Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wave's Valentine

A wave of barking
carries the postman
down our street
like a surfer bowing
and stretching foam
into a sea of discarded
papers their competitive
howling rises and stalls
suspended in silence
and then I can hear the wave
go down the next street over
the pause as it turns the corner
between roars and then
the street after that
and the street after that
as far as the dogs can go

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scientific Valentine

I am the lottery you won
which you have slowly squandered
profligate foolish expenditures
until my love had drained you dry
but then we went to Florida
and saw the hibiscus and the sea
I knew you’d come back to me
there’s always a silliness to life
with a school play’s drone
but what is only personal
seems wrong a life without
an honest witness still not
even scientifically condoned
but I confess I wanted you alone
how love morphs into power
and what happens when
it doesn’t get its own

Infinite Valentine

All the time we thought
we were close we were
actually infinitely distant
and all the time we thought
we were distant actually
we were quite close to it
the questions of
sacred ignorance and
do we have to do everything
every good every evil
just because we can
watching the hummingbird
(so that’s how the unicorn
finally was solved)
listening  to saws

Monday, April 28, 2014

Homeward Valentine

Early every morning
I take you personally
I make a list of names
to remember I am water
I have downhill in me
a racer to death later
I will have my leisure
some bird signals to me
from the alley our agreed-
upon warning we
are not alone but
death is the stealthiest father
first on my list
you on awaking
voices of my dead
to write down here
your continuing words

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Small Green Valentine

Inside the dead
shriveled flowers
small green seeds
why am I always
amazed and tickled
like a magic trick
so many more
than could ever
make it now
those that don’t
grow on into
further gardens
upwind from here
where rain resumes
its childhood
and the sun
calls them home
each night

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Yourself's Valentine

What you know
about yourself
in one sentence
write that over
and over as they
did back in the day
on the blackboard
as a punishment
a thousand times
I love you because
all I know
about myself
is you (: whoever
you is :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Belly Valentine

Every morning
I look at my gut
in the mirror
I stand back as if
I was someone else
and assess
flab or muscle
is irrelevant
what I’m looking
for is the state
of the character
of the thing not the
paunch of kindness
or the washboard
of steel it’s just
in this middle
patch of flesh
where the knights
would aim their
shaken spears
I can see what
the future is making
of me inside
like a child

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April Valentine

Along my street now
the sparrows are
searching for homes
they look up
under the eaves
and check out
corners you didn’t
know were there
but they don’t
want you to know
what they’re up to
what strength still
lives in them
to live privately
and simply

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fiery Valentine

In the empty yard
a wooden pail
filled with red
geraniums like
a campfire
waiting for us
in the courtyard
of the great
emperor night
our story already
immolated and
ashen there
but flaring up
when it sees us
still approaching
our lives

Monday, April 21, 2014

Landing Valentine

Climbing the stairs
the first ladybug
of the year
was your voyage
longer than usual
I drove five hours
to see you land
on the peninsula
of my thumb
I love how it takes
you a moment
to tuck your wings
up under your red
carapace when you
land and look around
obviously you can't
see us or you'd run
for your life

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Valentine

The little pine tree
is full of new candles
a child cries over and over
I want Mommy
there's a cabbage rose blooming
on my empty coffee cup
and neon green letters
on my ankle socks
the whole world just wants
to be itself this morning
just the way it was
in the beginning
but since it can't
it just wants to cry
for Mommy

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Valentine

We had to give up
on roses and morning
glory sweet William
and the pale plumeria
and settle for nasturtiums
poppies and hollyhocks
we had to give up
on fear useful but
wearing and shame
refined into caring
and settle for living
close to one another
often in silence
often not caring
we had to give up
on love to come
to actual sharing

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pear's Valentine

I ate a pear
I dared
the peach I
could not reach
it wasn’t hard
it was sweet
and soft
the greed we see
is a cognitive
failure the
artificiality of
an intelligence
that cannot
invent a pear
or imagine
a heart

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apocalyptic Valentine

The shadows of the bees
fall along the wall
flitting among the shadows
of the flowering trees
if you look up you
can see the bees themselves
moving among the flowers
and the still-forming leaves
the rivets holding everything
together carefully as a child
holds a flower a red moon
holds the glow of every
sunrise on the earth
for one night one day

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blessing Valentine

Each day distils
the day before it
before it can move on
even if only intermittently
move on to the next
semi-eternal moment
recapitulates by a strange
alchemy we call memory it’s
morning who picks and choses
even if only randomly
betraying some intent
even if what we call
memory is all we’ve got
to sort through is another
pensive thought even if
whatever our eyes fall on
we bless even as we’re cursed

