Friday, October 30, 2009

Verse: Departure

Love is leaving now

Gingerly collecting kisses
from my eyes
embroidered in dreams

Discretely dusting the small
of my back
for stray fingerprints

Carefully smoothing away
the creases from
last-night's sleep

Extracting whispered words
frozen in the cool night air
nestled in my unwitting ears

Gently rousing her stockings
her dress, her scarf
curled like felines
on the moonlit floor

she smiles sweetly
at the exiles
of the shuttered cinemas
serenades the late night
revelers engaged in indiscretions
as she hails a taxi home

No note
on the fridge
no message
on the phone
like smoke
from a cigarette
Love is gone

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Verse: untitled

is love

it is intruding
on this moment
it is ineffible
ever present
and everywhere
even illuminating
the elusive night

it is unencumbered

It is tangled
in my hair
on my skin
in my mouth
in my kiss
in my alphabet

It is bare
sweet and ecstatic
but this love
which embraces me
is not mine

it is yours
it is unexpressed
and unknown
without you

it is yours
it is for you

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Verse: Vow

If, by chance
your dark window
is open
then I will
climb through

And I
will adorn
your body
with kisses
as merciful
and mild
as morning dew

But if
your window
is closed
then I will
pass on by

Like one
red leaf
or like a star
falling from
the onyx sky

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Verse: Shout

NB: I tend to err on the side of the intellectual. Someone told me to write from the heart and so I did. The mind only interceded to perform the nuptials between two pillars of expression. How well suited they were for each other.

it comes

Hear this
and mark
my words

I will not retreat
or retract

I will not pule
or prevaricate

Even if
I cannot bend
those indifferent stars

Even if
I cannot puncture
those pendulous clouds

Even if
I cannot sway
your intransigent heart

Even if
you don't hear me
I will not submit
to censorious silence

I will be

And whatever
comes next
A warning
A love song
or a regret

You can listen,
or you can howl

but this
is my stage

I will
have my say

Betty Crocker - Food RN

There are so many ads I dislike that it genuinely pleases me when I see one I do. This is a rather droll spot for Betty Crocker's Bisquick, archived on its YouTube channel with extra footage than the 30 second spot. The concept is simple, memorable and absurd, the execution is bang on, especially the sympathetic piano music at the end. Pardon the pun, but it's food for thought. Why can't more ads be this good?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Verse: Curses

I spit sugar
until my mouth
is sore

Milk my blood
until there is
no more

Hold my breath
until my lungs
are bruised

Clench my fists
until they are

Imagine hornets
nested in
my ears

Succumb to the
unchecked accretion
of oppressive fears

Swallow heat
until my throat
is raw

Strangle your name
but your silence
does not thaw

New Kleenex ad 'snot Funny.

Young man, there's no need to feel down. Sure, cold and flu season is upon us, but don't let that worry you. Kleenex is here with a solution, Get Mommed. Yep, it's an insulting website of stereotypes that invites you to source a little added TLC. And yes, they managed to throw in one or two comely ladies for those of you who like your mothering Oedipal.

That in and of itself would be enough to bother me, but it's Kleenex's new ad 'Homecoming' that merits a special level of scorn. Here it is in case you haven't seen it. We'll chat more about it after the break:

Let's recap what we can infer from this lame attempt at humor:

- Young men are inconsiderate douchebags.
- Moms are to be used and abused as you see fit.
- Cold and flu season is a great time to wander around spreading the joy of aching joints and stuffed up noses to moms everywhere like the worst Santa Claus ever.

I know we're supposed to be amused by this young man taking umbrage at the most mundane slights, leaving the moms behind wondering what they did wrong. But moms have an infallible sense of right and wrong, and they may play the martyr, but woe to the ungrateful child who walks all over them. I kept expecting to see one of the moms give the scruffy rapscallion a tongue-lashing, or go Granny from Tweety and Sylvester on his ass with a rolling pin. That would have been preferable. Nope, the ad ends and all of the moms are there behind him. Because that's what moms do in popular culture. They stand by you, no matter how much of a jackass you are. Even when you create ads that suggest moms are nothing more than doormats.

