Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Again and Again

Crows.

Rabbits.

Desire.

Melting snow.

Barn eaves.

Juncos.

Manure tea.

Strangers.

Black gloves.

Stolen shoes.

Boxes.

Sitting rooms.

Requests.

Open coffins.

This memory.

That sentence.

Consequence?

Do nothing.

No sleep.

Again and again and again.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Same Habit of Decision

Ah, that morning hour when the pink sky can be seen gleaming on the gray snow-flecked ice and you fall on your ass trying to piss without hitting a chicken.

Sir Oracle where were you when he needed you most?

Those dogs were skulking toward other villages I guess.

Well, burning bridges is a fun metaphor.

Old teachers drop lines.

We are the trout we have been waiting for!

She wrote out of the blue.

Punctuation is dictatorial.

No sentence is not better than any sentence.

This project may end today.

You have six days left to live.

We are all living on death row until we wake up and see that death is optional.

He healed by not seeing sickness.

One longs for right alignment.

Yet last night, walking up the icy road, impressed by the quarter moon's capacity for light, I felt the quiet joy we talked about all those years ago and wondered what about it was so hard then.

Kiss me you crazy bastard!

We're out of cinnamon and raisins.

Solutions and problems are different words for the same habit of decision.

My coffee mug requires better company.

Right-mindedness at last understood as a prerequisite to one-mindedness.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

At Last A First Time

Deal?

I mean it does seem as if leaf mold is not altogether bad.

A Volkswagon, a glass of milk.

Violin concertos where yesterday was only cattail.

Stars.

What would you remove from the equation if you could?

God is in everything I see.

Merton chuckles wherever he is now.

I remember you making lists of books to read, based on my suggestion.

Tangerines, clementines.

A cat names Franklin.

A clutch of mice.

It matters how I say this.

The heart does not break but on the other hand the heart breaks.

Lincoln's speeches read at last a first time.

Beethoven.

Did I mention the moon, that fuzzy sliver lost behind pine trees?

My friends in Millers Falls are blessed.

Barrels of rain.

Safety.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not My Voice But Another

I didn't know that when I was tired I could sleep.

Ten hours!

A dream of a library on a sloping hill in maybe Vermont.

I allowed strangers as much time as they needed to find books and then we all drove away.

A dream of hunting deer with Bob Dylan, using cheap shotguns.

Freestyling at the picnic table.

Blueberries with vanilla ice cream, heavy on the blueberries.

Did you know that you are allowed to be happy?

If you have to pee in the middle of the night, get up and pee.

Now are you in the vortex?

Vortext?

Now are you?

These poems are not designed to impress.

Exclamation points are the new prayer!

Lent went and let it stay there.

LOL.

A dream of an old house, rickety and white, in the middle of a field.

Thank God you came.

He loved my lyrics, especially the one about drinking beer no matter what anyone thinks.

Later I sang for a large audience - mostly strangers - and my voice was not my voice but another voice - I didn't know I had and it was good it was so good.

Friday, January 27, 2012

We Dream We Do

Yes, my heart is full of flowers.

Yes, I slip on the ice sometimes too.

You direct but I don't listen very well.

Cars crawl slowly along the interstate going who knows where.

We dream we do.

We like this sentence better than the one we haven't written.

One says yet.

Are you enjoying this process of creation?

I only exist this way because you want and need me to.

It wasn't Bob Dylan but Rimbaud who said I is another.

The longing for opium dens intensifies.

She owes me mail.

I love mail!

Hamburgers are beef patties and raisins are dried grapes.

You have large eyes that somehow make sense to me, as if . . .

Oh lacunae how I love thee!

The teacher misquoted Macbeth and nobody caught on.

Some students just don't want to learn and what can you do?

Chickens hate snow.

My heart overflows with peonies and gardenias.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Noticing

The dead squirrel slowly blanketed with snow.

The bald eagle settling on a pine tree, then lifting off when it noticed us noticing.

A good thing sustained for a period of time can become a bad thing.

But what if all things are only neutral?

Like angels?

The fence gate swings this way and that.

The little baby's toes were like green peas and he smiled a little when we tickled them.

The car that won't start but only bark in the cold.

I asked God for a message and he sent an eagle, ha ha.

Prayer is itself a distraction.

Buttercups.

Who tends to the Gods if not us?

