Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Herself’s Valentine

Not to love his own life
but to love life herself
and to trust life transmitting her
knowing she cannot
die or not bear
new life out of old
she just casts it
off and goes on
having suffered resurrection
having exposed the fraud
of death the great bully
death comes easily to life
they become the best of friends
after so long the worst enemy
life herself starts to wake up

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Child’s Valentine

You insure
the abandonment
you fear
and thereby you feel
entitled to rage
and to blame
in advance of
a future certain
you’re terrified
of being so out
of control but
can’t stop it at all
your emotions
throw you around
like a rag doll
that could be
your child
or me

Fall Shows Up Drunk In My Yard Valentine

Whatever made matter
whoever made blood
the source of all matter
he gives us our daily test
the young fall down at his feet
such luxury looks like heaven
but it’s the same circus acts
morning evening exciting boring
the consumer is always consumed
the mockingbird returns
he sits in the yard and shrieks
I’ve come to save the world
give up you lazy freaks

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Woman In Us Valentine

What we were building
all along alongside
our huts of blood wattles
and flesh we were building
fiery forms of character
and personality heroic and
unheroic alike life
makes use of both of them
in an age in which the woman in us
seems more afraid of us
than we are of her
but she is our true life
and therefore what we fear

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Red Moon Valentine (on his birthday)

For a few moments of the eclipse
a thin pure white saucer of moon
caught and held the red blood
overflowing into it
until it all slowly evaporated
lifting up into the ethers
and all we could see was
the silvery bottom of a cup
the full and prophetic moon
ballooning  above the trees
but where had the blood come from
could this be the thing called the grail
we think because predictable rhythms
rule the cosmos it’s just a machine
that invented itself to destroy itself
but then why invent the blood

72 Valentines

Now on the soft breasts of their leaves
the naked trees lie down and whinny
like horses who sleep on their feet
or stars moving imperceptibly
reliving their great ship journeys
in the darkness every tree believes
in the power of its soul
to enter another world
so grand and free
not unlike its destiny
to always have been
pointing the way
and willing to be fuel
to get there

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Birthday Valentine

As you know it’s all a test
of metaphors and the greatest
of these is the I
but what if I told you my plants
are my sheep and I tend them
I stroke their long necks and
poke a little below the belt
where their pale thoughts are stored
curled in a fetal swarm
of ramifying gestures
I water them with someone’s tears
and plead with them to bloom
no I really do
and they plead back at me
in my own living room

Friday, September 25, 2015

Expectant Valentine

One feels with life
that the major arrangements
have all been carefully made
and one has merely
to show up at what
is clearly her party
and you are either
too early or too late
and have missed it
getting but one strike at it
I put the book down
and re-examine the mosquito
bite on my thigh
at any moment
the party will start

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Unavailable Valentine

Often I am ambushed
by the feeling I’m missing
something or forgetting something
I really want but can’t remember
what it is a piece of darkness
that slips away as soon as I
become aware it’s snagging
and reach for it it’s gone
somehow I know it’s not
even something available on earth
like a cup of coffee or a glass of wine
that elixir I thirst for
like ice-old knowledge
poured over red-hot garnets of love
until you know you will never die

Present Only To Attention Valentine

To honor an intangible god
we live in a tangible world
the ego still in its nursery years
sits up in its crib and drools
at any beautiful passing thing
think of humanity on the verge
of learning to drive the car
or think of the outer world
as a picture of the turmoil
in every human soul every
terrible/wonderful thing
that happens happening to all
and nothing left out or not useful
nothing not wasted on us
nothing not one with that will

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Worldly Valentine

The love that freedom allows
is the freedom that love bestows
the only craziness is fear
which keeps a tidy lair
already my friend Wednesday shows
and I forget to water the plants
in the evolution of tenderness
we have reached the half-way low-point
but think if what we call love
were only a puny parody
of what it really portends to embody
how the earth is fueled by suffering
how we reap the blood our forebears sowed
so many centuries of blood from the beginning
poured out in search of worldly power
having abandoned the way back to glory

