Friday, September 19, 2014

Parenthetical Valentine (for Lee)

We are only given a few
people to love maybe
just one or two at a time
which is really all
we have room for
they seem so huge
and wonderfully adapted
to us because we are all
so paranoid and refuse
to talk about the past
to which already a whole season
was dedicated while the other
three movements are to love
which is always about the future
and what you just said

Allegorical Valentine

Doubt occupies the whole
middle portion of the landscape
after a brief streak of ignorance
always a delicate thing
despair alternating with joy
crushed or in expectation
of being crushed
torn or in expectation
of being torn
just watch how the moon
is drawn out of the heart
of the earth and set there
like a stone around its neck
or like a pebble thrown
and skipping brightly
then all of a sudden sunk

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birthday Valentine

My goal is to be born
and live every day
until I can say today’s
my birthday every day
all 365 lives it will take
to overcome one day of death
it’s like the person we create
pursues his own decay
so a rescuer is sent out after him
then another after him and so on
forcing time to expand
to accommodate the losses
I was going to say crevasses
my goal is to die
every birthday
and be born
the next day

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guardian's Valentine

Today it will rain a lot
but be sunny later
cold tonight but
warming by morning
I notice only a few
things about these
passing meditations
when a helicopter and
a dove fly over me
in close formation
exposing the shame
I feel for my diseased
pomegranate tree
whose fruit splits open
when it hits the bricks
a black mold ascends
from leaking pus
and white infant seeds
strangled in their
perfect beds spill
out on the ground
I fear the tree is me
I fear it will never heal
and you will see

Monday, September 15, 2014

So Be It Valentine

So be it to all things
I say so be it
to the man who destroys
his father’s garden
so be it to the couple
fucking in the backseat
of a Buick parked on
Main Street in the middle
of the afternoon so
be it that we still use
war and disease to cull
the herd so be it finally
whatever it takes
to prove the absurd
existence of the soul

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Revelation Valentine

Now I see the petals
symbolize the youth
and the seeds old age
in the dream drama
of the garden wild
beasts do devour
us but because
we loved once and
must still do
unstoppably the beasts
grow radiant with
the light we grow on
from within their
darkest hearts

Alzheimer's Valentine

Please don’t vent at me
if I forget to close
the front door I’m old
now and dispensable
details of earthly life
don’t interest me
as much anymore
I’ve set my sights
on darker prospects
but curiously only dark
if seen from this more
mysterious side of life
where we first learn
that love is the opposite
of death what death

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Island Valentine

How many lives on earth
have we backed into
resisting re-immersion
in a mineral body
a stone that in itself
symbolizes millennia
of lives laid down to this
curious twist of coral
let’s swim to the other island
we think but nobody says it
that island out there
where the lost are gathering
where the sun is building
a whole new body
for a whole new earth

Friday, September 12, 2014

Life's Valentine

When it’s time to hand in
the essay on your choice
of life’s contraindications
and you still haven’t found a pen
though you already feel stricken
by this morning’s eager light
prostrate on the floor before you
how can the most powerful
thing be the most humble
gentle and enfolding thing
but even before we got here
the gods were divided
into two camps engaged
in a never-ending campaign
in which we my love
are what’s lost or gained

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Unbearable Valentine

How are ants and antelopes able
to go about their lives following
their immediate feelings first
strenuously obeying seasonal whims
with no personal stake in the matter
while we outfox ourselves if we can
with knowledge we cannot bear
which crushes the body
and will not let it go
this body which would live forever
if only the soul wouldn’t lie
if only the soul would get out
of the way nothing would die

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spiritual Longing Valentine

What spirit doesn’t long
for the earth what goodness
doesn’t finally beg for
something dissolute to do
doesn’t wish to be sent back
to Poughkeepsie or the Peloponnesus
the world is just big enough
to swallow all our shame
I keep trying to remember
when I first fell in love with the world
this Bethlehem before all
the endless constellations
this research project of the gods
so material life can be
safely contained and studied
before it too widely spreads

Autumnal Valentine

Incompleteness fills the world
the yet-to-be-finished
the left undone
never to be solved
the silence never heard yet
despite the endless listening
which creates the kind
of mood the streets are laid in
like gems and glued down
with colorful banners
on agile trees
so obvious it’s still a child
who draws the world
as if on large sheets
of brown butcher paper
taped up around a room

Harvest Moon Valentine #2

The moon is there the way
the past is there -- stoic
rhythmical and glowing
but the sun is always
only about the future
the advancing illuminations
and discoveries yet to
be recovered while the past
remains on ceremonial terms
with us though it calls us
by our first names and knows
and keeps our secrets
it still wants to be young with us
but we cannot love it anymore
we cannot give our hearts
to a cold stone caught in space
merely reflecting the sun’s surface

Monday, September 8, 2014

Harvest Moon Valentine

I can feel the full moon shining
on the upper side of these clouds
raining down on us in torrents
but up there on that dance floor
the yellow moon is swaying
while here below we are
getting soaked and praying
for one house down the street
the lightening broke and entered
the roof collapsed and four
bodies were buried in a second
it looked like judgment
the way the old and sick
are separated from the herd
in this case the most brilliant

Drying Out Valentine

In the sky on the floor
reflected in the grassy
water on the flooded patio
I sit watching the sun begin
to suck it all back up again
but it will take a week of hard
pulling by the orange tree
and the crippled pomegranate
tree and the drowned grass
the endless rain’s intimate life
left in the patterns of debris
long carrying and locating
and so exactly setting down
each of the earth’s lost things

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Marital Valentine

Old man fear
and old lady anxiety
walked out of a bar one day
I heard fear say
mind if I spend the night
sure if the couch is OK
how fear do snore
gives anxiety frights
you just can’t get anything
done with these people
who refuse to love he say
anxiety snuggles closer
fear gets kind of excited but
it’s not love if you force her

September Valentine

This morning Christ
showed me snails
to stare at I must
look them up tiny
flat pin-wheel
bits of mahogany
stately planetary
in their movements
one of which I pulverized
into a black hole’s
accidental crunch
a dissipating dust-storm
while the several others
around it sailed on
across the patio ocean
as if mindful of some
destiny or port

Friday, September 5, 2014

Illusory Valentine

Trapped in the cul-de-sac
of self I would have had
to end myself is that
the emergency I’ve arrested
or who am I living for
pretending death absolves me
from the sin of life alone
when only a further aloneness
waits at the end of alone
my death would be inconclusive
if I’ve not died to myself
not thought through death to see
there is no life alone
no more than death can be

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Innocent Valentine

I had to kill myself
in self-defense
that’s why it wasn’t
murder I was merely
defending myself
against myself
when all I wanted
was surrender
not defeat but
room made to
hold something
new to sunder
and complete

The Future Hovers in the Air Above Us Valentine

The ancient mysteries
were all about the future
the skeletons of the virgins
they knew they’d find there
no tumulus left unturned
as if we dug up the bones
of our own former lives
blunt force trauma
every creature
needs a body
a vessel a tool
to animate
even God had to
become a parent
to prove he existed
to love his son

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hart's Valentine

If in despair of outer life
hopeless into the helpless sea
one leaps one night
will a drop be missed
if the soul forgets it too exists
startled to find flesh and bones
merely a fashionable garment
discarded on the shore next day
useless to try to get away
and yes death is the problem
but more death is not the way
how we are killing one another
and ourselves because we make
a religion of the body believing
it’s all over when it ends