Thursday, December 12, 2013

A blank check



Trust is always dubious
Even among close friends
Let alone political allies
Who see you as a walking wallet
And do not mind picking out
A few extra dollars
If you’re too stupid to notice
Anyway,
That blank check meant
To pay old debts
Exaggerated and split
Between conspirators
So that in the end,
They all get paid what they
Think they earned,
A dishonest honest living,
A fringe life
They know lasts
Only as long as the sucker
Doesn’t catch on,
And in some cases,
That sucker keeps signing
Away his life,
Never knowing
That he can’t trust those
People he trusts most:
Einstein once described
Madness as someone
Doing the same thing
Over and over again
Yet expecting a different
Result each time,
Some suckers never learn
And so always sign
That blank check,
And always are surprised
When it comes back
Ten times worse
Than he thought it would be.
It’s the cost of doing business
With crooks,
No matter how
Respectable they
Claim to be.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Before the tides shift



You feel for it first in the dark – this and then than, before it all gets hard and you can’t stop what happens next.
The surge of blood through my head and I stop thinking about anything else, a reckless deep sea diver seeking the treasure buried in the deeps.
In the dark, eyes don’t help at all, and you must rely on your fingers to feel the place where it all erupts.
But it rarely starts there, always first with something more accessible, the soft touch of lips and then later, if I’m lucky hips.
It’s never about conquest with me the way it is with others.
I just like the feel of it, the lingering of lips and then the tips of tongues, that first intrusion into the unknown – I remember my first kiss and who it was with, though I didn’t get anywhere near the buried treasure.
Still even then, I felt every bit a pirate, stealing something to treasure then and later.
It’s always like that – especially in the dark where I have to let my fingers go where my eyes can’t, over the curved surface most easily mounted, and later, into the warm, moist world sunken so deep it takes more than a finger to get to it completely.
It’s not always possible to get more, and so later, I get to think about the touch of it, the moist feel of where the fingers went, and the taste of it, when I’m lucky to get that far.

In the dark, where the real treasures lie, sometimes I have to be a pirate, taking what I can get before the tides shift, and I’m washed back out to sea.

Never enough



The sunlight streaks
Across her face
From the edge of
The kitchen window
As if creating it
And her, carving
Every curve from
The curve beneath
The blouse
To the lip I bit
In that pre-dawn fit
It still dripping
As we sit and sip
Our coffee this early
Morning in July,
The curve tip hard
Against the sheer
Fabric she slipped into
Drawing my gaze now
Where my lips and tips
Of fingers went,
The hunger hardly abated
This lust for blood
Stirred in my veins and brain
This need for more
Always at the core of me
Pressing up out of me
Seeking to go deeper
Each time, knowing
In the end

It can never be enough.

Winter bloom



It is not the summer flowers
I lust for most when I stroll
These remote paths
But the winter blooms
That loom over me
Or over which I stumble
Pedals spread wide before
My upturned face
Where I might catch the
Lingering scent of once
Rich perfume,
And let the tip of my tongue
Linger in the thick nectar
My fingers gripping long stalks
At whose ends un-burst buds
Ooze still with fresh dew
This loneliness exposed
This naked truth
Stripped to the bone of me
So that I am expose
Inside and out
Leaving me here
With only heavy sighs
And the winter mists

For comfort

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Coming up for air




If I had gills
I could do this better,
Breathing water
in which I refuse
to drown
fins that might
spin me up
to places
where I might
find something
less liquid to
breathe
or a tail to flip
so I might sip
real air
the haze of this life
wiping clear
the horizon I have
grown accustomed
to seeing
as thick as sea water
and as hard to breathe
when I rush so hard
to catch a breath
I can’t ever hope to catch,
Too deep in this
To ever come up

For air

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Turnstile




This city in the palm of our hands like a wet metro card
Life and death depending on how far it can get us
And this damned machine won’t take it because it is flawed,
The remains of it taken up from the gutter, with trips
Still clinging to it, but beyond redemption or claim,
And the expiration date clicking off too fast to allow
This ticket to fortune to dry, we never actually knowing
If it contains anything of value or a trip to any place
At all, after a decade from that first time selling all
We have to sell, to this, no way to climb out so we
Cling to this thing we have found, stained with the sweat
Of others who earned this ride but somehow lost it
On their way for us to find, their sweat leaving us to sweat
Over whether or not we can redeem it when it has
Been so misused, this street, this city, this vulgar landscape
We must cross to get from where we were to where we are
going, uncertain just who it is that paid the fare, as long
As someone has, and doubtful, when we stick this card

In the turnstile whether we can get through to the other side at all.

