Out of time

Your years consumed
here [
spreadsheets and pensions
401k heart attack, red bull,
slim fast, sales cost analysis,
charts, graphs, shrinkage, cold calls,
“sell me,” you say, “and i’d buy. i would keep me.”
atomic clocks, the laughing, the typing,
the cold productivity,
and the reasons to compete with richard so-and-so.
salary commensurate with experience, retirement,
the ice age, glaciers, a frozen shore, line them up,
send them off, you wish she would
come invest with us, your block of ice
left you yesterday, and all along, you knew.
you just knew march was gone.
the laughing clowns at the office,
green bills and paper weights,
reports. yes. redlights blinking,
traffic overflow, taxis streaming over the edge,
blinding sun and heat wave, your suit, your tie,
your spit-shined, polished desk,
your fucking shiny novelty pendulum swings] and
and the beloved irises that visit when you wake.

(2003?)

When the muse comes

when the muse comes,
soaring over white oceans
that spray little sun specks
around my feet, she’ll see
my foot-made craters, white washing
into the expanse. inside me, she’ll burrow deep.
she’ll see mountains rise and fall;
moons come and go; craters deep with
a boy in failing youth running through.
she’ll see honeybees and suckles
drooping when fall comes with a chill.
when the muse comes,
she’ll see a girl with a bonnet, pale and at home,
and a boy with a rocketHat, sore and alone.
in the clouds and mist, his shadows turn grey
when she looks away,
when the muse comes.

(August 2005)

Breathe

Trickle down to the bottom.
The floor is a soft, soggy mess.
The seagulls are far above and can’t succumb
To these depths.
The water, the water, it takes my breath.
flows through my nose, mouth, ears,
surrounded by the pressure, breathing
myself
to
death,
reach out, the water holds my
hands, teaches me to sing, holds me, and keeps me warm.
I wanted to breathe.

And up above
A beautiful day
The windows, the curtains
Pull at the shades
The sea breeze, the ocean
Play with the waves
A blanket, a hammock
Falling off to sleep
A moon, a crescent
A breath,
how deep.

(August 2005)

Mind: a blank verse

Mind: a blank verse
When the world shuttles in.
Open your heart to the madness
And the moisture in our eyes.
The cold steel, the last train
That passed just seconds ago.
White: a blank tone
When the taxi rattles by.
Our way out is not a way
But a circle, a Ferris wheel mile,
While the crisp palette of winter
Descends like a heron.
Orbit: I¹ll take my flight
When the morning comes.
Night, with its flapping wings,
Only sends me to the depths,
No more night and no more day.
Love changes, rolls its waves
Orchids hide their eyes in love.
Violent winter and foamy sea
Each to each, the palest cheeks.

(August 2005)

shudder

Alone in the night, with the lightning away,
Dreams are my weakness; eyes turn this way.
Starlit and floating upon a white dome;
Her soul is a million, and I am the one.

I look up through the window — a stargazer’s stare —
And see in the shadows, alone in the air,
A flaming bright pair, first blue then to brown;
They change in their orbit, and fall to the ground.
A million bright cities alive in the night.
House and houses burn wicks as a rite.
They creak and bend, antique and again
Light up this dome, where starlight descends.

I wake in a shed; The walls paper thin:
Wooden, bending and creaking, soft shudders the wind — 

God snaps the shutter;
I take a portrait.

(August 2005)

from the chalkboard

from the chalkboard where i first dropped my eyes
to the playground and the schoolyard where my eyes
first fell on fate,
she was there …
in a forgotten dream, now recalled on this island alone.
the girl in the trees
that i read about in sleep
the girl in the lilies
blonde hair in the sun
there … do you see?
at the fence, bright, covered in light and
blonde in the sun, the white castle walls are cracked,
and there, i thought i recalled a smile.

(August 2005)

Dark globe

The hot amber drink
That singes the lips and warms the gullet down,
I first swish it — around, around — 
Lust-filled, full-bodied.
More drains down the rocketwall to the core,
To the chasm that breaks apart me from myself.
Another taste and under — sight torn asunder,
Break low to the ground.
Dark globe in wait by lamplight.
A hush then the sound. Syllables that shatter my bones.
To the altar I fall.
Confessing all; Truth be told, I wanted to drown.
Burn off with a drink, relief and a peace.

(August 2005)

Prelude

Trapped in life like her green-yellow parrot in cathedral-shaped coop, she flew.

I imagine a pale, porcelain body and black hair with the reflections of the seamist shining back in hazel eyes.

Bare feet. Tiptoeing out in the hesitant wonder of a child — out, out — into the mushy salt-drenched sand, where seashells sink, swim, and tumble into the deep.

Did she create life or destroy it? This was her world to live, if but for a moment, outside of those wire walls.

When the desires leapt to her throat with a gulp, she walked without ceasing. Out, out into the cool arms of sleep. With bare feet — out, out — wandering and slow, letting currents break at her knees.

Deeper still, the bottom, shelly and rough. Wandering steps and slow.

Sonorous act of beauty and light and out of her garments comes lust and the tide. Sunlight on skin as the new fallen snow shatters down to the depths of the limitless cold. Out, out, allez vous-en.

A breath and the end.

(September 2005)

Pierce

i want to pierce the ocean’s side
and then pierce mine.
and drink the surf. knee-deep and waiting.
wading through the salty tongues of all
the ones who think i’m fine
and kiss the lips of the girls who know better.
i want to go under an overcast tarp
to get lost in the waves, then evaporate while
they stare up at me.
i want to go under and bury both blue irises in the mushy floor
and listen for the rushing winds that bang and rattle
my drum.
then i want to drink some more and welcome the
white train of crusaders, evaporated sodium particles, flooding
my alveoli while my phalanges gasp and swell and my head quakes and i close the shutters.
and
pull the shades.
and i want to pierce the ocean’s side
and go under.
and drink deep and eternal.
and then piece mine.

(January 2006)

springtime in appalachia

wild ranging through levels of heaven,
the cumulus masses heap wet refrains in sheets,
white and earthbound, to the sagging crust and deciduous
herds steeped along the aging peaks and rotting valleylands.

cooled by stinging drips barreled down,
Delilah, her thin, April arms apart like Jesus,
hurls herself down ruddy, splintered steps to the tall grass,
uncut and moist on bare legs ferrying her out among the leaflands.

“just a little longer,” she calls to Mother,
who shook the bottle before it clanked among others,
black and empty as days of waste and retreat pass
through paneled halls and orange rugs.

Mother, she prays,

“Swift legs (you are fast like me) carry you out,
down into those unbound masses piled along the south,
roaming deep forestlands, such silent space, haunting, free,
wide asunder from this tepid cell, the groaning earth, the rust, the decay:
of appalachia.”

Mother, wish you were fast
like me.

(April 2010)