Friday, September 30, 2011

Some Endless Night (We'll Finally Meet)

We are keeping the lines open. I am breathless where the trail turns and it's all uphill going home. The Canadian thistle somehow glows and reminds me of ghosts, against which I pray and profess my love for Jesus. Some endless night we'll finally meet and talk about the party we'll have then! Much bluster, much busking. Memories of a road in Amsterdam, drunk and high in a shadowed doorway, realizing that something essential eluded me nonetheless. The old house is always dark and the dream of it flaming, windows exploding, frightens me. Pay attention to your thoughts if you want to know how to handle live eels on a stage. Nothing good comes of the city, son. Second-guessing is the costume arrogance wears to keep us feeling doubtful and broken and in need still of salvation from - you guessed it - external sources. God and the clam diggers singing in the light. "We're one but we're not the same." He wrote - thinking this time about rhyme - yeah, right. A Johnny Cash sentimentality regarding death and judgment informs the morning. In the distance, a safe place, while here - now - the raw open blisters of forbidden desire. You can't say it that way! Her religious views include stuffed animals and reconsiderations of sentience. We are the flowers we don't know the names of. Hey, let's laugh it up, let's let go. Now and again one senses the moon knows what one doesn't and it's still okay (or it will be).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Vain Attempt To Authenticate

The storm, she said, was a beautiful terrible. We are alive in the realm of content, dead in the world of form. Thus, beware all fiction. The crow looked both ways, arched its wings, and disappeared. What's the skinny on angels? What if the coin doesn't have two sides? I mean beware of texts that support your commitment to comfort, that don't cause some level of vertigo. Opportunities to help others means you still believe in hell which means you're still in hell. Choice is a metaphor for that first hushed conversation inside the Garden of Eden Discernment is never not required. I'm on edge, where one has to be, if preservation matters. See also the fence against which sheep rub, bleating contentedly in the sun. What is a name but a means to keep separate? Remember that the teaching I share has to do with content not form. Once again we must babysit the decieved mind on its wrecking ball of a playground. We escalated in a vain attempt to authenticate. Your dedication to libraries is part of the problem. I think of you even though we've never met, only shared a few lines of spiritually purple prose. One falls, believes one lands, and that right there is the problem. A lost soul is no better than what?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All The Way A Long Way Down

What happens when the kidneys go? I passed a sunflower, touched its largest petal, and was surprised by beads of water. At night, drinking coffee, listening to leaves fall in the garden. One follows another and it's all the way a long way down. You can't be invested in Heaven, in other words. Or was Orion's belt a blur, like handfuls of salt dissolving in water? And was it a bear that we smelled, standing on the bridge, where twenty years ago I paused to gaze across the cattail into the unknowable future? Where the hill crests up, the ghost of a horse. We make the past what it is so there's something to hold onto going forward. My love would not be enough. And yet. Or in addition, against dreams of peak oil, fantasizing about who will be saved on the rich family's farm, and who will be scrounging in renegade gardens, nursing dark secrets at night with their guns. Only those in need of saving talk about salvation. Dreams, more dreams, and the dream that holds them all in its mouth. Hubris invites a breakneck learning that God would prefer we dissemble more slowly. This particular cat's paws will no longer be heard passing nightly through the kitchen. Once again, we reassemble our living quarters, and once again we ask what the roof is for, and each room, and each piece of furniture, as if there was a plan, any plan at all. The part of the illusion that we choose to call Death is the part I abhor. It was a night flooded with stars, in which I drank coffee and dreamed up lines of poetry, all the while nursing an ache, all the while as sad as always. There are no bottom lines is maybe all that's left to say.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Old Prayer Nobody Has The Guts To Utter Anymore

Do you hear (what I hear, naturally)? Earlier there were spots of black dirt on your ankles. Sandals are the universal miracle, even when it rains. I do not love you as I now understand love but I do desire you in every way the world has ever called the body. Forgiveness wears sack cloth and wanders happily through the wild woods singing. We are not joined, not yet. In the picture - watercolor, pen and ink - children leap joyfully as off a balustrade. Eternity is always the dream, isn't it? I follow your dark hair, content to know the world as seamless, as the echo of an old prayer nobody has the guts to utter anymore. At last, chromatics. In the city, they talk about you all the time - near the ruined chapel, in the cheese shop, even in the park where we once discussed the tragedy that was Nietzsche. Men are always being asked to turn their back or stand in one place while bullets rain around them. We are the walls that we make, not the altar that we think is kept behind them. We have names for no other reason than to keep the face of Christ obscured. The psalm I imagine is hidden between the many sentences composed - always composed - in your name. The cost of getting him to come back to me a last time seems so high and for what? Would that I could be a man who has nothing left to lose! She wandered over to where the door lay slanted on its hinge, implying that some destruction had roiled the nest, though in departure or arrival one couldn't accurately say. I watched - this breath, then that - ever the scheming narrator.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sadder Than I Can Say

Someone always showed up with drugs. Someone is always saying they have the wings you crave. The stars seem to circle the sky, arranged at last in the form of a breakneck schooner. You see children's faces a lot, and it makes you sad.