Well, I've done my part. Venture forth, young man. Have fun with your new BFF Jessica. Or enjoy an awkward family reunion with Anna-Maria. And spread your germs like Johnny Appleseed all over the land. You'll be doing your part to keep companies like Kleenex afloat. That's as American as apple pie. And mom.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Verse: Siren

Go sing your undinal song to the night
lest it fall asleep
it's not tedium that afflicts it so
it's the hours that it keeps

I don't know how you sing that song
as sweetly as you do
forgive my jealousy, my fear that
others will come in search of you

I know I can be too familiar by times
and smother you with touch
and fill your ears with vagrant words
I tend to talk too much

And though your eyes are growing tired
and the night is not so bold
Do indulge me long enough
so this story may be told

It was some 25 years ago
that I first heard your song
but my ears were too immature
it did not captivate me long

And though I did not travel far
in actual miles it's true
we might as well have been worlds apart
for all I thought of you

I next chanced to hear your song
At a time when I was not yet free
yet I surrendered all of my possessions
and set out on the sea

Roiled often by regret
and consumed by constant qualms
it was your voice that was my compass
it was your voice that kept me calm

The wind did try to turn me back
and the waves sought to repel
still your voice called out to me
compelled me to rebel

And when at last I reached your shores
I was haggard, I was thin
but your lips fed my hunger
and I drank deep the dew on your skin

Almost two years have passed since then
how quick and careless time does fly
writ small in the lines around your eyes
writ large in the restless sky

Sometimes when I am gathered in
your all-encompassing embrace
I forget that I possess a will
a name, a voice, a face

Now sing that song that seduced me
sing that song again
lest I wake to find this is illusion
a dream in some opium den

Sing that song that enticed me
don't falter, and don't stop
not until those stars have melted
not until the moon does drop

Loose your song, your siren song
discrete and deathless and deep
to ferry my sleeping body across
the senescent sea of sleep

Friday, October 23, 2009

Verse: Introduction

Before the kiss
I was a stranger

I was like
a scientist
in that I was
and above all

I was not given
to hyperbole

I didn't even
have a name
until you gave me

And now
I am defiled
with the dirt
of lust

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Verse: untitled

I saw autumn
when I saw you

I saw nothing
no reason
for alarm

I wanted
to tell you
it's true
they ask about you
they think I am

I never tell them
you were caught
off guard
unaware of
your vulnerable beauty

or that I created
mysteries about you
even I could not

my wild imaginings
made you a suspect
until you

the evidence?
it's everywhere
and the jury
lacks conviction
I am right

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Verse: Decay

Inspired by Tiggythepiggy

Bare and chanting
we make hot
smooth sounds

they disperse
like dandelion seeds
and fade like a distress call
in the mysterial
archaic night

an enormous
gorgeous language
not ours
envelops and
escapes us
visits no one

yet leaving us
here in a delicate moment
that only silence
could endure

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Verse: Entr' Acte

We are here
even when
we are gone

we are captive in
a secret theatre

where our desires
are immediate
and contemporary

where our dark shadows
are projected
on a white canvas
in close proximity
in layers

bold before
the lights come up

when we are
to the anxiety
of the audience

This is
our cinema now
this is us

Monday, October 19, 2009

Verse: Installation

NB: I always feel apologetic for leaning on love, like I might weaken her through overuse and abuse. But she demands to be heard, so I acquiesce.

So this
is your harvest

thick lines
and static?

I would prefer
a blue sky
a winter coat

I want transformative
light and color
to pass through me
like thread through a cloth

Would that this
arbitrary space
were private
and intimately engaged
with us

or that the guards
would acknowledge
our modest entreaties
for tenderness

and that you
were open
to the inevitable
of hope
and love

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Verse: Dream Letter

Inspired by Tim Buckley and an evening taking in Nocturne. In a way, it was a long time coming. I have a feeling there are more in this vein...