Where are the gifts?


“It’s warm in here,” they say and sigh
And tumble into chairs that slide
There is dust here, too, rising from thick arms
Of the thick-armed arm chairs,
“Tell me,” they say, “why you bear no gifts,”
On this of all days when gifts must be given
They stair under the tree at all the angel hair
And shake their heads and ask what’s fair.
“I keep my gift until night,” I say,
“When all good kids are tucked away.
“You know all that clap trap about
“Santa and his merry route.”
“No,” they say staring at my lack of sleigh
And where stocking at the mantel sway,
And wonder if they’d been good
And if I bear coal under my hood
“And those?” they ask, “are from Santa, too?”
As they wonder what it is they’ll do,
When they can’t get gifts they fought to find,
Will Christmas then seem a waste of time?
Out in the cold for slow long my toes
Are as numb as is my nose
And I watch their thick arms rise to go
Shaking the world I used to know
And yet so desperate to get their gold
They lug along their sacks of coal


Friday, November 22, 2013

Port Authority



The owls of the city bleat
This late night leading to dawn
Wide eyes wider than mine
As I walk down this lonely road,
Like stop lights going on
And off, full of yellows
And greens, saying caution
Then go, only to blink
Caution again as I wait
For the red to come
And the old passion to race
In my head and heart
Time cannot erase completely
Like the old lessons on the nun’s
Blackboard blurred and written
Over but always there,
and I am a complete confusion
as to which I should read
the new or old,
pausing to sit on a park bench
in this dark of night,
in this city of lights
on this dark street behind
the blinding street
where the buses huff and puff
and wait to return through the
tunnel I must always pass through,
my thoughts not of the painted
ladies the prowl this dark sidewalk
but of the hundreds of times
maybe thousands I have passed
through this place on my way
to find some place else,
and that one time, when I could
not find any trace of you,
and sat down on the curb
to stare the owl-like lights
that blinked inside and outside
of me, telling me to go, but not go,
to hurry, but slow down,
to find that one bus that will
take me to where I need to go
but do not know where it is,
unable to buy the right ticket
unable to rush ahead between
the blinks of lights
and how in those days I wandered
the echoing halls of this place
to find the right gate to the right place
and the ticket that might lead
me to paradise, and how
after all these years,
I still end up here, sitting on this curb,
Staring at the blinking lights

Telling me to go, but not go.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wet leaves





Wet leaves
Clutch the ground
Like desperate hands
Fingers clutching
The rain-soaked earth
As I step among them,
This walk through
The chill air
Driven by the same
Urgency that they
Must feel on the edge
Of something
They do not understand,
This end of life cycle
We all share
Aching to know
If there will be a new green
After the heavy snows go
And will what we love
And lost in this life
Linger into the next
For our fingers to grasp again
To draw up to our heart
To feel its beating against
The beating that still beats
Inside of us,
Each step I take this autumn
Always filled with the hope
That it will all start again
And all I need do is wait
For the cold to pass,
And in this, I let the rain
Dribble down over and inside of me

Cleansing me

Thursday, November 7, 2013

When the rain comes






When the rain comes
My bone hurt for want of wet
The ache for the change
The want of wet
After such a time of draught
The changing leaves
Strewn across every step I take
Stuck to the ground to leave
Their imprint when I pull
Up one by its stem
When the rain comes
I feel it drip inside me
Even as it wets my brow
Not tears of sorrow
But tears of joy
As this season eases
Into the next and this
A baptism for a new age
With me traveling
Through time
Each changing season
Leaving its ring inside me
The way it always does
The trees from which
The leaves fall


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fallen leaves




The old bank
Reeks of money
And greed
Swirling with the
Overhead ceiling fans,
The imaginary masses
Of the past filling
The downstairs where
The tellers used to sit
Cashing industry pay checks
for blue collared
The ache for cash now
Mingling with perfume
And petty schemes
Stamped out on faces
Rather than the backs
Of paychecks
Always looking for the
Easy way, when the right
Way is always too hard
And always thinking
This is “earning” a keep
When it’s just a cheat
While out the windows
Sunny skies defies
The season as if
Part of the scheme
With me, curled up inside
Waiting for it all
To unravel
Like it always must
The best laid plans
Ruined by the inept
Who keep picking
Losers to ride
While abandoned
Dreams flutter along
The sidewalks
Like fallen leaves