What is the object of clarity and what relationship does it have to hesitation? Night after night with Jack Daniels, long mornings of black coffee. There's something you can't piss away, no matter what. Dreams, not prayers, were the mode.

Raise a chorus for the limping soldier, the one who got lost before the big battle, won't you? We are all the wings of angels now, all circling the Heavens like spiraling halos. The agenda blurred, driving us like lunatics for the safety of maps. The adjective does not define you the way you think it does.

A door opened and a temporarily popular man rendered a judgment against us. That was the late eighties - drunken nights and empty train tracks, men and women who wanted me to write poems about them. Your vision is my twelve by twelve inch album cover. I said okay a lot, I remember that.

So it hurts, so what? Those trails and those dogs aren't supposed to be salves. God is after what happens after the break, after the acceptance that even healing is a distraction. You say you were miscreated? I say that Love makes no mistakes, and the whole journey - even this, even now - is a witness unto perfection.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Then Again

We begin with lies. As I wrote now twenty years ago certain half-truths are marching on my doorstep. Asleep for hours, waking to pee, struck by the light on the gardens and swing set. Subject to entropy, subject to story.

And yet. One dreams of a challenge to their faith, uttered in a commercial setting, and wakes chilled, "on edge." There is the fall and the fall and perhaps other falls too. Clicking of keys, dog claws, disapproving teeth in the late nineteenth century.

She looks guilty, said someone of Lizzie Borden's photograph, clearly unfamiliar with the case. All wrongs are ultimately dismissed, even those that result in bisected eyeballs. The afternoon rose and fell in waves and my stomach hurt, following. Searching for buttermilk recipes is a way to "get rid of all these apples."

We cannot resolve the sentence absent its context. The authority problem is the real problem. Certain texts are lost and other simply promote the stunned affect of lost. I walked on stage and everyone applauded and I understood then just what I had given up and what remained to be divided in two.

Oh, you. My fear gallops, wears spurs and over its head waves a black double barrel. The ego presides over gruesome executions, ever delighting in the sure availability of death. But then again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Filled With God Sounds

By the bridge - where the river was filled with God sounds - clouds shifted and the half moon appeared, its light a sort of silvery presence on decades-old guard rails and crab apple trees. One hesitates, sensing the familiar presence, and responds as always with prayer. Later, perched on a plastic lawn chair, finishing off the cold tea with lemons, listening to little pops and rustles in the bracken and wild grape arbor, one understands at last what it means to be outside time. Our only job, so to speak, is to find the boundary between the physical and the spiritual and then cross over it. If you find this discussion - or discussions like it - pleasing or provocative or interesting, then drop everything and adopt a spiritual path. The dream of horses comes now to fruition. An owl, a train, the brook, the drainage pipe, night crawlers surfacing, coy dogs braying, soft breeze in the pines, one car in the distance, the dog as she runs, and my breathing getting slower all the time. I am saying, that song, and no other song. I am asking (again), whose hands are these, St. Theresa? The dream of bears, that longing set in motion, those hours rolling toward bunches of cloud. No clamoring (no reaching), just grace. Write the sentence that you want to write and that way you'll learn about the sentence that Jesus wants you to write. For breakfast, eggs and handmade sausage spiced with too much pepper, coffee with heavy cream clotted on the surface, but no bread and just a little bit of salted butter. When you love, you love everybody, and you love for everybody, and it works the other way, too, and there are no exceptions because the lack of exceptions is the rule. One burrows in space, lingers in time. A word? The dog rested on the front stairs while her owner paced back and forth in the driveway, occasionally stooping as if her back ached, or as if the secret were etched in fragmented hardtop. You are far away and yet remain my best teacher. A sense of panic informs the project, resulting in this particular segment. My kingdom - seriously! - for one real look at an ant.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Sparkling Tapestry, A Lesson In Narrative

A California truck stop, a grief. We close our eyes, slip the skin, and then the light comes, a sparkling tapestry, a lesson in narrative. This is the season of going forth.

This is the time that we have been writing toward. Late at night, the darkness arrives as a solace, and the only prayer is not fused to anger but simply attends. One leans into improvement, one shies away from acceptance.

At least one industry thrives on our inclination to see ourselves as flawed yet fixable. A sentence is never complete. The students arrive happily and for a moment you choke, unsure about the terms of the agreement that landed you here.

