Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Siren Song

The siren, a timeless symbol, inviting
you to that timeless place between
work and home. She sings
her song, welcoming us all
to more than that favorite brew
or bag of beans, more
than that perfectly prepared,
custom latte, but also
to smiling faces, friendly conversation,
an atmosphere of warmth
where, for a moment,
you can relax,
breathe, and simply
pairs well with Life!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Amazement

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters… (Genesis 1:2)
Crystal eyes, whose full perfection all the world amazes… (Shakespeare “Venus and Adonis”)

We see cracks in the pavement, little broken openings--
hairline fine—that run along sidewalks, blacktop, dirt paths,
deep, deep beneath the ground, into the earth, up
through home foundations, stone, brick, wood frames,
and windows.

We follow these cracks, barefoot, wandering
alone along broken roads backwards. We wander
wondering who we are and how we got here and how
we get back or move forward.

We forget, when moving and feeling behind somehow,
that all movement is forward and back, a rocking
like the chair the Lord sits in singing lullabies to our Spirit
as our Soul slowly finds its way home. A rocking,
like ocean waves pushing up toward shore and receding,

moving upon the earth to draw it into water.

And it is there, at the place where earth and water meet,
that God’s Spirit moves—one great hand-shaped cloud.
And the water becomes a blanket He inches up, over
our toes, our ankles, our legs, our torso,
our neck, our chin, our lips, our nose, our eyes,
our hairline

until completely covered, our breath stills
and we dream of open windows and rainwater
filling rails, flowing over and flooding
our most intimate rooms.

These dreams, like waves or falling rocks
strike our forehead, rendering us unconscious
so that we float in a daze, spiraling up, up, up
to where the Three Kings of Orion sparkle like crystal
or like the eyes of an unblemished bride.

In amazement, we see a band of angels, pure winged white lights,
coming down like the watery wall of a water fall
through the many-layered atmosphere to touch
the center of the earth, that fiery core, then rise up
again to God.

And we feel, for a moment, the world spinning,
our head in a whirl as one great finger reaches
down to seal the cracks our feet have walked upon
in every place we’ve wandered.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

...And Suddenly I Descend

Always, we walk two ways.
One way down that way, to the place
we know we ought to be. And one way down the other way,
to the place we want to be. I walked for many miles in many directions, knowing
one thing:
everywhere I turned refused me what I wanted. So,
I distanced myself from all places
knowing I could never exist fully in any one place, only
in part
in several places. To him,
I wished I were the mysterious woman worth pursuing, worth taking time
to write too many letters to,
worth making a fool of himself for.
As it turned out, it was I who always turned
fool. I wrote the love letters, and I remained faithfully
unsatisfied, knowing that I was turned the wrong way but still
wanting, oh, so desperately, to remain there,
imagining one day I would be alluring
enough to sustain one’s attentions and desires. But I failed
on this account as I could never be enough for him, and I knew I could never be,
but again and again I tried. I tried like mad, wearing
fancy dresses, speaking in a language of grace and elegance, relating witty comments.
He was never what I really wanted, only
a dream, and knowing that he was only a dream,
he faded away, like all dreams do, until I was left
only with the reality of cold truth. No truth is warm
or tenderhearted or gracious. It is only cold, and hits you
like large pellets of hail and pulls you into the whirling wind
of the tornado only to throw you hard out into the impossibly still world again. 

And so, we always find ourselves walking in place, only
pretending to move, but never really getting anywhere.
We wish we could be who we wish we could be, but we never can.
Our wishes, subject to the earth’s gravitational pull, fall. They become
buried one hundred times over, beneath the weight of other wishes and that of our bodies
which follow. Who is it we wanted to be? Self-reflection
is a difficult task and for many not worth the effort. I am always
My hands fail to maintain
their strong hold on the seventh floor
window sill,
release their grip,
and suddenly
I descend. Yes,
 I do hear the choir of angels. Saints
whisper in the wind.
But there are no familiar voices.
The stringed instruments make a pretty sound,
and heavenly voices run through each one. I become
no longer in my own place, but instead
in the place of those before me
and ahead.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Work in Progress

