Sunday, March 31, 2013

Any small gift

I breathe river air
Because I can’t live without it
My lungs flush
With the rush of wings
And the rustle of cattails,
All of it filling me up
Until it oozes out every pore
My life is rich with small gifts
Even when they are remote,
Even when I can never own them
Or even touch them,
They somehow own me
Touching me in a million ways
And make me ache
In ways that amaze me,
I take them in with each breath
Grateful for the little I get,
Letting them own me
From the inside out,
Letting them touch me
When I cannot touch them,
Letting them take root in me
To bloom inside of me
To treasure, a personal harvest
Of precious fruit
No one can see but me.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Moon tides

I rise to the tides of the moon tonight
Her face full as I get set for bed
Her glow flowing through the window
Like an old friend I can never touch
Only admire from a distance,
Can never claim I own
Too remote even for my howls to reach
On this terra firma full of howling wolves
All deluded into thinking that remote face
That glow in the sky shines for each alone,
Yet all of us rising to her tides
Swayed by her orbit, and puffed up
Each time her circling takes her nearer to us,
Moon children who wait for her to sing
In this night air, basking in her radiated glare
Howling all the more each time she passes on,
The pain of it drawing blood from our faces,
Leaving us only the echo of our howling
As cool comfort until the tides rise again.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How soft is it?

Pussy Willow

How soft it is?
Or sweet?
Dare I lay my hands on it?
Or my tongue?
Do I jump in with both feet?
Or feed my sweet tooth with it?
Do I hold it?
Or caress it?
Or take it in my mouth,
Letting my tongue feel
Each indentation,
Or it’s trade mark?
Soft or hard,
Sweet or dark,
tender or stiff
To put it in
Or take it out?
Can we shake it up?
Or make it sit?
Spinning on it?
Or in it?
Shaping it into
Whatever we want
It most to do?
Molding it around me
Like a tight fitting glove,
Soft to the hard finger
I poke into it
And grin.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Burning stick

I stick the stick in the fire
And watch the tip grow red,
Its glow illuminating the night
As I lift it before me
Too hot to last long
Always wilting when expended,
Dropping ash at my feet
Until I stick the tip in the fire again.
I can never resist,
Always knowing the outcome,
Always searing hot turning cool
And flaking away into the nigh air,
Always worth it for that first glow,
Even when I burn my fingers
And something deeper inside,
Always knowing I will always
Stick my stick in this fire,
Needing the heat to know I’m still alive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Don’t crush the daisies

“Don’t crush the daises,” I think,
Two naked souls rolling among them
Like a pair of kittens,
The dark hearts of each flower exposed,
Petals spread wide, looking not like faces
I think, when I see them, and recall
That silly TV show that said
Not to eat them when that’s all I ache to do,
Needing to thrust myself inside
A perfectly busy bee spreading its seed
Each one mirroring the sun
Each exuding warmth I can feel on my face
As I press my lips closed to theirs,
Dipping the tip of my tongue inside each
To taste pollen that tastes nothing like honey
Hoping that if I keep at this long enough,
And stretch myself down deep enough,
I something might explode inside of me.

Upon reading Whitman again

It is the sea that shudders under me as I sail
Spreading canvas across this vast blue bed
Where the world lays flat before me
And waits for me to dive in

The seaweed weaves through sultry waves
Like fine strands of hair
I ache to run my fingers through
Or press my face against

The scent of the sea embraces me
With a sailor’s lust,
Always longed for, but never satisfied,
No matter how many ports of call
I dip my oars into to stir smooth water
Into a wondrous white froth
This saltine broth overflowing each cup
Glistening on its lip

And this sea always haunts me
No matter how far ashore I carry my oar
The sirens’ song perpetually luring me
Back to what I lack, pulsating in me,
Stirring up old passions for what has passed,
For the seat to wake me, shake me
And make me cling to slipping decks
From which I must eventually,
Regretfully plummet, taking my final plunge,
Letting this sea, this warmed water
Flush with froth and broth and seaweed
Consume me once more

Friday, March 15, 2013

Songs of the not so innocent

1: intro

The songs we hear inside our heads
Are not the ones we take to bed
That long, long night we take for dead
And early morning we always dread
Sing to me of hope instead
When we our night gowns we can shed

2: The shepherd

She seeks them out as if to say
They will always make her day
If they help her find her way
Before alas she casts them away

3: Evergreen

When the green grows
Thick around my feet
I know a time will come
When I will meet
When I shall lie
With earth spread over me
Like a sheet

4: Lamb

The sheep look up
My best friend said
From a song caught
In his head
No lamb of god
From a book he read
But a chop upon
His plate instead

