here’s the truth i never really told

my eyes have not seen

nearly enough—

and, yet, too much.

out of the corner of one:

 

my hand—bent like

my grandmother’s,

like i’m cut

in half.

 

part of

my privilege

is

ashamed.

 

i must allow myself to undress,

to let go, to see what’s under

the show: this is the time.

this is where i am, taking a stand—

 

i do not

want you

in my

land.

 

but hear the

crickets;

they are for

everyone.

 

how i wanted to be a

miniature in your

china cabinet, tucked

up in ruby red glory,

 

un

aware of

the

imprisonment.

 

i am hard.

i am glass.

i cannot change

time, space, the past.

 

the mind does not

want you to know

your self, your

iron-on heart,

 

how to sit with the

hurt and be a light,

a lamp, a fire

extinguisher.

 

how can

hate

talk to

hate?

 

i am laughing; i am charlie

chaplin weeping on the

inside. first time’s the charm;

after that, it’s just repeats.

 

i am alone.

a heart in a house.

does a house

need a heart?

 

laid up for nine months, like gestation, and

what was born? i am turning into stone.

how can you force a turtle? if you

push it, it just goes skidding.

 

if i stand still long enough, can i cheat time?

can i drill down into space and rewind?

can i find my inner child, waiting there

with a shell in her outstretched hands—

 

saying—

here, you’re

going to need

this.

 

i do not have the

stomach for a

revolution. i am not

my grandmother.

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i.

i wake in the night to a

different realm; pulled from

 

my fuzzy yellow refuge. the

voices i meet are darker, thicker,

 

carrying something un-

speakably heavy across the

 

dimensions. every one i have

ever known—even my own

 

sisters, mother, father: sleeping

just feet from me—feel thousands

 

of memories away. i alone am

standing watch; am a crumbling wall

 

between what i thought i knew and the

all—knowing—all—encompassing

 

void

 

i don’t know why they are

visiting upon me; but one thing

 

i do know as i crouch in the deep-

dark pockets of the hallway, shaking

 

and weeping and lost:      i am

different.

some nights the moon is a train

it takes me a while

to love things.

 

but then i am

loyally locked in.

 

the colonial blue

house holds the

 

key, but no door.

in the back-ground,

 

the long bow of the

cello sings up from

 

the depths. one floor up,

children grow in their

 

beds. dad used to tease

about putting us in a vice

 

overnight. i took his words

to heart: the dreams that

 

shortened me still follow—

strong shadows of

 

nails and hair; of things

that once lived, fighting

 

to weave them-selves

back in, back to life.

 

some nights the moon

is a train. i am boarding

 

her, i am carrying

alstroemerias, i am

 

smiling as the tiny

gear of a whisper

 

turns. the shrieking,

pulsing, turning to

 

blood is all in my

head; out-side, the

 

view is silent: a giant

wheel of compliance.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

hereafter

put me on a porch

like a plant and let

me soak up the sun.

 

put me back in the

pines like when we

were young and played

 

with parallel universes:

taking the arched elevator

to whichever floor we desired,

 

trying to catch the

leaves and the liars before

mom called us back.

 

what was that?

 

that was living. that

was real, and imagination,

together; both the

 

source, and the

destination. some-

times you want to go

 

back, and other times

you want to spin forward—

but really they are the

 

same parallel thing.

 

when i was little

i remember sitting on the hard wood floor and

feeling like i was in a forest. i never thought

i would be living bill to bill, rent to rent, worried

about how to keep the hard wood over our heads.

i think i just thought it was all there–everything

we needed–for the taking, the sharing, the giving, the

living. it’s hard to live–really live–while worried about

your next deadline, next payment, next claim on your time.

i sit here writing about it instead of just living it. when i was

little i would go into my canopy worlds and escape time, escape

physicality, escape that palpable feeling of not belonging–

and would somehow find a soft space, between the knowing

waves and wise particles floating in the air and landing on the warm

wood, where everything felt right, connected, slowed way down

to perfection. i think this is where we are meant to be, back in the

forest of our child-mind, loving everything, living out the colors

and shapes and rhythms of play. no one had to tell us where to go,

or how to find it: our beautiful bliss was ever at our fingertips.

 

as you were

i remember you.
i remember a
city on a hill, a
porch on the watch,

a storm born, brooding;
a catafalque of calm
before the god-breath of
wonder and wrath:

a storm-flooding.

i remember
you
as you were.
i remember

within the bower,
atop the tower,
the crow’s nest
power of a

rock climb. an indian
wrestling with
spirits and sounds
placed down on a

spinning record in time. i
remember the line:
i saw a tree by the
river side. i remember

you as you are.

walking ’round the
curling star-ring of fire,
wandering across night
fields between measures

of steps of twisted-beautiful
human error, humming
under the exigent
knowledge of a grand

design, an owl hoot, a
compass-in-pocket, a
grid of green destiny
set down beneath kindred

hoofs, outside silent fox
holes where we atone
for our atom door
again and again;

through which our
magnum opus
crawls, a trinket
trinity hanging by a

thread, positing,

bound to its own
grief, bathing in the
pounding out of so
many heart beats:

humanity. divinity. humility. love.

here, where the
chief pulse perseverates
across the face
of God.