Poems between Paintings
Hot skillet love fried,
I'm your egg wrapped oil,
splatter in the pan with a sizzle
ember cavern fists
call my youth shoes to the corner, under stair
tell me I'm well seasoned
the kind you can't turn around with lemon, balm, mint remedy
a drink dry mouth, all tinted in rose gem.
Ode to Lyalin
Can we just sit here awhile?
Stare at our breathing techniques.
I'm in the pulse, ripples in our day to day to do list.
Your worries and disintegrated moments, it's so noisy.
Too many phrases of repetitions. Old habits, new threads.
Horns in the back round of this concert and there's no conductor just straight jazz.
All over the place dominos and chipped figurines in the family.
Let's make some mischievous compromises.
Can we just sit here awhile?
I'll watch your rambunctious offspring.
Sip this, eat this, placemats and applebeer, shards of sane, sometimes.
We can watch their hair grow, unravel garments in the wind.
I'll tuck them in. Close the door, turn on the night light.
Can we just sit awhile longer?
There's no home in these hands. Closed.
There's no home in these hands. Swollen.
Knuckles and roadways blocked.
Can't hold a bird, a feather, an egg round and full.
There's no home in these hands in my memory or yours. In my mother's, my father's, my sibling's rivalry hands.
Sword fighting with plastic sticks in boozy rendition playlists.
I'll repeat each line on paper, on keys, on hard drives, disks, panes.
Pains, cracks, buildup of tissue spasms.
Nothing fits on the tubes, tied or not. Spiny tree limbs dangling. Shaking.
Nothing scooped up between the slats.
There's no home in these hands. Wrinkled.
Skeptical nonsense, can't hold written words. Unless you write them in seedy bars with a waitress's pen. On your hot skin. Holding arms.
Interlocking phone lines and rendezvous.
There's no home in these hands, spilling dirt through a colanders lost eyes. Sockets.
There's no home in these hands. No light no dark denim, no cotton, no tissue.
An existence of air, or carbon or emote.
There's no home in these hands, for a builder, can't make, won't make.
There's no home in these hands. Open.
There's no home in these hands. Subdued.
Bone, muscle, squeezing onto little homes little hands. No place to be, but here.
Baby hairs curling back from sills, dusty collections
Cane handle, hard grips unsteady.
Telling us old truth.
Ears don't process sound like they used too.
It will be muddy whisper words in new languages I never understood.
Brain stamp number in code.
Roadway skates across your face
shrugging need to ask questions in a tunnel vision.
Time existing in old school laps a race with guided coaching.
Sound, me knocking on hearts
royal knuckles crack in between these little momentary breathes.
My bird heart distressed, caught in my mind cage in a wire bra I bought for my thirteen year old self reflection.
It pinches my skin threads, leaving scratch welts that fade but remain under. I feel the tugging of the sea as I look up at the surface a harkening reaction in the sun and my skin in this deep jaded chalcedony world.
Loss, my face in my hands in my body my arms tight tendons against the current. Flailing and failing and falling into meter deep poolside attraction. I can hear it, the whistle, the little chirp of my body heart calling. There are only two roads north, my body compass my mind wants new routes. The tech giant says take these pills, swallow this hate gateway drug world raps, to bad reps soliciting hard core monumental gold rushes. Or take me up these stairs to the roof of cobblestone bridges in heartland, in home. An obscure room in my mouth where I hide my tongue and stories no one hears. Like candy, slowly dissolving. I know the taste. I know the feel. Of body maps. The red is me I am red, jasper, sandstone, rosy quartz in my eyes, in my cheeks. My mouth, hard, throbbing. Wrap my fingers round my neck and pull out this little thread, this bird heart.
Stop asking me questions
When do I stop asking myself how I'm feeling?
Isn't that someone els's job?
Tell me what I should say?
Only curt answers, terse and unrelenting
Time stands still for no man or woman
I am not auto-tuned
I am them/they are fine
ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok,
fine, just fine.
