Monday, February 28, 2022

The Equal of Saffron

Morning stillness. My heart aches, my brain is wired, and the radio says a storm is coming. A late addition to the canon? I have participated in the destruction of what I love and this is my season to repent. Sourdough, Santa Claus, celibacy.

Not the story but the teller and not the teller but the light in which he knows to tell a story? Monsters appear and I brush them aside, having trained with demons and angels for exactly these confrontations. Instant coffee with Joe in his little kitchen after visiting his oxen, happy in a way I would not be again for a very long time. One grows tired of the old arguments, takes a chair to the window and watches the light change. In my heart it is always winter.

Passing through the dining room and pausing to talk to my son who feels distant now, more and more alien. Happiest with my feet in the shallows. The far mountains are dust-colored, lovely against the lighter sky, a horizon against which the life of me collides. The next sentence is not this sentence, which is – no kidding – the previous sentence. A can of beans heating in coals, Jake resting a few feet away.

There was this love once, once there was this way of being in the world that was like lightning, a wilderness. When free doughnuts are no boon. The rough tongues of the calves against my thumb, dust motes everywhere, the whole world a deluge of beauty only words could possibly be the equal of. Saffron and sapphire. Hansel writing poems in a café in a city that nobody back home knows about.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Against an Ancient Fence

You worry too much, seems to be the consensus but we are what we are, you know? And yet driving west the snowy fields are full of diamonds, prismatic radiance glittering as far as the eye can see. God is love, love is all, om shanti amen et cetera. Will you be here when it all goes sideways, which it always does eventually?

Moody’s Life After Life, which I read too intensely too early, adults basically ignoring my reading habits which created a lot of problems in my thinking decades later. We are what we eat, amongst other lies. Darkness is cumbersome but also easy to rest in, don’t complain. My wind tunnel soul, my cinder block heart.

My long hard fall falling apart? We don’t say much but what we do say is kind and easy, mostly helpful, befitting love. Some veil is being drawn revealing a world which after you’re done ogling it turns out to be merely another veil. Welcome to an apple so cold it hurt my teeth.

Oneness is mostly a matter of seeing the nonconceptual awareness in which all perceptual experience cashes out. We are left with stories, still births, static, stains. How in winter it hurts to think of certain children’s graves under the earth, the earth itself beneath layered snow. I’m an antique radio, a nineteenth century music box, I’m Cinderella saying fuck the ball, Icarus landing to find his father dead and the world changed, now what.

Sitting on the front porch watching rabbits play where grass tangles with an ancient fence. Before dawn Venus glitters between bare limbs of frozen maples. I’ve forgotten something but I can’t say what, so we’re going to have to do this cold. Practice obscures perfection, perfection cannot be studied.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

When Turtles Surface

Back steps creaking in mid-winter cold. How bleak the heart can seem before the world awakens and you are alone carrying hay to the horses. My heart, that blind chickadee.

Who steals the moon from the sky? We go forward with narratives, eventually realizing we have to choose one or two and commit to telling them better. Hansel living alone in an unfamiliar city, accepting his calling to write, wondering why every poem and story he writes features a woman stronger than he is. 

You finish the coffee, you begin another poem. How soft the sky is a few minutes after dawn, as if there really is such a thing as being born again. I wonder what kind of kisser you are, I really do.

New Tarot decks making new demands on my lust which is hard to explain but trust me. Icicles on the window eaves and other love letters from Christ. Eating by hand in the dark.

Night is a billows through which I travel in a saffron robe, now and then stopping to make love to men and women who are not fellow travelers but farmers. Do you want the end of loneliness or just another respite, right? I remember my first bird feeder and how it helped me understand the relationship between conflict and hunger. 

Another old man making clear my way is governed mostly by women. That feeling of just before you come, the center of you shifting, light breaking as when turtles surface in still blue ponds. It's never an error to sing, the tune carries you not the other way around.

Being a man who takes amethyst seriously. What happens when you leave the trail, according to the trail?

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Blind Horizon

What I will not look away from and why I will not look away.

Playing Poor Wayfarin' Stranger with a skeletal mandolin player on Church Street in Burlington, Vermont in 1990, the Spring that year unusually cold.

Extremes which feel merited emotionally but in which in the end one loses nearly everything.

The sadness of hoping I am wrong and wanting to trust you again. 

Dogs who are grateful for any bone, any touch.

