Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Eschatology

Earth is strong and can take it
fading to the color of smoke: blue
boiling smoke outside.

Dead leaves shine of rust and butter.
I feel it in me: the end blanketing the room
as humankind tweets unkind
#MakeAmericaGreatAgain
#BlueLivesMatter
#HillaryforPrison2016

human beings considered collectively.

I write because I have to
for me, for you, for us
amidst the smoke outside
as vulgarians clumsily tramp down the
frosted grass sleeked with freezing drizzle.

America is strong and can take it
blooming again next month(?)
stronger because of the system 
we are forced to live learn love lie laugh laze lessen liberate
to die in.

Wars of words swirl 
a belief concerning death
for me, for you, for us.

To become aware for the first time,
bringing myself to light:
refracted rays of sunlight;

Grabbing at its tail,
slipping through my fingertips,
I glisten in the warm glow.

We are what we know:
               scimus 
                             sumus 

to know more
to be good, and
to do good
is all we have to do.

I create this space, this silence
for me, for you, for us.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

At the Grave of my Family: Father and 2 Brothers

This is the longest that I've spent with them,
lined up beneath the earth, side by side:
a united family.
This is the closest I've been to them,
all three so near, but 10 feet beneath my feet.
They all felt, at one time or another, that I was
better than them; put me on an invisible
pedestal high above them.
Now I'm above them.  I'm left alone
even though we've been estranged for decades.
I am alone.   It is quite here;
we haven't spoken in years.

I am the last on, penned with a name
that I had to grow in to;
A name that I pass along to my own children,
without strings attached to each letter,
each false memory, family lore that dictated
my behavior.  I.  am.  here.
staring at my name chiseled three times
into granite stones:

Here lies               Here lies               Here lies

I give my sons this name, Germanic and complete:
a name without lies;
The lies they told me, themselves,
the police.

Here lies the end of an era,
a fictional family made up of non-existent birthdays
Christmas cheer, Easter egg hunts, Holy Communion.
I have laid these lies to rest.

I turn around, take my sons's hand and
go home.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A writer with nothing particular to say

Flirting isn't the right word.  I am teetering with the idea of being a writer.  It is unsteady and lonely.  I like to write.  I love to read.  I know that I am capable of penning my thoughts.  I can definitely structure my days (blocking out specific time) to include writing.  Hell, I got my Master's and PhD while working and having kids.  I'm no stranger to late nights.  The difference?  With those, I had something specific to say.  I had a required format to communicate my ideas.  I wrote essays and papers and theses and a dissertation: hours and hundreds of pages.  It was difficult and sometimes I just wanted to go to bed, but the words always came.  They always came.

Now, I journal about my days, copy favorite poems, and every now and then I notice something that I try to fit into a poem.  The words come, but what do they say?  I'm not a pastoral poet.  I am not trying to communicate my love of summer evenings.  I'm no Allen Ginsberg.  I am not trying to describe getting drunk or the misguided politics of 2017.  I'm a dad.  I'm an educator on summer vacation.  I'm a writer with nothing particular to say.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Ornithology, or how to identify your feelings

I am but an amateur:
my Pathos sits in the shade of a pool umbrella
as a yellow-breasted swallow performs
schizophrenic swirls upon
aquamarine translucence.

These are the dimension of love that are difficult:
full commitment to the dive,
then changing your mind abruptly;
Kamikaze Logos - my inward thoughts
performing as a handsome aerialist.

We use science to understand the world,
but I am still an amateur
misidentifying my regrets as I sit
by the pool watching this bird
eat his breakfast.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Sangfroid

I want to lie on my back in 
the April night and see the stars
without an orange-pink street lamp
blinding my purview.  So, tonight I will wait until
4:00 AM to speak to the sibylline sky, telling
her my regrets as a man, asking for
forgiveness:


self-possession;
impermeability and water-tight protection for my sins.
The  cool, black breeze of the morning
washes over my body, lying there on the
capstones, I vacillate silently,
a fire in my head, an ember of hope
in my heart:

I want to kiss the
silver apples of the moon and awaken
to the golden apples of a new sun. 
 
 

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

I Hear America Crying

I hear America crying, the multitude sobs and sighs I hear,
Those of mothers, each one crying hers as they should be,
The child crying hers as she is called inside before dusk,
The father crying his as he makes ready for work, hoping he returns,
The student crying foul at the misogynist comment made by
his professor during a lecture,
The immigrant crying as he sits with his family fearing the
knock at the door,
The lawyer's song, the 25th Amendment rolling around his
head and off his lips,
The angry sobs of the mother, or of the sister, or of the
grandmother, or of the aunt -- all singing their laments together
for those lost lives: stolen from them instead of protected;
Each crying what belongs to them (undeserved and forced) and
to none else,
The day what belongs to this 4th of July -- at night the party of young
fellows, somber and scared,
Crying with open mouths their strong fight-song:

knowing where wheels and people are,
knowing where cops and traps are,
knowing where deaths are, where the kind kills are.

Converting all sounds of woe
into fine fury.


Monday, July 03, 2017

Click here to unsubscribe

Every summer I begin the process
of unsubscribing from mailing lists
I either don't read, or I forgot I joined.

And so begins my process:
click here to unsubscribe
looking for the fine print;

becoming lonely.


See, an inbox of 25 new emails
(3 of which are important)
makes me feel connected and important.
I delete them
because I can.

Slowly, by the end of the summer,
I open my email to discover
I have 0 unread messages;
No responsibilities:

just my pen and paper
and thoughts.
See, I want to remember

what it was like before
the clicks and retweets

and empty importance.

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