Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two O'Clock in Houghton


Two  O’Clock in Houghton

 Having reached that point in the day,
When the customary morning gatherings
Are  persistent reminiscence;
When the sun glints between the buildings
Across the manicured square;
When the shadows grow long and crawl
Into my un-blinded window--
            Nearer days end
            Than beginning;
When the brook of visitors and callers
Has thinned to a listless trickle:

When my lids grow heavy,
When my chin bends toward my chest,
When my breath achieves the
            Rhythmic pulse of a
            Cloud falling apart
            into an otherwise spotless sky.

Contemplating crumbs,
From stolen lunch,
On just-cracked spines:
Speckled pillow.
I’ll move that pile,
            I promise
Those large boxes,
            I hope,
To make some room
For that sofa
Later.

Having reached that point in the day,
When the words have overwhelmed me
With their congenital failures;
When the whispers from the past float by
Toward unrequited beckoning;
When the work ahead is stacked higher still
Than any effort might relieve;
            Two zeds til    
            Two fifteen
When the new day’s promise sits removed  
From morning’s matted memories:
 
My distraction sits upon the
Consternation of yesterday’s rest,
The fifteen minutes spent in slumber,
            When well-served effort
            Would have cleared  the space
            For sofa: chunky napping place.
                                               
Having reached that point,
I can’t but daydream,
Downed, counting moments
As they beat, beat, beat,
Lucidly, fleeing,
             I yawn,
Toward that bigger couch,
            (I’ll sleep)
Where the lounge, the chaise,
Has been always,       
Already,
Always.

Past the point,
Again awake,
            Uncouched,
Unrecharged,
Slouching on,
Sleepy still,
Walking home,
Round the lake,
Fifth and Elm,
Again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Archaeologists

Archaeologists

 
We collected bones,
                You and me,
A couple of archaeologists,
Comparing pasts against
                Origins,
Placing them on mantles,
Or shelves as trophies.
                Naming them,
Stripped of humanity,
Denuded of skin:  relics.

We collected bones,
                Then I stopped.
Erasing them from history,
Forgetting some were my own,
                Still in me.
I crammed them into closets,
In crates and boxes, piles,
                Skeletons.
Bedpost notches—calcified
Knots worn—sanded smooth.

We collected bones,
                You and me,
You kept digging and dig still,
For some future from the past,
                Fecklessly.
Excavating yet, the same site,
Leaving little for the future’s
                Bone-diggers.
You tunnel vertically, deeper,
Chipping chisels and
                Diamond tips,
Until the bones—heaped high
By your hovel—faceless, nameless
                And skinless,
In veins without blood,
Are naught but broth:
                Black soup:
                                   oil.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Hop Away


A Hop Away

See,
Just three feet off the path,
                A Ruddy Dadderwing land and flit
                On a storm-felled, dry rotted cypress branch,
                Or an ivory millipede soft-scrunch,
                Over a patch of bared  and sandy soil,            
                Or a White-breasted Nuthatch’s nest,
                Formed of holly twigs and Spanish moss,
                A snake slither overfoot,
                A tailless lizard scamper,
                Deer tracks,
                Duck dung,
                Life.

See,
Just three feet off the path,
                An aged homeless man up close,
                His fetid breath formed on pained whispers,
                Or a shopkeeper opening doors,
                Or just-ripe peaches piled high,
                Or vibrant, cut Crinum Lily buds
                Waiting for vases by foyer divans,
                Stacks of damp newspapers,
                Kids fallen from bicycles,
                Gardens,
                Litter,
                Life.

 
Just three feet off the path,
                Off the sidewalk or the trail,
                Just a hop—a lunge—away from civil safety,
                (Nevermind roads less traveled,
                Nevermind trailblazing the cosmos):
                Disrupt with steps from trodden ways,
                In claiming others’ nearness—
                In staking out the parallel—
                In stalking periphery:
                                                Walk in mud; dirty shoes.
                                               Shake branches; callous hands,
                                                Feed hungry; taste need,
                                                Drop dollars intentionally.
                                                Stand in traffic,
                                                Stack garbage,
                                                Smudge mirrors,
                                                Strip naked,
                                                Sully nests,           
                                                Scream,
                                                Stop.
                Re-path,
                Then see
                Life.       

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Third Half

Third Half


First,
There was me,
And there was you.

Before there was us,
                There was me and I was whole.
Before there was us,
                I did not need for anything or anyone.
Before there was us,
                I was sated and filled.
Before there was us,
                There was me and there was you:
                                Two perfect halves.
Before there was us,
                I did not know I required you.

I was a viscous, bonded fluid:
Valent, hungry Hydrogen
And Oxygen-formed.

Then there was us,
                And together, made a whole.
                And we did not need for anything or anyone.
Then there was us,
                And we were sated and filled.
                And there was you-and-me:
                                A Perfect-Perfect.
Then there was us,
                And we knew we were essential.
 
Our waters swirled and merged:
Splashing, waving, vesseled,
And completed.
 
And now,
                We are more than whole,
                We are exponential.
                We are more than companions.
And now,
                We are everything and everyone,
                We are more than fulfilled,
                We are drunk and fatted.
And now,
                We are more than a clan:
                                We are Third Half.
                We are more than co-vital,
                We are a utopian megalopolis.
And now we are luxuriant,
                                copious,
                                                excessive,
                                                                diluvian.

Swollen beyond our banks:
Uncontained and overflowing,
Bursting, tsunami'd.

And, I love you.
And, I love
us.