Playing Shelter from the Storm on the front porch, summer dusk, neighbors passing by and waving, me nodding, letting it all otherwise go because at this juncture, why not/what else/et cetera. 

The secret to bearing any pain is knowing down deep you deserve it, thanks Dad!

Checkers bored me, chess required too much attention, and anyway winning and losing was unnecessarily socially complex, ergo, Dungeons and Dragons.

Playing Duncan all those years ago in a little apartment across from the homeless shelter, over and over at the window, amazed at how much happiness was possible. 

Any companion to follow. 

This doglessness, this penance I must learn alone to refuse.

Pain infuriated my father because it it showed him what he was doing, is one way to see it.

Pussy is darkness, a blind horizon, the heat of it melts my foolish tongue, and yet only the spoken word is its equal. 

My cheap religion, my unearned education.

Do you remember what is beautiful and do you know that it is in you not as an object or a thing but as a way of knowing?

Is it easier to laugh or fuck and why.

The spirit in which we offer ourselves to others is what matters.

The weak tea of Sean's intellect, the relentless optimism of his dick, and the sweet sweet mirror ball of his spirituality. 

Son of parents who were smart enough to know better but not humble enough to change?

Hey, that reminds me.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Driven by Angels

What if the Taung Child's death cries are the cosmos?

Nothing suits us like being naked by a fire.

Kissing in the shallows.

You cannot pursue grace, can only grow still and quiet and remember grace, for it does not move and has no intention to evade, but is simply the nature of the cosmos.

Crucifixion decoupled from resurrection: that emptiness.

A hand-carved wooden bear my grandfather gave me, also a little block of smooth dark marble.

Sweeping snow off the stairs, sitting to catch our breath, remembering that for all that went sideways in this life - which a lot did, and does - the path was never obscured.

Not disco but the lights and not even the lights but the mirror ball itself and not the mirror ball itself but beauty and not beauty but what cannot last because it does - it truly does - point to what is eternal and infinite, which consumes all signs, including the ones pointing to it, and therefore in which all this muttering and observation is at last home.

The mailbox the day after a drunk clipped it with his pickup.

I am the man who shot at deer but deliberately aimed high, was shamed by the other hunters for missing, and shamed before my father both for missing and wanting to miss (which he knew in his heart was my project), but worth it man, worth it.

Getting stoned once at rehearsal and rewriting "Whole Lotta Love" as "Whole Lotta Kale," all of us laughing so hard we couldn't play, a happiness I still recall.

Fires at which we are not warmed, only reminded of destruction.

For what are you asking, really?

Late morning snow flurries.

Pushing out of bed at three a.m. in order to read and write before work, a discipline for which I take no credit, being driven by angels who are indifferent to my wants.

We who were married by a river, literally.

Distance our chapel, bird song our wedding bells, pine trees our many guests.

Chrisoula nixes the yurt and I drive to Vermont, hurt and angry, stopping at that place in Chester for coffee, drinking it in the car shivering, lost in the way I agree to be lost, over and over and over.

Our enigmatic host!

Listen to the storyteller who says: wishes are part of the story too and never entirely in vain. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

More Empty Kisses

A single icicle on the clothesline. Broken shovels we nontheless use, clearing the driveway and paths back and forth. No more empty kisses!

Remember dating? The sky lowers, snow falls, and the house becomes quiet at midnight, me sitting in the kitchen with cold tea and ten thousand sentences. Sophia arranges her books by color, the shelves rainbow-like, and from time to time I visit her and stare in amazement at this new way of bringing order to the world. 

We live with deadlines, always. This ongoing suffering servant narrative. Praying the rosary driving, unconcerned with why.

The Cosmic Turtle of Divine Love hibernates a lot, and we can't truly understand His gifts if we do not also share in His rest. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems save one? This heart that cannot shake its adoration - indeed, its idolization - of Currier and Ives.

What about Stafford bothers you so much? In so many ways made unwell by the label "Catholic Worker." When he gets around to asking what is it about him that makes women prone to cheating, just affirm the usefulness of the question and otherwise stay out of his way. 

Updating my mother on what the Pope is saying and doing. I am the author of the only blow that's going to land on me! And yet I do long to be held in ways that so far nobody has held me.

Something kenotic, something helpful. The end of our dissolution at hand.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Lifting a Little Starlight

I am a turtle dreaming he is a contemplative biped. Hemlocks decked with snow, the house shifting a little when the heat comes on. Will we ever understand Little Big Horn?

