Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Furies Valentine

But that’s a hummingbird
tsk-tsking in the chaste
tree so loudly but when
I come to look he goes
silent then I see
his shadow escaping
from the other side
of the tree it sounds like
a scolding a chastisement
which no one can evade
a hook at the end
of the whip he lashes
over the backyard shade

Standard Valentine

Just because we haven’t
accomplished it
doesn’t mean
it isn’t there anymore
that we can allow
our standard to fall
by the wayside
because no one’s coming
to correct it
we must correct it
first in ourselves
and only by that strength
establish it for others

Babylonian Valentine

Certain elements
of the story
belong in poetry
but not the story itself
still merely a mood
on the horizon while
meanwhile poetry
was already ancient
and full of itself
long before it became
even remotely personal
or the bearer of dead
and living love 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sitting Valentine

Sooner or later
you have to sit down
with your evil sides
when you recognize
you’re becoming them
by fighting them
with evil methods
how our thoughts
plunging deeper
suffer when we shackle
them with words how they die
on their crossed meanings
only to rise again
in memories and dreams

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Falling Valentine

Every rain is beautiful
even when it’s terrible
even when it’s a tease
and will not fall
for such as you
but sails regally overhead
was once the earth a stone
eons of rain-drops
built up to this
polluted garden
or think of the earth as
some intergalactic rain’s
first drop to fall
of what you sense
will be a flood

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Valentine

I wake late
with a leaf
in my hand
I can only
speak in three
word lines and
I can only
stare at you
asleep or awake
on some level
aren’t I always
staring at you
asleep or awake

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whatever Valentine

If you try to understand
them they become more
and more fascinating
whatever it is and you
start to feel a certain
passion for them even if
not yet for their own sakes
but for what they can
give you make you feel
until they cease to please
and the love runs out
all acquisition
until you’re the one
for sale

Raving Valentine

My angel said we’re going to need
additional software the memory
that you are seeds of gods
is buried deep in the hard drive
but you still haven’t connected
materialism with disease with
death have you my angel is
like a homeless person shaking
in the street raving at me when
I pass by what if the most powerful
metaphor came into the world as
history’s most humble man
what would that tell you about us
we most need to know right now
and don’t want to he cries

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hart's Valentine

No one ever talks
about transcendence anymore
it’s simply dropped out
of the lexicon the formulary
now it’s all about translation
as if that didn’t embrace
any transaction between
two objects of any kind
he sings because he suffers
once music streamed into
his head through his hair
he couldn’t get it out of there
but that he could feel
something outside himself
even more intensely
than himself
that he could dare

Reincarnational Valentine

But I still
desire you
and I am old
and good
comes over me
a dull longing
to know all
this and still
be new
be fooled
and taken down
that same old
road again

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lucky Valentine

Just when I’ve seen
the world and admit
I love it more than
I thought I would
fear it hate it need it

they want to take me
back to that other
plantation but with
what eyes will I
not be born blind
deaf and dumb there
except for a few
days of bliss
I’ve earned not
through anything
I’ve done but the
mammoth luck
of being here
with you

Yesterday's Valentine

The mustness of today
insists on the maybe
of all the other days
the vastness of today
reaches even here into
your own consciousness
as its other half
the rashness of today
which travels farther out
and won’t be rescued
the insincerity of today
only those who can
face it come back
unbroken more alive

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Grade Valentine

What makes death
such a great teacher and friend
besides his general brilliance
and comprehensive command
of his subject is that
he lets us play truant
to our fates for a while
because what death teaches
is that we don’t need
what he teaches
that we can love life absolutely
but we have to pay to go there
to his private school
to find that out
and that we can deepen
our sincerity about everything
as an equal in the seven worlds
if we just try not to pretend
to be so selfless all the time

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Naked Valentine

I think of it as quilting
literary quilting
the long poem

I can only manage
a small soiled napkin
coveting one sneeze at a time

I once sneezed nineteen
consecutive lines I was
completely naked inside

neither by association
nor by dissociation
but by what inspires both

my motto: what a shit
you are sometimes
I often say to myself

what a little
shit I am
going to be

but to see I
can’t take even my
little goodness with me

if I would behold a true
objective picture
of myself

or anything else
but must leave my
own opinions behind

Traveling Valentine

From a certain mountain
my body is a prison
I mean a prism
a vision buried
in a vision
driving past the backyards
of prior lives
unexcavated lies
trying to fade
into the landscape
as it hurries past
four times as fast
leaving us in the dust
alone at last

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Silvery Valentine

Stalking a dead
leaf I came to
a dead flower
I was being tortured
by the hour
silver blades
slipped under my skin
peel back the beauty
to the plum-pink
throbbing pulp
I live within
a certain mess I made
the blood runs down the arm
totally astonishing at first
and then you feel responsible
for the whole world 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Objective Valentine

A poem must be
not only a refusal
of the cold tone of voice
and brusque business
attitude of prose
but show how
words can push
as far as they can
against the blank
spaces to their right
on a page or screen
how you can feel
this happening if
you take the time
where things get
technical or tender
and make-up is applied
backstage for your births
and funerals

