close carry

i used to fall asleep in the car,

riding home at night after a

 

long outing. i remember the hum

of the road, the flashing head

 

lamps; i remember the sudden quiet

of the engine cutting off, daddy scooping

 

me up in his arms to carry me in. some

times a shoe would slip, a mumble, a word—

 

a hint that i wasn’t completely asleep;

but he would carry me up the stairs into

 

the house, up the stairs into my bed.

i don’t remember what was said: just

 

the strong arms around me, the

scent of man, of capability, of love.

 

later there would be times i would try

to recreate this safe feeling, this

 

extended touch, this close carry.

but it was never the same.

 

Advertisements

asylum

look behind you:

the orchard-lined hall-

way; all the things that have

grown up and pushed out fruit

 

in your wake; the worn door frames

and door knobs, the sleeked floors slipping

under committed feet, the living point of contact

keeping you both here, resolved—all in, so to speak.

 

not since those first nine months

have you ever been so

in love with a

lynchpin.

and the creeks don’t rise

in every dream, a house;

in every room, a hole: a

broken floor, an exposed pipe, a

gaping window wanting to be a door.

 

at the end of a life, last words

are overrated: i’m so confused;

i’m in trouble; get the hell away

from me. it’s not like the movies.

 

you better hope you made your

amends, exchanged embraces,

made your love known while there

was still clarity. the last gasping

 

moments are not made for love.

 

 

 

 

 

it’s about damn time

it starts to rain and i think:
it’s about damn time.

i don’t know where i’ll go from here, but
this wet space is a good place to start.

i can’t write a goddamn poem—and
i keep thinking about bukowksi and

how he said don’t try—but if some
thing doesn’t come out soon i may im-

plode. i keep walking around the house
saying: i don’t know what to do.

i keep walking room to room know-
ing what to do and not doing it.

procrastination is an act of
rebellion: against the

system, against
expectation, against self.

there’s a world inside my head—
and even i can’t access it.

every thing is happening in another
language—a non-language:

visions spinning in spirals, surrounding me, closing
in, cushioning at times, but mostly suffocating.

i don’t expect you to under-stand. i don’t
expect to be able to see into yours, to climb up

and into for comfort. what are we together?
what do we do in these moments?

push? pull? hold?
hibernate? run?

getting in the car and driving through the hills
while blasting tom petty seems enough for now.

i drive by every place i have lived—except that one:
tucked up too far into the mountains, into the memory.

some days we cannot love our neighbor
because we do not love our selves. we shut up

into our houses. we lock our doors and windows and hide.
we are trying to love our selves; but we are lost. we are

trying to love our gods; but we are tossed aside
again and again by our own minds.

how do we get so far out of alignment? why does it
feel so good to snap back in—like one of those car seat

buckles with four sides that you have to line up just right
to feel the click while the kid kicks and screams and fights?

sitting with my adult-in-training after an argument—in which
nothing is solved except for the yelling and the receiving—

and watching law & order and laughing occasionally and
continuing to exist side by side seems enough for now.

do we let ourselves drift further away
so we can feel the relief of return?

do we have any control over any of it?
should we? or are we just rolling

along on the wave, letting it carry us to
the next destination? who are we to try to

control the sea? perhaps the moon goddess within.
perhaps you are my muse. perhaps a muse is just a

long lost love—or one never fully realized—who
triggers us and prompts us and provokes us and

pushes us—painfully far and prosaically wide at times.
perhaps you are part of my cluster, following me through

these sacred lives as we teach and learn and grow from
each other. when i think about my love for you, i want

to bring you flowers; i want to plant my forever in you:
inside your head, inside your hands, inside your heart.

arrive alive

20150718_172909

always driving,
always moving,

running to meet point-less
dead-lines, absurd expectations:

rushing, rushing to our graves.

this time i happen
to be headed south,

past neon signs with casualties
counted and engraved:

657 so far this year;

past the severed alligator, under
the glassy big-brother eyes,

funneling down to the edge,
straight into the heart of

gun-shaped dread. i’ll wait until
i get there to start drinking,

numbing away all the things waiting to bite,
until the laughing takes us right into the

crying. it’s all the same out-
pouring in the mind’s eye,

tucked up on that cloud
shelf in the revolving sky;

just harder to put your finger on.

pieces of memory paste themselves
together as i maneuver in and out of states:

last words, last touches, collages of conversations
from ten, twenty years ago, from count-less lives ago—

before we knew what we were be-coming;
before we knew how it would all end.

i keep looking over at my girl sleeping safely
on the seat beside me. my eyes are wide prayers.

the bittersweet dark is settling in as we
arrive alive under the last exhale of sun;

arrive to your absence, to the stomping pulse
of grief running through your girls,

to the very same places where we
once romped and rallied for joy.

20150718_173350

four-teen

20140825_083527-1

my daughter is

writing poems and

 

playing piano

keys while the

 

world is spinning, telling her

she should be working.

 

the singing apple is still falling

from the tree

 

in slow   motion

ecstasy;

 

obelisk of beauty and utility:

reaching, perching on the edge

 

of still pools, longing

to be space-craft.

20140730_162545

alive: for dad

i keep trying to crawl into that photograph

of you in your uniform, of you in your

 

youth-prime, proud smiling on your mother’s

arm with the crinkly eyes of your future daughters.

 

after the flagship burned,

and the wheelhouse turned,

 

you became good at seeing angels;

yeah, you were all right.

 

when asked how you were doing,

you said, well, i’m alive.

 

and my mirror cells replied,

well, that’s every thing.

Dad and Grandma