A cross awaits me and I live in complete fear of it. All these chairs on which we sit waiting. What will happen to this little chunk of amethyst when I die? 

A woman who brought no gift but instead went shopping, and thus revealed the cosmos. Trick questions (and tricky answers) abound. In the morning your note arrives and I lose track of time reading and re-reading it.

How the hippies represented a new order. Sleet pelting the windows, writing all morning when I meant to be still. Shall we read yet another book on gut health?

In a dream, a woman I used to know does not want to speak to me, tries to get away as I talk, and I am confused by this but not sad, end up alone studying my empty hands. What will we know by mid-February that we do not know now? No more descriptions please.

Driving home on salt-streaked macadam, remembering going down on Melissa in the back of the pickup, early eighties and both of us kids still, her hips lifting a little, starlight soft on the back of my neck. Are we simply between motels? Chrisoula turns in her sleep, the cats all shift, and still I cannot move but only lay there in the darkness, begging an alien God to forgive me.  

Be liquescent? One begins to study their fascination with pastels as a medium, fearful as always of what appears soft, yielding, indeterminate, et cetera.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Dogs where the Pain is

Walking at dawn, snow sparkling, happy in ways that used to be fiction. "You can't make it up" is patently false. Sexual fantasies repeating now in other minds like all along it was about communion. Blue jays in hemlocks, juncos picking through chicken scratch. Let it be and it enters into nontrivial dialogue with you. Steam rising off the compost. So much settles when we settle on the river, let it carry us where it will. Before your name, your being, and before your being something we cannot say aloud. I remember certain specific happinesses, including watching it rain from the back porch, loose horses galloping together through recently-harvested potato fields. At what age did I lose the ability to communicate with my father and is there a better way to ask this question. Throaty howl of the rooster the day before he is killed. One fishes a long time without worrying are they catching anything. Putting aside the clock, putting aside the calendar. "I'm not asking." Stamping our feet in the parlor, unraveling our scarf. Waiting through night, waiting through the day. There are dogs where the pain is deepest. Om shanti, om shanti, amen.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

A Lover like You

This is not being shared like how once upon a time I made mix tapes, okay. The long journey back to birth has begun at last. The cosmos sliding down your throat after. Through snow, stubbled corn and tracks of crows. Who needs helium when they've got a lover like you opening her legs?

Hemlock boughs lowering. Chords were not invented but discovered - this is a nontrivial argument, don't run away. Staggering drunk up piss-stained hallways, right fist aching because that one first and when it counts. We all want to grow up in a family like the family we grew up in, you think you're special? Oh how you listen when I go on this way.

What breaks, what braids itself together with spit and longing. Imagine Hansel learning it's sentences not lines that will save him, his whole life changed in a second. These trails that do not go on forever, no matter how you wish they would. A woman's voice over many miles proving once again your inside is your outside and the outside in. I don't like these feelings, what else is new.

Odd how little in the end we need to say. Splashing in shallows sure but also always climbing mountains, always jumping off the highest quarry cliffs down. Ireland, well, honestly fuck Ireland. She laughs when I tell her about hating remembering the whaling trip, says want to read today's twenty sentences to me? My heart melts, my mind soars like yesterday's bald eagle on the river, this freedom man, it's no joke.

Peace with all the Dead

Roosters straining against darkness. Snow falling, sparse and slow, like climbing hills in Greece to get a better look at the sea. Wings are heavy - nobody tells you this.

Morning passes writing, the only real peace I know. We are organized by sorrow, itself a product of fear. Aunt Muriel cooking eggs by gently spooning hot lard over them, never flipping them.

My doughnut soul, my coffee heart. The end game is seeing there is no end and so beginning again. Making peace with all the dead animals.

Reruns. Jade turtles, quartz, amethyst and a blue glass scallop shell on the chess board. Print too small to effectively read.

What does the market want is not a great question! Walls of dense bracken in which birds rest as the dusk thickens around us. Ireland lived in him in ways the rest of us could only imagine.

The secret to reading Tarot is understanding there are only so many stories and you know them all by heart. Deer coming off the mountain to graze. At night when I listen to the river I frequently remind myself I am listening to a river.

Yet eventually even remembering fails. There is a darkness gathering, a promise being broken, there are pretenses to holiness that are very hard to resist. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Ghosts in the Road

Pine cones scattered on crusty snow, the hemlocks working against time, like the rest of us loosening seed. A kind of silence is on me now, a kind of suffering. You were always the last one to go, weren't you.