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The end




I keeping hearing the old Door’s song
In my head about “this is the end..”
But it never is, like old horror movies
The monster keeps on keeping on
More energizer bunny than scary
Just a pathetic collection of crap
That some make up artist has
Assembled to resemble something
Fierce, all smoke and mirrors
Wire and paper Mache,
Designed to fool for a moment
Until the camera turns away
And this thing, this ugly contraption,
This Halloween scheme
Collapses in of its own weight,
Such as all things do

In the end

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Heat






The seeds do not fall far
From the tree in my front yard
Leaving seedlings to spring up
Among the dead leaves and roots
The early chill filling the air
With a last gasps before the
plunge into the deep freeze;
We squeeze out these last days
Along this long river before
The cold falls and we must
Cling to places where
We can generate heat

For ourselves.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This ghostly thing







It swirls around us like a ghost
Howling with the change of moon,
stirred up over lips of grave stones
time has cracked like hearts
Past, present, future
Swirl into the same spirited mist
Until all seems indistinct
A haunting presents that lingers
At the edge of dreams
But won’t expose itself
Except in tea leaves
Nobody can read
I want in the rain and wonder
Where to turn to next
Feeling the drip of it
On my brow, dribbling
Down my cheeks
As if I am crying
And maybe I am
Over what I can’t fully
Define, or find in this
Swirling around my knees
As I stumble over
These grave stones
Watching the spirits
Rise up and take flight
Not even waiting for night
Passing through me
And my clutching fingers
This ghost of a thing
I can’t grab onto
But desperately need.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Temple





We are all gods and goddesses,
Feeling the warm space left
As rising in the midst of night,
Unable to tell which is dream
Or not, and lost in the trawl of
Talk that stirs the heart
And makes it beat, and keeps
It beating long after the
Talk has stopped,
The bell ringing in my ears
Not from any church steeple
Or anything outside this
Temple of flesh I live inside
A throbbing, trembling
Temple on whose alter
I am the sacrifice
Every bit of me
Exposed, unnerved
And vulnerable



Friday, October 18, 2013

Cool fingers in the night




The rain came
And went in the dead
Of night
Without my notice
Except for the cool
Fingers that swept
Up from my thighs
To chest stirring
Up in me
A storm
Dreams could not
Sequester
My head fogged
With visions
Unrealized
When I woke
To find
The world
Hovering over me
A hard world
Aching for soft
Places
And the chill touch
Beyond
Mere

dreams

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breakfast of champions




I ease open the melon
With both my thumbs
Letting seed and juice
Ooze out the gap
Then press the flesh
To my open mouth
To lap it up
With the tip
Of my tongue
Feeling deep inside
The soft interior
Where the sweetest
Part of the fruit
Shutters and spills
Even more
Into me, this truly
Is the breakfast
Of champions
And all I could
Ever wish for



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Boiling point


  
In moon light
Everything changes
The boiling point
Of blood
Rising tides
Can not extinguish,
Because the fire
Is on the inside
Like a volcanic
Reaction building up
With moon light
The flame under it
Making it boil
A heat not from
Any global warming
But from some
More primitive instinct
As fundamental an element
As found in the cave
And we either learn
To released it
Or become consumed by it,
Waiting out the cycle
Of the moon
Until we can breathe
Easy again



Monday, October 14, 2013

The sea inside and out


 I seek the sea
That flows
Inside and outside
 Of me,
Aching to dip
My oars
In that dark depth
I know lies
Beneath me
Slow water
Vibrating
Against my keel,
Rubbing my
Skin raw
As I grow
Full
And seek
To come to it
Again, and again
Always
Wanting
For more.








Thursday, October 10, 2013

I forget to breathe




I forget to breathe
Each time I come
This close,
This pain that is
Not a pain
But steals everything
Out of my head
Which I do not miss
Except for the breath
I need to breathe
If only later in relief
When all I have is that
This whisper of memory
This lingering scent
This soft touch
Against my palm,
My mouth, my thighs,
I forget to breathe
When I need it most
And yet

I hardly miss it.

