Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bread and Wine Valentine

Now they’ve all gone off to die
the whole street falls back to sleep
dreaming of a small memorial park
wouldn’t one be perfect right
over there a street can snore
how much more drivel the world
must have in store till we get
to the good parts like the time
you spoke with amazement
about something I’d done for you
I forget what it was now there
have been so many but I’ve never
let go of the look on your face
at that moment of surprise
the catch in your voice

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Syllogistic Valentine

The handle lets the cup
be free to be picked up
with one hand rather than
the old way with two
the struggle between power and
authority is called philosophy
the effects of torture
evident in his gait and sighs
can insistently be ignored
after three days the tendril
throws itself around the iron rail
so how come only you still wear
the real decoder ring
to the childhood of my heart

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Laughter Is A Form Of Meditation Valentine

As when I sit down to meditate
a nide of gnats haloes my head
some crashing into my mouth and nose
until I start battering the air
with blows self-inflicted in pursuit
to watch my patience decompose
the pure patience of a plant
where all these gnats are spawned
until laughter becomes meditation
the rolling around the floor kind
that encapsulates every gnat-like
gesture of which my prayer is
capable my praise is worthy

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hosanna For You Valentine

A resurrection can be any kind it wants
but don’t trust too many ambiguities
was the grail the dragon’s open mouth
you remember from the fourth grade
those were the operating instructions
to be lowered into like Trojan horses
if only we could release the brain
from being merely brain and ride
whatever we believe we want to be
into an actually living world
half horse’s flank half godly thigh
according to whatever freedom
I am willing to relinquish
for the sake of loving you

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wittgenstein's Valentine

Who or what do the words serve
is the hidden question of language
in the sense that words are like money
which in his case he gave away
every cent of a huge evil fortune
and in the loneliness of his life
lived like a philosopher
a life against philosophy
constantly in search of a reason
to stay alive since there had
to be one or what’s the subtext
the intensity of young Werther
risen now to the brain
a traveler of light alone
a meditant of pain

Friday, March 22, 2013

Historical Valentine

Before the sun god
had sunk to the level
of pictures on pottery
he was first another
up and comer a theory
it was said in a wide
sea of ophthalmologists
which one by one he
succeeded in scattering
a condition he aspired to
like the original spring
for which each subsequent spring
was merely a substitute teacher
until he put his whole
body into it and pushed and
the infant earth popped out

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Equinoctial Valentine

Tiny red dots appear
on the pomegranate tree
to synchronize their watches
when the tide of love
has seized them
like an armada
or a wound setting out
on its own bloody voyage
we together in the same canoe
of the endless beauty of you
the same yard and of course
identical buttressing skies
which balance us as much
as music or I love your eyes

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Iraq Valentine

How many of us started out
with really strong vocations
to become saints or heroes
who wound up with no one
in charge upstairs no sense
of the mythological once
the tyrant took the personal myth
into an ever-deepening spiral
of equivalence and debt
you see we lost the thread
all around us lay the dead
who remembers anymore
the resurrection words
come whisper them to me

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In Preparation for Spring Valentine

Maybe the real resurrection is just
that everything goes on developing
even the gods continue further
the movement is always forward
even when it retrogrades it’s
just waiting for the light to change
gathering thrust and sensibility
for the onrush of the overdue
God is that vague collective feeling
we are all going somewhere together
are essentially young by nature
and that somehow in us always lives
someone who is rising from the dead

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thirsty Valentine

In Aegina once where Plato
was born perhaps
in an unclear year
an unknown province
certain unheard-of ideas
entered the Aegean wind-
stream not as any trance-
inducing fragrance so much as
in something they called thinking
during which the voice of a god
could be heard from inside oneself
like the switch had been turned on
rather than coming from a cave
or incoherent virgin’s thirsty lips


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drunken Valentine

Though I stagger through the perfume
of orange groves riotously copulating
I shall fear no imperfection
for the liquor of my eyes
shall be cleansed and comforted
or who was this intoxicant
intended to induce but crazy
old lady earth to drag out
her medicaments and spells again
though all the bacchanals have gone
underground or on the web
which catches for us all
the world’s lost flowers as they fall
but cannot replicate their scents

Friday, March 15, 2013

Breakfast Valentine

I can eat berries
with ripe bananas
and grapes with
the pits in them
but the lemon
I eat alone
I slice a few
wedges at dawn
the first drops of sun
and drink each one
lifting them on my tongue
like your last kiss
but the lemon
I eat alone
now you are gone

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Apologetic Valentine

Every word means its opposite
in time and space its lives
thrive and wither walk and sit
but all along the way the robbers wait
where else but on earth
are we to one another crueler
than in any other settlement
or contractual arrangement
under Saturn or Taurus
but let’s not go there
or tell one another to go there
or let’s just say having gone there
not to say no return
to sender not to stay