"We survived Kenya, we can survive this." My mother and I cry, talking about how Dad was trying to die. Certain trails leave the forest in unexpected places, you can't complain, just get ready for what's next.

The form of the error is always more interesting to look at than the mistaken belief giving rise to the form, which itself is a way of avoiding the hard thing. We get into it and it turns out okay for once. How bodies flare in moonlight, how you cannot bear to disturb them then, even with your tongue.

What structure? Gassho rei all over again. You can't say until after was it worth it.

We make stew, spoon it into bowls with cold rice, eat by the Coleman while the wind howls. Sweaters stacked on the bureau. It's over now - now what?

Snow flurries, this midafternoon going on forever. Sometimes we just do the best we can and then walk away. You have to be faithful, even unto a cross.

Ghosts in the road, strange helpers in our dreams. It's a heavy lift, this lifeline offered by Christ.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Radical Discipleship of the Lost

Watching her fall asleep after, wishing I could visit her dreams, comfort her for real. Washing dishes after everyone's in bed.

Miles no longer matter the way once upon a time they did. The image of John Lennon, burnished the way it was burnished by me why?

Hatred rises like a hot stone in my chest, a demon I don't want to face but must. How long one falls when one is jumping to impress a girl.

Hostage costs. The house fills with memories of rivers growing up.

Pictures of me when Jeremiah was a baby, hard to look at. Together we make sense of the loneliness and fear.

Among other things he taught me how to fish, how to canoe, how to ask for pain and how to bury the dead. One day the axe falls, as every chicken knows.

Before language. I was confused and did not know how to leave but wanted more than anything to leave.

We used to ask growing up, what is your favorite number and mine was always eight. We talk in the back room about surgery, agree to put it off until summer at least.

What a cavity shows. The specific experience of nonviolence, the radical discipleship of the lost and forsaken, those for whom no other God but this God will have them.

Lick me, liberate me. What the dead have to say about our shovels. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Yet Another Invitation

We are beginning again now, again. One walks past the hemlocks to the horses, wind blowing steadily through the valley.

Chickadee song up and down Main Street. Sorrows that apparently are going with us to the grave, maybe beyond.

Blue skies, white snow. At night now the moon dances in the sky, delighted I have learned I am not alone.

Old lonesome. Writing and reading are healing.

She raises her voice a little, puts a hand on my wrist, she insists. We are comprised of apologies.

What is lovely, what lingers? Driving the pickup to Upper Highland Lake talking about poets whose poems we believed could change the world, parking and making love on the beach, stars wild and loons crying out on the black water around us.

Writing by hand in my mid-fifties. Declining yet another invitation.

Camping a lot early in the marriage, stripping and swimming in moonlight, guiding each other by voice into the slippery skein of shared bodies. Hot black coffee and nothing else for lunch.

The thing about falling is you can't decide when it ends, you just fall and find out. Who became good at hiding and why?

Walking away from the chaos again, the lip of ruin, the undulating wellspring of yet another cosmic error. Put it there, brother.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Knots in Me Unraveling

A fingernail, a crow. Totems. Dad's various surgeries until he waved them away, done with a body that had only brought him pain, went on alone without once looking back. Masks we spend a lifetime crafting. Windblown snow once crusted evokes as always a lunar landscape. We talk in the dark, sitting up in bed, morning light bleeding around the curtains. Familiar woes like boulders in a river. Thoreau said Walden was the Ganges, I say Bronson Brook is the Ganges. A mountain that changes color each time I see it, a Jesus who is never unhappy I am asking him for help. Going sideways at a late stage, ice melting on a cast iron stove. A nuance in the sentence observed by others, thus there, regardless of the author's intention or skill. Sex at highway rest stops a feature of my early twenties, all that traveling and the dialogic intimacy it bred, fast and hot, rolling down the windows after, breathing sweet air, knots in me unraveling. Opals and sapphires on our tongues. In dreams I know more about guitars than when awake. Forgive me? Pull over, pull out, pull rank. Losing it for no good reason, unless losing it again is a reason. This this, inclusive.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