Dear L,

You were right
about many things
it seems

Summer siphoned
me of sleep and now
it's autumn everywhere
at least in this hemisphere
the seasons are relentless

The leaves
like light

I want to go away
it is stasis
that I fear the most
it's rust
it's death
and it's dust
it creeps up on you
when you close
your eyes

Trying to evade
myself, my thoughts
the newspapers
are obscene
their unflinching exhortations
line my cage
like snow

Imagined the world
without us
I drew a map of it and
it looked like a broken heart
I colored it green
like your eyes

But today
I long for home
for you
it's more dear
more pressing
when you're not there

I could cut my hair
dye my roots
but I cannot change
where I'm from
instead, I'll continue
see how it ends
and write you

I wrote this
one thousand times
and each time
I wrote I love you
a reminder
when we are awake
to tell you

Friday, October 16, 2009

Verse: Distant

Sweep away
those bulbous clouds

seed the senescent sky
with stars

and don't let them
fall too soon

at least not
before you tell me
what they mean
to you

and not before
they know
we're here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Verse: Resignation

I swear I will not
sing these songs
of seduction

They are torn
and frayed
like a careless oath
and I've forgotten
who they were
intended for

Once compelled
to give them a voice
over time they
became a chore

If you must
then call me
a heretic
or perhaps even
a saboteur

But I will not
submit to sing these songs
of seduction

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Verse: two untitled items for October 14, 2009

Two brief poems this evening...

When you leave
do you smile?

Do you acknowledge
your sullen reflection
or make the bed?

Do you surrender
your passport
or bribe
your inquisitive

Do you wash your face
in the kitchen sink
floss your teeth
with barbed wire?

Do you genuflect
prostrate yourself
in supplication
or do you shake
your enfeebled fist?

Do you leave
a ransom note
that denies culpability
or do you make
a full confession?

No one ever tells you
how to say
you have to

The doctors
can't tell you
anything you don't
already know

the texts you consult
won't diagnose
the troubles
you got

your teachers
cannot hear you
you do not
no tongue
in your lungs

you expand
you move the feast
one table
one chair
at a time
a caravan

your pale skin
simmers in
the cavillous sunlight
the change of
the season
is like the changing
of the guard
it's just
a formality
it's dispassionate
it's simple
and it's precise

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Verse: Reckoning

I'm told
that you did forsake
your elegant signature

You cut off
your long hair
when it became
a burden

Changed your shape
when it seemed
too soft and convenient
something compromised

Abused your
favorite dress
until it divulged
its secrets
and you cut out
its heart
of its weakness

Took up with
temporary amusements
you seduced
at your discretion
but could not love
any more than
I could love you

But this
is mere speculation
on my part
I swear
I want nothing
from you except
to remember you

Why do you

Monday, October 12, 2009

Verse: Thanksgiving

This is for
the moment
when the day
is spent

the sheets
to which
we retreat

The alphabet
that we forget

The fingertips
that brush
against the lips

The tenderness
that we express

The pillow
where your breath
grows slow

The eyes
that dim
as dreams
creep in

And you
as always
this is
for you

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Verse: untitled verses for Thanksgiving

NB: sometimes, when someone talks, you sit and listen, and it takes shape...

You know
I don't think much
of Florida
and California seems
like a dream
I once had

But there was
this one time
in Arizona
the air was so cold
at night that
we had to pile on
the blankets

So cold
the lady whose name
I can't remember
cried like a child
for warmth

Not like the time
we were in Vancouver
so many of us
that Steven went to
the church for chairs
and we ate Thanksgiving dinner

That day
was so warm
but today
is cold
the wind is
too impatient
the frost is setting in
and there’s so much
to do in the garden
before winter
but I don't know
if I can

The joy is knowing
that spring will come
even if
I am not ready
and it will be
like Christmas