The tractor growled as it bumped along between frozen ruts.

Who tends to God if not you and me?

A song will do.

Some students want to be there and some do not.

All things are inherently meaningless, thus comforting.

Liar smiles.

The road turned and we pulled over to watch the eagle who, when he lifted back into the sky, tossed a bit of snow our way.

No, I will not rewrite.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Happinesses

It won't matter.

Silence I mean.

Four syllables, twenty sentences . . .

You.

I asked the wrong questions.

I questioned the wrong authority.

Up one hill, down another.

Don Quixote is a good example.

Fox scat.

Ravens in the snowed-over hay field.

State officials declined to be interviewed.

Lights out.

Silence and darkness are not equivalents.

Silence equals clarity, sometimes.

Up down - it doesn't matter.

Question reference points.

Laugh.

Juncos picking through the wood pile.

A little scattered corn.

Some happinesses go unnoticed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Passing What Is Gathering

It is not night any longer.

We are fishing and we are not talking.

There are rings everywhere, spools of time unraveling.

Here is the crown, here is the scepter.

We are quietly fishing together.

We are letting the canoe drift.

The next sentence only knows the previous one.

Mirrors, knitted baby caps, frequent apologies.

Time adjusts itself to our decisions.

The night passes and the gray afternoon stands waiting.

The canoe drifts, past blueberry bushes, past the camper's beach.

Your letters are always late.

You are always late.

When I am angry I resemble royalty.

You crack a beer and I wait uneasily.

You changes.

But I do, too.

It was a rowboat, and this is fiction.

What is passing, what is gathering?

My friends are waiting on the shore but I can't say who they are talking to.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy to Settle

You can walk away.

You don't have to decide now what are you walking away from.

Distance is not a place and neither is a feeling.

Bridges are nice.

Walk away from nice?

What about bridges in Nice?

You can put the pencil down and the world won't end.

Your shoulders are happy to settle.

Your ankles are happy to settle.

You have friends who aren't leaving.

You don't have to wake up at 4 a.m. and stare at the stars and come back and struggle to write about it.

See how easy a sentence can be?

There is nothing wrong with the weather.

There is nothing wrong with drinking a cup of coffee.

You asked the right questions of the wrong teacher, that's all.

You can walk away now.

The right teacher finds you, not the other way around.

The right teacher is always already there.

You see how the sentences are just there?

It's okay - you can stop writing now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sufficient

These are for you.

Thank you.

It was nice to hear your voice this morning - and also hers.

I promise not to waste myself anymore.

I'll go to bed earlier and I'll wake up later.

I'll put jam on the bread and not worry about how it was sweetened.

I accept as gospel don't worry be happy.

My friends in New Hampshire are blessed this morning.

My friends in Vermont are blessed.

I will rewrite as necessary.

I appreciate the gift.

It's okay that it wasn't what I thought it would be.

I'm tired of being frightened for dogs.

Honesty really is the best policy and there really is nothing worth hiding.

You like roads as much as I do.

Is this what you wanted?

I won't sleep if waking up is more helpful.

There really isn't anything that we have to do.

The gifts are distributed equally but it does appear they are at random.

Your understanding is sufficient in this regard.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Circumstances Fade

You want - how do you say it? - a habit of inner peace. Rabbits ducked through sage underbrush, skittish in moonlight. Halfway through the walk it snowed. One comes back to where they started in a state of gratitude. It's about a gift, which is about as much as I can tell you, not being seated at a table, not having shared a cup of tea.

The man without shoes is not concerned about return nor about modes of travel. Tiny flakes, barely more than frozen silt, making a brushing sound against my shoulders like what-was-his-name, the drummer for Stan Getz. Airplane crashes, unexpected insight into dead rock'n'rollers. You better believe I'm egocentric. Yet once there, the crowded circumstances fade, and all that remains is a helpful conversation.

A Christian convocation? The dog disappears and only at the driveway's edge does she reappear. It's about receiving a gift and so you want to mimic that state of anticipation, faithful anticipation. The pilot said about landing in fog, it's harder than it looks. Different tracks on the way home suggest we're not the only ones who prefer the dark silence of night.

