Sunday, May 31, 2009

White Sunday Valentine

Finally on Pentecost
my two cactus flowers
Shame and Fear
innocent provocative and pink

a serious red-pink
above untouchable stems
the stunning hush of blood
under skin a fire
in the walls of my house

the sound preceding
the heat the light
a whirling stillness
beauty used me
to incite.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hardly, Valentine

had the man
suffered and


how not to love
himself at all

to eliminate
those pleasant errors

(not taken from him
but freely given)

for imagination’s sake
when in the end if not

I am the words
what use is poetry?

Love's Valentine

Already a day old
when it’s born so acute
if it looks to the left
without turning its head
it can flip through centuries.

Its poor ego always tidying-up
the leafy apartment of its purpose
a poem is a pet
even the caterpillar left
a scatter of small black seeds.

I’ve left a sandwich in the frig
and will see you in the morning
but love the conditions for peace
are harsh and interrogative
and won’t be voided.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ghetto Valentine

How much time
should a poem get
a ghetto poem get
after the bell goes off
to run for the house
or maybe the alley

to run for its clucking life
as the guns come out
or maybe no fuck that shit
you turn and walk
right at it

not death but the
perpetrators of death
the spirits of darkness
who stop you and go
bitch whassup bitch?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sinner's Valentine

I am a sinner
in the camps of saints
I am a messenger
of shadows and shames
do I want too much?

Let me not to the highest explain
I have been insane
as you lost my only one
as you died
more than three days ago.

As if this life alone
had truth and weight
this filigregious* light
his shadow once wrinkled
with blood and bone.

*filigregious – filigree plus egregious. Pass it on.

Elephantine Valentine

That little elephant in the middle
at the root of my body
wants out. No more sex.

The red eagle of my stomach
won’t be coming back.

In their seventh instar
the caterpillars of my limbs
are hanging chrysalides from sticks
a long walk
from where they lived.
I can’t wait.

And the hornet of my heart
in my sampler zodiac
you knew would sting you

what else could it do
with the sword I carried
but guard the poison-honey
only you would crave?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ancient Basic Valentine

Fire = light + ash



The ash is the take-away

The light crosses over

The Fire is you


Isaiah's Valentine

Hairball control
when I’d prefer
deep compatibility
or the true cost
of the insects of North America.

Take the swallowtail culture
unfolding its triptych
how it focuses on chaos
and the technology
of beautiful lives.

But if you eat a seal’s raw heart
didn’t Isaiah say
aren’t you clarifying your will
to eat a human heart
as well?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Valentine

I gave my life
for a change
I thought it
would be nice for a change
it was

and now I look in the mirror
I can see my death
it doesn’t need a face-lift
it’s young and strong
and never leaves me

the more I know me
the less I love me
but someone must know
and love me for me
even to exist.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Valentine

Sometimes a leaf falls
curving into the basket
an avatar of leaves an example
of that fulcrum of disaster
which can right itself.

For the sake of all its lovers
itself at first Itself at length
with battered wings
It lays eggs as big
as molecules.

So I swept the patio
and watered everything
and sat and waited
while my heart was swept
and I was clean and new.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On Becoming A Percept Valentine

In fifty years
I’ve gathered
all things are beings
all beings are things
the widest ramifications.

That something is constantly
trying to occupy itself
the sweet dress of flesh
how to hold the edges
when I’m dying to see you.

But you just have to stare between
the beings to see the things
or listen behind the things
to really hear the beings
so why all this secrecy?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ascension Valentine

I forgive myself
by forgiving you
except I don’t
forgive myself
I refuse

to lift myself
off the hook
thrown back to
build a better
you who won’t

be harvested again
last night’s rain
circling and circling
the yard
the sun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beach Valentine

More into the true
we must try to go
this our way of organizing
is too dependent
on things outside

to break free
is only a willingness to work on
on ourselves from the sensory
trace lure out the names
of our first friends

and the day we promised
ourselves something
promised to do some particular thing
as soon as we grew up
and could move to that place.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Museum Valentine

Between techno and porno
a butterfly’s wings
between pretty seductions
and power games
an ant’s sharp teeth

between the young face inside
and the old face outside
from me to me

between the sound of empty cocoons
in a shadow box saved
and a thin string of sinew
on which we’re played


that music

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Darkness Valentine

If I said anything
useful please use it
if I said anything
hurtful please
forgive it

We are all drowning
trying to save one another
even though we pretend
I never saw you before
in my life

What convinces me
of love remains when
we take the mask of memory
off and enter
that dark land.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Herod's Valentine

Now I await the arrival
of one new thought
having thought all
the other thoughts
or their place-holders

their relative em-
bodiments the young
archeologist’s pleasure
reassembling Herod’s
sarcophagus one of the

innocent boys
he butchered returned
in her smile she too
awaiting the arrival
of one new thought.

