Friday, December 31, 2010

Third Christmas Card (The Sistine Madonna) Valentine

These must be the two
most sublimely solemn
faces ever painted
think what you must
to have met them and
to have painted them
at this time in their lives
even if you disregard
what the boy and mother
subsequently became
but just as a painting
the way she’s holding
him as if preparing
to pass him over to you
even knowing what
will happen next.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Second Christmas Card Valentine

A sudden burst of leaves
but if they knew the frost
was coming back
would they have bothered
in the second card
the Baptist boy has moved
from six to nine o’clock
the mother and her
son are staring at him
while he with both his hands
is tightly hanging on
to the thin crossed staff
the Jesus boy is trying
to take from him
the woman looks older here
her hair henna-dyed
her breasts heart-shaped
though the two boys look
pretty much the same.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Card Valentine

This is a history
of three gazes
that return us
to the first days
of our childhoods
the six year old
half-kneeling Baptist
boy gazes up
in wonderment at
the Jesus boy who’s
standing leaning
against his seated
mother’s knee
her left hand holding
his left arm
their gazes locked
together while he
seems to be explaining
something to her
gesturing toward
the Baptist boy
something about which
her gaze stays open
but uncertain
behind them is the
strangest garden
in the world.

Cup's Valentine

I often leave
a little of the night
before in the bottom
of my cup
you stumbled there
so I caught you
I pushed you
so I could
marriage comes as
a rediscovery of
all you rejected
but still wanted
in me
today is dark with the
stillness of deep snow
everything stopped
the drugged earth concentrating
really hard
trying to remember
its mother its daughter
wives and lovers
so far away.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Same New Valentine

Even though on the cusp of January
all the dead of the past year
gather together with all those
still to be born in the new year
for the thrilling award ceremonies
of arrival and departure
which we the living
have prepared for them
sometimes I feel
we’re all just reenacting
from different sides
with varying capacities
in multiple time-frames
the same questions
the same quarrels
over and over again
lifetime after lifetime
while the ones on this side
of the blue sky
could do anything
if they only knew what to do
facing those on the other
who watch and know
exactly what would work
but can’t lift a finger
to help or save us
except we listen to
their silent words.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Language Valentine

Fallen among thieves
of days
of leaves

in what language
is fear
death's anagram

in those days we each
had to bury our own shit
in the desert

one kick away
everyone knows this
isn't a game

shoulda won.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

GPS Valentine

When the end returns
provisionally restored
to its prior sources

you can just pick up
and get out of here
some other way

past a sign that says
without ideas

but don’t stop there
keep toward the
sea at nightfall

follow that wall
of sky that
bird graffiti

reach down
take something
with you.

Wintry Valentine

But when in the absence
of a star to illuminate
my inner world
your darkness had fully
comprehended one
perfect and winged
even if incorporeal
you stood between
the sun and moon for me
a glowing coal
because the sun was
rising on one side of you
and setting
on the other.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fortune Cookie Valentines

They say you should
look the words up
when the poem is over.

They say this is
not poetry as if they knew
what poetry was.

To be a shameless
is that what you want?

A poetry of three lines
is the shadow of a haiku
coming around a corner.

You will suffer self-imposed
restrictions but maintain
cheerful dispositions.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Tree Stripped Bare Of Its Leaves With Only the Fruit Left Hanging Valentine

Anyone who peers inside
an eaten-out pomegranate
can see how a dome
is made up of many small
planes moving in
toward one another from
infinite distances
touching and locking down
along the ribs of the
four directions
but to actually be a flat
surface bent and
membered into roundness
must be a kind of heaven
on earth or a picture
of its name.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fatherly Valentine

I remember how much
you loved to watch
The Dukes of Hazard on TV
when you were eight
back in the eighties
but catching it now
thirty years later clicking
through the channels
I feel like I should apologize
for letting you watch
such erotic material
it dawning on me only now
that’s exactly what you
liked about it
isn’t sex wonderful
we can speak as adults
or as the narrator puts it
in this episode
you know a woman
who looks like that
can’t cook
and you know I love
you always.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Suppertime Valentine

Certainly love is
the only chance we have
of ending time

time which is
always running
out for love

eat-here love
or take-out love
the space of hunger

and look there’s
still time to eat
me and drink me

to prepare a space
for the words
to come in at last.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Magic Valentine

In magic the so-called
Hyakinthos a youth
of the time
not hyacinth which is
a flower actually
and a gem orange-
colored to reddish-brown
frequently seen
but to attain an inner
contentment and forget
old sorrow you could
wear it in a ring
just as it grew up
out of his blood.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cascading Valentine

in solitaire
the ace of hearts
is the last card
to turn over
holding up
the whole deck’s
cascading collapse
so it was with you
the last turn
of the heart
so open it could
gain the loss
of everything
and still swim
to shore.

Wet Valentine

Ends today
his thinking
he’s leaving me

that’s my haiku
and I’m sticking
to spring

wetly and pungently
does spring look
back at you I doubt it

look where you’re going
if today you would end it.

Detaching Valentine

Not just how
outstanding one
can you seem
coming across
to me but I did
really see your
beautiful soul
you know before
your exile back
to where the body
unbuttons itself
one retina
one flange and disk
at a time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stirred Valentine

Slow neatness
of lives of leaves
and birds hereafter
stirred to a smooth
inconsistency until
there’s nothing left
on earth that’s
not a memory
nothing visible
at least at most
and even the great
migrations prove
among the easiest
memories to remove.

Larry's Valentine

What I was
thought of
never was
trees still
I looked up
a wasp two
doves un-
stars now
four rest
from fucking
their wings
leaves thighs
a flock of
them rises
rooftops lift
off the garbage
truck passes
us by.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Documentary Valentine

For about three hours
I watched some yellow
leaves fall sitting outside
actually 27 in all
yes I counted them
which might tell
you a little how
calm and sunny it can be
not counting a storm
two birds stirred up
so yes I lost count briefly
and had to roll the tape
back and pause
which lasted most of
the late afternoon
and into the evening.

Fall Flowering Weeds Valentine

Burdock ragwort thistle
proud inedible
rich in potassium
but if just the pollinated
blossom-heads are taken
the plants will bleed
to death among the wild
prickly lettuce nuisance
the hairy hawkweed
bitter to cattle
how many asters are there
160 species native
to North America
and the pale chicory
switching from blue
to rose according to
the soil along
roadsides and ditches.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Imperial Valentine

If from imperial shores
I had not gathered in
my regiments of devious
days and spiritual nights
and spent them all
on your face would we
not have bought that futon
one winter’s worth of
holding on to one another
nor would I now believe
I willed the whole thing
into being while playing
the part of someone
helplessly swept along.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crashes Valentine

If you hate your life
you may wind up
hating yourself more
than if poetry
isn’t working either
therapeutically enough
you may need real
molasses or something
more corrosive than
imaginary crevasses
until what’s called for finally
is a radical transmigration
of your shopping cart
your whole itinerary and
all your deleted crashes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amazing Valentine

Poetry’s got to be
at least as silly as
surfing when you think
about the waves as much
as the self-reliance
as much as you can
how it’s inescapably
never really about
what it seems to be
about but just wants to
point out something
amazing right over there
something much more
amazing than itself
its silliness here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Corrupted Valentine

When you’re a billionaire
you can treat money like glass beads
you use to trade with the Indians
for huge pieces of real estate
but you lose touch with not having
little things and with lost
satisfactions that keep you
aware of your immortality
but when you’re a billionaire
and a genius it’s both
worse and better – now
you’re willing to give away
some of your money
but only to people who
do what you say or want
greed corrupted by power
as is consistent with the gospels.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pernicious Valentine

A face
made worse
by a smile
a smile
made worse
by no
if it tilts
toward you
in a Trilby
or a hoodie
he did ride
me steady
how hard
it is to get
free of

Channel Skater Valentine

S.P. is more the village
nit-wit show-off like you
while B.O. is more the house
slave than the field slave like me
E.M. was our last ghost hope
our best new hope
isn’t even listening
hopefully Cain still
married to Abel
still in denial
and all on cable
haiku cookie tweets
late Beethoven mistaken
for Kevin Bacon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Midnight Sun Valentine

I know it’s
my own will
that gives me away
to the world
every time
makes me feel
and fall for it
every time
and I can see
how the world
would be without
your breathing
into it continually
resuscitating it all
every time
summer’s light
into winter’s
deleted nights….

