Friday, October 24, 2014

Body’s Valentine

Amazing at seventy to recognize
myself in everything around me
all the direct result of thoughts
I had forty years ago
and forty years before that
when I was planning my birthday
to fall at the height of the war
my descending soul pushed
past those ascending hordes
from the battle-fields and prisons
in everything there’s a point
where you turn and look back
not with yearning or regret
like at birth or at death
but with a heart past harm
in the body of the earth

My Wish Came True Valentine

It is the simple otherness of others
which dazzles us that there could be
endless divagations on the theme
of one original note itself
a friendly nudge from
an even older otherness
I sweep up the day
before the day sweeps me
a fly right now sleeps
on the corner of my book
steady as I write this
and four trees down
a mockingbird explains
enthusiasm over and over
it’s October my favorite
mornings start showing up
either sobbing or chuckling
who unbuckle me
and leave me other

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Body Is Always The Victim Valentine

At 3:33 in the afternoon
the neighbor’s chainsaw went off
when I just happened to look up
at the clock as I always do
at that time hearing the screams
and then the blocks of wood
getting stacked under the lean-to
the old people had to travel south
the best way to beat the winter
they founded no great cities
but preferred hiking and camping
and who can blame them now
we can see who loves the land
knows it can’t be raped

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sophoclean Valentine

He imagined the gods
must feel as frustrated
as we do with our
low morale and
failure to commit
to our lives we’re
like the actor who
can’t surrender
to the character he
plays or the parent
who rejects the child
who rejects this life
too big to fail but
does its failing for it

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wishful Valentine

Sometimes I wish
I still had access
to your body but
as only you have
access to it always
freely and objectively
holding it from within
as a life of breathing air
but not always perceiving
thoughts as precepts
outside sensation
as one column of proud skin
and bones with flesh
arranged without sin
command me access
once again

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mid-October Valentine

1.
I suppose these leaves seemed real enough
back in the spring just starting out
enthused as any human failure
or maybe it was just the greenness
that made them seem so brave
and eager to succeed but now they all
go over to the merely beautiful
and fall though the wind works them
wonderfully to some further flight
one I closely followed to the corner so
aerodynamically correctly it was formed
until it snagged in the naked thorns
of a bridal wreath beside a dead garage
all dying is beautiful and money to be made
carting city folks out to watch the blood
flow and the gold and yellow that is
a style of glory sailing out for miles
into the Sunday air with peace its prize


2.

Some crazy kid has graffiti-ed half the sky
with pinkish streamers out behind
his mother’s crocheted trees and fog
but he has long since come and gone
his father’s milking ghost-cows in the white
dream that used to be a barn
nothing you almost see is real except the pond
shivering quietly between surrender
and three small koi - let this be my postcard
with that red bush a fiery furnace in color
if not in flame one detail in the burning
of the world that happens to be staring
straight at me from far across the hill
I want my mind to be that empty field
it borders shorn to stubble by some lucky
farmer’s last bales stashed in the new barn
he and all his family gone to celebrate in town
 

3.

In the last field the blueberry bushes
stand naked in the setting sun
I tiptoe past it’s so quiet curious for
the clearing I know must be nearby
it’s hard to be a poet in search of
new words for this loneliness
the little stream chattering  go away
every tree a door slammed in my face
the whole earth a disappointed lover
the sun saying well don’t look at me
yes yes you’re right of course I plead
let me just sit here in the silence
one more time we don’t have to speak
often I try to remember how it happened
as if it was just one particular day
one moment in the night I knew
I could no longer see your face
no matter how much time we have
we can’t go back there can’t revisit
what no longer lives I love you
think about it will you so will I
 

To Do Valentine

When in doubt
clean
 
when in fear
cling
 
when in love
sink
 
while sinking
think
 
yes this will
save the world
 
but no one
will believe me
 
but when you reach
the bottom of the earth
 
it’s a question
how much of it
 
you’ve got
with you still

Familial Valentine

Even days have families
they go home to once
in a mood stuck in
the past but worth it
for the preservation of a grin
even if only half a tear
gets produced on my Broadway
as a full length tragedy
some days are not like the old Greeks
who lived their sins on stage
and went home cleansed
some days were orphans
who reunited with their parents
late in the sunny afternoon
some nights were happy too

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One Morning After Childhood Valentine

One morning after childhood
the mosquitoes were just gone
and childhood returned and I
could run right outside
without fear of being devoured
by those piranha of the air
it was like the barbarians
and in fact no one was coming
so the sun could stretch out fully
over the cool flesh of the grass
mostly weeds the way flesh
is mostly desire a part of
the will of the world
in which for a few moments
I felt completely secure
ridiculously secure

