Friday, March 30, 2012

Speaking Valentine

Is there a mantle
to assume when I go
unto the holy altar
of poetry what need
to put one more thing
into the world against
finished nature
to speak as I breathe
conscious sound
to conscious word
to finally become
the language I
was meant to be
a speech that does
what it says

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sketchy Valentine

I break out my sketch-
book but just
to draw blanks
the power of goodness
is its refusal
of power
sparrow babies
silent in the eaves
unto the 5th generation
have you seen
the sickle moon
lift its dark host
now I’m older
my youth embarrasses me
though I remain true to it

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sun's Valentine

As if the sun
had to go through us
to get back to itself
the way a tree makes
an apple or an orange
and then you were formed
skipping the intervening years
and skies that had to
suffer and die so
this afternoon could be born
and grow and then suddenly
emigrate into the dark continent
of last night’s dreams
with you I could walk free
as the sun out of
the prison of this world

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Valentine

We are always
so surprised by
the smallness
of our minds
when we look down
from yesterday’s bridge
but don’t save don’t
save anything
how can there be
tomorrow if there’s
barely today left
eaten away by
yesterday yet
today even in
pieces was/is
so great to see

Monday, March 26, 2012

Future Valentine

Who remembers
the hollyhocks
of his youth
wave your hand
if you’ve forgotten
the answer
what the hell
are hollyhocks
doing in a poem
a biennial messes
with Mr. In-Between
a man re-seeds himself
all over the place
I’ve dropped the seeds
of my future lives

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Orange Valentine

Don’t we finally
have to chose between
arms and wings
orange bird who lives
in the mocking tree asks
despite everything aren’t we
still falling asleep
old scold
whatever it is
I love it
how it moves
and is gone
leading us on

Drunken Haiku Valentine

What a hit and miss
hit and run
kind of day

I saw you talking
to yourself laughing
with arms waving

reflected in the window
like a memory

it seems the mothers
and fathers of evil
were not themselves evil

but their children perfected
the random cruelty
used on them

until the only god worth loving
is the god who allows you
to reject him

at a certain elevation
the sweetness of juniper
fills the car

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Green Valentine

Green if you
just glance over at
the pomegranate tree
she blushes
in those new leaves
red fingernails
and toes March comes
fashionably dressed
to make love in the street
no it’s not New York
though it inspires me
because in all New York
there’s not a single
pomegranate tree

Monday, March 19, 2012

Religious Valentine

You know I’ve always
kept several small altars
to the gods and spirits
around the house
who from the start
in that first backyard
I could feel in the air
and see in the thoughts
around me an owl’s
feather a few precious
stones a shell and
a small brass
statue of a bull
who count on me
as I have always
counted on them

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wall Valentine

I saw a blue rainbow
like an umbrella over
a gorge one time
I was alone and
I would walk from room
to room it wasn’t
that big a house
but when I looked out
the window I could
see in its reflection
a blue rainbow
on the wall behind me
over the canyon
of my bed

Friday, March 16, 2012

Manhattan Valentine

To find the missing
pieces between passion
and piety between
sanctity and sensuality
between warmth that
is not yet light and light
that has no warmth in it
between virgin and birth
between soul’s fire and
heart’s freeze to what
stands between you and me
the siren and the dove
cooing somewhere between
speech and song

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Interrogatory Valentine

If you were a god
would you want to
have an earth life?
Like one of us saying
I’m willing to fit into
the body of an animal
for a few years to try
to bring the whole species
forward one giant step?
Do some things have
to happen on earth
before they can
happen in heaven?
Is it home to our original
idea of ourselves
we travel?

Vernacular Valentine

Each life itself
a haiku in
a huge text
by herons
of a thousand
lines to say it
all saved string
saved anything
is musical
balled to a point
the shore composes
even the bed we
sleep in
O uguisu

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Genie's Valentine

You take five
or six sticks
of dried lemon-
grass and drop
them together on
a small dish
or grail and
the figure formed
becomes some creature’s
skeleton a rune
that frees when
burned some tall
fellow elemental who
when he leaves
puts out your
lights each night

Parzival Valentine

Up the inside
passage the lost
word canoes
or flutters but
no one sees its
return as the gulf
fritillary there and
here and gone
what cleverer
disguise would you
assume as a god
as one drop of
that great being
taking from small
leaves your whole
sustenance affixed
as flower?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Poetic Valentine

It seems
I have written you
a poem almost
every day since
I was seven
and I’m not
even using
poetic license
I would never
do that to you
at least not this
early in the poem
this late in
my dementia

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Relationship Valentine

My current relationship
is with a birdfeeder
I keep full of seed
hoping to bring back
the old songs to the
song sparrows
the astral bodies of
dogs and cats
I have lived with
their loyalty and  
secrecy amazes me still
but after so many years
I want everything
out in the open
and at night
we sleep alone

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Full Moon Valentine

Being nothing
how could I not
accept the overtures
of the god
when he looked
at me and instantly
he could see
my whole life
inside and out
even that field
or park my soul
longs to become
my silly soul
he could see it all

Mother's Valentine

From the sunlight
powerfully flowing
into my soul this morning
may there also arise
the clarity of true thoughts
to loosen the knots
of the world
and aiming steadily
its fiery rays
waken my heart
to love all things

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pu'erh Valentine

Someone in China
is sipping pu’erh tea
when I sit down
on the other side
of the world to join
them with a cup
of the same which
has come of course
all the way from China
we used to say
take a slow boat
to China as in I wish
someone would
set out on a gray day
like this the orange
trees blooming that
nostalgia in the air
to bow to one’s ancestors
one’s loved ones
and set off for China
all for a cup of tea

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Desert Valentine

September is the hottest
month here according to my
annual electrical report Renee
in customer service writes to
remind me how important I
remain in the overall energy
delivery system because of my
personal energy consumption
over the past twelve months
especially precarious September
when we sat quietly hoping
the AC would last the night
in my theory of death
the more afraid of it you are
the more stuff you have to
own or control but what
has that to do with me Renee
or you with it?

Best Days Valentine

The best days will not succumb
to comprehension the worst
are easily understood
to know what has happened
is no worse than not to know
what will return as you
but now under cover of darkness
in some convenient disguise
slipping into some future city
after some aborted affair
who are you terrorist of the heart
homeless friendless fleeing
can’t we finally just be happy
and forgive everything
and fuck everything

St. Paul's Valentine

He’s like the deaf Beethoven
whose inner hearing reached
such a pitch he no longer heard
in this world his own music
or like the alcoholic Zen master
no different from the alcoholic
bi-polar poet making in words
what he cannot in his life
we do what we would not do
what we teach others not to do
I myself the koan
which I solve by being
I myself the sickness
which I heal by living

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lucky Valentine

Fat stars have fallen
on the pale nasturtiums
so they stand there rather stupidly
admiring their luck
those enormous diamonds
stars become when they die
landing right in their laps
which only because of
the inverted umbrellas
their large round leaves
gratefully offer the rain
and the sun can we be said
to exist at all and have seen
what becomes of their dead