SB Valentine

The pics are great.  A drive
up the coast sounds like a plan
if the weather’s good.  Is Mom
coming up for Easter?  That
would be fine with me.  I haven’t
emailed her but can ask her
what she’s planning if you
want me to.  Or you can. 
Or we can just stay home
and watch stupid TV. 
Love you, in such a
healthy way.  xox  Dad :)   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1889 Valentine

Traubel quotes Whitman
saying one sensible thing
after another for three volumes
over a six month period
but no one was listening
the plutocracy has as much reason
for being as poverty -- and perhaps
when we get rid of the one
we will get rid of the other
there is the Christ-like Walt
sacrificing his body for ‘the boys’
the vagabond and the nurse
but wasn’t he the first
in this ‘democratic’ country
to praise real love
wherever it occurs

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Genocidal Valentine

They don’t want you to know
where they live but I hid and
followed them home turns out
we live in the same house
they’ve made a nest in the wall
up under the roof like Ann
Frank and her family now
it’s happening to the birds
the bees and butterflies
slowly being exterminated
I watch them coming and
flying off stealthily in
opposite directions will
they be the next to go

Monday, March 11, 2013

Laetare Valentine

There is always some daring
in doing and always some fear
it’s not a feeling it’s a force
a movement and what we call
the will is simply this courage
or this fear but feeling itself
is essentially love the outpouring
of interest in something or someone
or else the boredom of hate
the turning away of all
of this but what would I know
without these thoughts of you
willed and felt past doubt

Friday, March 8, 2013

Stray World Valentine

To a stray cat
who visits us
sometimes we offer
water in a bowl
just to be civil
but we really don’t
want a cat we
barely want
the world as if
that matters to
the cat or to the
world insinuating
themselves calmly
begging to be
taken care of when
all we wanted was
to see the morning
glories after last
night’s rain

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Narrow Valentine (for my mother on her birthday)

Maybe evolution is the endless
work of lifting up the broken
body of our mother from the tomb
of time and nature indisputably
a resurrection though at first
we don’t see how she’s coming
together out of us the blinding
series of fabrications we nail
together into temporary dwellings
for the truth is earth is dying
and our one escape stretches out
across a bone-strewn isthmus thin
as the narrow thread of love
we crept in on

Forgotten Valentine

It all comes back to remembering
the general thread of the story
as you wade through particulars
in the volumes of misery
interspersed with juvenilia
of joyless joy or that’s
how it seems today
what biography am I up to
just enjoying being for a second
if it all comes back to forgetting
think of all I’ve already forgotten
all I’ve still to forget
before I get to you

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Free Valentine

It was the good gods
who created evil
so there could be
a free choice
nothing compelled
not just one’s duty
and in doing so
they became immortal
stepping out of time
into the enduring
until some of them
returned to show us
how to do the same
love is their name

Unimaginable Valentine

Not to minimize our selfish selves
but doesn’t the universe seem smaller
these days than the old world of ideas
we grew up in and floated off
ideas which after all have their own
hidden lives some never going out
but left wondering at windows
how will it be for us
to have evolved so far away
from our mountainous beginnings
and yet that seems our goal
even if still largely unconscious
of how diligently we labor
to achieve them how
worthily to receive them
our unimaginable selves

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Windy Valentine

Did the wind put his hands
on me in some particular way
but there was no one there
when I turned to see
who had accosted me
even if it was in my own backyard
and I had just called out again
for mercy as I do sometimes
to whatever wisdom’s passing
silently discreetly dispassionately
as I can manage to call and call
or did the wind cut off his hands
and just hand them to me
or did I as usual misunderstand

Calling Valentine

The regular morning call
of the bill collector
calls me to my prayer
itself rather thread-bare
with Tourette’s-like leftover
modern dance features
you can hear the choruses
of grinding molars as remote
tectonic murmurs from a past
whose words are slurred
but whose will is clear
there are no questions here
where I pause to kneel
past debt past fear

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wavering Valentine

Under strict bombardment
by our senses how
can we escape
if love doesn’t come
to focus our attention
on the one important shape
or don’t we care for
the same wavering sunlight
the same midnight wishes
when I see the immensity
of everything endlessly around me
how can I not think of myself
as a tiny seed of something great
and everything endlessly around me
likewise all seeds all bridges
between life and fate

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Passiontide Valentine

What remains merely reminds
me of the nothing to come
darker and blinder
but if love is holy
sorrow is pagan
completely bacchanalian
demons flooding the earth
with their demon semen
as if I was one of those
who had been told
the secret of the cosmos
but struck dumb by love
could tell no one
had to pretend to be
my usual delusional self

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bill's Valentine

Love is not right or noble
which gives itself away
to what can’t hold a candle
up against today
what’s finest is often costliest
though we can come
by dedicated means
to love destruction as our own
so love can only be enthroned
by what it loves
always easily first
interested in finding
then becoming
what it loves