Saturday, April 30, 2011


I am that certain stranger, sighted from across a dreaming sea. I am that mirror, the worn skins of the familiar. For a moment we trade places and become forever lost to the other, meaning another name for mistake. That art of noting aloud the way a paintings eyes seem to follow. That gift of always guessing just a little at a time, a whole long desert framed for a moment in ascent. That suppleness that so beguiles, each notion a slow embrace.

I am never long lost to artifice, for a pleasing scamming of the view. A fondness for the sort of lies that always follow good intentions. Every stretch an open invitation, an unbounded promise of further delights too familiar to number. A dash or a dance, this guileless masquerade of full disclosure, this cloture of glamor and feint. This reason in the way things hang, painted in light and ink.

You are always knowing that moment before the whole illusion bursts. You see just when to look away, poised to be readily happy for the worst. The smile you wear always the opposite of the mood you bear with-in. You tell the world each thing you're seeing and how that seeing suits. All your reactions a realization of the inevitable, a cross bourn because it was all the world left. The halo around every shadow, every bluff called out.

Friday, April 29, 2011


All the sunlight got stuck slipping through the treetops, clinging to the varied greens and boughs. The wind pitched a fit or two, writhing through the greenery, dancing with cups and bags across the asphalt, scattering litter, scampering through the gravel. Crows on low perches complained and tattled as the little dog and me completed our rounds. The sky bantered with the lowing hills and overgrown lots, spells cast and canceled in the same exhausting breath. The magic had the world in its thrall, everything a litany of flee and tremble.

I move like a set of loose gears working sacks of wet cement, I move with the dull throttle of leaden bones and fetid gristle. Limbs weighed down with sloth and atrophy, the skull a nest of worried bees, each step of the day feeling like a stroll on the bottom of the ocean, like a slog through the depths of the restless sea. There is a hitch in my giddy-up, a series of symptoms due to loose marbles and missing plugs. The whole day spent wandering around, fitfully asleep in my skin.

I did my set of banker's hours. I skulked my paces and caught my winks. Dusk settles along all the skins and seams, a tide with only one direction. The empty halls grow dim and the dim rooms turn dark as light leaves the windows and doors until another day, night pacing restlessly down the road. The shadows creep and the walls seep, those faraway stars only lights and limits. The night arrives, tomorrow only another word. I ease into another set of evidence, witnessing yet again my considered errors and my willful falls.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


She seems to shine so that even the light is fooled. She seems to glow so that even the moon is jealous. All the empty nights, all the covetous dreams, they bear witness to her skin as if she was the answer. The air crowds around her, the sky drops to its knees. Every eye is held open wide, full of reverent wonder.

Beauty is boundless and effortlessly declarative. It makes its careless claims upon the world without hesitance or expectation. It is the utility of emphasis, the banner of this one over that. It is the argument of fit rather than of form, of grace rather than of grandiosity. She walks in beauty, and we so are bound to make mistakes.

There is that vibrant radiance, there is that cache in her sway. There is that kindness that feeds the eyes their favor, that balance that cures the mind of its sloth. I stare with untoward intensity, despite manners or means. She is like the moon sliding along the waters. She is like wings catching the wind. The world is lit somehow by her stride, and I watch as sparks trail and fires stoke. For a moment I let my senses fool me, somehow everything at once set right.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


One by one the days drift past, caught on the fickle breeze, glittering in the sun. The days burst and flower, the days fruit and lay fallow, they slide through your fingers or cleave through your bones. The heart bakes on the sidewalk, the heart ripens on the vine. Something about the weather being on the mend. Something about spring clinging to the air.

There isn't a place left that doesn't press up against it. There isn't a mood I have that hasn't been worn through. I work the angles, I follow my route, I wander the streets that I am stuck with. I watch the skies and cling to my habits. I swallow ink and shadow, divining the sort of sickness I seem to crave. I write down these snips and scars, wading through the details, waiting for the devil to make his claim.

