Thursday, December 31, 2009

Verse: Untitled for December 31, 2009

A verse inspired by @vix_light

Nowhere there is
that I know where
I am as happy
as I can be

Nowhere is that
lush and lustrous
smile often
to overwhelm me

Nowhere there is
the joy, excepting
that which is
where you are

most of what
I know as happy
I have hidden
in your eyes

I reside there
only when
you open them
for me

and when you
close them
I lose you
to sleep

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Verse: Chronicle

this is
when I surrender

this is
all I have begot

these are
the acolytes
the lovers
who are resigned
to reign
in my stead

to bless
and keep me
from defiling
my bed
my birthright

a congregation
my chosen porters
adorned in the residue
of my desire

and I will go
into captivity
into the service
of a song

it's all that I have
to attenuate
to atone

these words
die for
their transgressions
for asking
where is my heaven
for seeking counsel
from you

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Verse: Three fragments

I (Stage Fright)

No snow
draped upon
the moonlit stage

no flurries
like fireflies
in the spotlight
of the streetlamps

no ghostly film
of breath
rising from our lips
like cigarette smoke

no slender fingers
of ice reaching down
to touch us from
those bare branches

perhaps winter
is wary of us

II (Departure)
I fastened
my reflection
to the mirror

I buried
my fingerprints
in the new-fallen snow

I inscribed
I love you
on one piece of paper

And I think
that it is time
for me to go

III (River)

Here comes
the flood

A ribbon
of dreams

to carry
with me

when I desert
this season
of sleep

Monday, December 28, 2009

Verse: Infidel

One day
when I have no need
for pretense

I will attempt
to bring wonder to
this wounded world

for now
I am content
to tempt you

to be your morning
if I cannot be
your afternoon

and to corrupt you,
your loveliness
and your loneliness
with my love

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Verse: Barrier

You cannot
hold up
the sky
any more

than you can
hold back
the night

let it in

we'll sweep
it up
in the morning

at least
that which is
not devoured by
the fire in
your eyes

Friday, December 25, 2009

Verse: Signifiers

For you
the happy
is kisses

to meet
at the lips

the heart
joy desirous

and the future
blue skied
and neslted in
our hands

Maria in the Mainframe - Pt. 4

(And now, the conclusion of my story for/about my niece...)

Meanwhile, Zentz was happy,
Why wouldn’t he be?
Gorging himself
On the computer’s memory
As poor, trapped Maria
Began to fret
“How did I get myself
Caught in this ‘net?”
Yes, Maria was trapped
And didn’t know what to do
When Dr. Cyrus and Bing
Came to her rescue
Cyrus caught the bug
Who began to protest
“We were just having fun
I didn’t mean to distress
This pretty girl
With the cute button nose
Mop of brown hair
And ten perfect toes!”
But Dr. Cyrus knew better
He’d have none of that
He sprayed Zentz with his potion
And squashed the bug flat
So Zentz scuttled off
On a haphazard track
Muttering vengefully
That he’d be back

And then Dr. Cyrus
Released our heroine
From the terrible tangle
She had been trapped in
“Thank you kind sir,”
Said Maria, relieved
“That nasty bug certainly
Had me deceived”
“Think nothing of it”
Cyrus exclaimed
“My name is Cyrus
Tell me, what is your name?”

“My name is Maria
And I must say
That I’ve had quite enough
Excitement for one day
I thought that this
Was a wonderful place
But I guess I was wrong
What an awful disgrace!”
“You’re weren’t wrong,” said Cyrus
“Computers can be quite grand
But things here, quite often
Can get out of hand
Computers are marvelous
The Internet too
They have much to offer
A young girl like you
Yes it is good to be curious
And good to explore
It’s good to be friendly
Of this I am sure
But you must be careful
Whatever you do
And be grateful you’ve family
To watch out for you!”

And that was all
Cyrus had to say
He shook Maria’s hand
And sent her off on her way
So Maria, with Bing,
Went back to the CPU
Who said to her, “You’re ready to
Go home now, aren’t you?
Well, I’m happy to send you
Off on your way
You’ve certainly had enough
Excitement today
But I hope you will come back
And see us again”
And with a flash
Maria was back in the den

And just as Maria
Landed in the chair
Her grandparents came into
The room and found her there
“We have been wondering
Where in the world
You could have gone,
Our special girl
We looked in the laundry room
The bathroom and kitchen
We’ve been looking and looking
And thought you’d gone missin’!”

