"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"With Sympathy" is not sufficient...

A blogger (a friend) I know, have known, since before...
Oh man...to say it

Since before the world became a incoherent swirl
since before there was a name spoken
not yet engraved

I hate this part of life...
release, without consent, to

More than death
what startles me is my sorrow.

We've not met
I've not held your infant
but he grew beneath me in the words you cradled him in
and I knew him
well...I knew him through you
well...I knew you through this
and I knew this through many

And the same avenue that brought him to life for me
takes his life.


And there are none.

I'm so proud of him, you, her.
So little
and yet so much he became...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bits of Missouri

I watched you come into the bar 
sit at the stool 
as if it were the saddle of a lover. 

From the trough you drank with an unquenchable thirst, 
eyes scanning. 
Rocking like a baby in want of attention
the frenzied movement  of your feet
skipping from one rung to the next, 
was indicator enough 
you lacked hope.

You looked to God, 
and held your need out like a plate.
I watched as the helping served up insufficient to the hunger 
and wondered again, which was contraindicated....
the desire or the denial.


Saint Louis is full of holes,
the buildings are thoroughfares to a river breeze
no shutter, no shield, no glass.
With abandon they welcome trespassers
as if brick after brick were once laid as a foundation
for birds and insects
an eco-community so self sufficient
that emptiness
is absolute fulfillment.
(I was in St. Louis for a week at a business conference. Can't seem to write anything worthy of posting, so just posting tidbits anyway *shrug*)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Fading Portrait

(For my friend P. You have always been so vibrant and alive to me. I will remind you every chance I get.)

When did my colors start to fade?
The first time you overlooked my dress
and the care I took to turn you on, only you weren’t
and aren’t, and can you believe I still try?

When did my paint peel, like a weathered door
that you no longer cared to enter
and I, the gauze ghost behind a pane of cobwebs
stuck between life and death?

When did I become an outline of a woman
all women, any woman
and too soon thereafter, just a frame
so long without my nuance
that I lost my face?

Was it the first time my desire tired you?
Was it the last time you took my energy and rolled your eyes with it
or when you tamped this rambunctious spirit down
with the toe of your sensible work boot?

Honey, draw my portrait.
I have so long forgotten the space between my eyes
and how you once traveled the distance.
Were my lips full, or just swollen with kisses
that once came without request?
I am fading, and who will conjure the me you met?
Who will remind me that I was once a masterpiece
screaming with saturated color,
excitement, and possibility…like a traveling van to Woodstock?
(you hitched a ride… don’t you remember? You stuck out your thumb and said “take me with you.” And I did.)

Sweetheart, do not age me so soon.
Do not pull me into a gray cinched bun
with these tresses still so unwilling to be tamed.
We are not old.
I am not done.
I cannot be the empty frame you just look through
to the chair, where the newspaper holds your eye
and the television, your ear.

Paint me with passion
Leave nothing to memory.
I need to see it all.
Do you remember?
Show me
PLEASE show me
before the mirror has no face.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Separate Wonders

You hold your hope out
like the eigth wonder that it is.
I see the light of it dim
cupped in the cage of your hands
panhandling for care and feeding.

You are a single parent
and the long night has been sleepless...
a series of same.
In the dawn of unreciprocated work
a thought wavers in uneasy release
dips and bobs like a mosquito that cannot find a landing
for such sharp teeth.

You reach for it
but your arms are full of pyramids, temples, walls, and coliseums
structurally burdened.
Wet dog....you shake,
uncontrolled patterns in arcs like arterial blood
and yet
you are still wet.

You are the sole provider
the runner with a torch.
It is yours to carry.
It is yours to drop.
There is a meter running, and I have no coin.

There is a ninth wonder.
I carry it beneath the wing of my arm.
No one sees the light
a child unnamed, waiting for a personality.
My hands hang open
from the surrender of my arms
wild things
requiring no care or feeding...
only time
for a course to expire.

(There is a hope, as brave and bold as any soldier, and yet it too, cannot self sustain forever. How long can it remain unrewarded? You consider releasing it, but it has its own life span and will not be hurried. There is a hope, as timid and unsure as any awkward teen, tucked away until it fully knows itself. You attempt to rush it, only to stumble like a new colt on weak legs.  We acknowledge our lack of knowledge, and we wonder.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Breakfast On My Mind

is it a man, a woman? filthy pajama bottoms. the cement must be cold. hard. i shouldn't look. and yet a person sits disheveled here in a public place. a cigarette for breakfast? it's 7:30 am. a cigarette for 7:30 am...and barely a layer of flannel on which to sit. I will buy a coffee. a bagel. what kind of bagel? possibly allergic to nuts. hates raisins? doesn't do cheese. fuck. *sigh*. "Plain bagel please"...."and a coffee." cream? will creamer be wanted? sugar? certainly it would be uncomfortable to be so disheveled and standing at the condiment bar. i have to provide these accouterments to coffee. what if the only cream is in a pitcher? do I go out there and say 'how would you like your coffee'? it doesn't feel right. thank goodness, there are packets of creamer, packets of sugar. four of each should cover it. a stir stick. a napkin. plain bagel in a plain bag. it's going to look like i didn't give a shit. *sigh*. do i put the coffee on the ground? do i say something? how do i make this less demeaning? it is a he. the bruise beneath his eye screams for attention. he is reaching for the coffee i hand him. his hands are filthy. i feel stupid in my dress and high heels. he says nothing for a time. i guess i will just put the bag beside him. i hear 'thank you', but my tongue is swallowed. i think i say "happy breakfast." really? happy breakfast? i ignored his eyes. i missed his name. i lost his story. i am close to tears because i can never seem to get this right. i imagine myself casual, yet confident.

I say "Hey! Good morning. Can I join you for breakfast?" I sit cross legged on the cold hard cement and my eyes form a tunnel toward his reality. I touch his hand. I ask his name. I hear his story. "Do you feel invisible?" I ask. "Not anymore" he says.