Thursday, October 28, 2010

a poem you are unable to write

"You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you're merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that's always easiest."
- John Berryman

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ice cream and its accouterments

Drowning in amniotic fluid,
I smiled.
I thought about dinner time
and had a kind of cheery
hope for fried chicken
or Asian rice noodles
with broccoli
And I ceased to mope.

I must remind you, however,
it was tough, very tough
to breathe through the motherless goo -
my shit had nowhere
to go but to float inside me.

(Thinking: That was very rough.
That was rather messy.)

However, I thought of food,
and that felt

good. So good, without thinking.
I tried to swim inside her private sea,
and found it would be
more healthy to get out
before I got lost,
there in the fluid.
It was so very very
(believe me!)
very good,
that is,
until I started thinking.

I wanted ice cream and its accouterments!
I wanted to feel cool,
feel calm.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the plight of the work horses

If my head stays on my hands
and I mean to mourn for you,
the halter holds my head back;
my teeth grind against the bit -
there is no way, the Master will say,
to mourn at all without
being chemically off-balance
or a danger-to-your-fellows off-base.
There is no healthy mourning
for horses pulling carts - their hoof-beats
in the shit, the muck, the welter
of carcinogenic hours, chained against
the post with no room to move
their heads, no way to get their heads
to their hands, which they have not,
being only - merely - horses.
AND, if you break your leg, you're shot -
point-blank, eye to eye,
unwanted and unneeded to be dealt
with in any kind of other-than-dismissal
command or even comment,
and buried bloodily out of sight of
the Master's children.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

sea light


I woke
to the wall where you wrote:
"To the edge of the waters
we're going!"

I got a craving to smoke.
(And smoke, I did - a vaporous body!)
Your warmth still
pressed into the bed
from the night before -
a pleasant ghost, you are.


I think of the sea
and the light we've basked
in it, storing it
for the winter, for the long
lasting water coming with it,
grey and off-white,
hung in sheets.
We hid that summer sea-light in our bags,
drawing it out as we descended
Constitution Mountain,
and later, the heat
from the insides
of your legs - your life-heat
a white-hot sound of love
I could suffer for,
the lovely tingle
of your darker hairs. And our
birth-sheets warming
as the sea-light fades, as
waking fades
into soul-sleep - or something
like true repose
begins, your legs wrapping
mine in amber
morning light.

The sea
ever and again,
turning over
and under itself
in its own shimmer,
its own liminal
reflection -
I sleep in the water's sound.

Monday, October 4, 2010

home, maybe

Wake me
clean in your arms -
you're almost
like home to me.
The smell of your body
on my body
and the twitch
you make when
you're asleep
tell me I'm
here, not in
the darkness
of anyone else,
but, maybe -
home. The quiet
home when you
go walking alone
in the purple-grey
dusk, the tea-pot
gurgle-home of
and waking -
to you.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

just another wedding

This is from Jess Walter's The Zero, a 2006 National Book Award Finalist. I'm rereading the book for class, and this passage hit me hard, for some reason.

April's eyes narrowed then as if she were thinking the same thing. "So . . . do you ever think about what yours would say?

"My--" Remy opened his eyes.

"Your portrait in grief. They're not like obits--see. They're not resumes or tributes. They're more like crosscuts, a strobe flash on one part of your life. One moment. One theme. So what would yours say?"

"I don't know," Remy said.

"I know what mine would say."


"She saw death as just another wedding she wasn't invited to."