Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Written Valentine

The impression left on one side
of the paper by something written
on the other is like braille
little bumps and ridges
of a language in reverse
a dialect in decline
irregular verbs that fail
to out-Pollack the snail
the way the earth is like
the shadow cast
by some great creature
its residue drifting downward
into matter while above
high up strides love

Monday, September 29, 2014

Michaelmas Valentine

How much of our
much-vaunted physics
is just shit made up
by scientists with the imaginations
of disappointed poets
how much of our medicine
is just a shill to commerce
and tecnhology how much
do we still fear sharing
the earth as if we would lose
our separate identities
all the way to the coast
I drove hearing your words
how the world emerges only in the space
where darkness touches light

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Poet's Valentine (for Bill)

In the next century
all the best poetry will be anonymous
the lower ego will have all
been finally driven out of it
so it can stand by itself again
as the chatty accomplice
of the starry worlds and nature
as soon as the rain’s been gulped
all the way into the placid ground
then more rain comes forcing
the snails to run up the walls all night
but by morning only a blind poet
can read the cosmic script they leave
a rambling rejection letter I believe

Michaelmas Valentine

Swaying as at the bottom
of the sea or lake as the case
may be having descended through
a musical decapitation of days
to plant these hollyhock seeds
in an empty corner of the garden
and surprised to find in that black patch
morning glories sprouting
leftovers from spring I threw there
with no hopes for next to the compost
now I scatter these hollyhocks among them
may one climb up
as far as the other aspires
no man goes home without his brothers

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Birthday Valentine

Perhaps it was better
than I could have hoped for
perhaps it was worse
than I could have imagined
perhaps I never
imagined myself at all
perhaps I imagined myself
all too clearly
perhaps nothing can be
known completely
that would require every
other thing to stop and look
in the mirror discretely
the I and the not-I
curled together neatly

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Purposes of Plenty Valentine

To take beauty down
to use its gold crown
to beat it about its head
to see where love has led
to wars and bloody floors
we were still dancing on
a permanent earth having
relinquished a temporary heaven
this is the return to the before
green relapsing to yellow and blue
where all the content empties out
into the estuaries of autumn
into the dim panoramas of pity
where everything is made

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Collaborative Valentine

My muse my angel my double
are not afraid of human trouble
we sit and talk about despair
to be the air and not the one
breathing the air
my muse my angel my double
three non-material constructions
real and yet invisible unless
I peer into my own darkness
watch the faces that appear
of doubt and hate and fear
which will not ever disappear
if fought with their own spear
only love will wipe them clear

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Halting Words Valentine

All my words are halting
at the cross-walk of love
all my words have fallen
rain-like from above
soaked and naked as the universe
through which inside my heart
is vaulting-leaping
trying not to make it worse
by calmly creeping
toward the universal peace
here in a pool of sunlight
where a leaf’s dominion floats
as long as the dirt
can hold it in its arms

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Green Valentine

An exact nonchalance
in the blue shadows of leaves
where darker leaves gather
a kind of natural parenting or
sheltering of the new sprouts
every plant is like a resurrection
something living rises out of
something dead while we animals
struggle to apprehend how it’s done
we who take our life
from something already living
but who must die in the end
uncertain how to rise again
how to master death and winter
with a little blade of green

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chaconne Valentine

I could die listening
to Bach’s Chaconne
in the Leon Fleisher
piano version over and over
I do die listening to it a bit
but not before exulting
triumphing sobbing arguing
each time shaken by the authority
of it and stood back up again
in the silence left behind
a whole love fleshed out
in eighteen minutes an inner
and outer life pronounced equal
to our entire musical future

Air Like Gems Valentine

Fall takes us back
after all our branches
(don’t make me make
that betrayal face again)
back to our mineral reactions
when we were sand and silica
which we still are but we
lose place of track and time
meanders like a mountain
downhill to the gravel-pit we
regret our groveling beginnings
which fall takes us back to
under the scenery of memory
granite dolomite and schist
through which we climbed
after our brief lives as clouds

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Equinoctial Valentine

I hide things from myself
that’s not hiding that’s forgetting
that’s obsessing with oblivion
tampering with nothingness
to which one must be called
the way time accelerates you
once it enters your system
speeding toward blast-off
gathering thrust to lift
you into the afterlife or else
you die a child at eighty
a genius of compromise
living a forgettable life
in unforgettable times

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How I Know It’s Fall Valentine

When I sit listening to the thud
of rotten pomegranates
hitting the ground I know
I should get out more
or suddenly realize
these days are metaphors
not leafy similes in disguise
or when I sit listening to the wind
with its summery regrets
one hundred kinds of apples
and not one worth paradise
(though they’re working on it
as we speak) a life with crunch
and juice and taste of rain
in spring and the earth’s ache

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