Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WORSHIP circa 1986

...as a part of the dream she is wearing stockings,
dark, as her Theda Bara eyes were dark and silent.
Raising her leg with a motion like wind I kiss
the tips of each toe with a breathless touch.
Their movement under my lips were at turns
basic and complex as a watch running just slow enough
to reflect humanity but on time enough
to be perfect. The movement to her arch
may have been measured in hours or seconds
or in the wings a young bird begins to use
for her first flight from home. Her calf muscles
began to tighten under my lip’s caresses, ever
so slowly I encircle in tongue motions
the inches of sinewy silk encased skin with a smile
matching hers, eyes meeting, closing in unison.
Behind the knee so soft, the silk moving, tightening,
then loosening her calf closes to my back
drawing me nearer to the origin of the lives
that would come one day. But not now.

...‘More?’ in dream I would whisper, or wish I had,
she moves with a silence saying yes
as Molly Bloom would have said in the book
I forgot to read for class next morning. Thighs begin
a slight dew drawing through the silk, the sweet
salt of her mist coating my mouth like
a thin primer of paint placed to canvas before
the masterpiece would be created. The motion
from silk to skin mid thigh was seamless, a perfection,
a transition from the work of eastern moths
to the work of human evolution ever changing.
She moaned slightly, on cue, a symphony of one
each tone measured through years of experience
but tempered as every new performance
would humanize it. I moved, as a mouse to food would,
silent, wanting, finding sustenance in her deepest self.
The mouth I speak with meets the mouth
she loves with, a uniting, her legs
wrapping my shoulder like a present
the gift of her quivers, her tastes
the nectar of her passions becoming mine
forever as I am born in the light passion creates
and donates to every morning.

...in the next part of the dream she is nursing me,
I being reborn in the light of her quivering brilliance.
Not milk but emotion feeds me each kiss
from breast to breast I envision my life;
each part, each phase, years become moments:
first toy first kiss first disappointment first renewal...
First Light! The sun draws me from the dream,
the woman beside me sleeping in peace
a soundness as still as a star would be.
Always there, always shining. I stumble in awakeness,
bed creaks with my humanity moving
into culture into identity, the day’s pending realities
blurring and un blurring as I fumble to water
to awaken what dreams would quiet and create.
I look up, hanging with a smile behind me, face
wet with cold water and surprise:
her stockings.

DEPARTURES from 1981, an early piece

for Judi Baba 


There is a sandstorm
and a mermaid.

We were putting away
the hourglasses

and counting
places at the table...

how many there were!
and how many

were caught in the sand.


She denied the feathers
of harder crows. They
walked away with the silverware


for bad movies

we pretended...
skating across our excitement

just like that--the
push off--the

penalty box. We
were ready.

Our white socks
were ready.


Gone from the table,
expected by
someone with large eyes.


Later, the weather
soared pat the station wagon

and rested.
Our best lives

passed the alkaloid
tests--red paper

falling into blue
around us. Like

the mermaid. Like
the sandstorm.


Handsome, she thought,
growing models of named birds
in the backyard.


Or the lack of it.

We could have waked away.
The expected

were hand-me-downs

covering worn
surrounding day. The air

was cracking
into white angles.


We swore
at the green shadows
following us. As always.


on the bridge

of the rented maiden ship
we met few

prospective survivors.
We were ever-so-festive:

ours were
gabardine lives

of severest blue.
The grey mon dieu of pennants.


Even as we speak
apricot trees are dropping
large nested pheasants.


is in season. Every

summer we walk
this on out

over and over.
When the intervening world

hands out tablecloths
would we want

stripes? Would we
want the mermaid?


We counted
the hourglasses. And the mermaid.
And the sandstorm.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Lightning strikes like bad news and is gone.
A photograph may hold it, keep it fast
a voyeur of sorts, collecting quick
a fury dispersed and ragged
defusing the moment into specks of unconnected color.
The tree struck by the bolt never feels
the basis of it's electricity, the overhead mechanics,
winds random buffeting driving power below,
into unknown targets white light pinpoint and finds.
Rain comes too, an afterthought of sorts,
a dream that amazes & terrifies before
it's gone. Darkness fades into lightness
slowly, the rain abates and returns as mist, subtle
touching briefly, then gone.