Friday, December 3, 2010

Inside Valentine

Today it’s the way
you open your legs
tree I just try to
write it down don’t
take it personally
yes our curious
intelligence leads us
to the demonstration
we throw back the covers
and stare at the beautiful
bodies without love
but nothing out here
can create a space
inside me but myself
alone if I would
have my life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Landscape Valentine

The same landscape
in an icier language
as in earlier scenes
at the periphery
where it turns back
from the infinitely
distant stars but
wakening only if
you can put aside
O blossom of my
life your desire
for a while the
enchantment of
our being and
the thrall of us
as all we are.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

American Valentine

Not the wax
but the wick
not the wick
but the flame
not the flame
but the wick
not the wick
but the wax
in the 13th century
the dogma of
the trinity grasped
by school-boys
with ascending and
descending angels
like the mermaids
Columbus grasped
America always known
then forgotten about
then remembered again
whole nations murdered
when remembered
by Trinitarians.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Knives Valentine

Get over it
even if you’re
what needs getting over
no you get over it
and get over yourself
while you’re at it
they were in the booth
behind me I never
actually saw their
faces there were
earmarks of Doom
on the menu
or you could have
the cutlets of Klingsor
suddenly I noticed
their were no knives
on the tables
none in the entire city
very frustrating
but I couldn’t walk out
and I had no intention
of getting over it.

Old and Fucked Valentine

Because you’re old
and I’m fucked anyway
we can drive
right through
that red light
maybe kill us both
except they seem to know
we won’t stop
so they all stop for us
and we sail right through
but if we didn’t die there
at that intersection still
death scared the very
word right out
of our mouths
our love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sparrow Farts Valentine

These cold nights how many
sparrows come to dream in
our one orange tree and
our one pomegranate tree
to dream and poop all night
all the colors they flew
through eating the day
reduced to these black
and white runes strange
fortunes spent on bricks
I hose down afternoons
sweeping the dust
from the leaves also
and from the air
the cold the night’s
bright mask.

Lemurian Valentine

Come indoors
Plumeria it’s
too nippy out
there I can
hardly lift you
in and out
anymore reach
down you pure
white roots hoist
the ethers through
your manly branches
to the leaves’ height
sail-shaped leaves
who would have
thought you held inside
the last perfume
of Lemuria?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wedding Valentine

We want nature
neutered without
noticing nature
merely mirrors
who we are before
thinking shows
up at the wedding
the lonely outcast
the happy barbarian
the true bridegroom
so now when the dove
turns its head away
it means he’s seen you
for which you can be
truly grateful
and fly away.

Exultant Valentine

I feel a certain
exultation without
any explanation
or conceivable
or consummation either
just standing here
gazing out the window
raining in the garden
half of me helpless
enraged and fearful
the other half
heroically calm
humorous and

Triller Avenue Valentine

Sit here for a while
under this bare tree
were among your
first words to me
what could they mean
what did they want
from me
who could tell
your whereabouts
from my trilling
shaking as when
the old man
pulls the sheet away
from the naked
fifteen year old body
to know desire before
wisdom was not
the plan of good gods
that’s for sure
arguing yet again
language bottoms
for the poem
not the other
way round.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Failed Haiku Valentine

Even when old
to have some beauty
even when young
some good sense
they ran
straight at the
enemy they had to
to save their friend
are you hit or are
you just holding your
hands over your ears
three men already
have died who
didn’t want to
for days
I believe he’s
moved on
the first three
minutes are free
for new callers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wailing Thanksgiving Valentine

Out our window
the wind howls
wanting the house
the sun still
shining the trees
and buildings
swept free of
people swaying
gently lifted
by the wind
humming sad
fairy tale verses
into wails
for a new way.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remembered Valentine

You explained
yourself more
clearly how
something you
said one way
might heve been
taken another
hurtful and
alienating when
you'd wanted
to be friends
then I did
the same thing
to you saying
something to
defend you that
later seemed
cutting and cold
when I'd wanted
to take you to bed
with its overshadowing
trees and lakes beyond
the grief of ideas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Uskudar Valentine

Some countries
are orphaned
by their
parents left
with nothing
caught between
wanting to be
loved and wanting
to be forgotten
the great fountains
of sadness
that feed
their sheep.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Suitcase Valentine

He would always
leave his suitcase
parked by the door
opened and piled
with tossed clothes
no other place
to put it in the
small packed
apartment for
those short visits
sleeping on her
long couch or
together knees
tucked up
watching movies
he loved
thinking of himself
in the third person
her in the first

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hardly Valentine

Like you I
am one of those
green and lucky ones
to have everything
I’ve ever wanted
and hardly known
what to say or do
in its presence
like you like now
my eyes draw
a line from the blood
on the bricks (pomegranate
juice) to the poor
plumeria (forced into
a climate both too hot
and too cold)
to the birds chirping
(gathering overhead)
to the newborn stars.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stalker Valentine

People think because
no one’s stalking them
they’re not being stalked
one day I used your name
when speaking to myself
I wasn’t pretending either
but had somehow entered you
it was momentarily confusing
is that how I look at you
does someone who signs
their name over and over
lose their sense of shame
without which worthless
is nothing or everything?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Triage Valentine

The only remaining
question on earth
is what help to give
where and how much
and how to be
a reliable witness
in the midst of it
to your own life or not
but if you grow up
in a harsh scene
you can get addicted
to bitterness and need
to recreate it in later life
life’s fractal that way
is one of my favorite songs
how small things huddle
together on cold nights
but your heart never freezes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Traveling Valentine

Traveling slowly down
that green and yellow
road you need to eat
the road as you go
leaving behind you
only the dried focus
of the road the flowers
the houses as if
they never existed
you have so absorbed them
until the whole vine
is eaten and you hang there
waiting for your wings.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Empty Valentine

May the heart
hunt on
but the mind
is an empty landscape
except you visit it
with your safari
of eyes and hands
once or twice a day
bodies feast on bodies
when they can
even here way out
in the sticks of love
where only the
raving lives on.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Makes Empathy So Scary Valentine

One doesn't have to be a Sigmund
to recognize the way aggression
works generally in service to
the repression of sexual fears
which fears underlie and drive
all nationalism and sports cultures
a big part of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
these are mostly arenas in which male
and female aggression bully and intimidate
and induct their members into the Man Is
(Just Another) Animal Club
aggression is the ultimate sexy
always a turn-on and most of
the United States is still pretending
to be a teenager a high school drop-out
trying to live without feelings or thoughts.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silent Valentine

The complete summer silence
that happens one morning
in the middle of summer
when almost nothing is heard
hushed birds hidden in foliage
is followed soon enough
by the complete autumn silence
that happens one morning
in the middle of autumn
when absolutely nothing moves
everything in the world
dead or asleep or in a trance
the trees still full of leaves
a call coming from far away.

Vigil Valentine

Now there’s just me
and the plastic owl
sitting on the roof
waiting for Minerva
goddess of fading
the owl’s gotten
stuffed with used
kitty litter to keep
him stable lord
knows what stability
I contain or how
it all gets processed
into me sometimes
or to what effect
I’m compelled to be
still obsessed with you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moon-Flower Valentine

When did you last see
the moon-flower
not the sunflower
nor the mayflower
though they too
bloom by day
but the cloudy moon-flower
ghost-flower waving
by the side of the road
back to the sun
each seed a hook
catching the days
the lonely shadow-flower
your very own?

