With eyes that breach the air,
departing across the runway curves
of a naked back, lifting off and
out through the open window
and onto the thin, cobbled street,
speckled with crowds scuffling,
walking straight while looking down.
Continuing now with a spiralling,
panning back up the brick blocks of
an 18th-century maison off Rue Royale,
snaking in between the rods of
black cast iron balconies,
ice clinking like a chilled swordfight,
Sazerac swirling and dripping off tongues.
With ears that perk to the booming
of drums and black shoes tap-
marching, the squeal of trumpets,
lagniappe spirituals belting from
the lips of Creole youngsters down Rampart;
the wind is loud and soaked carrying
glee-filled shouting and the precursors
to a drunken day melting into drunken night.
But for now, her breathing brings her closer
and then away, bellowing sweet, slim nostrils
flaring, reaching to steal the scent of
deep chicory and powdered pasteries where
Cafe du Monde ushers in wave after wave,
filling their bodies with that centuries-old need,
spitting them out into the mule-dipped Square.
And the cathedral bell spills into the morning,”
abruptly snipping the conclusion of her dreams;
she livens up the sheets with limbs stirring
and as I watch the Mississippi brew and swirl
inside the brown-green bayou of her eyes,
her voodoo charming my Cajun soul, flooding
me, shuttering my levee heart without ceasing.
“I’m not saying I am Beetlejuice,
But I cannot promise
That if you scream my name 3 times
I won’t come.”
“I would pick you up,
Even if my arms were drowning
And you were the unforgiving sea.”
With a stiffened arm,
I topple all of my poetry,
books, and whisky bottles
all at once into a wrinkled duffle.
I twist my knuckles into
the mirror, taking shards out
to rearrange my features, to
become another version of me.
The money is out of the bank
but everything else will remain
as it was, candles still on shelves,
change still on the counter.
I’ve expired myself.
Given a piece to all who wanted it,
auctioning off my best parts.
(She still has my eyes.)
I’m looking to disappear.
Harness my soul in another temple.
To completely engulf myself in flame
and come out of the ashes sparkling.
There is nothing here for us”
to mark the end of the seasons
so let my shedding be
the universe’s cue to start anew.
“Remotely I keep hidden
thoughts of dew on roses
and chocolate hearts,
of love in the forms
shades of red and blue.
Our eyes blinking out
echoes, tiny plinks from an
aging upright piano,
through a barely open
window, sending muted
notes of Horowitz
upon the drabs of a
bellowing, misty wind.
find one another,
know one another,
like how black knows darkness?
Drifting about quietly
like clouds across
the open skies of summer.
Kissing our shoulders
together until distance
is no distance at all but
spaces in between our
breathless midnight words.”
How hard it is to accept the grandeur and wonder of the entire universe when we connect it to some supreme being, rather than accepting creation as a perfect string of fortunate events.. that we are in fact made from someone’s hands rather than the stars..
I want to be part of space, part of a larger whirling thing, rather than part of the plan of someone I cannot prove exists.
Religion is important to some, in fact, to most. I admire this. It gives peace and purpose to those who cannot find peace and purpose within themselves, or from things around them.
But as I look into the sky at night, lassoing around the stars and the non-flickering planets… that is my birth. I want to be cosmic, not spiritual. Universal, not religious. Science and space live in my lungs and makes my heart beat.
I have religious followers, and to them I ask to not judge me by my personal views. Religious insensitivity is what causes war and bloodshed. But we all have different needs. My eyes are constantly searching beyond, something that cannot be contained within the walls of the church.
The slender spine, the feel,
The off-white pages against
The tips of my thumbs.
I forget everything
Except what exists
In my hands.
Is just background,
Held tightly against my chest-
Moving to my heartbeat-
Filling my nostrils with
An ethereal perfume.
The novel is a woman.
The want of nothing
But to touch,
To read every word
On every page
To reach the end.
To sleep beside-”
To dream within-
To escape for a moment
Without ever leaving the room.
There are little ribbons of
At the foot of the bed.
As my feet hit the floor,
They lift off,
Like dust particles through rays of light.
I pick one up.
Curled and wilting,
Yellowed like an old man’s tooth.
The name read louder
Than a war alarm.
It whispered danger,
The parchment sending
heat through my fingers.
She was always fire.”
Wild and free, sucking
All the air there was left.
“I never got over
My fear of flying.
But you showed me
The sky as it was
Meant to be seen,
The wind as it was
Meant to be felt,
How to be higher
Than planes will go.
