Saturday, May 6, 2017

cento for lisa 2017

the way to fall in love with you
is to walk your muddied fields, your lanes, leaning into the light.

mostly, my tongue leans to the good side,
casting out a mile long line of filament words, thin and flimsy.

did you hesitate? i wish it was enough;
a simple question reaching out its tips
to call them back
home. we soak them in, sustained.
you think you know the preparations you make.

i’ve missed you so much
lapping at the edges
and I can't stand here all day waiting
at the thought of missing you.

still, i see clearly what today will do for yesterday,
where the purpose that has been written,
the divine, shines through this final dwelling.
we sit in stillness.
walk in measured steps
searching, desperate amongst the garden stones.
a boulder of a day, they say.
a walk through the thickest fog.

in the beginning it was always there;
it chased me down in my dreams:
whose face had been freshly kissed enough
to measure? to fill? and then?
spill over. and then? repeat.

when all the serious questions get answered,
we are finally here in a room with no lies.
i need to tell you something
whispers when i have trouble remembering the dream you dream.
sometimes the words return.

the sound of your laugh
is enough. i lean into you
sometimes. i think i've forgiven you. sometimes
we buy back time by sacrificing
one another.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


1.   this is where i ask you for permission.
2.   there are things i must tell you but i must tell it slant.
3.   i weigh the words carefully, and you weigh the words carefully.
4.   polish. over and over.
5.   there are no containers for holding light.
6.   unless bodies.
7.   so emptied we reach for stars.
8.   or other bodies.
9.   permissions.
10. more bodies.

11. sometimes the way forward is through.
12. i know that’s a cliché.
13. does that make it any less true.
14. do we embrace clichés because they are true.
15. truth is derived from the proto-indo-european root deru.
16. or is it dreu.
17. they’re both true.
18. i’m working at being steadfast.
19. let me find my roots here.
20. shape my hands into instruments of peace.

21. there have been so many conversations.
22. volleys and volumes and side glances cast askance.
23. grant me an audience.
24. friends, lovers, countrymen, lend me your ears.
25. gather to me.
26. all the prophets.
27. open up the dark.
28. gather up everything that leaks out.
29. build whatever best houses. 
30. i give you permission.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

and so, poetry

Art is anything you can get away with. Andy Warhol

Art is anything you can get away with. Marshall McLuhan

and so, poetry. this thing that demands you be brave.
that doesn’t mean confess your sins. though sometimes
that. unburden. who does the heavy lifting?
Leonard said the Spirit does. maybe. pfft.
all I know I haven’t the strength to convince you
of anything more. any more. this poem is a weak container.
just you sit there and wait. there’s more coming.

is this the burden of language. the hope
something sticks. i’m doing my best. i really didn’t
have fun doing it. i haven’t always done it
since i was a child. not really. not really.
because this is poetry, and the intent is an invasion.
inter/ruption. infection. in. let me in. inne. with/in.
so there you have it. good luck.

Friday, April 28, 2017


she was beautiful,
though a boy.
i can only speak of my ambivalence
about that.

she wanted to be a poet
“because poets know about words
and how they mean.”
i’m not so sure about that.

there are always gaps
between intention and perception.

“poetry is like dancing,”
she says. then again,
you never know who you’re getting
as a partner.

she likes to go dancing.
she mostly goes alone.

she likes to go dancing.
it is the only time she feels beautiful.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

how often we say

we’ve had ten thousand
conversations, you and I,
and still you refuse to change.

are these whispers or prayers?
how often we say flesh.
how often we say spirit.

the arguments keep piling up,
the excuses forming walls.
accusations are flung from the towers.

we need more watchmen on the walls.
hand them trumpets and torches,
let them hail strangers and guard the gates.

we have invited guests carelessly.
i have no idea whose side they’re on.
something sniffs around your door.

i tell you the room is haunted.
you tell me you speak with ghosts.
i no longer recognize these voices.