Better Valentine

Wouldn’t a better valentine
always have room
for a flower
or a sissy
or a great mind
or a face being
thrown across
a broken threshold
the false inclusiveness
of good and evil
is due to its fugitive
nature and means
no harm
keep to the rhythm
sweet heart
not the beat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Academic Valentine

Do facts defend themselves
or wait to be discovered
how can otherwise
brilliant minds assert
matter alone is real
when just to say so
proves its falsity
thinking’s already
a spiritual fact
as true as anything
in the material world
to deny the simple logic
of this inescapable conclusion
often out of fear of religion
and call that science
boggles and annoys
get over it boys.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Valentine Driven into a Valve of the Heart

Am I finally
beginning to feel
the fluidity of it
all and how it
all flows together
and gets fucked-up
everything that exists
forgive me you mothers
out there but then
it all gets restored yes
evaporated into
memories of a
future perception
of the well-being
of all things.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Good People's Day Valentine (formerly All Saints Day)

I need to find someone good
among the so-called dead
to be my friend and sponsor
so that when I relapse
higher than average chance
back into believing in
this so-called world alone
they can calm me talk
me down with stories
based on our earlier lives
convince me it really was
all about me (and you) all along
me as God-All (including you)
or as my mother would ask
her little Lucifer my brother
so who made you God-All King
of the world?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Souls Night Valentine

Sometimes I will do
something wrong
just to prove I still can
the dire pleasure of it
knowing the stench
that follows
this often happens
to an older part of
my childhood which I’ve
carefully preserved
mummified through
reformations and
revolutions a holy relic
a weakness behind
my weakness the dead
come back to warn me of
they know what would help
but can do nothing directly
while I have no idea what
to do but all the will
in the world to do it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fictional Valentine (for Eileen Myles)

Not sunlight
but starlight
so much more
precise camera
work requires
by children
and prisoners
who alone love
poetry and have
it read to them
all night
as they toil
and shine
out of the endless
books of poetry
being written

Stations of Men and Women Valentine

A station is a stop
where you stand
and wait on the way
I have often waited
for a woman or a man
to catch up or leave
that other child for me
when suddenly I thought
they were stationary
station-like with
brief or longer stops
at each some underground
a hand in your
each turned away
but I have waved
where I could not stop
was that my stop?

Friday, October 29, 2010

What The Sun Touches It's That Time Valentine

One red pomegranate
hangs in the sun
still dripping from
multiple stab wounds
such things
go undisguised
among the listening
and the dead
we sense
a sea of light
behind that first
thought-thin layer
they use to cover
things up with
breathing light.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Suppositional Valentine

If I was black
I would be able
to be gay
if I was gay
I would be able
to be deaf
if I was deaf
I would be able
to be beautiful
if I was beautiful
I would be powerful
if I was powerful
I would be white
if I was white
I would be responsible
for everything
if I was responsible
for everything
I would be stupid
if I was stupid
I would be
a lot like you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Owl's Valentine

Look up look up
the owl’s on the roof
befriended by pigeons
I’m at the monkey pants bar
reading Nietzsche
having a beer
waiting for you
where did you go
no that’s not true
I’m recovering
from Nietzsche
and no I’m not
having a beer
I’m having a cold
glass of water
sitting outside
today was human
some sun and breeze
the moon is just now
moving down our street
looking for you
where did you go?

Beyond Valentine

One has to change
to hang with me
only to grow
younger will the
ignoble man become
worthy friendless
and chamois-like
only our own good
did evil bring
for love to get past
but now you must leave
these high mountains
friend who overreaches
so a god can step down.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

William James Valentine

The world (is) over live
with Edmundo Montoya
we watch on Sunday nights
though I think the current
pope is a little creepy
it’s not football but
the dead sea scrolls
that shed new light online
for example on Christmas Day
when she was 24 years old
she was sent to a leper colony
(experience cannot entirely relate
to our craving for abstraction)
and as each of her five children
was born they were taken
from her and on some gold tablet
it was all written down.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Unemployment Valentine

What is my real job anyway
the job I was born for and into
except they don’t have
that job anymore in fact
maybe that job never existed
or if it did was outlawed
civilizations ago
anyway who would want
that job now today
that job any job
if it’s done for money
it’s still slavery isn’t it
wake up!

Angel's Valentine

For no one’s pleasure
but my angel’s
do I sit here
breaking lines
it’s the poem’s way
of attention-seeking
of showing off when
you’re trying to talk
to someone else
for a change
so it’s a shock when you
look away how quickly
almost passive-aggressively
the physical world
snaps back into place
when the poem dies.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Falling Maple Leaf Rag Valentine

In the middle of
the pendulum
at the end
of the millennium
there are several
sidetracks to tackle
but physics is simply
something excreted
by the spirit which
the soul poor soul
must be what
labors endlessly
to turn us into
compost poured
on dead soil.

Actor's Valentine

A sparrow ducks down
when an orange butterfly
flies too near its head
then fiercely hurries off
in spurts strangely like
a swimmer doing
the butterfly stroke
but we kept filming
this scene over and over
until the sparrow
had to be hospitalized
and the director
arrested for holding
a butterfly hostage.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scorpion's Valentine

Indigo time of day
time to sit and pray
what time is that for you
not religious pictures
that’s already over
more like that ancient
humming sound between
the spheres we corrupted
into aum and sex
so now it takes four
or five hours of hard
concentration to produce
ten to fifteen seconds
of true silence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Second Full Moon In Aries Valentine

And like gold which
is always waiting to be seen
waiting to be seized
as if from another world
that gilting only perfected
by the sun as it enters
or leaves this world which
only the highest
icons could achieve
could you imagine such
creatures such fierceness
living inside you
a gold mind
a mind of gold
and everything you touch
a human wish.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Manly Valentine At The Fish Balloon Parade

Involved in oblivion as we are
when you say flying dragon carp
do you mean flying human crap
as if consciousness weren’t more
than a positive mental attitude
however panicked it may be
to be a kayak in the rapid vowels
of desire who at last finds peace
transfigured by the maelstrom
of himself beached beyond reach
where finally the mind lies down
unwilling and/or unable
to go past understanding
and so gets left behind.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anton's Ass Valentine

What is this purity
and what is the purpose
of being in its presence
of course with stones
the builder wants the purest
geometry to work
but in our human hearts
we miss the calm
of being without a body
knowing it must exist somewhere
as the happy opposite of us
the first two times
it was taken from me
but the third time
I gave it up myself
out of my own free will.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Worldly Valentine

Come fall I like to sprinkle
a little bone-meal
on my neck and shoulders
rub a little iron on
my chest and thighs
to calm the sulphurous clouds
built up by summer’s
torrid waking-dreams
I am the world
the world c’est moi
and yes I can still see
you’re dying O earth
of your own kind of AIDS
and yes that I must
someday somehow
go on without you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adam's Valentine

If you think way back
before Adam became
Adam and Eve
so the story goes
Eve had already
been plucked
bedded by an Elohim
an even more connected
being than Yahweh
later proved to be
(sadly Adam afterwards
conflated these events
always feeling Eve
betrayed him
even before they’d met)
but Cain was her firstborn
a fire that came up
from the center of the earth
as much as from above
people could see him coming
and could take him
seriously all jazz and
baseball like the spring
he became Osiris and
then later Persephone
then you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Atheist's Valentine

In my purely theoretical soul
I can feel all of it the full
animal weight of what
the heart demands and
what the heights attain
but is thinking a curse
better to live with the birds
in our steeples than harbor
masters we know not of
in my purely theoretical brain
I perceive a long desperate
loneliness sitting alone up here
much to the expense
and humiliation of all
my other parts down there.

Knight's Valentine

There’s that unaccountability
in all human communication
and some clear authority besides
but did you say knight
without amour or knight
without armour
people laying down
on the tracks to stop the trains
during the revolution in Russia
people hanging from the boxcars
struggling to escape
show me your hands
the hands of a woman
who never worked
a day in her life
a countess imagine
people being pushed
this way and that
we’ve all been through
a great strain a younger man
who loves you kills himself
to distract the guards
so you can escape
only to fall immediately
into the hands of the
local police and
then you phoned
the footage regressing
to silent Marlene I was
listening to you it was
1938 our lives weren’t
watching us and we were
hardly even getting ready
to be born.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Just Wrong Valentine

Thirty years ago I would drive
a long way to the city for sex
and spiritual development
but now I prefer being wrong
all the time and living among
those who want to stay wrong
no one here is ever alone
though no one feels
they really belong
our only crime is love
and we commit it every day
out in the open fields
some call us the holy criminals
of love a couple for hire.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Recovery Valentine

The morning’s holy secret
gradually reveals itself
in the criminal history
of the afternoon sun
spent mostly preparing
for evening to relapse
there’s no such thing
as recovery unless
you count the midnight
hour’s hairpin turning
the nymphs and sirens
singing sweetly of love
it all working on you
little to your credit.