Next Please Valentine

Is it a test
of hope to order
80 black ink
for the fountain
pen you still
write in long-
hand with in
lined notebooks
just because they’re
available at
bargain discount
these days
the skyrocketing
price of a poem
my lord you’re
getting this one here
for nothing

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eventual Valentine

I consider death
an event in life
important yes but
certainly not final
that makes no sense
we’ve come that far
picture it for once
from the other side
when you really do go on
the excitement
the sense of triumph
and if you really didn’t
believe it or want to
the sense of freedom
from a physical world
of false assumptions
bad faith and starving
millions for a while

Shining Valentine

Our garden fairly glows
after the storm
the sun rises too
over its dripping glory
and astonished
immortal flower-faces
such peace saturated
with peace as only
terrible war produces
here is given freely
the coin of another realm
in the making
where we are grown

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Silk Valentine

My cactus
wears a halter
of thin
       silk strands
to hold him up-
right in the pot
he’s so far
escaped from
so many times
I keep lassoing him
until he blooms
no I say
though you wear the sky
for a shirt and the sun
for a beating heart
you too must flower
and die

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hard Valentine

The one who prefers
this to that
will never understand
the world
she will never
face the truth
when he meets it
or rather when it
meets them catches
up accosts and
slaps me hard
once on each cheek
so both cheeks hurt
and both hands

Friday, July 13, 2012

Non-denominational Valentine

I believe the rain is not
having anything or
staying put somewhere
but traveling and staring
from windows that the eye
is made up of millions
of tiny eyes all of them
weeping and laughing
and that sleeping or
waiting at the station
we are always moving
steadily toward some
lifesaving assignation

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday Valentine

It’s Thursday already
in the history of the world
garbage pickup day
I remember in the country
my grandparents threw their garbage
right out into the backyard
where it piled up stinking
even as a child I was amazed
it’s Thor’s day by Jove
the day the Lord gave
us our orders the day the colors
arrive in nascent eyes
a rainy light descends from
a cloud across the street
on a Thursday of my feelings
wandering toward us all

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Resurrection Valentine

Through my body
I have the sense
I am not my body
I am not anyone at all
I am these thoughts
that are thinking
I-love in order of
situational appearance
that out of the temporary
elements I lift up
my permanent self
for the first time
out of my own perception 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bloody Valentine

The percept ‘thinking’
belongs to the concept ‘I’
but the percept ‘I’ belongs to
the concept ‘bodiless idea’
(which exists in the guise
of ‘life-death-happiness-evil’)
but actually the percept ‘I’
belongs to the concept ‘Christ’
or ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Allah’ or ‘Elohim’
if you take those to mean
all you wanted anyone to be
the idea of a kindness
which bleeds not so much
that you won’t have to
but that when you copiously do
the percept ‘blood’
belongs to the concept ‘love’
as it once did for you

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Museum Guide's Valentine

What I want to happen
as you read these marks
on the faces that you see
behind the screen
is for you to turn
the sun of your eyes
the other way for once
and peer down
with that narrow
flash-light’s gaze
inside your cranial
arch and down
the perilous throat
rappel with your
sure words we are
too full of ourselves
and finally reach
the place where we
metabolize ourselves
where we take one
piece of the world
at a time and turn
it back to nothing
once again

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vacation Valentine

A lousy businessman
a superficial scholar
a nervous botanist
a sycophantic chef
a skipping pebble
a new-growth forest
an unrepentant summer
a repressed executioner
a gutless lover
all these had gathered
in the vestibule
of one of my dream
mansions but of course
I wasn’t sleeping
I wasn’t even home

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Missed Valentine

I let the rain
wipe the dust
from my head
I cross the road
before the road
crosses me
my truth is in Wisconsin
but my heart
is waiting at the curb
you are there
whole days missing
from my face
you were always more
lyrical more seasonal
than me

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Earthly Valentine

Helplessness is not
so much the problem
as the point
of earthly life
to go there in order to
surrender holding glances
to give your life away
and searching always
for some greater god
than yourself to serve
to find the one in all
everywhere and nowhere
the last two places
you would look

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rolling Valentine

Isn’t the heart
a kind of oasis
after the desert
of the brain
after all the thorny
abstractions broken
furniture sudden
alarms it comes
as a relief to hear
it suck and spit
knead and fold
the helpless blood
tasting even the sun
on its skin saying
almost indifferently
roll me this way
then roll me back

Monday, July 2, 2012

Agoraphobic Valentine

Some of me still
isn’t sure you’re
there waiting
beside my death
as I am for you
even if all around
me the evidence
of love accumulates
and deepens
turning into my body
and the world still
why should I trust
it if even now
after my thousandth
disaster survived
I’m still afraid

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bathtub Valentine

Will you let
knowing how
the story
ends spoil
the story
for you
or preserve
the child not
as a fear-struck
or a heartless
tyrant but
the freshness
that you will
never be that
sincere again

Slammed Valentine

I love the drama
of the slammed door
the storming down the
street which at least
gives me time to
listen to some bird
where could he
have learned such
sorrow or see
each tree or plant
as some variation
on the personal lives
of the beings who
perform and reflect
their cold thoughts
strolling through
despair a park
of you for me