Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Yes We Are Not Ready To Say

The idiom is selective more than selected. A broken chair faces the road. Two deaths in nine days is not remarkable and yet. The narrative pushes itself, and pulls us, and before we know it.

Both of the cats slept while we bailed water. One years to live before they die and becomes famous trying but still dies. This is the dream we were told about and the way out is right in front of us. Death as a center, death as a lake.

For Sue she used capitals. One senses the fonder eclipse, one stares idly at the moon shining on the lawn. Cameras are portable sarcophagi. We want to say something and so we do and then after think, was that what I meant?

A loveliness that becomes unbearable the more I study it. Allowances were made and the world followed and so we stand knee deep in it, wondering when things will change. Montpelier, Vermont, where I wandered for days recalling the starving deer of childhood. This, too.

The mode sings us, the melody is how we stumble, up one hill and down another, forever uttering home. Breathe me indeed. Unexpected gratitude opens a door beyond which is a field in which we long to play but for the yes we are not yet ready to say. Before dawn he whispered okay.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Sort Of Operatic Confusion

One can say that this writing occupies my mind. It is easy to say that death is not real until one is actually faced with death and then you don't want to say anything except Jesus. So the body lurches from thought to thought, forever bent on its version of salvation.

Morning coffee, bad news, and the whole world through a dewy tear. I wrote two letters, burned both, and then went walking in the wrong jacket. Can one ever quantify knowledge?

Shopping for apples ought to make anyone happy. The mail is always posing in opposition. The basement flooded and we lost many books, most of which we'd never read which - after a few days had passed - struck us as both hilarious and spiritually opportune.

Spiritually opportune! Repetition emphasizes but it can also obscure. Pay attention to how you read me!

A dizzying walk absent stars and a painful memory strikes you right about there. The barber was quiet, no doubt recalling his own struggles with maternal influence, or perhaps simply revisiting the funeral of his beloved. What wanes no longer waits and so returns (more or less).

Yet too much can be made of disappearance in a world that always succumbs to the senses. To the sentence? One intends ecstasy and arrives - as ever - at a sort of operatic confusion.

The eternal and unchanging Truth has never cared about  your poetry! We wake up beneath a forgiven elm at the crossroads, we kiss tenderly as the light fails, and we massage the feet of all the passing travelers.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Memory Of Honeysuckle

A wind - a storm really - begins audibly to the north. He says he is no longer happy while walking. I do not have the capacity for the sustained focus a career requires. Thus the world, thus this.

Pictures of ducks, lots of television, maybe a bear. We are not the custodians we think we are. You arrive late and we wander in circles, trying to find each other. What do I really want really?

Most holy of befriendings? Rhyme serves no useful end anymore. The poem emerges from a memory of honeysuckle and an inclination towards haiku. What is is not and vice-versa.

But on the other hand we can always play guitar together. Coffee heals. The dog's ears perk up when I begin to sing. From the north, wind, and the first flakes of snow.

Eternity is a good idea. Pleroma is a nice word, one I'll be sure to use in a sentence very soon. Touch this, won't you? And we'll all be happy until it's time to start again.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What We Pursue Without Reflection


One apprehends at last the value of studying the soul. I lost the race and so denied I was racing. It grows dark, then darker, and then what? A crow hops listlessly through the snow, appearing to study its own shadow, which creeps like a bell's shadow before it.

The hunt is itself a metaphysical experience when properly undertaken. Yet judgment - what is right, what is wrong - obscures the truth. We are what we eat? We are what we pursue without reflection.

One lives by appearance and memory and - while drinking coffee and wondering if an old love would succumb to a letter - questions the wisdom of it. Metronomes are no help at all! One sips raw vinegar mixed with honey, one recalls suddenly a dream of trout beneath phosphorescent ice in winter. Robert Johnson multiplied thusly.

Intensified? The puzzle of you deepens because it's the best way to keep you busy. Clouds cover up the ground. For three years running now, nobody visits the grave, and we are all a little disappointed and we are all a little chagrined.

Falsity commingled with narrative yields what impulse? You call to that part of me that yearns to be called. We learn trust by trusting. One day you know the sphere without reference to space and that's it, it's over.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Moved By Something Else

Insight is the preferable mode. What is familiar inquires. What is familiar petrifies? My teeth ache but I'm still grateful for your white chocolate coconut caramels.

Indeed, brotherly and peaceful words were meant to be returned. We kissed and kissed which intensified the cat's inclination to attack our feet through blankets. Time passes or it seems to. I'm glad I dreamed Aristotle and chicken parmigiana.

