Invention

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People are capable.
Marigolds become brittle.
What was worn is new.
Fire escapes rain down
Particles of soil seeping
through the drainage
Holes of a city garden.
It is in the rust
That change comes
And in the taut drum
Sound.

Golden polish buffed
With an old t-shirt
And ignored by children
Looking at clouds.
Crosswalks and jaywalks
Keep cars in check.
The irises are long gone,
But windows show them
Printed on shirts,
Pillowcases, ties.
Streets grided into
Obscurity so that
Neighbors can’t be found.

Dwelling on a century,
Water towers and
Freon coolant returned from
A marketing campaign
That left no one alive.
To construct windows
More concrete is needed.
It is up to the birds now
To spread seed and harvest.

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Selfie

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Is this me?

Hair laid over one eye,

Looking, but not looking.

Am I Narcissus or

The discoverer of a new

World? Blue, Brown, cream, pink.

The pigmentary fragments

Of an image I recognize

As a fateful friend I never knew.

Adjustments and lighting

Obscure and reveal further,

Shifting shade and light to be

Fragonard, Seurat, or Caravaggio.

A four-cornered figment,

A phantom outside of time,

Outside myself.

Filigree

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My heart wants a thing

It cannot name. Spreading

Among rose bushes and

Pushing toward sandstone walls,

In a way it is directionless,

Yet knows where it goes. Beyond

Desire, to be taught by the sky’s

Pigment and nurtured by salt

Scraped from the ocean’s body.

I cannot envision the place it

Will come to rest or what

Will be touched along the way.

On the Walk

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Come to me

When you are done measuring

Yourself against the wind.

I will put down my rake

And welcome you as if

You had never left.

The chair faded

from afternoons of sun

And nights of dew

Will be waiting

In the northwest corner of the garden,

Where you can watch

The birds create architecture

From dried grass. I will leave

Ice in the freezer

Should you need it for your glass

And will have your favorite book

Waiting tableside, with a Florentine leather bookmark

Between pages 37 and 38. I remember

Where you left off. Your room

Looks out onto a swath of dusky hydrangeas

That were planted in your honor.

When you return, I’ll arrange as many as

I can carry in a vase on your bedside table.

The sun sets on this side of the house,

So I hope you’ll find time each day

To rest and wonder at the colors

exploding in front of us.

Measured

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I took the bird wing from the shelf

And placed it in a pouch of red gingham.

A bundle misshapen and lonely, save

For its solitary companion, a tin ring,

found trapped in the quarter slot

Of a gumball machine. I do not know

Where this gift will find its resting place.

From my place I can see a cherry tree

Whose blossoms have been affected

By heavy rains and see its soil and beauty,

Or into a patch of midnight irises.

My hands, which look at me, give

No answer and time, the being

Of change remains stopped. The

Utility of offering, giving to get,

Promises only hope, but gingham

Hope is all I have.

In Absentia

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Hips and depression don’t go together.

Used too much or too little. Either way

the body compulses until materiality

dissipates. My fleshy corporea hides a thing,

brittle, like newspaper, carbonized,

though it works harder than any

laboring hand or industrial composition.

“I think it wants to kill me” or at least,

to cauterize my humanity. Metaphor may

make sense of my body when it is absent

and present.

When I am a liminal, though, language

drags through my body like a chain of knives

and I fear that my mouth will reveal blood.

Now, now that my hips are back, I can

craft a bed to love in, make words to sleep

and breathe in.

Depressive Interstate Communication

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I am not sure how to say, “I miss you”

without fearing your reply. Days, months

and years came upon me quickly, so

that now, the past seems distant and

I seem callous. I was drowning and still

I circle the edge of a pond that I am at

the bottom of. If today is a struggle for me,

I cannot speak. Today is a struggle for you,

but because you need support,

I cannot ask for yours. Somewhere,

at sometime, I thought, I cannot give

and take. It must be then that I remove

myself, so that I avoid taking too much.

Time is not my friend, no more than

the persistent blackness of my mind is.

Tandem brothers, “be forgotten”

and “tomorrow” speak without pause,

for years.

When I have pushed

back the edge of my thoughts,

bleeding like watercolor

and blunting

my desires, my personality, my perception,

I am cautious because it appears

that I have forgotten you. Just know,

missing doesn’t happen without love.