Yet you are here, dreaming of a night stop out west, of death as a sort of hungry bird slowly working its way toward us in the dark. The grammar lesson finished, the teacher found himself with pen and paper and a strange - yet comforting - longing to write. We are all of us composed of desire and its opposite.

A note to remember scattering ashes. It pleases me, your willingness in the night to roll over, place a hand on my shoulder, allow the heat of your body in the house of blankets to warm me despite my flaws, despite my greed. The sentence I serve under has been lifted, it has been washed away, and now my joy is complete.

One moves toward benediction, stopping briefly at eulogy, and glancing back at the rough hinterlands of woe. Salt your texts lest the light not fall upon you! For a few hours at 4 a.m., walking the dog while the moon slipped its moorings and deer could be sensed clearing the last of the frosty clover, I sobbed quietly, unwilling that my joy should disturb the sleep of the truly just.

I am here only at your invitation. But I am here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some Greater Light Lay Just Beyond

I wake up in need of solace and a muttered prayer in tangled blankets is surprisingly sufficient. Later, poetry, an attempt at acceptance. The twenty sentences have a life of their own, all I do is follow. My glasses are too close to the desk's edge.

There are books that we lose, books that lose us, and all pay homage to the invention of movable type. Lit candles, drafts in the walls, and the smell of piss. Time passes is all one can say about it. Yet the morning tea sustains its grace through the second cup as if Heaven really is a state of mind.

Is reading an act of surrender, does it own any passivity? Subliminally, you're here for me, and you must know I'm grateful. I fall asleep asking for pleasant dreams and what I get is pedestrian, a few cats in the litter box and old students griping about sentence fragments. This ain't that.

In my early twenties I wrote that the stars were like holes in a fabric, implying that some greater light lay just beyond, and even now when I look up I remember that line, that poem, that image but I seem unable to connect to the man who understood its necessity. A moose at the pond's far edge. A deer leaping gracefully across the trail while the dog strained mightily at its leash. All the love that is available and what do we do?

Arrive at the tower and begin our slow depressing ascent. Or perhaps it was a cave in the desert, close to a spring that in summer was little more than a puddle. Nobody here doesn't believe in email, doesn't believe that death is real. Save me all over again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Words Play Favorites

Salt, which has a restorative property. Afternoons, which don't. Or the answer included the word "holy," which was to be distinguished from "sacred," which was overused and thus stripped of meaning. Or so the thoughts seemed, as he walked along the road waiting for the sun to rise, all the stars above him flickering like holes in a fabric. Do not, in other words, play favorites.

Another way of saying it was to ask what possible relationship could exist between preference and truth? Because, as every cat knows, if you can say it two different ways, it isn't true. The salient hoops were chakras and we ascended through them effortlessly, regardless of all our mistakes. Jesus was silent (or so I thought.) Baking bread brings more than just flour and water and salt together.

Naps, homemade sauerkraut, more tea than a marching army could drink (yet we too are on the move, no?) We play games while our minds are elsewhere - particularly when awaiting news from the doctor. Which is to say? The growth of cucumbers is astounding and the early fall air - as night falls, as horses are put up in the barn - braces one for a later cold. Must we always be in a state of preparation?

Yet after, I was okay - I was more than okay - and to witness I rose and began cooking. Jesus watched from the corner, reminding me - though I recall it only now in the writing - not to disregard Crossan so quickly. The voice competes with other voices until you realize that the other voices are a dream, a hallucination made solely to obscure the one, the first. You do indeed come to mind! The answer is there was no question with which to begin.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unwittingly Out Of Heaven

At the ankles, a last mosquito. A slip of cloud - what Topper called mare's tails - trailing away, tossed to the west, a delicate mallow not unlike the sky at the end of a painful August. Tea splashing in the garden, moths withered where the compost is so dry you could call it blonde. Taped voices from the kitchen, a familiar canon, the delicate strain of finding oneself. There is no leaving, you see.

That which has many names has many uses. We pulled a table closer to the scrub pine and watched hawks circle in the distance, as if stitching the sky where God feared another batch of angels might topple unwittingly out of Heaven. The bed creaked and the salt smell of the sea was everywhere. Later, walking quietly out back where the roses were gigantic from swallowing so much moonlight, I remembered old loves, old promises and wondered again at how real time seems to seem. It was - as they say in those fine books we used to read and promptly forget - the wine talking.

One searches for the one clear thing, doesn't one? In the sense that a conversation is not a boundary, it is also not a binding. The eighties were not bad but then following the seventies would put any decade to shame. My bramble is my secret lover. One sits a long time on breath's tenuous fulcrum only to discover that there is no arrival.

