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?