Well, little Maria
She tried to explain
But an incredulous look
On their faces remained
“Zapped into the computer?
Maria Suzanne!
You’re just too big
For the computer to scan
Now that is a fib
Of an impressive scale
What imagination
What a fanciful tale!”
Maria was frowning
“It’s not so absurd,
Bing was there, he’ll tell you”
But Bing said not a word
“You must have been dreaming”
Her Grampy laughed
“To come up with a story
As vivid as that
It’s quite a story though
Quite a sensation
Yes, Maria you have
Quite an imagination!”

And Maria would have kept frowning
Like Zentz the bug
If they both hadn’t given her
A kiss and a hug
And Maria, who had frowned
At not being believed
Thought back on her adventure
And felt quite relieved
To be back among family
Felt good once again
And Maria’s grandparents
Led her out of the den
But looking back over her shoulder
At the cursor, blinking
She could have sworn
It was the CPU, winking

Well they gave her some milk
And some Christmas cookies too
And begged her: “Tell us more
Of what happened to you”
And as Maria sat munching
And feeling quite better
Her parents arrived
As promised, to get her
They hugged her and kissed her
Patted her head
Drove her home, fed her supper
And got her ready for bed

And as Maria Suzanne
Laid down to rest
She said: “The computer was nice
But l like it here best.”

The End

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Verse: Christmas Eve, 2009

Too often
it seems to me
that the path
to Christmas
is hard steep
mountain climb

People rushing
No one has
any time

and everybody's looking
for something sublime

even me
not among the believers
I've been conditioned
to want an epiphany

to feel my heart
grow three sizes
to catch that Christmas spirit

whether in the
cherry red lights
or the music
when I hear it

And I'm not one
for Christmas Day
it's like big band blare
It's Christmas Eve
I treasure

Watching the world
my world
settle down and shutter
its charms
are more measured,
muted and fair
like a torch song

it makes me want
to stay up
listening to it
all night long

Maria in the Mainframe - Part 3

The story for my niece continues with this third installment...

If you are wondering
What kind of bug Zentz is
Well, he kind of resembles
A praying mantis
He’s an unsavory fellow
All mean and evil
Like a locust, a termite
A louse or a weevil
For there is nothing in this world
That Zentz likes as well
As turning a computer
Into a useless shell
So how does he do it?
This nasty insect
Attaches himself to
An e-mail or diskette
And if you load that disc
Or open that attachment
You’ll wonder where all of
Your computer files went
Because he devours data
In the wink of an eye
He can do heavy damage
To any hard drive
What use is a computer
That’s been ravaged by Zentz?
Well it might make an attractive
Planter for plants

And that’s what Zentz
Would normally have done
If it wasn’t for this little girl
He’d chanced upon
“I must get rid of her
Her smiling face
Is an unsightly sight
In this cyberspace
But how to do it?
Well, I know I can
I just have to come up with
A cunning plan”

While Zentz was planning
Just what to do
Maria’s adventures
On the Internet continued
At every step around her
Round like clock faces
Were thousands of portals
To faraway places
To her left was London
To her right was Rome
There was even a portal
That was labeled ‘home’
But Maria ignored
That gentle reminder
And ventured on with Bing
Creeping nervously behind her
And at every step
Wouldn’t you know?
Strange creatures bid her
A happy hello
There were Bits and Bytes
A fellow called SCSI
And a chip, whose memory
Was, at best, quite fuzzy
He’d ask Maria her name
Say, “that’s pretty” and then
Introduce himself and ask
Maria her name again
This went on for a while
But Maria didn’t mind
For everyone was attentive
Everyone was kind
(And besides she was having
A wonderful time!)

Meanwhile, having calculated
For a minute or two
Zentz had decided
Just what to do
“I’ll send her an e-mail
A friendly hello
And ask that she open
The attachment below
When she does I will enter
Her computer, and she…
Well let’s just say
I’ll take care of Miss Happy!”
So he drew up a plan
And carefully checked through it
Then wrote up an e-mail
And attached himself to it

And off through the Internet
The message did sail
Until it reached Maria
And exclaimed: You just got mail

“Mail?” Said Maria
“This is quite queer
For I’m certain that no one
Knows I am here
Except for you Bing
And the CPU
But someone has sent it
And I wonder who?”