Fine at a standstill mid cross.
Fine for food. It is easy, fine dress, fine edges of fabric, fine tips.
A gentle pat, fine dog, fine cat.
When I am fine, will it be finite?
A double word, a double meaning.
A polite, ok?
passing side notes of half assed caring.
I still crave the question, internally I loath my fine answer,
Will I ever be fine again?
Deep, is the the issue, my horoscope My sign. Fathom this world without ghosts. I want to read! No, there’s no good story with a happy ending. No twist, only wrong turns, only endless circles. My left to left, a dance by myself with canyon partners. We hear the echo as we chant, self reflection in the walls and resin flooring of our youths. Spent hours in anonymity. I can walk the ladder, plank by blank, creaking rusty introductions in rhythm. Make me a good coffee! black and never ending. Deep ink wells of solid frozen lakes, in my eyes, in the sky when I look up and scream, “what is this world?” Coming back home. Empty are the boxes, each paragraph, devoid of real usage. Each photograph meant to illicit my minds eye forward and straight back again a hook that carries me through the current and lets me slide down thick on a slit knife twist, into some obscure place where lies and fairy tales coexist to some degree. It’s the snap! the same way wrapping rubber bands around jars for a grip because I’ve waisted my tendons on gentle pats and not enough good grips. And I’m not strong enough to read each line. I can open at least for a minute and peek in. Brushing back the surreal curtain from this face in this day in this. this brain crack, on the sly with a grapefruit knife and let the sourness spill out. Under ripen history. Today’s news is tomorrow’s grave and I am just a pawn in a gathering of a dearly departed fable. If I use my senses to seek, I only get lost. Tell me without words what I need to know. Without instructions or reasonings to high degree. I’m Not dumb, but play me like an out of tune fiddle drunk in its youth. I’ve heard it all before with good reason. Highlighted, italicized. Picture books with rhymes, tell me I’m in the cave and I’m new and fresh as spring buds and Don’t fucking sugar coat the dread, it will be worse for wear. I’m wearing it now,
Above the hedges
Peek me Little youth. The midge My fly friend lullaby I want to take you In my circus. Throw rings around my fellow men Throw your hands in the air in celebration. And jump And land And jump again, but with more gumption.
Let’s just say storms pass, not this one. it’s one of many Clouds trailing each other in little arguments. The way flipping channels gets you to the back of que, with porn and obtuse news and all manner of discharge. The rain is calling on a land line and it’s a collect call. Collect your galoshes in the magazine. The ones they say are too expensive but will last awhile. So don’t think so hard about buying them. Call my umbrella open, Pat my brow, the back of my head and swipe down my hair so it’s a slide for mist. Little dew on a spiders web in a story long since read without salutations. This year is a good year for growing too much. Watching the sky fall in torrential gossip. Chicken little thoughts, off comments rewinding is back into our dark dare dreams. It’s the sun setting in the east and I’m west of the end of the rope where a knot does not hold my body but the moons gaze in its pocket. Let’s just say I’m still waiting Waiting for the hinge to reclassify the lock and the door and alarm in this house. Put away your hat, wide brim water filled solidarity. Stop perusing bills and unmarked checks. The day doesn’t stop when you reset the hooks of this picture frame we go through them in argumentative storms. Roll over in your sleep and your breathing has a fight with your lungs but your nose wins out. The uncertainty is that no amount of tubes and plugs, hoses or masks will mask the thunder louder in here then it is out there. But I’ll wait a little longer, and listen to the rain.
