Sunday, February 27, 2011

Returned Valentine

Yesterday your orchid flowers returned
from their long inwardness
the same flock of nine
drifting out over the lake
of the old table they seem
to be peering out
to the other side of an abyss
to the oak rocking chair
ruined by being improved
perhaps or possibly further
to the iris outside in the
returning cold how its
gesture is a sketch of us
in our early days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pierrot's Valentine

Many persons of this day have no conception
of what slavery was, and how it was regarded
by very many very good people.
W. G. Eliot, The Story of Archer Alexander

Those two oranges
on the compost heap
you think they can’t see us
only out of a genuinely felt
and freely won sense of equality
can a true brotherhood come
pop quiz who said that or who
could you imagine saying that
I want your words in my mouth
their warmth more than their light
but every night to get home
I have to go past that bar
dragging my thirsty self
my loneliness my star.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bargaining Valentine

We can count on nastiness and evil
showing up for work early every day
no one more conscientious
willing to come in weekends
do you have any idea what
it cost us to get weekends off
building these social constructs
with our fingernails and knuckles
to have arrived at least notionally
at the genius of family and fratricide
at almost the same moment knowing
whatever you say of someone
consider it coming toward you
whether it’s a blessing or a curse.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Natural Valentine

Sweet pea seedlings
rubbing their eyes
as the train goes by
overall the nasturtiums
seemed to be heading north
when the frost caught up with them
are you going to drag
that compost pile over there
or come inside and kiss me
we’re afraid because
we’re fallible and so often
mistaken courage gets
wasted by being unfairly
divvied up between us.

Your Valentine

Yes we are getting your rain
I was trying to work on a longer line
no I knew you were busy quite
the world traveler everything’s
shrinking as services expand
back at Madison West High
where you were last seen
driving by at 1 AM with a friend
or to a friend’s or for a friend
a stray like you must have felt like then
I remember the first time I knew
I would never be alone
seeing how completely
you had moved inside me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Numbered Valentine

29 million dollar bonuses
53,400 of the tribe of Naphtali
the third trimester
a billion dollar baby
from a month old and upward
the firstborn of the cattle
fourteen dicotyledons
a return of 56 per cent
halfhearted subprime
the doom both of them bring
redemption for the first 273
to the south the frontier
from the brook to the great sea
all this given as a legacy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So-Called Dead Valentine

To only know something
by becoming that thing
having no skin
to return to no hide
and seek but roaming
from thing to thing
still essentially yourself
as you were in the flesh
striving and dissatisfied
but seeing now seeing isn’t
in the eyes tasting not
in the tongue each
word’s terroir and chagrin
to manifest here
something to take
with you there
and bring it back
renewed again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Leonine Valentine

What the moon sees
when it’s full and staring
right at you taking it all in
is that the heart is
neither poor nor little
no matter which
of its twelve sides
is being considered
for seen from the moon
the earth turns into
a gleaming dodecahedron
and because the moon
is our mother she sees
only the strong heart
of her worrisome baby
beating back at her.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Epistemological Valentine

Knowledge is marbled
quarried sculpted
corrupted or
smashed to pieces
we don’t know how
they did it how their
mood and atmosphere
were thicker or darker
than ours or how they mixed
and conferred with gods
while we try hard just
to imagine how a god
would have anything
to do with us.

Afterwards Valentine

The morning after
the world ends
I want to sit in this
sun-filled room
with you again
I mean in the after-
world to come back
to this room on this
particular February
morning wherever it’s
recorded with its east
wall of windows
the sun pours in
like a warm bath
it’s so cold outside
but the tulips
on the table
audibly slowly
open again
in their sparkling
crystal vase.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vespers Valentine

Bad oranges
my gold
to the compost god

gray cloud heads
we’re not high enough
for rain

a sparrow threesome
I wonder where
he goes

another wolf dream
this time I let
him eat me

waiting for rain
waiting for rain
after supper laughter.

Prophetic Valentine

Dear American people
you must be as thick
as bricks as captive
as slaves to have allowed
Europe to come over here
to your continent with
all their oligarchies intact
setting up shop right under
your bumpkin noses so now
America you’re even older
than Europe in a way more
calcified and ruined than
some dissipated young man
narcissist poet of machines
Whitman refused to seduce.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Isenheim Valentine

Every separation is for union
at a higher level.

After the massacre
of the starving workers
he blinded himself
from shame and grief
neither the leaves
nor the light
but strange in what
doesn’t last
what does is always
getting caught
a lizard hunts there
in the darkness
between the walls
between the thoughts.