Be my bride in North Carolina! While elsewhere one submits to the necessary theological argument. Is it okay to believe something else? The tickle, the fondle and the love they represent.

I meant only that one is not always responsible for the mail but somehow ended up in a debate about resurrection. Eschew the middle ground and stay focused! Scattered guitar picks, half-remembered melodies. For example, everything that is in motion must be moved by something else.

Well, hardens anyway. And happy birthday! The horse waits patiently for the rain to stop while we only pretend not to fret. If you like it, then it's for you, okay?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Incapable Of Meaningful Translations

I woke to a crease in the curtain through which one or two stars were visible and thought of you who I have not seen in almost twenty-five years. Time passes, leaving us like islands. She said while folding the recently-washed quilt, I think you are making all of this harder than it has to be. The best advice as always is to choose your teachers carefully.

Life has been commercialized and one longs to respond to that. Stop idolizing circles! I awaited your email for many hours and when it at last arrived was too tired to read it. A little snow sifts down from the pine tree and my heart breaks proving itself (again) simultaneously amenable to love and incapable of meaningful translations.

Halfway through the bottle of wine he mentioned he had been sober two years and was afraid to tell me and we both cried, seeing what we had done to each other. Thus the storm begins, thus it rains. Always ask: what is this for? The train left and we watched it go, wondering what it meant that we had chosen to remain in an unfamiliar city.

There are lots of ways to say I love you but falling to your knees when you're just shy of fifty isn't one of them. A writer I admire says he invented all the battles he ever fought. She sleeps the sleep of Adam and I watch her, grateful as always for the presence of a lovely woman. It's always sunny somewhere!

Walking in darkness, talking to Jesus, one arrives unexpectedly at the sacred crossroads. Robert Johnson won't you please come home and do an encore? My word. When the light for which we long was in us all along.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Ledge of Conclusion

You insist on this form and not another. At 2 a.m., I was wide awake and chewing aspirin and wondering what the priests who still perform exorcisms dream about. He wrote that he'd follow me into hell if such a trip were possible. At 5 a.m., snow falling, the train whistle brought such clarity you'd think Jesus had invested in a sledgehammer.

Do you know how I am? It's not this but something else. The beloved apostle is stranded on a foreign shore indeed! She is the one who says it's not necessary to stay awake all night on your knees.

Oh God please raise to the light of understanding all your exiled children! Grace is as grace does is what we never quite want to hear. I believe in lilies, cultivating milkweed for monarch butterflies, sourdough starter and also Emily Dickinson's letters after maybe 1865. Watch your laces she said with a smile that made me forget about time for almost forever.

Folded blankets, a knitted cap and some familiar songs from the 1970's. I write and write and write and at last arrive at where one writes, one does. I is another is not quite it either. Can you say this sentence rises in the mind, set apart from all the many others?

The vast mantle of the meadows - decked in snow, spackled with deer prints - invites one back from the ledge of conclusion. All she has to do is ask. Without you I couldn't enjoy the deep heavenly joys. Beloved of all my brilliant sisters would you walk with me now across the road into the forest?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yes Is The Necessary Gift

With her hair down - playing Joan of Arc - her intensity owned a sexuality that even she could not have mistaken. One can appreciate without indulging the inclination to see in terms of spiritual warfare. One walks and - late but not too late - is accompanied.

In my dream I resisted conversion, though I much admired the wooden beams by which the structure was supported. Yes is the necessary gift and cannot be taken back. We write the role and play it.

She went to the window to confirm it was tuberculosis. At certain critical times nobody held me. Yet we cannot see the end to which our works are put and there is peace in that if we are ready.

Cold tea and apples after the sun has risen and the novel - again - has stalled. A young girl carried bread on the boat and fifty years later we still talk about it. Doubt fuels our passage down the narrow lanes.

The river of light in the distance, the trail that reaches its banks familiar. We sat to eat, we bowed our heads in prayer and when at last we looked up, well-fed mice were dancing on our plates. What I am saying is, when you are there and it's time to leap, maps are no longer helpful.

One descends to the relative minor, one can live a long time in a melody constructed there. What we are in truth can never die. One fears the final edit.

Rocks are speaking now and bluebirds pause in the air before me. Thank you sister for reminding me the little way is all there is.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Present Largely Echoes

For you I will write in a way that is unfamiliar and discomfiting. Celebration brooks no judgment, else it's not celebration but appeasement. The Lord entered and the light was very clear and space itself was undone perfectly.

Yet we hurt each other, and apologize, and then we do it again. The fiction appears to write itself after five years away, which is a blessing. Trains arrive, trains leave, and time indeed goes on.