According to Appetite

Always wanting what I cannot have, always taking according to appetite and what the others will not know is missing. What we learn growing up. In Worthington, there was too much death, and all you knew was that it hurt going. Remember goldfish spiraling through dusty water in Woolworths? In certain ways my father was useless to me, in others I am so much his son there is literally no space between us. I also remember long hours by the lake in Burlington, Vermont, dreaming about what was on the other side but not traveling there. Freedom is as freedom does? We are given assignments and we can delay but not deviate. In fall the maple leaves detach from outstretched tree limbs and float to the earth. Homecomings? I was cold a lot as a child, often far from the house - and I learned how to call this isolation home - yet in another sense was on fire always in the Kingdom of the Lord. You learn that it matters, how you say things. Mazes, minotaurs, messes. At dusk mowing in more or less straight lines past headstones that were hard to read, not unhappy. You follow Jesus a long time before learning it's not followers he's after. Hours in the library studying, waking early to pray. Decades passed. Seeing myself everywhere now, as if the cosmos encourages promiscuity for a reason. You can't keep anything, especially love. Rose petals in John's Gospel, cover tearing off the family bible, and a sense that something vital has slipped - is slipping - away.

Monday, February 14, 2022

The River Passing By

All the ways we can say yes.

Do more than make lists.

Bamboo wind chimes.

Snow flurries.

Between A minor and E minor, back and forth, so much happening in the way you make your body make a sound.

Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn't.

Her head on my shoulder, the river passing us by in piney summer, eternally

Flathead shovels, spades.

Rooster cries before light, the world effectively striated.

We don't do anything by ourselves - we are always in relationship, always holding one end of the cosmic blanket, folding and folding and folding.

Hash marks.

We double the recipe for goulash, eat it with dark beer by candlelight, and after Chris and I do a half-assed accoustic set, trading guitar and banjo, everyone singing along, down in the easy chair, applauding after, together a happiness I can just barely manage.  

Paths through fallen snow.

Tracks of juncos.

Beams of light coming up the river, or seeming to, the horses whinnying together for hay, and half a dozen crows perched in the hemlocks, either making or mocking a study of death.

Say sorry more.

He was impressed I knew what a stave was, often brought in books to share, including Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, which, I was sixteen in Latin I and what the fuck.

Piss-smelling hallways it seemed you'd never reach the ends of.

Mountains of you, meadows of you.

Inviolate queens abound in you, all of them done with royalty.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

A Million Wild Gods

What happens when Icarus lands? 

Survivor energy, the end of parenthetical afterthought.

Mostly oral but now and then penetrative, me mostly always on bottom, always amazed at what the cosmos allows: her face coming, her hands clenching my hands so hard they hurt, holding my arms away from my body, a million wild gods coming into being.

Combing through my mother's cookbooks, remembering the joy of cooking with her, the love we shared in kitchens.

How years ago K. and I tried spanking but couldn't make it work, struggling and failing to refactor consent. 

Your prism is also my prism because no joke there is only one prism.

My grandfather's body repeats itself in me.

Cold noodles with pepper sauce.

I've had a handful of lovers since the wedding, most all of them better at managing hospitals than I am. 

Well, Dad is dead for one thing, and there's been a lot of changes in the towns where I grew up for another, and I have no social skills to speak of but I am less quick to judge, a surprisingly helpful development.

The family that makes pizza together makes peace together and we make a lot of pizza.

Think of pennywhistles on the Titanic, think of them at the bottom of the sea and ask: what are you thinking of?

If there's no conflict, then efforts to resolve it can only bring about conflict, yes?

You walk a long time some nights (distant and time are identical), the familiar landscape deepening around you, darkening, but getting nowhere, which is the only lesson walking is given to teach. 

Mouth full of the salt spray of the sea.

You are not indifferent but neutral, and the distinction is the only distinction that matters so please - for all our sakes - figure it the fuck out.

I loved haying, how happy and busy we were all were, dust motes everywhere in the gold light. 

Horizons everywhere, undulating folds of the cosmos.

Promises a fox makes.

Boxes of ash, boxes of light, boxes of bones keeping us up all night.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Knowing how to Stand

Strong winds buckling fences. Morning is a space in the air, sunlight on snow flakes driven into the sky. Loveliness, a grace, ordinarily so.

A sandwich, a sex romp, a saddle. Tragedies at Little Big Horn, the way history shifts in the present, always a lens, always a filter. Warm shallows through which minnows dart.

Biography is backwards? Morning passes writing, as so many have in this life, and one thinks of grandparents who longed for this freedom and were not allowed to partake. Errors happen, Eros happens.