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Repeat Valentine

Sooner or later you
have to cut your toenails
when they start to stab
through your socks is
often a red flag a bad sign
but how can you complain
about the magic yellow carpet
of fallen Palo Verde flowers
under the Palo Verde tree
the bark is green as asphodel
but the bloom is blazing yellow
and in the late afternoon
when the sun is setting
at the end of the street
that last light flows through them
there on the ground
so they bloom a second time 
but now no earthly thing

Friday, April 11, 2014

Petals Valentine

Red petals fill the birdbath
the prickly asparagus ferns
are sprinkled with them
the walk needs sweeping
still there are petals falling
carried in on shoes and heads
night and day and tiny
pomegranates falling
rejected by the tree
come down still wrapped
in their petals how many
are rejected how many
petals light the path
or are they his blood
his breath

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Biblical Valentine

People can be fooled
much faster than enlightened

you could be a holy fool
but then you’d be enlightened
or you could be a simple fool
just like everyone unenlightened
or you could be mostly a fool
with some small parts enlightened
but that sounds like childhood
or old age both unstable both
often frightened and given to babble
enlightenment implies a certain
fearless calm not from always
knowing what will happen
but from being one’s own bible

It Was Never About the Valentine It Was Always About the Heart Valentine

I gave the flies my shoes
and now they want my feet
I gave my body its lust
and now it wants me dust
(the thing about couplets
is they become quintuplets)
it was never about poetry
it was always about the poem
(those who write poetry
are condemned to read it)
it was never about the body
it was always about the lust
it was always about the movement
it was never about the dust

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Grail Valentine

The body frays first
at the neck and wrists
at the ankles and the knees
long before the spirit’s garment
of broken certitudes relieves the soul
of trying anymore to dress the truth with
further nakedness of what was meant
is meant and will be meant someday
all to strengthen the sad argument
of obliterating time and remind us
how the body is built up around
certain contradictory ideas that
the heart is not all there at first
but forms itself into a whole
out of two opposing flows
of blood into a tiny grail 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Excuses Valentine

I was just trying to get
my kit and caboodle
together take a shit
(excuse the vernacular)
and move on as the moon
directs us change yourself
you sonofabitch (which only
I can call myself thanks)
I mean I was trying
to cross the abyss
of life step over
this puddle of light
into something spectacular
the new origin of all things
the final spring

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meditative Valentine

I imagine the gods
sitting around a table
Monday morning meditation
and today’s task
is to imagine the gods
immediately above them
who radiate grace down
on them out of their own
flesh and blood (so to speak)
but quietly without
hurry or drama
the way the cells
of a flower deepen
into color or one hand
folds into another’s

Sunday, April 6, 2014

In Expectation of Spring Valentine

If you cut them back
they only bloom again
how many of us can
say that and yet
isn’t that exactly
what we all do I mean
who won’t do spring
who won’t stretch
out a tendril or two
to some passing sun
and bid it stay just
a little longer each
new day I mean
do you really believe
life can be diminished
or prolonged that it won’t
just push death aside
and bloom again

Saturday, April 5, 2014

More Last Valentine

Beside the last word
on the last page
of the last book
there’s a semicolon
with an asterisk
shining above it
but no footnote
to explain why
you were paranoid
about cockroaches
or loved harbors
or stayed with me
that night in Eleusis
all these things
that only exist
in the first words
on the first page
of the first book
of the invisible
country of Greece

Friday, April 4, 2014

Children's Valentine

The difficult thing about evil
is that it’s always so incredible
that someone would do that
that we would do that
and as with death or loss
we can’t believe it at first
we turn away from the worst
and evil knows we’ll deny it
we’ll prefer to ignore the proof
like children anywhere
all the children of Auschwitz
wanted to hear
was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
they knew the witch was real
they knew how the story ends
they knew how the ending feels

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hidden Valentine

An old email full of hate
and vitriol against a friend
I found scrolling down
into the coal-mine of the past
too late I noticed the date
years ago I thought was today
reading the old integuments
arguments I mean to say
the last time I saw something beautiful
I could see that it was dying
I mean from the earth
don’t you too want to take
that long inward journey
past the duty house of death
into that hidden beauty

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All Valentine

All morning I listened
all memory is limited
all motives are questioned
all moments are fated
all afternoon I waited
all afterthoughts are belated
all afterwards run long
all after-effects drag on
all evening I slept
all dreams are legislative
all snoring is administrative
all morning I listened
all dawns are divisive
all thoughts are derivative

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fool's Valentine

Also yellow is the light of hell
they say the treacherous
deceitful yellow-bellied
not mellow really at all
is the calm of a coward
but all the colors have
their darker flowers
the ruddiness of shame
and unmasked power
the buried bruise of doubt
the pale blue-green
of fear gone brackish snot
we are all cowards
until we are not