I exude gloom, I wreak ruin, I am scarred and harried and always a little blue. I am bad luck and poor company and prone to the beating of horses long after they have passed. The world does not hold bounty enough to alter all that is wrong with me. Yet I am among the living, and still among the lucky of the world. I am granted favor despite it all, graced by these fading days. Something in the story best left untold.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The sand glitters in the run off from the gutters, bright and vivid crystals hinting at constellations drowning beneath the sea. Stones forged in fire, ground down to dust and sparkle by the restless rolling of the tide. Our heads are full of patterns, the sieve of sensation and the forge of habit pressing our echoes out into the world. All the sign still whispers, all the traces still call. The streets telling fortunes, littered with days of waste.

The trees fill and sway, leaning green above the curbside. The busy dusk is full of flocks and whipped by the wind. An egret feeds, still and solemn in repast, lingering in the tall reeds and waste water. A shopping cart sinks slowly, a shipwrecked husk discarded in the ditch. The call of tomorrow aggregates in these gray leavings. Every prophecy written in trials and trash.

Wound down the heart skips and stumbles. As the day dissolves what proof is left? Scuffed shoes and snoring dogs and lesions in the skin? Sad eyes and blown kisses and letters never sent? Only these false constellations and fallen stars. Only the reprints and the prestige, the tribute and the reveal. That lapsed magic of resurrection, the belief that tomorrow's roots burrow through today. The stories we tell telling all the story we will ever know. That lotus blooming from the murky depths.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

skin and bone

The night dances away the last of her brights and bitters, her whirling skirts the ever spreading dusk. She rises from the dashed dreams of sun and sky, lively and unreckoned. She spins and pauses, waiting to embrace us all. She is wrapped in clouds and grace, her flesh stippled with stars. She is the only brightness that finds me on this day of fierce myths and dull adulation. Her teeth mark as hers my lonely keening heart.

There are cats on the rooftop, rats a-scrambling through the tall trees. The crow and the dove both find their roosts, ignoring the pejoratives of bible stories. The ink seeps through all the broken places, weeds cracking the pavement, each misstep breaking some mother's back. Nursery rhymes and fairy stories, bones rattling in their restless graves. Some judgement waits in the wings, polishing those sharp unseen teeth like ash. Some darkness falls in with the shadows, awaiting its promised place.

Words are spent and eggs are hidden, every fresh god tangled in another's story, every saint an expedience of alibi. The priests and puppeteers nearly as busy as the chocolatiers, the ache towards salvation nearly as sharp as that ravished sweet tooth. The calendar shuffles its feet as the month marches on, the notation almost always mistook for the music, that scratching in the coffins almost always believed to be the song. Let the tombs stay sealed and the dead stay buried. Let the night dance on, her beauty spent on trifles of skin and bone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I see you in dreams, though I know you can't see me. Your eyes that set into mine in my slumber cast too far from these wishes and obsessions to find me even on your worst night. When sleep finds you I am sure I couldn't be further from your mind. So I pursue these strings of words and ill conceived sentiments. So I speak to a shadow that would not deign to fall upon me in passing. I always abandon the battle to make ready for the war.

It is easy to miss the point. It is easy to get off track. Ruled by furies, teased by fate, clarity doesn't linger long. The things I ought to have said, the things I should have done, these verses that rely on reasoning in reverse. It is a path laden either way with broken mirrors and shattered bottles, bad luck and drunken terrors. All the bleeding is beside the point. Work can be just as hard when it only ends up in error.

Nothing is settled until the time arrives for these timely departures and long anticipated ends. Life keeps scuttling through the dust and fragments, ghosts keep struggling with their chains. I dream of you, startling and divine. I dream of you, that ocean that has all but devoured my stony shores. I no longer even pretend that I ever knew you. It is only the busy work of bothering to acknowledge the durability of my failures. Knowing the banner beneath which I will finally fall, that allegiance I will cling to as I am claimed by some dull grave. Knowing that some dreams will always outweigh the world.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Enough of the cobwebbed windows. Enough of the somber streets. Enough of the stars run by remote, the skies left in sheets and shreds. The clasp of light, the drift of hands. The night that falls again and again. The words that want and wander, always lost beyond limits. Something needs to end.