Silver fish live in the heavens, vast turtles gaze at us in sorrow from beyond the Planck Epoch. She lay her head on the drum and the fire around us burned brighter, all the dancers instantly stilled. Pissing outside means knowing how to stand in the wind, there really is an art to it.

How the cows wept dying. I fired arrows into the sky, I dreamed of friends waiting for me on the moon, in this way my loneliness both intensified and became bearable. A snake is an architect of what emotion?

Carriages, coffins, conformities. The glass jars on the windowsill fill up with quartz, crystals, marbles, prisms. Inside and out are mythological.

Reading the cards is easy once you realize there is only one storyteller and only one story, which tells itself, over and over and over. Family history a narcotic from which the soul struggles to extract itself.

Friday, February 11, 2022

This Peace We Were Created to Create

Longing again. I hang one of Fionnghuala's paintings in the hayloft, step back and ask the one who is not here what they think. Bitter cold, the path to the horses icy underfoot, the risk of falling rising.

Healing always relates to the mind. Carpets spread across the floor for warmth and just because. One struggles to paint the hemlocks, a problem of light rather than form. 

Ash falls. What is holy becomes neither more nor less so, and this is a clue. Yonis for Yahweh.

Icicles. We experiment with commands: here is where your mouth goes, this is what your hands do. Stale bread stacked on a plate, Jeremiah whistling making french toast.

Neighbors who are nudists. Wanting to like Stafford more than I do, never able to find poems to teach. If there is no actual conflict, then what shall we do with our ideas about resolution?

What is the role of parties now? Railroad spikes. I forgive him at his mother's request and instantly the other grandmother appears and a new lesson arises, having to do with undoing sternness.

Night falls in the desert as well. How at such distances and under such rules shall we manage this peace we were created to create, each on their knees for the other other? 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

A Charm Bracelet, A White Bird

Prince songs at a late stage. Losses. Christmas lights on the neighbor's garage left on for days. We are never looking at the same moon, yet we are always looking together. The world is a charm bracelet. A white bird flies higher and higher until it disappears in the sky, in a kingdom of clouds. Insert Deleuzian quotes here. Fiction only gets you so far. This watercolor heart, this crystalline soul, this optimistic pecker. The metaphor collapses, the family collapses, the world collapses. Milky beads of semen she massages in with her index finger. Many many messes. Catholic masses? Who will carry us forward if not our mothers and fathers? We become things, transcend things. It's performance all the way down until you reach the levels where it's not, then its all author and authority as far as they eye can see. Weeping guitars, bleating horns. Only time is indifferent to the passage of time. Bent cattail, slow burns soothed by aloe, the moose frozen mid-step between drifts of snow. The Queen, my Lord, is - how shall I say this - dead.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Darkness Sings in Me

Hannah Cullwick visits, sunlight breaks through clouds, my mouth fills with dirt and the interior choir sings "this again:" this this. Vespers, vigils. Boyishly, always. 

Dragging snow from the porch roofs in hard winds, later fishtailing on Route Nine. Who struggles is brought to heel eventually. Just how late is it?

We "take" pleasure. We wore tie dye and birkenstocks, smoked pot and wrote poetry, sometimes we played Christ, especially on the shores of Lake Champlain, and along the way began learning what it means to be tender, just, merciful, kind. Raising jaded daughters.

Still sometimes the darkness sings in me. Florida is never far away, son. Dust mote blues.

Vaginas say on your knees boy. Driving west everything darkens. Begging let me lick you.

Stains. Ron Atkinson's daughter's grace. Grave?

I'm what kind of flavor do you want the most. The family collapsing, house and lands to follow.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

In Your Heart for Lifetimes

Trails I've known, trails I've yet to know. What's up? This mountain in me no woman needs to scale. Nothing happens behind the barn we do not secretly want to happen, is one way to see it. How many more summers stumbling around drunk, pissing in moonlit shallows? The risk was always falling, and eventually I did fall, and later yet - under the watchful eyes of a Mother Cat God - landed. The answer, basically, is fuck Hamlet. Plans now to visit the beachside condo of inner peace. I helped you recognize yourself, can I please have some time back for the chickadees? Turning the meat. Hips grinding. Cul de sacs are forever, don't kid yourself. Invitations to visit, invitations to depart, and the comma in between them. What do we not want others to see? For example, the handwritten letter you've been carrying in your heart for lifetimes - who said they'd sign it but didn't and who signed it without knowing what it said? Complicity. Possession and the past. The Queen will see you now and other announcements for which I was not born ready, had to handle on the fly, make up as I go, still.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Boyishly Making It Work

Winter mist. Nobody is getting out of here yet so stop plotting. The storyteller finally manages to jerk himself awake. Always ask: who is tending the fire?

