Thursday, June 30, 2005

While I'm Flying

The earth is endless dirt
hung like burrs on the sun’s hide,
but quick in vast air bubble,
orb massing ocean out of orbit
and informing chlorophyll –
we each breathe our brevity
by green plumping blue.

Our ancestors forge one line
straight through the cargo door.
my feet step out
and I’m an element unloosed.

At silent heights, things approach:
tidbit of salt;
nectar from light clear to clover;
dew off a buckling black drogue ‘chute
seems to loop, then pirouette on.

Aground, a tug from the soil.
Fire in its eloquent grass under snow
clouds water out of coiled wood –
they are the sun, darkness inside-out,
like the trees are blood from bone.

The commotion in my sleeves
points me belly-down
and within that,
rock heft temerity is primed
for the ogling hole of the mind,

how there is the sigh,
how the whoosh, of its flannel patches,
cranium its delight:
I plunge through jaggedly-sewn me
gripping gravity.

An exhalation is lapping stars
clean again, a rhythm like
a child with a mixing bowl,
beating the seas senseless.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sun Conjuncts Sunday

I rub my scarred cornea,
brush a bread-specked platen down,
then mow the whole visual field:
Map and pen get swept across dust
edged out by routine place-setting
and dispatches about local property.

Folks bristle at the carve of a corridor
already lined with rimed pine tines
and wraiths bricking against the boulevard.
A hand there smooths blueprints,
pivoting burnisher in smallest parry
to flick at the nits of drying glue.

Morning is a few mugsful of dance:
I samba slow to the cat mewling;
turn an amusing Peabody at the crossword puzzle;
spin into a buttered bagel polka
like waltzing Mount Hood, ibex-kneed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


In the tree
One branch sways
Over dry leaves,

One branch over that,
Then twigs.

I do not arrive,
Going and returning –

I walk downhill
And onto the bay
Breaking the mirror.

Swans hiss:
Ten-thousand shards,
Ten-thousand selves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Elegy for One's Self

You did not embarrass me with
the apricot corsage, bottle of
wordless complicity.
How much you spent for dinner
and your screams at night
I know won’t suffice.

The litho posters
are stuck to photographs; odd
haircuts and teeth
in a head no longer yours.

Who helped to cart
the rental truck,
the weather
you are. And you left
without the Egyptian
pipe cutting tools,
school papers and spools of wire and thread.

You never did this side of the bridge,
this after that island was home.
There are double yellow
traffic lights and
where there was only snow,
for a moment I am climbing an oak,
there you are,

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Terracinth: Getting Balance Off Balance

Muck smells at first thaw –
as last year’s dying finally does,
fields push flowers into air.

Birds have ground to a halt in this low sky,
the graphite lake brittle below.
Rowboats don’t line up for long.
drifting foam beside its fabric yellows.

Walking the house wall round
I’m beside myself and giddy,
perhaps grasping
the two of this questioning thumb:

In our leaf shape, we space out;
expecting dreams, hands fill up;
the leaves fall away
and slowly buried, a tree.

So far, in these dimensions,
I’ve cornered distance once.
Now, down an empty road,
I can feel the edge of sight in my feet,
hear space recede between atoms.

Knee deep, I’m lumbering to the door.
There’s no point to a current calendar,
picturesque and at eye level:
Seasons are full of moon,
rocking forward and back on spokes.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Two Dreams that Distort Daytime

It will be, after all, hours before I get to sleep;
me and my repetitive behavior, pacing this room.
I’m here often, arms in the grain of wood panels,
these legs becoming russet twill rugs.
Cold morning floor tiles at the north end are not,
well, obvious, but sensible certainly,
the way I know I’m waking alone as thoughts stagger in,
holding onto each other in a renewed effort to stand
and speak between clenched teeth.

Sometimes it’s harder deciding which lamp to light,
or whether to raise the blind over the window,
than pulling out a pair of pants, socks, shoes
when my body becomes re-inhabited. But where do I appear?
Who says hello, holding me steady with closed eyes?

Somewhere, you sweep your kitchen, and in the air
a pale scent of the soap I use, like a smile
at your wall hangings, settles along the furniture.
There’s a telephone ringing, cars seem to pull up
at the sidewalk, one after another, and a shuffling dog
snuffles at the door. Any of these may bring me:
patina of a person outside his immediate life,
dancing on a thin line of afternoon sunlight.
Yet what is beautiful is exactly what’s terrible
about this view across the bay, the deep distance.

You must remember to tell me –
those stars, purposeful and entirely out of reach:
are they painted nearer than I might believe?
Even there, if I were to pray to them
and reach my soul out for the haste of touch,
would that precious searing of light simply smear,
and lose its perfect perspective of depth
with all the other distorted joys of dimension?

Then who would I turn to? Who, after the last song,
is delighted enough to leave the dancehall, walk through one gate
along a familiar cinder path and knock at this welcoming door?
There are some things in the autumn air which I cannot seek out,
which must choose to fly down with sudden streaks of oak leaf
to pierce my chest and, quaking, wake me again and again.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

My Country’s Like That Other Myth

Down the street, Hope makes her legs work, a scary sight, enough
Sway to question, “How long has she been out?”

