Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pine Cone Valentine

Have you looked into the old books
on nature much I mean on your own
their pine cones are not
our pine cones their forests
of Phrygian helmets
an army of comically
virtuous shapes a symbol
of the penis and immortality
in those ancient states
of our youth
by virtue of their persistence
whether as erotic
or sublimated motif
even into today's designs.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lotus Valentine

The one farthest out to sea
his life’s at stake and ugly
death is staring him in the face
but he brings none of them back
and no memory of the journey
on the low shelving sand
where they fall asleep
men like us perhaps
each a law to himself
a savage
deaf to justice
borne along by deadly winds
and each vomiting
chunks of human flesh
holding on singing until dawn
nobody’s killing me now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Brook's Valentine

My blind love
can’t see my lover
this my Christ
you were trying
to tell me something
you didn’t want to have to.

That first cold mouthful
of happiness at being blood
reviving the brook
so it ran more burdened
more sure-footed.

What must have been there first
as memory to know
me false as leaf to you
as cloud to recognize
you true?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Betel's Valentine

Leaves are the only language I’ve got left
it’s a small mentally-enlarged yard
in a nation that has lost its name
in a brain that has lost
its capacity for scorn.

Finally the Greeks realized Apollo
and Dionysius were the same creature
but my fellow prisoners disdain
both equally in complete denial
of their own precarious position.

Sometimes they come so close
to my face I can hear
the __________ beating of their wings
orangeness singing
you’re up next.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Grackle's Valentine

A grackle came
and caught me
sitting by his birdbath
squawked and woke me
what becomes of what we love?

Awe for all my stumbling
rescues that only made
things better then worse
we have such ships set out
for one another at first.

But each answers
to an old lover inside
calling for his destruction
and will not settle
without a terrible brawl.

Valentine To Joe In Vietnam

Up the ruffled shirts
of the red pomegranate flowers
the sweet fingers
of the bees you know
what’s happening.

How we all want to germinate
in some imaginary country
that sounds like this language
in some faces so different
we may be lost again.

A sound I hear sometimes
sitting among the silences and
swoosh of passing planes and dogs
it could be an insect or a bird dying
or all that travels coming home to me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Joyful Valentine

This morning I could really feel
the claptrap nature
of all physical reality
its angry persistence
in defiance of forgiveness.

Wasn’t this whole world
built on the simple idea of
darkness as the filling-in
of empty space with ash
and cement made

from our own bones
our own blood mixed in
the whole arranged so all
we could really own or take
is our own death into a new life?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Body's Valentine

What’s the matter
with mankind
no I mean really
is it matter or the means
of production the perceptions
where we get stuck-up
or give up refusing
letting ourselves be used
terrified to consider this
must have an opposite page
a wholly non-material way
of organizing work and love
that we here in the flesh
slowly build into our bodies
at some god’s request?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winged Valentine

How far the caterpillar
ponders and saves
her money and must
have those wings
those Lucifer wings.

One parked her Holy Ghost self
right next to where the door
closes as if throwing
it in my face
here watch this stupid.

First you make a shriveled
leaf of yourself
younger and younger inside
older and older outside
then the wings are flown in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Singing Valentine

When I
when will I
get past
these pictures
of things?

Every word
is an island floating
every human
an ocean
you sang like an ocean.

Or like a woman trapped
in a bad marriage
to a live oak tree
on some soul level
enchanted into me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Roses Valentine

How to tell these roses
they won’t make it
were they thinking
with that red abyss?

Is risking
everything at once
the whole thing given
how violet

the loss?
I must ask you
not to tell them
these roses.

Critical Valentine

A showoffiness somehow
unsuccessfully achieved
by a too-obviousness
not the scornful nihilism of say
Beckett’s failed Christianism (good)

great wrong-track mocker
(not so) excuse the tangent/
tantrum as if you were suddenly
to go deaf while everything
you say leaps forward

out of that absolute silence
the last wild animals
of our senses about
to devour us

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On The Fringe Valentine

Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Walker
follows a woman on the fringe
(not the fridge) played by
Emmanuelle Seigner it’s 1987
and we are in desperate trouble
having just met the white lady
and been dangled from the roof
but it’s Emmanuelle I miss
the Paris hotel and Dede Martin
who picked up the wrong suitcase
merde we must leave here
we must kiss and leave here
they treated her like a whore
but then she was playing one
take your fingers out of your mouth
do you want your wife back or not
everything will be just fine for you
for Emmanuelle and your wife
just fine for everyone thank you
except for Dede Martin and me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Armantrout Valentine

Something winks at your way of deceiving me
a single eye opening in that succulent’s knees
sitting across from me nonchalantly.

