Friday, August 30, 2013

Elizabeth Squared

Elizabeth Squared

Because the act of conception erupts unplanned,
            Lasting but minutes:
Joy, joy, joy, Bliss.

Sometimes enwrapped in loyal love and commitment,
            Really, not always:
Often much less.

Yet, some zygotes spark forth, wanton or unwanted,
            Attaching to walls:
Life quickened, or

Cut short in-utero for reasons unnumbered:
             Unborn, aborted,
Birth unfulfilled.

Potential clawed from its perch, innocence shredded:
            De-gifted spirit,
Born to heaven.
Some blessed, carried to term with affection: released
             With conflicted pain
To others' arms.

Barren womb and fertile womb unite in oneness,
            In communal love,
Communed in woe.

New bosom entreating life, gifted: mother, child
            Reclaiming lost hope,
Circle rounded.

The first, de-progeny'd, baptized in tepid grief,
            The next, touched by God,
Gives all but birth. 
Sacrifice and gain commingle in the prophet
            Whose gratitude

To the mother who carried and delivered him
            And gave of her womb
Toward destiny.
To the mother who claimed him as hers and loved him,
            And gave of her heart
            And gives of her heart
                        To the world:
                                    Her love:
                                                Her son:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Caesar Augustus

Caesar Augustus

Selfsame in the shade of tortured Ides,
          Heir by assassin's blades,
Victor over Egyptian war temptress,
          Victor over her bedeviled lover,
Reigning over new Rome, over Christ's birth.

At his feet we linger, Emperor,
          Shaking his leg like the
Trunk of a majestic oak, gazing up,
          Rustling and jostling just-purpling leaves,
Awaiting paper-thin, breezy fall rain.

Sliding, callous-hands Septemberly,
          Toward loosely gathered piles
Apologies, remorse, half-lived lessons
          Away from slouch-massed, bloodied Julius,
Away from gilded, laurel-girded youth.

Neither all summer nor scant fall, nor
          Wholly neither, scaling
Onward, lightly bathed in misty humid
          Remembrances after pink, pre-sunset
Thundershowers give way to golden dusk.

August, with mosquitoes still bugging
          On still damp, sodded fields,
And dew points dropping, cicadas buzzing,
          Geese gathering, threatening planned south-flight,
Diesel buses grind gears up hills toward schools.

Scraping back and forward, maybe two
          Generations each way,
For a minute, as playmates from our spring
          Lean too hard-shouldered into their own trunks:
Green-leaved yet, vernal ghosts left, early-dimmed.       

Clinging still to Caesar's fatted calf,
          Our parents stand knee-deep
In piles beneath their own oaks, having shook
          Their own same trees not very long ago:
Each autumnal birth, a spring conception.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reporter's Notebook: Love Story

Reporter's Notebook: Love Story

There are but two souls that matter on twirling Earth
            and the heavens and in between and beyond,
Swirling together in a perfect emulsion,
            and electrifying sweet, sentimental tangency:
Your overflowing, ebullient, joyous essence
            and my fulfilled, arrhythmic soul in your presence,
Beating together, hearts in perfected cadence,
            and sharing a single spiritual DNA.

There are but two undiluted truths that matter
            and from which all knowledge and wisdom commence,
Asserting without high-browed equivocation
            and informing our village of two among some billions:

My pure and unrestricted love for all you are
            and that you love me, unrestricted, in return,
Accepting my imperfections, flaws and failures
            and loving me--in pure perfection--despite them.

There are but two places alone that will matter
            and around which all compasses calibrate,
Pointing into the vast, blue, and empty cosmos
            and settled with mitochondrial specificity:
The first place where, singularly, you are with me,
            and the second,  where I--desolate--am away,
The one where joy erupts from every molecule,
            and one where I must long for proximity.

There are but two moments in time-space that matter,
            and from which all moments from moments expand
Forward into the endlessly eternal past
            and back to the origins of unwrinkled time undone:
The endless, calm moment before your shy "hello,"
            and the moment after when I consumed your breath:
The first black moment when I merely existed
            and the white-hot moment of newly quickened me.

There are but two reasons for breathing and hoping,
            and enduring tedium from beyond us,
Showered upon by blunt Persiod reminders
            and rejoinders against our mythical closed-loopedness:
That there are radiant moments we pass together
            and places where our souls and truths are commingled:
Wishes realized amid heaven-strewn meteors.
            And then those agonizing moments apart,
            left longing for togetherness,
                        for the other:
                                    for the why.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reintroduction: Three and a Half Years Hence

Reintroduction:  Three and a Half Years Hence

In late 2009, I launched this poetry blog as an experiment with medium, moving the most ancient form of literature from the written page to the digital universe.  More immediately, I began migrating some of my favorite worksfrom the vast stacks of composition books that I'd been amassing for decadesonto the Internet.  Still believing that I would finish my dissertation and that this would be a diversion from my academic studies, I set this sharing space in a virtual box to serve as a caged distraction. 

This launch did not occur in a vacuum. It quickly became both the emblem and account of the personal financial and emotional turmoil that I experienced alongside many of you during the Great Recession.  Economic realities set in with such unanticipated violence that my scholarly pursuits were put on hold then abandoned nearly contemporaneously.  The food for my mindwhich I had wrapped up in an icon called PhDtook an immediate backseat to food for my family.  It did not take long for the disappointment to become habit and I accepted that I would never be Doctor. 

After launching the PoetEconomist site with bravado in October, 2009, I posted only three poems in all of 2010 until June of 2011.  I hovered over despair with such tenuous strength that those three un-scrapped poems were perhaps the only proof that I was alive during that time. 

When finally the light began peaking back through the darkness, in the flickering glow of this GUI, I realized that my diversion had become obsession:  my persona as PoetEconomist had become more than an alter-ego.   Avatar and reality merged.  Rather than recycle and publish work from my youth, I knew that it was from the ash heap of the present that I would once again serve a purpose:  capture, claim, chronicle. 

In its density, the poetry that has asserted itself over the past three and a half years has exploded in ways that I never imagined.  Originally meant to satisfy the requests of a few close friends whohowever polite their requests may have originally beeninsisted that I grow my corpus, this space embodies sustainability. 

I am fully aware that people don't read poetry on the subway or the beach in 2013.  I am fully aware that poetry can make hearts and brains ache.  I am fully aware that poetry, while concerned with a certain heady aesthetic, can easily bang up against the most otherwise permeable crania.  This is all especially true when it is largely self-absorbed and didactic.

As I have now shed the shroud from the oppressive darkness of the late aughtsstable in my finances, relationships, and responsibilitieswith my first book of short stories, Momentitiousness, slated for publication later this year, I stand in awe of what this space has become.  A sharing space that has never been publicized anywhere but among close friends on Facebookand the complicit, whispered word-of-mouthhas garnered nearly 5000 views from countries including but not limited to America, Russia, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, UK, Poland, Philippines, Romania, Indonesia, South Africa, Iraq, and China.  While this may seem petite frite compared to dancing cats or wizardly vampires, this seemsin poetry termsthe equivalent of a billion.

I continue this endeavor-come-responsibility with gratitude to my friends and their friends and their friends and to the world and to the universe for the support that has reinvigorated me and hopefully supported an enlightening, meaningful and enduring donation to the ether.  As I continue molting into my skin as PoetEconomist and author, know that this work is as much out of love as it is duty.  It is meant as much for you as it is me.