Monday, December 31, 2012

Lang Syne Valentine

Had to have them
didn’t know
I didn’t need them
had to need them
to know I didn’t
have to have them
I just didn’t know
I had to need
and need them
and not know
not really know
as deep as need
to know them I
already knew

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Listening Valentine

But then they tell me
their secrets sometimes
where they go to die
what causes it for them
which sounds like weeping
I’m too young to understand
though no child could be
as pathetically patient as
I am sitting there listening
for hours and sometimes
I put seeds out for them
each one bearing the name
of a different song I remember
some going back to the Vikings
war whoops and the coming
of the ends of things
so sparrows can sing
the fading notes of terror
only spring can bring

Friday, December 28, 2012

Massacre of the Innocents Valentine

Sailing out to the periphery
was lusty summer’s goal
but now the hollow center
swallows all and all
the warmth and light
that let us forget ourselves
chills us to the bone
coming home to winter’s grave
our names in cursive snow
writ large for all to see
then quietly erased
all covered over lost
our memories like flakes
by flakes replaced 

Friday, December 21, 2012

12/21/12 Valentine

Every so often
like a hand reaching down
a leaf falls
brushing the cheek
of the hill or the hill
of the cheek
it blurs and unblurs
the world is always
glittering or trying to
even if with tears
the sun is you

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Heart Sutra For Newtown Valentine

Originally the world
was just a single heart
floating in the middle
of nowhere safely on
the outskirts of space
and time the size of
a whale’s heart or a
raptor’s but to us a
relatively infinitesimal
speck in the vast dark
yet it was from that
original heart-shaped
object the earth as
we know it now was
gradually built up
layer upon layer even
unto the ninth layer
the raging fires of
its first refusal locked
there at the center
always threatening
to break loose and
destroy us all

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

After Vivid Dreams Valentine

For a few seconds after waking up
I had no idea who I was or
where I was and I watched
feeling comfortable not knowing
and not feeling any fear about it
but then I remembered
the whole story up to now
so that later when
I found a worm drowning
in a rain-flooded flower pot
after watching it writhe
and wondering if eventually
it would swim to the side
of the saucer and climb
up on its own I had to
rescue it and put it
back up on dry land
to burrow into
and to live again

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Feathery Valentine

Beating pleasure from the body
scraping pain from the brain
the delays and uncertainties
which keep us from this moment
the toll that takes the bell
the earth as grave
from which we risen
send our living thoughts
and this was only Tuesday
(what exactly is a Tues and
where precisely are they found)
water on Mars is news
and later this fool
caught himself trying
to pick up a tiny feather
of light from the ground

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Valentine

We’re not unsubtle thick
we see the child approaching
if only in the maya of history
the history of maya in myths
even considered from that angle
how else could it happen
did you expect angels
to drop out of the sky
and there’s an end to it
one night and one day
unless we were those angels once
those children approaching
one child leaping into your arms
one not leaping
but turning away

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Traveling to Bethlehem Valentine

The world is like someone sleeping
whose dreams make trees
oceans clouds nightmares cities
towns that do not waken
the world is someone sleeping
on the northbound bus
or the eastbound train
or the transatlantic plane
the way the sleepers
become the world
as if there was
only one sleep
and nothing could
waken the world

Friday, December 14, 2012

Seed Valentine

Only when the Chaste tree
naked as a god
has finally dropped
all his leaves for me
on the cold gray lawn
to rake and carry
to the compost
only then do I hang
my Chinese pagoda
birdfeeder full
of future songs
on one of his stronger
arms and wait
and stay up late
for the new year to bring
its one more seed

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Museum of My Embarrassments Valentine

Hopefully we’re not
that stupid
we can’t discern
our own stupidities
from time to time
in meditation
come close enough
to our humiliations
not to be overwhelmed
by them but to admire
the brushwork and
unique coloration
after the fact standing
back a safe distance
of love and time
neither enough

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Don't Have Enough Middle Fingers Valentine

No I don’t have enough
middle fingers
for slavers
aren’t we all
no I mean
the secret ones
and I don’t have enough
middle fingers
for scammers
aren’t we all
no I mean 
the professional ones
and I don’t have enough
middle fingers
for minions
aren’t we all
no I mean the ones
who don’t have enough
middle fingers
for those who don’t
have enough
middle fingers

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ex Nihilo Valentine

A poem is also something
created out of nothing
you would never imagine
resembles a football game
or electrical wiring where
the sun disassembles itself
decaying into images
of you and me while
the world flashes on
and off and we
who were once sun
and will be sun again
can only salute you
O poem O sun

Blue Car Wash Valentine

Oh dude you have
no idea how dead
the aspidistra looked
when I returned
we each to a different
hell had been assigned
who rapped that
to the dudes washing
cars on Sunday
mornings remembering
the horses holding
and stroking them
buzz-saws in the
background chewing
up the scenery
and I could still feel
your body sleeping
next to me

Saturday, December 8, 2012

American Valentine

First we had a war
against supremacy
then we had a war
against the native people
then we had a war
against slavery
now we have a war
against stupidity
in ourselves and
those around us
which of course was
present throughout
but today reaches
epidemic proportions
and seems to center
on our unwillingness
to look far enough
into the future to see
our own deaths
coming toward us
as an immediate event
which certainly could
wake us up to being
here for one another
like nothing else

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent Valentine

Now reindeer and snowmobiles
are hurtling toward the cliff
in a game of chicken
where in 983 AD Vikings
could be found all
the way from Istanbul
to Iceland I try
to remember the Ireland
of my youth when
holiness was dying
but would soon become
a business like Delphi
how our tools become
our masters
but my money’s
still on Donner
and Blitzen

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Coral Vine Valentine

But then I finally noticed
how the shoot of the vine
always turns lefty-loosey
attaching to the trellis
in its upward climb
and patiently resists
ignorant efforts
to fasten it with ties
and force it clockwise
it just smiles at me
as if I didn’t know
following the path
the sun takes through
the days the stars
and moon the nights
wasn't the only way to go
out of this world

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Painter's Valentine

Was Frank O’Hara
really the last
New Yorker to use
the words parti pris
in any context
let alone speaking
about painters
or about how
a poem can only
be as narcissistic
as its maker
but I still wonder
if that was Jim
(stomach ache?)
Schuyler (lol)
who phones him
in the middle
of that sleeper

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dee's Valentine

No morning is
entirely wasted
if you get to see
a verdin that small
gray-yellow bird
related to the chickadee
searching the leaves
of shrubs and trees
for bugs or if you get
to look up and catch
the occasional cherubim
speeding across the sky
tearing off their
garments as they go
or if you get to remember
for a few moments
something long forgotten
only you would know

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Historical Valentine

We sit down
and say nothing
it isn’t going
to work
in the dark
but then something
like the main
character rushes
onstage so to
speak foaming
at the top
of his lungs
and everyone
laughs and
applauds and
goes home afterwards
even hungrier