Thursday, June 30, 2011

Newport Beach Valentine

Like a gathered sheet
and worn navy blanket
thrown up over a bed
several times until they
land perfectly in place
only to be smoothed or
straightened out a bit
so these waves roll in
until the largest curl
reaches up and falling
back withdraws
everything offered
takes it all back
then rests like at the end
of a long explanation
or dramatic hush
in an old movie
while other newer efforts
are being mounted
roaring and carefully
lowered into place.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dancer's Valentine

Whatever’s in the mouth
isn’t words the words
were put there so
they would seem to
come from within
so they would build
the wind section
ears and larynx
until music becomes
whatever’s in the mouth
and pours out
as opera proves
but wouldn’t we all
be dancing like this
if we could
in a flood?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prisoner's Valentine

Maybe we’re in prison
the bars are our bodies
but we don’t think of it
that way because we don’t
see them as bars with life
as the prisoner and so
are left to wonder how
can we live freely
in the body but not
be bound by the brain
or the blood or the body
as a whole mineralized
instrument or philosophy
that eventually turns
us against us,

Cloudy Valentine

Sneak through my life
subterranean lover
precious as a cloudy
day in the desert
though the report says
sunny it does not happen
as planned the end
I would have preferred
is overcast like this
and you can safely emerge
in the quieter world
of shadows and passages
like an envelope
tucked under an arm
warmed and held
wherever it arrives
it carries your scent.

Monday, June 27, 2011

List Valentine

Your mother called to
ask what you were up to
not how you’re doing but
‘I want to know
what you’re up to’
left that as a message
I really didn’t want
to talk about her
she was just the first
on my list of things
to tell you I did this
this morning and then
I sat and read for hours
someone’s descent into
hell which turned out
to be just a prison
you could be released from
could move to another town
resume your immortality.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jew Boy's Valentine

If the Christ exists
the anointed one the healer
the Jew boy sent by his Father
Abraham’s Almighty _________
The Name of all the names
to save the Jews his favorites
even if from the beginning
he distrusted them his own
voice Moses he refused entrance
but if the Christ exists
to have begotten him
he can only be a seed
as small as a seed
in a world so full of itself
it will have to eliminate
everything material
before it would even consider
the possibility of some
spiritual reality or other
scaffolding all growth.

Nameless Valentine

As if I was enough
to take care of things
not have things
take care of me
three years ago I
turned the cactus
to its other side
would you believe
it’s just now
starting to notice
like that pause before
you look back
to take in what’s there
a slap for each cheek
or the nameless one
the he it she the second self
at the center of your life.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Overheard Valentine

Your heart is cold and empty
my heart is full of shit
but you do like to climb on things
that get high and go faster
all my life I’ve given people lip
as if I liked getting slapped
did you know the word ‘shame’
is spoken 346 times in all of
Shakespeare’s plays and that
only the word ‘love’
has a higher occurrence
more than any other emotion
which makes perfect sense to me
those two opposites fighting it out
the sun and the moon
of our secret lives
even though I know you think
I’m nothing I still want to get
dirty-clean with you sometime
your next door neighbor silence.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Objective Valentine

If your body continues to be
for me an erotic object as
apart from the self I know
as you an objet d’art concerned
only with itself the closure
on itself as a condition of
the art it took up afterwards
elaborate result of lifetimes
of hard work laughter bad teeth
wine jealousy and fear
now it comes like sun’s descent
through trees spotlighting
a few leaves and flowers
to unfold inside me here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hotel Wentley Valentine

Who has not always seen
his life as drama John or doom
being taken away from him
by the roaring winter wind
deeply damaged by those
themselves deeply damaged
or deranged by disappointed
love and drugged dreams
spent their lessons for a late
supper and champagne
writing and waiting
for the proper moment
or waking alone in bed
one pill too many
while you poets dream on?