When this is done
when am unburdened
of these long
obtrusive words

I will attain
the one thing
I want
more than anything

The most seductive
thing in the world
to me


At least until
the fear
takes hold
that it will be

Friday, October 9, 2009

Verse: Conjugation

I told you
I covet magic

I know this
with unerring certainty

I yearn for
its deception
its misdirection

I cherish
its many arbitrary allusions
its subtle subterfuge
its elegant epiphanies

the shock
of the awe
it conjures

that anxious instant
when nothing
becomes something
only to turn itself
inside out
in fear

look now
between the decay
of vanishing night
and morning's light
which penetrates
the lazy curtains
and you'll see me appear

but you
where are you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Verse: outburst

Cut the night
cut the lights
carve that song
that naked song
into my skin
until we drain it
of melody

let the cool cacophony
that remains
that prevails
conquer everyone
not cancerous
with complacency
or conjoined
in contemplation

the way
that it owns me
all the shapes
the things
that it could be
overwhelm me

now silent
now static
and bereft
of excuses
I watch the clock
I speak your name
I say nothing

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Verse: Requiem

NB: I usually try to avoid writing something so obviously based on recent events, but this has been on my mind all day and would not let go until I let it go. I hope it has some merit.

Who were you
before everyone
knew that they
didn't know you?

Who were you
before last Thursday
before October
before you walked
out to the parking lot

Who were you
before your cellphone
went dead
before the reward
before the plea
for more information
that urgent SOS?

Who were you
before they mourned you
before they unleashed
their memories
before their eulogies
before they expressed
their regrets?

And who were you
before this unintentional
before I wrote this
before the nightly news
before you were
one more
grim statistic
who were you?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Verse: before

You did not know me
before you knew autumn
but I was not always
burdened by this
intricate shadow
that decays like
the autumn that
you knew
before me

You did not know me
because I wasn't
camouflaged by
the tired flesh
of opulent lovers
the cancer of heartache
had not yet furrowed
my brow or compromised
the camouflage
you knew
before me

You did not know me
before the ceasefire
when my heart was mercenary
but my hands were clean
when I surrendered
and made my concessions
you returned to the war
you knew
before me

You did not know me
before I was infected
with calumnious love
and so you proceeded
with a surgeon's precision
to harvest my heart
before I knew what
it was for
and relieve me of
the love
you knew
before me

You did not know me
until they told you
of my transgressions
and for your pleasure
they catechized me
and tried to seduce me
but never relieved me of
the want
I knew
before you

Monday, October 5, 2009

Verse: Incidental

No one
approached me

even the night
didn't recognize me
though I was
dressed in black

no cautious lust
no casual come-ons
no hint of adventure
in the senescent air

I wanted to be
anointed or
like anyone
but I am difficult
and asymmetrical

and the
only place
that I can go
is home

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Verse: Conversations of everything and nothing

And we could see
the moon

it was drifting
into the night

over the rooftops
like a lost balloon

You said
about the stars

how they fall
into place

like creature of habit
like an old platoon

I said I thought
the night air
was infected
with frost

it curled
my breath
like wisps
of cigarette smoke

and your hair
seemed to quiver
like the strings
of a mandolin
with each brush stroke

I know
it wasn't much
but it was

a modest offering
or a vow

my every word
in the ever present

We talked
for discreet hours

until we
woke the dawn

turned words
inside out
and on themselves
until all meaning
was gone

but I would have
set aside those words

defied gravity
even illuminated
austere skies

if only to
have rooted myself

in your incandescent

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Verse: The Evangelist

If you
are light
then illuminate
or leave me

Don't do anything
if you cannot
immobilize me
with some tenderness
with your
inviolable embrace

is treacherous
the night
like wine
to the bottom
of the glass
in capillary strands

my heart
is an egg
that is cracked
and all the love
that it contains
slowly drains
from me
but you
can't see it

No, you stand
naked as silence
in the critical light
when all I want
is for you
to fix me