As just the acute symptoms those orange lips
tend to be overmedicated and there’s something
wavering and cold about the wings.

But it’s a just a seam until it opens briefly trembles
a little rip in the skin of appearances
six sunsets backed up at a toll-booth.

Really I had no idea I was descending into dreams
so filled with the feeling “I am here”
and no separation anxiety at all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Human Valentine

In this our human time
having once been rubies
asparagus and dragons
having learned to think of others
if not how to love them yet.

You were always my password
what identity could they steal
or should I ask which we were
so many crowded into
one small soul.

Until you arrived
thin cloud of sunlight
thinking yourself up
a new language
for reviving the dead.

Envious Valentine

The rose spines
won’t compost
with the other
trivial wastes
of time.

The agave thorns
beat their bitterness out
on no one
but themselves
achieving the peaks.

Purely for the prick
of emptiness they offer
is it possible for them
to show up at all
at the very birth of nothing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Faithful Valentine

Even after my ninth repentance
was finally accepted
and the tenth and the eleventh
and help had come and clarity
I still wanted things my way.

My freedom and my lord
whoever he is I said
but when I called out for you
you were gone
other heart.

When I wasn’t using this one
for my thirteenth repentance
when I wasn’t uttering
another song of praise
for your safe return.

Panic Valentine

I had a panic attack in reverse
I couldn’t get enough of the outside
I kept craving more and more
of the outside until I was
completely outside myself.

A pond flopping about
pretending it isn’t caught
and someone running in the trees
past the winter lepers
undergoing their cures.

And filling in the bruises
someone running back
and forth covered with houses
bridges and dead traffic
like a brave in the woods.

Empty Valentine

The empty space
I occupy
in the world
of my skin
one tiny space.

I think this side
of death we have
only half our life
and on the other side
the waking half.

Heroic ambiguity
alive in two worlds
no longer on speaking
terms with one another
O mother O father.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Streaming Valentine

Whenever we meet here
in the land of the dead
or in flights of dreams
why is it always raining
or snowing like crocuses?

And why are you always
wearing that bloody shirt
which relaxes into
the background like fog
before my very blue?

One stream walks down
through difficult mountains
the other goes out and up
part of the hidden fire
in the darkness around us.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moaning Valentine

What sounds like voices
just outside the door
but when I go to
listen it’s doves
mourning something.

Try not to cry
I try to tell them
but soon we’re both
broken down it’s a concerto
of tears and sobbing.

But you know it’s not about sorrow
at all that’s just the doorway
into some serious
not to say solemn serenading
as I moan on.

Easter Monday Valentine

Considered as light
considerate as light can be
don’t forget at all points
along the parade route
beings stand watching.

Witnesses to the witnesses
the entire future preserved
in the memory of one morning
lived over and over
all possible ways.

Morning being the morning
after the morning
as of someone in prison
who is freed this morning
as morning is.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Valentine

Once I took a lover
when I was too old
for it to last past a few
late night dinners.

The evil twins of
the twelve hierarchies
always hovering nearby.

This Easter I look up to see
a cloud imitating a white poodle
just like Faust said he did
amusing and sad spirit
nostalgic for the flesh.

As if by getting older
you get over it
you don’t is the point
you bear the scars if it’s love
all over your body.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Saturday Valentine

Let each man be his own religion
reverence openly her own true gods
or those things in the masks whatever
is feared as greater
to be so honored.

Reading and hearing
about their oddly familiar
stations his reenactment
of what can’t be reenacted
yet blooms as red roses.

Now the vine
every leaf eaten
its skin peeled away
veins just emptied
offers you its heart.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maundy Valentine

Wolfram mentions three
journeys in the soul’s direction
pleasure first then the fruit
of pleasure which is doubt
then blessedness somehow.

An invisible plane gleams
for a moment then dissolves
back into your milky blue face
a cool breeze
washes my feet.

