Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Long

real is what I say it is
you dance to my tune
o characters made of
parts leaking in from
life and history itself

what do you do when
I'm not watching you
when you go offstage
how did you get here
how long can you stay

who are you after all
but aspects of myself
transformed imagine
what it is to really be
alive with each other

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tech Support

it all works thanks to tech support
skillful patient voice on the phone
talks me through I couldn't guess
asks right questions figures it out

sign off sign on the other account
update credit card buy book again
and there it is on both kindle and
cloud reader how else to manage

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Helpings

never hungry because I always eat
even dieting all I eliminate is food
for entertainment real meals stay
still I've lost pounds back to norm

of course I'd prefer to be slim like
the younger me no way to be young
again thin I would be scrawny now
like Dad in his 80s skin on bones

anyway it's easy to not eat snacks
or second helpings boring maybe
but I can manage to amuse myself
more creatively than having more

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Huge Forces

yawn for pure pleasure
"Gürre-lieder" for what
really quite wonderful

art is harsh work you
have to do it patience
the sine qua nothing

huge forces required
magnificent pay-off
for long years' effort

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Not Yet

think of it
tender juicy
calmly eating one

time for more
no rush no
not yet
remain open
anything possible

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where What

I've given up everything for Lent
these poems too are indulgences
oppressively relentless obliged to
write one every day even if empty

writing in public is my addiction
if I quit what would arise instead
there might be something to say
about where what happens now

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fall Forward

futility rising future shrinking as the sun
returns inexorable drop in egg production
makes one wonder what on earth to do
the chickens I have are too young to die

go on then as if nothing will ever change
anticipate better walking even pain-free
dubious perfectionism better left behind
critical impulse denies gentle generosity

what else to say when you have said it all
fall forward balance illusion readily lost
horizon closer than imagined personality
based on different time widest potential

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Never Sent

more poems than I thought emerge now
scribbled typed on crumbling newsprint
Botteghe Oscure asked for a new batch I
never sent went on to other expressions

denial never works forever face up to it
I wanted to be poet novelist playwright
hero of my own adventure craftsman of
language form preceded my experience

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Matched Pair

one rimed leaf is orange another peeks
from the tangle the door hinge squeaks

a cello prances through Bach's grass
lacks nothing of undetected noble gas

air murmurs in the dust-deviled vents
matched pair rise early for the defense

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Loving One

love day like any other
lucky to be me loved
loving one and others

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not Fooled

Obama makes me sick fooled by his own
smooth wordspin I am not fooled it's his
guns (drones) that need to be controlled

called progressive he confirms the status
quo instead of leading follows numbers
instead of peace consolidates endless war

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Final Throw

your name is who you are
like where you live what car
you drive today the color of
your hair everything will
change your brain is plastic

so live if you can stand it
as yourself or someone else
I won't be who you think
unless you think you know
until I make my final throw

and say what I want to be
before becoming someone
other than you imagined
when you called me thus
before the truth unrolled

Monday, February 11, 2013

Say What

if I could I would
dance more than slowly
and I can play Brahms
if I practice enough

if only I knew who
was there with me I'd
remember to say what
no one had expected

for example friends
assuming I was real
treated me better than
I was ready to deserve

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Still Working

nothing pleases the snake more than
calmness beauty devotion to art love
play third way completes the picture

Dan in Ha Noi Julian in Taos closer
than here Steve acknowledges missed
messages still working on his days off

nothing matters more than plugging
away at my book put in corrections
revision may actually make it good

Friday, February 08, 2013

Gone Again

who are real the actual
humans in my life the
characters in fiction I
read or write people
I make up imagining
all they do think feel
newsworthy forces
or the ones I dream
the far away or dead
alive then gone again
emotion can't count
the difference slight
to me if not to them

On Work

Getting anything done requires attention to one thing for a sustained time. Think of video editing, how much you have to look at and keep in mind, how many large and tiny judgments you have to make on the basis of nothing but attention, how slow (mostly) and relentless a task it is, necessarily—larger or smaller according to the size of the project, obviously. It's the same with writing a novel. As soon as I turn to it, it comes back to life (wakes up) and I start making progress; but I am reluctant to turn to it, indeed procrastinate, because I don't want to narrow my focus: I want to stay with my own thoughts and feelings, stay open to the moment, be more not less mindful of my actual existence. At the same time the rapt experience of working, narrowing in, then opening up within the focus, is itself precious and uniquely satisfying. It's a relief to stop all that flitting about for a time, settle on a twig, and look closely at the bugs behind the bark.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Who Knew

as you didn't know I was coming
you didn't know I didn't come

my mind was not fully made up
so I hardly needed to change it

nothing much happened instead
but at least I didn't rush around

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Too Much

I teeter on the verge of being overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the world—huge buildings, teeming cities, terrestrial nature, proliferating words, bombastic music. Why is there so much? Why is everything so confused? It is like a fabric but in multiple dimensions beyond warp and weft. Inner life is a maelstrom of hormones and enzymes, submicroscopic lightning and insulation breaks. There is too much to think about, infinite detail, finite body and mind. Reality is a bottomless lake. I am the world and less than a speck of cosmic dust.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New Life

granddaughter arrives timely "perfect
in every way" says her father my son
magic telephone connects happiness
a new life begins everything possible

Monday, February 04, 2013

Clean Dishes

in full panoply nay regalia we can
acknowledge the day is now done
night has fallen why go on about it

the midnight snack is eaten milk
drunk everything already happened
still trying to describe convey show

colored sheets clean dishes sweet
kisses dream friend letters video
books can't hold all our delights

whom do I thank for this sudden
ripeness beyond thought or just
dessert following a varied meal

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Remind Me

all right I'll do it
remind me again
unresisting gladly

what's that you're
what I expected I
couldn't imagine

Shakespeare then
a long drive home
stories everywhere

Bruckner chickens
"Downton Abbey"
warm to the night

Saturday, February 02, 2013

New Clippers

crazy pattern fallen multiple extreme
differentiates being into fragile shards
most precious finest distillation breaks
cleanly crystalline shimmer meaning
we have come this far this direction

what else is there simple still exists
knowing better even if we can't do it
ourselves new clippers less well made
admire participate relish excellence
beyond the further edge of sane belief

Friday, February 01, 2013

Days Awake

Schopenhauer nails it in "The Wisdom of Life"
in the clearest prose tells the essential truth
reminds me what I already know lack words
and fortitude to say or even think for myself

still I do in halting steadiness stumble along
untried but trying aim at value in proportion
inner daemon principal contender real life
days awake dazed nights of peace or dread