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Evolutionary Valentine

Maybe our lungs would like
to become our ears someday
and our eyes would like to become
our brains and our brains dream
of having their own souls the way
I dream of becoming you
someone whose heart
has a clarifying effect
on all its objects and worlds
but if our memories
are all we know and are
then pain must be what’s past
and laughter our future
 

Friday, October 17, 2014

First Valentine

My first valentine taught me
the world presupposes love
as a pre-existing condition
for which the world is merely
a symptom a temporary virus
or fever in the blood
after which the patient
tries to be his own doctor
tries to cure the wound of love
with world after world of war
and worry but it won’t work
it’s a murder story in which
love is the motive and the means
the world just offers the scenes

Eurydice’s Valentine

The theme of the day is OK
but is there actual thinking going on
or is it down the road somewhere
in the clarity of the clean-up
in the happiness of the survival
and yet we are always
following some thought disguised
as a forest or a building’s view
or rain or a body the way
she followed him around
like a puppy though she knew
he would leave her stranded
like a thought in a fog in the end

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Hierarchy of Valentines

More important than the body
is the soul more important than
the soul is the spirit more important
than the spirit is the personality
more important than the personality
is time more important than time
is space more important than space
is warmth more important than
warmth is wisdom more important
than wisdom is mastery more
important than mastery is harmony
more important than harmony
is love more important than love
is courage more important than
courage is suffering more important
than suffering is peace

Midnight Valentine

When at death my thoughts go out
striving to unite with the highest beings
and my will strives to preserve itself
and come to itself free of those beings
until at a corner out of time
each to the other hands his task
surrenders to the other his deepest longing
in preparation for my coming birth

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Starving Valentine

So many places I’d love
to see but I don’t want
to do what you have to do
to get there but then that’s just
bullshit because wherever you
are you’re sitting or waiting
with your life and luggage
in  your hands with those two
the known and the still hiding
waiting to be known beside you
we who are starving for the future
waiting for us the table there
the food getting cold

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nashville Daybreak Valentine

You may think it’s over
a thing of the past
but I’m coming for your ass
you may have completely forgotten
lost track felt rotten
fell drunken on the grass
but I’m coming for your ass
you may have cruised to town
crawled back with nothing found
you may have thought you drowned
and did until I saved your ass
now you are past
but I’m still coming for your ass

Sudden Fall Valentine

What I want to remember
about memory is how small
everything becomes inside it
in comparison to the universe
outside it was an intimate corner
on the way to a new perspective
only possible well after the fact
the fact of your face against
the evening of memory
when the earth leaves
memory will leave with it
finally Persephone didn’t need
to be taken but ran eagerly
into the arms of Hades

Monday, October 13, 2014

His Love Valentine

He had a long love
at the end of his love
he was the love of the party
he had such love in him
he began love in a small city
but his love was in the country
among his love goals
was to love in Andalusia
love treated him harshly
as it does those it loves
what was it about his love
that attracted more love to him
when the love he led
never included enough travel

Abandoned Orchard at West Fork Valentine

Imagine walking through an orchard
of this year’s thoughts some of course
rotting on the ground ‘the falls’
the real apple-pickers call them or others
like my oranges still green and hard
hanging there without a care in the world
then the old heirloom not-pretty thoughts
which survive for only a few days
before their lilt and piquancy
starts to sour and brown
or have I made too much here
of how fall selects its best
to savor on your tongue
and then stands there quietly
waiting for you to do the same

Stolen Nude Shots Valentine

Better at coordinating clothes
than thoughts although clothes
are thoughts about the beauty
of the body reserving the truth
of its nakedness for later
for a select audience
removing its disguises
removing its underwear
removing its memory and history
but keeping its smile
certain of its integrity
uncertain of its effect
certain of your need

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just A Question Valentine

All our lives we practice
right falling asleep and right waking
but we hardly ever get it right
we crash or we toss struggling
to lose consciousness
or falling so fast and deep
we sink right to the center
of all pain and loss fighting
to wake ourselves unsuccessfully
all night then choking awake
why do we fall asleep afraid
and wake up ashamed
no I mean every human being

Pleasuring Valentine

I masturbate because
I still want to feel a part
of the urgency of the world
the divine lust of time
that can come into the body
and overwhelm it though
I always feel a little guilty
satisfied but a little uncertain
as if I was stealing something
that belonged to some unknown
lover to whom I have promised
everything including betrayals
even at times including my fury
at all our lost time

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stranger's Valentine

Hate envy bitterness
because love includes them all
though it does discriminate the twig
from the discarded leaf
as if to assuage the obvious
love in the world persists
only to the extent freedom exists
love perishes in captivity
why can’t we get that much clear
these were the arguments
of our drugstore meeting
we stood there in the aisle
agreeing this stranger and I
shouting love love love
what part don’t you get