Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cocktail Hour Valentine

Odor of oranges
frankincense and cool
rained-through night air
I mix myself a cocktail
of equal parts Dutch
Passion Space Jill
and Blue Dream
I sit outside observing
Venus and her court
skateboarding through
moon-lit clouds
after seventy years
what can I tell you
we’re still mostly
afraid of one another
call it suicide or murder
I wonder when we
have devoured the world
will we have learned how
to get on without it

Friday, January 30, 2015

Days of 2000 Valentine

Roofless window frames
without glass
the whole fourth
wall missing
never built on a
hillside somewhere
in Baja I remember
your views the drive
to Ravenna was like
your spring look
abandoned projects
in the east
so much space
but in the west
only time

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fiery Valentine

Where there’s smoke
there’s a person
often a person on fire
who has transferred
his burning to another
thing or person
or else it’s lightning
that enkindles the earth
to start again from scratch
and the smoke only follows
what’s too late to save us
often ourselves on fire
think of love as the smoke
of fear burning think
of a person learning 

Wedding at Cana Valentine

I set a trap for God
like the one he set for me
I will catch a God
and set him free
though he won’t do
the same for me
he will drag me
to his lair and
strip me bare
and ravish me
and when he’s
done leave me
to myself again
despairing he
won’t come again

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Walking Valentine

Sometimes my angel
takes me for a walk
the rope of reason
is tenuous at best
he thinks I’ll grovel
at his feet because
he feeds me I’ll be
loyal truthful meek
and loving meat
but then he kneels
and nuzzles me
his heart is warm
and sweet my own
flares up and burns
something passes
between us that almost
feels complete

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Unleashed Valentine

Angels exist
simply because
they’re needed
who doesn’t need
one stumbling
along behind
holding the tightest
leash it can
who doesn’t need
indoor training
of the outdoor mind
to feel at times
a god accompanies you
wild thing

Monday, January 26, 2015

Forgotten Valentine

Some things I just have to
walk away from like craters
in the earth no getting over
or around turn and return
not the way I came to find
where I went right instead
of left slowly in my mind
to where it all unraveled
as if it were that simple
I feel the habits of centuries
drag me further into the ditch
I forget for a while when all
is said and said and done
it’s joy in the end that wins

Above’s Valentine

Yes a fat gray cloud
is sitting on the face
of the sun it looks
like a man pleading
with his cat projected
onto the screen of the sky
above some of these trees
who want to be churches
again but when you
got to visit where
the great thing happened
there’s nothing there
anymore but the tomb
of its disappearance
not even a shirt he wore
or a piece of his hair

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Priceless Valentine

To be as small as a Verdin
in this world a bird as tiny
as a mouse with wings the
very trope of insecurity
and fear always glancing
from side to side to stay alive
but to have a beautiful
yellow face and solitary  
habits and to own just
a few notes seldom heard
in the great music of the sky

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Zodiacal Valentine

I hear the sound
I feel the warmth
I see the world
I taste the moon
I smell the earth
I move in movement
I say the word
I balance my body
I sense the truth
I grow and decay
I love someone else
I touch the beginning

Friday, January 23, 2015

Borealis Valentine

I dreamed I drove far north to see
the aurora borealis for myself
to put my hands in the wounds
so to speak and feel some natural
jolt of ECT lifting memory from
my shoulders for a while
and pushing out the sadness
perception accumulates so
I could see the true glory
behind the world dancing
with itself but I got lost
in one of those bars in one
of those snow-bound northern
towns and woke still sober
here in my desert home

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spun Valentine

Like an expert tailor measuring
poking and pinning as if
for a whole new suit of clothes
all day the wind molested
the house testing and probing
imagine that is the holy ghost
accosting your soul rattling
your cage of flesh with fingers
of wind spun round the world
how many times only to place
at your door a swept silence
a few leaves and empty envelope
addressed to someone who
doesn’t live here anymore

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Terrified Valentine

I like to sit outside
my house at night
and wonder who
lives there I mean
I try to look straight in
through the windows
at myself without
being terrified
for as long as
Christ is with me
it’s not that I
don’t love myself
it’s just I love
you more

Gifts for the Dead Valentine

Dear Joe Dear Ben
I’m sending you symbolic
Hawaiian shirts
to wear in heaven
on the hot plains
and hats and scarves
for the draughty hallways
of the winter passage
those subterranean mountains
can be fiery but cold
and the zephyr of the soul
stops at midnight steaming
in the middle of nowhere
for who knows how long
no cure but to endure

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter Garden Valentine

If I show you my naked garden
will you show me yours
it’s not all about the flowers
you know but the integrity
of the movement of a form
how it rose furrowed
and then lay back down
meanwhile it embraces you
and would take you with it
into a life of pure and
impure passion if you let it
yes do it I say at the end
of every summer but always
it turns and looks at me
as if looks could kill

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ideal Valentine

Out of all the people
I really wanted to fuck
or I really wanted to fuck me
there was you
the one the least
likely to detect
my retreat as reason
to follow actually
sex is not
that complicated
to begin with
but what else
would we do
with these bodies
and their stubborn
ideas about love