Your comma is my moment of mild conflict. Here on earth one really can't be taught anything. Multiplicity abounds.

On the other hand, watch what you say, because words shape our destinies. I dreamed of dandelions, I woke happy. He said almost casually that the impulse to see things as real and separated was causing a great deal of difficulty and so at last he was ready to consider again the metaphorical spiritual ladder.

For my part, it's in the forest, especially when it's dark, and it never leaves. The existence of the soul is just words! She agreed because lifetimes ago she'd written the same thing, making the present largely echoes.

One skips breakfast in order to get closer to Jonathan Edwards. This sentence is here because the next one asked politely. Do you love me and if you do are you willing to adjust your expectations of love?

Oh but our expectations passed a long time ago, didn't they? Ushered onward by you and your damaged hands and their splinters of pure light.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Alleluia All Morning


All morning recalling early spring fishing on Bronson Brook in the 1970's and wondering: is it possible to be that quiet and happy again. All of us are complicit in possibility. And yet.

Last night - even though you were in tears - I nearly laughed talking so much about prayer. Years of nicknames take their toll indeed. Somewhere there is a record, somewhere your name is not a secret.

Snow melt, horses, dirty mittens. The folds about her eyes remind me of Nana and I want to take her in my arms and promise she won't die lonely. If you weren't married . . .

The only wound you need to heal is the idea that there are wounds at all. I woke to a river of light. Thank you for sharing your dream of dead dogs, much lamented but not - we both agree - actually gone.

We are all loving, all the time, and need only remember it. Lost is as lost does. Also, Leviticus is no longer an excuse.

Twice now I have been asked to recall my many years in Van Deiman's land. A sentence is like a map and a map is not the territory and so you have to ask: what now? Your penalty is mine as well.

It's okay, or it's going to be. I wake at night no longer alone, my smile alleluia.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

At Least His Raiments

Walking earlier I held tiny icicles in my palm, sharp as shark's teeth, and clear as Tibetan crystal. Each tendril wisp of cloud struck me as Jesus or at least his raiments. One falls to their knees, one writes and one does both at the same time. Meanwhile, the Buddha says relax.

In reference to Ty Cobb we said at the same time, "that's a man!" And yet the winters here are inconsistent. You dream of Paris and wake up remembering Texas, the landscape that went on forever, and made you think of squares. Don't visit and if you do, don't talk.

He says it's all going to be okay. The crucifix cast a long shadow and we're only just now getting out into the light. When I pray I think of you and hope you are happy, whatever that means. Cheddar cheese with carrots and later apple slices dipped in cinnamon and lemons.

The sound of my son laughing breaks my heart, then lifts the pieces up for study. Sunlight reflects off broken glass. Your sermon on the mount is my uptight gym teacher from 1977. I mean a street light and it wasn't glass so much as tears, a lot of them all at once.

So much for the familiar story! We are all in the welter, all of us bells. I leaned against a birch tree and watched them melt, then licked my palms and laughed out loud at the simple pleasures I can never quite bring myself to share with others. This note, as always, must do.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our Focus Is On Co-occurence


We score the sentence. He was adjective. Disregard Wittgenstein. The barn is across the way.

The arcade is on fire. The bread rising until it stops and then begins to harden. You again? Our focus is on co-occurrence.

The last poem I wrote before you died began in the living room. One removes all personal reference. Certain words will tell you all you need to know. He hung himself in there and it wasn't pretty.

Here at last? You woke us early to see the barn burning. Memory is toxic. The new can never be repeated.

Verbs receive less attention than nouns. Capitalism would suffer less. I learned to cook wolves with you. I believe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Never Not Welcome


This (by which I mean that) again. The tree is always reminiscent of hunger, as you pointed out decades ago in Vermont. Does it all come down to follower energy then? Be not ashamed.

One is critical of certain professions but refuses to question the bias. When we are asked to let go, we run for our lives. It has to do with bread, and possibly with what is owed to Caesar, as does everything. Darwin is not the boss of you.

Coherence matters. The dog stopped halfway down the hill and growled at something just off the road. Light - a veritable rainbow - is now just visible from the corners of my eye. All day with a daughter means you learn and so you do.

"I am a Buddhist," he said happily after I bowed in the meat aisle, grateful for his assistance. You are never not welcome and yet never not lonely. When the time comes to let go we run for our lives, do we not? I insist now on clarity, in the interest of coherence, for all of us.