On the inside



The rain
Drips down my cheeks
As if I am crying
The summer heat
Gone now
To a chill that
Makes my bones ache
So maybe
These tears are real

On the inside

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Heart



It beats
Even when I
Don’t want it to
That savage
In my chest
That spreads me
Open to reveal
All that I
Am about,
Beating hard
When I need
To breathe deep,
When I feel
On the brink
And can’t think,
Every bit of
Who I am
There for
Anyone
To see
One beat
At a time.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Flush (with video)

(content slightly changes from the original notebook stuff and video)

The blood rushes through me
To my face, and I cannot
Breathe or think but blush
And gush out in hushed
Sounds words even I can
Not comprehend – so much
Huffing and puffing
I can’t stuff the stuffing
Back inside so that I am
A stuffed doll unstuffed
As my insides come out
All sides at every seam
Dreams bleed out of
My eyes as I start at
Or around or avoid all
That I want or need
To look at most I
Flushed out like
Old leaves from
A rain gutter – utterly exposed.





Lost in space




I circle it like an astronaut
Searching for a soft place to land
It’s curved surface intimidating
Yet provocative
Sloped sides leading to a hard peak
I need to mount
My mouth watering in anticipation
Of what I might find there
Or below where my spaceship
Might plunge
Deep into the moist valley.
I am lost in space

And always will be

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The earthquake inside



I grip the arms of
My chair because I’m
Scared I’ll fall
Off, whole city blocks
Shifting under me
Inside of me
In my mind, and I
Eye the walls as if
They will crumbled in
On me while the
Real disruption is
Inside of me, not out
A siege of something
I can only hold on
To survive, steam
Fogging up my eye sight
So I can’t even see
If and when the
Quake stops and I
Can let loose
Of this chair


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Squeezing hard




(inspired from reading a book Passionate Hearts)


I squeeze hard
Until something comes
Out that I can lick
And then I lick it,
Wrapping my lips around
The tip I just squeezed,
So that I can taste it
With the tip of my tongue
My fingers wrapped
Around the base
Pressing to make it
Come, needs to feel
It come out, needing to
Feel in all inside of me
So that you can taste me,
Too, from the inside out.


The simplest thing



April 17, 1989

How can it be that the grass comes again, springing up out of the holes of worms, grass blades with joyous faces climbing towards the heat of the sun after months of death, and winter's crush?
How can it be the leaves return, as if crawling up the bark of trees from which they have fallen, shedding the brilliantly colored death robes they adorned in fall for the pale yellow green of this cold season, their graves unable to resist their urge or cease the ever gnawing roots that feed them?
How can it be that fish swim again after living in ice caked waters, stirring back to life after the frosts of winter fade, digging themselves out of the mud, their faces still stained from the graveling hardships of devouring bits of stuff from the dirty river bottom?
How can it be that planets and stars blew out from their single cosmic egg, reaching, ever reaching, only to contract again, to return to the soul of the egg, only to erupt once more, in a cosmic love-making that creates new realms, new heavens, new life?
How can we think ourselves different – that we along in this huge universe live and die forever, lacking something in our soul and intelligence that is not denied the simplest blade of grass, the weariest fish, the small speck in the sky?

How is it we dare think we, too, do not come again?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Morning coffee

Morning coffee


I brew coffee each morning
Though on mornings like this
I drink it cold to
Wash down the remnants
Of sleep I carry behind
My eyes, the playful
Remembrances of some
Sweet scene, the
Touch of warmth so
Scalding my tongue dare
Not sip hot coffee
Or get scaled again,
Tip I burned in
My dreams, the tart
Taste of the previous
Day’s brew teaching me
Life’s fundamental
Lesson that
Sweet and tart
Come back to back
And though I sleep
With one
I wake up with the other

Regretfully.

Flat tire




The air hisses out of the
Tire with the sound of a
Snake I once encountered
In the desert but did
Not get bit.
The man at the gas station
Had warned me not to
Over inflate the nearly
Bald tire or it might blow
Out – and it did.
Who knew you could
Get so deflated from
Too much of a good thing
After so many miles of
Not having enough,
Life seems to be a
Delegate balance between
Too little and too much
And trying not to get
Stranded on the road
Side from either
Extreme.