They call it something else in southern France. I remember holding hands near the lake, later putting my ear to empty bottles and sensing the whole crazy nothingness that was the future. A swampy area, a blowing candle. The notes spoke to me from where they rested in the dumpster, the red and blue of the air mail envelopes festive amidst the waste of the otherwise poor. You just can't stop hoping, can you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dimming By The Second

Beach plums maybe? A time in which one notices the color blue, its various hues, and a corresponding interior growth as well, albeit less subject to conversation. Ice cubes on the grass near the picnic table, a dusty pitch residue on my fingers and hands after changing the flat. You leave home and - however long it takes - you learn that you never leave home. I is everywhere.

Asleep early on a weekend, dreaming in a pleasant way of cannibalism, genial demands of one's body. As a child, the witch in Hansel and Gretel was not feared so much as desired in an illicit way. Perhaps all desire is that way? Bound, then, in seams and threads. Once you learn the song, you hear it everywhere - McDonald's, the sea, in the shower, asleep.

Nearly full moon, crickets and cicadas, and the last gasp of traffic before the bridge finally closes. Writing alone as if it were possible, as if there were any other way. He turned the car near where he first fell in love with gasoline rainbows and laughed at the idea that time is only an idea. Irony is a difficult tenor, one I have never quite managed. Indulgence as always prevails.

A hug then, a forgiveness. A moment in which one choked recalling a black and white photograph in which a child could be seen, taking note of the Lord somewhere off to the left. Long walks ever deeper into the symbol. Without some kind of sugar dinner just won't be approachable. I can't forget you, which is a way of saying that the road forward is dimming by the second.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Every Last Dust Mote

One follows the path, even when spiders erect their tendril castles across it, even when it seems the woods to either side are more inviting. A purple maple leaf suspended at waist level, testifying to the potential for grace (and against destinations). This is what I have, this is what I do, so this is where I'm going. Thus began (or continued perhaps) an rigorous and creative exploration of psalms that are rooted in place. The mid-twentieth century was an interesting time for exploring nondualistic Christianity yet yielded up surprisingly boring God poems. Yet if it happened once, it is happening now and you'd do well to remember that. I smell bug repellant and remember how the sunlight on sliced tomatoes left me both hungry and content, an odd combination I have yet to resolve. The desire for certain words - especially trisyllabics that turned on "L" sounds - was an early profluence. You find Emily where Emily found Emily - in Emily. We are led before we know we are led (which is a comfort, strangely enough). He announced that he was rethinking cause and effect and the chapel attic was suddenly silent, as if every last dust mote were ready to attend. Ducks skim the pond at daybreak, their silvery wake brighter than the sky. To pray is to listen. To find (and adhere to) a certain structure - twenty sentences, say, or question and answer - is to realize that poetry can be salvational, enlightening. As a  driving rain of many days revealed unbroken bottles long hidden in the mossy (the untroubled) earth. You turn back and that moment - that turn - is where the walk happens, that is where "it" is. Rotting tomatoes, bulbous onions, dew on the overgrown kale. On the weathervane, a crow regally opens and closes its black wings, as if saying again what it said long ago and only now are we ready to hear. We made this world to obscure the face of Christ and we did a pretty damn good job, didn't we? So at last one arrives at Emmaus.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Happens Between The Ears

There is no excuse, no consequence and, in truth, no explanation. That was a way to approach it, until one realized there was no it to approach. What happens between the ears has to stay between the ears. Or so one thinks in the "wee hours," drinking hot tap water with instant coffee grounds, in a Rhode Island motel as winter comes on.

Stubborn is not a bad quality, when it comes to honor. Yet a lifetime of trying to get outside foundered, as if evolution were merely a detour from the natural to the unnatural. Outcome - or product - aside, writing poetry is a fundamentally Pollackesque experience. Tell me about the journey and the redeemer, okay?

Or, find a good tree, a sitting position you can hold for a few hours, and define it. Quotation marks were like little rafts or perhaps life preservers in terms of what they facilitate in a sentence. At last one was able to facilitate the one that came after. Or so he wrote, writing.

A vexed doctor is what sign of healing? You can't reason your way into Heaven 'cause it's a "you either get it or you don't" type of thing. As - in the interest of honesty here - another he wrote. Your voice on the phone has been growing increasingly fluid, which I attribute to your confidence, which is a bad development though for the life of me I can't say why.

Getting there, getting there. The two biggies right now are trusting God and assuming spirit rather than body. Without works - and words are not works, at least not necessarily - you'll have a hard time convincing anybody of anything. So back to where we started then - the grindstone, the drawing board, the familiar space in which a still small voice insists there is another way.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Angels Lost In A Theme Park

A very quiet rain fell. A Tennessee fainting goat stepped out of the barn, sniffed at a patch of dew-wet hay, peered in the direction of where yesterday the old horse was shot then buried. One remembers lilac more than one sees it, don't they. What does not lead to an interior experience of joy is a distraction.