The nerves have frayed. The dust has settled. The reasons just run on and on. Decay settles beneath every skin. Bones gasp and strain, the flesh too dense and final. Nothing is ever alright.

Somehow the light always finds you. Somehow the mood always shifts. There is the grace that radiates, the beauty that abounds. Everything is always in flux. You find yourself beneath that sky, another poem, another prayer. The past trails away, another breath, another breath.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a little better

Spring leans in, pressing its nose to the glass. Thistles bloom in a parking lot. Robins feed in a schoolyard at dusk. Free range children run a little wilder, all smudge and theft. Two hearses arrived at a single house just down the block this morning, after all the rest of the siren bearing services proved past their ability to serve. I haven't heard the details yet, but I am guessing a murder suicide. Spring is the season when, once the weather gets a little better, suicides do reach their peak. A little better is often not nearly close to good enough.

I watch the fauna, take note of the flora. I watch the skies change color and the stars changing shifts. My own mood, running blue and brutal, sets itself against me. I try not to take too much notice, but I still won't let it out of my sight. My self contempt likes to turn outwards into murderous intent, and even my suicidality seems to have very broad parameters. Try as I might, I guess I just got to give back. I stay out as long as need be, sifting through streets and parks, wandering around until I lose myself.

There's always something. People to catch up with, stuff to watch, books to read, books and poems to write. Sleeping on the sofa, staring at the ceiling, working up fresh regrets. Yard work and housework and all manner of burden and routine. I carry the lonesome nested in my head, I bear the empty that runs right through me. The next day, the next night. The waning moon working towards waxing again.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Nothing is missed. The dove cries softly on the line, the rain falls in gentle mists in drifting sheets, the crow calls from the heights of some towering evergreen. The streets clot and empty. The clouds glide and shift the meaning of all those puzzle pieces of the sky. We box up our lives, put away our feelings. Our shelves and closets clutter with our reckoning.

I woke slow, drowsing in an ache of fundaments, joint and bone and that dim spark of being all lashed to some fading pain. I woke dull and unclear to want or direction. I read some sifting of facts, stare at someone's artifact of planned fancy, trifle with conundrums meant for solution. I find a few chores, I walk the dog, I watch the weather wonder at its resolution. Everything has its reasons.

The rain scarcely touched me. The darkening streets look all but dry. Dusk wanders in, shaking the stones from its boots. Night only falls to prove a point. Time only touches to leave a mark. It all unravels, the music, the magic, the mystery that awaits. It all unspools as we declaim and fumble. As we curse and wish. Our hearts stuffed in dark and dusty boxes, saved for another day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


She walks upon the moonlit ocean, dancing on these pillars of sharpened salt, every step a glow. She is the very measure, pressed so gently between shine and the rollicking waves. That leaning away from translation, the weight of the native tongue so substantial. This is what we imagine, bound by landlocked walls. This is just the spell, the forgetful trust of words.

It boils down to sugar and salt, to organs turned to glue or caramel. The secret sweetness of that most simple of prayers. The hospitality of love and larder, the loaf thick with butter, the table small and earnest. The recognition of divinity only found in restless flesh. Appetite always only another word for direction.

The skies all turn, startled darkness and dreamy clouds. Warm winds and cold snaps, nations paced and bewildered. She wanders always just out of sight. We huddle together adrift on distant shores, clinging to our smoky fires. Salt cleans our eyes, brushes our lips. Smoke scours our throats while we stare out past the horizon, as weary as ghosts and cold to the bone. We watch for her as we drowse and freeze, as she dances out our dreams.

Monday, April 18, 2011

fuel or ash

There is a song I am always singing, a song without music or words. It is the song of rain falling on green leafs, the song of diesel engines left in idle. It is the color of water and the shade of pavement sluiced with showers. It rises in light moments, sinks like a fugue in the dour outbursts and bitter mood swings. It is the sound of blood, the sound of breathing. It is the spark and the smoke, and all of the burning in between.

