Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fenris Valentine

The brain is really a compost pile
from which false weeds flower
and continually prairie out
but what will bear the fruit
if fruit be bourn again
way out on long nights
when the wolf sleeps in your lap
I feel such envy for you o moon
but listen here comes
mastodon mousey
man that horn still
stuck in the middle
of his forehead at
that attention-seeking
stage but in some books
it’s Christ the lord.

Bloody Valentine

All that matters anymore
is the unicorn of clear thinking
still uncaught and still
completely misunderstood
so wash your hands
before you come to
the table of poetry
your virgin lap
must bear the vision
of those blue eyes
while the tip of its horn
enters your heart
at least imaginatively
which sounds harsh
I know but really
it’s nothing more
than a little blood
from your finger
such silence awaits.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Forgotten Valentine

First thing every morning
ask yourself
what am I avoiding
nothing is more convincing

of the frangibility of thought
than forgetting what I was
just saying or where I was
just going with that

after all who taught me to iron a shirt
because I wanted to be useful
or to run when it came time for soccer
instead I fell in love with the Incas

whose prodigious memories
only needed a few knots on strings
to remind them of hundreds of different dealings
each with subsidiary rivers of information

accurate down to the sandals
and to the hour even down to the hours
of their loves and the mountains
associated with all their debts.

Untitled - #4 Valentine

Would you rather be a royal
believing in all that shite
as the Germans say it

or one of the middleclass
grubbers supporting it all?

these were Po-Chu-I’s unspoken
questions as he asked for the menu

in 1841 he wanted to see

where the greatest haiku
falls short of a beer

not how modern monarchy
equates with style in poetry

ruling better when deposed
and living monogamously

in Brooklyn near a cool
French seafood place
we tried and liked.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Untitled - #3 Valentine

Super shuttle study group
silently convenes this time
we’re critiquing one another’s
cities for signs of secret
assignations settled smiles
cancer trauma symptoms
o that’s what they’re called
interpreted by the scenery
like the dark turn this
projection has taken
you are not alone though
the aloneness part doesn’t
ever really leave and you
don’t ever really want it to
you just keep it as a souvenir

Untitled - #2 Valentine

A mostly disheveled day
gets off the night train
from Urbino or was it
Pittsburgh shut up I’m

telling this where did
you get that cute silent h from
a long history of making love

but like a tower in the city
of dead languages it collapses
every time you don’t say it

a mostly disheveled day
having come so far

as if on custodial visit
or to give us something gray
then escape in a stolen car.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Untitled Valentine #1

There’s a ferry that goes
around the island or alone
to the separate islands

I want us to try it again
we could stop at the bridge
instead of trying to bust
our way through Southern
between California
and Melancholia
anchorite heart
in the window
what are you on
I don’t get it
a phone call
with no message
redundant heart
among so much else
that wasn’t called for

or called

to show

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Farewell Valentine

Every day after you returned
I meant to write you a note
saying welcome back but
you hadn’t come back
you’d just left a brief note
and gone off again
something that said
I was worried you
would never know
how wonderful it felt
to be me how grateful
just as I would never know
how wonderful it felt
to be you even though
since knowing you I feel you
in all my feelings which also
include how awful it felt
and still feels to be me
and when you tell me
how awful it felt
to be you how crushed
I felt I couldn’t trust
myself enough to breath
entirely on my own again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boyish Valentine

You still like cream soda
a child’s drink you saved
from misplaced days
or maybe a beer or twelve
with shots you can’t stop
but at times burrowing
your head into me I’m
drunk as well again
for a few butterfly
moments of bliss
like laughter coming
from far out at sea
but yes
coming for me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Vacation Valentine

In summer I surrender
to what my senses crave
and drive dreamlike thinking
I will find the place again
robbed perhaps of its old quickening
but a revelation still
dazed and dripping clearer
not as a thought
but as a thinker I can walk
to the edge of the water
to the edge of the starry world
which hides its beauty from the sun
but with the ocean becomes one
to where the summer of myself
gives up at last my self to me.

Chez Nous Valentine

If it’s really feasible
that the light of the sun
the light of a billion fires
can fall through a glass door
into a little moon of sunlight
naked on the floor where
we are still sleeping I am
writing this in my sleep
then it must be simply
a matter of mood or scale
by which the timeless is
a quotient of absorption
whose whole purpose thrust
and focus may come down
to just this one particular
evening or late afternoon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Survivor's Valentine

We who often got drunk on Rimbaud
early in life and ran off afterwards
to sip absinthe with Verlaine
when we should have been
home doing our home-work
we were not just hallucinating
the hunger the blow-jobs
they taught us to survive
like them as objects of ridicule
who suffered childhood as mixed
grievous loss and boredom
we were not just hallucinating
those terrible misunderstandings
we had hidden cameras tracing
their images on big-ass canvases
to line the mental hallways
of our artsy-fartsy hearts.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Doubtful Valentine

Sitting here you could die
I look at the dates
on things as I move them
from the frig to the garbage
I don’t even remember
buying this savannah
unless it was the morning
you slept on the floor
nor those five houses
on the same block nor
that black sail way out
but then what’s not possible
to memory but doubt?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brown Valentine

Like channeling sparks
toward their slippery targets
in the sun is poetry
not at all like raising dust storms
to bury cities but to show
that nothing known won’t be
amended in some similar way
won’t be embarrassed by the future
recorder or decoder
wearing a fine brown shirt
blown open miles away
from which every drop of sweat
has been extracted
so all that’s left is stain.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Murder's Valentine

All the old plays are about murder
of one kind or another and whether
one can escape judgment or if
guilt would still win of course but
then be trampled by a net of arrows
for nine years weaving a web of disasters
then fix your mind on the voyage home
your safe return a symbol of the middle
phase in the annual journey of the sun
and whether under certain conditions
revenge could be moored like ships
in the dead of night prepared to strike
burnt umber into the skulls of windy capes
and roar who killed whose famous father.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Orphic Valentine with Fireworks Background

When the body is male
the soul is female
when the body is female
the soul is male
Orpheus was clearly
the more beautiful one
so finely made
and she _________
your name here
whatever your name
could be dismissed
could be dispensed with
after all we’ve been through
the humble one
the fearful one inside
shut down shut up
by a colder pride.

Spaghetti Valentine

A full bowl of spaghetti
and sitting down to eat it
I find ‘La Dolce Vita’ on cable
just at the scene where a pretty blonde
laughingly shouts out, “Should
we go now and have some spaghetti?”
to a parade of early morning partiers
was that a mock-serious reference
I’ve gone and taken literally
maybe he was afraid of himself
Marcello wonders about the suicide
who killed his two children
my wick waxes as my wax wanes
bravo for the spaghetti
I forgot how it ends
whatever face I can’t
come back to at least
twice and try to save
is gone for good or
the last rendition.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independent Valentine

OK let’s get on with it
if you want to know the time
look in the mirror
if you want to know the times
look at the cock
of Eros I speak
he has a cock bent like a bow
not Philoctetes his quiver
he was from another Troy
can poetry afford
to be practiced
like a 4th of July
home furnishings sale
or was it mainly from sex
America was running
from church to church
mixing it all up with
glamour and money?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lyrical Valentine (for R.A.)

Think about several things
the subject could be doing
during the riven moment
which would still qualify it
as lyrical not merely quizzical
as when we listen
to a poem in a language
we don’t understand we
still grasp the better half of it
a certain music of arranged  
vowels and consonants
before meaning something
intervenes with its stop and go
its worrisome come to me.