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine's Valentine

Lyra barbitos cithara
the epigonion and the
epigonion triangular
the phorminx and pandouris
the hydraulis and pipes
horns and drums of course
a complete ancient orchestra
to play outside your room
slowly awakening you to
a new life a new song
may you sleep less
than the nightingale
your nights and days
filled with love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Casino Economics Valentine

The degree to which
we think we can deny
these disasters
how far we want to push it
until it destroys itself
you shall not take
my illness from me
my freedom to be ill
seven homeless wraiths
have gathered in the square
they’re waiting for the rest
of us too-numbed-out
on lies or liquor or sex
to wake up and join them.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egyptian Valentine

Even in early darkness
the hummingbirds come
to save our lives

the birdbath
at low tide
no freeze warning

oranges gather
even in the dark

when I walked into Chartres
I thought now this is thinking
to build by a stream of stones

tonight that spider Mubarak
has caught a million beehives
in his dripping web

the moon was so new
I couldn’t say a word about it
when it asked me

they want to wipe
the slate clean and start fresh
even if with their own blood.

Just Ice Valentine

Catching air
nothing compares
to continents
the continence of inter-
locking systems the rise
of the lord of light
over an inland
sea of passionate
nooks and crannies
can you imagine yourself
having a center where
you would put your
finger on the weight and
justice would be Jesus?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Egyptian Wake Up Valentine

Orchid surgery first thing
this bright morning it’s
so spring of you
to hold me speechless
how much exists simply
because we can talk
about it between mindless
goodness and mindful evil
or is it mindful goodness
and mindless evil we can
sleep right through it
or we can watch
the Egyptian people filling
Tahrir (add to dictionary)
Square how truly interested
in one another they
look today and how
the value of each
single person has incalculably
increased overnight as if
they were just waking
up to one another
after a long sleep.

Monday, February 7, 2011

List Valentine

It’s a new moon Monday
7th of February in ordinary
desert time they’re reading
Genesis to Rachmaninoff’s
Vespers how to get beyond
merely associative memory
in composing my list poem
repot Hoya haircut oranges
clean bathroom under the
window they could hear
men digging stones for
ammo that he would have
forced himself on a child
for some religious purpose
a wild beast lives inside us
which our better part
must deny or tame.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chiron's Valentine

I had to make room for him
the way myths are enforced
you were laughing down here
while I was buried up there
on some (earliest?) vases
he’s depicted clothed
with human forelegs
but in others he’s a horse
from the waist down and
a man from the waist up
in some accounts
he’s the teacher of heroes
who ride on his back
Achilles his favorite
in others he’s the killer
looking out from
every human face
in any event to avoid
endless agonizing pain
he surrendered his immortality
to Prometheus for which
he was given his own
constellation and all we
got was this T-shirt of fire
to wear forever.

Wonderful Valentine

What I wonder
about great wonders
is how there’s always
a greater wonder
just around the corner
sooner or later all
we know’s provisional
nocturnal the path
up and out unless
we turn back to
gloat over dead
emergencies ingratitude
remorse and how
I loved you of course.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Farewell Valentine

On a branch above the window
I can only see its shadow
daubed on the sunny opposite wall

flocks of fish schools of birds
finally just a few left
in the newly-made garden

no time to be late
forgive me for touching
every part of you

I could lay my hands
on in my mind
it was that or die.

Friday, February 4, 2011

At the Remains of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ovila Valentine

The stones we found
around us but the steel
we had to make
from what we could
put together into something
new to the earth
not seeing how as
the earth condensed
so did we separate
ourselves out to lord
it over all things
not seeing how matter
only consumes matter
only life brings life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sam's Valentine

Do we look party ready
have our souls awakened
actually Godot did show up
recently at the Maricopa
County Court House or
at least one of the Godots
on charges of deliberate
ambiguity and unprovoked
falsification of certain
spiritual realities
very fourteenth century
the dead are invisible
because they live inside us
feeling everything they
try to teach us how to
love all living things.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In The Event Of My Valentine

If you come over
some day and find
me dead first please
close my eyes
nothing is uglier
than an empty body
and know that I
am with you and
watching you not
from the future but
watching you right
now as you read
this and wonder
what the hell to
do now who to
call first don’t be
frightened I am
with you I will
always love you.

World Valentine

The way of the flowers
and forms of heaven in
an oriental rug wanting
to risk becoming faces
of animals humans
or birds through the
flying air of your un-
biased attention
works equally well
outdoors on streets
or miles from beaches
why are you surprised
it can all be found
in some simple equation
yet to prove sound?