Well, Bing read the e-mail
It was warm and tender
But he noticed that it came
From an anonymous sender
“It says open this attachment
And close your eyes
And you will get a
Big surprise!”
Well that was enough
To convince bunny Bing
That maybe this attachment
Was not such a nice thing
So Bing said: “Maria
Whatever you do
Don’t open the attachment
That was sent to you
We don’t know who sent it
It could be a trap
I think it would be best
If this message were scrapped!”

But Maria didn’t listen
How could there be
Any reason to doubt
A message so friendly?
“Why should anyone tempt me
With a trap or a trick?”
So she pointed her mouse
And gave it a click
Well it was a trap
Just as Bing had feared
For with a deep husky chortle
Zentz the mantis appeared

Well, Zentz cawed and crowed
With a most wicked grin
And said, “Dear girl, I thank you
For inviting me in
What a lovely computer
It’s just right for me
It’s just bursting with succulent
Morsels of memory
I could eat it all up
And that’s just what I’ll do
But first I must take
Care of your bunny and you!”
And evil old Zentz
With his wicked smile
Reached down to snatch up
The bunny and child
But Bing crouched down
And with all of his might
Leapt up over Zentz
And hopped out of sight
“Curses!” cried Zentz
“He’s gotten away
That fool must think
He can save the day
Well, he won’t,” said Zentz
“I’ll have him, and you
And I will devour this
Computer too!”

“You let me go!”
Maria exclaimed
“Why don’t you just go
back from where you came?”
“That’s funny”, said Zentz
“Back from where I came?
My dear, I could tell you
To do the same
This is my world
That you’ve come into
There’s no room in it
For little girls like you”
And saying that
Zentz grabbed some wires and circuits
Made them into a web
And wrapped Maria up in it

Meanwhile, calling for help
Bing furiously hopped
Until he made his way back
To the CPU, and stopped.
“It’s Maria,” he gasped
“She’s in a fix
An evil bug has her
We must save her, quick!”
“A bug?” cried the CPU
“We are all in trouble
I must summon Dr. Cyrus
The Anti-Virus on the double!”

The CPU concentrated
With all of his might
And Dr. Cyrus appeared
In a flash of light
He had silver hair
And wire-rim glasses
And I swear his moustache
Was as thick as molasses
He was wearing a lab coat
And carrying a case
With scraps of paper
Spilling all over the place
He looked like a grandfather
Or a professor would
But if anyone could save Maria
Well, Dr. Cyrus could
So Bing and CPU told him
Of the sad situation
He made a diagnosis
And checked his medications
“Yes, to get rid of that bug
This potion will do”
And with that, Bing and Cyrus
Were off to the rescue

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Verse: Northumberland

Those ancient
stone sentinels
at Norham, Alnwick
and Craster
they keep to themselves

They have not fallen
to rebellion or
the rapacious pace
of progress

How strange it is, then
to see them so quickly overcome
by a soft, silent
veil of snow

Maria in the Mainframe - Part 2

For those of you who read Part 1, this is part 2 of the story I wrote for/about my niece:

...Well, now who would believe it?
Certainly not me!
It seems impossible
How could it be?
That a computer could talk
And that a scanner could scan
Something as big
As Maria Suzanne
But there she was
Inside grampy’s computer
And just as before
The voice, it spoke to her

“You’re probably wondering
Where you are, aren’t you?
Well you’re safe and sound
In the CPU
Now, please don’t you worry
There’s no need to fear
You made a wish
And I brought you here
Now you can go anywhere
That you want to go
But before you get going
I want you to know
If you want to go somewhere
And want to go quick
Just take this mouse
First you point, then you click
That’s all it takes
There is nothing to it
But there’s one thing you should know
Before you go do it
Wherever you go
And what ever you do
If any trouble
Should ever befall you
Or if you get weary
And don’t want to roam
Just click on Escape
And you’ll soon return home”

“Home?” said Maria
“Thanks but no thanks
I think I’d rather wander
Your memory banks”
She randomly pointed
And lickety-split
She fell deep into the computer
With just one click
There was a flash of light
The computer made the connection
And Maria found herself hurtling
In an unknown direction
And when finally she thought
That she just might take ill
She found herself standing
Perfectly still

