Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Saints Valentine

In the land of the lost libraries
where we all secretly long to go
where the texts explaining everything
are kept and the disappeared dramas
and epics the stolen documents that prove
the existence of existence where
every real or imagined event is preserved
in canopic jars and colorful murals
that one place where what happened
is faithfully indisputably recorded
let’s call it the memory of the world
or in this case the suppressed
memories of the world
along with all the accidental losses
and the casual forgettings
upon which friendship depends
in that land of lost words
which alone can save us
come and find me

All Souls Valentine

The world signs and seals us
until we show up as ourselves
the world is where things get wronged
not without reason which may yet be
made light in the right season
the world is founded annually
on the young personalities of hope
who are gathering now at the gates
having crossed the red sea of the second death
who ready themselves for landing
in fragile vulnerable bodies
do they pass the newly dead
in the corridors in the tunnels
with the angels always coming and going
like nurses or lovers ministering
and encouraging and urging them on

Friday, October 30, 2015

Exemplary Valentine

Flowers shame
and maybe blame us too
especially the pink ones
and the small bell-shaped
blue ones one finds hiding
to say nothing of the grand
complicated ones like the iris
or the outrageous hydrangea
because however beautiful
they remind us of our imprisonment
and longed-for release
for which they provide a picture
and fragrant example how
to live through time
as if there were no future
while nurturing inside
eternal seeds

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sere Valentine

I pick the yellow leaves
off the Buddha tree
instead of sweeping them up
after they fall
even in this I’m so lazy
but if you once
start considering
leaves or stars
seen through leaves
you know how the Buddha
was just sitting there
on a rose or was it a turtle
catching the yellow
leaves as they fall

First Thing Valentine

While you shower
I power up the machine
for mail and news and scopes
we have jettisoned our hopes
their young bodies have joined
the marathon of bones again
while I think only I will soon
join you in the shower
where you will wash my hair
and kiss me soapy kisses
I will have forgotten our ages
I will have forgotten our names
we will join again the great sages
in the joy of the beloved flames

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Denier’s Valentine

Like a fantastic painting on a door
the world seems so palpable
it’s good you caught it
while it’s still plastic
that we forget to think
to open the door and go inside
to look for the creative
geniuses behind it
how many fewer
climate deniers are there
than spirit deniers
whose hate and fear
and doubt already show
it’s real and here and now

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Full Bull Moon Valentine

The trinity is sleeping in the grass
but the holy ghost is that dog
barking down the street
setting off a whole chorus
of holy ghosts practicing
for Halloween I keep
hearing someone approaching
but it’s just the pomegranates
hitting the walkway
falling rotten from the tree
they have such beautiful skin
the ruddy glow of vitality
while growing quietly inside
what explodes when
they strike the ground
the seeds of a dead sun

Monday, October 26, 2015

Heavenly Hollyhocks Valentine

Winter would come
and kill the tops
while the roots would
freeze in the ground
but not quite dead
they’d spring up
green again in March
but here where they
never have to die
and struggle back
they just go on
grower larger
each year which
is what heaven
must feel like

Fall House Cleanse Valentine

My poem this morning
is all cleaning sweeping
washing folding and then
after finishing with the body
I can’t rest until I start in
on the soul layers of calcium
build-up scraping each
nail and bone of virtue
the plaque of daily wear
I don’t mind telling you
when I get it done it shines
you can see your reflection in it
the side that’s clean honest fair
mirrored in every object
because your hand was there

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Finished Valentine

Isn’t the world like
old furniture
better not refinished
patina is everything
think of chestnuts
released from their
thorny wombs
shiny newborns
mahogany with
the biggest navels
of November

Unidentified Valentine

I take up my post
as a postman of bones
and odors as a reader
of leafy texts
a watcher of flickers
and follower of flecks
and cracks in ancient

faces and scripts
in the pediments
of streams where
the blue one-legged
heron stalls I take
my form from figurations
of the storm and dirge
my rhythms from exceptions
omissions excursions
my calm from the demiurge