Forgotten Valentine

One day all we’ve gone and done
will be weighed up by forty-two
green caterpillars who’ll become
forty-one orange fritillaries
who became eighteen
individual fragrances
who sit on the thrones
of their gods in animal forms
judging if we took up
whatever they gave us
continuing the work
they started or would we
really have to undergo
the punishment of another
great and primordial soul.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tuneful Valentine

A tune in my head
turned out to be
a wound in my heart
which turned into
a bloody gap
in my thought system
but what explains
the wounds on my feet
the bleeding toes
who’ve clearly taken
a wrong turn
on a long road
downwards and inwards
‘righty tighty’
but if you love the morning
then you love the fall
nothing it’s like waking up
a morning in fall.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cupid's Valentine

To live at the gate
of not knowing you
with a bowl in
one hand and
a sign in the
other saying
what surprized me
wasn't Venus really
the holy body as such
it was Cupid stupid
where would she be
without his careful
stabbing at you
without those
scars tattooing
your whole body?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cable Valentine

Excuses begone
run for your life
Nancy is sewing
a bull is riding
sex slaves in
the suburbs
25 greatest
sleep numbers
will rescue you
from untold
stories of the E.R.
20th century
lockdown chefs.

Private Valentine

Private as a snail
in a field of masks
where was I attending
some hierarchy on a hill
I saved the rain water
for the bird-bath
so few beauties left
the old mother tree
stripped bare
which would have been
enough time
but man is such a phony
whose whole game
is getting off.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Exiled Valentine

In our time love
was buried alive
perfectly preserved
or maybe merely sleeping
I couldn’t tell which
when the curtain
was briefly lifted
all I could take in
was that beauty
naked on the bed
if those eyes had
seen me they would
have swallowed me up
but as it happened
I was simply exiled
to this earth.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cool Valentine

On the first
cool day
I open
if one
then all
the windows
what comes
to us
isn’t fall
after the heat
but a second
spring no
virgin now
these are not
the sixties
these are the
dateless days
when the world
dissolves back
into the hearts
from which
it poured
in a breath
of trees.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dodgy Valentine

Dodging homeless bodies
dodging raindrops
on a wet dark street
the beautiful graveyard
of the world the sound
of someone digging
someone pounding in
a stake from time
to time him or her
the engineer of this
old dream perhaps
taking readings
of the granite fields
around the heart.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Message Valentine

Please leave me
a message
at the sound
of the sea
or if you’re
in the mood
at the crack
of the moon
or it drags
you up or
it brings it on
in the dark
everyone touches
everyone else
please leave me
a shore-line
and I’ll be calm.

Hard Valentine

Ultimately I expect
a successful outcome
to everything
accompanied by
the usual disclaimers
a harmony hacked out
musically despite
personal abhorrence
which would probably
surprise their objects
should they become
known to them
who doesn’t want
to be perfect
that’s a hard one.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Story Valentine

As soon as they
emerge they mate
even with one still
drying off barely awake
they stick it in anyway
sometimes flying off
one hanging from another’s
ecstasy (imagine
three year old humans
having babies)
but this is how things
are done here and has
nothing to do with love
which as we can feel
for ourselves
comes much earlier
in the story.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Little Valentine

Do I am
have I wait
such you as
was no waste
for wall’s remain
unget it never
can’t to can
stand sentenced
sham head given
roll retained
drum riven
was I will
wrung in you

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cowardly Valentine

Her name is Pain
Ms Pain Shoulder
and no she isn’t
from Colorado
but there are several
other places she’s been
and more she plans
to visit possibly stay
a while stretched out
under the sea-lit sun
no way she’s done
with traveling frolicking
or me though I have raved
how much better you
could offer her
your looks and youth
the unspent treasure
of her touching you.

The Evolution of Reality Valentine

When I looked up
from your face
all I could see
was harp-shaped
clouds marching
in rows over the
cobalt carpet sky
do you ever think
of the cosmos as
another busy street
we must jaywalk across
to get to the photo archives
let’s go from facts to process
not the other way around
the evolution of reality
absolutely depends on sleep
since even when we’re awake
most of the time
we spend dreaming
wandering in and out of
the island of the dead
who watch us closely
everything we do
but completely without
blame or judgment.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Harvest Moon Valentine

Last night I had a dream attack
when my heart stopped breathing
but I’d saved the last rain water
of summer to pour over my feet
on the first full moon of fall
or something like that almost
thereby narrowly aborting
the usual sequences mandelbroting
my mellow masturbating
my manumission
so yes I admit
I’m a cult in respect
of love and loneliness
my celibate other half
running around the yard
hedge blade in hand.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturn's Valentine

It was my father
who first taught me
to steal
by never leaving me
any lunch money
so I had to tiptoe
past him every morning
to rifle his pants
thrown over a chair
or slipped down on
the floor that
naked man on
the bed drunk
next to my mother
about whom I cared
as little as he did me
my first experience
of fear and shame
so crushed down

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Valentine

Like any harried
people fleeing
their own murderous
under a full moon
a finely balanced sun
seven gulf
fritillary emerged
from their shrouds
all within an hour
of that morning
fell to flying
in circles round
one another
a drawing of joy
a really crazy joy
or maybe just
the flow patterns
of a new body
waiting to be you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Captive Valentine

My question is
if we can grow
faster than we’re
being eaten
if we can run
faster than we’re
being beaten
if the world is
like a plant whose
leaves are being
daily disappeared
by an enormous and
beautiful caterpillar
do we just lie there
crowded with ourselves
weeping and laughing
buried alive?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Equinoctial Valentine

Not all birds bathe
regularly nor fear
the water some
finches some sparrows
flick their tails
tossing drops up
onto their heads
and breasts one time
a starling baptized
himself the only one
and once completely
alone an orange
butterfly descended
fluttering above
the scum then
sat and sipped
till it was done.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eventual Valentine

After certain preliminary exchanges
the death rehearsals can begin
in the dream mind dioramas
of each littlest one of us
so eventually we have to move
next door to ourselves trying
hard to be good neighbors
by ignoring as many clues
as possible which if you remove
the concept of ‘too late’
the whole pedestal crumbles
and in the shadow lines
for a few clear seconds
you get to see the scaffold
underpinning everything
and holding it all together
the bodies piled there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Only Two Religions Valentine

Dammit people there can
only be two religions
only two gods in the world
at any one time
only two essential ideas
freedom and love
whatever else you name them
you just have to reboot
from there to get
anywhere past yourself
because of the literal
forms into which the
free will abstractions
have shattered
which brings us to
the true spirit
of things which
if what I’m doing
is a loving thing
only right then
was I free.

Leftover Valentine With Wings

Leftover from another world
like so much of nature seems today
this huge erect sap-green
caterpillar with fine
red and black stripes
on every knee-cap
turns out to be a horned
tobacco moth wearing
a worn houndstooth suit
a stylish undertaker
with a nightshade habit
on the side and though
he’s the one with wings
it turns out that
may not solve everything.

Somewhere Valentine

Somewhere between
a cartoon and a nation
somewhere between
a photograph and a freeway
in some part of Brooklyn
or Prague I’ve never been
feeling my way backwards
and forwards in time
I arrived at this look
on your face just
at the moment of
understanding something
of finally getting it
when it could go either way
museum-quality melancholy
or incredulous grin
but for now the colors
hold your stare still there
letting me remove
your underwear.

Computer Valentine

My computer crashed
last week talk about
a death in the family
yet how can it happen
no matter who we are
no exceptions we get
to smell death coming
right out of our own body
at least two or three times
a day and still not believe
it not accept
how we’re all tied
to the earth by
everything we need
to relinquish and deny?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rose Madder Valentine

This grass
is a pretty good
picture of the soil
but the soil is a pretty
poor picture of the past
that past which tried
too hard to come up with
true pictures of the soul
basing them all
on the wrong color sense
before green or blue
become visible to us
when we lived as dreamers
under a rose madder sky
with a little violet
at dawn or sunset
thrown in.