But where was Maria?
You’re wanting to know
Well, it was the strangest place
You ever could go
Just try to imagine
I bet you can’t do it
A place so far off the map
You couldn’t go to it
A place that is virtually
Out of this world
And that’s where you’d find
This brave little girl

It was a kind of city
More or less, less or more
But no city had ever looked
Like this city before
All the buildings were made out
Of circuits and wires
There were vehicles speeding
Along without tires!
Everything and everyone
Was in constant motion
Ebbing and flowing
Just like an ocean
The sky was an odd shade
Of bright neon green
It was all unlike anything
Maria had seen
Every shape, every form was
An optical illusion
That would send you or I
Reeling with confusion
There weren’t streets to speak of
Nor gutters or grates
Nor cross walks to cross
Just networks to navigate
Well, I have described it
As best as I can
This strange little city
In this strange little land

And Maria? She was speechless
Wide-eyed and slack-jawed
She could not believe
What she heard, what she saw
And just then a big smile
Came over her face
“This,” said Maria
“Is a wonderful place!”

But just when she thought
She had seen everything
She noticed something was different
About her old bunny Bing
Usually Bing was quite
Quiet and quite still
Now he was hopping about
Of his own free will
“I can hop,” he exclaimed
“I can leap, I can walk
I can dance, I can sing
I can shout, I can talk
This place,” said Bing
“Must be unique
For an old rag-doll like me
To be able to speak”
So Bing hopped and leapt
And he bounced around
Until the thrill wore off
And he settled down

And when Bing wasn’t so filled
With such exhilaration
He began to take stock
Of this strange situation
“How could this happen?
How could it be true?
That we’re here in the computer
Just me and you?
It just isn’t possible
It just cannot be
It’s wonderful, marvelous
But something troubles me
Yes, I agree
It’s a wondrous place
But what do we know
Of this cyberspace?
I can’t say for certain
But I have heard tell
That this is a place
Where viruses dwell
I’ve heard there are bugs
Not to mention other dangers
And everyone we meet
Is, virtually, a stranger
So as wonderful and magical
As this may appear
We must be careful, Maria
While we are here
I mean, everything’s lovely
All abuzz and a-glowing
But we don’t know whether
We’re coming or going
So let us be careful
As we make our way through
You look out for me
And I’ll look out for you”

“Don’t be ridiculous”
Maria replied
“I see no reason
I should be petrified
I’m going exploring
There’s so much to see
You can stay here
Or come with me”
And off to explore
Went Maria, unaware
That a steely-eyed figure
Was watching her there

“Look at her,” said the figure
“How could it be?
That anyone could have reason
To be so happy?
This is intolerable
And I won’t stand for it
This sickening behaviour
You just can’t ignore it
It’s not quite the sort of thing
You’d just sweep under the rug
So I’ll take care of her or my name’s
Not Zentz the Bug...”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Verse: Time

if it weren't
for those busy hands
endlessly circling

the light
ebbing from
the living room

the glacial abrasion
and the lines left
on my forehead

I would hardly notice
time pass

caught in the ever present
void of now

like a thief

If I stayed
in that moment
I would be lost

each breath and
a ghost is born
which we call memory.

Verse: 6:00 a.m.

6:00 a.m.
is when
I always
wake you

so often
it seems
before the sun
can shine

6:00 a.m.
when all
your dreams
forsake you

at least
your eager lips
find mine

Maria in the Mainframe - Part 1

A brief note of explanation. In 2000, during a very rough time in my life - no work and the near break up of a long relationship, I started writing a story about my niece. Though only two years old, she frequently played with old computers my dad had lying around. From that, a story took root and I fleshed it out a bit, off and on, that summer. Fractured Fairy Tales + Dr. Seuss were employed as additional influences.

Five years later, and I dusted off that relatively incomplete story to finish it. It became a homemade XMas as I baked - yes, baked - Snickerdoodles for my sis (Dad's mom always made them for the holidays), and I gave my mom a CD I'd made of seasonal faves she could play through winter. (80 minutes of Sleigh Bells, Winter Wonderland, I Love the Winter Weather, etc.)

And this? I polished and polished until my polisher was sore. And then, I drew some very crude drawings for it. I printed it + also put it on a disc for her. I even sent copies to my clients. It was my fave XMas.

It's a long story. The rhymes are forced in places, etc. But it was one of the only poems I wrote during a very, very long hiatus from poems. Here is the first part of the story. NB: it is written in Canadian English, so you may need an interpreter...

