Saturday, April 30, 2016

every day

i wrote you a poem every day.
i don’t think you noticed.

this is a baptism;
this is everything made public.

this is a declaration of trust,
or at least that intention.

this is a sudden awareness
of the passage of time.

this finds you arrested,
facing accusations –
unspecified sins.

this is how we support the mystery,
gathered in a circle.

this is all the music,
or at least this song.

this is the only way
you will learn authority –

this is a pearl.
set it in gold and place it in your ear,
or on your finger.

this is everything
i wanted to say
at this time.

this is an end.

Friday, April 29, 2016

strong hands

she was a welder, and played the cello;
both required strong hands.

upon being betrayed, she betrayed –
that required strong hands too.

there are ways to reach out
across an ocean.

there are ways
to silence all communications.

there are ways to pretend
everything will be okay.

all will be well, and
all will be well.

there are lies that need not be told,
and truths that should remain unsaid.

there are many things in my power to change,
this is not one of them.

i realized that i was weakness
and put my hands to other uses.

i made a gift of my weakness
and placed it in better hands.

this is how i rebuild the world, 

one word after another.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

the blood, the blood

it was in that instant that my blood ran cold and i stood there gripped and handled with the desire to run and yet i did not run. i sweated blood instead (it’s called hematidrosis) brought on by every thought hard squeezed and pressed on every side of the questions i carried in my pockets. you can’t get blood from stones (let alone turnips) and so let every grain or drop be collected when the moment arrives in its full glory adorned with blood, sweat and tears; unbowed and uncowed, crowing and prancing by the side of the road. it’s like wading through water, though thicker – like blood – and i am afraid to count the cost, afraid of blood money and the many trails it leaves, afraid of the taste it leaves in the mouth – all that bad blood. no blood, no foul you said, and you walked away thinking that wound was a gift, traces of that gift on your hands and underneath your fingernails. and that was that. i am only flesh and blood and bone and skin and words – too many things are too rich for my blood and too meager for yours, or too meager for mine and too rich for yours. how we determine who walks in privilege and who walks in the cold. It’s not enough to say that anger runs in the blood, passes down through the bloodline, generation after generation until regeneration and the new blood. let me find some new words, to heal and not to wound; to fill and not to drain. start walking.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


i’m trying to ground my poems
in a body,
or something concrete.
it’s so much work –
giving ideas a skin,
muscling your way
through language.
i still write everything
by hand, a stylus
tracing figures
on the tongue,
carving angles,
breaking lines, shifting

it’s a delicate thing –
how one determines
how heavily to be present.
there’s only so much weight
the poem can bear.
i tend to step lightly.
i tend to whisper.
i would like to be a ghost
walking through rooms –
and by rooms i mean words.

(by words i mean thoughts,
by thoughts i mean hearts,
by hearts i mean prayers.
by prayers i mean to say
i want to trust you with this)

i would like to write something
where we are both naked.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

taking it personal

i just want you
to know that
it’s not personal.
it’s political.
by which i mean to say,
i take sides –
i didn’t take yours.
i have no regrets.
i did not intend
to be unkind.
there was neither obligation,
nor wasted time.

when we were
out in public,
there was something
precious to steward.
we did not.
we wounded
know only
how to wound.

the question was
who would govern
? who
exerts control
over the heart, who
the tongue
(a fire applied
a consummation, 

of a kind.