Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nobody's Valentine

All my themes are lovers
shut-up and write it
our seed spills on the bricks
a person flowers
weed-like in the current
why must I put my foot
in every wound and word
if not to claim you for my own
far heirs and forebears
like a phrase from
the other world for which
the words are approximations
literal translations
to be worked on
in further dreams.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Momentary Valentine

That is our life of which
we have often spoken
between catastrophes
during violent wipe-outs
in one way flourishing
later in another knowing
all we do now builds on
what our idea of I is
not as trees are in a forest
standing up to go nowhere
though there are pros & cons
and everyone gets one moment
of radiance around which
his whole life can wobble.

Memorial Valentine

There should be a whole lot more
crying going on one would think
though the tears are already terrible
in the world given the drinks we drink
or are they hiding most of it from me
and I agree refusing to look
going home for my hour’s cry
missing your scent and sinking
into the calm perfection of complaint
falling asleep to dream you kiss me
in my sleep in my video dream
of post-romantic stress disorder
for which I have sought the therapy
of flat stones thrown at certain angles
the pond torn and trembling.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Epitaphic Valentine

A ‘smound’ may result
where a sound kisses
a smell and mixes juices

A tiny blue flower
picked up off the floor
what a blue life

Yes you keep coming back
to it again and again but
who is this I you speak of

To be your complimentary
epitaph and hard greeting
the poem insists on staying

The world mirrors reflection
because it’s nowhere to be found
a pond jumps in

Even a tiny blue flower
is too much power
for one floor

Still way back in the queue
of my thoughts are you
yes and right up front.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Driven Valentine

Ninety-nine buddhas on the wall
in the stucco’s swirls
ninety-eight buddhas on the wall
moonlight unfurls
ninety-seven buddhas on the wall
another goes under
ninety-six buddhas on the wall
the sound of thunder
ninety-five buddhas on the lawn
the atheism of shadows begins
ninety-four buddhas on the street
foundations are laid for the modern age
ninety-three buddhas in one face
you too must erase
ninety-two buddhas on the bridge….

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Early Morning Valentine

When now his three kids
have flown anonymously away
he resumes his position
as choirless choir-master
another missionary mockingbird
in the Congo or Manhattan
or Istanbul his song may not
yet be heard or when he says
Show me the way as in a hundred
years when he’s extinct no one
looks up no one will listen
as when I touch your face
you sleep deeper
it’s me who wakes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Remembered Valentine

Aren’t all photographs sentimental
and poignant somehow the way
they reveal and conceal
the secrets of an earlier time
though first we had to separate out
the light from the darkness
to see the colors rising up
between them
but the miracle of memory
is something else altogether
I don’t mean the insistence
on memorization but the
power of an inner seeing
the force of a fresh recollection
in which what's dead
awakens in me now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Timely Valentine

Fight or flight
seizes the trees
some reconnoiter
in their underwear
Orion tightens
his belt his knife
of light shortcuts
through Stonehenge
straight to our door
time shaves every
hair to get here
to lie down
smooth and naked
beside us now.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Unwise Valentine

Is a man or woman unwise
who dyes their hair
to hide their rage
at aging does reveal
a girlish mannish
inclination to avoid
and fundamentally misread
where beauty leads
the thin garment of light
the wide span of the heart
living and dying
at every moment
being reborn and
falling apart.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Having To Admit The Existence Of The Other Valentine

Dear divine demon still
explaining the world
as your love for us
I have noticed how you
always come in duplicate
the one more that divides
and separates this from this
me from you
except the eyes
can't hear very well
nor the nose see
so each angel is a sense
intense but limited
to itself and lacking
that completeness
a human body brings
to the whole enterprise
having stopped in
the middle of the stream
of existence while
considering crossing or
following the current
to the sea.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Forecast Valentine

Let’s think of the weather
as the earth’s emotional life
in a schematic presentation
yet connected to an inner stream
of vulnerabilities and terrors
interpreted as earthquakes
and volcanoes
but all the result of the necessarily
extreme loneliness of his position
in the larger darkness of the drawing
the way he’s hobbled
by his demented sister moon
how even the sun his mother
keeps pushing him away.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Punked Valentine

This morning I woke up
finding this is someone
else’s life I’ve merely been
stitched up inside of
now what do I do and who
is this guy I try looking
around munching on the
furniture books and plants
someone’s made coffee
I wander outside there’s
a yellow umbrella and
a padded chair squatter’s
rights I’ll change the locks
and little by little steal back
my own identity with a series
of repos and free credit checks
realigned so lightly and brightly
no one will ever notice he’s gone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Credit Risky Valentine

At the Bank of Disaster & Disorder
I deposited three hurricanes
but they said it wasn’t near enough
the penalty rates shown
in the table below will
be applied to your account
but I said I’ve already
paid off three earthquakes
ten suicides fourteen abortions
a hundred divorces one water-boarding
some things need to be precise
a bullet where you put it
valuable intelligence
to get the pain to stop.