Once upon a time
As all good stories go
On the outskirts of town
In a small bungalow
Just off the highway
Where a slim river ran
There lived a young girl
Named Maria Suzanne
She had a round face
With a cute button nose
A mop of brown hair
And ten perfect toes

Now Maria liked many things
As little girls do
Playing outdoors and reading
And colouring too
She liked riding her bike
With the pretty pink trim
And when it was warm
Maria went for a swim
She liked swinging on swings
And she liked to pretend
But most of all she liked visiting
Her grandparents each weekend

One Saturday near Christmas
Much like the rest
Clutching her stuffed bunny Bing
To her chest
All pink-cheeked and pretty
Maria Suzanne
Drove with her parents
In the family van
To Grammy and Grampy’s
At quarter past eight
They left her there, promising
They wouldn’t be late

Well, Maria was happy
Who wouldn’t be?
Spending the day with their
Grammy and Grampy
But today was different
Maria could see
That Grammy and Grampy
Were both very busy
Grammy was baking
And had cards to write
While Grampy fixed a computer
That wouldn’t work right

So Grampy was busy
And Grammy was too
And poor little Maria
Had nothing to do
So what did she do?
Well, right about then
She crept off unnoticed
Toward grampy’s den

“Everyone is too busy
Too busy to play
Maybe they want me
To just go away
Well I will,” said Maria
“I have no fear
I’d rather be anywhere
Anywhere but here!”
So into the den
Maria quietly crept
And over to the desk
Where Grammy’s cat slept
There was grampy’s computer
A wondrous thing
She pulled up a chair
And sat down with Bing

And as she sat there
By the computer, thinking
Maria noticed that
The cursor was blinking
Well Maria had often
Watched Grampy at work
As he built computers
And ironed out quirks
And it had occurred
To this little girl
That computers had modems
That link to the world
She’d seen Grampy do it
A time or two
And if he could do it
Well, Maria could too

But how to do it
Well, that was a task
And everyone was far
Too busy to ask
So Maria just typed
And the words that appeared?
‘I wish I were anywhere,
Anywhere but here’

Then she hit enter
And a voice it replied
“I’ll take you anywhere
Once you’re inside”
“Who said that?” Cried Maria
As she leapt from the chair
She looked round the room
But no one was there
“I said, ‘who said that?’”
She looked where she’d been
And saw a face had appeared
On the computer screen
“Come closer Maria,”
The voice called her by name
She did and the scanner
Scanned her into the mainframe...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Verse: pixels

For @krissynyy

It's the tender gravity
of your hot hands

the sweet serenity
the reassurance
of your nearness

and the way time
plays freeze-tag
when you're not here

I'd make
an island of
your words
they taste
like spun sugar

I'd pixelate and
my thousand anxious pieces
would scatter everywhere
resolved to find you

and the unspoken fear
that I will disappear
if you close your eyes

only vanishes
when you speak
my name
that's how I know
I'm alive

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Verse: Christmas As I Knew It

(NB: the title was appropriated from Johnny Cash)

And I
am still that child
waiting at the window
on the dull rattan sofa
waiting to see my father
emerge victorious at last
from the shivering winter woods
with our Christmas tree
the film of my breath
on the window made him
seem somehow younger,
softer, sleeker than he was

And I
am still that child
anxious with anticipation
and unable to sleep
listening to my pulse race
until it exhausted itself
and finally trailed off
like the warm whistle of a train
disolving in the crisp, gelid air

And I
am still that child
skulking on tiptoes so as not to
breach the tenuous silence
of the darkened living room
barely able to contain
my excitement upon seeing
the overflowing nylon stockings
sprawled upon the cold hearth
and the packages piled
like a hasty built and
abandoned armament
around the tree

And I
am still that child
nestled in bed
on Christmas night
hearing the faint strains
of Perry Como, and Elvis
serenading my father and mother
in the amber glow of the living room
their hushed tones a lullaby
singing me to sleep
as the snow outside my window
swallows the vast ebony sky

