Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To the King

As you worshiped with Wagner,
I am on my knees, trembling,
silently singing with Goethe and Schubert,
"Hinauf! strebt's hinauf!"
with all the strength in my body.

If I had divine power,
I would not be alone,
unattended by all but these shades,
men who died long ago and who take no notice of me.

Still, I speak to you;
I listen to your replies;
I hear in your words
as they filter to me through other voices
the echoing cries that burst from me each morning,
on the mountaintop and in the desert.

You are beautiful,
and I am like you--
am I then also beautiful?
Or am I not like you?
Is there no one like me in the world?

I know what you mean when you say
that what is truly worthwhile is found only in dreams.
You dream, my eagle, of Lohengrin,
and I dream of Lohengrin and of you,
and the memory of me will not remain
to commune with those who follow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

To the Queen

Take in your hands my head and guide me; bind
roughly, impatiently, without reserve,
me to your side as you want me aligned.

If you will teach the shape of every curve,
I will emblazon on my hands and feet
each of your boundaries so I may serve.

Hack off my heels with slices sharp and neat.
Cut off my toes: fix anything you fix
so that the slipper fits; let me compete.

Malleable am I, a mass that kicks,
realizing its birth with shapeless cries,
trowels and mortar and a pile of bricks.

Tell me and show me, teach me to read your eyes,
give me your rules and others of their kind:
give them to me, and I will memorize.

Though it's my fault, forgive me: I am blind,
and I can never learn to read your mind.

Friday, December 09, 2011


There was no sight but the intent in your eyes,
no feeling but the instinctive compulsion of breaths in tandem,
no sound but all the sound--
your voice and mine,
blended and balanced.

You filled up my mind,
and all I did was to support and to burden you,
an ebbing interplay,
trust, knowledge,
because we are both strong enough.


I lock onto you,
and you become the Only.
All your words are heard.
I condense on you;
you condense into yourself,
a pulsing light-sphere.
I am everywhere to you,
above and below
and around you on all sides.
How could I decide
to tear my eyes from your face,
to turn my focus
to the next point in the line?
Because I know you,
know the pleasure it gives you
to feel that you are adored.

To My Teacher

I heard you broke,
snapped like a candy cane.

When I last saw you,
I wanted to put you behind me
and protect you from the onslaught.

But I hear that your weak shell has chipped away,
that you're left raw and strong and raging,
and it only makes me want to fight
for you even more.


With the sunshine warm on my face through the window
and my heart throb-throbbing in my neck,
the slight ache in my head
conspires with the sun
to dazzle my eyes,
make me shut them,
and all is finally warm.

The clouds wisp across like dragons,
and everything I see is tinged red,
and my pulse matches whatever music,
and I put my hands up to cup the sun,
turn my blind face toward it,
and I'm surrounded.

Blind me, cook me, permeate and surround me.

I could sleep now,
safe at last,
but I would not choose to miss a moment
of feeling loved.


If I remove my socks and my shoes,
my gloves, my hat
and lie down upon the snow,
let it curl up around me and fall straight down onto my face,
I can feel the heat of my life wicking out

It's not numbness, not something masking the pain like a drug;
it's just dissipation,
it's just osmosis,
as it spreads out from me into the snow
until my portion is so very little

Oh, snow, always empty,
always room for more--
take from me.  Take, take, I give it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14

Today, for a few moments,
it snowed

and then the snowflakes melted into rain.

I want to open a window
so I can hear it,
feel the change in the air on my tongue

but the heat is on, so I don't.
I only watch.

Everything outside is gray.
It's cold:  it's relaxing.
In the dim light, my eyes are safe.

I desire the rain;
I want to pass through the glass and become one with it,
to lie on the earth,
to sink into the wet earth while the rain beats down on me from above--
to melt like a block of salt.

I want to spread out,
become one with everything,

until I am nothing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sonnet LXXX

Every day your words repeated:
you said that I'm the only one
whom I love, that I'm conceited,
that I had poisoned all I'd done.
And so my thoughts were always on
myself and on the sketch I'd drawn--
if I'd acted narcissistic,
if they think I'm egoistic--
and I've never loved somebody,
for if our hearts grew close at all,
they'd see me, weak, conflicted, small;
and with only casual study,
they'd learn how I am just replete
with selfishness and vain conceit.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Now I know your name,
and I will call upon it;
I will whisper it
and look for your golden face,
for your red, full mouth,
for your iridescent wings.
Come and comfort me,
come to me, come and be filled;
let me pour on you
everything that is in me.
Love as I have loved;
balance with your heart the scales
that Venus holds in her hand.


You smile and you smile,
you laugh and speak cheerfully,
but my eyes can see,
my ears can hear, my heart feels:
I know you have cooled;
I no longer bring you joy.
I want to ask why,
but you are smiling, smiling;
you laugh and speak cheerfully.


I thought
that, for me, Love was poison,
that it was an overwhelming force made to suck me into evil,
that anyone I loved would insinuate sin into me,
even if he was a good man,
because of how I am—

I’m too easy, too open;
I invite abuse.

I thought that, for me,
there was no such thing as a deep, clean love,
the desire to know and be known,
a force of acceptance, of welcome, even,
in the light of which all sin becomes irrelevant.

I never thought I could feel safe,
that I could trust someone not to try to bend me to his will,
that another person would actually want to know me.

And then, all at once, I knew in a day
what I had learned in a year—
that these things are possible, even for me.

Hope is terrible, terrible—

it’s too late,

it’s too late,
and you said you don’t want me.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Little false fruits fall,
and I do not know their name.
Redder than apples,
tinier than memories,
they drop from the trees
and bleed from under our feet.
I listen all day
to the voice of her I left:
life becomes irrelevant.