Summer by the sea It’s in her smile tease, between the spaces of her breath each little giggle cough. A choke resistance to a joke. My heart son and daughter in a twirl in May saucers in July. Hand in hand fingers in a tunnel heat curled rings. And lock systems. Mellow sweat and sweet as soft peaches sitting on a ledge. I gather up her seaweed net in bundles as the tide rolls in on a cry. A brine sets in, grainy mustard seeds slicked with oil. Small puzzle shells and dust pennies clinking in an overstuffed bag at the bottom and I look up at her smile and wonder where we are actually going. But she leads me on and I don’t care. If I close my eyes and look at the sky I see my sieved lids in vermillion curtains a gentle sway of day glow yellow school stains. I can hold her hand and walk think. Because she is a guide without training and I’m a teacher in smaller shoes. When we pass under trees my lids turn unleaded blue steel dripping clear gasoline on her shoes in shady night shifts too little too late on a half work clock. and the world seems far away in a glass globe on a shelf in a stranded fever I can’t name. Near the end as a treat we watch dull moving cars and shadow step statues walk by. She buys me sunny side up on a stick and the sweet juice rolls down my bib face. Cream mixed with pleasant and I am at a standstill with my tongue because I can’t take it all in. She wipes me, takes off some butter spread from my cheek with her tongue on her thumb and I still feel a bit unkempt. Not clean, But I don’t care, it’s just a joke for a minute. To think I could have it all in one go. I laugh some, even as the moment drips on the floor.
Are we monuments in this parthenon?
Truth be told I've stood here too long to know,
There's a fly that keeps landing on my rough marbled face
dipped low in the sun and the dew
no longer hides in captivity on my brow.
I woke up in my second skin, fall came in through the creak in the window and blew my hair over my face. I made a shield with my hands and washed the mist from the windshield. I saw my dew shadow and I felt the prickle of pollen snow. There was a soft half dead bee on my car. It stayed there the whole way. Warmth in its summer youth, it has no sweater to keep warm, lost from its hive, succumbed in the early night, late morning. I Grab a slow drip coffee and brown paper sugar, I smell the tin and steamer mills and children’s hands. Soap and more soap, some urine, paint drifts, pencil shavings. New school plastic lunches, not yet worn down or broken clasps. It’s technically still summer as the crickets say, their soft hum cicadas song. I sit in my car, engine hum. Door open with air outside hitting the air inside. A little turmoil storm. There are some receipts numerals scattered on the floor, year old twigs, patchwork leaves from fall on fall before. No longer crunch. I shiver. Goose pimple sweater,
I am mostly awake It’s 5:54 am every city on the east coast has a streak of plum orchid red. The streets have buoyancy, stretched out during the day. With pedometers, the asphalt connects back together-dominos and dashes.
The end of summer I walked a new path today, it got me someplace I’ve been to before, but with different eyes. He took me up a hill and down a mountain When will the wind come, it’s cool this evening and a door keeps opening someplace. But the ac And outside air are the same. A few more days of straw hats in gardens and tank tops and sweat on the back of your neck but no place else. He said it’s s new scheduling thing, but we still got there on time. I watched the ocean river this morning, crackly salt in murky waves. It was peaceful and dividing me from summer. I leaned into the wind, and he pushed me back against the railing.
A Preverbal memory Amber hot, be a guide to these tin soldered steam ships I’m taking all the tickets they are past due. No one wins at a glance gamble. Dark haired black mammoth Caffeine in the hands. So sooty It turned a ghost chimney. I’m turning in all the light ideas they were half assed all partially composed using superficial highlighters that were never opened. Wooded wrecklessness. We swerved. Into stumps. Waves don’t crash they bend over banks and ask for loans in a writable way. Willows in the fog in heavy sweaters and strangled turtlenecks. I’m heavy in thoughtlessness, I’m closing out my inventory needs, they were priced low so I’m not
Phrases in past forms, without sturdy paragraphs for safe keeping
Pushing up high on a handle ridge. It’s dry. Slink away, my ghost hope still between the little raised white bits, only yellow
Rest for a moment, Is this how it goes? The bill says we are over due. I can pay soon, I wonder when though. A lie is a truth in a costume, but a cheap costume
in covered urns, seeping mother.
She gobbles it up, wafers thin and enrobed
may it be a blessing, good omens with bad intentions.