And Falmouth, Massachusetts. If you're not surprised, you're not writing. If you're not laughing then your prayers have become bloated. I leaned on the windowsill and asked God to show me a better way and look what happened. This minister walks into a bar and says to the bartender - big guy with biker tats, hasn't smiled since seventy-eight - give me twenty whiskeys and the bartender says - get this - what's the big deal with twenty?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Through The Gloaming, Lit Up With Song

We woke late beneath tangled blankets, discussed the way winter light is not spring light and why. Snow. One misses the moon one does. Baby pictures from the nineteenth century are oddly discomfiting. Uncomfortable? We sure did spend a lot of time in that yarn shop.

Up North a ways. Coat hangers, hamburger wrappers, a crushed cigarette. Years later, meeting in a coffee shop, one could only note how the years had worn on them both. Thus a story, a good one. Words falling over one another en route home. We pass through the gloaming, lit up with song.

Ah smoke, you have helped so many of my poems! Choosing coffee beans yesterday I felt the mutual amends go unspoken and thanked God that we don't always have to be these bodies in a food store. One always wants more until one suddenly wants only one thing. Are we still talking about salvation? It comes down to words until it doesn't. Like like.

Your hand grazed my wrist and I remembered knives from long ago. Something leaps, something is lifted, something is happy to see anyone at all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Confused About Who Loves Me

Going out I slipped on the ice, steadied myself by staring at the moon, a thinning cusp lolling above the tree line. It's what you say about life that matters in life. Though later standing still in the darkness, you couldn't decide whether to say "thin" or "spare" to describe the light. It's all there is, you could write that, right? We all get home, sooner or later.

Just like a tuned-up alligator? Pass the sugar, please, I'm done with watching my weight. Yet the inclination to pay attention must be directed somewhere. Norman Vincent Peale won't you please shut the door and go home? Spiritual ballistics!

And then there's the muddy hole God made. You can't imagine the sound made by falling trees and you can't believe what babies think. Another few minutes of the passive serenade and then we're going to get serious. Damn but it's cold! Of course there is always but.

But it works, right? We solved the tractor problem with shovels or belief, I can't say. Early to bed, worldly to rise. My legs ached and I couldn't decide to take the long way or the short way home. Be still my fainting heart or I'm apt to get confused about who loves me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Vantage Point Itself

The vantage point itself was suspect. As in, it was hard to judge the tragedy as it yielded benefit for so many people. Salvation, salvage - who is to say? Yet your note arrived in a most timely fashion, much as your earlier one had. In general, one is lifted, not saved.

Yet on the other hand, in that black hour before dawn, I recalled the broken tractor and all the words we uttered around it. What did the gimpy sage say, where the road branches, about letting go of the body altogether? This teacher and that teacher and the lesson never changes. Catfish dreams. Also, an old friend who followed me along a dirt road made virtually unnavigable for - as yet anyway - obscure reasons.

We donned caps, hefted hand-carved hiking sticks. Do you remember as I do that morning we spent gazing at the distant Alps, making love on a single bed, and feeding one another day old bread and cheese? The divine arrives so often we miss it! What hurts? Oh, what I would do if time were not merely what passes.

I mean you think we'd learn. Here we are again, all naked and happy, as slippery as eels. The plans for a Christmas wreath were accidentally used to start a fire. Why cry when laughter uses less bodily fluid? I love you still, in spite of self.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On My Knees Again

Little steps. You go down into the basement to look for a book of poems - what was it called again? - and find nothing. Fleas leap happily onto your bare legs, nestle in the thin fuzz and gorge. I swung on a gate once, watching the sun appear to spin in the sky, and a rainbow appeared - this was without rain, mind you - a real rainbow that sort of folded over on itself and began to shimmer and settle on me like a divine envelope. Jesus can we stop talking about that damn cross?

He laughed, resting against a pine tree, scrubbing pitch from his fingers with a little saw grease. In the distance, horses stamped and cold air steamed from their nostrils. We are the winter we've been fearing? What use are coupons and recipes in Heaven? Yet who can say what it is or isn't except those that are there, waiting.

Anybody else but me notice that I'm okay now relating the one sentence to the next in a more obvious way? Like this? I want to say it was angels but all I can really say is I never forgot it. On the other hand, one lies one does. We are all salesman.