Consumed



I don’t taste anything
At first
When the tip of my
Tongue eases in –
It’s the moist
Softness enveloping
Me as if to take
The whole of me
Inside,
My roughness
Oozing over
This smooth
Deception
I can no longer
Resist,
Aching to be
Consumed at
Any cost,
Aching to keep
Feeling what I feel,
Aching for one more taste
That I know
Will never

Be enough.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Entwined

The sheets blow in the
wind like angel limbs
Growing tangled, then
Untangled in a dance
To which no one knows
The steps, the ache
Of contact, the
Tender touch tuned
Violent with a gush
That yanks limbs
Apart, only to plunge
Them together again,
A kiss, a slap
A wrap around
Each for the slow
Release, every bit
Choreographed by fate
Or whim or gods,
An every lingering kiss,
Twisting and untwisting

Until we are undone

Forbidden


(This is one of series of poems inspired by recent reading s from The Book of Eros)

It is not the apple
That drips of sweat but
My fingers as they curve
Around it, my warmth
Contrasted against its
Cool as I imagine another
Shape that fits as well,
But feels warmer in
my palm, my flesh
needing that flesh
if not to feel
whole, then at
least to feel real, and
so I pretend as I
take that apple to my
mouth and let my
teeth sink through its
red skin that my tongue
tastes another fruit
much more forbidden.



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Turn here




Yeah, I know – we all do.
Turn left here.
A leaf deserted by summer, fall,
Welcomed by winter wilds,
Yeah, I can see the need to decide
Whether to fly
Rustling in cool desperation
Pushed and pulled
Or stay, to bury deep in the
Crisp, fragile, smoky ice,
All gets distorted by the ever
Widening circles of falling rain,
Frozen tears
Turning red from rubbing
The mud – like blood.
I feel my heart beating hard,
Cracked open, spilling my life
Onto this dismal gray,
As the slow read rises out from
The horizon
I am a leaf locked in winter’s
Embrace, unable to flee or fly
Waiting for sunrise to thaw the
Ice and set me free,
But these days never get warm
Enough. I get tinged with hope
Before all goes grows cold again and
Then I can feel my fingers move
Or my toes, but they do not
Move for long before I am
Frozen again,
And when it gets warm I
Still do not fly
Nowhere to go, no one to
See, nothing before for me than
The endless cycles of ice and thaw
And the endless flow of the river at
My feet, a river that will at some
Point rise high enough to bear me
Away to somewhere I do not know.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This mess called life



God help me if life ever punished me for all the mistakes I’ve ever made,
That pile of crap that I pack in the back of the closet where nobody can see,
You’re not supposed to get crucified every little wrong turn, twisted thought
Erratic or erotic act, life is supposed to be a journey from which we learn,
A kind of adventure game where we guess the riddle and move on,
Unscathed by any permanent injury or injustice or sense of shame,
Just a matter of finding out who we are in this crazy mixed up world
Where nobody knows who they are and we bump into each other
Always asking: do I know you? Do you know who I am?
Can you ever guess what my purpose is and if so, can you help me get there?
I guess we’re all in the same boat, each with a tea spoon to keep it from sinking,

Each of us needing all the other tea spoons to bail us out of this mess called life.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Same time next year?


  
Oct. 21, 2012

Changing leaves,
Ringing bells from schools
This time of year so sad
Dragging me back
To the most desperate questions
Who am I?
What am I good for?
Feeling bad enough
In the cool wisp of wind
Without eating crow,
Hearing them as I walk
These leaf stream paths,
Wondering if my feet
Will lead me here
Again, year after year

September 29, 2012

And here
I am
Again


Blessing




The minister needed no holy water to make the flock know he loved them, he just stood there and held his hands in the air, and they knew, their eyes looking up with hope, not of salvation so much as understanding, he glowing a little in his white and gold vestment, while I stood to one side taking in whatever rays bounced off those others. Sometimes, we deserve no more, but certainly, we deserve no less, blessed by something beyond our comprehension, knowing that in the end all will turn out right, despite all we do to the contrary, and that’s all any of us can hope for.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Train ride to Manhattan




The train pops out of the subway tunnel with a gush of air, flooding me with the warm, stale scent it has collected over its plunge through the dark, stirring up abandoned newsprint like soiled bed sheets, the siege of sudden light making me blind, making me feel for the doorway when finally it all comes to a stop, and I take my place inside for yet another plunge, another ride, another blinding explosion I ache to feel.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The dirtiest part



Frank Zappa was right
When he asked about
The dirtiest part,
My mind reeling
With visions
That make me ache
And scrub as much
Or as tough as I must
I can’t make it clean,
A man can drown
In a tea spoon,
And here I am
Over my head
Breathing deep
Seeped in tea
I can’t stop dipping
Myself into,
Feeding not the soul
Solely, but also
That dirty part
For both always
Feed from that same troth
And drown in it
Together.