Friday, December 18, 2009

Verse: Prelaya

Inspired by + dedicated to @niclone

This is
the before time
the larval interval
the lacuna

all I have
is sufficient
for all the work
that remains
an uncoupling

to take down
the grave images
one by one
to burn them and
in doing so
release and
be relieved of
their memories

the flames
will rise like altars
like the veins
of a catholic night
and all will be
destroyed, not lost

what comes next
is uncertain
perhaps a reckoning
a regrouping
maybe a resurrection
and revelations
of the new Jerusalem
to come

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Verse: Torches

(Inspired by @kambrock)

In winter
there is no snow here
no shimmering shroud
to cover the dull,
dissipated grass
waiting impatiently
for spring to come

there are only
the tiny lights
that blossom and illuminate
the funereal hours
and the houses
cloaked in
the cool canopy
of quiet rural nights

seeing them
I am overcome
with jubilation
the age-old ritual
begins anew

I love to witness
this harvest of lights
they nourish me
with their tacit
incandescent message
of hope

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Verse: Minaret

(inspired by and dedicated to @c_a_theriault. May you always heed the call...)

This is
the season of
the clementine

This most perfect
is currently
making the scene
in Rabat

Yet here I am
in Istanbul
eating haydari
and plump grape leaves
at Ikea for lunch

they are the best
I've had
in ten months
even if it isn't
the mellow tang
of a grilled cheese
sweetened with tomato
that I used to eat
in Montreal

how like a dream
it seems now
here, in Turkey
I take pictures
I write stories
and pay the bills
teaching English

No fixed address
just a passport
and the insatiable
wanderlust of
my vagabond heart
I ask the wind
for my next destination

The only reply
is the man
in the minaret
who wants me to know
God is great
and heaven is surely

Even so
I have my doubts
I'll take joy
where I can
by traveling
this perishable world

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Verse: Visitors

The visitors
are in my house
and rifling through
my effects

my intrigues
and inconsistencies
and the secrets
that I protect

And they ask
who I am
when the night
is unfolding
and they ask
who am I
that the wind
is scolding
and they ask
who I will be

The visitors
are gathering
evidence and they
will not relent

One by one
they have seen my heart
and they know
my true intent

And they ask
who I am
when no one
is speaking
and they ask
who am I
that the rain
is seeking
and they ask
who I will be

The visitors
are assembling now
and preparing a banquet

where the things
I can't remember
conspire against
all I cannot forget

and they ask
who I am
that the gods
are exempting
and they ask
who am I
that the muses
are tempting
and they ask
who I will be

the visitors
are gathering their coats
and making
their retreat

frightened by
something they found
their inquiries are

But who am I
when they leave me
and who am I
when I answer
the phone
and who will I be
when they call again

Monday, December 14, 2009

Verse: Tomorrow

was troubled
and terse
with me

How soon
it seemed
to have its fill

and if today
has no need
for me either

then perhaps tomorrow

Verse: Ghostwriter

For @russ_tomato, who requested I write about my work.

I write
in the morning
just after breakfast
when I am refreshed

and I write
all through
the enervated
August afternoons

and I write
adverts and
articles about
employee engagement

and I write
promises for
people that I hope
they will keep

and I write
and I rewrite
until I get
it just right

and I write
to keep the furnace
filled with oil
in winter

and I write
to attract
to intrigue
and to sway

and I write
to share
an experience
a legend

and I write
even when
I have no

and I write
even though
someone else
gets the credit

and I write
without anyone
at all

and I write this
because someone
suggested I do so

and I write
and I write
and I write

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two short poems for December 13, 2009


I sing
too wild
and too often

your song
is infrequent
and pure

I told you
this would not
be precise

I told you
it would not


There was
a language
born from
your words

A hallelujah
from your kiss

An imprint
from your
warm embrace

And your eyes
inspired this

Friday, December 11, 2009

Verse: inquest

Winter is
falling at my feet
like a surrender

It is piling up
around me
like promises
will do

And when I am not
looking for
a shelter
or a stranger

I recall
the inscrutable summer
and the intensity
of you

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Verse: Intent

From this moment
to the end
of you

is the only story
I will tell

We start
and now
as we mean
to go on

It's our skin
our beat
and our song

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Verse: Animal Dance

Why are you
so blue?

