Monday, February 28, 2011

New Day

nothing doing but weather
as if it mattered who cares

music misses the point of
order instead of meaning

salvation comes anyway
as I parse the new day

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Number Systems

cast off gloomy habits and settle down
learn from the best to make it your own
magic do what you have chosen to be
or else threaten to walk out and you will

dead straight wisdom falling down still
born freely anticipating beauty bliss
paid music makers mark every reverie
numinous number systems can count

these those changing vowels deliberate
meanings identify auspicious informers

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eating Less

words alone imply music
if you choose to believe
I don't but wish I could

so tell me more than I
already know for once
I am prepared to learn

sounds good to listen
with both ears eating
less at the same time

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Blood

didn't do anything good
didn't do anything but think
Africa raped and the rest
too cold outside for old blood
bones ready to ache with it

I'll do what I can tomorrow
make up the best of my favor
cope with the cruel test of time
in the winter of hope destroyed
and offer poor imagining

I didn't know and still don't
or dedicate effort to change
the mind protects its own
regard the fatal flaw we pay
for profit with our souls

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Separate Rhythms

every day a revelation if you look
closely soft eyes revealing fields
we exist in a tiny private corner
hearing separate rhythms faster
than necessary to the animal we
are if that includes our cultures
farm town city nation continent
accordingly no discernible plan
to regret or claim as one's own

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Barrier

passionate observation observes itself listing cities
to define urbanity no barrier to knowing the world
how to think evoke particularities indulge in dreams
reflective investigation revives impatient friendliness
clues to civility strengthening our modes of delight
these stars are Christmas lights and we are free to go

Turn Away

a skin of no meaning
on a world full of art
whether or not I do it

but what else is there
aside from body aging
dust forever gathering

heat death is not real
complexity increases
infinite day renewing

trouble myself to ask
turn away distracted
go after what matters

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Painting (for Rebecca)

fat green squash afloat on a smudgy mound
like a Beckett play sitting on its own shadow
mucky lumpy exactly observed as if worthy
of close attention like a bomb about to blow
squarely middled stem end like an alien eye
or a highlighted nipple like a smug balloon
tugging at sticky ground wishing it could rise
active pushing out at the frame as if space
goes on forever in all directions and sees it

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Standing Up

have I been standing up the whole time
no wonder I am so energetic
reading playing working when awake
I have time for everything that is destined to be done

who will stand up for me when I do not
no one has been left behind
they are still there if anything was real
our story purified to its original untrammeled essence

Friday, February 18, 2011

Complex Ideas

"…a parsnip is not really a 'bad' carrot, it's a different vegetable."
—Wallace Shawn

too easy is a problem
never enough demand
too easy on myself no
excusing shallowness

unpack immediately

splendid Tina Brown
talks fast articulates
complex ideas takes
patient confidence

pack the last minute

no one asking me to
write or do anything
if I could I certainly
would like occasion

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some Answers

who do you write for?
and how is wisdom carried?
where is that special feeling you remember?
and what makes a word precious
or particularly valuable?
perhaps some answers await
at the Temple of Literature
in the very middle of Hanoi.
Duy invited me here today
to honor great writers.
dancers and singers actually brought out the sun
and fifty young goddesses arrived
carrying poems by our local poets.
each poem was attached to a helium balloon
celebrating Hanoi's One Thousand Years
and they were released
into eternity
and perpetual
with love
and hugs
—Daniel Potter

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Optional Joy

I could critique myself no one else will
pay enough attention no telling what
will be revealed actually think about it
dazzled by the surface glints impossible
to do anything this too will pass for real
suffering optional joy there all the time

twice as much is more of the like I
know too much accept it all the same

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Mix

if I don't have all this other stuff to do
I will have to allow myself to think say
what I know to be true and possible to
another person or make myself write
unless what I have to say has already
been written coming to no conclusion
but adding up to a picture of myself

what else do I have to offer I am not
a student of philisophy or history am
not inclined to generalize not reduce
this moment you are getting warmer
this one mix of destiny circumstance
another revelation choose it make it
your own model equally irreducible

Monday, February 14, 2011

Only You (a Valentine)

who hearts the one is only you
know I mean every word I say
would if could and I can thank
mutual good fortune smile on

day forty-three plan temperate
February passing kisses in the
kitchen something tasty comes
more than literate nourishment

who thanks the heart real me
discovered within a wounded
stone healed with a squeeze
feel the beneficial molecules

flowing year long into dreams
awake on time if close enough
to know the welcome presence
every day another way to love