My breath is always moving in the same direction as fire, the world either fuel or ash. These bridges and crushed cigarettes, evidence that there is always something waiting to burn. These days of addled clouds and brief showers, the mirror grays and smoke grays and flesh grays that abound. The old movie feel of the day slowly devoured by dusk, shadows and livid sparks. Inhalation and exaltation, the fluidity of the form left to leaving.

I sing this song though my teeth are cracked and my bones are aching. I sing through the silt in my throat and the blood in my mouth. The lilt of this silence, the tone of this enduring hush presses air tight against the mute windows and distant skies. Music in the stillness, a song for every step. The chorus of crows, the snapped paper sounds of doves taking suddenly to wing, the plastic shredding sound of a pigeon lifting off. The sway of green limbs, the metronome of generous hips. The song is there, and I am stuck with all this singing. Sworn to this music though I do not know a note and can not play a lick.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


The day is a mottled writhing, ashen gray to tropical blue to all manner of insistent green. The air is warm and the wind is on the rise. There are whispers of rain gathering in the atmosphere, and the languid earth is ignoring every rumor. Bees clotted the blooms on a lavender bush, and my eyes are itching distractedly. Fires alight on every surface. Freedom mostly too much motion to capture, too much music to hold onto that one dance.

Black coffee and the grubby stubble of a week's worth of beard. The moon almost full enough to burst, and everything sways and sings. The strays assemble at their many stations, expectant and aloof. There are chores enough left once all the chores are through, work enough to seed the fallow fields of generations to come. There is road enough left for all this wander, room enough for feast and ruin. The world replayed in smoke and ash.

The day is a-shambles, hunched and longing for the night. Storm warnings and carnal longings. The steel cup and the slick words. A shaved head and a scratchy muzzle. Long past the time for declarations they ring out again and again. Oaths of false courage and drunken fears. Claims made against the precipice of the absolute bound to make the most earnest and honorable a liar in the end. The dusk awaits the scattered songs and the thousand dances. The only promise rising in the wind.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

never said

There is a warmth clinging to the wind this dusk, a charge in the air hanging even in these empty rooms. The moon making a spectacle of itself, hovering over rooftops, easing through wires and trees. The dark nuzzles the eaves and the rushes, skims the surfaces of water and metal, mingles with the grays of asphalt and the greens of shrubs. I kiss you in this unsettling absence, tongue and teeth forming the ghost of your name, breath fleeing with the breeze. I kiss you in these troubled thoughts, an ache only known by its insistence, a notion to claim or burn.

The world does its work, miracles and curses and all the busy business in between. I sway and falter, find my way down street and aisle. I cough and sputter, mumbling pleasantry and profanity in more or less the appropriate settings. You are the flavor lingering on my lips, the taste that will not fade. You are the motive invisible behind all my petty blessings and unsettling crimes. You are the meaning missed and the reason coveted. My idle hands craft your shape out of the shadows, longing to press and hold.

These hours where the world grows quiet, these moments where I know my own honest heart, where my fingers long to find you and tap at these plastic symbols instead. The devastation of everything's fine, the worry of the insistence of the ordinary, the fearsome grasp of memory bleeding the moment dry. All the idolatry and the idiocy of being owned by a notion that has passed from existence and escaped probability so long ago that time is turned inside out in my mind. Want and loss the only measures of what I gather. Identity proved by these kisses sacrificed to light and vapor, my name evident in the way it is never said.

Friday, April 15, 2011

other countries

It is too early. I am still picking the night out of my teeth, all bite and little bark. The shower did what it could, but there is not a setting for miracle I could find. The same sad-sack face, dead eyed and haggard in the morning mirror. The same ratio of dumb and crazy, only idling in park.

I recover the morning paper, leaving it unread on the kitchen table. No coffee yet, no reason to be awake so early other than habit and an epic unwinding that still hasn't found bottom yet. I look at the calendar and count the days. Down to my last two cigars, my stupid habits suddenly so precious and so considered, I decline to light up. I run the spell-check and correct my usual suspects. I marvel briefly at how little I have learned, then continue my typing typically. I always have some secret deadline to keep.