You told me
Love is the thing

The substance
of all conversation

The means
by which healing begins
daily, nightly

it's only sleeping
let's wake it up

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Verse: Will

I will sing you
a stranger's song
if I cannot
sing my own

I will call you
by the names
they dare not speak
for fear that
they are not yours

I will ask you
if these prayers
are parasites
that feed on my hope
like flies on filth

I will tell you
what tomorrow
promised me when I
complimented her
on her cologne

and I will lose
my nerve
my grace
and open my heart
to make a feast
of my love
for you

This is my practice
my catharsis
this is what I do

Monday, December 7, 2009

Verse: Escape Artist

And when
I awoke
I resolved
to take only
what is essential
from this moment on

To loose myself
from attachements
from need
from the tenuous
and the trivial

To cast off
the questions
the arguments
the stories
I had accumulated
and consumed
for so many years

To take nothing
with me but
this intimate skin
these intricate bones
and your love

They will be my constants
my consolation
when confronted
with great doubt
and death

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Verse: (a lost item from summer)

(Found this while cleaning up today. I never posted it. Made a few tweaks)

The chameleon comes in
looking for a disguise
the lady in the corner
looks imperious and wise
and I can feel your fingers
crawling cool against my thighs
in this strange season

the poet at the podium
unleashing vulgar rhymes
the priest embraces the acolyte
absolves him of his crimes
your every kiss as stark
and bold as the New York Times
in this strange season

the guards walk along the gates
stroking a chain of keys
the doctors have been stricken
with some social disease
almost undetected we do as we please
in this strange season

The ingenue stands askance
she is half undressed
the protagonist finds intrigue
in things as yet unexpressed
your breath sings like hallelujah
and at once I feel blessed
in this strange season

The singer departs the stage
without any encore
the all-night watchman settles in
and wonders what's in store
your lips softly enfold mine
and shake me to the core
in this strange season

The sailor eyes the skies
and then consults his charts
the idle cab picks up a fare
and suddenly departs
and we lay waste to all the
acute longing in our hearts
in this strange season

Verse: Snowflakes

(Originally posted on Facebook in December 2008)

Is it so wrong
to be jealous
that they kiss
your cheek
with more tenderness
and consideration
than I could?

My sole consolation
is that they are as fleeting
as a sigh of relief
and besides
they are not as warm
as mine

yet I do love
to watch them fall
the way they flutter
around street lamps
like fireflies, and how
they sparkle in the
first rays of the morning sun
freshly fallen
making everything
appear as clean
and crisp
as a canvas might
or a blank page
unsullied by expression

Verse: Spot

We gave you
to December

Not to the tumors
or the infections

Not to the half hour
spent trying to stop
the blood

or the desperate cries
as we bundled you
into the tattered
blue towel

We gave you
to December

Not to the
concerned clinician

Nor the
cold reflective steel
of the examination table

We gave you
to December

Not to those
nagging fluorescents
at 1:00 a.m.

Not to the doctor
who carried you away

We gave you
to December

The warm purr
that rippled
your matted fur

The woolly paws
noodging the sterile

Did you know
I looked back
as I left?

Did you know
we were leaving you?

We gave you
to December

And no soft snow
to cover your head
or absolve us
of our guilt

Or to absorb
the wordless
silent cry
that took me
by surprise
left me gasping
for air
on Willow

My heart
is sick
with sadness

My heart
is blemished

Friday, December 4, 2009

Verse: attuned

where summer

We moved
through the
arctic night

And when
our dreams
were relieved of
their duties

we sang
our morning song
until daylight emerged
from the drowsy
folds of those
crisp white clouds

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Verse: Thief

I took this
from those lovers
and I hid it
in your purse

And if they
should find us
my alibi
is well rehearsed

I took this
from the fire
laced it in your

If the embers
make inquiries
I won't give them
any hints

I took this
from the morning
and placed it in
in your bed

And if the night
should find us
I will improvise

I took this
from the garden
and placed it
in your dress

and if the earth
should require it
I will not confess

I took this
from the rain
and sang it into
your phone

and if the sky
took it back
I still would not atone

I took this
from tomorrow
and I threaded it
through your heart

If tomorrow reclaims it
remember I wasn't trustworthy
from the start

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Verse: Pursuit

I inhabit joy
where I can find it

and do not disturb
the sleepy sun

I gather dreams
that are discarded

And I transfer them
to everyone

I engage
the loved and lonely

the temporary
and the acute

I try to
make some sense of it

and that is my
one true pursuit

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Verse: Accumulations

It's like accusations
at first
you can brush them

But they cling
as they intensify
And you
can't shake them

It's always cold
when it snows