Solstice Valentine

Stop debauching yourself
we say but caro we can’t
fail to understand nor stop
what we’re doing pre-disaster
when it’s disaster we’re after
isn’t love a disaster
isn’t love the disaster
I don’t blame our minor
personal romance which is
tragic in a lyrical sort of way
or lyrical in a tragic sort of
I mean its more universally
applied dimensions in respect
of caring for actual things
simple non-attached affection
for this living world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summery Valentine

If you lived with me among
the roots of summer
you would see how abashed
the empty fields become
at two of a torrid afternoon
and watch a thousand tiny workers
carrying pails of water
everywhere or hammering
loose small clumps
of changes carted off
for storage or re-burial
if you traveled with me among
the dreams of summer
you wouldn’t want
to come back at all
but we would we would

Monday, June 20, 2011

Up North Valentine

Living from image to image
from paycheck to catch-up
the problem of all the problems
of the future is the forest
problem whether or not
there will be any after our
robber economy fails
to care for the very
leaves that breath it
and the forests become
deserts like where we live
watching all this sunlight
go to waste all this warmth
you could really use up north
just pile in drifts around us.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Curriculum Vitae Valentine

If I do know this is
going to sound like
an excuse because
anything less than
performance in this
world is an excuse
except our pictures
always include a future
we still weren’t ready
to enact we fall short
of what we love if by love
you count in human days
it would be centuries
and several weekends.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Enemy's Valentine

Having recently attended a closed
door meeting in your mind I can quickly
tell you how you mean to dismantle
any legal authority to continue
military operations in your prayers
or in your plans for all the people
because let’s face it in freedom it’s either
all the people or just some of the people
which is tyranny and doublespeak
anyone who attacks the poor is the enemy
anyone who undermines children
anyone who harms animals
anyone who pollutes the water or air or the earth
anyone hoarding wealth or power
what the mother could be simpler?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Alien Valentine

A man was barking at the restaurant
at the next table a seriously mentally
ill older man with cigarette hair every
few minutes he’d bark once or twice
a sound I found so grating I had to stop
eating he was like a human dog looking
around in that helpless dreamy way
humans have and then barking at nothing
at no one and scanning around to see
who heard it who was paying attention
until he landed on me his eyes sucked
me right in went right down my throat
just the opposite alien I could feel my
whole brain tighten and begin to blink
all I could think was I could not think.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well Valentine

Happiness is always nostalgic
always creates a slight
disturbance in the second
half of the surprise when
it returns to ask for your assistance
don’t hesitate to feel irreplaceable
that’s how I think of you
rest first when you can’t most
save yourself for me
to drown you later
to come right up to the edge
of that deep well of happiness
and stare right in or jump
maybe jump right in.

Morning Edition Valentine

Still ahead the heartbreaking
story of how I started
to put some clothes on
to go outside carrying on
a small brass platter
a cup of coffee and
the first and last words
of a beautifully evocative
embryo of a line
(weren’t those parentheses
on the sides of its head)
when a hot desert breeze
like the tongue of a dragon
licked me from head to foot
lifting me right off the ground
only to end me up in bed
with you again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse Valentine

You might be able
to sit there with a bottle
of water in your hand
in the shade of the umbrella
I don’t know you enough to say
will I ever know you enough
sitting there in the real world
at least in one of them where
in this desert of love
water is served
cold artesian water
in poison bottles
it turns out
so do you drink it
or do you sit there
in the shade of the umbrella
alone with my never knowing
enough about you to say.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gemini Valentine

I must cane my ass
for all I was not able
to complete of my assignment
my portfolio of griefs and fishes
still stacked there by the door
but I just went out into the night air
for a few minutes then drove
to the store it doesn’t matter
what else I got these ripe
red raspberries for us
I wish someone had told me
when I was seventeen
there’s so much more joy
your body will be having
no matter how soft and
sweet they are at least
some things stay hard.

Sagittarian Valentine

Every biography footnotes
every other biography
for which its fame
is constantly expanding
slowly shrinking the text
down to the final gratitude
of five words hating irony
is hating love which
really we all do secretly
most of the time it’s about
how I’m feeling and whether
or not I’ll go with that or
do something else altogether
however vain the effort.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pure Valentine

What is my plan for pleasure
while there is still enough time
to actually make it happen
experience it in a sustained pure
way when the energy picks up
later in the day when the sun
has incinerated the last flowers
with the shiver of miles of empty
houses empty hours my plan
will come home like a boy
in a story about the search for
and actual finding of pleasure
not at all what you thought
or even I imagined it to be.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Andean Valentine

A local resident
cycles through the ash
as it settles across the town
a cycling volcano
resides in the town
with the local ash
the town recycles
the local residents through
volcanic re-settlements
a cycle resides in ash
if not in the local towns
settled by volcanoes
ash residents re-localize
the cycles in the town.