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Palestinian Valentine

Poet stick to what is fanciful
it’s closer to the spiritual
the pale white sky for example
like the first coat of paint
you can still see the blue
in places underneath while in another
part of the field the sky is sapphire
as on the first days but then
an ambulance tears through
the scene pursued by accidents
of all kinds and rivers of blood
the world is shrinking
to a small forgotten town
to the few who actually
want to live in peace

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wounded Valentine

A few of the old
subjects of poetry
stop by for a drink
and then a wounded
monarch butterfly
maybe only a hundred
miles to go to Mexico
but now for a pause
to sip from the blue
last flowers of the Chaste
tree in my yard
my spyglass reveals
a long tear in one wing
like the look in the eyes
of a friend you sense
will be dead in a week

Love in Fall Valentine

How receptive is the future
how assertive is the past
the future is the feminine
the past is more masculine
the past comes up behind you
the future something you follow
let’s say I stalk the future
with my errors poised and ready
while it sits content as bait
I can’t but go to him
he can’t but stay and wait
this is not protocol or gender
but a longing and its fate
one says return to sender
the other it’s a date

Monday, October 19, 2015

The People's Valentine

The people who bring you today
would like to thank their sponsors
of yesterday whose bodies of dreams
are still warm though disintegrated
into stone on which the sun shines
at the center of the temple of each soul
where the people who bring you today
pause and dance around for a moment
as if about to faint or fall away
but then with calm confidence
the sun takes off its afternoon
folding and draping it over a chair
and crawls into bed with you
where afterwards supper is served
the usual morsels of light
by our old butler night

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rendezvous Valentine

Open all the doors and windows
let the fall winds fall in
where have you been
what kept you I ask
you could have called
but that doesn’t matter
now you’re here come in
come all the way into my lungs
and heart air from heaven
like the tail of the dragon
sweeping one third of the stars
down onto the earth you stride
through the rooms of my house
did you think I had forgotten you
as once on a deserted road in Mexico
we stood sipping our coffee
in spring darkness I knew
we would meet again

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Deceptive Valentine

Under an unknown tree
I found a creeping cactus
with large starfish flowers
the color of carrion flesh
check them out here  
a flower than stinks
like rotting meat though
I couldn’t smell a thing
to attract flies though
it's not carnivorous
a plant on its way to becoming
an animal a flower in the shape
of a starfish creeping
over succulent stems
no spines or needles but
something unsettling about it
like the remedy for
some future disease


Friday, October 16, 2015

World's Valentine

If you really loved this world
you would be suffering enormously
every day there would be
no let-up in the intensity
of the pain until you would
lose consciousness altogether
only to be forced back awake
you would have to be Christ
except in your case a lot
of the injustice would be deserved
you would have to believe
suffering builds worlds
when joyfully endured
you would have to be crazy in love
as if there was only love in the world

Thursday, October 15, 2015

At Sixteen Valentine

Every day I would take my chair
personal memory is a kind of chair
folded carried rested on
down to the cliff above the lake
once I spent my hour of vigil there

in a snowstorm it often rained
I was like some whaler’s widow
still awaiting his return
looking up and down the horizon
on a twice daily basis
but I wasn’t waiting for a thing
I was aware my exile was permanent
every day I went down to the lake
to write down everything it told me
I knew I would never escape

Historical Valentine

Time itself is our fine prison
where so much can be done
for freedom but it’s so great
we’re locked up here given
the damage we’ve already
caused one planet to say
nothing of our future plans
for the body of matter
finally to reclaim it as
the catalogue raisonne
of our mistakes each one
more profitable than
the one before hopefully
in getting past time 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall Valentine

A herd of rainbows
rained across my brain
I rose still stranded
in an ornate dream
and woke to find
the world had been remanded
to something called the real
who ruled as a distant monarch
no one would obey
though soon they say
she's coming for a visit
maybe staying for the fall
to linger above the rivers
and practice her siren's call