Turning Valentine

Will you keep turning
the plant in the window
for me when I'm gone
when the leaves bend out too far
toward the sun
turn it away from the light
so the leaves can swivel slowly
back to where it needs you
to turn it again
so it stays well-formed
and self-respectingly upright
not a slave to the sun
nor a dupe to the window
nor a victim of indifferent nights
but as it would flourish
in nature if it hadn't
been forced inside or
I wasn't gone so long.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Twin Towers Valentine

In my mammoth puny efforts
to enter eliminate alleviate
the darkness the hiding
the shadows the fading
I try hard not to
remember to forget
the true false sources
of the colors the lights
of irreducible existence
needing inventing the world
in order to overturn it
who would have dreamed
the heart could love
infinite numbers
and three dimensions
more than itself
or the art of loving
more than life itself?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Safe Valentine

That you can weep at all
and movingly with me
about those lost days
lets me see how far
we've come back from them
though I still don't
understand how recovery
necessarily leads to
anything transcendent
penitent or proud
a wounded private
returned from the war
for his own soul with the beast
returned to tell the tale
shriven and brilliant
and still not safe.

If 'Thought Is The Father' Valentine

If 'thought is the father
of feeling' then feeling
is the mother of will
unruly child of restless time
ordering and destroying
adoring and expelling
but what fold of the brain
requires I collect
my thoughts into a series
or necklace I could
make for you merely
like the brain itself
reflecting something
working down into it
comforting thoughts
no one can think my thoughts
except my thoughts
think me and when you
wear me around your neck
they'll pull on your will
so full of feeling
and caught thoughts
as are only mine
with yours.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Indigo Valentine

Last night’s dream
pursued through
the whole next day
me I meant to say
the me I omitted
as if I was the pursuer
but you know where
indigo leads
sorry salamander
a sudden flick
of hose caught you
it wasn’t supposed
to be this way
between us
slip me again
my first tongue
forked and ready
to kiss the world.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Put This To Music Someone Please Valentine

Matter is whatever
wants to take up space
I have no room
for spiritual ideas
if the soul is time
pour me a line
I have some feelings
I can’t forsake
I have some thoughts
that won’t relate
crooked fences cast
crooked shadows
I will love you forever
I will love you for now.

Sentenced Valentine

If my heart ever mends
you’ll just break it again
a sunny sprinkling of rain
more sound than salvation
some knowledge won’t
be forced to show up
we must finally disown
our intelligence as a second-
storey man or foolish virgin
if you can’t feel the movement
resting in the form of the cloud
you’ll never understand
death and resurrection
like two horses sleeping
in a fog that mute

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thanks Frank Valentine

Frankly I believe
Frank O’Hara ruined
poetry forever in the best
of all possible ways simply
by taking off its clothes
and then running over to it
with a drink in each hand
poetry was growling like a cat
something about you must meet
Morton Feldman’s music
music’s final foreskin
and then I will take you home
to one of our many houses
one of our many rooms
and fuck you silly
so that now all my novenas
happen in parking lots
and on ocean liner
dance floors far
far from harbors Frank
where we are fucked
and can’t go home
except you’re there.

Thank You Valentine

Or yes anyway
my door is always
ajar for you a few
I can only move
my thanks by pointing
to what of their mystery’s
rubbed off on me
or relieved me of
if first do no harm
be left to the professionals
we’ll get no further than
first be responsible for
yourself which is an idea not
a thing that can actually
be accomplished by yourself
I keep telling myself that
whatever that means.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weeping Valentine

On the last hot days
of brutal September
when wars break out often
on earth and in heaven
I can’t keep the bird-bath
full enough the way
the sky fairly bristles
and burps with birds
and the half-baked
pomegranates weep
dreaming of Cezanne
or Ramon Navarro in
The Pagan is it
or these blue irises
sweet but soon
perished when we
who would be
with them pray
to be taken down from
our high crosses
and woken up again
after the gas chamber
and the bombs
and the strange growling
from the house next door
to live on past winter
into another sun.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Byzantine Valentine

New windows open on
old spaces I had no idea
Apollo founded your city
just like Jamestown
Megara versus Athens
as in those days
all wars were local
and purely economic
no matter how many
Euclids there were
nor had I any idea where
Virgil stopped to die
of fever where Eupalinos
the engineer dug his
famous water tunnel
open at both ends
nor how the diatribes of
Bion of Borysthenes raged
on for how many summers
or the literary circle at the court
of Antigonus II Gonatas
nor that impiety is the
companion of credulity
avarice the metropolis
of vice
nor that sorrow
is not cured by baldness

nor how much I love
to say those old names
over and over and to
conjure up those faces.

Labor Day Valentine

In the house of helmets
I stood with my hands
on my head being
as I was felt-up
by a cold piece
of shrapnel what is
the origin of that
can you picture
the heads they
were filled with
one face read
beware young folks
your fathers ripped
you off several items
from each war
I can feel them in
the room around us
having gotten so used
to us beating them
they can only sob
and moan.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Like The Love For A Clean House Valentine

Mostly the brain looks
like a pile of intestines
or a pile of naked bodies
so interwoven there’s
no unmarveling them
if you look closely
what we’ve got here are
furrows that keep migrating
a depression lasting
a million years
blank periods until
new hands can make new
weapons to tear down
the old brain
which back in the day
had to be drilled
from the ocean floor
and only slowly
floated to the surface
and carefully set in place.

Background Valentine

The man in the fake Rolex
looks cooler in the cartoon
how much of a hook
should a c word have
the c in receive
or when the mouse
screams Ticonderoga
in sight of the cat
one can start
with a violet sea
a green rock or
a ray of light
whatever can
come in later as
a path of departure
the darkness off
to one side.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mauve Valentine

A light-hearted sadness
led you to my bed
a dark-minded gladness
kept you bled
another warm ego
whose skin I could shed
I could touch it everywhere
I could wear it out
in every sense
I could throw it away
and think of the past
as everything thrown away
the present as us
sorting anxiously
through mountains
of garbage for that
accidentally discarded
future I think it was
mauve you think?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bone Valentine

What bone does poetry
want to pick with you
what bone does it want
to please

but if you’ve stopped
whatever you’re doing
unimportant or otherwise
to read these few words

how much more than
a fortune it means
you’re already happy

already wise and won’t
be hurried along there’s
still time for small things
even for nothing at all.

First Light In The Last August Piazza Valentine

Premature disambiguation
of the light do some research
in the midrash usually precedes
grapefruit and coffee on the lawn
or taken from behind or on the run
can we the deported peoples
of malnourished Europeans
think clearly about
our own fallen futures
in this most physically
presentable of countries
inside the bubble of perception
the reliability of corruption
the assurance of our deaths
the heirs of all our actions?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Driving Valentine

I’m often sitting waiting
for the panic to catch up
with me always just one
step behind its stalking
what is the greatest
experiment still not
even as a prejudice
in the world this enduring
hatred of poor people
virulent Poorism I call it
goes back to the beginning
mother of all metaphors
embedded in wars
I mean who kills starving
women and children
as they were fleeing
the bombs?

Not Much Good Yet But Enthused About Life Valentine

A true masochism
would arrange
to disappoint everyone
one at a time
refute all expectation
nationality and name
don’t you have to be free
to be a little dynamic
I mean a little demonic
if no one else is at first
in painting it’s simpler
to say when you’re just
using black and grisaille
to stand in for all color
to catch it while working
hard on what you’ve never
experienced before.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Palm Valentine

You palm tree
with your great wind power
trying to carry my dreams out
past the sun

snapping in the wind
you sheets my mother
wrung and hung you
flags of glory folding

and snapping in the wind
bringing the whole sky
to cat-like attention
casting off birds

planes clouds you
west light half done
you cold white sheets
smelling of the sun.

The Year Of The Lord’s Favor Valentine

The tip of your cock
is so wet I wish
I spoke Spanish
when will equality
of survival Jesus
asked for be done
in one afternoon
a dream a journey
a drop of dragon’s blood
whenever I open
my mouth I prove
words are liars
take the shaft
of my pen in your fingers again
you who have written me down.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shriveled Valentine

What is this
head tilted
smiling silver
gray sky for
dear mother
morning rain
may you no more
into ambition
stray a devotee
of chaos
but sever me
from all drivel
spittle and spunk
that I may wake
awake even
if shriveled.

