un conscious un coupling

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i came to love my life,

a joy-carrier.

 

daily i walked the distance between

truth and highly classified lies,

 

knowing that no faith could

contain, fully communicate god;

 

some day she would do that herself.

 

i came to love our life,

a bifurcated vision,

 

mostly light,

but no heat:

 

a fluorescent union

 

with a predilection for

magically suspended moments,

 

empty of intention:

 

the delicate window of in-between

after the vows and before the dance party;

 

the sweet smell lingering in the

house hours after breakfast bacon;

 

the glint and glow of muted candles

in the night bedroom.

 

i came to love my life,

like being put on

 

by two large hands,

clapping;

 

and while loving

and not loving,

 

the coupling knew

what to do,

 

knew how to grow together and then apart.

 

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memory of water melon

i.

greased, giant, floating and lolling

in the pool – while grown, bare-chested

men grapple with its smooth green expanse

of mottled skin – trying to lift it up, heave

its slipperiness onto shoulders – traverse

the elusive fruit first across the wide wet water.

 

ii.

split open, seeds, sun, spitting contests,

picnics, bare feet, cool grass, juice running

down chins, hard black kernels against teeth:

biting, testing – what is it like to ingest a seed?

an origin? a being? and will a giant watermelon

really grow up and crack inside me?

 

iii.

a patch cubed: pink, diced, de-seeded;

properly prepared and presented in dissected

fruit salads, on tidy trays with toothpicks

to reduce the messiness, the recognition,

the raw essence of what grows

greedily from the open ground.

 

iv.

carrying this evidence, this beautiful

germination expanding within me: first,

a speck, a dot, a granule; then,

stretching steadily from poppy seed to

apple seed to raisin, blueberry, raspberry,

grape, cherry, kumquat, kiwi, plum,

tangerine, peach, avocado, tomato,

mango, apple, orange, papaya, grapefruit,

coconut, cantaloupe, honeydew –

time-pressing outward in every direction:

a miracle taking center stage –

the largest, roundest watermelon: firm, strong,

abundantly heavy under my belly,

under the touch of my amazed hands:

ready to emerge and roll on out into the glory of life.

 

 

one-room heart-house

the world is almost germane;

 

a series of

short siren films stitched together

by forbearance.

 

my bubba used to say:

if it wasn’t so difficult,

it wouldn’t be worth as much.

 

if i had to sing about it —

to an audience,

to my child,

to my self —

 

i would sing the same refrain again and again

(once is not enough; you must rinse and repeat):

 

the pain does not have the last say.

the pain does not have the last say.

 

play your story, your magnanimous

(great soul) instrument;

 

wake from tactile dreams and feel

the many things you cannot take with you:

 

the blue-gray necktie; the shoe shine kit; the warm ringed hand —

 

the objects you treasure, carry, move, and bury,

but that cannot pass from this side to the next —

 

the hot chocolate pastry; the smartest technology; the deep sea.

 

remember these symbols, these

crucibles of meaning and memory;

 

they stand in for the spirit; contain

the turbulence, the heavens, the fury —

 

until such a time as they are obviated; no longer needed;

setting free the beautifully sentient

 

for what is to come.

 

life without ceasing

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how can you ask your off-spring

to stay on through the long dark

 

if you do not?

 

no man is an isthmus

without deep

courageous motion,

 

backward and forward,

through the distress:

 

aviation that flies itself first

through the blind spots,

 

that stalks the mystery,

 

the loud lusts and

louder loves

 

of the fleshly spirit;

 

wings speaking with wide mouths,

slightly open and singing the entity:

 

the joyful bewilderment

of a child home alone

for the first time;

 

a man craving a

good story but refusing

to open the vessel of

his own woman;

 

the feminine breath

embodied on the

baffled wind.

 

the future moments listening,

the techniques playing

themselves:

 

disciples of the hours.

 

the heavens opening,

the bells ringing,

the tower watching,

the sounds leaning,

the ciphers shaking,

the damage drumming,

the fists forming and unforming,

the throat opening and letting go:

 

life without ceasing.

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grand canyon of the half-hearted

we enter the mountain in the middle,

a story already forming;

 

we know the depth of dis-placement,

that this country is temporary,

 

this grand canyon of the half-hearted:

 

duty,

delight,

 

agony,

awakening.

 

we are pursued by our

unbelief, by our books

 

of the dead.

 

the summation of

the story is the story:

 

the inner

irisation;

 

the flawed finish.

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call me a tree, not a vegetable

i.

within, atop, inside

this green-blue glass globe:

 

i am living; full

of living and nonliving things.

 

i always wondered as a child how water — so

elemental, so necessary — could be non living;

 

how so many living things could depend upon it.

 

like how all paintings are abstract.

after all, what is color?

 

ii.

sometimes it seems as if i am in a war with myself,

and every one else is just a spectator.

 

other times i am a character in a play. years later,

i still talk to some of the actors.

 

i am sure one or two of them think

me callous; that i never really loved them.

 

but, i really loved that play.

 

iii.

while she was waiting she began wasting away,

against all admonition and in keeping with the odds:

 

her body and spirit growing soft — soft enough to meld

into the curves of life’s couches;

 

hard enough not to care.

 

two cardinals flit-flirt in the dirty, leftover snow.

bread is being baked across countries, continents.

 

caracas, venezuela … caracas, venezuela  

sing the children learning the capitals.

 

out of the thicket comes the ram —

beautiful, sacrificial.

 

desire s t r e t c h e d

into delay:

 

within, atop, inside

this blue-green glass globe.