As you can see, one sentence follows another. What is the self but a series of assumptions, each built on the last? Avoid conclusions. And may the road that you think is rising to meet you be revealed for the illusion that it is.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rounding The Corner Home


The woods this morning are at once familiar and yet altogether new. This is why I need you! And walked all morning talking out loud, as if the deer and squirrels care what I think, as if they do.

This writing this way? Earlier you indicated that all I had to do was listen. I don't panic when you leave, not the way I did when I was ten, twenty, thirty and forty.

Whiskey, black coffee, chopped cilantro, pancakes with apple sauce. All of these things are precisely like the other so stop trying so hard to separate them. How hard I laughed when nobody else was awake, thinking about work and money and what I was going to do all day.

Lincoln near the end, that kind of fatigue, that level of insight. People are people the whole world over. A kind of repetition that is not redundant but insistent as in please please please.

I - you and I together - insist on love! I mean wise-cracking doves. My teachers live next door or sleep down the hall or come into the room where I write and say hey you said you'd wash the bathroom four days ago, do you think Jesus would mind terribly if you kept your word?

We forget how easy it is to do nothing. Christ was born in Bethlehem (and Berlin and Caracas and Kankakee and so on and so forth). I am what hides in ellipsis.

Thank you for prisms and dogs and also Fur Elise. Travelers stop sending postcards when they're rounding the corner home.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Same Old Loss

I have been crying a lot lately. It is a sort of slipping. It is a sort of opening.

But also repetition. As in you can know your lines perfectly and still not walk on stage. Macbeth was pushed, is what nobody ever wants to see.

If I call, will you answer? These poems - when they are poems - are an opening for you after all. In my dream we are custodians of a certain flame.

Walking in the woods, the familiar fear attendant, one sees at last they asked for it. He looked old and even chagrined. It hurts, this life, it hurts so bad and still we love it so.

The tears are a sort of defeat which in turn is a sort of victory which is basically the same old loss. We live in a trailer, we drink instant coffee. Yet when you sing as you sweep my heart opens like a masculine hummingbird's in summer.

Night is never more night than now. I am done with hurt and anger except when I am not! After they bought me ice cream to say "this is why it has to happen" I never wanted ice cream again.

It is a sort of slipping for which I am grateful without knowing why. A sort of opening in which one cries, finally.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Listening Problem


When you are near, I cannot help but wish you would come nearer, even though the distance at this point is largely of my own making. She said - more in humor than anything else - you don't have a hearing problem, you have a listening problem. Sunlight rises slowly up the side of the barn, into the trees and then disappears into a memorably blue sky. Squirrels frolic is another way of saying they are frantically fending off starvation. Also, your winter is my formal poem.

And later he slunk off down a dark alley, or what seemed to be an alley, and was filled with shadows. I'm a little tea cup left in the dumpster, what are you? The cat curled up near the pillow, tucking her long tail over her nose. While walking earlier I was breathless and cold and the combination literally hurt. More l sounds, pretty please with cheddar cheese.

We argued a while over the best position and then, rhetoric exhausted, just got on with it. You can't be out there if you aren't in here first. Butternut squash fried with raisins and onions, then dumped on brown rice mashed with warm coconut milk. The starlings in particular seem panicked when we approach. Coffee before the run rises, in the same room in which you sleep, quietly breathing in a way that makes me grateful, that makes me believe death may truly be just another idea.

At last the dreamer can select her own dream! I broke a wine glass trying to stop the cats who had a mouse whose blood was being smeared up and down the hall. Someday we'll have that mud room we always dreamed of! Hold me baby and say it's all okay or will be. I'd rather be a hero in my mind than a victim in the world.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Welter of Negotiation

It's funny how frogs can balance on lily pads. One question can make seven days feel like forever! In my dreams, I wanted you to act, and then later - walking down a long hall - was accosted by authorities who seemed to know my intentions better than me. When we wake up, we don't always want to.

A little light on the neighbor's barn, a cat sleeping near the pillows. One writes, one does, and one does write. We are always asking: is it enough? There is no end - it seems - to the nastiness to which I am partial.

In my dream, you died, and the funeral was a welter of negotiation. Flushed cheeks, a woman with lupus who commanded your attention, and so I drifted. Still. He means that despite his happiness - and his longing to stay in it - he left and blamed you.

We give away the wrong thing! Money matters, kindness matters, coherence matters. Yesterday, the sourdough bread turned out lovely and everybody said so. Why am I the one who has to do all the writing?

I climbed a mountain and immediately saw it was just a symbol. Yesterday's healed fear is today's unhealed fear and so what now. Pay attention! The moment passes, yes, but where?