I might go back to bed and read for awhile. I might go back to bed and sleep the day away. I might stay up and have that cigar after all. The possibilities are endless. Dawn is strolling towards the horizon as I spread clumsy words across the screen. Outside the moon has already set, witnessed briefly burning a hole in scattered clouds earlier last night. A few more days it will be full and begin the path of the obscure again. I'll say the sort of thing I say about it then. As if I was seeing something and the words would flow. As if this spilling was any more than a misdirection, a trick I play on myself on long nights and barren days. A sleight falling from a sleeve, a face worn just for the mirror, lost to the world of eyes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the parting glass

Somedays you sink with the sunset; somedays you rise with the moon. No-one knows what is up with you. All the birds and the beasts take their separate measures, watching for which way you may lean. All the robots and the machines note your variations, trying to get ahead of the math. All your bones listen carefully to the stress and the strain, the press and pull of your being, and they keep all rumor to themselves. The sky turns gray and the coffee is cold. No-one knows what to say next.

The winds are high and the birds a-flutter, all but placed there in the sky. All but shorn from their roosts. The gutters are jumbled with gravel and trash, plastic bags up on their hind legs sprinting for freedom at long last. The snips and tatters of the world are scattered about, taking their leave in depths and narrows, spread through the world with the speed of song or story. No-one asks you for fear of what you might say. No-one looks you in the eye for fear you won't look back.

Another day has gone to heaven. Another set of numbers detailed and detained. You walk like a fever, you wander like a revival, singing soft and sweet to your own secreted notion of a soul. You stand apart, farther than any distance can say. You wear the next shadow, cull the cloth of each silhouette. You stand still, slowly gracing the star-stabbed sky with your gaze. You turn away from the watching of the world, moving further into this fresh night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


There is this glamor, the sheen of this painted-on world. It hides behind our eyes, slices our minds into bite-sized pieces, seasoning each thought with favor and trickery. It is the stricture of the structure, the bindings that the story requires. It is the compression and the frame-rate, the taint of the medium flowing from small to large. This is the ocean of instrument bias, the gospel of user error. The message almost always merely an announcement of our limitations.

The secular want your reason, the spiritual want your faith, with everyone hungry for the heart that tunes every in-between. We adjust and temper the springs and gears of this machine, allotting sparse portions to match our longings and our doubts. The water we carry always longing for the level where we are bound to drown. Magic is always just around the corner. The aching periphery always somehow on the rise.

I am an unreliable narrator. I am the hole where context is lost and birthed again. I am a machine wrought with errors and furies, half delicate flower, half trapped beast. My moods steer me off roads and into walls. Plummeting off of cliffs is about ten percent of my emotional reality. All burned bridges and blown kisses. All manual adjustments in dense digital conversions. An analog of absence and abundance, always somehow off center, always fixed on some distant star. Nothing but and everything yet all at once. The medium becoming the message, the message always unknown.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The night scratches at the screen, brittle branches and sullen bones. A glass of ice water practices the condescension of condensation, droplets rolling down the outside of the rim. The room awash with electric light and recorded music. A weary weight claims the air. Outside a chill wind blows. Outside the world continues.

The day left in a cluttered tangle, knotted clouds and flustered colors, the sun haloed in the mottled horizon. An icy wind ran wild over yard and fence, a claim made of time and distance. Traffic rushed and staggered, motive existing only in direction. The roads shape our days as rivers and mountains once shaped our civilizations. Our culture built upon the shores of appetite, beneath the purple shadows of majestic lies.

I untie my shoes. I take off my watch, leaving it carelessly on some shelf. I clear my throat, I drink some water. I lean into these native aches, these empty habits. Outside to inside, then outside again. Funny little circles run around and around. Pretty little flowers and pleasant little songs.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The green hills roll and tangle, lush until they burn. Clouds hover above, from storms foretold to pale remainders. Crows feast on french fries in the dead center of the road. Doves start and scatter for almost any reason. So goes the blue sky blue, and the day-lit day. So goes the practice once the theory is murdered at long last, buried fast and shallow while the fields go fallow and the rumors start to roam.