You keep going and eventually you won't be where you started, that's about the most I can promise. He wrote once about the yellow pickup, its soft edges, the only truck he ever loved. It takes a village to comprise a village for purposes of identification as a village. You're not laughing now but trust me, you will be. I begin to pray on my knees again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Plain Empty

At a later hour, the sentences move differently. Roast beef, steamed broccoli, scalloped potatoes. Maybe black beer and whiskey? One forages beneath dense cover, anticipating language and surprised to find only words. What we don't know . . .

Or, the dances that we recall, from years ago, when the world was a simpler place. Certainly the illusion of forward motion is a convincing one. Otherwise why bother? What I meant to say was black coffee with cream from that new farm over near Christian Hollow. How did you end up where you did?

In other words, stories. Stomach pains that make it into the project as . . . well, the word "dense" anyway. I am the mirror ball I have been waiting for. At the end of the day the place from which the words usually spring feels dried up or covered over or plain empty. He was getting to it, he wrote.

The neighbor's dog, the big dipper. Walking this morning my face fell off, and I was aware of you, in a solid, pleasing way. Certain readings were undertaken in error. Oh,were you showering? I begin to find one or two syllables that might work, might . . .

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Slant of Light

So the days pass.

So the stars filter their own light to hide what we can't yet see. Does it matter that you are loved?

The collective illusions - Da Vinci, Johnny Cash - work just as well as the personal. In general, we see what we need to see, hear what we need to hear. I wouldn't go at it any other way.

One studies forgiveness and only later practices it. Horses plod through snow, eyeballing us warily, uninterested in entering the forest on such a frigid day. A few strands of cloud, a half moon due South. It was Blake, I think, who said we are here to bear the beams of love a little while.

Or pace monastery halls, sucking hard candy and dreaming of France. Government can come to no good. She collected glass bottles, turning them this way and that on the window sill. One remembers a slant of light and in remembering falls weeping.

I am coming around to the notion that form is simply an extension of content. Some decisions are harder than others. We spent the morning looking at the broken tractor, smoking away the aftertaste of last night's whiskey.

I'll give you a dollar if you can show me where God is not. Alligators and sharks worship only hunger which is why we fear them.

Or seem to.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Worst of the Night Before's Whiskey

We are assured of nothing. Yet as we spoke - you from a distance, me at an unwilling center - one sensed a general, a kindly movement on which rest was possible. Perhaps it is simply like staring up at the stars and not drawing on your knowledge of galaxies. We are what we assume? Please, only facts are acceptable where the road branches.

One asks what it means to aspire at all? Or eat aspirin in the morning, fending off the worst of the night before's whiskey. The tractor was broken and our breath hung in the air as we cleaned the lines, all to no avail. One trudges, one does. One begins to assemble an argument, as if God really were a judge.

I tried to be calm at a difficult time and could only pretend to admire the clouds gathering in the distance. In the presence of newspaper journalists, one is either prone to fibbing or not. Dessert was good. Later we will walk into the desert together. It might be a psalm I'm after.

No envelope can contain what the letter actually means! And that is the whole problem of form. The twenty sentences forget where they're going and end up in a forest, metaphorically speaking. It's late and I really do want that jigger of whiskey. Can you be quiet now, can you melt into the candle?

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Fruitful Dalliance

Of which I am one.

The cottage in the distance faced a mercurial future. We are in motion, all the time.

Or was it gazing upwards, counting stars, imagining reason that did us in? Gazelles leap over fallen trees and never arrive back on Earth. We misused our natural capacity for creation and now look.

Ah, but there are ways. Your letter arrived in early Spring and my heart - or what I call my heart - broke repeatedly, but also beautifully, as light is fractured by prisms. Don't call it a car accident and don't feel guilty. Later, circling the block and thinking about a cigarette, I recalled my one night in a convent, reading Thomas a Kempis by candlelight.

I would rather feel compunction than know its definition (he wrote). Yet one does collect books and read them and then go out before dawn, letting certain ideas gleaned from them lift one over the pine trees. Jesus is a busy man, what with healing us and all. These poems must do, as little else does.

Or else? In the morning, I return, and you are there and we are prone to comfort one another in ways that are themselves a comfort. Thus, repetition encourages the immortal perspective, a fruitful dalliance.

Though a day spent walking through museums - wondering what the world will look like when these works of art are no more, because being made of matter they are as doomed to dissolution as you and I - can be oddly pleasant, even reassuring. The hot dog vendor outside wanted to talk and so he did.