Pentecostal Valentine

There is a maker
or was nothing made
there was a virgin
or was no one laid
on no bed of thorns
whose butterflies beg
memories whose bats
dream our desires
our thoughts are all
we’ve left to
heal and us
so do get out of bed and see
the mystery of the trinity
a foot a hand a kiss.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Foolish Valentine

Why do I need you lord
only to want the devil more
has he so much left to teach me
even if it’s all in service
to the good in the end you represent
in the equation much to his chagrin
these are just words pathetic place-
holders pin-holes in time
yet I feel you specifically loved me
in that completely childish way
I felt as a child
even if now as a growing old man
I feel appalled at my
poor record of return
and your fool’s heart.

Obedient Valentine

Your overall impulse
is to get better I feel
a goofy sense of how
to handle being agreeable
read: busted! but forget
la-la-land don’t say
anything in the year ahead
about a particular discipline
working fast and loose with
the right words making more
promises than deliveries
dream big but try not to
trot out something important
whatever you do today
can only result in little from
all you expected wait till
the moon moves her fat
aspect don’t be trivial
don’t agree to anything
but sleep and me.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Valentine

These are philosophical flowers
not my brilliant inadequacies
these wings muttering among leaves
these porn star clouds lounging
in their mind-like sky
je m’appelle summer
surrounding the reality-whisperer
you are still dreaming me
the backs of your Jesus eyes
follow me everywhere
you didn’t have to say
a thing like him all
you had to do
was show up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Seven Valentine

When I was seven
I fell in love with birds
when one landed on my shoulder
and then with bees and flowers
and their strange life together
and being a bird myself
for brief eons of time I could
understand things better
not being either a boy or a girl
but hovering and bumbling
above the cupped hand
of a flower suddenly withdrawn
and then re-offered
like a lover toying with you
toying and then gone.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Strange Valentine

Instead of understandable thorns
it has these little water pouches
hanging all over it
like the hundred breasts of Artemis
shocking at first
how fire and water have worked
on such formulations
all the dead ends
that culminate in human skin
on human flesh
the strange beauty
of having been broken
into separate things
as if we were against love
literally and ecstatically.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Allegorical Valentine

To have gotten no further
than the tree from which
I fell and died at least a
week ago from the starchiness
of your desiccation your beck
open just enough to identify
your song’s source in echo
and refrain all call
and vague response
I say come and you arise
and ride now astride my spade
this heap of leaves and wine-
red pomegranate flowers
your brief grave.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Word-free Zone Valentine

This language which can take
any form can enter any body
this beautiful evening
easing into the room
I try to hear your words
moving toward me again
hidden in all these gestures
I did not say treasures
a post-literate world
could only have pictures
the horses in the caves
now faces in the waves
I could take your hand
and put it on my face
it would tell you all
I think of you.

Unforgiveable Valentine

Seeing I’m wrong
I’m not dissonant
I’m shocked
I’m in denial dancing
as fast as I can
grieving but you’re already
laughing humiliatingly
I can either hang
myself now or nationalize
my denial into
a whole new religion
the mysteries in ruins
my status as an acolyte
my fear I’ll be left behind
never forgiven.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stern Valentine

Anyway how many
would go if offered
an intergalactic love
when the cosmos if not
the earth is flat or so your
conversation falls off from
which amuses and confuses me
in my spare time while listening
I check you out I hope not too
unobtrusively your physiology
and anatomical inclinations
your young feet and older hands
a tenderness that’s conscientious
to the point of consternation
you who taught me stern
is German for star.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Useless Valentine

Under the ceiling mural
of the peach-blossom Madonna
in the room filled with carmine light
on the red enormous cushions
of the purple leather sofa
have you just connected
that the apple in the story
is their app for sex
which once lightly entered into
cannot be deleted
and that sex like poetry is useless
or you have a child or a swan
lifts you momentarily
back to heaven
out of hell?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Autobahn Valentine

My mind has started speaking in German
softly to me or English in a German accent
I understand only the mood of a few words
as they whizz by in tight flocks
Ich liebe dich I say and notice how
their ‘you’ is just the addition of a ‘d’
to Ich making ‘you’ a larger ‘I’ duh
but right now I’m on the autobahn
in one of those cars that drives itself
annotating the museum-like scenery
or you catch up on your Schubert
the one composer I would love to meet
like the first person in a play to sense
the danger the whole cast and plot are in
Ich liebe dich amazing how you
could learn to say it that way.