Early morning she reminds me of the Goddess we agree we will not speak of, and my joy enters the world like a recently-rescued pup. Heart of darkness, cockroaches, Zarathustra's throat et cetera. It's not supposed to be easy to follow Jesus but nor does he ask for followers so maybe it's on you? The far hills she may or may not have seen but probably did see.

West and a little north. Before anyone is awake I trudge through snow to feed the horses, then stand quietly under the hemlocks long enough to write "I stood quietly under the hemlocks." What do you lose by skimming and what do you keep a little longer? Cosmic ripples.

We agree before getting naked not to do X and then do X and look at one another after in the ruins of yet another ancestral narrative our bodies delightfully transgressed. Fractals are given so that we might have a way to describe angel wings. Mistaking reflections for something other but actual. Jacking off while she watches. 

It's not easy but still. Living boyishly, making it work.  Many messes. Morning, yet again. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Dowsing with my Father in the Afterlife

Frozen snow through which trails of stubbled corn jut. Seasons of grief, seasons of little or no moon.

Driving slower over the bridge in Sunderland, gazing at the blue Connecticut River. Remember farms?

How in a sense the 1970s were clearer than any other decade, not crystalline so much as a fine narrative you wouldn't change if you could. Dowsing with my father in the afterlife.

Cookbooks from the late fifties, trying to find the recipe for Hungarian Goulash my mother used. There is a light some mornings, isn't there.

We drank Heineken at my uncle's grave which confused then annoyed the priest. There was a turn I was supposed to take and I did not take it until well into my fifties, oh well.

Umbrellas are sexy, mirror balls are sexy, getting up early together is sexy. The pace of the changes suggest certainty is not forthcoming, at least in this life.

Coldest day of the new year I wear Dad's old ski sweater, keep asking everybody if there's anything I can do for them, just like he used to. B sides, man.

Semetsky argues that "the dualism of man versus nature is overcome due to the action of signs crossing over the Cartesian schism with its isolated non-material 'I think,'" which I think is basically correct. Broken coffee mugs necessitate new coffee mugs.

This hunger in me says there will never be enough and I know better now than to argue. Grilling in winter, a little snow falling.

Took a while but I'm home. Prisms are pretty but breakable, a crisis a child I know has yet to learn how to solve.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Better than Sex or Coffee

Late morning, frost flowers on the east-facing window prismatic, better than sex or coffee. The One appears to Itself as moonlight, a lover speaking in moonlight, a lover's words softer than soft winds in the hemlocks, hemlocks casting shadows on the pasture, the pasture in a sentence, the sentence in my mouth, my mouth a font of praise unto the One.

Knowing a few Latin and Greek words never hurt anybody. This studied resistance to being objectified in the name of the love.

Where is the space between sight and what is seen? Foxes come up from the hollow in mid-winter to nose around the chicken pens, so time to piss outside again, let them know who the real predator is. 

A river has many names, only one or two of which we are allowed to discern. Understanding the nature of the crisis masquerading as this or that relationship.

Our whole being, which we cannot know in fragments. In the wintry swamp, a moose steps carefully between mounds of soft snow.

Confident tricksters taking wing. Upon what is awareness contingent and how can you say?

This is a writing project, one of several. Sunlight on the  hemlocks, making me think of bones. 

Nothing is new but things do change. Note to T.S. Eliot: you can't actually disturb the universe so go ahead and eat some pussy.  

Eddies. We do meet - however briefly - in this text.

Perceiving we are separate, we complete each other. Mountain streams bluer than this snow is white. 

Friday, February 4, 2022

Foolish All Over Again

So Medusa is a therapist - that makes sense. 

Living in ways that mean a certain messiness has to abound.

A promise, a pansy, a portion.

Remember shoulders?

Trying to explain that a painting is a form of love while a photograph is a form of fear - the distinction having to do with one's relationship to time - and failing. 

Nel Nodding's ideas about care, say.

Her vast body somehow containing the river beside which we briefly collapsed two marriages into one. 

In winter the moon is never where one expects yet the reflected light - re-reflected light - restores to mind the desires of childhood.

