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.