How Much Valentine

The way gay folks
and black and
Hispanic folks and
poor and white
rich folks constantly
are watching one
another everyone
secretly vigilant
careful fearful
that’s how I love you
shyly and without
apparent remorse
and whenever I need
them my weapons
are all hidden
locked up
at home
and no matter how much
time I really have
to write them
after I write them
these last lines
it always feels like
I’ll be taken out
and shot.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paul's Valentine

I said your prayers for you
the prayers of your religion
the words I remembered hearing
you say them over and over
was that your religion
the repetition itself
thinking the sounds
and colors of the words
could be consciously creative
and subject to your will
if you make me change
I’ll make you pay for it
we would say to one another
you were my brother
but I was only pretending
to be your brother.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Runway Valentine

Overactive bladder
is not a normal part
of life unless that’s
your style I don’t
know what to tell
you why else
would anyone
send a diaper
down the runway
with a man in it
let me paint it
on your stomach
a dress that doesn’t
just mask odors it
knows when to
stop being one
hot shitty mess.

Two Mourning Doves Sleeping In The Middle Of The Street Valentine

When I slap your ass
it’s because I’m coming
to follow your rhythm
forever and have made
allowances for the bawdy
and natural embarrassments
that accompany the voyage
and that you can still blush
means you’re not an animal
not because you’re too good
but because your cover’s
been blown I know what
you look like like a bad
movie with Giovanni
Ribisi in it can’t be all bad
I think I’ll paint the whole house
the same color floor to cielo
a new light shade of grin.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tapas From My Angel Valentine

And what isn’t unfinished
about us we leave to the others
we’ll become as soon as we’re good
and ready like any reasonable poet
who works out every day especially
when he doesn’t feel inspired
just to show who’s boss
that athletic attitude
of soul but from another point
of view one who wants to cultivate
a certain connection with the will
the word as thought and self
the colors as the heart
the continuous work
of copying and painting it all in
on this small time frame.

Glimpsed Valentine

To lay the stone
of the heart
into the heart
of the stone
and for a gem
to flower
what high
pleasure has
a tourmaline
for a body
the corpse
of a thought
as when pulling
my shirt off
over my head
in the sun
I glimpsed some
one else sliding
out of my body
like being turned
inside out
that school girl
I keep seeing
my angel.

End Of Messages Valentine

in the yard
traders in the pit
all as usual the last
few days before he died
but what if creation wasn’t
assisted by sexual attraction
where would all that scratching
go if there was no
sexual attraction anymore
what would fill that
enormous pain
where the last
surrender set out one day
to find where
real warmth lies
and to return with it
intact and virgin
in the form of
a phantom

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Individual Valentine

My interest in poetry
is restricted almost entirely
to the experience
of the individual poet
the individual truth
of significant and
insignificant beings
yet to be united within
the stream of existence
which poetry encloses
and opposes and which
we who were born of
Elohim and humans barely
children themselves
we mythic poets and
lame queer faltering
ones without whom
you all would hardly have
made it even this far
left to your own devices
don’t look now but
we’re still the secret
agents of the word
the old mysteries bestowed
still available but now
only individually received
individually deposed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Edible Valentine

Vaguely I sense
this trembling as my own
the walls always blinking
green blushes yellow-pink on
the manly pomegranate tree
whose fruit I’ve trimmed
to ten specially chosen
accomplices on whom bestowed
innumerable embarrassments
and many gem-like intuitions
for them to work on and develop further
to be edible is my only personal goal
manured watered promising self
that whatever beings feel
hungry enough to eat these
seeds these tiny deeds of mine
may be pleased to do so
and find them mostly sweet.

Questioning Valentine

How few know
and of those who know
how many act
on what they know

questions for the wealthiest materialists
offset by the same small number
of truly spiritual thinkers

our neighbors are both braver
and more evil than we had ever
imagined he shouted silently
to himself

do we really want to know how
many of us hold vengeance
in our hearts or how goodness
untested ain’t no goodness at all?

Aubade Valentine

Among the properties
of yellow is a merciful blue
discovered in the darkness
where the roots turn white
is it from fright buried alive
but the first born of the light
is yellow pale pink pale green
but then they all sail out
toward that impossible blue
exhausted exalted

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Violence is the Religion of Materialism Valentine

First we must caress
the totally mindless violence
of our whole human family
its entire history of hatred
repeatedly winning out over
even the stingiest kindness
we must kiss this violence
as we would our enemy now
made friend and neighbor
and turn and think again
about those without food
or water so vividly
so even artistically feel
their discomfort becomes
our urgent demand
most urgent because
unheard pleading
pleas please.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Valentine's Return

A childhood busted
with watching reality
shows on TV being
recalled in a future life
by a mother who doesn’t
renounce you anymore
than her other sons and
daughters from the past
who pray for guidance
and blush when they
receive it and don’t want
anymore of that sickness
that love sickness
the monarchs
floating out over
the purple field
at two in the afternoon
above the town
centuries of the traffic
of pilgrims and now
skaters grinding ollies
on hydrants or napping
under the willow trees.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whoever Wants It Valentine (To Jess)

I’m waiting
for the lines
to come to me
the way the world
is waiting for a god
any god
to come to it
to save it
from itself
(the cushions are still
dripping from last
night’s rain)
except that now
my penmanship’s
improved I’ve
nothing to send
you but an
empty page
whereon I’ve
written so much
love and thanks
there’s no room
left for words.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bipolar Valentine

I feel happy for you
that love’s a deity or
a default of daily life
but I’m still stuck
angry and stupid
and totally pissed
with myself a lot
of hours not ours
got honed pumping water
at the sink in aesthetic
grandma’s house
I have only a vague idea
what that would mean
if the pope himself
won’t do penance and change
one doesn’t have to be
clairvoyant to know oneself
as the Greeks penetrated
frequently striving
but to hold up to no one
not a mirror or a clear
image of yourself.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nursing Home Valentine

A persistent vegetative
existence augmented by
a voracious animal libido
inside a mineral will
here no one gets
out of bed unless
they’re dead
years of staying well
so they can deteriorate
over longer periods of time
skeletal pretzels
one fell and rolled
to his death
what does it mean to
say I don’t want to be
the one who feeds them
wipes their behinds?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Empty Valentine

A box thrown over
the fence labeled
but the box is empty
as the body is
and the building for
that matter
so who ordered
this life supply
of empty space
the box body
its potential for biking
and ball-busting
slowly the box
fills up with dusk
is that you returning
can I have my body
back you go
what box I ask.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yesterday's Valentine

To know
that I know you
in the sense of
not believing
in my own ignorance
that I’ve known you
too long not to know
you too well to speak
to myself that way
took years of conscious
projection that you
put yourself through
it and consented to it
moves me still
many things done
wrongly or left undone
every year of the life
you loved me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

To Be Completed Valentine (for E.E.)

The mineral is about contraction
the plant is about expansion
the animal is about migration
the human is about aggravation
the mineral is about rumination
the plant is about conversation
the animal is about salivation
the human is about expiration
the mineral is about divination
the plant is about hallucination
the animal is about idealization
the human is about incarceration
the angel is about liberation
the mineral is about…

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saguaro's Valentine

My saguaros don’t love
the heat anymore
than I do they’ve
simply learned to
defeat it every day
to stand there like
St. Sebastian letting
the sun use them
for target practice
though they know
they’re outnumbered
their arms can only resist
as a way of waving time away
if nothing else with them
it’s elegant and simple
there’s inside and outside
there’s roots and stars
what else would serve?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unpainted Valentine (for Elizabeth)

After forty years of watching
those painting shows on TV
just for a little amusement
where always the same cadmium yellow
sunset is being brushed in by the same
old man’s hand how can that be
I took up painting
for weeks I’d been haunted
by a pair of gray celadon eyes
I tried to hold on to
not from lust but amazement
at the sheer achievement
of those pearls yellow blue green
laid down in thin lines
around lacquered black
expanding centers
and I wanted to paint them
but for my first masterpiece
to warm up as it were
I tried to sketch in abstract
what true social renewal
would look like in chalk
on Japanese paper almost
in the form of a school girl
if the bomb hadn’t fallen
stretching out her hand
vaguely held up by a blue
hydrangea because I hadn’t
mentally practiced
my brush strokes nearly
enough for eyes yet.

