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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Shut the world off, please, I’m going back to bed
Turn it over, out, and off lest these flowers will rise dead
They’ll plan all my schedules’ meetings, working overtime
Work out birthdays, dog walks, dentistry, and misanthropic pine
(That tree hanging over the house is going to fall and would just LOVE to take us all out)

Spur-like evenings bursting of thyme-flavored romance are impossible to find—
And they don’t just happen.
Fashion a respectable Christmas card before Christmas, take Wally to the vet,
Brush Baby’s teeth so clean you can see yourself in Baby’s toothy shine
Family dentistry on Tuesday family dentistry on Tuesday
Lawn getting high and taxes getting higher
If we even had the nerve to sell, we’d never find a buyer
But sweet Jeanie’s prepping for camp next week
Ah the sweet innocence of camp for her
O the perfect release of responsibility for her
Eee what a burst of relief for her

I can feel the pressure lifting.

So shut it off now, or at least please turn it down.
The iron gates are clashing closed and I can just make out your darling freckles.
I’ll draw imaginary lines on you, connecting them crookedly when your face tickles.
And this was our perfect moment.
It’s so nice in here again, and all away from it.
Much safer than a bleed out.
If you hav’nt got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you hav’nt got a ha’penny, super-impose Malorie.
Not a chance.
I will not devastate my soul.
And we don’t believe in angels anymore, right?

Shut it off.

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Have you ever attempted to write something you so fortuitously named Xanadu before even starting the thought, “What the frog am I going to write with a title like that?” Well here’s a tip: think that. Because otherwise you’re certainly going to go jaunting off into the mountains with snowshoes made from tennis rackets. Is there snow in Xanadu? You don’t know. You’ve never been, You’ve never even seen it on a map. But you do know it’s some rare kind of paradise so, now that you think about it, you can leave the snowshoes at home.

It’s possible, you fathom to no one, that Xanadu is some far away place in your imagination and that in order to get there, you may have to do some terrible things. It’s kind of like the “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” mentality except much more… dynamic! Because if it is indeed paradise you are seeking, then it is indeed paradise you will find. Just don’t expect to keep your morals in check. Not entirely, anyhow.

Or maybe Xanadu is a mid 70s band you are remembering. Yes. Didn’t they perform at the hippest rolly dinks? Wow how great did everyone look in bell-bottoms back then? Sweet Marie.

A damsel with a dulcimer.

Or… no there was your Xanadu. Back there before time ran out on you. Ah you young son of a bitch. Kissing the girls and making them cry under the whimpering willow tree on the hill. Had that truly happened? An exceptional breeze never lies; it also never leaves you.

You don’t know from Xanadu. No one can. But to be candid, who even cares? Why go there? You haven’t heard much word of mouth about it. Can’t be all that great. Besides, you’ve already used up all your vacation time and cashed in your miles when you went to Nevada last month to visit your 19 car pile up, wreck of a brother. Miles well spent. Did some blow. And oh shit now THAT was Xanadu. That was also two black nights resulting in two blacker eyes, a skull fracture, and a wife. Yeah, oops. Funny now though… almost.

Down to a sunless sea.

What was the name of those ball pits you used to jump around in as a kid? Were those damn things just called “ball pits?” How unfortunate if that’s true! But there was the once upon a time when you stayed under for what was, in kid time, akin to an eternity. Completely oblivious to mother’s profound worry. Hardly able to contain your usually robust giggling. And when she ran out of the Burger King play scape area to look frantically for you out in the parking lot, you swam comfortably under your multicolored plastic ball water, able to breathe, able to create, able to be transferred to a different, unbelievable place. To Xanadu.

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Was that there where you saw it? The impossible light and shadows? Did these perfection anomalies envelop you, merge with you, become part of you? Because that is what happened to me. That is where I first was there. And that is when I last was when. And do you know that it was the damnedest thing because I knew. I mean, I really knew at that time that this was a never again moment. And the real treagedy of it is that I was just a dumbshit kid, unable to fully appreciate it. Fully grasp it. Never let go. … That is what it was like and how do you like that? All of these years traveling to the just beyond that is not quite right out of realms; all this time knowing it could never be–this fruitless, thankless task of yours. Yet you never stop, do you? Tell me, why do you think that is pleasant

To be forever drunk on the milk of Paradise?

——————

For Samuel.

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At Peace With My Serenity

The fall wind blows slow o’er the moors of my soul
I’m at peace with my serenity
The kitten purrs in soft, puffy bursts
I’m at peace with my serenity
The house it settles as we here nestle
I’m at peace with my serenity
Light rain comes down on our hometown
I’m at peace with my serenity

I put her to sleep by counting her sheep
I’m at peace with my serenity
Her brother’s sweet eyes are not yet dry
I’m at peace with my serenity
I pick him up and rock him calm
I’m at peace with my serenity
Soon he hushes, my heart of hearts blushes
I’m at peace with my serenity

And back to bed, “Is he?” you said
I’m at peace with my serenity
I tell you “Yes, we are so blessed.”
I’m at peace with my serenity
You hold my hand, you understand
I’m at peace with my serenity
Your ghost still looms all over this room
I’m at peace with my serenity
And then comes pain swallowing pain atop my pain
I’m at peace with my serenity
I stifle my cries by telling myself lies
I’m at peace with my serenity
We will never be what we were yes we are
I’m at peace with my serenity
You’re coming back as a matter of fact
I’m at peace with my serenity
Admit your mistake, it’s ok, you were weak
I’m at peace with my serenity
Your daughter is screaming again and no one is dreaming again
I’m at peace with my serenity
I’m at peace with my serenity
I’m at peace with my serenity

Yes.

