One

When I close my eyes,
Standing in the shower,
The warmth of the water wrapped around me,
I am not white.

I am not male.
I am not hairy.
I am not slightly overweight.

I am not a father, husband, son, or brother.
I am not a Democrat, a liberal or progressive.
I am not a Christian.
I am not educated.
I am not 40 something.

I am. Only.
Just like the one who created me.

Like you.
Like your neighbor.
Like the outcast, the other and my enemy.

I am.

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Life Boat

Suspended between air and water
Supported on the weight of wood
Timbers pitch on waves, wondering
What next

How slight the buoyant barrier
Holding this life
From the next

What dreams lie beneath this boat
What sleep awaits
When the will of this wood gives way

liar

In one mouth hangs a bleeding
black tongue.
The other whores a sweet venom.
And both breathe air that rots
and turns to dust.

She lies in her thorny lair,
head buried, shitting
yokeless, fragile stones.

With one eye watching the sky
she gleans her stillborn births,
devouring her defecations
as sacrament, as rite.

And yet she smiles
knowing

In the dark shade, hidden in the sun,
beat the wings of a biblical bird,
lightning in its beak,
talons seeking to sepaerate
word from wretched flesh.

Yellow House

Under the green light, a green shade,
And in the shadows arms flicker.
A moth beats his wings to a funky jam
and disco rumbles from hollow stones.

In the sweaty night hairy human voices
breathe the hot confidence of knowledge
and youth,
sucking in air to make it magic.

In the john a light bulb dangles
with bald eye staring down
into the depths of human defecation;
and as time weathers on
warped planks grow wise with age.

Between black-on-white Rorschach walls
inked-on acid-like eyes
follow the lines of conversation
and smoke,
each wandering towards the night.

In stream-of-conscious-like sublimity
questions rise like bubbles from
drunken voices; voices follow
and honesty shines.

But beyond this beatific abode, hanging
behind a vague ambiguity,
a silver glint from the mind’s eye,
a knowing looms.

Longing

In the silence at the center of an oak
the ancient word holds.
Ages growing outward, rippling forward
toward persistent flesh,
Where sensation and the soul softly kiss.

I have the ancient word in my bones,
embedded in dark marrow,
murmuring the unconscious rhythms
of ebb and flow.

Like Santiago and immortal Ishmael,
I have salt running through my veins,
a wordless poem found in siren and lost sailor.

Voices consumed, transformed into songs of the sea,
whispers of the tide, wet tongues
against weathered wood, silent sands.

Send me the saturated voice,
the deliquescent desire, drifting
in an empty boat, a falling tide.

Carved from the ancient oak,
from the ripened flesh
of the immortal tree,
come my silent children.

From my bloodied hands, sent to sea,
and ever since searching
amid the laughing gull, the empty conch,
the lost word.

Love Letters

To you,

Child of the Wind
Floating among currents
That form sails and lift the sea
To celebratory undulation.

In molding these watery tenders of mine,
The liquid surge of emotions rise,
Revealing your naked breast to me.

Yet, your love must roam and be
Separate from both sail and sea,
So only my words can provide
Life to love that would have died.

I hang limp off the hard bow,
And taste upon my tongue
The salty breeze as I feel you run.

Water Poem: I

Rain,
A river from the sky,
Slides down beams
Of forsaken sun.

I, a man
whose days have washed in-
to wider currents,
watch:
A woman-child dancing
to the green songs
of spring rain.

And I long to be like water–

as old as the ocean
as young as the rain.

Somnolence

There, an image like a dream,

like a pebble in a dark pool,

rippling in concentric circles

with regularity until reach-

ing definite boundaries,

here to absorb

this energy

like magic,

Becoming

Green hills,

Speaking words of life.

 

In Signature

Could I carve shape from clouds,
or mold water to form;

Could I brush the sky in rainbow hue
or pen poems in midnight’s black ink;

Were I Nature’s sole artist,
And could create
Great monuments sublime,

None would endure so long, or burn so bright
As the fires within which move me to write.

Marking Time

Mr. Coffee wheezes the final strains
of dry smoke and memory–
an usher down unconscious aisles,

Into rooms roped off with whispers,
where dust embalms each breath of life,
the lost words and forgotten quotes
that echoed in an empty room.

And ashes that once were rose —
petals too often touched with remembrance,
are preserved in an old Folgers jar.

Only souvenirs of silence remain,
a photograph that speaks no name,
and a passion left unclaimed.

Waiting

Stilled in frozen waters within,
Three-fourths the man awaits freedom.

Already at thirty-six the core gives way,
The center cannot hold,
And the man begins decay.

Yet the flesh that bounds
Life to form–holds
As the insidious drip seeps through
Contracted cracks of a melting mold.

But still, the pressure mounts
Like swollen tides, beating down stormy shores.
And, I, the islander, await to see
The fury that will wash away
So many lines of a darkened time.

When the mid-night ebb crawls back to bay
And scars that stood have weathered away,
Morning light from seasons new
Shall resolve crystals of indecision
                                              into a dew.

And once more I will find peace
In the watery tenders of my mind.

butterflies

butterflies don’t fly at night,
for fear what their flight might find.
erratic opaque wing
flung against the shadows,
so delicate, so delicious.

where the mind is a moth
flying in safe circles
between lamp light and sitcom,
dining on leftover lunch,
afraid to touch moonlit memory
or tempt the luscious tongue
of dionysian dark.

perched at the window
of where one might go
with motivation,

but butterflies don’t fly at night,
beauty alone defines their heights.

Pulling Weeds

The sea garden grew
In remains of weathered stone,
And Paupa pulled weeds,
Tending to the past.

But in the corner of a crashing wave
A lost child watched
Sea oats bobbing
Silly.

After much care in remove, death’s
Bloom stood alone.
But madness in a child is lush
With the growth of discontent.

     The sea garden grew
     Around the weathered stones
Strong, like death’s dark bloom,
     But only the child knew.

Standing in a dally of vacant thought
The foreigner watched the keeper
Pull the weeds that grew deeper
Than an old man’s preening ought.