The day is glazed with steady sunlight. The day is draped in welcome flesh. A pallid thigh, a dark shoulder, smiles that burn too ready and too bright. You could almost forget the perils. You could almost lose yourself to the season and the scene. Trees blooming pink and white. Appetites aroused and seldom sated.

Come summer the skies will taste of smoke as all this new growth dries and burns. Come summer the heat will beat down ruthless on street and skin. Sleep will be tainted with sweat and stains. Every dream will arrive baring its teeth. There is a moment where limits seem distant, where the harmless lies we let ourselves live won't hurt yet. There is a moment rife with blossoms of peach and cherry, tomorrow still a million years away.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I don't care to see the stars, diamond dust or match struck sparks. I don't care to watch the light fold away for the night. I don't want the wind on my skin or my feet on the ground, the words and the way nothing but another to do list. I won't see a thing, won't leave a mark or check off a box. I will drink my coffee. I will keep my piece.

It is a feature that language leaves us with, this bend of meaning, this connecting of dots. Metaphor and simile shifting the shapes of things while we think, folding these forms upon tooth and tongue. We make these claims of kinship, these leaps across the distances, these leanings into the void. The imagination illuminates and it obscures, telling truth and lie in one steady breath. The magic is always among our numbers. The mystery always knows us by our names.

You can keep your secrets. You can bide your time. The days take wing only to hang in plain sight, weary flocks weighing down the line. You can count them whether they count or not. You can matter and never know, though when in doubt, bet on the math that is the most humbling. I miss so much because I am a little broken. I always watch the sky starting from the ground up. There are always departures and arrivals. There is always more room for tragic error. There is always room for another.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

the gloaming

The day gasps and wheezes, the sky turning colors, the air nearly out of breath. It knows it doesn't have long. The sun staggered about the sky, crowds and flocks clotted the streets and parks, a cold wind blew through to the bone. The world presses its weight upon carefree shoulders, just to listen for the pops and creaks. There is an ache that runs clean down the spine, sheers through each heel and drills its roots straight through the earth. There is a sadness that, once settled, seldom ever leaves again.

The gloaming folds its hands about the faithless world, holding everything cupped in that dark glow, that unearthly hush. The day leaves for other shores, that light moving over the skin of the restless sea, that bible moment gnawed on long after it ought to have been spat out. That cold touch abounds, past the sleepy soil and the lumbering wind. A chill that settles bets and places wagers against that which cannot be lost without disaster. The devil at the table, filling up on bread.

The stars are stirred in, the moon a shrunken shard. Little enough for bowl or ladle. This bloated, gloating moment hardly a morsel, let alone a meal. The bitter gift sets alone as all light leaves us, that feel that is reason's only purpose, that song that exists only to strain the rhyme. Prayers are spent, dust is settled. The shadows swallow everything so fast they sputter and choke. Smoke curls, following the path of all worldly things. The snake observes its tail with dull certain hunger. The blue mood hunkers down, keeping company, not minding the hour or the clock.

Friday, April 8, 2011


The sky boils over and the windows weep blue light. The hushed still seeps in under the door. Every breath that fresh anticipation, that sudden stirring, that first kiss thrill. So close this clarity, so near this remark of sheen and bone that every ache seems laden with vision. Each swallow another proof of life on earth.

My joints crackle with gravel and my spine is a string of stones. I am scuffed and scraped, recently razored and long ago let go stray. My scars now grow more slowly, the stitching, stinging wounds fierce reminders of that most ancient war, the abatement of willing flesh. This whispering blood singing that first song of breath and fire. These ringing ears hearing music everywhere.

