Monday, June 29, 2015

World’s Valentine

So it turns out
all I wanted
all along was
just to rest
my heavy head
on your chest
dear lord
and have you
promise me
again the world
itself a reject
of love
itself  love’s
whole concern

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Gospel Valentine

I have nothing to say
which is why I chose
to say it this way
my task is to say nothing
just get out of the way
which is easier to say
than to do who knew
but yes that’s also true
I knew nothing except
the consciousness of loss
of something missing
as if here on earth
we’re always waiting
for the other shoe to drop
or wondering
if we missed it

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Normal Valentine

Look this isn‘t normal
the earth is not normal
do you see another
like it which
perceives itself
self-protectively
as human where
materiality assumes
what sentience consumes
the beauty of the body
equal to the spirit
when you look into
the mirror of the moon
where will you find
another like it

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fiery Valentine

It’s like every summer
tries to soar higher
than the one before
what else are these fires for
but to see us leap
as children who dare
total extinguishment
with ash and joy to spare
as if we were made to leap
higher and higher
fluttering legs and arms
singed and scarred
by the raging fire’s veils
drawn back to uncharm
for a moment the glowing
face of the real

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Promissory Valentine

Isn’t this what summer promises
that we can all be lifted up
into distant lofty places
deep blue and silvery spaces
where great intelligences reach
if we would only lie down on a beach
somewhere and let the gold of the sun
flow through us into the sand
and feel our bones root down
into the lines and forms of the earth
as when our mothers held us
and our fathers gave us birth
one who just wanted us to live
and one who knew we would die
but how can those who bring life out of life
birth one who brings life out of death
except the earthly be taken up
and heaven come down to die 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parts Valentine

Not only do we not want to love
or accept others as they are
but we don’t want to love
or accept ourselves either
I love you but I don’t like you
I tell myself almost every day
I don’t have to like you
I just have to respect you I say
we use our judgmental consonants
instead of our grateful vowels
we still think I’m better
if you’re worse we still forget
all our lives are made up
of interchangeable parts
more or less courageous

Not I but Words (St. John’s Day) Valentine

When I was in grammar school
my favorite teacher said aloud
to me so everyone could hear
you have a flair for words
I was embarrassed for her cliché
but her proud words marked
and mocked and stalked me
my whole life with their lie
because it was words who had me
not the other way around
I loved letting language use me
and run through me whenever
I could get out of its way
just to hear what it had to say

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Free Valentine

The perception of an idea
like Niagara Falls is freedom
perhaps the only freedom there is
though of course we still live with the dead
who go on needing our love and response
as we theirs their dead ideas remain behind
lodged in the great repositories of thought
but when you think of a thing like singing
you know what it’s like to burst
into an opera of thought the plot
of a thinker thinking his own
free thoughts all the parts
sung by the same brilliant actor
beaming in the audience of the heart

Monday, June 22, 2015

Solstice from the Other Side Valentine

Think of the year as a fairy-tale
when you come to the dead of summer
gathered together in a great field
all the dead of all the summers
they must be the reason for so much
light and warmth the endless afternoons
until you realize how intently
you’ve been laying there and listening
for someone or something to step
out of the blazing pool of silence
for the stillness itself to speak
until you sense they’re waiting
for you to tell them not to rest
not to lose their souls for death
not to give up on you

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Solstice Valentine

After that last great battle in heaven
while the dust was still settling
which at length became the earth
and stray cherubs still played
with pieces of leftover lightening
placing them here and there
as the first lakes and rivers
forcing mountains to assert themselves
one finally lifting off as the moon
rejected source of all hidden desires
polished pearl of clammy nights
calmly then did the good gods assemble
to assess the cosmic damage and survey
the dilemma they had set for themselves
now how to magic back the lonely soul
of each individual thing they had made
how repair each wrong so carefully committed

Saturday, June 20, 2015

History of Art Valentine

Full frontal abstract thinking
enters painting with Kandinsky
but still when I look at my naked foot
I can’t help thinking of da Vinci’s
exemplary drawing of a man’s appendage
made for scientific purposes
only secondarily artistic
but can’t it work the other way
where something wholly imaginary
also carries a practical heft
when the things we make replace us
only in this world are our thoughts
divorced from what we do
in the next they get married again

Friday, June 19, 2015

Apocalyptic Valentine

We see the earth will get sick and die
like any other human being or creature
as with everything on earth
it must be born and die
and that we must figure principally
in its slow and then sudden demise
one morning everything will take
a turn for the worse but how could it
be different from the lord that we
must be the ones to kill it
so that we can raise it up in time
lift it free of both birth and death
into a new planet of light
coming now from a sun inside
how could the earth be
different from the lord
who entered it as seed
and died and rose

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Adjusted Valentine

That pin those angels
are dancing on
could be my head
at any given point
in these proceedings
I often wanted to be a ballroom
where everyone was dancing
or sitting it out at little tables
sipping beers or seven-and-sevens
but that never was my scene
I always felt the train
I wanted to be on just left
the station so now
everything will need
to be adjusted accordingly
thus I survived until you came

Passing Valentine

I pass for much younger than I am
I could pass for Chaucer’s clerk
look it up yourself or don't
once I passed for a royal jerk
I had to memorize lines
stolen from classical plays
to slip past my audience
it’s really easy to be no one
which is all anyone really is
or should want to be
having been someone
or having known someone
important famous privileged
how it weighs you down
I pass for a free spirit
I practice passing it on

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Death is Not Romantic Valentine (for Erin)

Even on some of the hottest mornings
down here in the low desert
in certain places under certain
cosmic pre-conditions
a dew can happen
in dead grass
you get to see the gestation
of a rainbow so I sat down
to watch a solitary diamond drop
evaporate as our own very eyes
must do one magic day
the day we stand between
the worlds leaving one
entering another
and feel ourselves evaporate
distilled to stillness
invisible as light

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Friend’s Valentine

Sometimes I see you as a character
out of Dickens the way you can
bloviate of course Dickens was
a prodigious bloviator and
spinner of wildly convoluted tales
going back to his Scythian forebears
and like his own Micawber always
just two steps ahead of the naïve
and sentimental police and/or reader
but that’s just how we love someone
when we love them their unique
strangeness and performance of life
the innate peculiar artistry of each
individual human thing about them