Or, all in all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

One More Walk On The Lake With You

There is a focus now on bass notes, a certain way they echo. I remember everything, despite a thousand reasons not to. Memory crushes the present, the way an open palm can crush insects or smiles. Trust is not the issue, until it is, and then it's all there is. You see where this is going?

You wrote towards the end that our lies had become like renegade soldiers, always gathering in the distance, ready to storm our meager shelter. I remember in Burlington a dog with a red bandanna that I tried unsuccessfully to rescue, the sense of hope and promise inherent in any loneliness. Death is the end, don't kid yourself. I wake and go walking in the darkness, attended only by the devil and his now-familiar longing. Oh how I wish I could start my life again.

We are perhaps one, perhaps not. He fed himself a crust of bread and watched the sun fall beyond gray hills. Voices of children in the street, witnesses to hunger and political failure. Followers of the executed criminal persisted their damning testimony. I braved the gallows but for what?

Did I mention dishonesty? Broken thoughts that fall from my tongue like windows out of long-abandoned factories? You left, you did not come back - what is death against that? The end is coming, brother, and it's going to feel like being drunk in a snowbank on Christmas. I would trade every prayer I've uttered and every hint of God I've written for one more kiss, one more walk on the lake with you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trying to Make You a Map

There are those amongst us who have become pilgrims.

I am one, although you cannot tell by looking at me - or by listening to me talk.

Our common objective is the present moment, bright and clear, untended by the past and without regard for the future.

Heaven is a state of being that remains distant but possible, somewhat akin to the optical illusions you enjoyed as a child.

Obviously we are bent on undoing fear.

There aren't many of us - not even enough for a club.

We don't congregate, except when we're sure we won't be seen, and even then we are careful to advance only with cover.

What can you ask of those who are tortured by the fearsome condition known as recollecting God through desire?

It's not arrival that makes one a pilgrim, but the decision to travel.

We give up a lot to get here.

Antique lamps, expensive tables our grandmothers purchased in White River Junction, even the family dog.

Somebody somewhere wants to know you're not just playing.

I, for example, offered up my poetry and so am left now with paltry sentences.

At night, alone, like you, I study the stars for signs.

The old reliance on songs is being reconsidered at the highest level.

Before the sun rises I walk deep into the woods, grateful for the chance to know myself as alien.

We know we are broken.

We are trying to make you a map.

You don't owe us anything.

It is the surest way to love.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gifts from a Ravenous God

The possibility of a nomadic life had onced appeared real. In the desert, one finds keys, even old window frames. Yet jazz remained an instructive mode, one that allowed us to appreciate evolution. No rock unturned, no snake not reviled.

Oh you and your habit of planting things in winter so they'll sprout anew in Spring. What kind of breakfast did they eat when they had to go kill horses? We stayed up and watched the moon and listened to the wind and in our dreams that night a thousand glittering streamers fell from the skies, gifts from a ravenous God. You like hills?

I remember in particular the poems I did not write. In New Hampshire, near the coast, a woman tries in vain to dissemble identity in time for her wedding. The heart is always in motion, meaning that we are driven by a longing to which we only rarely put a name. Call them psalms and get on with it.

Whoa! Once trust was raised as an issue we began to fall apart, telling lies all over the place, as if undoing the foundation - whatever that meant - was a sound objective. A found objective? This one, for example, was created aside a Poinsetta plant while a couple of cats snored noisily beside a hissing stove.

But then love does have a way of rendering us all visible, doesn't it? Jesus comes in, asking if I'd just undo this one sentence for him. You don't have to consider death if you don't want to. I am here, for example, and so are you, and that might be enough.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Real Breaking Point


He leans his forehead against a tree and a little smoke rises but you have to look closely to see it. We picked blueberries out there many many years ago. Can we work the word silver into the poem? Nobody listens anymore. Or that's how it seems, drunk with wine, playing Thelonious Monk records.

We are not separate from our living space. There is no need to be both giver and receiver, which is why we favor one role over the other. The horse looked up and it was easy to believe he was grateful for the change in circumstances. I am as always in the middle of things. One wants a kiss despite their age.

And cloudless skies. Complicated rhythms that seem to require keeping joy at arm's length. Can we listen to the radio then? Blades of grass spackled with vomit and drops of dried blood. That's the whole picture and it's very interesting.