There is a lost star I follow, a faith bent from ancient light. The cold of a dark camp, the comfort of a lingering fire. The tracks that gossip, the trails that lead into the deeper night. It is the faith of the stranger, the way of the old wanderer. Hunger and thirst and the extinction of satiation. These sharp corners, these winding roads.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

the root

Hail fell, and some slushy snow, all at sea level in April. Thunder shook the roof. The cat went wild, eyes wide with fear. A chill settled in the air, windows rattling, lightning lighting the gray day bright. The clock trembled, time unspooling into the room.

The words are always in flux, changing form and meaning. It is the nature of the ghost to fit the pits and narrows of the world, cleaving to shape, owing what it knows to form and the flavor of the day. The seasons, once ridden loyal now slip and slide about the mouth and trickle down the page. Long ago the word won the day, it wove itself into the shimmer of heaven and the terror of hell. Now we live in the confusion between the two, our buoyant flesh so heavy with the ingress of the spirit.

Spring is here, in bud and blossom. Whatever the trending of this mild climate, the violence of the weather does little to shift the press of the scene. The fires spark and smolder, the leery snow melts away. I begin again, somewhere in the middle. The huddled dusk and the working of locks. The rough transit of culture along this tide of clipped speech and hostile stranger, whatever the weather, wherever the seasons meet.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

never after

I have known the song so long that it cannot escape my history. It dredges the rivers, it drags the swamps. Thoughts surface with that glittering sheen particular to the uninterred. The clouded eyes of the past settle dead center, staring clean through. Again you are there, in those crowded, hallowed moments. Again you are here, livid beneath my skin.

It is so improbable it is always forged in wishing, hung with adamant regret. The very idea of you so undeniably vital that my heart begins to race. The very notion of you so terribly foundational that old wounds open and begin to weep and well. The person you were versus the man I never would be. The love that foundered in the thick fecund fields of youth. The story plays out the same way each time. From now to once upon a time. From then to never after.

Age has changed me, but not enough. My face is creased and furrowed, my hair either graying or gone. Slower, heavier, duller. My sicknesses have all grown sharper, my wits have all but drowned. You might know me on sight, but seeing me would finish telling you all you could need to know. Still, you are here in this tired telling and momentary music. Still, you are here to haunt these empty halls, laughing at the depths of this disaster. I do not know and time won't tell when I will lose you at last.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

it might come along

The ceiling teems with shadows, the light spills on the floor. The cool air of the early evening crawls through the screen door. I stretch out on the couch, tallying words and spiders. The night eases by, and I waste more than my share.

The moon is gone, so the television spills its light instead. Dark windows and porch lights, moths and strays and skies creased with owls. A car idles just around the corner. The stars make their usual rounds. The night leans against the rooftops, listening for secrets loosed.

This isn't to say that nothing happened. This isn't to say that the days don't flow and the world doesn't turn. My eyes are still, my pockets empty. I haven't shaved in months. The night unwinds, saving its work for other places. You are gone, the moon is gone. Light and shadow, empty and ache. The sense of it might come along. I won't be waiting up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

agassiz, in the concrete

They descend upon fairy wings, more floating than flying. They follow the seethe of carbon dioxide, the bouquet of blood and pheromone. They thirst for that protein that carries oxygen through the red blood cells. They need it to propagate future generations, to bind their eggs together. There is brutal beauty to them, these gems of the twilight world.

The post-Darwin theology that arose in opposition to evolutionary theory had a rough time with mosquitoes and some types of ichneumon wasps. The feeding habits of various pests and their larvae proved distressing cases for proving the universal benevolence of God's Creation. The literalist and fundamentalist approach to belief spent an inordinate amount of time ignoring the particulars of said Creation while focusing on words written down and translated by fallible mortals. So scads of words were spilled trying to make wasp larvae that devoured paralyzed caterpillars from the inside out and disease bearing mosquitoes into expressions of God's Goodness. I am certainly biased towards the science side of things, but even for those of faith, those arguments had to strain credulity, just a little at least.

