Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Doing Well

even the present ends in the new
as if vowels could carry the show
this actual breathing be different

then it becomes something else
you suspected all along it would
never promised to be permanent

even so you are surprised again
undone in a sense by doing well
what you thought would suffice

answers pertain to another now
gone reopens earlier questions
who what where when not why

Monday, December 30, 2013

No Excuses

poetry can be better
and do more
tell stories
bring people alive
break your heart
no excuses but
isn't there room
to do less
and still be good

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Worth Eating

what you would say
if you said anything
is as crudely inferred
as if you had said it

everything revealed
nothing noticed no
attention too busy
with our own lives

spin your web for
satisfaction don't
expect to catch any
thing worth eating

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Whirling Past

nothing has changed but me
my position in time shifting
as universes spin around me

and you each of us our own
singular still center content
whirling past cellular public

none can be wholly known
existing only in becoming
buoyed by a turbulent flux

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Skin

it's only a movie not fade away
still gets under my skin I perch
on the edge of the foldaway watch
for something more the beauty
of the young cast enough James
Gandolfini as the father in this
parallel reality clumsy contrived
unconvincing enters my dream

Thursday, December 26, 2013

In the Middle

with this momentum nothing can go wrong
with ironic optimism knowing better worse
things inevitably happen before you know it

say what it is while you can still remember
what it was like to be in the middle of it all
still buoyed by unstoppable seasonal flux

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Like You

anyone can follow my thought
if it's worth it anything else is
too similar to be same like you
or me enjoy each other anyway

not so hard to see what is said
twice is typically half as true
patterns once revealed resist
nothing that promises pleasure

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What You Love

what you don't know is not part of anyone's necessity
negative piled on negative eventually enough to levitate
call me when you know what you are having for lunch

every day the same tai chi an image of steadiness like
chickens variations on one basic personality function
each time newly discover you are doing what you love

Better Knowing

the quality of quality abides in taste
class albeit crudely expressed that it
might be better lacks confidence in
its own better knowing limitations

one dare not speak openly of art's
interior not a solid like a ziggurat
gassy liquid oozy frothing warmly
enacting modesty we blunder on

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Norm

deserving whether it exists
is not a justification because
doesn't follow from sequence
definition is beholden to time
error becomes the new norm

so there you see the situation
a list of adjectives passively
rejected for reason unknown
I know it isn't what I say it
matters more in the abstract

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Your Best

it all works out
maybe not the way you want it to
romantic ideal
something else inevitably happens too
how can you know
you take the chance and do your best
something results
informed creative unexpected alive

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Get Well

art can be anything you say
if you think about it straight
who can deny a right of way

craft can be bad taste lags
behind the best intentions
sorry you are lame get well

how can one not allow it all
don't try if you aren't great
muds time's illusory denial

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Simpler Way

promise what you can
do as you say you will
be better than you are

forgive innocent lapses
not the unforgivable
money power politics

conceive a simpler way
correct errors of tact
embrace uniqueness

recognize community
we orbit each other
succeed as a system

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Who What

Men and women are equally prey to assumptions they don't know they're making, expectations they take for granted. Some of these we adopt as convenient habits; others, more fundamental, sneak up from below, from our parents, from our bloodline, from the cultures we are part of and can't help expressing. Who is what to the children, who is responsible for paying the bills and keeping the stove going and food on the table, how to take criticism ("keep both your hands on the wheel"), who initiates lovemaking and how often, who yields on which point, it's easy if you remember how funny it is, but it isn't easy to get there and stay there. You are not always going to agree, even clear. It's not just gender. Two of the same are also different from each other. And if they weren't, how boring is that?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fatal Flow

do I understand the causes of
fill in the blank what is cause
or choice but make the best of
what arises or devolves in time
fatal flow a state of certainty
if something else doesn't act
the four forces always with us

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some People

what happened was too much
talk and driving in heavy fog
the mind wincing skips a day

what happened was a party
perfect except for the noise
talkers outshouting the music

some people never let up you
have to put just up with it or
get out of the way tout suite

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dark Green

if this is daylight
I'm obscurely miffed
as if misled about
another's feelings for me

turn up the levels
for heaven's sake this
isn't Greenland after all
though largely dark green

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Acid Rain

who you knew then is gone
or doesn't remember details
erode like sculpture in acid
rain fell when I was young
the same water over again

our well is still drinkable I
prefer not even think about
future possibilities elapsed
unused like dated coupons
might have salvaged more

