Monday, April 30, 2012

Gene's Valentine

Everything not me
is Christ to me
everything not me
is first and last
and at a certain point
the creature becomes
the bread and wine
just ways of thinking
of you and me
of all beings
everything not me
is Christ to me
only I
stand between us

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sabbath Valentine

I think religion is just
another form of poetry
gone terribly awry gone
totally off the tracks
don’t take this literally
but apply the standard
critical apparatus
to strip it down
or build it up
from basic principles
back to the vowels
themselves working
into flesh and bones
each form sung
into movement
danced into being
so that now if you were
to take away the singing
who would go to church
who would not stay home
and sing her own
sacred songs?

Fugal Valentine

Sitting outside eavesdropping
on neighboring constellations
and faraway a strangled woman
who is singing beautifully
a little dream of me
a siren is coming for us both
longer lines scare me with
cruel threats of corpulent prose
five words forward and
I have to turn from breathing
to morning rounding the corner
in this darkening panicking poem
it’s not the body I worry about
which is always being demolished
and then restored under different
contractors differing conditions
but if my soul
shall die as well

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doily Valentine

With parents like
Emily and Walt
what did you expect
a recluse and a narcissist
one thinks of doilies
inappropriately dampened
one not quite cadaverous
the other quite a stud
already arguing
over the air conditioner
I can see them roommates
living in New York
they are young
and handsome
and will never mend

Sky's Valentine

Sometimes the sky
opens like a mouth
to take you in
your mouth speaks back
as you watch how
it manufactures the words
ripping them off and how
they emerge perfectly formed
new cars parked quickly
in distant desert lots
in rows like orphans
once were kept waiting
for inspection if not delivery
too much of the same thing
loses the poetry of it as if
behind its intelligent gaze
the statue sensed it
really couldn’t think
as if behind this intelligible
world there were not
great painters and dancers
great composers
shameless magicians all
we really need to please

Arizona Valentine

I tried to pick a color
but I wanted a rainbow
the odor of tears
is in the field again
the field of economics I mean
which is like trying to get
rain here in Arizona
a few sniffles the moan
of distant thunder
but no real letting-go
no bawling like a baby
which is really needed
instead we’re fed
locusts and lies by
so-called Christians
that same crowd Jesus
tossed out of the temple
who finally caught up to
and got even with him
or so they thought


We’re on two
sides of a divide
that must be there
and that must be
breached -- the in
and out of each
like where do you
put your arms
when you sleep
mine collapse
like umbrellas
under my chin
or imitate two
leaves fallen
into an embrace
with me inside

rolling asleep
with a grin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prodigal's Valentine

O Lord forgive me
for being so arrogant
stupid and vile
by letting me go
you gave me
the freedom
to forget you
as soon as I could
get away I fled my
family didn’t I
let me go on
I said further
leave you behind
wanting to experience
myself the failure
I could still become
without you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sudden Valentine

How happy
I’ve been
splitting reality
with you
taking turns
with the divine
concepts of love
and evil
and even worse
than despair and
the artificial tears
of reason is
that sense of
total loss
which is required
if tenderness
is real

Yesterday's Valentine

We lose so much
of ourselves
and valuable energy
having to check
everything out
unable to trust much
our own species
most days dog’s BFF
if not our own
best enemies
forced as we are
by angry gods to fight
their battles for them
to go on pretending
this world this life
this darkness isn’t
as naked as a jay-bird
to us all in the end

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Catholic Valentine

That one blooming
yellow Palo Verde tree
in front of St. Peter's
really lights up
the whole street even
in bright sunlight

while on the head
of the winged virgin
a daddy sparrow
waits his turn
to feed the chicks
a big bug dangling
from his beak

they call them
sisters but
their brothers
must be called
Father misogynistic
Sanhedrin sheep
as can happen
when the one
you love refuses
to grow up

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Unfinished Valentine

Virtually I went out
walking the Cotswold Hills
above Stroud England where
I am considering being
born next time although
we would have to flee
soon after my arrival
to an even smaller town
in southwestern Wisconsin
for unaccountable reasons
my plan so far while still
leaving a lot of room for divine
intervention along the way
and the usual detours
mix-ups and delays from
which yet another chance
to change can come

