Friday, June 15, 2018

Why Yes

is this the way things are or just a
mood perhaps a virus or depression
over the political and social fiasco
my beautiful country losing its soul

or am I happy why yes I think I am
though old and older as the symptoms
multiply the bloodblister spots on arms
disintegrating skin on precious fingers

this is the way things are and I can
think about it how I like but not escape
time nipping my heels while I dance
at my own funeral laughing in triumph

The Worst

resist dread
the worst will happen
await it with an easy heart

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mine to Tell

similarly my life appears green
unsimilarly never to regenerate
the story is mine to tell however
I choose to distort the bare truth
not a concept but brute biology
in a ruthlessy capitalist setting
lived in the cracks of complexity
buffered by the luck of privilege
adjusting details to suit myself
no one else positioned to be me

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Who Comes

say whether you have anything to say
or dare to be quiet let others have the
floor until form enables signification

insight hides in the wilting flowers as
summer destroys spring only waiting
to see who comes what can be saved

neither parent has the answer in the
end you make your own way back to
ancestral destiny acting the old story

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Too Hard

nothing left to say
or not worth saying
more like too hard
simply to account
for everyday life
and the point of it
anyway who cares
except you and me
and we'll be gone

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Another Spring

1
nowhere to turn but words appearing on the screen indifferent to being read
is it Alzheimer's or indigestion a dinner too delicious loved at the moment
and regretted later is life like that we pay for our pleasures long afterward

2
what can I do that is not the same old thing
how can I be surprised by another spring
or anything that hasn't already happened

3
the buddha smiles because nothing matters
when you recognize what's really going on
surprised how often you hit the right notes

Friday, May 18, 2018

Keep Looking

the dream is what I really was thinking about
even as I kept working and thoroughly enjoyed
another anniversary dinner each one unique we
have so much to draw on you had lamb I rabbit

walking down the mountain I was barefoot and
wondered how they got the food up for dinners
it all seems so impractical why anyone bothers
but we do keep looking for the very best views

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tidy Up

the furniture randomly draped with
miscellaneous cloths this is not the way
we live I think in geometry hold chaos
at bay tidy up restore the clutter's order

such elaborate infrastructure requires
energy maintenance assumes attention
confident in Buddha lineage delimiting
what you can't imagine yourself doing

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Still Stuck

otherwise we'd lose words
you'd be me I'd wonder who
else might come for dinner

otherwise we'd already changed
without knowing why we were
still stuck within ourselves

otherwise you'd be back before
I even noticed you were gone
busy as I was being occupied

sudden thunder interrupts a
dream of work appreciated
without quite being understood

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Same Side

remember we are comrades
the war is lost but we can win
our battles I am on your side
and you on mine we are on the
same side side of sanity good
sense mutual encouragement
in honest healthy endeavors
true to our innermost desires

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cold Water

shocking spots on
subtle harmony of
lavender and green
scrub with cold water
I need my skin intact
bedding unblemished

surprising breakdown
mower and then me
intact on one level
reading and writing
sussing out Prokofiev
mentally fresh enough
dermally undefended

Monday, April 23, 2018

Great Personalities

a process rooted in observation and manual drawing
(the kind of image David Hockney tends to make)
 
to bypass the tradition of autographic painting
… expectations of … unique, subjective content
(still visually unmistakable as a Warhol)
detached from the whole enterprise of self-expression
 
great personalities of our era flamboyantly
crafted for reproduction in all modern media

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mow On

I notice myself noticing
but am I really and if so
what are we to make of it
notice every blade of tall
grass in its varied sameness
shining clear in the slanting
sunlight ear-plugged silence
screaming with life and flow
restart the mower and mow on

Other Beauty

nothing real is as real as the dream
connection missed in a moment of
distraction there there the occasion
to know the embodied mysterious

in me the yearning glimpse of other
beauty yearning equally toward me
but life goes on taking us apart time
reasserts its hold as the music ends

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Leaving Too Late

a whole world dies when I wake up
friends of major years a potent tissue
of reciprocal feelings a son returning
from the west tickets to Carnegie Hall

we go out for a walk too lightly dressed
in a tiny French car not strong enough
for a vertical hill spelunk an empty house
delay leaving too late to make the concert

unless congestion pricing makes it faster
traffic conquered in the intervening years
the son grown up winters not as chilling
cars a novelty precious loves alive again

Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Right Hotel

sometimes you just have to move
to a different hotel the right hotel
makes all the difference where it is
the vibe how well it is run can rescue
the whole experience of being there
in Barcelona for example or Rome
you can then enjoy the art and food
and have a wonderful time together

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The New Chair

the new chair sits in the living room
wondering about the other furniture
and how it will ever be able to fit in

