Friday, January 28, 2011

Nocturnal Affair

Jan 27 entry:
I was born on the longest night of the year, and I wrote this one as a tribute to the night, who is my favorite alchemist.

...Here I am again
at the mouth of this strait
chasing the ocean in the dark.


The night, oh the night.
She opens me up like a roasted chestnut.
She peels away my layers
cracks me apart like a pistachio
and discards my words like the shells.
Sometimes she smashes me open like a coconut
other times she splits me in bleeding halves like a pomegranate.

She lets her tresses whisper against my skin
as she slips her bejeweled knife into my fugitive folds
and sweeps out the sun in one stroke.
She lays me out like a sacrifice
and cuts out the pattern of the stars
on my body with her blade
as she spreads cascading layers of honey
over my empty spaces.

She keeps what she cuts.
I give it gladly.
I'm one of her best customers
coming back like a gambler with nothing
who bets the house with each hand.

Sometimes she closes her door to me
and I have to sneak in through a window.
Sometimes she tries to throw me off
with the scent of magnolia and geraniums.
Sometimes she sends her breeze, her cool breath
like an escort to keep me from knocking down her door.
I take everything she gives me and still ask for more.

A hundred thousand jewels
spin--smitten constellations-against the dark sky of her body.
Against that blinding light I close my eyes and smile
as I reach past her star-clustered breast
for the pure darkness within

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

800 years of gravity

When I am with you
I am with everyone.
When I am with you
I melt out of myself
I lose all reference points
but this burning inside.
When you speak
I feel you closer to me than myself.
Your words
like crepuscular rays
fill me up like a brimming cup
and the dams I've built inside
overflow with being
and every moment becomes
a torrent, a flood.
Sometimes it's as if
everything bears your scent
and I am constantly turning my neck
looking for your face.
Sometimes I see you in everything
that crosses paths with mine
and that entire caravan
becomes an extension of me.
Sometimes I hear your story
in unexpected places as if it were my own.
Sometimes every sound is a hint, a musical note
a key to the quiet symphony you've left behind.
You are fire
and I am tinder
begging to be lit ablaze.
You are wind
and I am dust
dancing and blowing away
in your breath.
You are an ocean
and I want to say I'm a drop
but how can a drop
remain a drop within the ocean?

Friday, January 21, 2011

My envy

I am envious of the way Michelangelo removed everything extra
to create the perfect David.
I am envious of an animal's lack of self-resignation.
Envious of how a leaf composes itself in the same manner through a storm or clear day.
And how water willingly flows to the lowest point.
This "I" that speaks these words is what should be discarded
like heavy clothes on a hot day.
Until then, I can't speak of any other "I."
For as long as I talk in riddles
I will remain one.
For as long as I speak of the meanings of meaning
then I will know none.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the ungiven gift

Maybe, it is the way the door opens
with a grudge
unwelcome, to the cold.
And maybe
it is the way I ran to get here in the first place.
Or maybe
it is this formality of an embrace.
It could be the touch of our hands
like water drops in a hot pan.
Or this sense of an awkward interview
with no follow up.
Or this yell of unspoken words.
Once more, this clap of an embrace.
But the ground again rushes beneath my feet
and the parting image of your back
never belies that black diamond
streaking down your cheek alone.

Jan 16 entry

What is crazy to me
is that everything can be its opposite
in every moment.
And it all coexists-
all those variants
alongside each other
in an extraordinary array.
What I feel inside
is both white and black
like each instant contains
all the shades of gray between the two.
And there I am
somehow both within
and outside
this unfathomable array.
In my hands I hold choice
both burden and blessing
at any given moment.
When I feel weak
it is my strength hiding
and it is always there
just, forgotten..often.
And I can't even speak of it
as my strength.
I have nothing of my own.
If I can't bring it with me
at will into a dream
then it is not mine.
If it can't accompany me
where I go when my body sleeps
but consciousness doesn't
I have no claim to it.
All I have are these thoughts and broken words
these daily acts and breathless nights.

Monday, January 17, 2011

my breathless night

You are each day's moment of truth.
You are the home to my feverish heart.
You are my confession box.
You are my mother, my father
my friend, my lover 
and my enemy all at once.
You wear the face of every voice
that ever spoke to me.
In your silence
breathing becomes deafening
but by that same virtue
my thoughts become words
and my words become tears.
I bring you these baskets of tears
and the ocean of my dark night laughs
as she leaves the aftertaste of something like astonishment
on my lips.

Friday, January 14, 2011

bread and tears

I have form
and form has me.
I want more than form
more than being had.
No, I don't even want that.
Every time I try to know
something absolutely
it escapes me and articulation.
I'm happy not knowing.
I don't trust myself when I move
in the agitation of fear.
I don't trust myself when I'm worried
something will be taken away from me.
What do I really have-
that I could become more or less?
Well, let's see..
I have a few suitcases of belongings
nothing really.
I have this borrowed body..
on what basis was it entrusted to me?
To what do I owe these beautiful bones?
I did not suddenly appear one day.
There is a history in these cells
from which my earliest origin can be traced.
Even now-
looking at the fine lines
of the skin on my knuckles
the perfect orbiting rings on my fingertips
and the untold number of ages
it took for thought to develop
so that I may now contemplate all this-
makes my heart sing.
And when my heart sings
I weep
and when I weep
I feel like I need nothing at all
as if this feeling alone could sustain me
like bread.
If only I wasn't so forgetful
or if only my tears were like rain
and it really did rain all the time.
But this borrowed heart
needs more than bread
more than these tears
to find its way home.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow angel

A small boy stops by the street corner. He drops his bag and makes a snow angel as cars and people pass by.  He makes it meticulously. There is a contrast of car exhaust steam and the steam from his breathing as he moves and flutters his arms and legs. He sits up next to his finished artwork and enjoys a snack, like he's taking in the moment. Four people pass him by. None look at the snow angel he's made. Though he does get a passing sniff from a jogger's dog before it's pulled away.
There's a film of cloud over the sky, with bold streaks close to the horizon where the sun shines through.
A school bus approaches the street corner and stops for a moment. When it pulls away, the boy is no longer there. All that remains is the snow angel he's left behind.

On a bright December morning
a boy hidden in a snowsuit
stops by a street corner.
As cars and people pass by
he sinks into the mattress of snow
and flutters his arms and legs.
A few cars later, he sits up
from the white bed spread
and examines his brushstrokes.
A yellow bus approaches
and vents plumes of gray exhaust.
When it clears
the boy is no longer there
only his picture in the snow.

Subway stop

This little child is standing 
at the subway stop
smiling with her eyes.
This girl of maybe five
who's name I don't know
"tomorrow" written over her face
I can't keep my eyes off of her
but I don't hold her gaze.
All I see are those tiny hands
hands I will never touch nor know
my tabula rasa*
and those smiling eyes.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

confessions p. 7

Before the final curtain drops,
I want to shed every veil and mask,
every lie and relative truth,
so I can look back
without fear or fearlessness
on this incredible journey
that has overtaken me;
where the only thing
more astonishing to me
than the myriad possibilities,
is the heart's eventual return
to the essence in every form.