Take me anywhere.
..Are your poems about me?”
She was three highballs in
On a dripping Saturday night.
The windows curving the wet wind,
Directing it to her breathless skin.
Shivering just enough to
Make her look alive.
Her almond eyes blinking with
Lashes tapping like bird wings.
She already knew the answer.
I smiled and grabbed a Sharpie.
Lifting her dress up and off
Her thin body, she shivered again.
Upon her silky smooth stomach”
I wrote, “you are every poem.”
I kissed the punctuation, punctuating
The moment with my lips.
chalky bendy bits
all wrapped in
popped out of place
back in with a snap
curving our arms
twisting our noses
around our oblong faces.
but we die and
our favorite parts
dissipate and decay
and all that’s left:
our wilted skeleton.
we fold our hands
around each other
following our spines
with slivers of
fragile, ivory cartilage.
we are our bones”
when we lay together
when we embrace
the cages that hold
our hearts and minds.
There was an acre of land
That I bought for $300,000
4 years ago to the day.
That is what I remember.
We had 2 horses, Rich and Poor
And they were inseparable.
A typical barn of red with big doors
That opened to bales of hay.
The lot was squared off with pine
That leaked sap onto the driveway.
It stuck to the bottoms of our shoes
And sounded like duct tape being removed.
It’s been 4 years now since
We gave it all up and moved up north,
Away from the damned rat race
And the traffic and the bourgeoisie.
It was rough at first.
To keep the chickens happy
As well as the fig trees,
We were always chasing the clock.
But it became sweetly routine.
Our bodies adjusting to the
Bending and shoveling, the shaking,
We fell in love again during harvests.
I bought her denim suspenders.
We would’ve laughed at this sight
Mere years ago but then,
She was the land and I tilled her heart.
We knew water wouldn’t last forever.
It is Northern California, with an
Impending dust bowl.
Our dream would vanish someday.
The chickens were sold
And so was the barn, and the acre.
We bought a modest place
Packed away in the wood.
We still talk about Rich and Poor.
We argue over our favorites.
She loved Rich, big and strong,
A face of white snowy blotches.
Poor had a gimp leg, always in pain.
It broke her heart.
It would whimper in the morning
While she sipped her tea.
We put it to sleep before the winter.
Rich was alone with all his muscle
And no one to flex for.
He refused to eat and later passed.
We seemed to be losing so much.
But in that moment we grasped
Our hands together like we were
Holding on to the steering wheel of life.
Land is land, squared and measured,
Sold in bundles, exchanged.
We watched the sun setting
With our lips wet with wine.
We lost only space, and filled it”
With all that we had left.
Our hearts beating into the night
Waking to a new silence.
I couldn’t love her.
Not a second went by without
A darkness fogging her eyes,
Sweeping her away to some place
Far, where I had no license to be.
Damn, we could’ve held everything.
I could’ve even been the sun
To make her shadows bearable.
But not today. Not any day, it seems,
A whole lot of nothing wrapped together,
But doesn’t that make you something?
If you lack all the things I love,
Does that just make you a vessel
For my forthcoming letdown?
I blamed you for years,
For your darkness blossoming into my skin
Like a tea bag in hot water.
But little did I know, just like
Roaches and bats and rats and the like
Who seek the blackness for comfort,
You were happy all along.
Just not my kind of happy.
I’ve gathered my sorries”
In a bouquet of apologies
And dropped it at your feet.
Because darling, it seems as I cannot be
The dimming moon in your charcoal sky.
I’m an old man, babe.
I can’t keep up with you
like I used to.
How do you keep your beauty?
I’m holding on
to the hairs I’ve got left,
fumbling to catch pedals flitting
off my flowering head.
Look at all those men.
Throwing glances like frisbees
your way, courting and hoping.
Look at what I’m up against, babe.
Look at their swimmer bodies.
If I wake without pain,
it’s a good day indeed.
"You’re graying, darling."
You say things like that and laugh,
reassuringly, saying it looks good.
That it gives off an air of intrigue,
worldliness and wisdom.
I’m alive inside my aging container.
I could throw weights across
a high school football field
if my soul had hands.
But instead I’m left with
a beer gut to toss around,
trying to avoid looking disgusting
when I climb on top of you,
and not like some bear
looking for a tree to mount.
We men are trouble.”
Burly, surly, overgrown baby monsters.
But women, we love you to death.
Hell, we would probably drink less
if you asked us to.
There’s a light on
Inside your eyes
But are you home?”