I like the new chair better it is not so
puffy I don't sink in so deep the arms
don't push my shoulders up as much

the new chair a tasteful bluish tweed
is not offended by the old upholstery
which is something of a hodgepodge

I sit in the new chair wondering if I
even need a footstool new ones are
too spendy the old one has ugly legs

the new chair feels firmer more erect
I am more relaxed less compromised
by the old one's frumpy implications

time to move on even if we thought it
adequate I sat here morning and night
years passed my habits might change

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter

thank God means the one with the capital G
who gives us our genes and circumstances of
birth and ability and lets us sink or swim accordingly
we have to honor Him/Her orthographically even if
we don't believe there's any more to it than that
and honor Easter because of what it formerly meant
eggs giant bunnies new clothes and getting outside
less bundled up music appropriate to the occasion
still remembering who we used to be and still are

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Elapsed Life

word flow echoes attitude
entities exist when named
grammar measures time
elapsed life accumulates
in postcards from abroad
forgotten books preserve

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Love Better

light an hour earlier flowers
blooming all about us warm
when it was cold the shape
of the body changes not so
tall or smooth or strong age
keeping up with the season
reaches even into my bed I
report facts without opinion
hoping optimism will arise
with the sun we both love
better after all these years

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Window

now is a window
you can't open because
it can't be closed
savor the light and air

Monday, February 19, 2018

All Present

half past half future
barely any now

no past no future
all present

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ever Young

Now that I am twenty-six, I feel older than ever. No one will believe what I say. We don't count, for example. Anything seems to mean something. Everyone else is younger than I ever was. Older people have forgotten what it was like to be alive. Horrible. You knew you were making a mistake but you wanted to do it anyway. You thought you could take it. Wrong was the higher right, like Trump. (I can't believe you said that.) I was developing my taste so I could dispense with thinking, thinking I knew what people were trying to do, and why. Now I understand. I will never be old or ever young.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In the Dark

what I didn't say didn't fit
how she had to insist on being
herself in her own terminology
embarrassing missteps intimate
misunderstandings grotesque
attempts to obliterate desire
or find another truer way

what I didn't say saved face
the poet's lost illusion wasted
words jumbled into other sense
pain reinterpreted as pleasure
filth as a higher cleanliness
space as time spent reading
looking for another North Pole

what I didn't say stays lost
unexcavated ore undiscovered
as if no one had ever been there
looking for meaning in the dark
flickering word torches dropped
go out relit seem sadder still
not to have honored everything

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Real Feeling

if I can change the words
does that change what is
knee strong skin smooth
has the Moor real feeling
the English Jew real life
can centuries' cruelty be
erased the earth reborn
innocent and perfectible
as an uncorrupted child
can what I merely think
remake a broken world

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cover Up

impending disintegration his poise
shimmers in thinking how thin it is
how improbable not to be threatened
or houseless hungry sick and alone
only suddenly finally falling apart

this not to be talked about or blogged
not wanting anyone to know how I
feel when I feel this way cover up
keep warm drink plenty of fluids as
systems collapse and chaos reigns

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Always

what time where I'll be there
if I'm not it's not because I
no longer care what you do
I'm as interested as you are
or would be if I had time to
and I do I always have time

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Still Arising

Thinking without writing is like fucking air — there's not enough pressure to make it count. It's not that I don't exist, it's that the day goes by and doesn't leave a mark. Not that it matters. The world is already scribbled over. A notch? An explanation or excuse? No one has to read it. I need to write, not edifices like Roth, I'm not a novelist, but honor passing time by registering its strange effect. Age is whatever you happen to be now. Less energy still arises.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A Note to Readers

I believe this is over, at least in the form it has settled into in the last five or ten years, the wispy little fragments of mostly self-reflective thought. It's getting to be a burden. I have shown that I can write a poem every day. If it doesn't arise in the morning, I can squeeze something out before bedtime. I can start with something random and almost always open it up into some kind of content. I am still engaged and tickled by the process, and I nail it fairly often, but it feels like I'm going around in circles. All these short poems have made it impossible to write any long poems. So I am changing the rules. I don't have to write a blog post every day. It doesn't have to be a poem. I may write stories. Thus this notice: that I am taking a few days off, but I'm still here, still writing, looking to renew this pleasing practice.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Too Obvious

what I am actually talking about
often goes unmentioned as if the
real particulars are too obvious or
boring the inner processes more
meaningful than what happens in
real life without the artificial form
and careful structure of a novel or
play with acts and a denouement
unless something terrible happens

that isn't what you wanted to say

Monday, January 01, 2018

Stop Quick

I only know what I happen to know
my thought a scribble of ignorance
reading for pleasure and forgetting
trivially literate by social accident

stop quick before it is impossible
before translation replaces words
what can be said was already said
unless being me is actually different