Romeo's Valentine

I’m sin-blind
all my sins are even-steven
give me my sin again

it looks like hammerhead
and hummingbird country
coast city drawn

Romeo thought all
for the best he says so
to his fading friend

now Shakespeare’s far
enough away to sound like
the original comic books

he signed it pale as any clout
in the versal world
servant to Juliet’s nurse

hoarse bondage
is but a little way
above our heads.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Angelina's Valentine

Isn’t Angelina
Jolie just one of the
best impersonations of Persephone
we’ve seen in a long time or what sweeping
through airports through crowds of gaping mortals
a small flock of five year olds in tow reprising her role
as the winged victory or the angel at the prow of our sinking ship
I think she’s brave
or stands for bravery
or something like it
I say that as a father
I say that not as a father
I say that at a safe distance
from fame.

Familiar Liar Valentine

The task today
is to accomplish
children something
totally vengeful
toward the past
but still of one’s own
unique devising
not you yourself as day
never seen before
but some proof
preferably handmade
you were and are still
living in some
idea on a piece of paper
or some familiar mood
or wood or woody
if woody could.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Skyped Valentine

What to wear is
something that won’t
explode in seconds
the smallest armor
can produce the saddest
psychic couplings
but what’s as manhandled
as your heart anyone
both deceptive
and telepathic
(her squeaky verse
in her squeaky voice)
you’re not even trying
to be nice
you’re nice naturally
waiting quietly
for the most silent moment
to step out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Arthur's Valentine

As a poet to get past
the sycophancy of poetry
to actually having
dinner with Rimbaud
suffering his abuses
to have come the closest
and gone the farthest from
to have been so abjectly
in love and been so stupidly
refused never to recover
we cried in our absinthe
and then he stood up
on the table pissing
gloriously on all
poets all love.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Opposite Valentine

Your arm across
your chest while
you sleep is money
to me the currency
of a realm which arises
as the consequence
of words on a page
as here rehearsed
everything is eternal
within your head
that way it’s fair
to all you face
turned into the
darker hemisphere
the way the moon
spends all its spunk
slinks home
but what if we could
never hide you said
sleep love on that O
opposite of golf.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shaken Not Stirred Valentine

Done with one reality
you’ve barely gotten research
underway for others O man

is that why foreigners
have the same dumb
things as we to say

in the movies we see like
we’ve found your hotshot
computer sweetheart

out there in flames
in the woods or
this curse began long ago

and finally take me
to the tornado
I’m not sure where the

sound is coming from anymore
inside or outside me the picture
like filmed streets

vanishing behind the driver
to make it look like he’s
really driving the car.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Undocumented Valentine

Having withdrawn to die
the sick and starving grasses
in the now green gloom
of the moon hung over the river
so you can almost see their eyes
through the branches and will
soon be able to regard
the original plan and layout
of the night’s maze
constructed just for you
first as a chronicle of disaster
scattered groups trying to escape
most later killed with knives
or hung in rows like laundry
and then you lost again
and wandering through
someone else’s life
as if it was your own emerging
from some tangled thicket
or swimming frantically
from shore to shore.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Days of 2000 Valentine

I loved his long red blanket
and to lie under it afternoons
on the cold leather couch
reading of Genji or Virgil’s death
or the moons of Saturn and Venus
I did not lie there alone but
speak now as a survivor
of waves of terror and disbelief
spreading over whole landscapes
their authoritarian glimmerings
heavy things with ears that cut
and stabbed their way to victory
but how by midnight darkness
had overcome it all with rain.

American Valentine

Self-conscious America
sad and repressed America
if you remain in the hands
of your original owners
will soon be determined
and I don’t mean the buildings
but the ego of a woman
to be walked among
or of a man or a child
and not to act like you
never saw these people
before in your life
never spoke to them or
saw how they lived
even when it could
mean their deaths
even when it certainly
does mean their
imminent deaths.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If It Means Something It's Not Poetry Valentine

for Bill

Two bitches diverge
on the narrow bridge
that leads to self-regarding
there’s a yellow sign there
but all you come to
is a sea a sea you must
cross but cannot cross
gold waves of waste
go either way
how could this
possibly be researched
how could dreaming
about it alter the process
when so much reality
keeps trying to recapture
its first self as if
there was another.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Valentine Tucked Into An Old Unread Book

This note
may be
the only
surviving text
of my life you
stranger have
just discovered
please kiss
these words
for me that
they have
found you
or if nothing
sparks just
fold and place
it back where
you found it
I await my

Bill's Valentine

Was it his cash karma
he was scanning in
bankrupt short sale to
the lord of lies
only out of an aesthetic
conscience can come
a moral conflagration
my Granada tree
who’s forty-five today
told me yesterday
matter’s not conserved
when it dissolves back
into pure potential
but is transformed
artistically reassembled
into re-enlivened residue
by the thrift store brain
one artifact knows
it takes another.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stupid's Valentine

It’s the chicken
not the egg
of death
she laid
who comes first
death’s simply
security when
life the chicken
speaks out death
we still haven’t
enough of
a sense for
the insides of
the other as
a way past
so death
must play
that other dude
that you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach Valentine

All that will end
in the world today
is some sale on women’s
lingerie everything
else continues
as before

except the gassing
at animal shelters
can’t that stop
as well as the killing
of people there are
no innocents none

but it all just continues
in the sinews as before
long days at the beach
the imaginary beach
baking and slicing
and eating the heart.

Fictional Valentine

On the way back in
retrieving the garbage
barrel from the curb
I saw him our new
neighbor one fine-looking
dude dark in a wife-beater
one bright white wife-beater
perhaps having just beaten
something and he said Hello
and I said you’re one fine-
looking human being
on a dark day between
you and me this
could be a novel
except I hate fiction
so if you won’t love
me completely walk away
get in your car
late as usual
and fuck off.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fugitive's Valentine

The heart’s the only
hide-out in the body
where the blood
can rest can stop
if only for a moment
the idea of surrender
pure genius one moment
separated from another
that it’s not all running
thing to thing
but a laying-in and
and a pouring-off
though the blood just
goes on wanting wanting out
while the heart closes down
opening up somewhere else
a juggler of smoke
and mirroring liquids
only the thinnest veneer
separating the blue
from the red trains
charging off with
opposite convictions.

Days of 2010 Valentine

C’est vrai my heart
hasn’t changed at all
toward you it’s
you’ve just noticed
I don’t love you
like you love you
I understand chagrin
if there were only
a language without
postures and rumors
and writing wasn’t
figure skaters
ice-fishing way out
under Polish stars
I’d tell you that you
don’t really love me
at all as you imagine
it’s how the heart
sniffs and licks
the world touches
its several parts
but lets the blood
slide through.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Remember That The Heart Leaves The Blood Unchanged Valentine

I don’t yet know
enough to save them
but a bird came to my window
so I wouldn’t get discouraged
and now there’s a black fungus
on the Franciscan monk
who discovered these leaves
in song as in disease he
saw a snake eating
his own feet not
normally where they
belong on some infinitely
distant shore but walking
as if in self-cognition
who said he wanted more
self to swallow more dying
to be born.

Pissing Zen Human Valentine

Pee like lightning
thunder close behind
cowboys and Indians
always a few drops
being left human
on the rim of the bowl
I’d wipe them
off and flush
if I were you
I’d conduct a pee
the unauthorized
Zen of pissing
that type of now
a bell-like gravity
to the intermittent
stream of golden
thoughts marking
a certain consciousness
of the heart’s
necessary sweat
and grime.

Friday, July 23, 2010

But You Heart Valentine

First we must get
the sniper out
from the tall tower
inside the heart
the self must be
a voluntary structure
inside the bombed-out
apartment building
no one’s debriefed me yet
I was on my way back to talk
to you my game face on
my corridors full of
new and powerful
I wanted you to know
how many are called
nothing and have
nothing like me
but you heart
stopping and going
at least you
have a future
are free.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Golden Valentine

All that’s serious
in writing today can only
appear in poems
poems that appear
as independent
physical entities
for poetry the bitchin’ one
to occupy momentarily
or remain empty buildings
locked rooms
where poetry did
once show
or is still expected
any moment to arrive
approached from many
conflicting tides
all we know of poetry
is what comes from
mere poems
so little in so much
like all we know
of gravity or space
comes from crass
reflections of a
knowledge buried
so deeply in plain
sight it’s finding
a few drops of
the golden spring
occasionally or not
would we survive.