Shaken




 It is soft
It is hard
It is what you make it
When you shake it
The quake
Inside that
Explodes out of me
And into you
Neither knows
What to do
This thing so hot
Yet sooooo cool
A dip of fingers
In this molten pool
Stirring it never enough
It must be shaken up
Bringing it
All to a boil
To explode like
Newly discovered oil
A gusher
A rush
A blush so deep
In stains
The soul
 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rubbed Raw




How do I do this,
Touching this or that
Without exposing my self,
Rubbing myself raw
Against something I can
Barely imagine,
Aching to ache in that way,
To sweat and sweat until
It all comes out of me
In one great, wondrous gush,
How do I do this,
Waiting, and rubbing,
Making myself raw
For something I can
Only imagine
Will ease my pain?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Midnight



The cool air
Presses against my chest
With both hands
Sharp fingers
Making me pulsate
With their touch,
Breath gushing
Out of me
Until I am
Expired,
The darkness
Illuminated by my
Own need
To see
And I see
By feeling
The cool touch
That grows hot
With each
Closing

finger

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alter Boy




I only wanted to become one
Because of the wine
And the pretty girls in white
Who always sat in the front pews
So pure they made me ache
To watch, kneeing beside
The priest, my eyes unable
To remain down even when
The host rose before all,
the stench of alcohol
hidden only by the raised
chalice and the muttered words
in Latin, I could not memorize
or remember their meaning
and so made up meanings
of my own, always too dirty
to ever repeat aloud
in such a holy place as that,
always aimed in the direction
of those girls, who could not
keep their eyes down either,
or later, after services
prevent my fingers
from going where
they might go
as long as I never
went too far.


The real you



I am always walking through mists even sunlight,
But in this world where you and I are, sunlight
Doesn’t exist, and we spend our lives protecting
Ourselves by staying hidden, keeping our real
Selves out of view so no one can hurt who we
Really are, painting phony images so that when
The blows come; we can pretend it isn’t the real
Us that gets wounded, but some fa├žade of some
Phony person we know isn’t real,
But sometimes, in the midst of all this, the mist
Sunlight cannot clear, I see the real you,
And hope, you see the real me, and I realize

How very important the real you is to the real me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Inspiration




In the dream
I always come back
To the same place
The throb of it
Deep inside the root
Like a tooth ache
No ointment
Or potion can cure
Beyond reach
Of science
To understand
what makes it work
or not work,
unlike the tick of a clock
that operates on gears
or springs,
this thing springs
from the seams
not as a functional
rational or logical
being, poised to go
wrong or right
of its own volition
unpredictable
except at the core
where it will rise up
like fire
reborn each time
sometimes
with very little

inspiration

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First impression



I lied when I said
What I said
Way back when
Ashamed to think
What I thought
Was not what was
Wanted of me
The first thing
I think
When on the brink
Is not swim or sink
Or even what you’d think
But like a jerk
How it works
What makes a clock to tick
And how would I fit
In between its hands
Or of any elaborate plans
Just what makes it go
And my need to know
If I can go as fast or slow
If I can learn just how to grow
And if so
How then to make is so,
You know?

2

Please excuse my eyes,
They stare,
It’s a mechanical thing,
like one of those
carnival games
where the levers
stick,
always going to the wrong place
when you mean
to look at something else
a rick, tick, tick
in my head
Rusted from little use,
When what I think
Is not what it seems at all,
The first impression
Covered in newsprint ink
So it is not what it seems
At all


3

Soft fingers on my arm
Makes the most sense to me,
A pause, a laugh,
A sense of truth exposed,
I play chess in my head
With bedposts I don’t always
Want to lay down next to,
Sometimes because the chase
Feels better to me than the catch,
And sometimes the best moments
Are those spaces in-between
When there is no chase,
When people lean against each other
Just to catch their breath,
The rest is an illusion,
The rest is all we need,
A breath and a sigh
Before the game begins again
And we rush about in anguish
Over nothing worth having
In the first place


4

The car lot lights are lit
Even in sunlight,
Towering, defiant gods
Who illuminate nothing
On this chill morning,
A damp I still need
To shake off to wakeup
Like a wet dog does
wet fur,
the illusions of a luxurious
Saturday, clinging to me
Like the remnants of a dream,
One from which I only
Reluctantly wake,
Feeling better sometimes
When cloaked by shadow
Feeling exposed when
The clouds shred
Sometimes it is better to believe
Than to know,
To dream over and ponder on
Things that seem impossible
At first impression
Which are, after all,
The only ones that 
last

