Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Gods

New Gods

an experiment for Jack*
The moving hand appears!
          and scratches its way across the skin,
          etching its words in the flesh.
          behold. behold. behold.
The source gives us the irrevocable counsel!
          and now what shall we do?
          we hold that word in our small hands –
          it is too large for us,
          it does not fit in our mouths,
          we cannot compass it.
But it does not decide! The right of choice is ours! That is the life equation!
          such bombast! such proclamation!
          what pride encircles and draws us
          new gods made in the image of
          hopeful longing and fear.
Make us the door for him to enter – prepare for the word. 

          and is this word now a door?
          we are birthed through language,
          it adorns us and wounds us and wraps
          us in its embrace. shhh. wait.

Let your circuits carry the word – let it grow loud – until it reaches the winds of infinity!

          i shall. if i can bear the weight
          of promises. and prophecies. and singing.
          if exultation doesn’t shatter
          my voice, or break my hands.

          if I can have just one more day

          where your hand speaks to me.

* Jack Kirby, ground-breaking comic book artist for both Marvel and DC comics

      * lines 1-3 are from DC Comics’ New Gods #1
      * lines 4-5 are from DC Comics’ Forever People #1


cavafy, they said

they said to read cavafy,
that classicist, nostalgic and horny.
or lonely. or something.

there’s a restlessness there,
echoing yours
    i think
it’s more a willful aimlessness,
a willingness to abandon
a train of thought, a history
filmed with dust, a longing
for something lost, something
with weight, shadowy gestures,
desire gained so rarely, and thinly.

ah, cavafy. you’re always on the edge
of saying something.
you meander amongst ruins,
burdened with longing, burdened.
tell me what you want.
is it really only beautiful bodies?
i am unconvinced. is it beauty?
are you being coy?
or merely guarded?

lovely wanderer, let’s stop playing games.
let me take your hand.
let us walk together. 

consider the lilies

consider the lilies.

consider that somehow they aren’t overwhelming.
consider that they don’t assault the senses,
that they aren’t garish – like old ladies
wearing too much make-up;
that they don’t season every breath
with their sickly sweet smell,
like flesh rotting.

consider painting them instead.
consider how that hides
our sense of the body.
makes it pleasant, even.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

a new(ish) poem

as this moment
this moment you hold

as this moment passes
you hold it bright & shimmering pulse

how to invest?
in eternity?

how to hold it tender’d cradle
breathly deeping


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

national poetry month, day thirty: edward van vliet

The sky is beautiful tonight.
Or not the sky, really. The stars?
Not that either.

Somewhere a father is
putting his children to bed,
kissing them on their foreheads;
somewhere a young girl is saying her prayers;
somewhere a baby is crying,
someone is having an argument about who to blame.
Somewhere a young couple
is passionately making love for the first time,
a couple with many years under their belts
is relaxing in the usual habits,
or balancing the budget,
or planning a vacation.
Somewhere music is playing,
and a young man is fingering the frets of his guitar,
a young woman is exploring the edges of her voice.

Maybe it’s the silence
(though I don’t really enjoy silence).
Maybe it’s that there is stillness,
and that there is no regret right now,
only memory.
I taste them again,
roll them around my mouth,
tonguing their surfaces,
smoothing out the ridges.

I, too, have been someone
acquainted with the night.
I used it as a veil,
cultivated secrets – hidden exchanges.

I have taken to my bed beautiful women,
and less beautiful women;
I have embraced beautiful boys
and used them according to my own desires.
Though it really wasn’t about desire.
Nor beauty. Nor loneliness
(though I know you were thinking it).

I spent many nights
dancing under lights, or not.
I was content to dance alone;
enjoying the sensation of my body
moving through space,
the presence of other bodies,
the sweat and voices –
how to marry impulse and gesture,
the call and response, calculated displays.

Some nights I sat in my living room or on my bed,
high, and wept.
Some nights I wandered aimlessly along the city streets.
Some nights I was held a prisoner of hope –
mine or others’
- grasping at dreams or rumours,
looking for purchase.
Sometimes I crawled, or leapt –
I stumbled more often than I would care to admit.

I learned this:
all things are under pressure.
Sometimes they hold firm.
Sometimes they crumble.

All you can do is wipe your hands
- hopefully they will come clean –
and just keep moving.

That is comforting,
if not beautiful.


April 2014