Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Valentine #2

To come back
to one’s imaginary
friends at the end
of a long largely
hallucinated life
you ask me to write
down the facts and
basic motives
I listened to angels
some raggedy child
left behind follows
me still and tells
me the secrets of
history in dreams
but no one believes me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last Valentine

A leaf clings to
me like your hand
curled on my forearm
what can be said
on the last page
of a hundred page book
knowing you’d look
on the last page first
to see if this all
comes out in a way
you’d never guess
and so must read
it all to find out why
it’s not that kind
of novel is it where
reality has its way
with us yet somehow
we narrowly escape.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Acrid Valentine

The oldest leaves
on the trees
leap first
into the fiery
furnace of leaves
already returning
on the acrid air
it could be genocide
or autumn
flesh is flesh
when faced
with its decisions
let us lean
on the counter
of the horizon waiting
to be served by
that white sail.

Beauty Calls Us to the Earth Valentine

Pursuant to the power
of the most experienced
of butterflies or birds
or any of a variety of
species made visible
for a time an afternoon
drifting on drafts of light
not subject to gravity
never touching ground
but who nevertheless
call us back to earth
fluttering in our empty
heads like memories of
something or someone
really important
we cannot forget
needing our immediate
attention and concern.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Moon Valentine

I chase the cat
the cat chases the lizard
the lizard chases the ant
the ant chases God
or something smaller
and insignificant as
God may be to himself
having given himself away
completely shattering
into every thing imagine
the God of All Ideas
reduced to petals and
stamens a refined
sense for sky

Man Walk Valentine

The long sentences pee
from the two of them
a man and his dog
as in a modern painting
we can especially relate
to how much reality
needs to be imagined
here artistically
and scientifically
to study hard but still
have to imagine one
another completely
following only rules and
clues never discussed
never definitively
agreed upon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Found Stolen Valentine

I was wondering
what you think
my dad would
have liked
I never knew if
he had a favorite
flower but he
was an Aquarian
and a drinker
my mother is not
alive so I don’t
know if that
makes a difference
in the color
of the flower?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rainbow Cloud Valentine

Some great bodhisattva
is bleeding through
this bad weather

a rainbow-riddled cloud rising
out of the Ethiopian darkness
like a new version of the sun

what if you bend he says
the form this way or that
but still little looks accomplished

that after trillions and
trillions of eons the entire cosmos
comes to a silent eternal nothing

that could be a blissful thing
everything finally interpenetrating
every other thing forever yikes.

Wind's Valentine

When the wind perceived our weakness
we were stripped slowly and paraded
in front of cameras
so our humiliations could be
preserved as one of the original
thirteen imaginations how
many have we left
a taste for bee beards
vulture eggs and semen
plagued the nations
but still you refused
to eat your chocolate rabbit
your fair madness
relative and clear
traitor to our fear.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dried-Up Valentine

I had to pull
it down the sorry
glory of it brown
as deer-hide it
leaves a lingual
sound when crushed
in fingers folded
in hands the long
stalk of passion
vine still cracked
where it was plaited
through the iron
trellis summer
palace hung with
silvery tombs
the butterflies
had long vacated.

Vegas Valentine

Friendless by voice mail
as much as by personal
choice I rest my case
of ruinous love on
your shy shoulders
your brave feet
whoever I am tonight
lay down your bet
it’s not as if you have to
get it right the first
time sweetness
leaps into your mouth
that you exist at all
makes love possible
if not entirely sure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blues Valentine

I’m growing dead
leaves in my dreams
of you I’m planting
nameless seeds of
forgotten trees
fallen fruitless flowers
that go on falling
these are your final hours
a knocking on the cell
of my heart but
who’s to answer
I’m out growing
my invisible veins
my soundless pulse
reborn a singer
and a dancer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Looker's Valentine

If occasionally
I sneak into
the other world
like into a huge house
when nobody’s home
just a little rattling
from a distant kitchen
or maybe they're all
at choir and I slip
behind a column 
while a bright cowl
of sylphs glides by
or open the bedroom
doors and closets
like a thief please
remember lord
I take nothing
yes I look
but I never ever
touch a thing.

