Are You Somewhere?

for Isaac

 

I’m sending
a homeless
man with a
shopping cart
poems about emptiness.

“Are you somewhere
warm?”

“On the outside.
I’m crying and you’re
sending me yellow faces.”

I am somewhere at odd hours
Listening to the furnace kick
And a coffee pot
gurgle and hiss.
Warm?
Isn’t that our difference-

I carry hope like a young
heart does heat.
And you dropped
yours in a gutter,  knowing better.

Starry Eyed Seas

I’m stuck on what to write about for the blog, as I am in a sea of stories, vignettes, ideas, chapters, tabs, notebooks, note-cards, and a new storyboard on the actual wall. But this quote by Allen Ginsberg I found in my writing notebook is saying something to me in some kind of poetry, about my current life as of now and how it feels and how the creation of the book grows, and so on. So I am going to free-write a poem about Ginsberg’s quote, which is this:

“Without even intending it, there is that little shiver of a moment in time preserved in the crystal cabinet of the mind. A little shiver of eternal space. That’s what I was looking for.”

–Allen Ginsberg

 

“That’s-what-I-was-looking-for.”

When I look at it, when I word what I’m looking for,

it vanishes. Once I get to the word “looking”

I see the tail end of its nightgown moving as if underwater

rounding the corner or entering a door, carrying away

the simplest sentence I have chased all this time.

The words, the connections, move but also elude me. Like treasures

in lush green grass I get intoxicated like Sarah

in Jareth’s labyrinth, time escaping, all wrapped up by

oddities, curiosities, layers, touch, sight, smell, test.

 

So I go back.

“…there-is-that-little-shiver-of-a-moment-in-time-preserved-in-the-crystal-cabinet….”

Shivers of moments. Shimmers. Light. Slivers. I see Chekhov freshly pressed in Times New Roman:

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

I carry so many shivers, gathering them in my notebooks and poems,

quick jots, so that I may take it to the keyboard and write the vignette–

the cut-out of my heart.

 

All these pieces are from one broken mirror, its large pieces

splintered; sharp diamonds reflecting the night sky overhead.

I near the broken mirror barefoot in the grass, and the pieces

look like speckled seas I could dip my toe in, then maybe my limbs and body

and then under into the cool diamond-studded water;

so deep is the purpose of my reflection

that it too eludes me–

the water, the night reflecting myself

contains universes, black holes and dwarf stars,

death stars and gases and vacuums

and molecules and atoms

and the graveyard for stars.

 

The purpose.

The purpose of the words? To reveal the shiver,

so shaken that words lose sound and then form.

To reveal the shiver–the trembling, clearest point

of guts and instinct and longing, pain, and beauty.

To reveal the shiver–which is ourselves.

 

 

Chemistry in Capsules, Virginia


I would have met you at the water if I
were then without a daughter; I would have
held your hand–the bones to your words.
I would have decided on the hour–on
instinctual impulse–when the lower
haze of swaying moods sends me down.
I would have called you I bet,
and the moon would’ve been full and
I would’ve ran barefoot in my nightgown
to meet you at the water’s edge.
We would’ve known, I think, not to speak
about blue darkness and moon shafts shifting
across pale dandelions between our toes.
We would’ve sunk so deeply together,
smoothing the stones.

But chemistry comes in capsules now, Virginia,
and it allows you to linger at the surface, just
a breath away from air.
If you were here now would you tell me
my words are not pebbles,
to risk giving them meaning and shape
– to find no shame in their emptiness?
I’m alone, until I think of you–
my shared reflection in the water, you
with so much more grace, but I can
only build you up as a writer
and a fighter
and I  drop a stone to wrinkle you away,
and I see my face, blurry and rippled,
brilliant in the moon.


 

 

 

featured image Michael Kenna, Pinterest

A Poem about You Bloggers, You Might Want to Read This, Fellow Toads

I bet Shakespeare was bad in bed.

I bet Henry Miller began with a cigarette

and ended leaving to write facts,

the vase empty of flowers.

Allen Ginsberg probably annihilated in

the fucking, chanting run-ons, then passed out in another

realm of the subconscious.

Steinbeck, meh, I feel nothing about that.

Hemingway? Far from ordinary but so many lovers

it cheapened his passion.

 

I think about these things. I fall in love

with writers. I do. I have a little black book

between my mattresses filled with

photographs of words. Just words.

Fonts say a lot unless the word hurts me

in the chest or, some, shocking my entire being. Read More

Beyond the Border/Hamsa

(published in Frigg Magazine 2014)

HAMSA

The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,

swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,

cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—

beyond this room, beyond this wall

I can almost hear you—the soil

sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;

folds of light robes around you like

birds’ wings—your child

asleep on your warm back,

your sky a sea, an earth, a breath

 

because you’re there I’m less anxious

(as I palm another pill) because I rely

on sedated time I sit in my chair,

lost somewhere before the border,

where I see myself later—aged and worn away—

walking to you, palms up.

 

“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting

for me, time is something else to you—

so I see I don’t have to tell you

where I’ve been or why I am here

but that I’ve arrived

out of the cement tomb.

I see there are no distractions in the sky;

the rise and fall of my chest is all,

seas of breath and I am.

 

I know the scent of your skin,

the feel of your warm, bent back

beneath my body, I know necessity.

 

I will arrive

when I am not so afraid of myself.

When I am not so sick.

I will cross into the motherland.

I will go home.

I will leave what I’ve built behind and

I will take my place

among the living.

 

I can hear you beyond this room.

 

 

 

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