Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Remembrance Asleep (Echo, Echo, Echo)

"I can't tell you the pace or direction
taken by the guiding traveler beneath my breast,
and what would you say if I could?"

I might have tried to follow the beat,
played double-time, caught up to it somehow.
I may have proved less wanting than I'm proven now,
thinking back in preference to waking up.

We Sang Our Songs (What I Will Be When I Grow Up)

I'm so afraid that everyone I love will die
and I will be left alone in a too-small box,
knocking on the lid with my nose
in a silent place with no good smells.

I don't know why I live so timid, never intimate,
claiming instead to be encircled
by enormous tall oblong protruding pastel faces
of animals leering sexually and wondering
half to themselves, aloud,
what I will be when I grow up.

I know how to sing! I know how to play! I know how to write!
I know how to walk around without my head in some damn cloudbanks,
looking down the wet slope of a murdered bridge.

Stop telling me I don't!

I'm not from where you're from!
Where I came from, we sang our songs
because we knew them by heart, not by rote.
Stoppit, damn stupid condemnation evil notion, confusing the two!

I won't listen to you. Goodbye!

Dream of Living Color

There was a slow harvest
that year, and slow
trysts, like long drops of ice,
reminiscent of all the color,
the variation of love.

"It's too monotonous to love,"
you said once, "the harvest
lacks Autumn color."
If only hands ran as slow
as hearts--look, the ice
you melted, it all drops.

I've searched for the sea built of those drops,
I've searched for a vessel, planks of honest love,
but fiery hearts must burn; a good harvest,
like intentions, cannot bear to ice.
Better to die spitefully than slow;
better to spark high than drain color

at the thought of waiting, to color
the smooth ground with wrinkling drops
and watch the earth bloom slow,
like a memory of love,
yielding to the mind a harvest
when, to the eyes, there was ground and ice.

Inevitably, invariably: the ice
blows in to color
my perceptions, still my hands at harvest,
make me watch as Time drops
my accusations of love
against my heart. Dying is slow,

just as waking is slow
when the corners of the dream ice
over and the tunnel closes. Love
must be the last color
seen when all else drops.
If so, let death harvest.

When death comes, how slow! Its harvest
will be edge-ice, the husk that drops
the spirit wakened to love, asleep to dream of living color.

She Clouds Wanting

She clouds wanting
This damn torrent
No light today

One day
will be new

One day
I will

and you



Friday, April 1, 2011

Gods, Like Men

Many, many memories have died and many futures shed their blood
throughout this war for the present,
this desperate whites-of-the-eyes campaign against the past
and all that it could lead to.

I am so tired, emblematic of my generation,
my generation emblematic of my race;
but I could escape.

I could know the hidden tunnel and the refugees,
I could know the touch of sunlight through the ash like clouds,
the clouds like gods displeased and looming,
the gods like those they condemn, the gods like men:
frail hands stained with blood they do not think their own.

Galatians 4

Do you remember the light from whence you shone?
Do you have any remembrance
of that bright womb cradling you before you were?

O God!

What did your mother whisper in her birthing groans to make you hate her so?
Will she squeeze love from you as water from a stone?
I am sorry that you wept at Moses' blows when words would suffice;
but hate, hate mothers? Hate bruised, discolored self?
Hate God that he is not obeyed?

You, Voice.

He does not see, but fear unblinded sight; not all feet are shy of Damascus.
Your hold is not so deep that a lion cannot draw you from his back by the throat.
This fire will burn, see all your ashes out upon a forge's breath!
You would have martyred impure ore, but perfect gold comes of it!
Golgatha taught you what you have not learned.

Persecution is the maidenhead of grace
that bleeds when it is pierced.

Eternal Long White Sheets

Eternal long white sheets, cool draperies,
forever and ever unending waves of noontide, moontide and dawn
fell with soft sounds, orchestral rushings, brushing silk and air and moth wings,
secrets down from tall beds, cold, thin clouds, down from the real, warm sun,
forever sun, where it has floated like a moon behind the veil,
where beauty has reflected in the rippled, glassy pools of promises and time
for so, so long, the tide has rushed and lapped, receded and moaned against the land,
the white, white beaches, the cool, clear rocks and moss,
the pictured scenes, the opaque whispers of a time to come,
the close, the near, the almost, the shiverings, the want restrained,
the forgotten time and the hopeless hope,
the hair that lay across shoulders, the some skin, the held hands,
the leashes for the dog in the alabaster coat, the shelved jar with a rush of blood in it,
the wind that told the first, withheld the last and ran while we ran after it.
All fell: a single infinite, impatient, instantaneous unhurried rush
of cloth and dress and wear.

There all of every inch and foot and dip and swell
and scent and sight and breath and lips and ears and hands and arms and legs
and touch and glance and lithe and long stood still and waiting.

Saw the sight, beheld the touch, embraced the real,
it all was there to be; I wept to her
as both our souls like stars collided and there lay,
burning until we were the brightest, only light.

Your Bright Ghost

I can remember losing a lot of memories in cloudy water
like a milky stare, like a child's gift swept angrily away
past immeasurably wounded eyes, the first landmark of adulthood
and confusion in the face of stupid cruelty.

I can see myself going blind with the sunset;
I cannot feel the touchstones I once held in hand:
light, rest, reason and faith.

All fades, yet I remember you, my gilded Lily.
I am encompassed by the night, these grassy rustlings, but you have a bright ghost.
Having lost even the deathly sense of the drowning glass, the looking glass,
the glass darkly swimming between blue hands,
your lingering warmth is all of mine.

God took you from me.
I would have been as jealous of my love.