Changing Valentine

They say change is in the air
but then everybody knows that
he’s always lurking around
some rainbow that isn’t even
a rainbow putting on some pose
singing some soft number
but when will the real change
show up not the ruse or the lure
the pimp or the altered state
every night I hurl my body
up onto the shore of the bed
with the final waves
from the shipwreck
castaway again

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Original Valentine

I think the four seasons
are like the petroglyphs
left by an ancient star people
or the imprint and the after-effect
of the breathing of a great
interplanetary being
the intimate embrace
of warmth and light
across the universal circle
and every year the little grape
of the earth with the sweetness
that gathers on its surface in the fall
is lifted to the mouth of that god
and chewed and swallowed
and the seed spat out again
into the waiting sod that got
this whole thing started

Friday, January 16, 2015

Paradisal Valentine

The first half
of the life of the earth
as in the individual
life of its creatures
was a long slow process
of densification
and accumulation
which now in our time
as in the middle
of a dark woods
turns and goes
the other way
toward purer and
purer etherization
and everything
begins the long
slow unraveling
return to light
I can’t wait

Chinese Valentine

Not so much crumbled
as having had a great fall
I ate the broken fortunes
of my cookie pieces:
a wacky invention
will lead to your success
a tacky connection
will lead to your excess
a flaky inflection
will lead to your distress
a cakey confection
will lead you to confess
an inner conflagration
will lead you to undress

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Breathless Valentine

Breath me in
into the darkest
depths of myself
carrying your light
then out again
after a silent pause
to the farthest heights
past the starry night
how much more darkness
there seems than light
out where the senses
roam and disappear
out there you
in here you
I see there’s
nothing more

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Damascus Valentine

The son brings
the father back
from the dead
he proves the father
never died at all
but was made
to seem dead
and maybe
for a while
death seemed
real and final
until the son
proved otherwise
and broke
the spell

Monday, January 12, 2015

Font’s Valentine

In a place unsafe
to pigeons
so only the smaller
birds can enter
to drink their
tea of orange
and pomegranate
leaves in winter
out of the wind
but still in sunlight
a pocket or small
grotto with its
grail of water
waiting equally
for a Buddha
or a few small
brown birds

Pam’s Birthday Valentine

When we remember
that everything is light
or derives from light
even the darkness
is an offspring
though it cannot
comprehend it
still the light
thinks us and
time to time
carries us out
in waves
of thoughts
to the far stars
where somehow
we are made
useful to love
and sent back again
the light just keeps
working and working
to get us right

Sunday, January 11, 2015

History of Valentine

Believing oneself
beautiful and special
feels like believing
in some far-out religion
mustn’t you forget
what you came for
when you get there
the rose light
on the stucco wall was
and wasn’t you
strange how no one seems to notice
this is a life-raft we’re on
the fog rolling in
occasionally I caught
a glimpse of myself
moving against the trees

Friday, January 9, 2015

Eglantine Valentine

Walking on snail shells
what can’t be said
trying to light a candle
when all the wicks are bad
you have one old message
or is it you are one old message
to listen press delete
there’s something about green
and purple hooking up
you know won’t last
imagine each man is a line
and the lines are running together
then some break off
while others pick up speed
gathering and loosening
complete thoughts as they scatter

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Permanent Christmas Valentine

Let’s leave all the lights up
on the houses this year
you never know when Christmas
might strike again
the gifts wear out anyway by July
right on time for the Christ-
Child’s second birthday
just this morning a single
blue morning glory bloomed
in an inside pot
in an improbable blond light
you know its life’s a solitary day
so I sat up with it till it was gone
folded like a prayer

Express Valentine

At that perfect age where
everything is for the last time
long enough to have understood
my childhood its embarrassments
as necessary groundwork
for those of my adult decades
it all seems so simple now
how could I have been so clueless
as at the last page of a good mystery
everything slips back into sense
even if the plot was forced a bit
by the introduction at the end
of several other possible outcomes
for the culprit and his victims

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dizzy Valentine

The proof of the poem
is that you want to be that poet
you want to have said that
having thought it already
but without taking the time
to notice every curlicue
or substantive correction
of direction we’re talking
getting turned around
a dizziness and loss of balance
momentary but profound
as in dancing or moving
at a great speed or at
a great height off the ground

Free Valentine

It isn’t that we’re all really evil
but that evil comes into the world
through us through all of us
all the time so let’s start there
with a clear sense
of our unique smallness
with a universal potential
for the most heinous acts
under the most beautiful sun
talking the talk of the nameless
who suffer in our name
and let us finally understand
what evil really brings
the freedom to love or not

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Baptismal Valentine

Imagine if three
rich old men
showed up
at your door one
Tuesday or Wednesday
morning with real not
symbolic gifts
like you were
the Dalai Lama
or the Jesus boy
the reincarnation
of Zarathustra
bowing to you
with deep reverence
and telling you yes
you must save the world

Monday, January 5, 2015

Epiphanous Valentine

When I raised my hands in the air
two yellow leaves fell from the tree
I was facing my whole life
in those day slavery had already
been civilized into Edwardian
consumerism and Neo-Platonism
but one still died under the lash
now of the fear of death itself
I just didn’t want to accept it
that human beings would let
this happen over and over
that the older ones who knew
and could say are silenced
with dementia and money
while the young forgivably
are too close up to see