Monday, July 31, 2017

In the Table

If I look
closely,
with my head
pressed to the wooden table,
and if the light
from a warm, April afternoon,
hits us
(me and the wood)
together...

If I look
closely,
I can see myself,
trapped,
in the table,
in the wooden
lines.

My nose
(its faint outline-long and German)

I am there,
if only for an
afternoon moment.

Friday, July 28, 2017

quantum scimus sumus

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.

I am what I know:

Nonconforming helps be sleep at night.
I write because I have to.
Reading is good for me.
I am solid and sound and insecure and brave.
I am one person.
I am emotional.
I forget.
I reconstruct my memories again and again.
I am constantly learning
quantum
               scimus 
                             sumus 

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In vino veritas

When commotion starts: kids at play,
I steal away;
A glass of wine in my hand
and disappear into my land
to read poetry.
And calm my mind.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Light

The quality of light from my window is black.
An absence of light.
Cold.  Dark.  Frigid
wind blowing outside.
A single car drives past onto some black road
into the black night
leaving my window behind.

He will never escape the darkness.
He will just drive onward trying to
lose it, but he cannot.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lying with Snails

In a soil thick with snails and rich as grease
I lie alone, untouched, unspoken, waiting for 
the spade.  The sound of the cutting of the earth:
grass ripping, worms splitting open, oozing 
into my surrounded bed.  This dirt, these snails
are my home now.  I am dead to the blue sky,
the white air.  My air is brown; my air
is grease; my companions are snails.

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.

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.

click here to unsubscribe

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Summertime

He collapses in the grass:
the shade of a baby tree
not tall enough to provide anything.

Every so often, he turns and
looks at me: ten turns to two;
he seems so tall for a toddler.

The neighborhood boys stand sentry
discussing summertime,
passing around a water bottle

flipping it to stand on
it's own.
How proud they look

standing and loitering on their own.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Get busy and do some actual writing!

Stephen King just told me to take the act of writing seriously, and he's right.  Perhaps that is my problem: I write as a distraction, but I don't get serious; I hold back, attempting to pen poetic phrases instead of just saying "Fuck it!  I'm lost and pissed off."  Some of my best writing (at least the prose I enjoyed writing, where I felt I actually said something) came from those times when I sat down with a strong purpose and something to say.  Lately, I have been floating around a bit, reading book after book after blog post after Twitter feed after poem after poem after poem, looking for something to grab my attention and say, "Adrian, this is important!  Write about this.  Tell us now!"

Stephen King is right: I know what to say (if not exactly)l I just need to sit down and write!  My creativity isn't dead or hibernating or too ill to get out of bed.  It is just waiting for me to get busy and do some actual writing.

"If you can take it seriously, we can do business.


I know that I can take writing seriously.  I don't need a publisher, an agent, or a book deal.  I just need my pen and the balls to write down what I actually think.  I still have stuff to say.


Song of Myself #20

--Walt Whitman


Who goes there? hankering, gross, mystical, nude; 
How is it I extract strength from the beef I eat? 

What is a man anyhow? what am I? what are you? 

All I mark as my own you shall offset it with your own, 
Else it were time lost listening to me. 

I do not snivel that snivel the world over, 
That months are vacuums and the ground but wallow and filth. 

Whimpering and truckling fold with powders for invalids, conformity goes to the fourth-remov’d, 
I wear my hat as I please indoors or out. 

Why should I pray? why should I venerate and be ceremonious? 

Having pried through the strata, analyzed to a hair, counsel’d with doctors and calculated close, 
I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones. 

In all people I see myself, none more and not one a barley-corn less, 
And the good or bad I say of myself I say of them. 

I know I am solid and sound, 
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow, 
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means. 

I know I am deathless, 
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter’s compass, 
I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night. 

I know I am august, 
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood, 
I see that the elementary laws never apologize, 
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all.) 

I exist as I am, that is enough, 
If no other in the world be aware I sit content, 
And if each and all be aware I sit content. 

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself, 
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years, 
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait. 

My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite, 
I laugh at what you call dissolution, 
And I know the amplitude of time.