Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is Only

The heart is a small animal packed in ice,
salted and swaddled and sailed away,

in the human being,
mostly, before leaving home.

Evolutionists would say
fear is a throwback of cave days
when we had instincts protecting
us from risky behavior.

Now it’s just a cold cloth wrapping us blind,
making us all madly implausible.

Is there a difference between
the broken heart of a woman and that of a man?
What does it look like anyway,
the heart that is broken?

Don’t say you don’t believe.

We think of it as cracked,
but there are other ways of being broken.

People die from a heavy heart,
the big pump in our middle,
hunkering away,
can’t keep on with all that weight.

I think of it sometimes,

as a listless giant
with a woman’s conscience, even in a man.
But, then,
I never believed
in the idea of men and women.

So a giant in my middle is only a stone’s throw away.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Three Hours

I imagined I was in love with you the other day,
thought of the long hollow of your pride,
the industry of your words that make order
as black birds—like a temple against the sky—
return the ground in cold winter
when in your eye
they scatter.

My whole body gave in to the fantasy,
was it a fantasy, it was something lasting lets say
three full hours.

What would I be in your lair?

That is the way love is,
an imagining of the self
next to-against-over-and again
that sweet other.

I cannot (recoil) any other way (imagine)
but as that through which I become—
and against which I inevitably implode.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Folds of Roses

Folds of Roses in my kitchen in January of the new year. It is Sunday. All the snow has melted here and the ground is gray matter dust, heaving. Northern trickery is called January Thaw and we'll wait now for the turn, I suppose like we wait for middle age. The warm weather and sun angling in through the tall windows of the apartment wake me from the need to sleep, remind me I haven't worked, seriously, since December and the glare of self-doubt refurbishes itself without a project. Like any writer, I ask myself why I am doing this, and taunt myself with lines like, no one is making you or you don't have to choose to suffer this life. But it never, when it comes, as it always has, feels like a choice--to write--like any creative need, the need to make and to see what one is capable of making, particularly satisfying in its physical form, overpowers what we have learned to be "rational". Creativity is anti-rational, in that all things so-called "rational" are defined as the obvious way to act. The obvious, any good artist or thinker will tell you, homes the cultural and social assumptions that when questioned, reveal immediately the stereotypes and lies of a culture/society. Art removes the story we tell ourselves in order to remain protected. If we do not tell the story we realize the stupidity of the way we have created living, that its self contained cycle reinforces its own idiocy. Yet, if we drop the story, and face the truth of our own heart and life, we must also endure the suffering of human existence. But suffering is what cradles us inexplicably together.

Friday, January 4, 2008

no one here imagines spring

no one here imagines spring
until the mind has stretched
itself out and bulges with the
weight of dry air and clothing

the cafes fill out with
lonely and addiction
not so much to drink, but
to heat, the way wine plunges
over lips and rolls itself out
into the waiting belly of lust,
the first glass streaking though
body, pulling the muscles tight

as the mind loosens like a wave
shrill over sand until,
at the peak of excess,
you are pulled indefinitely in

and so it goes, january thaw here
but no one imagines spring