I am by no means a believer, but my disbelief isn't founded on a disparity between my sense of moral order and the vast predations and cruelties that the universe seems to feature so prominently. The mysteriousness of divine plans are often offered to people who have lost loved ones to senseless tragedy, so crediting God with unspeakable cruelties doesn't even shake the faith of folk who believe that God is a good guy. Life exists against a deluge of extinction, every level of birth and breeding working against the individual. Life is the gambler and oblivion is the house. Any god there is is playing the odds against us. The mosquito just another sucker going all in, shining in all this dying light.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

those to come

We wear the skins of strangers, changing faces day to day. The skies may blind us, the rivers may devour their banks, all history only silt and storm. All memory only clouds and flurries. The years exchange our loves and rivals, clearing the stands and emptying the shelves. Some of us move forward, some of us trail behind. Some of us lose ourselves off the path, never again to find our way. All in all it's a mess. Forget about finding that flame, forget about finding that soul. Most days finding a parking space is hard enough.

I am that train wreck slowed in perception. I am that disaster breaking windows and raising dust. Things collapse so often all around, I often miss the moment of structural failure. I have injured my enemies before I knew I was in a fight. So I gather scars in untidy bouquets. I gain sore-hearted paramours without an inkling I had a sweet-heart to bruise and break. You could argue I should pay more attention. Say what you will-- I tend to save my eyes for the road.

So have yourself a drink, have yourself a smoke. Enjoy the bright days and thick nights, the embrace of the crowd and the reverence of the uncaring sea. I hope there are day to squander and nights to savor left you. The clock doesn't care about your wishes. The clock won't wait for you to finish up. There isn't much left of me, but I will spare what I can if you need it. Time leaves us all behind too soon. The world is wide and hungry and full of hordes and wonders. Forget that sin, abandon that brittle wish. We all wind up so broken, I can hardly begrudge any one a break.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

lost continent

All the shadows feel painted on, all the spiders seem restless in their webs. Dogs bark just to hear their voices carry. People walk past, looking to get lost. Some dull stone, kicked as someone stumbled. Some dirty window, translucent only in the cracks. A shopping cart run aground on a curb, a shoe orphaned on a fence. Every person another country, every love a lost continent.

It is the sort of night that slips through your fingers. The sort of night that might as well be made out of words. A light here, a song there, some puzzle meant only for solving, some mystery swaddled in blood and bone. The same streets, crowded and empty. The same sky, stippled with constellations. A cat complains from the roof top. The trees shudder and sway.

My pockets are empty, my head is full of stone. I turn on a light, turn out another. I stare deep into some distance made of words and light. The hours congeal, the walls ache and crumble. I'm a little hungry, a little more thirsty. I feel like I need a drink and a smoke. Every moment some sickness hopes to steer me. Every thought longs to stray from this nation of sparks and gas. No reasons, no alibis. Another night beneath all these suspicious stars.

Friday, April 1, 2011

sunny day

Given enough time, the smoke will clear. Given enough time, bridges burned might be built again. Given enough time the mighty will be ground to dust, empires will be consumed by weeds, and the very bones sunken into the hungry earth will glisten among the green fields and bright flowers. Time is insatiable. It will devour us all, and that fact alone gives me comfort. The world will outlast all our crimes and triumphs. The world will out endure each and every word.

It was a bright enough day, the early blossoms filled tree and shrub. Bees glittered along their ennobled routes, their fairy wings sparkling and a-whirr. Lots overgrown in dense and gaudy greens, feeding flocks and swarms. School was out, and children wandered the streets in slow tumult. I timed myself to the schedule of the odd dog and the written word. I idled, keeping pace with the deep lull of a sunny afternoon.

I am allied with the later days. I am on the side of bee and bramble, a partisan of the skyscraper and urban clutter. I am kin of the scavengers and the prey, blood of the poor and the disenfranchised. We are bound to our places and our stars, to our ancestors and our enemies. Humans are an aberrant breed, bright enough to work against their own interests, dull enough to be readily captured by spells and ghosts. It is not unlikely that we will drive ourselves into early extinction, bringing myriad species with us into the void. But the planet will abide, and life will continue. That is my sunny day.