Another Coming Valentine

Actually ‘Christian man’
is an oxymoron anymore
only Christ is the true Christian
beside whom we have all the rest
the ‘so-called Christians’
just as there are no dead people
in time we discover
only the ‘so-called dead’
who are present all around us
as a conscious part of courage
but unable to intervene –
we have seen that far down
the trail even if too
terrified to discuss it –
but still doesn’t being here alive
in bodies on this extraordinarily
unique planet require something
equally extraordinary from us
or is it just these endless puerile
squabbles this bull moose parade
of disastrous masturbating leaders
history's forced to arrest and kill?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mission San Jose 1814 Valentine

How with these terrible
and common tasks
the empty future fills us
we who were neither rich
nor poor having nothing
and needing for nothing
we had all we wanted
which was very little
living without legends
of how or when we first
came to this country
but not without our own
rather ridiculous ideas
about the immortality
of man originally thinking
the sun must be angry
with us leaving us behind
until we saw his returning
again and again had little
to do with us nor was it
affected by our offerings
of seeds and penitential dances
which were soon neglected
then abandoned and forgotten
until the Christians came.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ohlone Valentine (Left at Mission San Jose)

I think what the native peoples
all along the coast and inland
with their eight distinct
language groups and mostly
peaceful settlements
were most surprised
and shocked by about
the ways of the foreigners
who came and soon devastated
them with their twin weapons
of disease and Christianity
from which of course
they had no immunity

what most dismayed and
depressed them
was the bullying cruelty
and pleasure taken in
unnecessary suffering
these missionaries we
honor as good fathers
brought to their quiet
villages and their original
lives made out of feathers
grass and sticks.

Camellias Valentine

Like a gaggle of
17th century ladies
flouncing off in their
hoop skirts and crinoline
furbelows stopping
and half-turning
look back at the sun
behind them now
what moved the sun
these leaves and all
the stars and does so
on a 24/7 basis
for which every grown
tree is a question or
at least a question mark
they seem to ask.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trillium Valentine

Wake-robins in
Wisconsin woods
wake me this warm
Arizona morning
long dead now you
can’t make this up
99% of the story
on each three-
petalled bright-
white table-cloth
a wine stain spreads
as it dies
run of blood
from the throat
rush of heat
from the body
as the cut is made
boiling summer
all nerves and
the sticky joy
of evolution.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Watercolor Valentine

About an hour
after the sun
also rises the
money tree on
the coffee table
in the living room
gets its bath
of sunlight which
lasts slowly
but briefly
the current
eight leaves
gleaming green
and worth their
weight in gold
but only if and
as I watch them
and you are in
the background.

Closer Valentine

Is poetry closer to life
than neurology or aquaculture
bullfighting or whatever
is this a pome
you’re writing to him
(ask this with mocking tone)
so many theories
it’s clear no one
really knows what
he’s capable of yet
except to me
like parking a few
words on the side
of the table a
slow sign or
place to stop
and touch.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Angel's Valentine

Strange noises
outside the gate
of memory’s
I refuse to
which gate one
might operate
as you did
indicate o ingrate
o birch
which crash
in duplicate
you did you
implicate us in
so now we
are late
to our fate
as angels
with men come
ready to mate.

In Music Is the Secret of Death Valentine

From the whippings
and buffetings we get
from the wind today
a tsunami of dust
covers everything
like sheets over the
furniture of a huge house
locked away in some
young Canadian's mind
with vistas for visitors
who claim to feel
wherever they are
a part of that place
without from or to.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Torn Valentine (for the Mother of God)

Plans and projects
planes that perish
it turns out
even the sand
is interested in you
albeit superficially
showing up for
meetings and
cementing someone
else’s guilt at first
not long before
a choir of its own
springs up in air
or wave or flame
the word is in the
movement of the
form come to rest
temporarily upon
a thorn or thought
the color of ideas
torn when in
passing caught.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Every Thing's Valentine

Every thing is in the way
of every other thing
every person in the way
of every other person
and just as we move
one thing or one person
out of the way
other things appear
other people
who are only their disguises
their distractions
because if there’s one
thing we’ve learned
it’s always the same one thing
not several different things
haven’t we come that far
about what’s ill with
us human leavings
too frightened to love
one another but not
too weary to kill?

Leonine Valentine

In this physical world
it’s all about placement
and the movements to
and from locations
out of which the vine
of time and sad duration
naturally flows not
always gently but always
quickly even when still
and a little giddy
or guilty and serenely
reality can dream there
can’t it on and on
but just try to walk
under the pomegranate
tree these days
it bongs you on
the head it hurts
its fruit hurts
refusing to fall.