Western Valentine

All day whenever I tried
to go outside I was immediately
dive-bombed by a bully
of a mockingbird who
impulsively assumed
her nest of blabber-mouths
in my underline my orange tree
was in some immediate danger
from me that soon I realized
how vulnerable I’ve become
to just this kind of slippery
slope with nature which
despite Darwin Van Gogh
and Gershwin never did
make it into post-modernism
except as the laughing god
and his horse goddesses.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Imaginary Valentine

I imagine for the dead
finding us again
after swimming through
endless darkness
would seem like spring
a light a landfall
for their starving souls
so they know they haven’t
entirely lost their minds
just their helpless bodies
and now are free to enter any body
to visit the unspeakable
the hilarious the baffling
all those things at the very center
of our unrepeatable lives.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bodhi Valentine #237

Sitting here
under the bodhi tree
I saw you beauty
moving through a cloud
of tourists in some piazza
like anyone else I could tell
you were still struggling
with old lives and one morning
crossing into the city I saw you
running along the still invisible shore
there is something in the world
that wants to levitate us
to suspend us and leave us
floating in mid-air
while something else
some colder thing wants to
pound us right into the ground
to cauterize our senses with
disappointment and regret
but I saw you beauty playing
both sides of that net.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Narcissus at Ninety Valentine

He was always chewing
on a toothpick and would
leave the used things all over
the house you could
step on one walking around
barefoot or sit on a couple left
in the middle of the couch
so he was often yelled at
throughout his whole life and
thereby gradually developed
an intensely self-critical
inner world which explains his
perennially self-absorptive eyes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Judgmental Valentine

Are we just starting to
wake the fuck up enough
to realize how soundly
we’ve been sleeping
I think not
even if the myth of
history is the history
of myth the chore
remains the same
to disenchant
our trauma drama
from the thousands
of tiny black seeds
the shy impatient flowers
catapult everywhere
whose cure is itself.

Desert Guerilla Gardening Valentine

My huge succulent flourishes
while the pot it’s in slowly decays
a pile of fallen leaves and shards
forms a small mountain range around it
all in one narrow bed I put
marjoram mint basil thyme oregano
guerilla gardening at night
we fight it out I hose them down
water lashes water bullets
until their fragrance comes
pouring out mixed on the breeze
the water itself creates
a drunkenness in the desert is my soul
inside that soul.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Genius Valentine

Every day some small question
gets rewarded some old mystery
creeps away erased
O that’s where she gets
such confidence O that’s
what happened to him
or some new saint or seamstress
swims like genius into sight
offering us illuminations of despair
but we have a little shopping to do
and no we won’t be able
to do it later he smiles
meanwhile the rejected
pomegranate flowers fall
in a pattern that exactly reflects
my mood and character today
face-down wind-blown
as if a god were near.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bodhi Valentine

Sitting here under
the bodhi tree
under the new Taurus
moon in my constructed
heaven my childhood
fort that any
of us could matter
trying to imagine
that many of us did
matter to someone
or other not that far
from 1st and 51st
my prison years I
call them because
I was not yet reborn as
the flower of forgotten
knowledge the afternoon’s
sweetheart the twilight’s
last paramour and friend.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Parade of One Valentine

The resurrection takes
at least about a week
to sink in it’s not like
those flashbulbs that irradiate
celebrities as they arrive
for the gala state dinner
you start to see it’s been
there all along but
for some perverse purpose
the higher self refused
to show itself
you start to feel
a swagger in the prose
you identify as poetry
it comes and goes
just an oatmeal day until
a ruby throat sweeps
to a stop before you
bows and turns
humming humming
what have you got?
what have you got?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Early Valentine

Early this morning a rather
large and scary-looking grackle
started yelling at me
from the top gallant
branch of the chaste tree
at anchor in our yard
he just kept swaying there and
harshly scolding me but then
a mockingbird flew right
at him ugly sounds back
and forth until the grackle
flew off and the mockingbird
took his place atop the tree
but when I looked back
a few minutes later on
the situation was reversed
the grackle barking triumphantly
on that last shred of branch
like getting the daily news
and here I thought it was me.