On the tree a cocoon shakes, opens slowly,
the brown and olive wings of the moth begin
their slow assent to reveal the eye like marks
her wings display. The ancients believed these moths
were allies, Angels of the dead who return
in moments of trial to guide us
away from the unhealthy spirits of ego & chaos.
The moth moves slowly at first, it’s body
heavy with reality; the wings too new to hold
a wind in control but they grow to
feel and rise above the air in a moment.
Freedom becomes her instinctual target, the light
she heads toward above glowing bright then dim
as clouds obscure sun’s passionate fire.

No one owns the sky.
The planets & stars do not come
with deeds of title. The moths and butterflies
belong to those only in the moment they are seen.
Possession is not the way of all things. Only
humans limit themselves this way, a mantle
of sorts, carried with discomfort and yet
all too present. We define ourselves by what we do,
not who we are, running with fear from others scorn,
we censor ourselves to degrees so deep we cannot
recognize the backward image in the morning mirror.
This is folly of our own arrogance, our fear of separation
from the basis of a nature we were taught to control
but can’t. No one can do that. You

have stepped above those foolish definitions, the
possession of others as a tool to fight our own
shortcomings. The ancients had many words for love,
paternal, romantic, sexual, familial, all were different concepts,
not wrapped in one word or one sad need to grasp
what was never meant to be grasped. You are right;
you are the moth whose eye marked wings
carry the body of reality high above us frightened
animals. No one can own you entire.
No one can own anyone entire, yet that pursuit is always
the lingering foolishness that keeps us away
from the deep passions the knowledge of others
would build in ourselves. Fly, always fly, little Angel,
touch here only when the land feels no storm from above.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

DENISE circa 1997 an old piece with a colorful story


They say that only children dream in color.
The world doesn't strike them, they are
sailing away and towards them
the deepening innocence that only fails
when earth becomes world and world
does not become us.  In their dreams people touch
like a kiss or the sound of a calliope:
it's off-key rhythms forgiven to anticipate
the sweaty-hued clowns of their personal  circuses.
For you it may have been the ice-cream man:
the summer rituals becoming a flower
picked for its discrete charm or maybe
because we want to remember it
before it remembers us. The things we want
reflect not our immediate desires
but rather a passage through which
the call our histories could take
to bring us home.

Your mother may have known that, too: in a tavern
we unwrap our facades, our definitions
of who and why, the indifferent differences
that keep us away from ourselves
and each other.  She may have thought of you at school,
plaid pleated skirts and the nuns running
and running away,  the furtherance of God's purpose
or their innocence long found and lost
keeping them going.  She may have seen you at twenty,
miniskirted and knowing everything,
reefer, boyfriends, the angst felt and not felt
for the passing of childhood or the games
not played or won or lost. She may have seen you at thirty,
young mother, the nervous confidence
and your children's tears caught fast in an instant
and held like buds on a young tree
planted in the heart.  She may have seen you
all at once,  in a colorful dream
when she left.

When my mother died 13 people came to the service
not speaking to each other; a real or imagined
past, slights of rejection and anger,
the noble ignominies of a lost faith.  I learned
to love from friends, lovers, the distant stare
my generations taught me gave way in inches
coming back like a poor relation taking
the best and worst from me.  Loss becomes something
like a collection of insects, flying around
as we take and lose what is valued
only when something is given and found;
we miss those most who touch and hold
the fragile dragonflies of the heart. 

And here we are the products of our selves;
what we are given is what we will become,
what we will become is what we have given
and kept, our identities only the ill-fitting masks
made by a tailor who lost his shop years ago.
In you it's the eyes of your children, your friends,
the momentary touches of color our dreams should have.
Keep them always; they will show you an infinity
that will come as a kiss when it finally happens.