Nobody listens because nobody believes they can anymore. We walked the fence line slowly, repairing barbed wire, and talking about our friendship which had endured a great deal but seemed finally to be broaching a real breaking point. Ah, my old heart, how you quiver and sing! She drew the curtains and turned to the bed, her hair falling on her shoulder in a way that made me wish I had taken up painting. Longing scales the invisible ladder and waits for us up high between the stars.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Near A Rose Bush

It is a day of learning to forgive, or hoping to anyway. The past shades all things but this is simply a habit of seeing. What cannot be undone does not exist. In the moonlight, even the tiny pine trees appear garish and large.

Earlier - before the sun rose - I felt the presence of Old Scratch, sad and angry, just past the tree line. We walk slowly over icy fields, finding our way. The dog, once known for traveling many miles far and wide on an ordinary walk, now slows down and stays nearby. Count your blessings, not your dollars.

Ah, who am I anyway? Three fingers of cirrus float overhead, a chickadee perches near a rose bush. Must winter always come? Must we always think in terms of followers?

You come at my child in anger and grief and I cannot let that be. Merchants walk into the temple with heavy hearts, hefting cages in which nervous doves await their fate. Are we different? The sun comes up and it goes down and I cannot take my eyes off the sky.

Thus, this. Thus a note of apology, offered years too late. The lamps flicker and grow dim and eventually expire. We ask for too much and our boots are filled with sand.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sharper Every Day

So much so that when an opportunity arrived he took it without question.

I'm in the wrong chair for drinking tea but when the muse beckons you don't ask questions.

Prayer is a continual action largely unrelated to language and won't yield fruit until you get that.

The world is coming to coaches.

She wrote later - in an apologetic note that he saved - that the list of things she didn't understand in the world grew longer and sharper every day.

One who begs forgiveness understands forgiveness.

How the hell did Terpsichorean find its way into the project?

Realization does not dawn slowly.

Lately I am focused not on the practice of others but on my own practice which is informed by others but not, um, exactly what they do so much as, you know.

Avoid speech.

Listen?

We show up and we write and we do it without judgment.

Another way to think about the past is that what happened, happened.

Five years later I understand the concern you raised when I spoke about singing and dancing as a means of attaining grace and can only say that I'm sorry.

You want some pie?

The gibbous moon sank slowly into the hills where a train - a very loud one for 4 a.m. - cranked along decrepit tracks.

One fears for bears in unseasonable winter warmth.

Another way of making sense is not to say anything at all.

The decorative wagon wheel was moved from the barn to the front of the house and everyone agreed it was a lovely development and would much improve saleability.

Yet who could say who it was saying - and more importantly meaning - all that?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Before I Mount The Gallows

One consents to wreckage, a sentence comprised of penitential reflection. As light can be seen through the delicate flesh of a mouseling's ear. Not play, not singing. We stopped where the statues were dusted with snow, seeking lines that would beget poems that honored the ancestral impulse. Certain relatives are buried in unmarked graves.

Yet morning does come and one rises and begins again to compose the twenty sentences. We are only partially what we eat and partially what we feed to others. A pile of rocks, stubble pines, glints of sunlight warming nothing. So nobody listens, so what? He carried the trapped mouse out into the morning dark and let it go near the chicken shed.

Ah, but that was another story, one we told to help people fall asleep in difficult times. Drinking coffee outside Worcester, reminiscing about nicotine. Would you hold me a last time before I mount the gallows and sail off in pursuit of the old dog? Night comes as well and you can't forget that. There were apple trees all over that garden.

I have made a religion of the phrase "and yet." You experience silence as an island first, then you are lifted into a familiar song. There is no such thing as here and there. One returns to be broken, one longs again for that forbidden kiss. You know, don't you?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Kind of Settling

The dog hesitated - and so I hesitated - and then I went on and so did the dog. In the distance - even now - one hears beavers at work on the trees that are left. And trains - en route to Albany, the Erie canal - passing through Chester, circling a hill. I would give anything for grace but sometimes accept this quiet.

When we return, it will be as rocks falling, a kind of settling, and it will have nothing to do with language. Alone, we can say: this is who we are. I will not begrudge any one their tea, their moment of prayer. She gives no contrary indication, which we take as a sign (which why wouldn't we?).

