Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Back Porch


Diversification

When the two stand
within finger reach,
she smiles. He senses
the mystery of her life.
Two elevators arrive.
He steps into the one heading to the
sub-basement concrete parking world,
she to the heavens of carpets,
glass and hushed conspiracy.
There is no goodbye.

Man greets another
in moments vivifying
dead friendship,
share gleeful
bundles of the past,
as one man makes his way
to the northbound 45
and the other to the eastbound 89.
Then it is silent.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Letter to the Female Ambassador

Oh yes we visit now and then
and seek each other with
a ferocity so deep
it strikes us both as odd,
I fear you too much to
call you a friend.

We won't breach the difference
between our bodies and minds.
Our intimacies are electrified
by the chemistry of difference.
Caution drives delicious
wedges between us.

Stranger, I will never know you.
Soon after we enter the world
through the same doors,
we move into separate houses.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Mind Eating Snake

At the head of a storm,
the eyes are lightening bright.
We can see the life in them.
The brows rise in great arcs
confirming, "pell mell I'm going to hell,"
diving head first into sales or war.

On the heavy forehead are
the marks of a history,
the skin's memory
of stories that
no one will decifer;
around the mouth, a million
frowns and sayings of "yes."

After the neck,
filled with tubes of life,
the great shoulders emerge.
Lack of arms surprises us,
fused apparently into the sides.
Below the chest the body
segments and, unfeatured,
terminates in a pointed cone
like the anus of a worm.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Halfway to Ghosthood

It has nothing to do with art
that I sleepwalk at dawn
to dream in a box
at you.

I could not have imagined
this when I was young
and crowded among bodies.

I dream you, abstract
hardening on the surface of the dream
where nothing is more than vapor.

Your abstract light
burns
against the real
night.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Summer Day

Cows on a grassy hillside
like marshmallows, depositories
of eatability, vegetarians to
bring peace and play,
soft murmers in foggy voices.

The people in the park
are like that to me, soft
in pastel clothing for peace,
knees always a little bent and
harmless flesh, treble voices
easy to hear, made for babies.

They cluster under milky skies
passing through warm slow breezes,
skating up the hill then
riding down tinkled with laughing
in the band of good times.

Watching Two Students on the Side Seat of the 77 Polo Park

When flesh harbors
electric charges that startle
and blaze with heat that tells you
something has happened,
when hair is liquid soft
and hints of the smell of mint and apple
and heads gently flop against necks
with the impact of flower petals,

it's the time of bright, blind eyes
time of jokes and giggles
silly worries and baseless fears,
of myth and story and rumor
blank tomorrows,
love.

This Is How You Grow Old

The doctor talks to me frankly
and I ask:

Should I
not dye her hair anymore
as she lies there
losing teeth; and arms
next to useless
waiting for medicine to
bring her to nirvana?
As she has one spark
to return should I
abandon her, make her finally
a stranger? What
follows is a very long
parting.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Importance of Distress

I watch the nurses
lifting the patient to the walker.
For her, getting out of bed
looks like a death sentence.

They prop her while she is crying
like a child, "lolly la! Lolly la!"
They have learned how
childhood never disappears.

Beyond the niceties
beyond comportment
when you shout out
that's who you are.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Individual to Individual

The trappings
of the old
servitude are there,
the pink,
velvet cheek,
fabric swish,

but this one is faced
one at a time.
Soft and hard, weak
and strong
sorted into strange
new packages
disquiet me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Kiss


Woman and Girl Appearing at the Mall Entrance Like a Dream

We all have a right to
our hair, usually dark, shadowy
non-descript, work-a-day
and we appear in earth colors,
blending with the dust.

But the woman and her daughter today
wore the colors of the sun.
They came from the north where the
air is mythically clean,
land of the pines, not our north
but the north of worthy people.
They were golden.

Their hair flowed gold
and I wondered what it would be like
to be born and go through life with
gold in the mirror.

When I Couldn't Call My Daughter "Dude"

When we visited the fountain
in nineteen-sixy-seven and went
to the Electric Circus,
when they told us about lasers
and that women would be wearing
boring mens clothes because unisex
was here I was not outraged but
disappointed. It was like
going without breakfast.

Now to me a "dude" is an man
from an Eastern city who sojurns
to the uncivilized West, maybe
visiting a ranch. My mind,
content in its categories sees
the pants, the dust on the boots,
the uncomfortably worn Stetson.
I could live with calling all men"
dude." But when my daughter who lives
in Vancouver said that I must
address her as "dude" because
all women are called "dude" now,
I got stomach cramps.