Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Valentine

The coldness of the world
even here in the desert
comes with a calm ferocity
challenging us to exist
in the face of its hate and spite
not unlike the calmness
of the world in the face of
our indifference our delight
that the world is our waste
all that we’ve disowned
in our descent
all that we’re reclaiming
in our long climb
from slime to crime

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Humble Valentine

Without a little humility
one gets abundantly nowhere
but holding on to it
once one succeeds
where’s the mercy then
of merciless me
and about so much else
I was wrong the chicken
and the egg which goes
last and about what
point are you speaking
to me early or late
asking o my estupido
these satisfied questions

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Paradise Valentine

We believe that in paradise
the bird-bath will clean itself
or as it is for some here on earth
someone else will do it
which is almost the same thing
we believe that in paradise
everyone will be an artist
working for everyone else
we believe that in paradise
we will not speak for singing
as song exalteth speech
we will not sing for praising
as praise out-praises each 

Wintersburg Valentine

Without formal invention
attention is only half
the equation it’s smaller
than thinking expected
you’d be surprised
absent the idea of closure
the unreality of absence
the same text page after page
guest after guest
a wedding in every room
after a long staircase of desire
but the sea is near
slowly leafing through
its farewell album

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ne Quitte Pas Valentine

If you go
far enough
into yourself
you come to me
I’m the one waiting
on my phone
on the corner
in that painting
but if you go
far enough
out of yourself
even past death
like in that final
painting remember
you’ll still come
to me you’ll still
arrive safely
in my arms 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Child's Valentine

I go outside and look around
I see what I’ve done
is recreate the garden
of my childhood but
in the opposite climate
I pretended to be a gardener
but kept my day job
pretending to be a bestower
of permission for things
that have already happened
I saw that if there is all
this beauty on the surface
at the center there must be
a roaring fire of destruction
which to respond to
I could only think of childhood

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hot Springs Valentine

Let’s admit it
there has always been
this queer aspect
to poetry and almost
from the outset
an equally strong
effort to masculinize it
there has always been
a top and a bottom
a woman or a man
but isn’t life more versatile
than that more hidden
vulnerable and lost
without price or cost

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Voyager's Valentine

In cloudy light
I write contrite
that my harassing
conscience might
in you find its
salvation and despite
but you were made
for light and dancing
with darkness both
while I was made
for light and dancing
with death alone
and won’t be coming home

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ariel's Valentine

Morning still sweeps
me to my feet
I can’t bear
to miss a thing
I rake the last
dark leaves waiting
for the first
faint ship of
light to set out
over the black deep
let no one sleep
I mumble to myself
just to be alive
one day more

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sexy Valentine

Sad after sex
that I still crave it
that I must have it
sad before sex
with the sheer
ness of it
but during it
I sense some pure
joy remains
to be mastered
at that ancient site
where life is made
and death betrayed

Seaside Valentine

Just behind me
is the sea
of my imagination
you could almost say
the way I’m sitting
I’m upstaging the sea
and you’d be almost
right and not just
the sea but the whole
restlessness behind me
imagination is that powerful
or nothing isn’t it the way
it de-anthropomorphizes us
charming us to want
the opposites the hopeless
passion or the apathetic groan
the restless or the indifferent heart

Destination Valentine

I watched a winter wasp
come carefully close so
I could see its face but
what am I afraid of
with most people if not
the dissolution of myself
can you say more
about the wasp unfortunately
poetry wants to know how
poems are but the paparazzi
of real stars I mean
didn’t you too want
to travel to the center
of beauty once

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who Are You Valentine

A tiny huge-winged star
hanging three black chains
attached to a bowl
of trailing red geranium
and dark purple petunias
whose royal coat of arms
is this only years later
I recognize as yours
and from the bowl
water dripped
onto blue iris
when you watered it
every day or so
your picture of bliss

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Certain Valentine

That old man smell
I’ve got it bad as hell allows
this side of the eternal funeral
of body profligate of soul
I stink in heaven
as on earth I shower
and seem as well as one
qualified to re-enter
the world cleansed
and pure without
guile or the handcuffs
of moral certainty
free to see what
we’ve been given
means we better
deserve it

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birder's Valentine

I meant to look up
that bird there is
no common sparrow
unless you mean the
field sparrow which is
common in abandoned
fields with or without
roofless houses saplings
growing in the parlor
it looked like a cardinal
with conical beak and crest
only a blunt-gray color
the burnt-out coal of the
slightly smaller red ones
some songbird must have
told him I put out sunflower
seeds today but as soon
as he saw me he was gone

Household Valentine

Even tamed indoors
the braided fig-tree
knows it’s winter
knows it’s losing
more than yellow
from its hair
but stiffer limbs
and not the one
one would prefer
one would defer to
sex is just the opposite
of love the secret
way it doubles back
to rip you up

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Miss Me Too Valentine

How a sneeze heard
round the world
or at least this room
reflects the rejection
of certain liabilities
in the air the depiction
of some undigested
element exploding
upon the scene
wobbling the infrastructure
of the dreamed space
where you once lived
how out of its own self
the self makes itself

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Trembling Valentine

Even if you love only one tree
you can still be in intimate
contact with all trees and with
the mystery of the individual tree
(or anything really) that it presumes
to separate itself from the others
and resolves to do one new
thing more each day becomes
for you a sort of practice
you can follow the rhythm of
and if you stumble fall often
naked trembling with shame
it may be because you also
long to return to the sun

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Legendary Valentine

In the days of horses and candles
when good was neither beautiful
nor truthful and beauty was
neither truthful nor good
and truth was neither good
nor beautiful in the days
of camels and magicians
the one boy was taken faraway
while the other boy was not yet born
but later their lives were interwoven
and from the mingling of the two
a third emerged
the one who was beautiful
and truthful and good

Monday, January 7, 2013

Old Valentine

When you’re lying
you touch your hair
except you never lie
but how often in
a day do you touch
your hair do you
run your hand up
along the back of
your neck that part
you never see
which reddens when
I picture kissing it
which your hand
reaches up to stop
because it tickles 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter Valentine

A fullness opens up
in front of me
while behind me
an emptiness disperses
a fullness that goes on and on
an emptiness that closes
how can I explain it to you
it’s not a tangible thing
the farthest outside and
the farthest inside connect
like after a cold night
warmed by the morning sun
a cat composes itself
and dozes 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Some Cat's Valentine

Some cat sleeps it off
on my lawn chair in the shade
I ghost around the house
picking dust up and
putting it down
even after last year’s disgrace
the moon still swells
from a prick to a breast
this year’s children rush in
standing at the gates of the months
waiting to be born
already the whole feast
long-prepared-for but
so casually occurring looms
you’re invited
should you care to show

Vector Valentine

A vector is both the carrier
and the passenger of a promise
a vector is both the victor
and the victim of a drama
both the message and
the messenger of a dream
a vector by itself proves
nothing but it exists
it has to be tallied
it suggests to you
a more closely fitting
conscience might evolve
from a fuller sense
of wonder a simpler
every day sort of love
when you factor it all in 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Immortal Valentine

I still have to decide
what to do next
whatever awful-beautiful
moment drops by
I still have to recover
and decide what
to do next I still
have to get up and
move around thinking
so OK that’s done
now what next what
next thing will I
make happen let
happen watch
happening I still
have to decide 

1/1/13 Valentine

New Year’s again – I put
suet out for the birds
salt for my imaginary deer
but what will the gods
put out for a queer
old sod like me
I can only wonder
as I do how often
through the cellular nature
of the past they develop
this continuous far-reaching project
of the most intimate planning
and intricate construction
all the while laughing
and throwing us in the air