Dedicatory Valentine

Woke up early this morning
you woke me up showering
a dream was it of showering
with you first that morning
why so shy you woke me late
too late for showering
but yes I’m empathetic
toward antipathy
what is an antiphany
if not a non-epiphany
whatever you consider
the most beneath you
those bird songs we hear
float out to the farthest
stars I will do it
only to fall back down
on the earth again
as love or late.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hot Valentine

Terrified as a spider
must be to sit down
quietly addled
beside me
my parachute
having broken his
paraclete having
spoken is there
a bird or dragon
eats spiders
eats men
we call that
so hot we can’t
even bear
to call it
its real name

Saturn And You Return Valentine

Learning to
be alert to
the moment
of his arrival
to stop being hazy
and negotiable
in the way poems
always are
a dry warmth
and a wet wit
to work the sails
before and aft
the slowly-encrusted
waves of his arrival
at any moment
and in retrospect
still present
in every one
of them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trojan Valentine

If going forward
I choose not to
lose my aridity
it throws them off
even if formatted to fit
this window ease this rain
the poem is just the screen-play
loved defenestrated
bumped awake by
refusing to see
the end of ‘crass
reality’ what
light encloses
us where blood
running took five days
to evaporate
and still go on.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Anniversary Valentine

What otherwise
would go to build
the flower betimes
gets driven down
into the leaves instead
too soon they seize
the scent and sorrow
of some embodiment
unable or unwilling
to come all the way
into the flesh
but naked on the breeze
can still be used to
flavor and protect
a certain differentiation
of desire tracked
down to this place to find
how all we’ve forgotten
here lies still
ahead of us.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Border Valentine

Maybe these
intimately distant
relationships are all
we’ll be allowed
to manage this time
but somewhere
near the border
in some Mexican bar
I killed an accordion
while leaving the
accordion player
completely unharmed
is there a PETA for
musical instruments
or machines sledge-
hammered I thirsted
for Morton Feldman
but could remain
calm for hours days
only alive thanks to
the ocean Mahler
and you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pound's Valentine

Four letter word
for the number
of loves there are
but only one
weight for hate
we are as easy
as an etch-a-sketch
to read
commit to memory
slowly replacing
all our organs
with machines
the worst kind of
royalist romantic
pitch perfect
perched like a parrot
on one’s pirate shoulder.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ass Valentine

How astronomical
the world can be
balls without you
little heart
not beaten
the wine is
spread tonight
from one valve
into another
best served
warmed a little
rotten worm
at the bottom
of the cosmos
the veritable ass
of the thing
here let me
fill your glass.

Lost Valentine

100 degree
mornings I
hose down the whole
patio into a
swampy escarpment
I sit in the middle
of dripping
are we the kinds of
child-geniuses at
failure who stand
on corners yelling
We Want War We Want War
then running off
and getting caught
and beaten
chortles the TV but
whenever I try to reality
return those
lost lives always
the lost thrive more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Latest Valentine

Trying climbing up
on the tool shed
what does the text
say then pending what
cannot be displayed
you don’t know a thing
crying and laughing
that we can hold
one another and sway
to the same chakra
orchestra that you
have remodeled me
stone and cabinet
stayed and staying
work continues
but yes you have
capped my well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And We All Know What That Will Be Like Valentine

Laying down
layer upon
layer of silica
we build up
our horns
our petals
what was living
dies into something
sensible and useful
as a listening device
as the forms fall
out of their ideas
as eggs and embryos
to be worked on
to become flexible
as a flower
to a higher

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summery Valentine

A man is talking to a dog again
as he would to his best friend
while vegetables are falling
through the air behind him

a hot breeze strolls casually
into the morning garden smiling

down inside the earth
a deep blue will is shining

while above clouds take on
the shapes of our mistakes
shooting them through with
a golden intelligence

and rising up from below
a silvery blessing
while from above looks down
a gaze (a dove)
that sifts the soul.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friendly Valentine

Friend you have
been to me
however glancingly
as on the day they knew
Baldur was dying again
into the cold decadence
darkness snows
and friend I have
been to you
however untrue
as on that day Uriel
lifts his glorious face
above the whole earth
to bless it sternly
once a year and people
feel powerful again
for a few moments
and free as we.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sapphic Valentine

My eyes feel like
eight-track tapes
my brain is so broken
my feet are standing
in cement buckets
but the crime’s how calm
he is
sitting next to you
while I stand still as a street
for a few moments
every hour in the memory
of your laughter at my pain
finally those two meeting
bumping into one another
and then suddenly
changing places
like death was
waiting nearby.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Research Valentine

If I cut back
the mint and
the marjoram and
throw the trimmings
on the grave of the
tomatoes does it
conceivably affect
the taste ahead of
time can words
be made to leap
across the chasm
between the personal
fantasy and a true
seeing of invisible
facts who needs to
know please call
back leave a
message please.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Confessional Valentine

How not to be overwhelmed
by your own inadequacies
is what I infer from
Nicolas of Cusa’s ‘learned
ignorance’ which is also
a kind of secular wisdom
that unavoidable geometry class
how not to be overwhelmed
by the speculations of angles
moving from one infinity
to another and back on the
vectors of prayers and tears
nor by how it always seems
it’s the human being who
puts the poison in the well.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sung Valentine

It looked at first
like a fat red cardinal
but it just turned into
a young red pomegranate
it looked at first
like immortal love
but it just turned into
a glass of water
it looked at first
like the one who was hiding
wanted to be seen most of all
but it just turned into
the one at the center
wanting to run away.

Elemental Valentine

It’s not always Friday
for the bees they have
their moaning in mid-winter
the neutrons and the protons
huddled like a mulberry with
the electrons racing round
the idea of a god when
one or two bees sail off
into the bluest riddled
day to fall and die
saving the hive from
having to dispose of them
or the departure of the drones
on the warmest day after mating
one thinks of all one’s bad
ideas leaving one for good
only a field where demons
and angels struggle for
our undivided attention
and complete flowering.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Missing Valentine

The sadness of poetry
and what embarrasses
and ensorcels me
and almost everyone about it
is that you can only come
for a few minutes
to a full stop of the heart
oddly just long enough
for me to miss you
though in its shadow-half
the leaves of paranoia
reveal its disappointment
long after the cause
for it has dissipated
into the outer world
where these remaining
plants and animals
are all that’s left
of the beautiful
and noble.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Darwin's Valentine

Too raucous
for the modest
life on offer
sculpted to sustain
a certain inwardness
fearing death
more than life
scrambling to survive
always on his knees
finally the plane took off
I could look up
from the pages I was reading
of a life I could
feel it lift
a bit clunky
old angel
and fly.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cloudy Valentine

How can I incorporate

this really good new stuff

into my ongoing

evil nature

the boot of greed

wants to know

forgetting every

thing we own

is but the treasure

of our indebtedness

we stand upon

eloquent clouds

telling our slaves

how much their hard

work saves us

rubbing their noses

in it already

they�ve come for

our water

soon they�ll come

for our air.

United Valentine

I am running

my eyes off

drawing lines

of touch and go

imagine the sun

boiling your brain

in its dented little

saucepan every day

wouldn’t you prove

into light

sulphur sugar

as we do

every night in that

other world

where we are all

really together

as one family

for a while?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Naked Valentine

How can we ask God

or the gods for material

success when that’s

the last thing

they’d want for us

by the time Buddha

got to Gethsemane

Jesus was already

hanging on the hill

the sun was hiding

in shame the earth

was shivering like aspen

it’s a metaphor

what don’t you get

not just for love

but for its power

the absolute nakedness

of its power.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Returned Valentine

Somehow I entered the day

with a clear desire

to be freer

more equal

to be larger better

than I’d managed


and to notice how

many plants have

that Ah gesture

hands in the air

arrested by grace

or invisible police

and the others who

could care less

about the past

about being


you know how

to get dirt out

from under one fingernail

by using another

tools that we are

but I could hardly sleep

last night thinking

of all the work

we have to do

to get ready

for the future.