Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Year Ends (Mononucleosis)

And growing silently tall
in the deep snow, the oaks said,
And women?

Quietly, I gathered the snow in my hands
as, silently, the ground reached up
to brush the tips of my fingers.

And the oaks, astonished, lowered their leaves
to wreath me in a falling crown of gold.


Opalescent glass
softly diffuses the light
as it enters the bulb,

spreading carnations
across the walls, covering
the surface inside.

A Tree of Dry Leaves (An Orchard Warmth)

Sinking, the pomegranate jewel dissolves
in an orchard warmth, extinguishing
among the dark roots of the good leaves
lining the curve of the bowl.

I do not want it to sink and die.
I want to keep it long alive and watch it
burrow through the stones and wood,
the endless lines of pipes and wires,
until this wet globe splinters from its core,
a dry leaf, an old ornament,
a long-forgotten fragment
reeling in the avalanche of space!

Drifting, the jewel settles
and falls along its course,
sinking into the rift between my hands
and my impenetrable hope,
burning until I break from the center,
a tree of dry leaves, an ancient ornament
dropped at the foot of a blank and ageless wall;
shattered and burned,
rising on the air, utterly still,
entirely at peace in the carrying throes
of the complete freedom
of emptiness.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Piercing Luminance (A Soft Door)

It certainly seems that Lily will never bloom again,
God will never be resurrected from my death
and the light is gone forever.

I never saw the light die.

I saw the obscuring grief gather,
and it took to the edges first,
slowly absorbing my center,
which shone till the last, as if to say
"Do not forget, never despair, remember!"

I saw a naked statue today, her smooth stone body reminding,
her promises concealed by perfect vines.
Her body spoke virtues: sacrifice, gentle forgiveness,
an invitation and a healing love.

God awakes in my body,
a piercing luminance breaks through for a moment,
a secret blossom trembles in the leaves.

Stay, my hope from God! Beloved,
guard yourself for me: unfold, enfold, in season.
These seasons never last, and Spring is close.

So begins lovemaking,
when my hope folds in the edges
of the world upon me,
closing a soft door on the past.

Clean Edges, Tall Glass

I appreciate tall windows with clean edges,
as I love beautiful women in passing on the streets.
Clean edges, tall glass, what do they know?
I look through them; they never see what I see,
unless the light glows from my side of the pane
and the other side shines darkness.

But windows aren't windows
in that case;
they're mirrors.

Women are mirrors, mostly.
Their bulbs burn out too quickly,
especially when they hang down
from the basement ceiling
on a wire,
without a lampshade.

Impenetrable Silence (A Low Flame)

It's not enough, said my simplicity,
that you loved her and today
she isn't gone at all but lives at a distance;
what reason to grieve?

It's not enough, replied my incredulous tears, that the pieces of
her little sounds once fit together into parted lips,
how her lashes brushed as she would close her eyes
against you, wrapping the bulbs within a darkness
as she bade you enter that impenetrable silence where
the light burned near behind a thinning shade of separation
that, bursting into a low flame, cast from two hearts at once
a single cry into the corners of the night?


Oh God, whispered
my shattered


Oh God, breathed out
my wounded simplicity,
don't say that again.

The Phoenix

This golden vessel weighs creakingly
upon the crux of the ancient wooden structure,
soft and damp and feeble.

This tall sepulcher glows a little from its mouth,
this ancient wooden structure prone
behind its dead tree scraggle-roots and thorns.

This golden vessel rests in the midst and shines through all,
this little precious empty thing, long longing to be filled brim-high.
It turns the water of the eyes to wine so lovers can be drunk on loneliness;
it widens and is large enough to bathe in,
if you know the words to say:
Oh God.

God has not forsaken the vessel of his making;
that which no one values gathers dust unhindered.
This golden vessel weighs creakingly
upon the crux of the ancient wooden structure;
this heart leans heavily upon
the dry beams of a love once new.
Make of a love a crucible,
and the vessel will emerge from flames
bearing its ever-truer form and face.

Oh God, this ancient wooden structure!
Who could have imagined
such heat from an old flame?


The truer form is stirring in the glowing ash:
an indistinct, beauteous shape
like a bird with new, clean wings.

Hallelujah in the Dark (Bright Spots)

Hallelujah in the dark, hallelujah as it sings from every flicker of every naked bulb.
Hallelujah for the 60 watts of clarity, hallelujah for the endless chiaroscuro.
Hallelujah in the highest, which my head bumps into
if I do not stoop too low.

Bright spots danced down from my eyes, across my fingers,
and they wet the dry, black powder of the shadows,
the shadows that traced swinging words.
God, write more with this torrential bursting forth,
God, drown some uncertainties in the rippling hardwood!
God, let the planks grow some new leaves;
so old, so dry, do they even remember?
God, let them twine through my nostrils,
let them encircle my wrists and cradle my neck,
and let them flower lotus blooms between my legs,
naked in the dark, revealed.

Take me back to the beginning,
give me back to me, to You, to Om;
oh hallelujah, save our souls!

The planks rend and the soul blossoms.

I Saw My Heart in a Pawn Shop

I saw my heart in a pawn shop and bought it back.
A bell-sound washed across the clerk, said: Free, no charge.
I cradled my repository close and wept him:
Damn you, liar! Damn you, liar!

They moved the chairs at the cafe. There is a long table there now.
How little it takes to slay an old thought, a memory!
Such gold would melt between cold hands.
I wonder sometimes who gets letters now,
whether you've run out of ribbon yet
on someone else
(oh God, God, God.)

I passed your old flame in the hall
and shared a glance:
you too, me too?

We burned low.

I don't know if your letters smell like you anymore.

I cannot find them.


I'm sure they do.


The clerk said, A beautiful girl
who smelled like letters
walked into the shop the day before you.
He said she looked sadly around
and walked out.