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Equinoctial Valentine

I don’t think good
ever gets done alone
while what’s bad
seems automatic
self-starting deliberate
for what will I
exert myself if not
myself first
as if each was given
a little island to rule
and care for a little run
at becoming real
who doesn’t feel good
has any way in but him

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wisdom Valentine

I often talked back to the world
I often said no
I was a difficult child
but today I read about the ten
stages of the Bodhisattva
according to that religion
which of course rise
from gladness and joy
to being one with the great truth cloud
and now I know why I was born bad
and good at the same time
why I came too soon down
to this earth lured on
by the great land deals
and the fool’s easy ways

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Returning To That Theme Valentine

Where there are several answers
to a simple question it means
no one knows the answer
not to understand simple arithmetic
is a mental illness
to comprehend the concept of an idea
but deny the real spiritual world
its prior existence while suffering
the delusion of ‘important’ matter
means you don’t see the ideas of science
are dead now and no new ones coming
when I asked the snorkeling teacher why
the great brains of coral were turning white
she said that means they’re dead
along with all the waters of the world
dying not waving like Christ

Immodest Valentine

The immodesty of thinking you know
anything for certain but are somehow
still entitled to have a firm opinion
about it must go --
shut it and put your thoughts
on hold for something not your own
no one cares what you think for a minute
you being one fortunate individual alone
the thing will tell you what to think
as you feel yourself surrender
which next to thinking itself
is the highest you remember
the one thought
worthy of being thought

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Entertaining If Not Great Valentine

To memorize a passage or text
one must enter its ether body
the musical structure of its bones
or at least behold it and revere it
and the skeleton that holds the world upright
glowing with the grace of the cursive V
one rarely sees written these days
the headless arms and shoulders
in a posture of exultation
why is there always so much drama
in poetry and in life for that matter
when you stepped off the plane
how could I not think
you were from space

Mythological Valentine

To exasperate an angel
the earth was made
for one god to have to explain
to some god or goddess
how he could throw a ball
and think it
through its moment
of gravity into the core
of love at the center
of all they used to call
real things
and then to have come back
from death wearing its stings
but to have rescued death
from itself

Friday, September 18, 2015

Seaward Valentine

I send you my love
whoever you are
it’s all I can send
so I send it again
try to stay out
of the racetracks
betting on reality
float like a boat
drift like a stone
our sins seem to lie
in wait for us to find
and embrace them
so marry them I
suggest and settle
into a workable
longitude your
unlikely coracle 

Initiated Valentine

He loved a distant country
which after a long life
became the country of his death
many who went there died
because death called them there
deeply they thought it was their lives
when it was death who lured them
while others were just visitors
initiates of fire and blood
who were sent back
from that distant land
their deaths slowly building
generation after generation
the final refusal of fear

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sand Valentine

For a few days we could sense
we were on the outskirts of paradise
barely perceptible but definitely real
like someone who talks about love
but would never sweep out the garage
or give anything without compensation
as if karma weren’t enough but one
must have some chipotle sauce on it
and another cigarette to be sociable
but nonetheless in the process of
eating the world we did hone in
on heaven as we had talked about it
it was not a new house and car
but an endless stretch of beach
with islands on every horizon

Monday, September 7, 2015

Taking Summer South Valentine

The day I was leaving
the birds came back
a sure sign summer
was leaving also
we were heading south
summer and I she had
her bags packed with leaves
in her dementia she took
for real drachmas but I told
her I was rich already
that our little family
had just won an all-
expenses paid two week
vacation in paradise
otherwise known as the Bahamas

and she would love it there as well

Novice’s Valentine

How we show up
as human beings in bodies
not objective like nature
but wholly subjective
and taking now the upper hand
as lords of nature it would seem
supernatural ignoramuses
as when the son grows up to where
he raises his hand to his mother
how can war be the way to peace
historically that’s the only question
still being argued in the holy temple
we visit every night in our sleep
how else could we know the earth
is but the body of the lord

