Saturday, July 2, 2022

Once There Were Other Ways

Don't mention cigarettes. Blowsy clouds floating over the far Adirondacks, my heart signaling to itself the conditions of peace.

Buttercups, nasturtiums, morning glories. Half the apple tree falls, we cut part of it up but most we leave where it is.

The cosmos allows you to make arguments both for and against it: what are we really saying then about conflict?  Existence is a burden, it is clear now.

Settling the bill, preparing to go. We roast a couple chickens, eat them with salad and bread, all of us in the kitchen arguing whether human beings can form a meaningful model of what it's like to be a wasp.

Misreading the cues again, is there any other way? Summer nights given to crickets, distant stars, the river endlessly flowing away.

She informs me of her hidden rationale for agreeing to plant Hubbard squashes and it makes me smile. Coffee in Adams on Sunday morning, followed by a long walk up the  Ashuwillticook trail.

There is always a story about longing, isn't there? Hands reaching out of the earth as if to say that something in burial is backwards, or at least misconstrued.

Tall grass grazing our shins. While to the north, Greylock rises like a stony orca.

Dreams in which everything is settled, we all go our ways, end up in the arms of the lover who is most helpful. How once there were other ways of saying it.

I sleep on the floor, better for my back, but something in me wonders if there's a better way even than that. By the river green rushes, sky-blue forget-me-nots in the shadows.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Certain Trees of Childhood

After the fear, the anger, even though the order seems backwards. I can see with perfect clarity certain trees of childhood, fifty years gone now, and what is this but a reminder that we never die? Pellucid sunrise.

Back to Steve Hagen, back to Ken Wilber, skimming both men happily. Slowly I begin to unload my many tchotchkes. She leans into me, I massage the small of her back, birds sing in the lilac bush nearby.

What is blue to you? Promises are a weapon, don't kid yourself, choose another way. Visiting Emily Dickinson's grave always in Fall, late October, why.

Sophia and I wander through the little shop gently arguing whether Christmas-themed fabrics count as Christian, while Fionnghuala looks for something to make new curtains for her bedroom. And now I shall let go of hot air balloons, may my tea bag of a heart no longer waste itself in tepid water. All charm is fear-based.

Ferns unravel in sunlight, dandelions go to seed. What is being threatened, truly? I polish all the colored glass in the hayloft while we talk, it calms me and I am now pro-calm.

Uninteresting arguments but why. Perhaps we should pray more in a formal way, I don't know. Imagining you jacking me off - an extension of helpfulness - both of us laughing after, cocks are so silly, sex so basic.

Oh is it time to climb Ascutney again? Beyond salvation, healing - this healing. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Time to Make Arrangements

Or is all death watery.

Jesus was embodied, lived and died, nothing at all will make sense until you accept this.

What shall we listen to in winter if not snow falling, ice groaning in the river, the horses walking over frozen ground towards us in darkness for their hay.

Even our ears tell lies.

They held the coffin by its handles, three to a side, they carried him to his final church service. 

Sex must include "or this?"

Stagecoach piano.

What do you not want to see in a mirror?

Robert Johnson songs at two a.m., stoned, through headphones, world never the same again.

Opening the window wider in hottest summer, breathing deeply.

Insert an ellipsis.

When is it dawn really?

Groaning entering her, still, after all these years. 

Homes we make, homes we ruin.

She leans on the porch railing to call dinner to Jeremiah who is spreading compost in the nearer garden and I study her ass happily, this fine woman, this happy life. 

Thirty years ago waking drunk in tangled bedsheets reeking of piss feeling confirmed and so at last ready to stop.

Does gratitude include amazement always or is it just me?

Always there is this shame whispering to me it won't hurt long.

Is it time to make arrangements, everything dies when I pass.

There are secrets about the stars yet to be disclosed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Icarus Did Not Die but Landed

I am telling you that Icarus did not die but landed decades later, tired and burned-out, on a beach he no longer recognized and this is that story.

This this.

Trembling in the dining room, unable to meet her eyes.

Sunlight on the replanted Rose of Sharon.

We stumble through an argument, both of us trying to undo our sense that winning or losing is still viable, it takes three days but we do it, of course we do it.

There is no other, do you get what I am saying?

When you lift your shirt, when briefly I catch a glimpse of your shoulder - that struggle.

Hours spent in prayer in an attempt to no longer feel the fear I always fear feeling.

I think of Auden writing "a boy falling out of the sky," and something happens in what I still insist we call "my heart."

Amends which, once made, need never be made again - that peace.

This is not the poem I meant to write when I began, but this is the poem I am writing - that is a way to think about writing.

Musical traditions in which drone predominates, especially those in the Mediterranean.

Dried zucchini soaked in salt water with garlic, mixed with cold quinoa.

I did not plan the eulogy, I merely spoke, and now I have no memory but of that moment when I choked briefly looking down at the coffin I could not believe contained him.

Our shared body as yet untouched, as yet unkissed.

Cirling the lake talking about what we thought the marriage was, and how it was not that, and how it is this: circling the lake talking about we thought the marriage was. 

We are all hungry for the witch, what else did we think was going to happen when we banished her?

