When All The Bad Things Cancel Each Other Out
Sifting through notebook piles
and faded photos,
sun streams in and fades me…
The other person now sifting
through notebook piles
and faded photos of strangers—
days that layered the years that
hung below a belt indentation
on the Earth’s skin.
Smoothed out wrinkles
where time doesn’t visit
and we’re happy just to be.
Here is an actual gift if you grab it
by its ass. And learn
that the bad things can
easily cancel each other out.
the sky can’t fall, I say to myself
as we lay underneath.
We make shadows on the lawn
like a ghost’s imprint
and wait for an invisible
wall that divides us.
Next to me, you drift,
possibly asleep, possibly dreaming
of things that make sense, knowing good well
that I don’t. Circling above is a cloud
and in that cloud is me, well part of me,
the part that isn’t grounded here.
You Sent Me
You sent me
in a box of little foam peanuts
wrapped in ten feet of bubble wrap.
You sent me
as far as i could be carried
in a crumpled card board box–
with extra postage for my additional drama.
and away i went,
with other rejected packages
sailing on the conveyer belt
to another state, city, country,
to no where special or somewhere
with no return address, like the one-way
ticket you gave me last New Year’s eve.
Smelly-wet-smashed up boxes
drifting one by one
to someone else who
can overlook their crinkly corners,
jagged edges, and missing pieces.
i wait inside for you to come back,
to take me home, to even shove
me under your bed with the dust bunny
slippers and lost coins…
instead, you left me aside
to be picked up by the addressee
You randomly chose out of the phone book.
Turned inside out
the red sweater waits
for his return, crumpled
and sad, balled up half-way,
clung to the bureau drawer.
Its blended wool and cotton
frame held him tight on
Winter days when playing
near the creek after dark
Each pilled fiber, proof of another
year the boy had grown and chosen
to wear the red sweater instead of the
new one Mom bought and placed nicely
On his bureau top.
Like most boys, he chose comfort
and the red sweater chose him, remained
in dependable shape for another chilly
Left behind, the house quiet too, the sweater’s
pilled, lonely threads hold tight for his next
trip home, faithful the boy will miss it’s
comfort and give it another deserving
wear while walking near the creek on
a simple chilly day.
The River Collapses
A river once ran behind my home.
It lulled me to sleep,
drowned the monsters in the closet,
pulled bad dreams undertow.
A river that once ran behind my home,
Grew colder as I grew up—
Grew bolder and more cynical,
as people often do when falling out of love.
A river, dried up now, ran behind my home
Until my home was behind me–
Watching it disappear out of the car’s rear window,
Watching it change to tiny pieces and hide deep in-ground.
As my mother collapsed beside the dried up river,
drunk from whiskey tears and lost church bells,
The river, gone forever, lulled her final breath–
Until she lay helpless for that moment,
Next to the river’s now dry land.
It truly never matters:directions given, advice spewed, hands folded
neatly waiting for their place,
and the boy just sighs
Long, inner, placid, peaceful sighs as
if content could linger in his lungs and on his lips–
each breath dipping deep down,
then rise and fall, recycled air
The boy, somewhat older than his years,
gives his father the half-cocked, curious
[somewhat callous] smile…
mouth with turned up corners. dance devilish doubts across
Tempered glass scattered in the corner closet
covered by Dad’s least favorite bag of clubs
The boy, innocent for now, waits his turn to ask
for a second slice of sinful chocolate cake.
Dad, proud of his son’s properly positioned,
folded hands agrees-
the cake coats curiously innocent lips
–the boy’s confession will wait
til the tub is filled
and his father is too tired to teach another lesson.
Metaphors We Keep
Naught we need to sense nor feel, but crutched to write:
subdued like gun-shots through dense, viscous air,
and curtained sleep where dreams make love
to angry days before the eyes can close.
A peek into life– wild, free, in a candid open–
to risk the hidden monologues deep inside
our favored cliches and wishes…
( precise reason we search with certain faith, and not by panic we were taught).
For all the ways the heart can triple beat and not implode!
now strained, and wedged between here, and no place else,
giving soul to stable wombs, a Harbor Place-
for newborn birth that completes a single page we call tomorrow.
Lost in Orientation
Gently pulling on my hair-
Forces beneath my feet and falling forward…no,
gently pulling on my limbs.
Tipped and spinning, a fine acrobatic feat.
Changing course, now looking up
And laying on the floor beneath.
Inebriate me. inebriate me. inebriate me.
I seize in aura—beating, flustered,
Fleeting. I hear it. kids are playing-
Shouting. Crying. Wait, are they
Calling for me. I rise, disoriented–
I got lost again on the oriental rug.
An inflection of shattered visions-
Now dust bunnies in the corners of the porch.
Recollections, distinct and thumping,
crawling deep inside the walls.
Free fall onto frozen, bladed ground
and gasp for gods to gage,
Sun to shine and melt.
Move less, still, while shadows float and dance.
While Nothing is bothered or touched,
And Green goddess stalks stab the sky.
Baffled beauty turns to
Battered beats that call to us at night.
The sun just waits to Warm
And come, the next day soon,
so Ground can sleep
and dream of better things to do than hold us up.
That Last Night
I love to make you laugh.
Even more now that your atheistic
charm is so damn sexy!
Your eyes tell me fuck off,
Go away, but your soul follows
me up the stairs as we make love in
front of your mother’s mirror.
Calm from all the faith you tossed away–
no longer forced to carry on your back–
We sink below ourselves.
Deep down inside another place
Where no gods roam and children
Sudden humidity set in
and the air was thick
like a wet mesh rag
expanding in the sink drain
panting dog at the edge,
shirtless I sprawl,
waiting for a phone to ring
or the ceiling to disembody
itself and free its contents–
Heat makes strange things happen.