So the question begs how
to bring the body back
from the dead
shorn of all residue
save love.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Your Valentine

This year’s pomegranate tree
so many more red flowers
I’ve already forgotten when
bricked in by books piled high
unprepared to blossom.

Left to my own devices
I can as yet do little
for myself but notice
like a river inside me
what I see is you.

Here in the word I wait sitting
without an appointment
barely certain
I’d remember my name
if you asked.

Flayed Valentine

In order to enjoin again
this swoon of butterflies
every day in my yard I’m forced
to watch the flaying
inch by inch of my passion
vine with all its zany
pin-wheel flowers
white and purple
who thinks of this
but finally the caterpillars
play it inescapably sad
and sincere
like a last lover
devouring you
in a city of murderers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Second Valentine

The second flowering
is smaller than the first
so much more intense
I mean intent intended
I was standing in the kitchen.

Stranded here because
of their refusals a gold
and red and purple
by the door gathering
homeless spirits around them.

Darkness is a fly
I invited to dinner
and if on my back
I lift more god than I
can be let me flower here again.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dionysian Mystery Valentine

Light that is not quite light
darkness that is not quite
pitch black enough

cosmic fog
and human fog

as each butterfly is hatched
it joins the others madly
partying in my backyard

now there are sixteen
I swear all mad to mate
to go right back through
that tunnel

from the lowest
excrement up
to the sacrament
each is.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Comfortable Valentine

The comfortable cages
of the earth
aren’t even natural
for us loiterers

everyone hates
a snitch but don’t
say nothing
when you could
have had it all

the thing about
Judas man
he just wasn’t
there yet still
afraid of life.

Margaret's Valentine

Many bees working today Sunday
the pomegranate flowers much
tunneling and back and
forth traveling to a bivouac
under the eaves

my eaves I feel grateful
they’ve appropriated
if it help them save
themselves from us
is this not a suicide face

the head on a Roman coin
or on the other hand
the skilled saw voices
of another world
those hinges

electric keening
the door
in a horror dream
wrestling with itself
at the last second to open.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Otter's Valentine

Is it the bright otter moon
leaping between the blue
flying clouds its half-
surfacing head in white
water driven from rock
to rock makes me
want to lie down and watch
in this wet grass in
the middle of the night
they might still come
for me the angels
of my youth or is it
you yourself moon
stern coffin of Osiris
Lord of forms
first picture of first word
already flown
from my mouth?

Beast's Valentine

In among the orange
nasturtiums a royal vein
of dark red velvet runs
but hardly any yellows
I think of my sins
as children growing up
slowly through ancient
losses to be loved back
in time
but some of my faults
of twenty years
standing and walking
just yesterday right
out the door
I never felt
so lonely loved.

Ego's Valentine

When I rotate
myself around
the twelve cities
of the broken sun
I see I would
have to be inside
the sun to
do that I would
have to be the sun
itself to do that
if not the long
lines of the
obvious world
would have to end
in darkness again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sounion Valentine

On that hillside
above the harbor

of Sounion
near the Temple of Poseidon

now just a marble skeleton
in those sacred precincts

where we talked and talked
loved one another why remake

the whippoorwill
if the forest is gone

once inside time
it will never end

then it will
just want to start up again

in any flower there’s
the whole geology of human feeling

moving in a clockwise way
as a star or as a scent.

Spring Light Valentine

To reverse the plains
of memory to their native colors
and run for the hills
when the light of spring
it cometh.

Aquamarine jonquils
and yellow Scilla
the sexual so strong we’re
hard to know what’s
on purpose.

To turn up the palms
of history and read the secret
words given and taken away
so thoroughly interwoven
we comes back to one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Long Marriage Valentine

Suddenly after years
of never thinking about you
you show up that stinging
in the throat my eyes
combing you.

Is it the dog’s mournful barking
makes it colder tonight
how love is fear
to reverence so itself
in overcoming fear.

As if to think so
were two molecules
animating themselves
each so sure he’ll leave you
you help him pack.

Duemer's Valentine

I think maybe what the poet’s
getting at has more to do
with the larynx sometimes

than the heart at least
as far as I’ve been able to tell
when I assume the position

not to say the blue mantle
of my Irish grandfather
a great sentimentalist and

talented sensualist with nine
children to my one
I think there are always at least two

or more worlds at any given point
all undergoing mitosis in the true
poet’s heart and throat.