God is the opposite of seeing outside what one fears to resolve within. Tricky lights! After the storm passed, I made tea and walked with the dog towards the field, watching as a handful of stars appeared behind slow-floating clouds. North is not a direction anymore but we are still coming to terms with it.

She wrote there was another way but neglected to adequately explain. The horses once pulled a wagon in which a simple wooden casket had been laid by weeping bearers, and once pulled a bride and groom, both of whom seemed surprised to be there. There is no Jesus, not anymore. Seedy cucumbers, yes, but basil, no.

Saint Francis was right: all one wants, really, is to be helpful where help is needed, and kind, where kindness is needed, and loving, where love is needed. All these busted coffee mugs and no glue! It was that way once and it can be that way again. A sweetness that comes only from hearing – from only hearing - the Holy Spirit.

What matters more than peace of mind is hidden in a rotting storage shed, the map to which was shredded and disposed of long ago. To see the world – or any of the bodies in it – as needing help (especially a sort of help that only you can offer) is a trap. Ministers fall at the gate, recovering drunks stumble through like angels lost in a theme park. I love you – more than you – more than I even – know.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The First Tender Kiss Ever

It was a hazy day, kind of a middle-of-summer day, when the heat rises soft and full and drenches everything in a mallow light. I always feel as if I am about to set off for the Civil War. Those fields, those graves, those perfect-to-the-point-of-weeping narratives. Can you say yes?

Let's focus on the liver now, shall we? Where the trail broke four ways he stopped, called the dog back and found himself "lost in thought." As soon as you feel clever, go another way. Just below the stone wall a fox studied us, his eyes as dark as a crow's wing in March.

The story you don't write doesn't remain unwritten. The air is full of dander, traveling butterflies, good ideas. One way to Heaven involves studying deer tracks. You get to where there's nowhere else to go and then you can say you're there.

Just because there's nobody and no thing to save doesn't mean you should walk around slaughtering dolphins. John Denver on the hi fi, those long-stem wine glasses full of pinot grigio. Fell asleep on the couch, my hand on your hair, your head near my shoulder and the dog watching us sadly from the floor. Tucked a shout into an envelope and mailed it to my dead uncle.

Hefting swords as the light fell, dreaming of the perfect peach. What did they think, facing the murder hole? You come up for air and the air is delicious, like nectar, like the tender first kiss ever. And I think of you from time to time and it always makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Unraveled

A curious quiet - or stasis - as if I had no heart at all. Yet there in the dark, what else would I could reach for? The idea of Christmas, a whiff of October bonfires. I am - I am always - letting my dreams do the interpreting.

In the bad dream my mother - diminished in stature but bright as a sequin - offered the only sane advice. Beyond which was darkness, malevolence, all of which I did to myself. When did my life become a spinning shingle in a knowing wind? Jenny with her dress, Michael carrying an iris, and then Joe coming after to tell me that he accepted now that my brother was dead.

You make a list and Christ recedes just that much. Which is to say, where can I find a house in which tendril clouds and intelligent hearts reside? Who was bearded who was complicit. I neither know nor care about the subjunctive.

Shoot me, I'm organized. In the dream, the old house was a different house and yet it was the same which reflects what creative impulse? Pins and needles and wine-stained fabric. Oh my grace I seem indeed to have lost my best hiding place.

You are silent, which is to say playful, which is to say taking delight in the Lord. A thin body against which all the world's rage was to no avail. Did I mention my broken heart, did I go so far as a fetish? You are right when you remind me about loving the unraveled.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back To Bells And Lanterns

Well, it is this and this is peaceable. A curve, a paved path in the distance, ash-colored in banks of candlelit snow. Fences fall, new tracks emerge. Little tufts of cloud drift up where the moon is, sometimes.

You write, a lovely voice in which confident laughter is inferred. On this end, much pacing, muddy quartz left by the bridge, and a lavender-colored mushroom I'd dream if it wasn't so real. We'll get back to bells and lanterns soon enough. Oh, and cats curling up near a terra cotta urn filled with lemongrass.

I just want to go caroling with you. He informed the nurse it was every religion or none. Chili peppers, overripe bananas. One returns to a familiar challenge and senses at last a way to let it rest.

You walked me past the antique farm tools into a shadowy dell and we kissed for maybe an hour, standing still, holding hands, not talking. Sunlight - even at the end of the day - attends. Some say it's the Lord, others are smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves. The vase fell, shattered, and Roman coinage slipped between the floorboards.

