April 15, 2014
Fearing winter like an old man now,
Fall’s chill settling in, the evenings dark,
I worry my mind’s furrows with the plow
Of thought, each pale idea dropping like a spark
Whose fire’s burned out. I brood like ashes
In an arctic hearth, clinging to my days
With cold-cracked hands, feeling no more the flashes
Which in youth promised the world — and then delivered this.
But what’s “this”? Just what I think it, nothing else;
All its brute nature’s but my frown or grin.
And now, so late as now, can’t I replace
All raw reactions with deep breath? Can’t I at last begin
To give no heed to prize or peril
And live like old Diogenes in his barrel?
April 1, 2014
When the moribund rebound,
Return upon the merry-go-round;
When the ash is flame again
And flies again on phoenix wing;
When the slumb’ring heads start up,
Eyes arising like to bulbs;
It’s then we say a spring has sprung,
When some ending’s rebegun.
March 11, 2014
Silent clay now is my father
Silence deeper than deaf ears
Clay laying unbodily asunder
A timeless now unknown in years
His is a being of emptiness
Mine less than the dark is mine
A father but of thoughts
February 28, 2014
Charlotte thought her life would be too long
And now she has been dead two-hundred years.
I linger on her words, like still-wet tears
Remaining though the eyes are dry, are gone
Into a place sans sight and sense,
A not-place that her longing never knew,
For though that longed-for peace she linked thereto,
There’s not a piece of it in nothingness,
No way to ease your head when it grows tense
Only with worms, stringing the skull from crack to crack
Where once electric currents ran amok –
And all to make you long for rest, no less.
Ah! if for peace and rest you have a thought,
A void should be avoided and not sought.
February 25, 2014
in praise of pain I raise my pen
(and quickly put it down again)
February 17, 2014
People in love are horrific.
They mince and they prance and they preen.
If you asked them they’d say it’s terrific.
But it’s (rationally speaking) obscene.
And what’s worse is it happens so often.
(Though it never will happen to me).
You see them, from cradle to coffin.
Congregating so damn cheerily.
Whether natured or nurtured this illness.
Has no cure and they’ll love all their lives.
They’ll love all their colouring pencils.
Then they’ll grow up and love all their wives.
Oh I never will love, I swear it.
I’ll avoid it, creep by like a crab.
For whenever I am disappointed.
I point it and stab stab stab stab.
February 4, 2014
We sociopathic poets! Of all of us,
Who would not kill for “Lycidas”?
Milton himself, although a friend to King,
For its dear sake would have him drown again.
(But I don’t ask that tragedy inspire –
It is enough if it lets me retire
Into the peace misfortune brings
When it befalls my family and friends.)
January 28, 2014
Fall, lofty verse! Great Aeschylus is dead!
(An eagle dropped a tortoise on his head.)
January 21, 2014
Some day the boy, a boy no longer,
Will think of him, long dead, his grandfather.
Today they sit enveloped by my sight
In this fog of future. The old man and I
May share these thoughts of teleologic bent,
But the boy has only popcorn and contentment.
His thought lies in the future. But some day
He might remember this café,
Its stillness and the old man’s voice
Telling him things I have no need to write.
Anticipating this place in future thought,
The old man shares his presence with great art,
Each gesture so deliberate, each look
So wise, like the author of some living book,
A scribe of torah, knowing no new testament,
But hoping, praying, willing some fulfillment.
January 11, 2014
Short Saul sat too high a horse
And so the world is worse
December 11, 2013
While the water bore his body up
his mind bored up the drill-hole, past
to the small circle of sky.
Why would the world conform to any concept?
When in a well it is enough just
not to drown –
why dream of being dry?
May 5, 2009
under me, over me, underground streams —
intestines, veins — murmur, purr as i pour
my love in, inch by inch; freckles, star-
like, beneath my back-bound fingers braille their beams
from shifting constellations, skies in waves
reflecting choppily and swallowed; all
vessels greeted greedily, rise and fall,
lungs life-sucked on entry and only grave
and ragged gills surviving, and snapped gulls
in surf awaiting surfacing fish, and
fishermen, awoken by the sun, man-
ing aching boats — naked, skin-thin hulls
putting out upon moon-chastened seas,
rising and falling; bodies, bodies, bodies