistles, a lot of polished stone and crystal. Sunlight streams through maple trees at the foot of the hill, somewhere between orange and yellow with hints of pink. Let's reinvent us! Other times not seriously enough and honestly it's impossible to tell the difference so I've mostly given up. Ant hills moist with dew. Another swallow. A dozen small birds on the phone lines nearby, obviously visitors from a past life, but which one? Draping sweaty work clothes over the cold radiator to dry for tomorrow. In a dream a couple sentences related to awakening to reality from which I woke up thinking "not this again." Skies are just big spaces full of light but rivers are complex interlacements of identity. These arms were made to make windmills! Or as we say behind the church, discovering in one another an actual helpful scripture, "om shanti shanti shanti amen."
Saturday, July 24, 2021
The Last Chalice
Hauling laundry off the line in mid-afternoon, timing it so most of the late-arriving rain misses it. Walter Benjamin's Critique of Violence. Yet at times I am still scared of going hungry - going under? - and act accordingly. We kissed on the steps of City Hall, holding hands in the December cold, beautiful and sincere, breath gusting after, like carolers in the nineteenth century. Letting certain calls go to voicemail, later regretting it. Molasses cookies with extra raisins. We drive between towering pine trees to the beach, let the dog off the leash and walk all the way to the canal together, not talking. When at a certain point in our living we knew what books the other needed most. Butterfly lists. Steering by stars, knowing how. The many shades of moonlight filtering over the lawn, apple trees, run-in, far hills, Emily Dickinson's grave, the sea. The last chalice is beyond us now, the church in which we encountered it folded up into an envelope. Look at me arguing about the mail with shrineless gods who adore conflict.
Friday, July 23, 2021
Terrified or in Mourning
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Pretty Collages, Misbegotten Plans
Monday, July 19, 2021
Enlarging the Dialogic Space of Love
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Everything is Downstream
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Oddly Private, Internally Voluble
Friday, July 16, 2021
A World Made of Mirrors
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Feed Ducks and Swans
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Just as the Leaves Begin Turning
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
I'm the Dad Figure
Monday, July 12, 2021
Splendid and Efficacious
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Right at the Dream's End
Saturday, July 10, 2021
What a Wasp's Heart Feels Like
Friday, July 9, 2021
Walk Until You Die
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Time for Another War
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Overlooking Empty Chickadee Nests
The one I do not need to speak to anymore. Black bears on side roads in no hurry. Baby skunks, nobody scared.
The one who does not need me to speak.
Men for whom a muse was the whole point of poetry.
Minor chords. Rain falling until mid-morning then slowing. Mist in the garden. Did I mention lower back pain?
Look at all these unfinished poems. Look at all these boats that have been back and forth to Florida.
Look at my cousin floating across the bottom of the sea pretending not to know me.
Whiskey-colored quartz. Buddha statues overlooking empty chickadee nests. No really - what hurts?
I am lost in sodden flags turning back and forth like corpses at the end of knotted ropes.
Your equivalency is not my equivalency. We will die and the particulars of our love story will die but love will not die, it will only stop being "our" love.
Nobody cries "road trip" anymore. Nobody is suggesting Tschaikovsky was correct about angels.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Tangled Grass Beyond the Pasture
Hiding out. Hours after days of rain. In the distance - past the neighbor's sheep, past the lumber yard - a male cardinal's loping flight. No mountains near enough to dwarf these low hills.
Perhaps the heart is on a secret adventure, perhaps it is watched over by gods, perhaps everything unfolds according to plan.
For the life of me now I cannot remember happier. At night my heart seizes like the Titanic upending and briefly I can neither think nor breathe. Early alarms to remind us the blind horse needs checking. When I understood what I was becoming and did not say no or turn away.
What a maple tree knows about place that you do not.
Sunlight decanting into icy rivers in our fiction.
Stars fall in tangled grass beyond the pasture, become bright pink flowers I do not know the names of. Kind words. Pulling away from Le Havre, having finally sinned in an unforgivable way, night falling forever. Projection as a denial of God's Creation.