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twisting love until it hurts (notebook sketches)



1

I don’t always want all of you
 just your mouth
Or whereabouts,
But the mouth out of which
Your words flow
Telling me things I ought
To know,
Blistering, beautiful
Words that wind around me
Like high winds
Leaving me spun
Inside the eye
So I can’t see
Only hear the screeching
Deafening wail of words
All I want is the mouth
Out of which those words come
And I’m undone

2

It scorches like acid
But I can’t stop it
My lips blistered
From each kiss
The tip of tongue
As piercing as
A saber,
Cutting me
With each
In and out,
A perpetual
Hari kari
That splits me
In two but always
Leaves me
Aching for more,
Never getting enough,
Always begging
To continue
Rather than mercy
Making me dip myself
Into that fire
Until I am
Totally
Consumed,
Whole
And forever


3

In you let me touch it
I can’t promise
It won’t hurt,
Locked into
That soft embrace
With all of me inside
Eyes closed tight
To let me feel it all,
My hurt your hurt,
Both burning together,
To get so hot
We melt together
As one,
Needing to lubricate
Only those parts
That need to move,
To keep us moving,
My fingers spread
Around both uprises,
My tongue plunging
Into where your tongue hides.
We easing in and out,
Up and down,
Eyes closed tight,
Burning  both ends
Of this insane candle
Until we both
Turn to wax.

4

I feel your warm breath
On my neck and I wither
Still stiff and unable to resist
A complete surrender
to something overtly superior
Bushwhacked by my own need,
Shackled by my desires,
Lost before any shot is fired,
Or expired, drawn in until
Totally spent,
That one breath,
One little breath,
All I need to survive


5

I spread you like a blanket
Soft side up,
My fingers weaving through
Each entangled strand
Until I am entangled, too
Struggling to rub that fabric raw
Until the shreds spread translucent
So I can see straight through
Warm not from the covering
But the uncovering.

6

So smooth it makes me ooze
Like a used up tube of tooth paste,
I can’t even stop when you
Have squeezed me dry,
I keep pumping all the more,
Quaking at the need to fill you up,
So I won’t feel empty,
All of me inside of you,
All of you around me,
So smooth I would choose,
To let you use me up,
Always coming back for more,
For you to squeeze dry
To make me ooze,
Used up and still wanting more



The fire inside




 We set it on fire
Then don’t know what to do
We thought the world
Would expire
With still greater fire
Nuclear holocaust
That would leave
No one to witness it,
Instead we got
The world’s end
In bits and pieces,
Crumbling steel and glass
And then a gush of dust
All of us would carry
Deep inside ourselves
Long after we washed
It from our hair,
A piece of eternity
To carry with us
Our former world’s ending
While “the real” world
Continued on
With some fools
Fanning the war flames
To some new fire
We know will come
Again, and
We are helpless
To stop.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

She has to remember

(This is a poem I wrote at the end of last year and something I perhaps should have posted sooner)


She has to remember to tell herself that someone else did this to her,
even though she has repeated it over and over ever since,
staring at famous paintings on a not so famous wall in a very famous museum in NYC.
She keeps seeing herself here every time she looks,
her features linked to the rolling hills that looked like waves
and are trapped in the borders of the frame.
She has to remember to remind herself to tell herself that like the painting,
she, too, is a masterpiece, crafted and still baring the marks of camel hair,
each stroke wearing the perfect patterns of a perfect life
that doesn’t ever seem to turn out perfect.
She has to remember that crying isn’t a crime,
But perhaps a waste of energy and space,
Perhaps she is a masterpiece someone set aside
before the artist had time to put in the finishing strokes
always something incomplete,
and she always trying to steal the missing pieces.
She has to remember to tell herself that she was meant to lead a wondrous life,
because it is rarely wondrous or fair or right,
or anything else that trickles up or down, tears or paint dripping at her feet.
She has to remember that for every painting on this wall,
there are many others half finished the way she is,
So she must not feel ashamed of being  incomplete,
or assuming that she ought to be somewhere or have something
 when she aches for it so much
She has to remember to remind herself what it must like to feel complete,
to reflect the perfect sunset, to know each master stroke, each note of music,
each move of dance, each piece of perfection is meant to be
when nothing is ever meant to be, but shaped and pounded, and built.
She has to remember to remind herself to light the candle at night,
to sip wine that is no longer wine, to let the night come calmly
and filled with dreams, master strokes on her canvas
 she just can’t manage to create in the daylight.
She has to remember…