I am at peace with my serenity.

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Ode to Pie

I’ve got cherries, you’ve got filling
Peter’s bringing roll-ing pins,
Somewhere out there blackbirds flocking far far from this hot o-ven.
Dough is needed to be kneaded, please friend, squash it lov-ingly!
Where’s the timer? Holly’s got it. Oh that’s great, I lovvve to sing!

<Repeat chorus 700 trillion times.>

Fin.

For Maya.

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Everything was fine and good and people all got along,
Someone invented a mighty contraption that turned pollution into sunshine,
Nicotine turned to dust and cancer was eradicated,
The economy hadn’t seen a dark day for well over 100 years
and criminals long ago had turned to a life of hospital volunteering.
America changed all her town names to “Splendid Place,”
and cities were thereafter known as “Happy Havens.”
Literature was Utopian in nature and not a single reader cared for the past…
Until Twilight hit the Public Domain.

Life as we knew it was shattered.
Atlas shrugged and was found dead in a ditch
And children ran amuck in the cornfields.
Ravens pecked our eyes out and we laughed as the blood poured out of their sockets.
Bella Swan’s perfect shining love had returned.
He glistened under the guise of Project Gutenberg, creating his new realm of evil.
Billions of readers once again lost their way.

I have known the worst times I will ever know.
–I hope to God that statement is true!–
And so I cannot live another day
In this silly, heart-shaped world

with no light

and no moon.

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The Almost Cake

I was in the grocery store yesterday.
(Totally true.)
I walked up and down the aisles.
(As I tend to sometimes do.)
I almost bought some cake mix
(for to bake a cake with.)
Because of you.

But I didn’t. And I don’t know why.
Somewhere, a friend cried (but did not know why.)
Existence is a tricky business.

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I celebrate myself.

I am a marksman of happy tidings and ill reputes.
This life I have lived to present day has been filled with jubilation and good cheer. I have witnessed the things I have wished for come true and I have planted the seeds of my future within close proximity of my selfishness.
There were times—I reflect—where the good of my fellow man came second only to my own desires. And for this, I am not proud.

I come to you now with a full, albeit capsized heart.
I come to you now with a humble song of forgiveness on my lips and complacency at the forefront of my chorus.
I see my eyes, they are platitudinous, yet still hold their vibrant strength.
I see you as you are, plain, naked, human, alone, scared and sacred, wonderful as the grass under my feet, full as the sky, secure in imperfection—
You are me as I am you. Together, we are all flawed to perfection.

I cannot breathe lest I fill my lungs with the expelled air of youth,
I cannot till my garden without rearranging the dirt my ancestors walked on, fought on, died on.
I cannot be a thing in the world before I consider myself to be a mere stepping stone in progress.
This progress is never ending—it is never beginning—it is moving on and on as a drifter in a sandstorm,
Hurrying through the debris to shuffle to a home far away from where he doesn’t want to be.
I am every lost soul incarnate and I am every enlightened beast that trudges the high plains.

Do you wonder at my self-serving knowledge?
Do you hearken yourself to be anything but a collection of gorgeous atoms? rearranged within yourself to make you whole?
You are unique as the sun.
You are a star shining. You are a solar system. You are God, Jesus, Buddha, and John Smith.
You are every mother. Nourishing your young with your breast.

I saw a parade of children, marching toward the center of town, holding smiles on their faces and flags against their chests.
They are involved and engrossed in the memory of a nation that prides itself in history and future.
They run ahead and play tag around the cannons.
They stop dead in their game when three fighter jets tear across the sky, erasing all other noise from Heaven down.
For an instant, one moment, the children cry behind their eyes for a feeling that is as of yet, unformed—
It is a love of everything.
It is our built-in connection to it all.

I have been to the edge of my own parameters and I have waded through the murkiness of my soul.
I have contemplated what it means to be alive, what it means to be a man, what it means to be low grade.
By salting some wounds, I have self-flagellated and I have come out the other end with this rapid beating heart.
It sounds off in my chest as if a soldier were dying there, crashing to the ground—his rifle gives a last report and the silver of his bullet shreds me
Takes me down with him. The me that once was is bleeding the blood of every last man, woman, and child to have ever left this earth.
In the dirt, my old body withers, rots, and seeps into the roots of history.
I am reborn in the garden of where I came from and I see you now as you are as I am:
Two imperfect individuals striving for guidance and clarity, content with our shortcomings, inspired by change and improvement, thrilled with the prospect of BEING.

We are all wound up as one.
We are all bound to be better than we are.
By the sound of my voice and the fiber of my being, I mark myself unwhole
Yet ever-trying.

————————

For WW, on this his 191st birthday.
And in memory of all those who gave their lives for something they believed in… and for progress.

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