Nor will there be any folk dancers. Well, memories help to move us along, there's that to be said for them. Dreams of flight accompanied by a dream of falling slowly down a dead aunt's stairs. We wake up and there's Jesus, gazing into the fish tank the way the rest of us do, pleased with what it seems should be less pleasing.

The luxurious ego of kings vs. the fate of Thomas More. One falls to sleep picturing their own courageous martyrdom. "You just used a whole lot of words but I don't think you said anything." Well, we are often parroting our fathers, to their regret and ours.

Isn't this sentence lovely? You can wake up any time you choose. It's mutual and always was. It's Christ on the cross and dirty happy hippies all over again.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Dream of Rain in Kentucky

Thus. The twenty sentences at last understood as a helpful exercise in the application of pronouns. I learn. You see. One does.

Or so he wrote. It was a polysyllabic enterprise before anybody else showed up with big ideas. A tree cannot be anything but a tree and does so without effort. Are we still talking about writing? You tell me.

It is not related to photography but does have a thing for musicology. The notes follow one another, like hikers ascending an Austrian hill. All it takes for something interesting to happen is one slip. Or maybe a bus. A rude awakening?

Forsaken Ming vases in the hands of a sad nude. Thus Bambi, thus rambling, thus a dream of rain in Kentucky. The river you see only seems to flow, as the time you take only seems to pass. He wrote I love you. Me too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Singing The Correct Song

Soldiers? I woke up under the impression that one is supposed to give and not receive. What followed me into the field then, nagging in a quiet - no, an unspoken - way? Later, drinking tea, stars glittered overhead exactly as they would have if I had made them. Well, love does and then is.

Yet peace remains elusive. The past and future are but constructs used to hammer the present into submission. Poetry is rarely any help but it does pass the time. I did it again! He wrote he wrote.

But later watching the horses, the man without shoes felt calm, sure that the world would end in love. A dream of lilies, a dream of a sad mother whom everyone had to protect. Are we singing the correct song yet? One believes that to remain incomplete is itself sacred.

In other words, there is something in longing that completes us even without satisfaction. I miss the old telephones that kept you locked in place, like a dog on a leash. Every so-called advance since has been marked by secrecy. You write, I'll open the mail. They are out there in the distance, weary and footsore, and we are going to have to figure out how to love them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

It Ends At A Disco

Or perhaps I meant speculator. Belief is worth looking at, as are its roots. You walk down a slight hill to the barn and suddenly slip on a patch of ice. He wrote a poem about magi on bare branches and it was picked up by several knitter's groups. All is well once you've got coffee.

Don't stop laughing and if you haven't started, well belly up to the cosmic bar and get yerself a chortlin'. This guy started running, looked behind him to see if he was being followed and got clotheslined by - get this - an actual clothesline. This calls to mind our condition in Heaven. What I was looking for was a rat and what I found were black gloves somewhat hidden in the hay. Old Scratch is never not on call.

Of course, we are always being followed. As a child I had a series of significant interactions with prisms and clear quartz and rain followed by sudden extreme sunlight and so naturally as an adult I covet mirror balls. One makes a list of the poets with whom they've lost touch. I mean pets. Did I mention my many followers?

Oh this road can be a lot of fun once you know it ends at a disco. At every moment, believe in light. She stepped outside and lottery tickets fell from the sky and - here's how you know she really got it - she simply reassigned them to snowflakes. That fall hurt but your smile - followed by mine - was more precious than gold. Just watch and wait and from time to time be happy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

There Were Good Kings

One assumes the position of a supplicant and then gets angry when other supplicants arrive. Giving must be in the nature of utterly. Cardinals come up from the river and we watch them all morning without speaking. Often, the prayer we spend a lifetime preparing for has already been answered. Thus one learns what Heaven is for.

Or not. A few glasses of wine measured against moonlight on the barn, half an hour of moaning. One genuinely desires to forgive and ends up in conflict yet again. Are you following this? Amidst grackles and chickadees and the occasional ubiquitous nuthatch?

Well, against snow anyway. The morning passes searching for clear quartz, polishing it with denim, holding it up to the sun. God is see through. Now and again you write a sentence and think, there, that's it. Then you write another one.

Then he wrote that good poem about the cardinals as magi. I will no longer play Macbeth! Yet there were good kings in that play, which is worth remembering. I think of you often while walking. Once fed, no longer hungry.