Coffee mugs that are always empty.

It occurs to me as I leave that this is a pattern - I am always disrepecting the art somehow, always ignoring the work, in some critical way I am always refusing to be a member of a community

One breath follows another until suddenly they skip - slow - and then no breath at all.

We talk over each other, it's okay, what matters is we are here and we are talking.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Manger We Cannot Quite Believe is Empty

Walking further than one expects or even needs but still.

Choice is an illusion, it may or may not be helpful to see how this is so, your call.

Dreams from which I wake but do not know I have awakened.

Roses growing wild beneath the maple tree I cannot bring myself to topple but must, and soon.

For too long I let nobody tell me what to do, I thought this was strength but it was just more effortful chaos, mis-directed penance, intellectual confusion, et cetera.

Stuff I don't say but from time to time think: Peter Buck is an under-rated guitarist, the Grateful Dead fed bad demons who are still with us, air-conditioning has hurt more than helped our species, humans going extinct isn't a crisis, and we should all be more grateful for oceans.  

Learning how to hide our tracks.

In tangled night grass, moonlight.

Lies we tell about sex, myths we share about sex, and then sex itself, our bodies remembering what they really want to discover in one another.

Let us grow silent together, let us insist on no prerogative, let us undo the personal, let us see what happens when together we consent to be a site of only love.

Somewhere is a winter field in which I stand alone, the four horizons moving further and further away with each breath.

Before bed I walk south down Main Street to the swamp off Flat Iron Road and listen to frogs, lost in ways I thought by now would have passed but which have not passed, only intensified.

Letting go of everything, including letting go.

Who wants to be satisfied?

My God, this fear of the other, is there no end to it?

Oh Sarah Hrdy a thousand times thank you.

Giving head to the pleromatic self until my tongue falls out, a stone. 

Life in the stable, the manger we cannot quite believe is empty after all this time, money and effort. 

We construct identities, could easily construct others, others construct others, can we agree on this at least.

Suddenly this willingness to sustain complexity, even confusion, as if doing so were the art by which the cosmos reveals itself in all its wondrousness and glory. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

Leaving is a Mirage

This desert has been our home too long, shall we leave together even if as promised even leaving is a mirage?

Let this be the end of suffering, let us at last float away from this wasted and wasting abattoir of a world.

Walking on the beach, walking in the forest, walking to the altar, walking past the grave.

Between stars, more stars - this is all I know of comfort.

Mornings full of rain gently cradling us.

I know a sorrow that declines to named, you know it too.

Find a woman you trust, ask her what the rules are, listen to what she says, live accordingly.

In the hayloft I wake to birds singing a little after four, get on my knees and pray in the old ways, for what else would I possibly be here.  

Do you remember throwing our wedding rings into the sea together laughing and then knowing all at once what weddings are and what marriage is? 

So much darkness, so much pain, so much loss and yet.

A waiting in which one discovers there is nothing for which to wait so long as one is willing to forget everything.

Placeholder relationships all over again.

Monsters whose emergence reflect sentiments with which we are in reluctant - mostly unexamined - relationship.

Sometimes I want to die.

He called me "a broke dick drunk" once when we were both wasted and he wasn't wrong on the one hand but on the other he was wrong in a way for which we both paid more deeply than any loving god could possibly have asked or required. 

A way of slowly licking the insides of her thighs that undoes the fear of lack in both of us. 

Luce Irigay teaching the Mother's Son I am how to say at last "there is no one in whom to remember the dream of yourself."

In which the blowjob becomes a footnote to a greater healing mostly now behind me.

Spending early hours in the potato garden, later coming in to write and read this or that difficult text, altogther insisting on a peace that has - as yet - declined to be reclaimed or found. 

Opposite exist together, when will this stop being a problem for us?

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Masquerading as Stars

Tom Petty's Even the Losers, how did he know and also how did I forget.

Crushed turtles on the highway, this is not the way it ends but Jesus why did it have to be this way at all. 

War is a form of confusion only love will clarify, I'm sorry your fear of women prohibits you from seeing this.

When you were real.

Wanting reasons to be angry and finding them, big surprise.

It turns out I'm not a whore, who knew.

The neighbor says "those violets are out of control" which baffles me, what does he think life is? 

Finally saying no to her, letting it be my final answer, finally ready to pay whatever price it is you pay when you won't change just to save a place in a family that never wanted you anyway.  

Piano notes masquerading as stars and then not masquerading, om shanti om oh you know what I mean.

Women who murmur my name when they come.

In law school before exams we used to play catch by the library, it was a kind of happy I never knew again.

Okay so how does it end then, right?

Of what are you ready to let go that you swore you never would be able to let go?

I think of her while getting ready for a dump run, how happy the take-it-or-leave-it shed would make her, how she'd talk to the old men running the place, effortlessly reminding them they were young once and strong.

Iola Morton where are you now I need you really.

Counterpoint: the cosmos are brutally fair.

A knack for knowing who to talk to and who not.

In the distance an egret, still between still reeds, is this why I am here.

Chrisoula taught me how to not go shopping and thus what a gift is.

No more death, especially the one I believe is aimed at me.