Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ballade: What I Did This Summer

Early today, the lesson that I learned
was that the people who are most inclined
toward thinking well of me, if they discerned
the actuality within my mind,
would be disgusted, so I am resigned
never again, for fear of being spurned,
to reveal any of my secret heart,
to reveal any hopes; I am confined
by my own self, secluded and apart.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

To My Husband

Lately, the mornings that I wake
safely and pleased with pride to break
fast with the day have been increased
threefold. I think that I’m released
by your concern and for your sake.
I believe that this lack of ache
may be the nearest thing I make
to the unfailing love that ceased,
and I accept.
I am at peace with gold opaque
veiling the red of pain. Remake
colorless, tasteless cake at least
into a bread that has no yeast,
and I accept.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sonnet LVII: Second Place is First Loser

My fingers (limp, forgotten, open wide)
on broken Eden generously pour
from heaven myrrh and honey to each side.
Throughout the world beneath me, with a roar
of desperate desire, the people reach
for Sky, to drink and drown in all that falls
from my unheeded hands, but all their speech
is far-off babbling to my ears, their calls
a clamor, for a hundred thousand times
too small are they for me to heed their noise.
I look above me, whence are poured the limes
and honeyed lemons of the gods (whose poise
does not allow their ears to hear my name),
a million times too large to know my shame.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Each infant that comes
squalling into this world
does so by dragging to the ground
an ancient wonder.
Thus life is nothing
but a series of deaths,
as the old good passes
and makes way for the new good.
You will never hear the same song twice;
all things are merely instantaneous,
whether meticulously planned
or spontaneous and instinctive.

Troubadour Songs II: For Parted Lovers

When writing things I know must not be written,
I hide them where no one will think to look:
in public, on the internet, with kitten-
soft metaphors that cleanse and hide my bitten
hands under verbage. No less certain book
was ever made; no more effective mitten
clothed any celebrating hand that shook.

I write of every time that, tired and bitter,
I learned again the lesson of my life:
to give up hope, for all the dreams that flitter
between my hands are gilded air and glitter,
for daydreams only. I became a wife;
I will become a mother, then a quitter
of heaven with the bottle or the knife.

My love song is the sad remainder lying
in shreds from when I last was taught to play
this game by the official rules. I'm trying
to treat you lovingly, to hide my crying
and bouts of crazy laughter, to give way
to you. I'm fond of you. You're kind, and tying
myself to you again is all I may.

Shall I lament stylistically your leaving?
It seems to be the custom. You'll return,
however, so what sense is there in grieving?
I am indifferent. There is no thieving,
small archer who can make me feel the burn
of passion for a thought that isn't weaving
through the abstractions I desire to learn.

So I suppose I want you to be happy.
I know you love as deeply as you can.
I have no feelings, and I squash the sappy,
clichéd, faux sentiments expressed by yappy,
too-old-ish girls and men who call the span
across the hands a mile. You say these flappy
things much more earnestly than any man.

Some say that I am cold, some that I'm driven,
and some that I'm too passionate to live.

Troubadour Songs I: Alba

Hey, get up, stupid fuck. Are you awake?
Get out of here right this minute, or I'll take
my fist to that window. I swear I'll shove it
straight through. The birds began to sing and shake
the branches long ago; their noises make
me flood with rage. The night is gone--you love it,
but I've not slept, nor have I had a break.
Already darkness lifts: the road, the lake,
the trees grow from invisible to take
the forms of shadows. It's for your own sake
that I must rescue you from those who covet
all your virtue--or the appearance of it.

You're not even supposed to be here now.
This idea was so stupid. I bow
to your good sense. And if you don't hustle,
we're all gonna get our asses kicked--ow!--
and I'll hold you responsible. Allow
me to say: It won't be my fault! I rustle
these shades to warn you, just exactly how
you told me. This is risky and lowbrow.
If you don't care about yourself, you cow,
then think of me, with both hands on the plow,
and think of him--his grace, his airs, his muscle,
and of his shame in the ensuing tussle.

I can hear the flame-wheeled chariot rend
the sky as Aurora broaches its end,
echoing through the earth with ringing thunder
like the boots of legions, or like the blend
of softening carpets and the slight bend
of a jealous woman's footfalls to sunder.
I'll go along with you, although you tend
toward eternal punishment; I'm your friend,
your servant, your right hand, sworn to defend,
but I'd rather you had the sense to spend
eternity in that far place of wonder.
So wake up. Or this will be your last blunder.


Living outside
has given me an appreciation
of many things,
including our until-now mysterious (to me)
cultural bias
against rain and rainy days

though personally,
it's not the rain so much as the mud.