Friday, December 13, 2013

Be Ready

let us now praise famous friends
who did so much for us when we
were young no one ever heard of
them or us or if they did forgot it
still it mattered then and still does
taught us work play tell the truth
be ready when the moment comes
unknown to anyone but ourselves

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Which Party

was that today they blur
I should be embarrassed
but I'm hardly the worst
which party shall I go to
whose example follow
question without answer
still is worth the asking

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beyond Theory

life long art short
Arcadian illusion
ill-fits modernity
speaks by chance
beyond all theory
privileges comfort

Higher Ground

I packed in a rush for a flight from Italy to India. After I left the house I realized I had left my sunglasses behind, but there wasn't time to go back. I got on a bus and rode through the countryside. Looking out the window I saw a small trailer detach itself from the back of a car, roll across the highway, and come to rest in a field. I wanted to tell the driver, who hadn't noticed, but had no way of signalling. Almost immediately he pulled off the road, not thinking about the trailer, pulled a tarp up over his windshield, and went to sleep. Part of the time I was on foot, following a young backpacker along a raised narrow footbridge with many turns. He was too slow. I asked him if I could pass just as the walkway turned steeply upward to go over some houses on higher ground. I wondered if I was on the right bus. At one of the many station stops, I got off and went inside and asked someone, "How do I get to Sicily?" I didn't mean Sicily; I couldn't remember the name of the airport town. Out the window, I saw the bus slowly pulling away. My suitcase was on it! On top of that, I had forgotten to pack my passport. I really couldn't go without it. I could get my sunglasses too when I went back for it. Then I thought it was probably in my shoulder bag, which I had with me, where I normally keep it. I had rushed outside. A man from the bus was standing there with a small jumble of luggage. That big black suitcase might be mine—I couldn't remember exactly what it looked like—they must have left it for me. I rummaged in the pockets of my strangely empty shoulder bag and found my passport. "Here it is," I said to the man, holding it up. I picked up the suitcase, which was unexpectedly light. "That's mine," he said.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Inner Work

"Each of us finds lucidity only in those ideas which are in the same state of confusion as his own." —Marcel Proust

days of no record might not exist
memory doesn't serve well enough
the day before yesterday vanishes
like a dream forgotten in the light

still something is learned by doing
the inner work is porously conscious
return and the thought has advanced
the unknown problem simply solved

Monday, December 09, 2013

Present Care

presentable drips keep water fluid
even though it's not as cold animals
have to drink we attend their needs

sufficient up to a point we do well
to value each other's present care
more than practicalities suggest

pleasure is the underlying issue
if we're warm and have enough to
eat we share our water with others

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Hot Food

if I do this now I can do that then
clarity of starlight heralding cold
animals can stand it we need gas
steady electric power for the fans

powerless we would be helpless
running to friends' warm shelter
the Müllers shivering last winter
spent most of that week in bed

I count on comfort while I can
hope systems survive while I do
unprepared to live in cave or tent
grateful insulation and hot food

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ring On

Bicky blond Buffy doesn't it all fit
as if sounds hold a shaping power
as if names per Proust do ring on
they do indeed tell their own tale
echo more than anything they say
among themselves secretly to us

Friday, December 06, 2013

Lit Crit

too many writers
too many books
why go on

Thursday, December 05, 2013

How Hard

let me hear from you
I know how hard it is
no one else's business
no way to really help
everything else is real
we don't even have to
talk about it just come

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

My Epitaph

not smart enough
can be my epitaph
I was smart just
not smart enough

Talk Later

I want to talk about myself
so do you I want to think
about myself you're trying
to be friendly openness is
good driven from my chair
space I retreat to the other
end of the house talk later
trade listening if we can
stand making allowances
each our inescapable age

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Faster Past

passing madness takes many forms
whether whither withers faster past
call me if you can speak truthfully
what is not said somehow appears
illusory independence breaks loose
morals distracted energy of scrapes

Monday, December 02, 2013

Filial Continuity

wet clear garland weather carven
figures from all over the world
dance remembered rituals again
recognizable enthusiasm shared
implies natural filial continuity
stumbling toward some reality I
can't grasp what anything means

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Too Much

too much music
scatters focus gathers
dust on my piano

too many books
absorbed then forgotten
crowd my shelves

too many moves
confused with each other
blur my soul

pure but empty
processing possessions
not only mine