Friday, April 20, 2012

Archangel's Valentine

Just to let
the thought
like a great
enter you
settle into
your bloodstream
and you have
some greater
being even
beyond him
or her and
on and on
but having
an ego we
like to think
we’re the only
ones or at
least the first

Midnight Valentine

Most of the outside
seems a rather exact
distillation of ideas
albeit dreamily
arrived at around
horizons tending to
harden into chemicals
unless resuscitated
by new oceans of desire
but on the inside
on that island
where it is always
midnight in that room
only you can enter
to consider your own
quiet participation
in its arrival you smell
remarkably like spring

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baby's Valentine

Too soon
one fell out
of the hole
in the wall nest
a feather
to its name I
put it back
without trying
to relate but
that was
some kind
of relationship
some kind
of violation
that young
their wings
are a tawny
yellow they have
no idea what
they’re for

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What The Fuck Valentine

I live next door to Rocky
who regularly comes out shirtless
to wash his big black car only
driven when shining one morning
what the fuck he looks up
a huge thundering street-
sweeper is heading for
the just-washed car he
dashes for the keys racing off
down the street just as
the street-sweeper thunders past
who knew the street could get
this quiet a plastic bottle
rolls out from under something
did he leave the hose on
late at night he comes back alone

Visitation Valentine

A duke

of the sky

came by

all beak

and whirr


not shy

to ask

if I had


to reply

right up

in my face

I froze

in his gaze

he left but


at once

to pierce

my trance

replace my

face with

his glance


Monday, April 16, 2012

Girlish Valentine

Parsley clams detergent
bleach soda napkins
it all started out as a
languaged poem
a micromanaged poem
or can’t you take a joke
as opposed to being one
there is still something girlish
about writing a poem
here in America
as opposed to having one
written about you I sing
(Achilles) a cold macho thing
refusing to make sense
deliberately most of the time
like if poetry were politics
Zukofsky would be our Ron Paul
Niedecker our Hillary Rodham
you can finish the list

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Muse's Valentine

An appointment
with the muse
turns into an
with the blues
this muselessness
I cannot lose
every day a
comes to see
if those little
blue flowers
are back
on the young
chaste tree
not yet
last year’s seeds
won’t leave we
sit and grieve

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Allegorical Valentine

Between confused fanaticism
(virtue gone way too far)
and conscious deliberate evil
(which never seems to tire)
we set our stage in the fair
ghetto of the heart a spike
to put right through the center
of self-centeredness is offered
but how selfless can
self-development get
lost here in feeling’s forest
cobwebs of sensation slapping
our human arms and faces
as we run as fast as possible
past the awareness of
awareness itself just calmly
standing there waiting for us
at the center of the heart 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Viejo's Valentine

Looking out over
roaming hills of doom
as we must often confess
during this sexual phase
of our construction
we can still whistle and
dance to any paltry
tune and wake to sit
at our desks counting
the dead and the undead
many a smitten afternoon
in you I trusted
country of our bedroom
watching evening bloom

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blue Valentine

A whole young person
forced to live inside
a decrepit old body
whose eyes have died
as happens to all of us
between katydid and
sparrow a hummingbird
therein resides and cries
floating from flower to flower
as becomes his thoughts
neither crocus nor scilla
nor gentian nor cornflower
but lips pursed blue for another
controlled emergency ascent
up from the depths of the sky

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fallen Valentine

Whatever falls in the night
after the downpour of dreams
and other purely imaginary events
celebrated here in the desert
are these drops of blood
spattered on the bricks like petals
the wind shepherds into drifts
so a river of blood is formed
from where a huge stone fell
from a passing truck
and rolled into the yard
there’s a hollow space
in the middle of it holds water
stained with ambient light
the desert gathers round
to see itself the petals
act like real blood

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Free Valentine

Collage encouraged us
to see everything is collage
all the time we have fitting
pictures into various pathetic
humorous suggestive
routers and switches
along various levels of comfort
but thinking stands alone
among all our other disasters
as still not having understood
itself as the missing link
in bringing matter out of spirit
except as abstract painting
or older forms of minimalist art
but what sense is anyone’s
resurrection if others aren’t
free to undertake their own?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shroud's Valentine

