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.

 

 

 

 

snap shot 4

“I’m in trouble.”

She woke with these words in her mind, almost on her tongue. She wasn’t sure if the words were spawned by her feeling of despair upon facing another day with the chronic aches and pains (some inhabiting her body, and others visiting from an unknown place) and still no answers—or if they had been triggered by the random patchwork of dreams from the night: her wedding to an old love, her pregnancy by an ex-husband, her strange reunion with an old friend.

At least she was human in these dreams. And, lately, sometimes Kevin Arnold. She smirked at this, at the knowledge of the television world seeping into her reality—of her growing dependence on nostalgic shows to help escape from what felt like a dying garden. There was still beauty—all around—and some soil, and some water, and a little cold sun, and a few people wandering about; but there was also the nagging feeling of death, of things being slowly starved and shriveled, of other things sprouting oddities and twisting off in the wrong direction.

Lee often tried to be optimistic. Not quite cheerful (that emotion typically surfaced only when buzzed or caught up in a love balloon), but grounded in a larger picture of herself and this life—stabilized by an ever-present, irritating really, knowledge that things would somehow work out, would somehow be okay. She had felt this stoicism from her father, this cautious confidence. But lately she could feel herself slipping, her knowledge fading, her hope becoming heavy under the weight of loneliness, age, teenage cynicism, doubt, and now—injury.

Leonard Cohen knew. And he knew that everyone else knew, too. This life was unbearable, harsh, cruel even. And yet, startling in its beauty and unpredictable kindness. Navigating between these two extremes was a heroic, gymnastic effort which exhausted the trifecta of mind, body, and soul. No wonder she could barely get out of bed some days.

Some of her friends were tired of hearing about it. She didn’t have as many friends because of it, and usually she was relieved by this. It meant less expectation, less energy, less investment. But the reverse was also true: fewer people were invested in her. Less energy was being tossed her way. She knew her readers would also become impatient eventually—especially if she didn’t throw in a love scene soon. At least some suggestive dialogue. She laughed out loud as she struggled to stand.

“Love waits for no man.”

She thought of all the love that was happening all around her—and of her own small doses being exchanged within this house, and without. Within this world, and without. There were so many different types of love, and she would be damned if she was going to let herself get caught up in one or two tiny definitions. And anyway, was it love that waits for no man? Or time? Were they one in the same? She pictured a wild time-love horse charging away into the tide without its rider.

After all this thinking, Lee became tired. Coffee was up next, with a side of berry yogurt to cushion the belly against the delicious acid. What came after that was a new hope in the form of a phone call. There was a treatment for her broken foot, and she had been approved for it. A new path—beginning next week. She would throw everything she had into this hope.

She thought about her fear of surgery, and wondered if it was related to her other fears. She would not name them just yet. She would not give them credence. Instead, she would spend days, weeks—months even—trying on yet another opinion about how her life could be improved.

i used to be

to take the edge off,

at least during the day,

at least during waking, non-

 

working hours; to go about

your routines, together but

alone, talking past each other:

 

slipping out to the ledge just to

see where it could all end; looking

back at where you’ve been because

 

you can’t imagine what hasn’t

happened yet. eye contact is a

commodity;      to hold it      is a luxury.

 

 

being

dreams are like tethers in reverse.

 

instead of keeping us tied to earth,

they keep our strings connected

back to where we came from—like

the soft lines of an old, old, tree

 

flowing up to the tallest peak.

 

once you climb it,

the only place up

is the moon;

and memory.

 

there are more characters in my dreams

than people in my real life, more land-

scape, more running, more hunting, more

flying: like the husbandry i was made for.

 

the only thinking is the construct i’m in,

and that’s already accounted for. there’s

no room for narrow cerebral being when

the primordial is tugging at your insides.

whales and wolves

you are here, and not here:

 

fly-swimming over deep

caverns and continents;

 

pack-running through the

wood-keep of your ancestors.

 

i am there, and not there:

 

scouring for seed sounds in the

caves best made for shouting.

 

the echoes know the truth;

they have been here before:

 

ma, da, wa, ka

ma, da, wa, ka

in the high note

it started out high, the sharp white zig-zag of electricity

 

zinging from sky to sand; people walking hand in

hand, as if nothing were happening, as if every-

 

thing happening between them was all that

mattered, was all they saw. i saw the ground

 

being split open, and shards of sand singeing to

glass; i saw a mass of people being murdered by

 

the elements. i saw. but i was walking alone, along the

beach, my head full of static things i couldn’t shake.

 

then, suddenly, a piece of me was transported to

you, to the home of your face: your eyes, your

 

laughing mouth, the glow of your hair sweeping

down and across as you spoke into and about

 

machines. i was there in spirit; i watched you pace

the floor, chew your lip, glance up through those

 

black & gold strands to track on the tv. i saw. i wanted to

be seen, but i knew i was incomplete, sitting there in a

 

vapor stupor—feeling a solid betrayal.

this is not how i wanted this to happen:

 

this is not how i thought it would be. i should

feel utter glee right now, sitting two feet from

 

you in your unarmored air; but instead i feel sick.

somehow you discover me there, place your steady

 

hand on my hair, smooth back my fever, whisper

gently that i need to go. i know—

 

i know it’s time to move on beyond this non-being;

beyond this waiting and wanting and wishing.

 

but—to hear your voice, to see you mime that note, to watch you

scoop up the moment with your arms and sing to the four walls—

 

was a private sacred beauty that will devastate me forever.