Cancer Train Valentine

Let’s say this orange is the sun
falling above the speckled
banana horizon so now
the world requires a new
kind of violent farming.

Is it when the cancer train
pulls into your extremely
productive backyard you’ll
go quietly to the doctor
lying about it for dignity’s sake?

To manage such offspring
ignorance must lie down with greed
the most natural outcome
but the least workable
for a human world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tenant's Valentine

We aren’t here
when the night cleaners
sweep through the empty
hallways of our sighing
swaying bodies

trying to put things back
in their places to restore
anonymity and calm
before the tenant returns
with shovel and hose

to resume the excavation
of someone buried alive inside
when no one was watching
already a small crowd of feelings
gathered around to applaud.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Next Valentine

Someone's yelling
at someone
too far away
for me to hear
anything more than
yelling sounds
bees scything
the silence
above me
how is it one
life turns into
the next inside
out if not
with a peculiar
gesture suddenly
one’s ‘whole being’
swims out to
the middle
of the sun.

Rose Valentine

Half of life
you follow the stem
it seems so abruptly
bent toward some
sword-like bud

After whose humiliation
the leaves go on alone
recouping piece by piece
all the old furniture
for a new flowering

And on the other half
you notice how just before
it turned into a flower again
it looked back at you like Orpheus
and grinned.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Flame Valentine

Butterfly shadows roaming
coupling among leaf shadows
light flows and smoke rises
the world eager as wax
to enter the flame

O right it’s already burning
orange butterfly on yellow
chrysanthemum the green
remembering to stand
upright in the flames

Now we’ve become strangers
we who were so sick at one
time but love had us tested
and found us guilty of still
wanting love all the time.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ownership Valentine

How can I feel so wonderful
the microcosm of the world
but so far from what
I should be
when I look inside myself?

What or who
accounts for this gap
between sensual delight
and thinking alone which
cannot be all there is?

As if these thoughts were mine
that I had some ownership of the air
free to think anything and be wrong
with or without awareness
how it affects what’s true.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Palo Verde Valentine

When attention becomes attachment
becomes desire becomes despair
you know you’ve watered it enough
even if it doesn’t flower this year
you go on pruning.

A few yellow leaves
mistake your glance
for blooming
which says what about
your own bare branches?

But if you turn your head to the left
you can see the flame of stillness
burning in the silence
as if it had invented love
or was just about to.

Forest Valentine

Selective as morning and memory
must be for the grain to break
and spread through
chairs and capabilities
recalling the tree
itself a movie or a mood
of a heart or harbor
seen from moony porches
how could so much outside
not be even fuller inside
which must
have been here first
at the scene of its felling
those forest crashes sleeping
as I tiptoe in to you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Greeting Valentine

Please leave
a message
after the tone
of my life
you will have
enough time
it turns out
to offer the tone
of yours
a machine
we say when it’s
really a god
who carries love

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tearful Valentine

As if ahead of time
you knew someone’s doom
while they knew nothing
of its imminent arrival
no one could stop

shouting into the morning glory
you try to call him back
he knows you can see him
he knows nothing
more important

such morning tears
of a school boy
past my window
every morning now
for sixty years.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kitchen Valentine

My crooked little kitchen
but you don’t really see it
the pain to get it perfect
more than the whole is clear
in the faint light of morning.

Homeless everything physical
gets put out there to fall apart
while everything not physical
like thought is permanent
and stays itself forever.

Thus our crooked lives
but you don’t really see them
wandering all over the map
going backward to go forward
or going forward to go forward.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Portrait Gallery Valentine

An immodest modesty
a loveless love.

A confident humility
a joyful sorrow
a grimaced wonder.

A long-entered withdrawal
a tolerable imploding.

A loving hate
a silent opera
a loud musing.

A dangerous caution
a wonderful mistake.

A minus genius
a feel for fate.

Three Sisters Valentine

Who else can I talk to
who else could I be talking to
love memory conscience
my three adopted sisters still
haunted by perfection?

Who else is listening
who else could I be listening to
this made-up fade-out
some dividend’s
extracted from?

Who else would know
who I am speaking to
still just renting this heart
and growing ever
deeper in your debt?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Colored Shadows Valentine

When I saw the colored hall
and stood inside and walked
among the woven hues
hundreds I’d never seen before
I wanted to cry for happiness

how the angel of each color
washed my head and body
and the pillars consoled me
their forgiving shelter
from the pure call of the dome

before I could lift my head
to look at I could
see within that mind
a picture of all the minds we’ve been
and wept.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Valentine

That the world is a filthy place
that we may have killed it for good
that we become lethal to one another
that the cracked tower bell
rings fives times at nine o’clock

These incur capacities
accumulating lunar dust
which stirs when the bell
leaps up into the tower to see
what beauty’s up to

At this ungodly hour the faithful arrive
again at their abandoned shred
of truth and cling
to the power of clinging
which alone can save.