the signature of being

here we are

atop the summit

astride a wide field

with woven baskets

swinging on our arms

for the gleaning;

we are open containers

waiting for the gloaming.

it has been a long climb.

the geese know.

we approach a firefly

with quiet reverence;

we cup it in our hands

and feel the prayer.

we have been here before:

it is the signature of being.

 

~for my daughter on her 18th birthday~

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miami

you’re in a relation-

ship with the world:

 

put your lipstick on.

 

up a ladder,

up a banyan,

through a canyon,

 

into the arms of love.

 

i should always be

this care free;

 

leave the camera on—

let them see, let them see:

 

lit, full of engine energy;

who i wanna be:

 

blood-letting—

just me, just me.

 

 

vessel

don’t believe

the mirrors—

 

except in cars;

and even then,

 

in moderation.

i’m headed out

 

into the 3d world:

where i’m visible

 

in full—not just from

the front and torso up.

 

i need to feel real

pages in my hands,

 

real road under

my wheels. i’m

 

listening to tori,

trying to feel some-

 

thing. the truth is,

i don’t like music with

 

words anymore. there

are too many words in

 

the world. this is probably

how some people feel about

 

poetry; it’s how i feel about

poetry, sometimes. and yet,

 

here i am adding to the heap.

in my dream, my mom and dad

 

are young and happy. they look

like they did on their wedding day:

 

beaming and laughing and

of a piece. but we are also there,

 

we three girls. they’re drinking

red wine and being the life of the

 

dinner party: a glimpse into the

before. in another dream, i am

 

being assaulted by a robotic arm

with a giant camera eye. it’s still

 

attached to the corner where the wall

meets the ceiling as it roves over my

 

body, pressing down hard on me

with a hum. somehow it’s the whole

 

length of me. i think of the incubus

in florida, but after. in the moment,

 

in the dream, i’m just trying to

cry out for help—but it may all be

 

stuck in my head. there’s a loud

alarm going off that i think i’ve

 

triggered. how do dreams

become 3d? or is it all just

 

smoke and mirrors? i am a

vessel of shifting memory:

 

moving from bliss to terror to

bliss again. the wide extremes of

 

being. maybe this is how we

learn the middle, the balance.

 

as i sit and think of the years,

the sharp ache is finally gone—

 

but in its wake, a deep

loneliness that has

 

learned to expect,

and love, solitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the opposite of time

there are no synonyms for

you; you are one of a

 

kind. in my dreams, it is

so clear: what i want.

 

it is the meeting of

body and mind.

 

my mind does not

leave my body; she

 

takes her along,

loves her the whole

 

stay. being asleep

is the real awake:

 

the opposite of time.

 

while not asleep,

i’m in my own way.

 

i hold my blueberry coffee;

i stand in the hospital corridor

 

with my throat shut. the

sickness perseverates

 

in the mouth, jaw,

throat, chest, gut;

 

the non-words

in duress.

 

truth

is terror—

 

a forever

pain.

 

but in dreams,

it is made into

 

beauty: alchemy

as it should be.

 

i go to sleep under

a November tree,

 

between the

bright carpet

 

and brighter

hangings, and

 

meet you there.

each time you get better

i will never forget what it feels like to fall

in love—because i feel it every year at this

 

time: the deep stillness; the wind; the wait;

the open sky; the crucible of cooler air, shifting

 

leaves, things coming out of the cracks to play.

it’s a final act; you can feel the beauty in the

 

urgency. it’s everything you’ve trained for—

happening in these few months—at a breath-

 

taking pace: the sugar build, the fullness,

the vivid colors, the dance;    the fall; a giant

 

hinge turning in a door as you watch it open,

smile, take a huge breath, and then close.

 

in those precious moments, everything

tastes better; everything feels brighter;

 

music sounds better; you feel lighter.

but everything in this life is temporal:

 

everything changes, everything dies.

even in the middle of your love, your

 

cells are singing right before their final sigh.

each time you get better at saying goodbye.

 

 

you are the poem

sit silently with your self;

listen to your breath, to last

night’s dreams, to the hammer

heart-beats which carried you

 

through. listen again. do you

hear your treble, the shaking

space between your stanzas,

the tremble of your verse?

 

you are the poem.

 

stop letting in all the noise. make

your own noise—just for you. if you

don’t want to rhyme, don’t. let your

capitals go. be un-titled. let the

 

line

breaks

surprise

even

 

you. swim in the imagery, steep in

the buzz of beginning over that of

belonging. watch a being give

birth. you are the poem. it will

 

all be over soon. taste each syl-

la-ble in your mouth, feel the tug

of adrenaline in the pit of your

stomach: the closest to the center

 

of child hood you will ever get

again. take cream in your coffee.

romance your selves and those

clinging to them with satin

 

static. if you take a title, own

it; sing it out with each pulse.

hug the children, love the world,

speak the beauty, love the poem.

 

you are the poem.

 

 

 

 

humanity v. machinery

without light

there is no color.

 

darkness is

the default.

 

you have been given a hall pass;

why aren’t you wandering?

 

tunnels of cool white tile, green carpet as quiet as moss,

hundreds of stampeding feet now caught in class.

 

if you go straight from point a to

point b, you are squandering your

 

right to stay in the liminal

for just a little while.

 

every thing will pick back up too

quickly and too easily and this

 

moment will be gone.  with great

beauty comes great risk—the light of

 

dawn; and the bigger dare: to follow the

red neon signs and exit the building.