Her fingers rested for minutes on home row while she closed her eyes, trying to imagine what she might write. Too many objects cluttered her desk: a mug of cold coffee, a glass of day-old water, mail piled up throughout the week, the Oxford Dictionary of Current English. One articulate line and she could finally move her fingers, but her mind wandered, and every thought was fragmented by the interruption of others. Her body remained still, too still, she thought. She opened her eyes, stood up, reached her small hands above her head to stretch her fingers, her wrists, her shoulders, arching her back, feeling the tension in her muscles loosen. When she heard the buzz from the dryer in the basement, one floor below her, she said, "Thank God," happily taken away from the glaring computer screen to a more physical task.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rough Drafts

Slowly these pages break into a draft
I must edit for quality.
There are unclear lines
and here, an imbroglio,
a direct proposal to pack
each page with ambiguous symbols.
Were my words ready for the public,
were grace upon my pen and an echo
reaching back to me from the future
of my finished work,
I would not so struggle to perfect
these very beginnings.

Monday, November 15, 2010


     He leans against the small, white porcelain pedestal sink, his palms pressed into the rounded corners. The reflection of his deep, brown eyes staring straight back at him, his hair a mess of dark, straight strands criss-crossed on the top of his head, thick chunks falling at a slant across his forehead, just touching the top of his eyebrows. Thick stubble beginning to form the shadow of a beard along his jaw line and chin and connecting to the dark hairs along his upper lip. He looks closely at every detail, focusing again on his eyes, trying to see something in them, a soul, perhaps, something more the his human self. Perhaps a god. But the more he stares the less he sees of anything, the less soul, the less human. His eyes become only an object of his being. There is color. No, there is not even color, but light. Light reflecting back to his vision what he perceives as color. Nothing real, only reflection, only deception, only the way his brain is wired to see such things as he sees them. “Fuck,” he says, his voice deep, dry, with a slight rasp. He has leaned too long, his back and shoulder blades stiff from holding the pose.
     Breakfast is a dark piece of toast with a thick spread of creamy Jiff over the top. This kitchen is a dim, morning blue. He can see through the thin slits between each closed slat of the forest green blinds over the window above the kitchen sink that it is a sunny summer day. Even without pulling down the string to lift the blinds up, he can tell that there is not one cloud in that bright blue sky. It is eleven o’clock in the morning, but he is still only in his boxer shorts, an old pair with a small hole torn along the seam of the crotch. It is the end of June, but he is still thinking about his final paper for Philosophy in Literature. He ended it all wrong. He should have made the conclusion clearer. It was an A paper, but the end was all wrong. Cliché, even. Typical, at least. He bites into the soft peanut butter and the crunchy toast. Perfectly contrasted complements.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Working Outlets

Whether it be the spiraling of smoke drifting up from a cigarette.
Green. Yellow. Red. Wheels rolling to Stop. Or.
What some call miracles. I can only see good. Naivety.
I can only see in fractions, fractured glass, empty spaces.

We call it a waterfall, but waters fall. That sheet of rushing white
is not whole. Even the sky, blue, broken up by cloud. Sun. Moon.
Gasses. Heat. Turmoil of the solar system. Turmoil of the Sol.

Whether it be the spiraling of smoke drifting up from a cigarette.
Or. The repetition and incorrect use of punctuation to identify
experiment. I can only see the red heart of that paper-rolled tobacco.
Pulse. A breathing body. Miracle. I can only see so far inside.

Then the car becomes a top, spinning. And my head whirls.
There are colors in the empty spaces, broken up by cloud.
Someone had the correct spelling for the word I was thinking, but

whether it be the spiraling of smoke drifting up from a cigarette.
I identified the object flying through space. Rim. Headlight. Mirror.
An enactment of the self looking upon the self as the self objectifies.
The tip of a finger inside a splinter of reflective glass.

Wonder is not the same as wander, but there are times I wander when wondering.
Turmoil of the soul. Traffic light. Lamppost. We call it The Fall, but
falls give rise to differences. That of the difference between word & object.

Whether it be the spiraling of smoke drifting up from a cigarette
and up to where God can breath earth into his ever expanding lungs. Or.
What we call a miracle. God. Breathing. Life. Into. The man on
the fourth floor of the nearest hospital whose life depends on working outlets.

I still see wonder in the unfinished piece of piano music. One
minor chord in the chorus. The moment before. Yellow.
Pulse. The movement forward, into... Unidentified space.