a heel fastened to a throat
a friend twisted inside out
the piano flirtations you wrote
postpone another cage you own.
a traditional kiss falls flat
with an ornament of prejudice.
last night, we slept with the bends
just a day after christmas
your syndrome maps another pointless atlas.
have you learned the horns of your disease?
the kisses that sink my submarines.
and what after that do you have to give?
the cry of a vacant embassy.
you spill another jack & coke.
the hospital prayers we broke
if i had the strength
id pull the curtains away
you only had one more day
maybe two more days
the curtains stay.
On the east coast,
we reconvene a drunken yesterday.
sighs sift the seaboard
snow flings unwanted decor on the pillared houses
we head to bed
before the world changes.
We’ve left the eviction notice up
the hate mail sits still in the yard
We’ve chosen the next stage of life
before sleeping it off
and deciding again.
She says we can’t know the length of a river until we’ve reached the end.
Mightiness is heir apparent.
All else culls together tonight
— we believe in our cult or else
we wouldn’t be here —
even if it hangs in question.
We’re all set to be in love with the new year
whether it’s really new
all ships are eager to isolate.
here, where you are secretary to sea cadence —
a plaintiff for land down under.
And you begin to miss green & spring
two things the ocean leaves behind. variations
on land heartbeat. Where to roam right away
is innocuous enough. Here, one must matronize
the sea for any influence.
You are mapping categorically with pictographs of clouds
for it is sin to build a map out here.
Only of memory they say. You will be without
even knowing for some length of time.
You set sail to a cirrus woodblock and end
with wings drifting apart. What does Cupid do over the ocean?
Later you throw an anchor out in the shadow of a heavy cloud, bruised
itself of faraway desert dust. It collected languages
before slipping off the coast. It remains naked now
and impossible to draw.
You brought 43 pens and are down to 6.
One day you decide clouds are Rorschachs and make stories. Some are lifted
mythologies, you know that, but you don’t know from when or where
or what gods.
Some days there are no clouds. One cannot just look at patch of sky
and pretend any meaning. But the whole sky is a great snake
stretched by gods you named, and then its dressed of sun so bright
it must mean blindness.
When you dock months later you hitchhike to the airport and
buy a ticket for the longest flight available.
You want to reach out and touch the snake and thank
it for not leaving you alone.
He is scared
to love the side effect.
He does not come
to dashing spirals anymore.
Gothic thunder rattles
our space — nearing ground.
Some species holiday
scalped mop&bucket tense.
The future is fad
we go through together.
All there is to it
patch up & leave the center.
One tragedy is to try.
The frost on the window stays while it thins,
but you do so on foot.
Soon, your abdomen wilts into just an approximation of a frame.
We are unlikely architects, creating something
from an ever increasing nothing.
I begin to hear you only in outline,
the recipe but not the substance.
Even the mosquitoes can taste the wilt.
Release, for me, the other tragedies
of intimate arrivals. Be a jailbird
for your capability,
strong, central, and in accord.
Allow my arms and my words
to be counted as hinges to hand onto
in the plithe of your seedy background.
I invite you to tower over your own argument now,
gather the new postures from falling
Rarely do the good smiles record right. As rare as full moons lighting up calendar squares. You must be hanging off the wall so much or else you’d want to come and see me. Well, windows understand me here. Pulling light in as I wish. It is the opposite of your museum, which can only bring things out from walls. Do you remember Oaxaca? The thin clothes we drank in, shadows burglarized by night by cobblestone thieves. The best part of re-seeing things is choosing the memory you take from there. And then you can wonder if something ever was.
OK, well I’ll go now. The begonias are bursting and becoming. Playthings for my eyes. I am running out of —
Pooling together what we know is first order.
We move forward in each others languages
or not at all.
I am memorizing Rilke, not so far up the shore.
You recite Mallorme over my nervous meditation.
Together, we are mincing the obtuseness of our genetics,
while I down a million heartworms. Later,
we can pillage the rent of other fabrics
aside from language, form, semantic obliteration.
Read another passage out loud, I say,
neverminding the words being lost as tickets. I realize
I am only here
Let’s stop being those people right now
paradies of promise
pioneers steering away from pnemonic pasttime.
It’s time to retire these sinking alphabets and not crumble down with it.
One day, when I am
old enough, rich enough, stable enough
with fame that marks my face another poetic geography
I’ll return these messages to you
And the pooling will no longer be a delusion
but togetherness I’ve founded
Each Tunnel Like A Vacuum: on reading Eric Grant’s work, circa 2009
In one line, from October 2009, you asked if life were worth the marathon. Well, I’m not going to answer that
For you, though I can negotiate some semblance of balance
Between you and I on that subject.
I am coming closer to the roses, you see,
Each tunnel like a vacuum
Expresswaying me halfway across the hemisphere and sometimes
The mere thought of a new currency tramples me. I cannot seem
To shake the wilderness’s wildness from my mind, it is un-understandable,
A fuck in a foreign language that is gone far too soon.
I remember the days when we apologized to mirrors and these
Are not those days. Sure, things still explode,
But something is always exploding. No longer is there a fear of faking
The fall so I can get-back-on the hero wagon and carry the horse.
Here’s the honesty I promised you years ago,
draped in courage-blood:
You can’t strangle a moment until your fingers fall off. You just can’t.
Each one will pass standardly and, unless you fight it,
Each voyage will feel vacant. I’ve fought it
For you, and each speck of our shared future’s history.
The best moments, though, I can tell you about those:
When beauty passionately and nakedly sits stagnant
and my (American) blue eyes watch our own smothered plans
lie flat and stretch over miles and miles and miles
until I cannot see them anymore.
Sara Teasdale’s closing stanza in ‘Winter Stars’
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.