Friday, September 30, 2011

Farewell Valentine

Mostly feign inclusion
to retain ultimate control
losing an arm
is rated R for violence
so now you’re a one-
armed millionaire
buying back the arm
the good things
are the hardest
to assimilate if they
arrive at the wrong
address a boulder
falls on your heart
as you leap together
and now one of
you must part

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Birthday Valentine

I stand here a watcher
of waves their rhythms
and bottle-green lights
waiting on the shore
being able to predict
and run to meet
the ones worth riding
like the short time
I have to speak to you
the curve of your voice
on this side of the sea
a couple came down
to the waves and entered
up to their shoulders
embracing and then
walked back to their
blanket on the beach
and lay back down
without a word
a perfect wave

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Valentine

Breaking and entering
the other world
Sunday morning
no one’s home
the world we
leave behind
still standing there
or totally replaced
a world without
us but made
by us it is not
ourselves the world
but what is not finally
us and cannot
not be us
I ask

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Equinoctial Valentine

Whether I am
an innocent man
to be loved or
killed by one
man for another
by another man 
or whether it is I
who must be clearer
and clearer with
myself about myself
distinguishing my
innocence only from
my guilt for you
where to decide
is already to
have lost it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Catchers Valentine

Never tiring of making
itself up my soul
moves on along its own
incalculable perspectives
eventually enough self-
awareness leads to
the soul of the world
it just makes sense
but who knew reality
was so obsessive-compulsive
or fantasy so cold
and unforgiving
the clearly sovereign sun
rises and sets
but it’s the moon
our feeling share
that gets ejected
like a ball thrown back
and forth by two
invisible characters.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trees Valentine

Now the trees are walking out
of the woods to show us how
to come back from the dead
as a daily sufferance
or nightly occurrence
but who needs hope
when he’s happy they say
throwing off their torn-up
loquacious letters telling
of soft summer mornings
evenings languid afternoons
before anyone has woken
or spoken or broken
before hope is all
in the not having
as the trees insist.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Awakening Valentine

Mostly the Buddha is sitting
comfortably relaxed and smiling
while mostly the Christ
hangs there on his cross
and just in these two pictures
lies something awakening
about their similar attitudes
toward life and death at least
from two different perspectives
how evolution moving forward
transmutes wisdom into love
first as a force for dissolution
of the wall between the worlds
and then since even the evil one
knows who wins in the end
as the restoration of his smile.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Autumn Valentine

The air is dry
but it all evens out
despite metal screams
along mental streams
upriver from summer
among earnest mists
and long ermined fogs
far from shore
I found a small
sail-less boat stowed
where your heart
once stood
as tall as oars
against my lips.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Transformed Valentine

When to moonlight
droves of bad dreams
permit dispersed
black parachutes
to swarm as if
to bury you alive
and all your harm
comes home to you
alone screaming
impatient spider
touch me anywhere
moonlight transformed
to light of love
like you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Metaphysical Valentine

Finger and blue toe
polish or the black
nail clippings
the old eliminated
to allow the new
until the novelty
wears off
I go out to the garden
to cut my nails
how long before they
disintegrate or maybe
go on growing for
a while still hungry
for more touching
more scratching
of you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Peony Valentine

If you cut it
it will flower
it will suffer you
if you insult
its roots with
heaving feedings
it will remember
it will volunteer
for suicidal late
night maneuvers
it will smell like
someone who has
all the answers
free to come and go
summer after summer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Maybe Valentine

Sex is always pornographic
isn’t that the point
but when love enters
the room for a threesome
a sweetness and strange
tenderness accompanies
otherwise forced entries
and bullying maneuvers
maybe we recognize the
true life-or-death nature
of our situation if only
for an instant and stop
pretending we’re just
genitals and mouths.

Fortieth Valentine

Forty is enough years
to decide on your parent's
names and predilections
perfectly timed or not
to culminate in you
the danger of too much
planning is that you fail
to notice how little’s needed
the air believes in you
the sun is struck by your flair
for honesty despite
insult and conceit
the days still move
toward you there
on the beach.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Time's Valentine

Time which is always movement
toward death needs a body
a place to rest some nights
death sleeps around a lot
I should say Dr. Death
it occurred to me one day
out of respect for the dead
if not for pretending to be dead
these are matters of degree
not kind death is not kind
Dear Dr. Death I am dying
please come to me or send
me a sign of your passing
I long for your end.

Life's Valentine

People for whom religion
is not the whole point of life
some other somewhere
there’s a place for us
as students of the mysteries
of life what is the
central and centrifugal
weave right now for you
why is this life so intense
and so impermanent
crossing the street
how far light can fall
your body represents
but the negative of reversal
who stands for that?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lake's Valentine

The order that is added
to the order already there
disorders it temporarily
forgive this interruption
the stone mutters to the lake
I was almost killed
by a falling boulder
bouncing off my head
when I was twelve
even in the winter
I would climb the
lake and cliffs
sit there till frozen
receiving my latest
and writing it down.

Highest Valentine

Among those things
that have served
their purpose
the poetry is
in the breaking
apart of the words
the washed space
gathering around  
as altered reality
or sky ambles down the
page that same device
and rhetoric time
uses to seduce us
some want to live
some want to die
but the wisest fly
like Francis flies
directly into the flames
to honor and feed
the highest ones he said.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Leaf's Valentine

Tennyson’s juicy apple dropped
one silent autumn evening
haiku-like plunging
into your childish brain
but had you wanted
to be stirred or shaken
he mumbles so much
behind the stables
when did rhythm begin in Europe
as the forests were leaving
and was the necessary excessive-
ness of the pyramids or
Chartres or Lascaux
just meant to humble or
amaze us Lo! he goes
look adown you idiot
but no mention of winter.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Original Valentine

First we have to
understand the lies
a great many of them
mastered and their
various small town
origins going back
and then today how
everyone’s a show-off
as my mother would say
but why does she speak
in the poem at this
particular juncture
say to yourself rather
my I is the preliminary
work of some great
artist unspeakably
greater than I.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mostly Valentine

Just admit
you wanted to
suck his dick
kick his ass
that seventeenth
summer of Arab
beauty the poor
children after they’ve
seen Paris on TV
so we can get it
over with mostly
these arrondissements
multiplying in our minds
until what we make
of our bodies
not even a spirit
can penetrate.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Street Music Valentine

Even over the noise
of the war on TV the air
conditioner blasting
and the dog continually
barking next door
any child or I can catch
the calliope creeping
down our street
what sweet music
bringing these last
hot days to us here
in Afghanistan Arizona
ice cream on the beach
even if without an ocean
and the dying in the street.

Daily Valentine

Finally today comes
the long-awaited
the prodigal day
the day stripped bare
by his lovers
the orphan day
the bastard
skinny one
thrown away
by the other days
pushed to the end
of the line the one
you recognize
at once as yours.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Umbrella Valentine

From memory
I designed a small
sculpture garden
in the shade
of two fruit trees
an awning and
farther down
a winged head
in concrete
on a pedestal
drawn from life
not mine but
not this one but
the other one
parked outside
the gate
an umbrella where
the dead can sit
and wait.

Karmic Valentine

Once someone fell
in love with me
but I couldn’t
believe it was
so inappropriate
we were for one
another I was
in denial and
pretended not
to see the cruelty
of my refusal
and laughed
loudly and now
thirty years on
I feel that longing
as if it was my own.