Monday, May 21, 2018

First and Last Valentine

After you came with my help
And I came with yours
For the first time
Hummers started from my mouth
An embarrassment I called it
Of helpless happiness
Which proved not contagious
Though I thought at least you
Would come down with it
The coughing and the fever
The sweet rushing blood
Of the disease of love
After you came with my help
And I came with yours
For the last time

Mexican Valentine

After riding the subway in Mexico City
Then eating a sandwich on a bench
At the university you said
You were overtaken
For ten minutes or so
By the universe
A little hit of lightening
Or something epileptic
More Aleppo than Damascus
Making you laugh and pull back
A muttered whoa
Issued from the pyramid’s peak
The world turned inside out
Through the little hole of nothing
So you could see the brink

Flawed Valentine

With a cancerous mouth
He spoke the word love
Distinctly in his own language
Not with contempt or praise
But as if he was consoling it
The inconsolable one
Then he whispered the names
Of all the gods the memorable
And the unmemorable
And thanked them all
With many bows and curtsies
To a sonata of applause
All in his own mind
The beginning not the end
Of all his flaws

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Musical Valentine

Rhythm requires a body
The way melody
Requires a soul
Of hands and feet
Or the movement
Of something darker
The music of our former lives
Brought home but never listened to
In boxes on the floor
But harmony is spherical
One note held against another
A spirit’s kiss and an embrace
That goes on for an eternity
When you have barely
Learned to dance

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Actual Valentine

He did not just redolently
Talk about love to me
Day and night
But actually he
Did something
About it
He brought something
Into the volcanic soil
Of such tenderness
Gems fused into flowers
The first animals reappeared
Day and night
He put space back
Into its cage of time
He loved me I loved him

Friday, May 18, 2018

Veteran’s Valentine

Dust on the crystal
So dusty spectra
Fly around the walls
On a breeze that gently
Companions them how
Convenient everything
That’s needed is
Close at hand
Dust on the pistol
So empty bullets
Fly around the walls
So when you stand up
It’s as if a war has ended
And when you sit down
Peace descends

Thursday, May 17, 2018

On the Mythology of Rejection Valentine

One time a long time ago
Before there was time or space
A whole upper echelon of beings
With one will
Set themselves on fire
As a gift to even greater gods
The way a child smiles
Receiving its parent’s
Open arms
But some chose not
To accept the gift
Leaving their children with a dark longing
To question everything
Adrift now on the sea of time
With a whole new sense of love

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Horned Valentine

Now a Uranian mood
Sweeps upon us
The father of the father
The mother of the mother
Her Taurus horns
Bearing the serving bowl of lights
To our shrinking earth
Where do they go
All such accomplishments
Contracted into its center
Hardly a cinder left
Of the old god’s body
We put flowers on the tomb
But turn to where he stirs
Again on the horizon

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lost Valentine

The lost art of tact
Remains intact
Like a virgin raped
Her power only increases
Over vain evil men
The shame of their mothers
Who adored them as boys
Before they were lost
To their fathers and uncles
Positively Mesopotamian
Positively American
In the gardens of the world
And all for love
Or murder
For lack of

Monday, May 14, 2018

Passport Valentine

I pull back often
From looking back too much
I regress forward
So much received
I feel compelled
To put something back
To re-gift the past
Until the final honor
Is given back to the first pleasure
Of getting something
I desperately needed
In the nick of time
That plane I almost missed
Having forgotten my passport
My name now yours

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Childless Mothers’ Day Valentine

I’m so happy I’ve lived in the time before
Picked dripping eaten in the field
Tomatoes turned into water chestnuts

All over the country
In grocery stores
And lettuce into sawdust
And among the lives of beautiful places
On which the future subtly traces
The past there was yours
The mecca of my heart
I got to visit
When it was sad but true
And therefore beautiful and good
In the time before
We hardly knew what
To do with our lives
Though we keep trying and trying

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Light Valentine

If it exists
Then it is necessary
To some purpose
This morning proposes
And I accept with a faithless smile
An arranged marriage of days
And nights from which slowly
I recover after long flights
Into that other life I lead
Where everything is real
Not like here
Where only death is
Where light exists
And shines faintly
Into this one

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Traveling Valentine (for David)

In deliberate difficult darkness
I travel sometimes
The lights of towns flashing past
Time lives for the future
Always moving ahead
Always leaving something behind
Asking what is enough
If you know
You don’t know enough
But you can almost
Feel it
Some good thing
Out there in the world
Searching calmly
For a home 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

His Valentine

Out his office door and down
The many lengthy hallways
The hundreds of locked doors
Red-carpeted to represent
The distance he must put
Between him and his people
Proving the revolution
Never really happened
It was just another putsch 
When we’d elected spring
In the winters
Of our tears

Knowing spring must come
Knowing not even he
Could stop it now

Monday, May 7, 2018

Too Far Valentine

Freedom inspires the sin
Only love can redeem
To go too far when it’s not about you
Our only problem
The battery running low
And nowhere to recharge it
But everyone understands
The bullying must be stopped
Except the bully

Who carries freedom
The daily and the universal
Into idle reckless cruelty
What if we stopped bullying one another
Showed a little pity for Christ's sake
For our long sad stories and joys

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Baby’s Valentine

Severely beaten by beauty
Wholly tarnished by truth
I crawl back to my small goodness
I gasp for air politely
Trying not to make a mess
But still there is blood everywhere
Finally I wash up on some shore
Bringing my drowned baby with me
Just starting her new life inside me
The life of the dead
The life of the unborn
Who weave the future together
With such tenderness and skill
As if they knew
We would always go on living