Both as a season
and a day a reason
to continue and a way
have you heard
any other more
compassionate music
that depicts the depths
of evil human beings
are capable of I mean
just as a story or a
tragic-epic-drama in which
a curtain opens for a few
moments between worlds
a door is cracked  
a little and what light
comes rushing in
irradiates us all

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Historical Valentine

Now after today
every door that opens
on another morning
carries some color
from this empty grave
because mainly what
they had to say came
after and got omitted
from the official texts
that everything would change
when Mars squared Venus
and Venus squared Mars
and that from their rough coupling
would come tears of joy and rage
and that only your surrender
would bring peace 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Exact Valentine

Way below the grackles chortling
high in the salt cedar tree
a lonely truck plods along
and over there you can see
salvation mountain as I call it
or as close as we will ever get
to the sun going down just
as the full moon is rising
and that exact harmony
is achieved the Buddha’s
smile is all about
there in his statues
still as death
before he returned
to his regular life

Good Full Moon Friday Valentine

Today the ruddy shadow
of my Christmas cactus
looks like a crown
of thorns I swear
I’m not that religious
never been to Damascus
except those two times
but these trumpet flowers
are purple for some sorrow
their leaves golden
because they reason
the earth is dying today
having eaten all
the light it can
and frantic for a way
to go on will lay
its bloodless moonlight
in our empty laps tonight
and weep for life
to come again

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dancing Valentine

In the dark mirror
of my thoughts
I can gradually pick out
my current face among
the crowds of snapshots
of all the men and women
I have ever been
but now we’re all arranged
like murmuring bees around
their golden hexagons
we can still feel the body
of the queen way above
and yet way below us
like a central sense of self
to which we return after
long stretches of dancing
carrying up and out
last summer’s sweetness
as far as it will go

Lord's Valentine

Why should I
have to ask a god
not to lead me
into temptation
which confesses it’s
one of his options
as I have led myself
into the world’s
as one of mine
why should I
have to ask you
the white horse
of eternity
the chestnut cloud
of your hand
you my hidden love
for my daily food
left behind in heaven
as it is on earth?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fierce Valentine

The way a rag
takes up the water
and is wrung out
to wipe a table clean
I took up with you
and washed you down
one side and up the other
though you hardly noticed
it was my favorite thing
which is about how
everything wants to become
something else so fiercely
it becomes the whole
point of evolution
to grow heaven

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Ride Home Valentine

When with an ungiven kiss
life from its rigors in human corpses
flings out the beauty of the spring
a forest sighs into the vast of space
and the weeping world takes up again
its fundamental note of joy
despite our daily need to drown it out
but still the conquering leaves go forth
along the strict branches of love
the town looks civilized and neat
the sea purls like a whale at our feet
then we can forget to die
or as if someone else in any event
had already taken care of that for us
and we will live on forever at last

Gardener's Valentine

I could never grow
tomatoes and roses
too much shade
around the places
where I lived
and yet how could I live
without the things I loved
so much of the time
as if every grown person
should have to grow
some blue or yellow flower
and care for it like
a daughter or a son
and think of it
carrying it around
night and day
as that part of us
almost everything
in the world
would like to kill

Monday, April 2, 2012

Go With This For Now Valentine

At the back door
two leaves side-by-side
like someone’s shoes left

who has come in
through the locked door
like a thief in the night

while we dreamed
but the fact that
one thought can link

up with another
of its own choosing
has nothing to do with

the brain but arrives
unbidden from somewhere
outside its sphere alone

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hosanna Valentine

I want to believe the gods
are still creating us still
maybe even more diligently
than ever working on us
having evened-up the game
with their recent unavoidable
insertion of opposition
(evil they’re calling it now)
and that they remain watchful
on the sidelines though more
on a level of soul a concept
without a country these days
but that a god would die
to prove the power of evil
in human beings and
thereby prove the power
of love is almost more
than I can bear

Original Valentine

All this world
was just to speak
a word one word to you
which finally spoken
echoes in memory’s silence
and in the shapes
the world is made of
to amuse us and confuse
often even before we
have a chance to discover
who we are some trauma
intervenes to detour us
moving the shells around
so we forget the original seed
we carried and how it might
under different suns have grown