Monday, October 22, 2018

Birthed Valentine

Even a womb is a dead-end
We must turn out of it
Drive on to another bent road
 
Surely you can feel the hurrying will
The multiplicity that moves us on
Against the unity of the little self
 
I thank heaven we’re not in charge
Of our destinies yet that other forces
Annotate our lives with their histories
 
But if you wake up in some womb
Call me baby
I’m coming soon
 
And if the sea is lapping your feet
And you have turned around
Your face arriving first

Temperamental Valentine

I’m a sanguine choleric mostly
With collapses of melancholia
And outbursts of inertia
 
But then there’s that fifth temperament
Of the post-structuralist heart
Full of its new aspirations
 
To which we are all tempted
Even if we’re not aware of it
Or actively fight against it
 
If the soul can’t quite work
On itself from inside itself
It must look elsewhere
 
For direction to perfection
Deeper than temperament
Or particular tribe

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Post-Communion Valentine

Now that you’ve finished with the explanation
You can embark on the question
You can sit down with yourself just the two of you
 
To long to get to the practical heart
Of these connections that come and go
Your angel responsible among them
 
Did you ever just meet with
Someone who hated you at first sight
Or someone who poured out their heart
 
And there was no posturing or guile
At least for a while
So I come to the question
 
What is it we fear
When we get near
Other fearing hearts

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Life Interview Valentine

You need to know
This conversation is being taped
And I will be taking notes
 
Already I can sense your attention
Fading at the intersection
Of your eyes and ears
 
You need to choose your pauses
Carefully anticipating how
They may be used against you
 
Of course this is not a court of law
Or any kind of inquest
Into your remaining astonishment
 
But things are delicate and you
My friend have been found
Hanging by a thread

Surviving Valentine

When it’s not mating season
It doesn’t take a Darwin to notice
The finches have more freedom
 
Because the truth is
They’re still in the childhood
Of their extinction
 
They fly like they’re about
To make another leap
Out of the dinosaurs of heaven
 
But one day isn’t long enough
To play with God and air and act
Like they have something to share
 
With us urban binoculared ones
Who scout their redness
And its fading out

Friday, October 19, 2018

We Are All Homeless Valentine

Her thoughts were circular
Her heart was squared-off
Her will was a solid wall
 
Equally for and against herself
She couldn’t disguise
And went on eating rotten apples
 
Waiting for her Steve to return
What is suffering anyway
If it won’t matter how much
 
You suffered if not for the love
Of some Steve with the pure
Piety of a child
 
So tears come swiftly to you
Watching her die
But she is not crying at all

Thursday, October 18, 2018

American Valentine

We think because the architecture is modern
We’re no longer medieval
Hiding in our mental huts
 
We think because we read the Bible
Emerson and Twain
We’ve overcome the tribal
 
Something in us always needing
A revival or the recitation of a pledge
The downfall of a rival
 
What interests us most is the matter
Of money its potential for cruelty
The cost of our survival
 
Still the raucous teenager of the world
Still yet to prove our love and freedom
Are more than drivel

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Second Valentine

The first and last animal
We must put out of ourselves
Is of course the great beast
 
And losing most of its ballast
Lift off airborne our souls
Into a host of monarchs
 
We must extricate our powers
Of misperception from
The deception of our senses
 
While yet grounded
See into other worlds
And search for home among them
 
We must prepare the air
For the second coming of ourselves
A mind that loves

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Returning Valentine

The arrival of the blood summer
In the brown-eyed fall
Finally convinced us of it all
 
All we could agree on
There was a child to feed
The wailing winter come
 
For such dreamless sleep
We thought she’d died
Wrapped in her starry blanket
 
Years borne like children
Who eagerly leave home
Some never heard from again
 
But one who returned
Unburdened and uncrowned
When you were found

Monday, October 15, 2018

Conquered Valentine

Ancient mariners sail
Up from the flooded yard
Crossing the patio sea
 
An armada of snails
Close-hauled spinnakers flying
Until soon I am surrounded
 
They make their first engagement
Ascending the towers of my legs
Losing many brave in the assault
 
But slowly I’m encompassed
Reborn as the snail man
They’ve always wanted to become
 
Risen to walk the world
Trailing a wake of slime
With an iridescent gleam

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Closer Valentine

Isn’t laughter closer to love than tears
The way it lightens and unlocks
What the tears have achieved
 
Closer to our immediate condition
Of intermittent happiness
War attenuated by peace
 
Sometimes I fear there’s more
Inside than appears outside us
But how could that possibly be
 
Or love wouldn’t be this suffering joy
We feel all around us
And struggle to absorb
 
Nor the world have to be
Quite so terrible
For solace to be born

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Open Valentine

The rain is really open for business today
And means to sell off a coast or two
Next year a continent God willing
 
Politicizing the great plates of the world
With a superabundance of emotion
So the streams shift in their beds
 
Until it looks like rain is all the suffering
In the world so many little slights
Gathered into a relentless resignation
 
Which we children find great fun
Escaping the grownup’s distress
Paddling about in the streets
 
Drawn by our amphibian roots
To play with tragedy
In our rubber boots

Friday, October 12, 2018

Imperfect Valentine

I don’t know why that dead branch
In the pomegranate tree is beginning
To worry me a lot lately
 
I mean I’d have to get a ladder
And right now I can’t be bothered
And anyway is raining
 
I’d rather sit outside here under cover
And examine my nagging need
For perfection against this creed
 
Of the common sense of trees
That keeps their dead branches
Safely tucked among their green
 
This year the tree is full
Of burnished globes however
Few may yet prove edible

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Seaside Valentine

Isn’t writing things down
Supposed to materialize
Memory and mood
 
What becomes one more thing
To be deleted or redeemed
In some higher cloud
 
Words as moving air again
In the little hamlet of memory
Under its heavy load
 
Of what is already fog
And done waiting to be re-done
In a quiet rain
 
In a cloud coming in from the sea
Dissolving slowly
Into such clarity

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Needy Valentine

I need some cold water
To pour on my veins
I need some sun to warm me
 
I need a good fuck
Or a taste-freeze
At the drive-through mountain
 
I need all of Hereford Cathedral
Or half of Beauvais
With those Maltese Falcon hor d’oeuvres
 
Served at a real coconut grove
On the Bay of Fugitives
At three in the morning
 
I need some memory of you
Not some wind-blown scrap
That brings it all back

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Overheard Valentine

O just admit your mistakes
And move on
One archetype blurted to another
 
I was listening at the keyhole
Of the world again
At the early stages of its construction
 
When they were testing
Various mortar recipes
To hold the stones together
 
So they could turn the real work
Over to the circles and the triangles
And the lovely half-moon shapes
 
Assembling their castles of mistakes
Out of the native clay
In barely a day