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our Fair City Valentine

Two ecstasies wherein
our siege is laid the sensual
and the spiritual castles
active powers gathering around us
the natal being fatal to a star
yet feeling the sun of the soul
rising in the darkness within
at first as a picture
but of your own creation
I salvaged one leaf
rooted it in water
planted it in soil
imagine my relief later
when it turned out
to be the world

Monday, October 12, 2015

Careful Valentine

The true replica
of poetry
is a worm
swept up how
onto the sidewalk
beached fish
of the underworld
I lift you but
you bend where
you’re broken
carefully to rest
you in the shade
under the hibiscus
poetry should be
so lucky

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Between the New Moon and Uranus Valentine

Let’s face it a poem
was always a performance
a spectacle a play
like all the arts a drama
addicted to its audience
however delusional their tastes
the comedian of the family
usually the family pet
which always ends sadly
some say these things about poetry
that it’s about something displayed
something said to cause pleasure
so someone says yes
that's what I meant

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ghostly Valentine

As we all are
I am haunted
I am humbled
by the memory of one
of my first friends
who I rarely see
anymore or consciously
think about much
too old for shame
anymore as my
reference to youth
but let’s face it
let’s tell the truth
I miss your touch
my touch misses
yours so much

Friday, October 9, 2015

Inebriated Valentine

Does the liquor
of the leaves
drunken the roots
by falling and
by falling down
is this not a cycle
of cohabitation
a marriage of kind
and thoughtful
people or is that
what’s so shattering
about being left behind
by collapsing nature’s
unforced error man
son of the widow Earth
distant cousin of the Sun

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fair Valentine

If there were sharing on this earth
we wouldn’t need governments
which are all about insuring sharing
or preventing it for the sake of a few
whichever the case may be
but a morality of equality
remains unimplemented
and therefore inexperienced
by people on the earth
and yet we can think of nothing else
of course nature’s not fair
but isn’t it our job to make it so
to step in between the greedy
and the helpless to feed
and lift the poor and more

Biblical Valentine

Eventually evil must make enemies
of its own faithful followers
as not faithful enough
as not trustworthy enough
so they war among themselves
even here a little virtue goes a long way
at least at first to grease the wheels
though it can‘t last eventually
the destroyer the naysayer
destroys himself says no to himself
usually like a hurricane or a volcano
taking out everything in its path
until it stumbles back out to sea
the great sea of the knowledge of evil
back beyond the narrow straits of good
and the still hidden western passage to life

Look’s Valentine

I have broken an old law of the universe
that everything be seen twice
once coming and once going
the first look that sees something there
and then the second closer gaze
that sees something new
something never seen before
something just arrived
or was it waiting there
anxious to be noticed all along
because at you I have looked
a third and fourth time
gone deep into my subject
past science past art
and come at last to the true
spirit of your love my heart

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Literary Valentine

Like decorations coming down
and put away in boxes
the trees took off their gowns
stood naked as if to mock us
the child arrived and soon escaped
there was a petition for mercy
from Lapland or Madagascar
which arrived too late
to forestall a bitter winter
each day was like a line from a book
but every day it was a different book
and your job was to put them together
a possibility as deeply rural
as any post-modernist churl

could care to get

Space's Valentine

Just before they bloomed
he would give them away
just before they hatched
he would sprinkle seeds
on the doorsteps
then he would drop
every third letter from
the words of his speech
just to leave space
for licking or kissing  
just before before
just after after
just before they bloomed
just after the disaster

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Visionary’s Valentine

Amazing warning in the ear
small as the buzz of a mosquito
who disdains to draw thy blood
for fear of an explosion
or is it an inspiration
the faint memory
of another world
in the darkness a light
goes on suddenly inside
and you see you’re being
guided wafted carried along
always like a child or old one
and always there beside you
the one you love