Wednesday, June 29, 2016

heartless

You can’t rest. Not really.

Life doesn’t let you rest.

“Rest in the grave,” says the chorus.

Your heart doesn’t ever, does it?

It labors through the night,

pulling its mighty oar,

while your mind 
catalogues all the heartless lovers

that stabbed you

through that very heart 

and stopped caring

where you slept.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fluorescence


Fluorescent cold fills
these glass aeries
where we perch, enamored
with the business of selling ourselves
piece by piece with the
gold scale at our feet

or just singing a cheerful song.

Happy as larks. Happy
as a coal miner’s daughter.
Happy as a traveling salesman
knocking on your door
without a sale in his pocket
that day.

Our faces are pallid blue
in the harsh white, icy dread that lovingly
runs its fingers down our backs,
tangles us in a damp tourniquet of sheets,
wakes us with tied off veins
pulsing fluorescent
maps of unknown provenance.

The persistent hum and flicker
sliding beneath our eyes,
crawling like soft silkworms
down our ear canals,
filling our skulls with an unbearable
blue cotton candy brilliance
in which we can see not even 
one thing.

Softly then we,
with strangled breath,
sing a newly learned
and blindly cheerful song
of fluorescence
and how happy
it must be to be replaced
when

flicker.

.
.



...

Monday, June 20, 2016

the sound of bees (for my sister)



          The blue rotary wall phone tied you
to the kitchen counter,
shoulder holding it to your ear,
while you stared at your parents talking over
Cronkite’s black and white delivery
of the news from Selma.

Confronted by the plainness of your life
in all its glory, you longed to be
in New York City,
read at
the City Lights Bookstore
or raise a pint of ale
in Devonshire;

though you knew not
what ale was,
who was drinking it,
what was being read,
why it mattered or
what stranger you would
make love to the East Village.

You only knew you wanted
the cynosure of anywhere,
longed for it, heard rumors of it
in music and from the
high school teacher that
none of the parents trusted.

Until after years of retreat,
when you could no longer abide
the estranged languor, the flatness,
the sheer absence of madness,

you gently laid that blue phone
on the countertop,
and let it fill the room

with the sound of bees.


...