Thursday, October 30, 2008

The History of Poetry: Sarah the Waitress' Poem

I was touched to see you smile
when I gave you a piece of myself.
I didn't have to beg you and
you even offered to pay.

We have always been beggars
since the troubadours
gathered crowds at the corners
of deprived broken villages
owned by peasants, and implored
all to come and listen to the songs.
The audience was always innocent.

The audience would come
if they had nothing else to do.
The singers would fill up the empty hours
and sometimes a few coins would flow.
We lived between the towns,
in wooden carts drawn by starving horses.
We had no place to go
and nothing to do but watch.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two Dialogs with Someone a Third My Age

1.


D : Whats new?
L : nothing new.
D: no new glories?

D: Are the old ones getting stale
L: yes
D: uh oh. You need a new glory, fast, maybe today.

L: I was joking.
D: I know so am I. A half joke.
L: It's still a joke.
D: There is no such thing as a joke. A joke is a time eraser.
L: yes it is
D: Thats like a perpetual motion machine. It can't exist in physics.

L: Here you go.
D: baaaaaaarooom im taking off.
D: (this is going to become a poem--warning).
L: I know.

D: Sorry. I'm learning something.
L: What is that?
D: I am not a saint.
L: lol. Nobody is.
D: So they say. Why not?
D: Is a saint like a joke,
D: or a perpetual motion machine?


2.

D: Its not as if we know each other and talk every day
L: Of course we do.
D: ghost to ghost
L: yes
L: lol
D: Across the vacuums, across the voids.
D: You cant imagine the distance between us, miles of rock and water and forest and wind,
D: and years of age.
L: Yes.

D: This is unimagininable. Yet I know as much about you, I bet, as your mother.
D: lol (a false joke designed to make you laugh).
L: My mum doesn't know things that you know.
D: You didnt laugh. Well she knows a lot i dont know too.
L: Yes.
D: I popped into your life and passed through you like a ghost.
L: But that time I needed her more.


D: I guess thats the advantage of having your own ghost.
L: yes
D: I am a magic mirror.
L: yes.
D: I can be that for you as long as my computer works and you need me.
L: Aww thank you, d.
D: Please understand as I do, that I'm not a saint.
D: I get stale to my friends. I decay.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

When Something is Wrong with the Furnace

I get loonier and loonier,
my betrayals deepen,
and the house gets
colder, rain is
going to turn to ice.
What used to be life
turns into keeping
time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Moment of Terror


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Woman I Wish I Could Have Photographed

An endurance head
of an ancient survivor race,
that lasted but never thrived,
nods when the man beside her speaks.
She hears him and her eyes
wander into the void of the bus floor.
The yes is a signal that she hopes will make him stop.

On one side, she has slow but even eyes
that would never make a mistake out of passion.
On the other side her face is broken,
hairline and brow melted, barely held up.

Her face is labor,
attached to a hard round body,
spine bent forward, endures,
but never rebels.
The question written into it is how
do I handle joy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Woman I Wish I Could Have Photographed



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dream after Seeing "Schindler's List"

The workers in brown uniforms
stack the fur coats around me
until I feel
I'm drowning in them.

We are on a hill.
The clouds
are standing on their edges
like something went wrong

with the horizontal hold
control of the planet. The naked
parts of the sky are gray.
The wind drives particles of ice.

Art Moses

Angered when
told to be patient,
I rip the net of human affections
which unthreads part of the
fabric of the world.

Old, in a reckless passion of
solitude I end my caring,
destroying a wall and window.
I grow weary of begging
to give things away.

"If they want
my contributions,
at least they can come
on their own to get them,"
I say. But they don't.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Population

There are those whose skin is gray
and who just go on; and there are
those with the leisure to receive;
and there are those with hearts of
diamond who bring sunshine; and
there are those who
wait to be selected,
wait and hope. There are
those who choose, who receive
applicants and turn most away,
even many who are most worthy.
Not everyone gets chosen.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Advice from outside the Righteous Church

It would be
so easy to forgive her, Harry.
The lever of the muscle
is just over your chest.
You know that. We all
know that.

Most of us live
in cold alliances,
which are ok
as long as we are
strong and business-like
but as we slide
blindly toward helplessness,
very few of us are family.

Did you learn
not to forgive her
from a book? Is it
one of those tasks
that books seem to make
impossible for you?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Conversation about Heaven

D:
I don't know about life after death
but I wish-believe,
my wishes and beliefs confused.

J:
I can't imagine
that we don't just keep living
somewhere after death.

D:
Well what if time stopped flowing.
What if horizontal and vertical
got turned off.

J:
I can't imagine that.

D:
I know.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Incipient Novelist

"I sense that Maury will be coming home soon.
I sense that because Maury comes home at 3 o'clock
and I come home at 2 o'clock."
He is not a fat man but he is burly.
He wears glasses and his nose points
into the air, seeming to slice its way.
"It will always be that way," he says.
"Some people will hear this."
"And some people won't like it."

He looks away
pushing his head to the other side
of the steel post
as he narrates the novel.
He must be a reader
though he doesn't look it,
because he uses the same kind
of language as Lord of the Rings
when he speaks.

There are some odd looks
from people who aren't used to
hearing dictation being recited
into the void on the #92 bus.
But it seems like a hell of a story to me.