Meaning out of her house of disease, and tremor, and infection.
Amazing the oldest buildings she lives by have the most craft in the carvings, the most

Care, like once the workers in Philadelphia sat and thought up a republic and spent years fashioning fantastic architecture.

Hope doesn’t have that kind of time, can’t get thirty of her friends together, pestilence and greed, say, to layout a foundation and brick in the pattern of a publican’s. She can’t

Sit and chisel the necessary gargoyles, spin fifty white newels, trim the keystone, fit it, take it out and place it again, make another and fit that keystone, pull it out in frustration,

Go home for a long meal and a walk to the forge for another peen, return two days later and chip out the right, fitting arch stone.

Up the road, Hope is loathing the tone of high noon, the turn in mid stride that interrupts her pledge. The quality care and feeding still go to despair and strife, to terror and typhus.

And the republic gets back-burnered, time borrowed from, oh, food, basically. And the pursuit of the contents of Hope’s tremendous home. The love it would take to put the

Finish to this peak is more terrible than any in history, real or imagined or hoped.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Alan's froth

There is a housing bubble in the country and the realtors that make money off of high housing prices say there is not a bubble. The banks that are not making a lot of money off of the interest rates are afraid there might be a bubble, but they won’t bridle because six percent is six percent, and if the mortgages default there is real property attached. There is a lot more than money invested here.

A very small percent of the realtors are actually making sales in a tight housing market. Prices only go up when there is short supply. So there are a lot of realty people dreaming. And of course, housing ownership is a classic dream, which realtors and banks exploit for profit by allowing people to enter mortgage contracts they are unable to reasonably fulfill. And after that, dreaming of getting twice what you paid for a house would be a dream indeed!

And yes the banking corporations are dreaming that the numbers of the national averages will be convincing enough to the people and corporations in very populous areas that they won’t notice the local bubbles, Alan’s froth. Because in real estate investment, where the asset is as fixed as fixed can be, bubbles are only local, but the effect of the dream is national.

And there goes the American dream, sometimes awake and sometimes asleep, but always kept to the edges of awareness. Do not be fooled, do not be foolish, and always work hard… But don’t forget your dreams. Take a look, and sometimes you may not even really want what you dream about, not nightmares necessarily, but all the odd distortions of the sublimely unfocused mind can be truly ridiculous. And the way this focus works is that even the waking, practical mind is distorted when operating.

Is there any connection among the bank employees, the school taxes, the assessors, the commission rates, the resale value, reseller, and buyer? To view that there is not is either to dream or to reason tortuously.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Enzo outside of Deer Park

Enzo lopes down the streets and avenues, especially looking at the restaurants and delis, for future reference. Which he knows is amusing, in a way, his memory doesn’t work that like that. Nor does his evaluator: white linens with stemmed glassware are attractive, wood worked panel in the background is attractive. Enzo likes the turn of the century turn of the door step stone outside, and likes what it says about the chef’s abilities. He will recall all of this except the address.

If Enzo feels left out of something, there is the cosmos that is Manhattan to consider. So much to be excluded from! And so sumptuous a carte! The city, despite the past mayoral and cultural purges, is pornographic in its availability. Each bistro is a darkening passage to other, more exciting life. He could wear so many new watches, stride confidently in moss green huraches to the cool marble lobby of this and that condo.

And in the heating linen of a today’s work clothes, Enzo knows that it is flat dissatisfaction that brings him to this pitch of frustration. He’s lost himself in that fun house of windows that confuse. Each outlook is so like another in its desirability, and Enzo is so desperate in his craving for the new, he slams headlong into another clear panel of perspective. But what harm, to want the black leather purse with gold for his wife, to want to select the raciest, most red remote controlled cars for his children? Enzo also knows that it is not the objects, but the matrix of capability that is missing. The one that can buy a new watch and huraches can afford a house here and there, too. That one can move smoothly across the marble atria into metro-fusion cafes and dine without thought of tomorrow, a lily of an urbane and fashionable field.

Like so many of the New York stories which need the telling of need where there is no need, Enzo’s petty wrestling with desire would seem inconsequential if there were not an entire religion founded on his very dilemma. Enzo knows this, and knows too his self awareness is very nearly meaningless. There are others in Manhattan worse off in innumerable ways, this is plain. Yet, how can his empathy develop when he cannot clearly perceive that the endless fantasy built around him is unattainable? What does he care if others lack when he lacks so profoundly? This mind which Enzo assumes he owns holds desires that he knows are undesirable.

Enzo wants a hotdog with sautéed onions, and Enzo wants water. He wants to walk quickly and see the green median between the faces of the Park Avenue canyon. To watch again as the architectural ages meet in the sky and watch the surprise take place, which never fails, in Enzo’s mind. Enzo wonders today, if there is too much room in that mind.