I’d love to change the world…

(this is sort of a companion piece to another poem I wrote last year)


The Ten Years After song keeps playing n my head
The same line over and over
Like a skipped record when we still had records to skip
But in this digital age mp3s I have to live with it\
Like the indigestion of my own inability
To be anything other than what I am
And to do what it is I can
And not to assume I can do more or should do more
Than I ought to,
To know more than I actually know
Indeed, if I know anything at all,
But to let things be and accept what is
For what could be, and take pleasure
In the world as it is and learn to live on it
I have to learn to accept it
And love it as it is
Or if not love, then not at all
And being is better than not being
I have to learn to take what I can get
And not expect to get more than I deserve
I have to learn



Shake, rattle and roll



They say you can’t
Reinvent the wheel
That the best anyone
Can ever hope for
Is that what you shape
Won’t rattle your wagon
And yet will still get
You where you
Need to go

Friday, September 6, 2013

Faith






Sometimes,
All you have is faith,
Even when
Jericho’s walls fall down
Faith that there is hope
Even when there is none,
Faith in the father’s
Who have lied
And cheated
And been lied to
And cheated on,
Even then
Telling you
Everything will be
All right
When the dust pouring
Out of the cracks
Of the crumbling walls
Tell you different,
And the hosts
That have encircled
This city for so long
Are about to bring
Justice to a world
That doesn’t know
Right from wrong
Hope prevails,
Shaped out of the smoke
And like smoke
With evaporate
When you most
Need it,
Hope going up
In smoke
As sacrifice
To gods
You never thought
You would need to
Believe in,
Except now
Finding faith
When it’s
Too late


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The rat’s trap




I came here because it is safe,
Giving up one thing to get another,
For you a tool, for me an inconvenience,
A distraction that still distracts,
A rat trap you get to trap rats in,
I mistook for addiction,
Both thinking the other needs it so badly,
It might lure the other out,
When in truth it’s never meant as much
Most people make it out to be,
A tool, a distraction, a rat’s trap,
While the real thing slips out the cracks,
Almost impossible to get back
Regardless of how much we want it.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If this be a dream

(after reading too much Shakespeare)

If this is but a dream,
Why can I not dream it?
Is this heart so hard
That it would deny me sport,
that transpires
Only in my own mind?
If it be love,
Then it is enough
That I feel it,
and in feeling it
make it real,
to peal it
like a precious pear,
to savor each slice
in the darkness of night,
to keep mine company
to become real
if only in this dream I dream,
where none other
need feel it but me.
If this be a dream
It is the best of dreams,
The sweetest of dreams,
A dream that I must dream
or cease to exist.



In the heat of it




In the heat of it
It all goes away
Like water to mist
It slips into the air
The more heat
I make the less
There is to
Hold onto
This thought
Of real
When all I can
Do is feel
Touch, press
In and make
More heat,
Each
Movement making
All thought
Vanish before
My eyes until
All there is

Is you.

Not invincible at all

2/21/89

We and our machine
We like to think we are invincible,
the, the reason four our
Grand advance,
An alliance between flesh
And that other
more bas material
We have forever called
Earth,
We, from early times,
Beating gold and preciousness
From it,
The real discovery,
The real innovation,
Fire
By which the gods feed on
Spirit
And we feed upon the dull

Remainder.

Never forgets



November 27, 1988

Rosy always comes in for coffee and donuts, every morning after a hard night selling cocaine out of the near empty bar she claimed Babe Ruth used to hang out in on the Garfield side of the Wall Street Bridge.
She was a young girl back then, before all the bullshit happened, and she got caught up in stuff she doesn’t talk a lot about, all those years trying to reinvent herself so she can go on with life the way she feels most comfortable doing.
But she always comes back to the Babe Ruth stories, as if that was the last moment when she felt honest about herself, before something snapped inside of her, and she woke up a different person.

She talks about how men from New York used to come to the bar to haul inebriated Babe down the bar’s narrow back stairs, wiping mustard and lipstick off his face in the hopes they could sober him up enough to play the game, and how small she felt in the shadow of a truly great man, a 15-year-old girl in love with a man who would not remember her later, even sober, even the next time he came to the bar and repeated the pre-game warm up, always asking what her name was, and immediately forgetting it. But she never forgot him, not one detail, even in the lonely mornings like this, hutched over the cup of Dunkin Donut counter – staring at me through the glass where I roll out the dough for the next batch of donuts. She never forgets.