Something stolen, something unscrewed.
Something else that I am not allowed to say, that dies between my lungs and lower throat. Followers who leave to share the good news they learned by following. Light rain at three a.m., slipping a little on grass near the lilac. This prayer of you that lives in my bones and my shoes.
Monday, July 5, 2021
An Answerless Man
Sunday, July 4, 2021
Only Little Boxes
Men who cannot write without muses. After all, what is apparent? The skies cloud over but not uniformly. It is midnight somewhere, and someone is haunted accordingly.
Two months pass, three months without any serious writing - only these sentences, one following the other, like a carpenter who no longer builds houses but only little boxes. Mist rises off the lake, old ladies from Holyoke cast their lines in and smile when I walk past. There were dogs once, and now there are no dogs. Jessamine, a variant of Jasmine.
Between paragraphs, what? Reading through memories of those who lived longer than Abhishiktananda, thinking of what happened to the work of Thérèse after her death. Collapsing mirrors, one into the other. Let it rain indeed.
Folded ladders, empty watering buckets. I ask my son if he needs or has questions about condoms and he says "Dad for Christ's sake" to which I mentally reply "exactly, my son, exactly." Bawling lambs on dewy clover. Let us populate the stars if it is God's Will, and if it is not, then let us quietly fold up our tents and go.
There are no prayers. Parts of the lawn die off, and it's okay. My mother calls, her voice higher than usual, as if she is unwinding in a perilous place, and my commitment to the Benedictine rules around travel waver. Oh forever, maybe longer.
Saturday, July 3, 2021
Cherished by Other Tears
Do fireflies mourn their own dead? What was going on in Robert Johnson's mind in 1930? Will I ever visit Asia?
Kale smoothies, grading papers, being generous because of the heat, now and then standing to stretch. Jogging early at the park, passing a bright yellow feather in the grass, too large for a goldfinch and gone the next day when I'm ready to actually study it. Remember getting high around midnight, sitting quietly out back and listening to the river, not needing to be anywhere else?
Skimming old journals, then burning them. Beyond the messiness of sex, the diminished expectations of love. How soft the clover is when we walk through it barefoot like clouds!
Snakes writhing away into the raspberry bushes, reminiscent of childhood. We are therefore given to nontrivial expectations of doom. Must it always come down to who approves and who does not?
Is this even a poem? Not why did you start a given writing project but why are you still at it, all these many years later? Not a single tear falls that does not have an origin story cherished by other tears.
After we die, does death remain? Down by the river after the sun falls there are voices in the water that speak but not to us. Noon is the darkest part of the road.
Trimming goldenrod around the garden, crawling in hot sun, the horses nearby watching me. At a late hour in an unfamiliar church all I can say is what's come over me.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Still Precisely Foolish
Afternoon naps, waking to low-rolling thunder west in the valley, a storm that never reaches us. What are rivers for?
Everything grows hazy and dim, even the swallows diving and swooping over the garden at dusk are merely connotative. The many insults inherent in metonymy.
Kissing birch leaves at six a.m., still precisely foolish. Blue hills in the distance.
I make extra coffee in the morning, put it up in Mason jars in the fridge, and as an afterthought for Chrisoula, a jar of tea as well. What have you been talked out of recently and why.
Sunlight as spectacle, even without the benefit of prisms. There is all this green, there are all these unfinished poems, there are all these ongoing opportunities for entanglement.
Folding quilts after sleeping on the couch downstairs, happily bringing order to order, the cosmos forever in a state of affirmation. Dizzy in the heat, leaning on a shovel in the compost, no longer young but okay with it.
Early apples falling in tall grass, going under. Long drives to Ashfield, working out the terms of the marriage going forward.
Walking past the horses to the river, putting our feet in, listening to cows moan on sloping hills in the distance. You are not an envelope, you are a love letter!
Watering the garden at dusk, looking in vain for the moon. Forsythia shoots.
Remember arguing can a poem be one word? The dogs wait patiently at the forest's edge, unalarmed by the many crows intent on confusing passage.