So it's all about money then? Or sleighs maybe, the horses splendid in the moonlight. We are elegant when in the early dawn we pray quietly that others might be blessed. I love you so much, I do, right now I love you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Way Of Scaling Mountains

Salvation is inevitable which means that religious duty is either an illusion or a bad idea (or both). The 1970's were dim, filled with nervous cats and sour apples that rolled downhill to gulping rivers. I grew up in a gunny sack, singing Civil War songs. Say ouch.

Remember that afternoon outside Boston, drinking gin in the cool shadows for hours? How long can two people not speak and still say love? There are always lines and we are always crossing them. It's a creed, it's a way of scaling mountains.

Fortune absolved us yet you linger in the screen. She laughed, telling me how long she had kept the therapist "in the dark" about us. My last confession was rote, the priest looked sad and bored and after I couldn't stand how bright the sun was, falling everywhere like God. He told me that he threw all the pictures away but you can never throw all the pictures away.

Fell asleep on the floor, wrapped in an old carpet, and woke up in a church that smelled of piss. You want gun shots we'll give you gun shots. A pumpkin stared sadly at the moon which did not stare back because, really, neither pumpkins nor the moon are capable of staring. And yet.

One teacher tried to argue that Jesus was nameless. What did he shout when the hammer landed accidentally on his knuckle? It's no joke that we're more or less without the mail now. But in the unholy din one can always hear a note of grace.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Balance Between Singing And Silence

Shards of blue glass in mud no less. As her poems diminished - a relative phrase to be sure - her letters grew denser, more passionate. What takes flight, what remains adorned. I don't care what you do so long as you have your reasons.

Holiday ambivalence, empty highways. The discarded rose vase we emptied as our drunken uncle passed by singing what ills would befall us by the light of the risible moon. I never knew Joe McCann. Nowadays, St. Paul would teach a course on creative epistolary and people would pay a premium.

We watched without speaking the shadow crawl from the ground, cross a bed of half-drenched goldenrod, and slink towards the unsuspecting village. Dusk, dawn, whatever. I woke up to the smell of burning maps. Art one way, prayer the other and then what.

Glittering as if to say stop and pay attention. We woke in the middle of the night and worked through difficult travel plans. Later, in a puddle near the driveway's end, a penny turned up. He moved his father's bones in anger, refusing to allow the old drunk to spend eternity with the family he had injured so.

But look, it happens sometimes. We are not happy unless we are chosen. It's got nothing to do with soap but with the balance between singing and silence. If you want to know about the forest, get a dog and walk there.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Gates Of Heaven Swing Shut With A Clang

The trail was given to mushrooms, patches of trembling sunlight, prints of deer walking one behind the other. In the "holler" we found a slight depression that reminded us of a grave. Nearby were barrel staves. You who dream of a noose, you know all about falling. That's how it is in the world we agreed would do the trick.

Or what? Wood arranged to provide a crossing rotted and you could see beneath the trickling river. Another dream of winter, another pilgrim smiling at his blue fingers wrapped around a leather bible. We fell for the angel, the light that played off spider webs suspended on the breeze. This sentence is ceramic, dulcet.

I dreamed of you and it was a dream made rich with regret. He wrote in that last letter that love was like truth, you can't put it up for a vote. Snow fall, fading tracks. There was even a camera! We are not who we were in those days, a fact which comes entirely without comfort.

The deer watched us cross the ridge, alert to the ringing of our voices. For many years I consoled myself that we would meet again but I have doubts about it now. Prayer is the last bulwark against death, which comes on without regard. Take this and call it a poem, won't you? There is no distance that can satisfy the lonely once the gates of Heaven swing shut behind them with a clang.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tenderness Leaves Me Baffled

The wind moved in the high trees, it came from the east, it had to do with a storm. The barn door opening always reminded me of thunder. Earlier I studied a photograph of Forget-Me-Nots and saw how one blossom was not blue but a sort of bruised purple, almost like a blueberry a few days before it is ripe, and it occurred to me that some bluets are that way also. Yet this is not and never was about me.

She fixed her glasses and raised her chin, it was her way of figuring out who was telling the truth and who was not. Any tenderness leaves me baffled. The wind began to be a sound one heard in the distance, like an eighteen wheeler bound for Albany or a jet airliner heading God knows where. Falling to sleep, I thought I heard Stevie Nicks call my name, like inviting me on stage to sing.

Disco balls creak as they rotate. We ordered new knives and when they arrived the old cat chose that box to sleep on and so - seven weeks later - we are still using old knives. Any text with reference to values - and some suggestion as to their application - is religious, is it not? He was so tired he could barely and write and yet he did.

