Thursday, March 30, 2006

Entirely New Revelation

The soul includes parts of the body.
We can no longer deny it.
If you look you can see
the strands that emerge from the darkness,
the umbilici attached to spiritual navels
at the centers, perhaps the holes at the bases of bellies,
perhaps detachable, the parts that cause
giggles and sighs.

What would the ineffable
do without vapors?
Since that very first
life was pumped into
that primordial mouth
through the lips of God,
the history of ghosts
has been written in exhales,
the marvelous noises
made by the release of gas.

Monday, March 27, 2006

On Watching You Forget

They run over the beach in winter,
laughing like children,
reach for the new and strange,
have no fear.
It is a world of right now,
never warm enough.
The pain of chill is
one of the facts they ignore.

Those things that anchor the house
are still there, old things
that close the door
and secure the windows;
but when memory fails
you start to vanish.
It becomes a day of right now.
The walls are too thin.
We do everything in the wind.
The pain of chill is
one of the facts we can't ignore.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

After Reading a Whole Book of Poems by Fred Tarr

It's like chewing
a long fine juicy
with the sweet
squirting joyous bursts
as the tiny bubbles break.
I work it with my chewing teeth,
the harmless, quiet teeth.

This is good for my health.
I can feel my body
easing, my breathing coming clear
through an empty nose
to make sighs that
stretch to the twistiest
narrowest passages of memory.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Grand Opera

note: I love opera too. I'm not sure what I wanted to say here. Opera is show business. The music is boffo--brilliant, not like feelings.

The singers are
chain saw carvers.
The music slashes
audacious shapes
and the words
fall off
like sparks.

They want to model
something supple
but hew only
gross approximations
out of blocks.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wanting A Rub

When the cat
jumps on the bed
she wants her rub.
Millions of packets
of animal expectation
pass between us.

Rub just above her eyes,
pushing her flickery ears
back and forth.
Rub between her shoulder blades
hard and down behind her neck
over her collar bone.

When she arrives just as I'm getting up
I almost want to stay and rub her
to keep from breaking her tiny heart.
Although I will say cats stay alive
through many more disappointments
than people.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Trip Through The Alphabet

My Trip Through The Alphabet

The first four letters are soldiers
snapping a welcome in crisp even tones
and prodding me to move along quickly

E is a gentle soul, swaying as I pass.

F and G are strange creatures that do
funny things with their mouths and
say you are coming to the middle.

It is dark when H is finally met.

I is my shadow.
How does it get there
in the absence of light?

J and K are friendly enough
in spite of their uniforms
and their great height.

LMNOP are brothers and sisters
who do a little dance together
as I pass.

Q stands alone
and what a queer creaure it is
hiding helpless in its dark corner.

R and S have been friends for years
I visit their little cottage in the forest.

T approaches menacingly
Oh no! I think.
But I am only quietly led

to U and V
who live in the edge
of the ocean.

WXY and Z open the door
at the end of the canyon
so I can go home.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Interior of My Body

I know I can silently
close the door,
and while the equipment works
I can be quickly enveloped
in the soft white noise
of pump and air flow.
It is the natural site of meditation,
on well-used furniture.

I always feel space inside,
confident of here and there,
knowing this much
is what animals in the world
have in common,
even as I stare in the dark,
find no lamp,
even as my eyes never quite
get used to the gloom.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

On My Way to Sleep: Gigi's Poem

When we are home
the facts of the world
are just like myths and stories.

We say goodbye.
Gentle forgetting
turns friends to
elements of a tale.

Those who are far away
are without hands and light.
The booming motion of time
is a sheer whisper.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

When I Haven't Bought My Ticket

Maybe if I
slipped out
slowly it would be easier.
I'm afraid of the great
leaving and the saying

Even though it's getting
tiresome, seeing the same
human shapes and
the human voices pattering on
the young with their elastic flesh
and the old,
and the nameless children.

I can turn to quiet
internal matters to relieve
the monotony of the same stories
and let everything pass.
It won't hurt and I will be
spared the weeping.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Short Order Cook

I never wear an apron
but I do have a holey
sleevless undershirt and
a pair of khaki pants.

I got a white sailor hat
when the boys
tasted my home fries.

I cook fast,
the ideal of my life.
I dance behind the grill
using both hands and my hip.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Much Wanted Addition

There is a room
down the hall of my
earnest wishes,
illuminated in yellow
with a window through which
light is cast onto the snow.

The tingling voices of dignified
people play and never apologize there,
with rare free laughter,
eye to eye, heads held
in the way people hold them
when they are in control.

We have filled all our
vacuums. Without the wind
it has been warm and still;
but not a voice

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Real and Ideal in the Streets

There may have been
an endearing mix
of wet and hot
in that young face,
but after the ashes
in the air
mask charm,
rob flesh of its pith
and after the light
subtracts radiance,
she arrives in my eye
too soft.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This Weekend Something Changed

My wife's sister
changed this weekend
from spirit into flesh.
Then they took
the flesh away
somewhere in California.

The haunting of a brother-in-law
is like the haunting of a stranger,
a disorder of ambiguous memory,
breaking out old fantasies
from rare spoken words years ago.

Maybe she did not become a spirit.
Maybe the whole code is backwards.
Spirit is not something one becomes
but something one once was.

Maybe she was looking away
with her face to the wall,
distracted by
who knows what visions.

Monday, March 06, 2006

An Uncredited Achievement

When I walk
I visit
places where I
used to be a fool.

Although I
know I'm wiser now,
I see them
laughing at what
they remember of me.

a fool
and alone,
I humored
many a heart.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Digital Fountain of Youth

It was Joan Baez
who noted the value
of baby fat
on Bob Dylan's face,
a deposit of the future,
puffs of hope.

I know
Bob and I get uglier
with age.
But here where I
visit digital dreams
dah dot dah dah dot
I can have baby fat