Thursday, March 31, 2011

Psalmist's Valentine

By the waters of Fukushima
Nuclear Plant we sat down
and wept among the gone willows
where we were hung like songs
who required water from harps
please forgive us sweet water
for making you suffer over and over

even if you do not remember us
in some no longer foreign land
as the one who said kill him kill him
and took mirth in your torture
your little ones smashing to pieces
let him come back now to heaven
enough playing at being a god.

Egg Valentine

Who do I dream you are
coming home in the
middle of the night
to boil an egg
and eat it with
a piece of bread and
in the morning crawl
in bed with me
leg up over my
leg more fork
than spoon more
tuck than fuck
asleep to know
I’m kissed?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We Are All Pictures Valentine

Now that all our cast-off parts
are slowly coming back to us
in their original preconditions
inside the consciousness of one
as in a game it’s all about
being in the best position
(we don’t really live in time
just our bodies do)
to tell reality hold still
and smile to take its picture
as far from that picture
are we from touching return
some luggage lost
some pictures to burn
ourselves the cost.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wrongest Valentine

Regardless of the caginess
of the labyrinth of my life
I secretly recognize
the architect and fabulist
who thought to stump me
with my sins a sinner so-
so brilliant in the aesthetic sense
everywhere I turn someone or
something desperately in need
and hardly ever knowing it
so bravely I cry though I save
my weeping for my own crimes
certain I remain among
the wrongest cases.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Valentine Raisonne

My last masterpiece was you
but I forgot to sign it
so the attribution
is lost the early
sketches drifting off
into unexpected
collections also lost
to exist but not be found
to have no catalogue
nothing to authenticate
what was held
as inspiration even then
my genius completely
to have captured you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Human Valentine

And then one Sunday
there are swelling tubes
of orange-red lipstick
hanging from the branches
of the pomegranate trees
and some have opened round
diaphanous skirts the life
of a flower is our space on earth
all the rest the roots
and branches the fruit
that follows can take their time
all the time they want
as prelude and postscript
it’s the flowers alone
reflect the human stage.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Unborn Valentine

The world is cruel and expensive
but then there are books
and for a while it stops
torturing you with its
unreflective eyes
which you did read
and tried to answer
back to politely
back up it says
put that book down slowly
on the table
and step aside
it was not your life
it could never be your life.

Farewell Valentine

I love you but it’s time for you to go
I would rather be lonely than afraid
more and more of the time with you
wondering where you’re going like
a deer running in the dark toward
a parked car or a tree running toward
him at an even greater rate of speed

but all in slow motion finely nuanced
not because I don’t know where it
will end up but because I’ve come
to hate the journey more than love you
and I have loved you some considerable
distances further than I recall
ever even dreaming I could run.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Voices Valentine

Was John Keats only an afterglow
of Shakespeare’s sensibilities
a nineteenth century reprise
of that range of royal
and pedestrian voices
lifting their own words
like a beautiful long coda
echoing briefly in Hart Crane
like a lifesaver or a lover
and for me at least
never heard from again
until John Wieners
blessed it and released
it somewhere in Wien.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beautiful Valentine

Right after Liz
they talked about tumors
epidermal growth factor receptors
remember that buzz
it will certainly be on the test
the testosterone’s roster
as aging ages and one mythological
religion continues to battle
another mythological religion
in some lost region
down the street
but then her smile returns
to stage and screen
beauty is the queen maybe
beauty is the only thing
we can agree on
something we can all
agree is beautiful.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Intervening Valentine

I picked off all
the ravenous caterpillars
from the passion vine
and re-gifted them
to the compost pile
so this year for once
all the flower buds
can open fully
without holes in them
or half their heads
eaten away and the
new tendrils can climb
and leaf out a little
before winter comes
to carry them away.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sendai Valentine

This longing for perfection
in the cherry blossoms
don’t we have that too?

with the simplest words
the geese are welcoming back
the spring

at a certain definite point
its perfume turns into
tiny green cones

super moon
behind a scrim
of ghost traffic jams

maybe today was the first day
of the end of the world.

Epitaphic Valentine

It turns out as James
Wright would put it

sleeping next to
someone is the least

risky thing you can do
for another person as

far as radiation goes
that breeze which if

it came from heaven
we would call a glory

and a blessing not the
nuclear dragon we slowly

or not so slowly releasing
let extinguish us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joe’s Valentine for the First Day of Spring

Yes you’re right the evil one
is green and more beautiful than

the other one in the sense
of attractive exciting thrilling

wave or hill or body ridden subdued
surely you admit the concept of

either having no material parts
requiring the existence of the lyric

the orchid on the table in its plastic
pot I got at Pick ‘n Save and it

has attitude an archive of ambition
the blunt beauty of pure force

having digested good and evil if
allowed to dry out between watering.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Valentine

Like you my lovers
have always been plants
trees shrubs flowers
green annuals
the mimulus and centaury
knowing somehow
the seeds will be saved
carried into the future
trusting in yellow
for my intelligence
knowing nothing
to be afraid of
and immortal
a life fraught
with luck and risk.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ancient Valentine

Because I still may have
the possibility of waking up
inside your attention some day
not as an object held up to the sun
admired and discarded
but as someone who has remained
enthusiastic about hopeless things
you might as well invite
a block of granite to become
a statue out of its own inner sculptor
or not believe that when the statues
spoke in the ancient temple
it was something a god accomplished
not the deception of clever priests.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Po Ho's Valentine

Among the sparrows
like the poets

po ho
in the whore corps
high broken heel

at the hot springs
lizard skins
and new pig petunias

(It’s a bitch.

overhearing the world
you grew up embarrassed
for everyone around you

never yourself
never anybody else
among sparrows a sparrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kissing Valentine

The connoisseur of kisses
is a collector of lips
tulips eclipses ellipses
tight lips thin as paper-cuts
muscular lips moist as a snail’s pod
πούς (poús, stem: pod-) "foot" hence
stomach-foot so it feels like
being kissed by three tongues
in several extinct languages
licking sucking swallowing
pressing nibbling stretching
the connoisseur of lips
is a collector of kisses
hesitant words on the verge
of entering lips that will
never speak again.