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dithyrambic Valentine

More than once upon a kingdom
there were always performers
all of us as children begin in theater
forgetting our lines but not the drama
and then come the satyrs leading in
their boy-king caught rehearsing
his own subsequent slaughter
after which the satyrs started to dress
so no one would recognize them anymore
and then the stories could begin like
the one about the man who accidentally
killed his mother in a car crash
inheriting her millions
and after three years met
a beautiful older man in a bar

he subsequently married
only to find out in barely a month
it was his own father
he was sleeping with

he thought was dead
but it turns out later
it was only a tumor

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The World Is Not A Serious Place Valentine

The world is just not the serious place
I’ve always wanted it to be
something that fails you so often
how could you take it back
and yet you do repeatedly
apparently (that slippery word)
but perhaps for some unfortunately
death is only an exit door
to an underground parking area
where a fast car will drop you
at your next destination
some are taken to temporary camps
while others die again along the way
in fact there’s no end of dying it seems
and apparently no end of being re-born

Syrian Children’s Valentine

I saw a flower fall
and then a leaf
I saw my dead child
swept up on the beach
with that great sea
still coaxing him up
onto the sand
or tugging at him
trying to ease him
back from the land
or licking at him like
his tender mother would
if she had lived or I would
if he would only wake
or I will break

Friday, September 4, 2015

Syrian Boy’s Valentine

Most of the time most of us are kept
at subsistence-survival levels with
regular outbreaks into refugee status
and millions starve because
we are still not one humanity
but if you think of the middle east
as the geographical heart of the world
and the emotional center of the earth
we see the immediate nations
at each other’s throats as usual
with the larger nations gathered
round as if at a cock fight or
schoolyard knock down
or imagine if grown sons
would return home to murder
their mothers and fathers
if that was the tradition the culture
because they didn’t want
to appear weak

Roadshow Valentine

A sonnet is like crocheting
a doily or useful head-rest
or knitting a sock or scarf
with which one can redeem
hours wasted at meetings
or watching flickering screens
with something practical
to put under a vase or picture
to save the furniture from scratches
all the things that no longer happen
that were once a common occurrence
that seemed desirable and known
now quaint preserved and strange
each with its own art and science
while the future stands alone

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Briefer History of Time Valentine

If you think of nothing as a seed
you can understand the big bang theory
for all we know of what went before
is unfolded in what follows
how long the seeds of universes
must lie idle on their websites
until even the gods breathe a sigh
of relief when the first rains fly
that first thunderclap waking the sky
what all the earth all winter long
has meditated on pulls itself up
you have a body so you know
green is its first flower
it lasts about an hour

Deceptive Valentine

You thought you had broken up
when actually it was more dream
you thought everything would be different
when actually you kept it all the same
you thought you were working for your country
when actually you were working for the state
you thought you could be trusted
when actually you were always late
you thought you had a family
when actually it was more comedy routine
you thought you could love better
when actually you were going blind
you thought you had a physical body
when actually it was all in your mind

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Roses Valentine

A sonnet is like a rose
it just has that formality
it can’t help itself and
really doesn’t want to
not to be an exact precise
softness with only a
certain number of petals
like a pirouette or any
daft accomplishment
for no particular purpose
like you were to start
singing on the street
beautiful voice
fragrant lyrics

On the Run Valentine

Death thinks like a brick wall
that dissolves on impact
you watch you have been
running toward your whole body
as if the task had been to dissolve
the world first before you get there
so in the end it’s just like stepping out
from behind a curtain or slipping
into a wide lake late in the evening
the last swim of summer
even this death thought of
as something nice he knew
you would like but never
think of for yourself

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Valentine Sans Guitar

At midnight out front pruning
my thorny Palo Verde tree
the streetlamp’s enough to see
the air has finally chilled
and the dying moon is coming
to rescue us swathed in scarves
to hide her lover’s beatings
and only the snip of my pruners
biting through another branch
as the cat comes out and lies down
safely in the middle of the road
we are that abandoned that alone

until a thorn catches my thumb
the blood dripping out black in
in this still light I had to write it
all down for you to come