The old mattress, toy mice that our late daughter knitted during a snow storm, and dreams of so much mail that you can't decide which letter to answer first. The man who opted against missives is not a man I'll be breaking bread with any time soon. Picking apples on the lookout for bears. The ironing board fell over while my mamma was ironing and I ran by not paying attention like I was told, that's how.

Hirsute and complicit. Some people ignored the swelling while others paused to praise the absence of tears or any other noticeable complaint. You can scale a mountain if you want but there's lots of ways to gain proximity to the Kingdom and you shouldn't be scared of being creative. Look how much rain fell and I went out and stood in it saying thank you thank you thank you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We Make The Soul Up As We Go

There is a list, a dead man's list, and we boldly put our names on it. Brotherhood makes a strange claim on one's loyalties. Yet not even blood on train tracks, not even a knife blade shining blackly in the moonlight, can dissuade us. Promises, my friend, promises.

I don't need directions anymore but that doesn't mean that peering into its dark eye makes me happy. She worked all afternoon putting up storm board and duct tape, only to come away with streaks of dirt and sweat and sawdust. Love has no way of showing itself outside our willingness to see. Raise the point with Jesus if you don't believe me.

Or ask what courage will do when nobody delivers the mail anymore. One feels the need to say goodbye, one feels certain ends approaching. Our bodies might be ours but the narrative sure feels like it belongs to somebody else. Mustard seeds, coffin nails, and a woman with sad eyes looking for someone to pray beside.

Absent risk, what remains for the poor to do? You throw your sack over your shoulder, turn left at about Kentucky and keep going until you hit John Steinbeck's grave. Smell of cat litter mixing with old rain. His gut hurt and he read into that what a lot of people did in those days.

Oh the ghosts I have known! If I see you you outside the veils will I recognize you? The storm created a whirlpool and the jazz pianist who tried to save her drowned in it. In a nutshell, we make the soul up as we go.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Give Caroling A Try

If I go to bed late - say 3 a.m. - then I don't wake up until well after 8 and the writing suffers. If you write it, you will remember it, and if you remember it, then it is happening right now. "You have to feel more than think." The apartment was too small for sauteed chili peppers but there I was, spattered with hot butter, wooden spoon in hand, humming a tune I think was maybe Paganini. There was something in it that resembled forgiveness. Something in it of moonlight, too, or possibly clover right after it rains. The light changed, blue to red, or so it seemed in that particular state. Chemistry has its way with us, there's no better way to say it. "Have a perfect day,"she said and then, clearly responding to something in my eyes that alarmed her, "but no pressure or anything." That was - let me see now - twenty-four years ago and counting. A birm or a "thank you ma'am." Brochures on the floor, a broken spice rack, static cackling on an antique transistor radio. Basically we live about four times as long as our cats, she said, and he decided on the spot to make amends with his daughter whom he hadn't seen or spoken to in nearly a decade. Pissing against stone, watching it spatter, lost in thought. Down by the brook, I spied a chickadee staring into the sun. A little house in the far field, one with smoke pouring from its chimney, the smell of salt pork and cider sifting over the soft snow. Allow me to introduce the wreath-maker who has decided to give caroling a try. Some people see better in the deep blue night and not everyone with eyes can see in the first place. A quality that any fortune teller is obligated to have. What I am saying is, all words are always searching for envelopes, and we can learn much about immortality from them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Heliotropes Came And Went

One exhibits a certain hostility to new (to unexpected) ideas. Wantonness maybe? To preach perforce to miss the point entirely. Look up Heaven in a Babylonian dictionary and get back to us.

The pen lay on its side, the notes fell part way out of the bible. One doesn't subscribe to the many worlds theory, one feels for it in the dark, confident in its sustaining capacity. Water sounds below. And did I tell you about my plan to abolish unhappiness?

It was summer when we went to bed, fall when we woke up. The moon is still there, right above the maple tree. The comforter was on the floor and a light breeze stirred the open bible to Ecclesiastes. It's time for some eggs over easy, tea with cream, some cucumbers on the side.

But still, where are we going and how will we know? "Money didn't change a thing." The heliotropes came and went, leaving a stale perfume. We waited on trains, the way dogs wait on bones, and some people wait on the Lord.

I didn't want her to see what I wrote. The merits will absolve all of us since there was never any sin in the first place. I love apples, always have, and the bold harvester too! So now can we begin?

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Best Sunbeam Ever

One waits delicately, preferring a larger carriage. A morning awash is worth it. Maybe the light will come and maybe it won't of course. The silver scree though, always.

The weather commences! One dreams of tomatoes, of a tractor working hard at the street's north end. Delicious prose? The appetite is for Heaven, not for less.