Friday, August 12, 2011

St. Robert's Valentine (Sincerely)

How many of us often
grow a little bleary
practicing our songs
but not St. Robert Creeley
the St. Francis of modern
American couture poetry
he kept stitching in
the fiery lining of the coat
of light one eye seamlessly
on the naked butterfly
while the other
calmly watched the not
and the not-not
invisible worlds
which he did sing
about as well.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I also don’t like the way
I worry about and nag
constantly at myself
it is not endearing
having to bribe and
cajole to get something
done once and for good
in your life but like one
speeding train passing
another speeding train
I could only glimpse
for a nanosecond
your lucid face
in the blurred years
you saved from so
much time
so much space.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breaking Hard Valentine

What’s past is troubled
what’s past is doubled
who’s your daddy
who’s your double
hello I was just
thinking about you
troubled often by the sense
you’re forgetting
someone that somehow
pressed so hard learning
your letters now
your hands collapse
with words and inky love
that burning coal
how long can I endure
it there eating its way
through the center
of your stare?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lexington Avenue Valentine

To be in a large crowd
feeling nostalgic for some
group soul as a way of
evading homelessness
like the violinist in the subway
a great artist who once a month
turns up unrecognized to play
for free for all the millions really
who pass this way hurrying
to work hurrying home
hardly listening
but I forgot how classical
the subway can seem
hurling you through
the underworld you
repeat initiate
no such thing
as alone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why I Am Not a New Yorker Valentine

Because the Guggenheim
reminds me of the rotor
at the county fair the floor
drops off leaving you
pinned to the walls
like any dodgy work of art
made wholly irrelevant
by the concrete joke
of the building it’s in
currently housing when I
was there the “non-making”
of decoration mistaken for art
by someone famous
and because New York
is where everything goes
to happen last but with
the best possible score
and because of the dirt and
the noise and the people
everywhere you go
when for me three trees
is a crowd which is why I also
couldn’t enter Central Park
it felt like a museum
with its chocolate clouds
and finally because of the Frick
which is now a museum formerly
the house greed built and which
holds a treasure that never travels
and won’t be loaned out Rembrandt’s
magnificent ‘The Polish Rider’
how can I look on that face
and not remember the deaths
of the millions of peons who made it
possible for that asshole Frick
to buy this place in the first place
and all these wonderful paintings
even if Frank O’Hara humorously
tried to redeem it somewhat with
his reference to it in ‘To the Harbor
Master’ or was that just
our private joke?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Valencian Valentine

Watching the bullfights on TV
I start to understand
why they must do this
to the music of the corrida
the matador is St. Michael
the bull is the dragon
the bull is the soul’s
uncontrollable rages
that must be given up
baffled and overcome
by some godlike being’s
dazzling footwork  
courage and grace
so they reenact  
the old sacrifice
and because we still can’t do it
they have to go on
showing us how.

Ted's Valentine

That bear again
a matador a rocker
whose bull is the poem
and the bullshit thereto
appended by dawn
by death all that
upper body and beard
hiding a shy altar boy
sipping wine after mass
uppers for consecration
asking mockingbird when did
beauty become the enemy
the religion of the new
shock-deaden all
sense for what's true?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oscar's Valentine

He thinks the earth
is out to kill us
that hiding behind
every gray beneficence
is the red planet itself
continuing death
that part that finds
more excitement in
hate than in love
which some even wilder
strain of us continues
to love extravagantly
still intending to make
itself very blamed
before it’s damned
how madly extravagantly
absurdly he loved
thee earth.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Starving Valentine

Maybe we’re more plants
than animals don’t animals
protect their young and
feed them though I respect
how the old ones wither
and wander off voluntarily
which plants do ever also
oceans are nothing
to cross them with
thinner and thinner
coats of sunlight
but to be an animal
you must have a soul
a natural dignity or place
and a clear technique
for avoiding thinking.

Retrograde Valentine

The little pieces of leaves
the dust shards on the floor
what a marvel of concentration
where summer sits eating her feces
her concatenated species
of griefs and goons
while we in our terror
all we can do is shake well
those last steps before
invisibility walks in
the doped autumn sky
the twilight season’s vestibules
with all its carnage
in its arms