Friday, February 27, 2009

Zinnia Valentine #4

Content to be stage scenery
as any modern tree
in winter’s icy roots
with all the other personal pronouns
whose bodies belong to the world
time swaying back and forth
until it worries itself loose
is spring that looseness
by which I arrest the thoughts
running toward me
some family resemblance
so as not to be overwhelmed
seeing that sensitive and blank
it still bears the scratches of some sun
gone on to other worlds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Zinnia Valentine #3

When morning begins with lovemaking
when in the beginning lovemaking morns
when in the morning love begins
its struggling with things
when it makes its lips beginning
tongue me how
can I not begin
when in the morning
a making is made
of love how you make me
feel is what I begin
to love the morning
between our knees
it does there begin
its own making
then becomes
the whole beginning
of the day
carried in our arms
passed out all day
invisible balloons
toy horns.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Three Poems Valentine

Each night is really a spirit
a different one each night

each day is really a god
or a different goddess every day

when you step back
the stars look itchy or thirsty
as if they missed them

I made you I made you look up

helping her with her reading
every night or watering the patio
my most honest work

I know I can now
so I know I will

it was only the cat galloping
on the roof at 1 A.M.
woke me

the orange blossoms
knocked me
back out again.

Zinnia Valentine (Continued)


I would like to find a place
in the tall grass to lie down
and curl up like the place
I found once still warm
where a deer had slept
a little room open to the sky
so I did lie down
in that heat and faint
musky scent to rest
listening to the air
a part of the life of that hillside
sleeping and yet never
not alert in my dreams
to the moment of leaving.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Zinnia Valentine


After we’d gotten past
the question of importance

I found something missing
in the garden

a brush of sparrow shadows
swept over me
first one way then the other

was it a cross or an X that locks
the target to the treasure
a zinnia seedling

had disappeared overnight
hadn’t you said our youth ends

only if we accept

when only one of five seeds had sprouted
out of a bag of maybe thirty

out of so many
only a few can tolerate
the picture of death

that’s what you pay for
the grocery stores closed now
no I mean boarded up

as if plucked right out of the ground
so the blackness around it
barely moved

the breeze lifts
as if you would return

when if it depended on us
we could not go on at all

its four siblings
you and me

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blue Valentine

If maybe these white clumpy clouds
are my hair I still have a chance

of avoiding late pattern balding
which makes the sky my brain

darkness seen through light
construed as blue

the glory of my brain
I see now has been outsourced
to those fixed stars at the edges

where the real thinking gets done
then translated down the line

through endless ages
felt as some desire

with less and less cogency
less and less style

until finally I move my hand
or yours reaches mine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Homeless in Heaven Valentine

In the beginning was the floor.

Later I slept in the alley
on the cement under the eaves
in the cold.

Or I was standing
one arm up
leaning against the garage.

It’s the future that’s phlegmatic
the sanguine present laughed.

Heaven hell and SRO purgatory
all in my City of Heaven.

Snap quiz: Who said “The spirit
is the soul in the act of knowing
everything else”?

You’ll be sorry cried the past
dragging off his angry ass.

What’s cleverer than kindness
if not yet the full accomplishment of love
at least the taste?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Highway Valentine

Because the whole world’s been corrupted
most of it in barely laughable ways

in the third part of this prescription
after a love vestigial
I will further illuminate
the kind of kayak I have in mind

by performing a 360
in the shank of winter

May Day May Day.

All I have is my attention
bless it
and of course the lost objects
upon which it fastens/moistened

in order to fill me
with themselves.

Driving all day
driving home with my farts
I pull the world up by its roots

and throw it away
but the moon blows it right back in
the other window.

Elsewhere is my eternity
but I’ll settle for the couch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rain Valentine

Rain on the grave of beauty
rain on the beauty of the grave
and that right quick we looked
where we were heading forelocks
bobbing and the wind obedient
to whim come out in the yard
the real war is still waiting to freak out
when the others leave
they still haven’t the sense
to think past the littoral
come out in the yard
in search of the second
coming of the self
out of the grave of beauty
into the rain in the yard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Local Valentine

When I’ve incorporated all the cold
I can in my innocuous flippers
I come inside the spindle.
It takes about half an hour
for that dead birdseed I put out
to start singing stormy
hates windy sea chanteys.
Like our local water
you leave a ghostly residue
on our collective hips just saying.
All words are twins
of which there are two types
the same and the nicer one.
So it multiplies in the soul
trying everything on the menu
as if so to speak a divine being.

Unfair Valentine

Look I’ve messed up again
forgotten to take my anti-aging pill
so the history of my face
won’t get to 150 years and I
a preferred Sears customer
must check back in seven days
for further federal funding
which is so not fair
leaving me wallowing
in the Beirut of my backyard
a little crack my soul leaks through
the fence the vision of my loving
one of the great true experiences
of the early twenty-first century.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Matt's Valentine

As much of the world
as you can stuff inside
piling the shelves and grottoes
with perfectly good
bones and cheetos left
to make their own suffering
lying there for the taking
and pushing aside
as much of the world
as you can identify as
yours and soon yours
as in the middle of winter
in the graveyard of words
the helpless screaming
need to pee.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I keep doing things
with things I don’t want to do
I don’t want to go into the details
but rather out of a still
deeper interior subterfuge bring
continually coursing
my bilocation I’ve selected
embedded in a fingernail
or eyelash promontory
we will never shut up
and therefore must say everything
sooner or later
or we’ll all just start singing again
like kids or Gene or Grace Kelly.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Please add me to your blog roll
or add me to your tootsie roll
or add me to your mondegreens
because I am the egg roll
dipped in the same sauce as you
isn’t a poet always in translation
or transition all of the above
his never-resting glance
showing up briefly in
recognition of the world
but he has finer flesh
to fry one finds but rarely
cooked for breakfast
with a fat piece of bread.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Love is only a flower
it is not the truth
it’s not even the real
you won’t find those two
loitering in some garden
they’re actually out there
making things happen
not here and gone
in a few damp days
then lying down with the dead
who go on sleeping
behind the acacias
one flower always dying
inside another the way
they do it love is
only a flower but
wisdom is the fruit.


I’ve been thinking about
your artistic side
what artistic side
that’s what I mean
you give me a red lighter
for Valentine’s day when
I don’t even smoke
love’s cherry red
that runs right at you
warning and promising
not itself fire or blood
but that you carry
it with you everywhere
you never know
when we’ll be back
in the woods again.

Valentine's Valentine

Did I miss a day
of course it would
have to be the day
everything changed you
so completely
no one can remember
how we got here
or just any day
where nothing at all
we all sleep
through it even
while the sun
roars through
the windows deeper
and deeper
into love
we go.

Friday, February 13, 2009


All kinds of little errors
in the construction of his body
only a carpenter would see or care
in the blue privacy of his own calloused
fingers moving over the blond birch
clumps picturesquely
fourteen Wisconsin winters set
of course we’ve got it wrong
completely reversed wilderness
and dreams when we go
to the dollar store for another
shovelful of evocative laughter
all we get are sudden shifts of
tone a long glance as a phrase
flies by all the consequential
thoughts copulating under the snow
so by summer what we reap
‘s already bungled choreography
eroded voices’ radiant dust of lust in
some sudden field or was that you?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Introductory Valentine

My life’s like standing running
in the back of a crowded
plane or theater wondering
what I’ve come to worship
or for what friend or stranger’s
blog wedding or performance
to be told the world’s a picture
in the mirror of the spirit
did I get that right that you
can be ready when the moment
you feel like God falls
into all kinds of random muddled
pieces like this when
your heart comes.