I love you on a vintage map. Will you follow a spurious valentine? The garage door grew faint after all that sunlight. We are not holding hands, we are not dreaming of a lax movie in a room with sloping floors.

The days pass like white skates and lace remains. You can keep your ornithology, I'm happy with a feathery language. Does the sun have an understudy? I do however thank you for replying to my earlier note.

The clock sings and the refrigerator hums and outside the front yard frog teases the sinking moon. You'll be the best sunbeam ever! One tosses seed, another composes with weeds. You fill my heart - inconsistently - with dancing commas.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Unseen Warblers Shut Up And Listen

Kindnesses extended, tickets home. Wavering threads of conversation. In the body, any body, blood does what it does, but that's no reason to make your brain a corporate board room. Or, as we say in the company of unseen warblers, shut up and listen.

That shade of green, this star-shaped (this semen-colored) mushroom. All night drinking wine and listening both to rain and peepers gets you nowhere. Off the trail one unexpectedly encounters paths. In the distance, then, clouds.

Clowns? We circumambulated the hayfield, stopping to admire butterflies, kneeling by the pale wild morning glory. The body makes the world, yes, but there is another mode of perception. It is not whose voice is that trending with the wind.

Livid commas substitute for hormones. In this sentence a seed hides that might commit a mortal act. Do you "see" connections? A beam of light fell a certain way and a shard of light blue pottery floated up through the soil.

Cucumbers lightly salted, fresh (low bush) blueberries. A drifting that takes the place of certainty but still is no relief. There is no such thing as a new thought or the only thought that matters. Hawk weed near the road brings me up short.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fun But Not Salvational

We woke, we rated the day, and then stepped into it as lively as a pair of stuck up swans. Not everyone is so willing or so delicious. Oh look - another Frank O'Hara wearing his soul like a taxi on his sleeve. Another cigarette, another chipped mug of watered-down tea, another sigh from the ridiculous poor. Some fields around here are hayed twice but others just once. Bifurcate or else. I grew jealous at the word "binoculars." Or failed rather to understand a complicated social dynamic at a very young age. I made a bed for us, a nest, and it was nice but you never showed. It was a difficult summer in which to be a lilac. Down by the frog pond I spied my true love walking her way. Only minutes remain. He meant to say desire remains. Burgeoning self cures nothing at all. A Latin dictionary at a most difficult time was fun but not salvational. The buck froze between dark trees, as I froze in the trampled goldenrod, and thus time stopped. She thinks about him and it's enough because it has to be. The bible too. What a rhythm we've got going here! Back and forth, all the salient details.

Friday, September 2, 2011

We Are All Dolphins

Could we try to do it another way? After a break is a good time to be new. For example, we could remember mowing the lawn before breakfast, we could sit on the porch and listen to the rain.

New sentences then? Maybe a mystery, maybe a poem. We can make meaning any way we want to or can we?

It's all Barthesian bullshit, Lacanian dross, etc. Science degrees do not abound here yet I still feel insecure. In the clouds, Emily Dickinson, then the Buddha with his head between his knees.

Laughter amidst cake crumbs, that particular joy. Your sentence fragment is my dyed thread. The dog slept soundly, nearly not breathing, and I wondered again at the ache in my belly, what it might possibly signify.

You'll die in a similar way, God promises. Sometimes - as now - you just have to move forward, one word after the other, and let the sentences figure themselves out. I like writing and you do too, it's why we're both here right now, this way.

Used yogurt containers filled with blueberries then carried downstairs to the freezer. You bumped against him and he smiled and though it hurt - and it did hurt - I recognized the obvious love and was happy for you both. A kid who died in the war, another who forgets to take his meds.

What a maze! What I mean is, we are all dolphins on the inside.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Side We Chose

I saw what I perceived would later be identified as a bear. Scored rocks on the trail, fallen tree limbs pointing (I'm pretty sure) South. A note in which one reveals a little. Or, as Ms. Stein would say, a very little. It's late or it's rain. It's a Chesire cat smile, is what it is. Your booth at which manicures are offered was lit by the sun and more crowded than we'd expected, given last week's numbers. This would be a nice line in a poem. Let us compare apologies. Or did I mean to say anthologies? Masks made in advance are not helpful. There is a time to meet and a time to decide to meet. We hesitated and while I mused on the beauty of birch trees at that time of year you whispered, "he who hesitates, masturbates." That yes too. We lit matches and inhaled and it was love though we never used that word in those days. It was a line on the beach and on the side we chose, can we say it that way? The past is a meatball sandwich wrapped in wax paper and carried home for lunch without a great deal of reflection on meaning. The future ricochets, bleats, it's falling crosses everywhere. I write that I would and I did. Laughing with you a last time was sufficient, it was more than sufficient.