20 June 2009

Graphic Equalization

The moisture in this air bleeds sound, resonance heavy,
scarcely able to carry these simple street musics.

Tongue numb, unresponsive to the glimmer of speech,
I find myself listening to the way I would have made these noises.

I imagine my posture: a stiff 45 degrees off true to favor my good left ear,
standing back away from but also leaning toward the sounds sprung from voices.

I am facing a grid of photographs; I am pretending to nearly touch the surface of these images;
I am looking at her reflection faintly hovering in the glass; I am pretending not to eavesdrop.

A light voice, singing, is refined when passed through the filter of these plaster motel walls;
it will become the essence of her voice and language an essential song.

I guess I have been muttering aloud, a series of inflected rehearsals, trying things out, seeing how things sound.
I guess I've got something to say.

There was a time when my ears were much, much sharper than this,
when I could hear the spiky sonar of feeding, flying bats and the friction gravel made underfoot one hundred yards away.

I volunteer to blow up balloons for the big dance and into each I breathed a single word to later stare
at the pieces of my story woven into ropes and arches and carefully unlocked blossoms.

19 June 2009

Artificial Roses Folded from Dark Leather

on barbed wire stems,
a bouquet of them, in a vase of poison.
What kind of gift is this?
Heartfelt, perhaps, but
what heart and what feelings
and for what possible reason?

The window's glass is broken,
it's sill a shelf for display:
reflective surfaces, shattered,
gleam dull rust and ochre,
oxblood and iron.
And these are this new valentine's
coded chromography.
What is the love that's messaged
by a tissue sample?

I may remember passion and
the forms that passion may assume,
but the concreteness of it all is still unsettling.
I may remember when things could matter this much,
but it doesn't mean they do.
With dustpan and broom I may
remove the evidence of this expression
and be impressed or not but
I certainly have a window to repair.
About this all,
that much is true and purely recognized.

I wish I had a dime for every dollar spent on love,
a fraction of the time invested on moments deemed timeless.
Oh, what a moderately comfortable middle-aged man I'd be!

18 June 2009

Living Next Door to Death

It’s not so bad
living next door to death.
I can stand on my tiptoes to
peek over the fence
and look at the piles of bones
in death’s backyard.
I can fall asleep to
the moans and feral whispers of
the guests at the party next door.

when the mailman gets mixed-up,
I’ll knock on death’s door with
a handful of misdelivered envelopes and,
even though no one ever answers and
I have to just slip the envelopes into the
already crammed-full box,
I’ll feel brave and tall walking back to my house.

One year at Christmas time,
I left a plate of sugar cookies
on death’s doorstep.
They were the kind you cut from a roll and
decorate with sprinkles and
those little silver sugar balls.
I never got my plate back, though,
so it was a good thing I didn’t use a
good one.

When my friends come over,
I tell them who lives next door and
they say, “Bullshit,” so
I say, “Don’t believe me? Check it out yourself.”
Sometimes, they don’t come back, so
it’s a good thing my friends aren’t very
good ones.

Anyway, it’s nice on summer nights to
sit on my porch drinking a beer or two and
listen to death saw away on his violin.
The crickets chime a chorus and
some whippoorwills make their spooky calls and
the moon hangs fragmented in the cottonwood branches and
the night just goes easy like that,
me drinking beer on the porch and
death playing some nameless tune,
at least one I never recognize, and
I’m pretty sure death just makes it up as he goes along.

17 June 2009

Senryu #23

Perfume hoarded under stars
Night closed blossoms clenched on vine
Crushed to fragrance by our embrace, reclined

16 June 2009

Haiku #9

small songs through thin wires
cut through the weight of seasons,
of snows not fallen

15 June 2009

Senryu #11

two old men harnessed
to wagons of bricks pass by
on the road and shrug

14 June 2009

Senryu #14

I can tell her mood
from which door she knocks upon;
front or back tells me.