Memorable Tree Valentine

This old tree has a crutch
for its crotch a small platform
to rest on the whole rest of itself
like it’s genuflecting
at the place where it changed
its mind from categorical refusal
to vertical as sent a stem can

after all refuse ascension
an unalterable conclusion
it can repent to be an animal
too soon and lounge in vegetative
splendor perfecting boredom
listening to lucky photographs
of happy but unlucky futures.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Behind Valentine

Behind the bird
the work
of the bird
the bird as paradise picture
of the neon air
faithful migrant singer
first gardener
to dare to thrill to kill
in this case a pileated
misapprehending a roof
for a forest floor sex for love
a garden for a soul
a man for an ant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Glittering Valentine

The garden is still glittering
from this morning’s ablutions
one bean plant has wound
one tendril around its trellis
the sun is too hot for my head
would you go get me that hat
golden dragon the flower tag says
keep moist its feet and ways
let’s go inside I’ll show
you my retching whining
it’s when the wind enters
your mind you’ve trouble
everything remains except
the irreplaceable connections.

Nicole's Valentine

The explorer the witness
the slogan the surprise
the moving the question
the sentence the unleashing
the greediness the violence
the sensation the emotion
the lover the change
the anger the information
the thought the haunting
the cry the breathing
the constraint the swim
the calamus the affection
the animals the words
the water the pages.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Valentine

You will always be somewhere
even if I can’t find you even if
you can’t find yourself even if
it only sounds paradoxical you
may suddenly think so to yourself
but I will be there with you
though I have no hope of ever
seeing you again and now
wouldn’t know you on the street
you will always be somewhere
I could find you if I tried
to trade absence of space and time
for this sense-centered life
I could find you on either side.

White Cat's Valentine

That white cat who shat
in my yard I saw her later
road-kill flat – I take it back

the night the orange tree
bloomed - for whom
was that perfume wasted

of course I stepped in it
but only cross-legged later
did the smell assault

overhead the flowers
sighed their forgiving
antidote and smile

I left my shoes outside
a sprig of white blooms
filled my rooms and cried.

Aloe (Spring) Valentine

At night it frightens
you brushing against
your waist as you pass
but now you can see
how it leans out
objectively to catch
the sun’s narrow passage

over the path so
when the hummingbird
and the hototogisu come
to drink and sing
like you it’s ready
on the brink.

Mother's Birthday Valentine

Today’s all blustery full
of excuses and wrong cloudy
addresses forced entries
to no exits and on the wall
to the right my own private
Guernica in black and white
flashing shadows of new-leaved

branches gesturing puppets
of no plays and to the left
a naked stick standing erect
urgently waiting to bloom
and all the while the sun
whipping in and out of the
yard chasing the curious wind.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Goner Valentine

I left my Mina Loy
out in the sun and boy
only by accident
sometime later
did I find it there
on the chair where
I’d left it to think
things over and I’d
be back old and grateful
apt to dash off
when awed
or cheered
whether for a walk
or afternoon swoon.

Extinction Valentine

The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service
as it was called
by the Inca and
the roving tribes of Khan
cordially invite you
to the funeral today
of the eastern cougar
a catamount once
widely hailed by poets
of those parts who
thought that cat
had been incorporated
by man centuries ago.

Future Valentine

When everyone can see inside
everyone else their motive and intent
nothing will be hidden
particularly not the future
to see where we will be
if we go on this way
the immediate effect

which we can’t not see
maybe what we need to learn
doesn’t require intelligence
despite what was given us
but another line of sight
another and another until we stop
thinking of ourselves as isolated bits.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lettuce Valentine

Arrow to the heart
may it penetrate
seeking to come
closer to love first
in its simplest
forms gazing down
upon the smallness
of a mind
of mercy for all
mad things
the grave of death
next to the lettuce bed
the earnest graceful sun
considering us again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Windows Valentine

I thought if I could
just wash the windows
the filthy blinds
and hang the two blue
curtains back up again
I would have done
something archetypal
in this world for a change
but who could have imagined
the blackness that would
come off that glass my soul
exclaimed or found this
Palo Verde sagging with bloom
behind it on our sunny lawn?

Variegated Vinca Valentine

I can see you from the window
this year your purplish pinwheels
fill the bed under the orange tree
in a manner reminiscent of you
and me in an earlier century
I’m forced to say a garden is
a memory of a dream except
in the lower half where we
burn the bodies dig for their gold
I didn’t mean to go there
till I saw you had already
suffered enough among these
flowers your blood still green
with leaves edged white as new.

Yolu's Valentine

Yolu thinks this will all
just go away like a book
or a language a species
of frogs or nationalities
as so occupies the past
singing is a part of speech
the way speech is a part
of no one knowing who
we are becoming despite
our own best interests
if you go behind the sense
what Yolu finds is something
that can only be dealt with
with things we loved here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Haiku Valentine

The time to repot a haiku
is when the roots come up
over the rim of Mt. Yoshino
trailing clouds
an exploited haiku
is an exploded haiku
after fifty years
still surprised when they bloom
as if it involved me
dead or alive
why won’t you tell me
I simply can’t say
the child sways
as was said of this old tree.