5: beasts

The beasts of the southern wild rise
The flash of film before my eyes
As waters climb up high
And sun bakes from the sky
I think of all that’s in your eyes
When the storm brings floods up to my thighs
And hope that I might compromise
And breathe out more
Than just a sigh

6: The blossom

I hear the sparrow before it sees me
Feathered beast clutching its sea
Of green, fluttering in its constant chill
The cold, cold ice thawing still
Ahead of the riding thrill of spring
I always wait for blossoms to bring
For winter’s chill to finally fade
And the bones that ache like new remade
Will it ever come to my abode
Only the little sparrow knows

7: Weep weep

Weep, weep through halls I creep
Sneakers squeaking as I sneak
Weep, weep, my mother I seek,
Mad as a hatter leaving me alone,
No father to find me or call my own,
Weep, weep, this halls I still creep,
In cavernous shadows where I seek,
No coal in my hair to turn my hair black,
No crows on my shoulders, no claws in my back
Weep, weep

8: little boy

My daddy left me when I was three
After he had come back from the sea
And I feel so lost now that he
Wanted to be rid of me
I found him later when I grew old
A man, a memory I could not hold
Hard of heart and cold as stone

9: Cradle

Non stop shop
In this hopscotch
Lollypop stopover
On top or bottom
Upside or down,
Inside, outside
All around
Each move
Feeling of eternity

10: Divine image

I pretend I want one thing
When I really want something else
The look in the dark
That people read in me
When it’s not at all
What I’m thinking,
Long passed desire for fame
Or even infamy,
I settle for love
That seed born out of lust
To linger and age
Like old wine into something
Much more magnificent
Than anything imagined
Not dream look down
Low cut blouse
Or up high hemmed skirt
But the burning perpetual
Candle on the altar of lust
Upon which sacrifices are made,
The stained silver dagger still dripping
From a wound still raw and red,
Love beyond the valentine’s day heart,
But a stab in the dark,
Pain raised out of pleasure,
Made more intense
After the gush of blood has ceased
Lingering, blissful
Even when it hurts

11: Holy Thursday

It is this day above all I recall
Not the day the cross is raised
or the prophet falls
but the calm day before
the dawn in the garden
before the balm is on his garments
this day each year when winter falls
when the girl I love runs down the hall
to linger and fall for charms of another man
this day when Peter does not pay Paul
and denies he knew his lord at all
and lets the others fall to sleep
while the man, the lamb led like sheep,
this terrible night in this utterly dark wood
when we look for light as we should
and wait for morning’s shroud of thorn
we beg to pass before the morn,
to drink this bitter wine again
to take us back to what was when
love was just an innocent bliss
when all we wanted was just a kiss
that’s what this day makes me most miss
what the stirring masses do not strive for,
or for food that comes not from above
but let's us feed on what is love
and the whole time know it’s not enough,
and on this day before the cross is hung
and all the mournful songs are sung,
when when was when we can’t get back
to what it was we thought we lacked.

12:  Night

The wind howls
outside my window
As I wake,
Stirred out of deep sleep
By still deeper dreams
I barely recall
The fading images of
Something still
Lingering in my head,
The scent of lavender
Clings to me as I shift
My limbs from under
These sheets,
Static crackling
From the huff and puff
Of a long night’s labor,
A touch of tenderness
The panic of pleasing pain
All bleached out of
My consciousness
By the stark streams of day
Drowned out by the drone
Of everyday,
But still lingering
In the corners of my mind,
A shadow, a tang
A tantalizing tingle
A soft kiss on my
Still moist cheek,
The feel of it around me,
Over me, under me,
Inside and out,
The hurt and promise
Of what might be again
When sleep seizes me
Once more

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The scheme (with video)

“Maybe it’ll work this time,”
Dave said, repeating the scheme
He had repeated so many times
He needed no rehearsal,
That vague play for fame
He played each time
We played a parade,
That ten note masterpiece
He tooted as we passed
The bandstand judges
 Trying to get them to believe
He played the whole parade
Like that when he couldn’t
Play it twice in a row
And get it right
Always looking for someone
To tell him how great he was
When beyond those ten notes
He wasn’t,
needing to get famous or rich
but refusing to learn
The additional notes
What he needed to achieve it
Willing to let the cops
Come bust him
If that’s all the fame he could find
Which in the end
After all the flags were furled
And the crowds gone home,
And the only judge who’d listen
Was the one who could care less
About how well he played
as about fair play,
Handing Dave no ribbon
For his achievements,
Just a sentence to a place
Where he could play those
Same ten notes over and over
And over again
Until he was
Blue in the face.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

We always go back

(For Roe)