Want is destructive, every queen knows this.

Kissing her hips, forgetting everything but where I am going with her, with her consent.

He made us instant coffee with tap water and cubes of sugar and we drank it in light rain by the fence, looking at his oxen, and talking about people we both knew who were mostly long dead.

Twice I've given head in the fire tower in Goshen, both times in the morning, and both times after I prayed

Big pots of stew over camp fires, everybody happy in ways we had forgotten remained possible. 

Winter cranes.

Learning you cannot heal anybody, not even yourself, but only give consent to be healed, is what heals.

Seven cups of coffee later the afternoon dissembles and you realize you've been foolish all over again.

What was clever yesterday is merely paying rent today.

A wicker basket in which half a dozen scented oils are gathered. 

Heavy curtains drawn against the cold.

There is only one relationship and it is this one, this moment, in this sentence, this us we create via language. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

A Stranger in this House

What if nothing is meant to be ephemeral? Ice flowers, love letters. The afternoon goes before us always. Perhaps it doesn't matter that there's no time left to understand - even a little - what Deleuze was saying about folds. Spring is coming any day now or so my various lovers promise.

When you are broken and you know you are broken, wholeness will be the professed ideal, but as you bear down on wholeness, you will find yourself oddly drawn to self-destruction, and this too reflects the law of Love. Every therapist's waiting room in which I've ever sat has included both ferns and a silent Medusa. Must you? August Salzmann's 1850 photograph outside Jerusalem of the road to Beith-Lehem. Exactly what is a boundary anyway?

There is only one gaze, the realization of which ends most of our so-called troubles. One works fast in order to keep time to their self and only near the end of time understands the error. Putting the emphasis on green in honor of my deceased father. Well, we are not separate from what we perceive, nor from perceiving, but we still breathe. The whole project is a cosmic ellipse.

You are staring at yourself pretending what you see is a stranger. In this house we hold hands before dinner and pray. West-facing windows blossom in winter with delicate ferns and other paleolithic flora that continue to move one in the direction of finding ever subtler modes of communication. How else should I organize the twenty sentences? Emphasis on guest, continuity, knowledge vs. perception et cetera. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Forgotten in the Description

Imagining dawn at 4 a.m. or so. Full moon settling somewhere along Route Nine where we used to pull over and fish. The world is what we remember, which is always what our bodies desire. In between, as if.

New routine. One wakes early to write, the writing a kind of blind horse carefully establishing boundaries in which it is possible to live even without the critical sense. Coffee, hen scratch poems long forgotten, and Dylan's Wedding Song. There is this joy now that knows only itself.

Invitations piling up, a life suddenly measured in a way other than loss. Smoke rising over cold villages, threats of war half a globe away. Everybody agrees on the fundamentals but then it all goes to hell - why? Stuck on this image of a happy puppy, a playful scamp, a sense that something is being forgotten in the description of it but what?

Something solid, something wanted. Fridays are bad days for decisions, aren't they. We have to be careful what we say, that what we say reflects what we mean, and that what we mean reflects our obligation to be careful, i.e., care-filled. The river running under bands of ice, diamantine in the brief sun.

Not wanting to be the other's totem, blank screen, their lucky charm, but what about what they want? Cat gods spell "suggestion" M - U - S - T. Days away from work, a little lost, a little at loose ends. Unlocking the familiar, finding frost flowers praising the sun, light and what light makes passing through, the cosmos, the created. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

I Imagine Sweet Time

So great, the Taung child died because an eagle held it to the ground and tore its eyes out, taking, I imagine, sweet time. The hemlocks are a nontrivial reason why I'm back in therapy. Prayer like how ice melts. Too cold to do more than throw hay to the horses, check their water every couple hours. The kids plan a trip to Iceland without us, apparently for real. We come to an agreement about giving away a certain table of which I am fond, we let a lot go now, including letting go. I remember seeing moose tracks and following them - as if lifetimes later - seeing where it had paused and ripped leaves from the trees. Funny what we grieve. Sometimes I'm amazed, sometimes stunned, sometimes I can barely remember to say "thank you." We make Gods out of attention and fear and what we see. Ken Wilber isn't wrong, I guess, but I don't need to read him anymore. Thérèse writing "Don't imagine I am overwhelmed with consolations." Clocks grind our bones, the calendar adds another layer to our flesh. Stop me if you heard this but not really - I need you to need me still.