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Faith

depart in peace for your mission
is accomplished wherever there
is discord peace will surely follow

this faith is not my normal mode
but Nico's words and music have
converted me bright willingness

emerges in the frequencies ripe
for harvest even in mid-winter
so speak the venerable words

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Normative Air

that's what I like is a good laugh
a positive attitude it is all absurd
in the light without normative air

I understand I begin I read a play
it makes me laugh when William
becomes the work-crazed clerk

I am a sensitive old man knows
too much oh brutality of youth
but never too sad to be witty

Friday, February 11, 2011

Different Language

history began in Egypt in 4236 B.C.
former fact now mercifully forgotten
everything soon former I my former
self history more relaxing something
suddenly necessary slowly revealed

what we didn't even know we assumed
is barely true in another language
we don't know hear voices say what
they wish they could believe quietly
realize that is actually happening

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Loud Coughs

half is enough I get it
appreciate the wit and
charm sly boots actors
not exactly in the mood
raucous lesbian behind
me laughs loud coughs
do I express myself I do

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Good Life

if only I could understand what he is saying
I might be able to think a good life possible
my bad not being able to read philosophy

nonetheless I will try remembering what I want
to do everything is not necessary nor to crawl
miles on my knees in penance for every flaw

there is room for a tango even now as we begin
to fall our airs polluted presumption failing
to convince can anyone prepare for the worst

no better keep my hope alive as long as I am
family models inspire needless regret what
might have been almost realer than what was

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Mole Mud

clear sky cold night in the dark
spying on the horse world I step
in the mole mud track it in no
matter it's only dirt rinses off

some stains are not so simple
Bush crimes barely noticed here
we humor our presidents others
rightly not so ready to forgive

old accounts are coming due
guilty or not we all must pay
Gaia smiles between storms
how can we now begin anew

Monday, February 07, 2011

Organic Milk

I am the kind of man who
drives a silver VW GTI
wears only natural fibers
writes and directs plays
loves actors
uses a Mac (two actually)
reads the New York Review of Books
plays classical music on the piano and harpsichord
grows blueberries
makes his own granola
makes blueberry pancakes with spelt, barley, oat, and buckwheat flour
likes to cook
likes to wash dishes
keeps the house reasonably clean
mows the grass when it needs it
takes out the trash
puts down the toilet seat
takes turns reading Diderot out loud
plays solitaire
plays ping-pong
watches tennis
watches Netflix movies
eats from the garden
drinks organic milk
likes red Zinfandel
gets up at 5:30 every morning to write
writes down his dreams
usually takes a nap after lunch
does yoga every morning and tai chi on Wednesday
swims three times a week
is happy to love and be loved
lives in the country but likes the city too
and a few other things I won't mention

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beyond Memory

Ginny gone 98 the final parting
lonely disconnect kind presence
history unwritten unless I do it if
all be told simply in God's mind

etheric links unbroken all there
was is happy times coming still
here beyond memory brief bright
moments together American way

stories don't account for an aunt
she is part of me each carry seed
she planted pass it on good cheer
above all reasonable expectation

ageless she believed life infinite
and we can take her at her word

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Who Else

don't blame the virus
be responsible anyway
who else and you babe
of course it's difficult
kindness still applies
more than self at stake
action will cheer me up
and the virus expires

Friday, February 04, 2011

Fresh Revolt

where was I when I forgot
what was I doing different
every day same important
chores line up be counted

something slips my mind
compass decided routine
pleasures self-renewable
subscription saves hours

no one else's problem this
funk proposes fresh revolt
if I could remember how I
felt when I could still think

Thursday, February 03, 2011

No One

if I fail to be stirred
do I have to go on

if not me who will
so I must continue

no one will notice
one small despair

really that isn't it
sudden weakness

a loss of balance
suggests retreat

I long to be seen
as who I truly am

Distant Spectacle

"The principle is to go into everything wanting to like it." —Nico Muhly

move the action downstage
never mind the curtain
it is a distant spectacle
success is what you make it

afterwards you have gone to bed
get up and dress for the party

two minutes after six "Idomeneo"
the prospect of a drive
possibly unpleasant sensations
and a welcome lunch

the thread is oneself
joined to one other