No More Poems To The Dead

Be still for a moment.
In the year that I lost you
I drank more than I ate,
roads stank of curbs
which reeked of red
and peered over looming space.

I said: hear now,
in the hour of my undoing,
I reject you,
oh my dead friend,
your fearful symmetry cannot fold me
into the syllogism of paper cranes.
we are done,

There is nothing left of us,
not even a memory,
not even love,
this evening is just another crest
against the chest
while the heart still beats
to be broken.

* * *

That’s it.

Not By Naught

Even as chastity lifts her skirt and
Holds the length of her thigh against my waist
I am at loss,

How can I say it:
I cannot claim the leg
I cannot claim the heart,

These words do not belong to me
While my mouth is still a macron over (woah)
Her smile, too close, osculable and warm
And leaning into mine, but there it goes;

She returns to her hollow of light
I clamber into my burrow of dark

So even as I tilt towards bedlam
For the length of a season with a tin cup
In my hand, a crutch, arriving at the end of
The world alone, slouched and gray
And wordless

Her breath mizzles just a breath away
And my mouth a macron over woe.

* * *

Apparently macron is not a word people are familiar with. It is (noun) the little line used to mark or denote a long vowel.


Watching reflections on a window at a stoplight’s red,
the world passes all in pauses and lingering waits.
I walk out in search of human voices
but the night is fair and full of wraiths,
in the falling leaves their footsteps linger by my door.

I speak to the wind,
to cold metallic ears of phones,
to myself beneath oaks and languorous skies,
but I haven’t spoken, not really,
no, not at all.

Like a loaded gun without a trigger:

Through dew and mist, reflections blur
and the window asks my name.
I tell her winter has come;
that it came as if a line to be crossed,
a dark usurper decreeing end to song and flight.
Do we dare rise against this woven prince?

Desolation comes too complete.

It comes from alleyways untouched by eyes or love,
beneath toolsheds festering without light,
monstrous shadows gorging on summer’s emptier nights.
It comes tiptoeing on silver feet of mice,
skittering through pantries of your chest
and down your back like ice.

In abandoned garages,
it rustles half-awake in boxes set aside,
scents long after summer banquets
whispering in refrigerators moaning of murky mimes,
arctic memories swirling endlessly for want of human eyes.

The coldness invades the bones;
it enters the heart brooding of unmapped wilderness,
bad news on good days,
hearing bleating dreams blazing down
stars on moonless lullabyes.

Winter comes, even here, this desert land;
there’s a shuffle and a bow,
it’s outside your door, on the porch, in the trees.
There’s a howl and a slink,
it rises from dead ravines and falls from living fog.

And red paint in every stoplight staring out,
waiting for a greenlit go.

Only a song, and the changing of seasons.

What will December bring
but your voice from far away?
No, not you nor your voice;
echo and echo,
snowflakes down a long and lonely line.

[Original Post Date: 11/14/2003]

* * *

Found this old piece and converted it into a poem. Ex-girlfriend at the time was setting off to traipse through Europe for winter break. And I wrote this thinking about missing her and waiting for a red light green. Somewhat lame.

Aggro Culture

We reached the point where dying became less fun,
It took nearly three decades of trying:
Cultivating madness over barren soil, passing fallow
Seasons in the fields with shovels in our hands
Etching away at dirt for rain trenches
And irrigated lines; the seeds were planted,
Our crop sang prolific as we gorged ourselves
Upon the labor of our desperation, vines of wild-eyed
Grapes, prodigious wheat, frenetic orchids
In a garden of haphazard colors.
We tended to the whims of our fruit
And madness sprung from the earth to clutch at
Stars with its clutching tendrils, clutching, oh but
We fed the disease with diverted veins,
Watered them well with green and blue ether,
Until now, the toll and toil too taxing to complete;
This harvest, this yield, we can no longer stomach
Its burden yet by dirty light it blooms,
Produces another bushel, another peck.