She was the girl
In grammar school
Who always had my back
That jet set lear jet
Kind of gal
That rich men courted
door men always let
Into places like Club 54,
Who caught up with me
After the cops caught me
After high school
Just shy of getting
20 years in jail,
The girl the jocks
Locked onto
But could never get
And couldn’t make out
What her kind was doing
With me,
Blood brother-sister
If not really blood,
Lovers but never lovers
Who always yanked out
The arrows others
Drove deep into
Our hearts,
But never the ones
We flung into
Each other,
Always drawn back
to heal
all these long years

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Peanut butter and jelly

It’s all warm inside
And moist
The sticky touch
Of jelly
On the butter knife
After scraping it
Over slices of bread
I get hungry
For its sweetness
But can’t take the labor
Of screwing on the lid
Always leaving it open
When I’m done
And let the knife drip
Dessert always being
The better part of a meal
But for me,
The whole thing
Is dessert
From top to bottom
From inside and out
From this side or that
The bun and the bacon
The hotdog and roll
The peanut butter
And jelly.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Another spring poem (with video)

I feel winter
Oozing out of me
The last bit
Of bitter toothpaste
In a tube
I have used
For too long,

The dribble
Of pale remains
Dripping from
Every part of me
As I wait
For spring
To come

And ache
For the blooming
The change
Always brings,
Buds bursting
In and around me
That explosion
Shaking me
Waking me
Raising me up
So I feel
Fulfilled again
That throbbing
Amazing feeling
Of expiring old
And glorious new
That wondrous haze
That flows
Out of me
To fill up
Those gaps
I have in my life
A magnificent
That blinds me
To all else
And leaves me
And inspired
Like nothing
Else can...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Void (with video)

For Tygrrr

When they pass
They pass
And all we can do
Is pray
And ponder about
Their souls
And if they have none
Are they covered
By ours
An umbrella against
The torrential furies
Of eternity
That lets us live on
In some other fashion
Or is their existence
What we see and feel
Here on this world
And whether in our efforts
To be kind
Have we done enough
Given love enough
To fill the void
They must face
From here on

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lips (some notebook stuff)

What is that little dip called,
That nick above the lip
I so ache to lick
To stick the tip of my tongue in
To begin the kiss
I so ache to make
The tip of a toe into
The waters of love
Before plunging head long
Easing the whole tongue in
Passed plush lips
To the warm, moist darkness beyond
What is that little dip called
That nick, that lick
That always leads to love?

Lips, hips, ships
That sink in the night
That submarine plunge
I never meant to make
To find sunken Atlantis
An immortal moment of bliss
All starting with a kiss


You always were persistent,
your sure step shiftless in the sand,
inches behind mine,
refusing to fade the way mine do,
the wavering water washing up,
sinking in at the toes,
the deep impression of your life,
always remarked upon,
leaving that satisfied taste of completeness behind,
while I, in constant struggle within myself,
looking for ways to make my name,
a Wall Street broker, a notorious book peddler,
a hustling, rustling bandit of the street,
almost ready to wash your feet
or windshield for your secret,
me, the invisible foot on the sand,
my suit, tie and shimmering shoes
meaningless here among the pixies
and gypsies of your imagination,
like a gull's bloated body
in the low hung clouds,
grey upon grey,
while you, stark,
a white gull with black head laughing
in defiance,
at me, at the sea that swallows me
at the world that consumes
us all.

Chains of love?

Every time she hears
The Beatles sing
“Chains of love,”
She goes ape
That bottle-blonde
The band
Mistakes for shy
For whom
Leather is
Not just
A fashion statement
And the chains
She puts on a man
Pinch more than
Just the heart

Friday, March 1, 2013

Curved surfaces

The curve
Fits the palm
Of my hand
As if made
To be that way,
My flesh too rough
For the silky
As I draw
My fingers
Up its side
Stirring up life
A shudder
A sigh

Don’t do it!

The invite read: “You should go,”
As if written just for me,
One of those things
Written deliberately vague
Easily misread when anyone
Who knows anything knows
I’d never get invited to anything
Remotely like that,
Me knowing that I’d never
Get invited to any party
That doesn’t have a noose
At the end of it,
And that a trap so transparent
As this kind is
Screams with the warning
“Don’t do it!”
When behind the scenes
This is Vietnam all over again
And that teasing voice
In the jungle hoping
To sure good guys like me
Out into the open
Where bad guys like them
Can get at us,
Or the political party
That always likes to keep
Ugly behind the scenes things
Like this wrapped up
So later they can deny
It meant what everybody
Presumed it meant
And the only one with egg
On their faces are those
Who took the meaning
Literally and fell for the trap,
In this world full of
Wishful thinking
We all wish for things
We shouldn’t have,
Or can’t have anyway,
Losing ourselves in a wish list
Of impossible dreams even
Don Quixote  could not rival
And no matter
How many windmills
We fight
We can never win
Watching the world spin
On a gust of evil wind
That must blow itself out