forgive me, father

forgive me, father

for i have sinned;

 

it’s been fifteen days

since my last poem.

 

these first baby steps

are weird and wonder-

 

ful; i wonder where

they are taking me.

 

maybe to you—to the

brightest thing in my life.

 

let me know where

your heart is;

 

let me know your

words so i can

 

steal them away:

the purest relation-

 

ship, you say, preserved

in this crystalline distance.

 

can you see them? the pink

clouds rowing through the sky?

 

humming right along-

side? we’re almost there.

i want to read you

i want to read you;

i want to feel your words

slip over me, pull me into

their tide, strip me down with

their waves without trying.

 

i want to listen to the music

of your thought, follow it

into the forest, happen upon

a leprechaun and wood spryte

making gold, making love.

 

i want the letting of all this

matter into energy; these

disguises to fall away, the

memories of mountain-tops

to sway in their return.

 

i want to deep-dive into a

painting of a thousand sun-

sets, moments spent think-

ing of you; of our writing, of

our meeting: one and the same.

snap shot 2

We remember and forget things on a daily basis. If we could retain everything we have ever remembered—or perhaps never forget it in the first place—we would be different beings. Forgetting may be a blessing—the mind’s way of coping with this insidious loop of existence. How else could we get up and do the same things over and over again? Maybe the forgetting was a curse. Or was it the remembering?

These thoughts came to Lee as she dragged herself once again out of her dreams, out of the deep remembering that came to her each night. She was usually in a forest, in a fog of stories without words, surrounded by things you just know in your bones, things that make you run and jump and fly and hunt. Things that let you escape humanity and become the elements that make up the dreams of others, that make up the universe. Things that don’t require bones but that know them to their core.

Upon waking, she could feel the familiar forgetting wrapping around her like a bathrobe. Sometimes it came in the form of a coffee cup or phone notification. She could have stayed in that wordless world forever—and maybe one of these times she would. But the crash of the recycling bins outside had jarred her out of sleep. At first it melded with her dream, and she was rushing to try to gather all of the bottles, boxes, and cans from the week to get them to the curb in time. There used to be many more bottles. She was trying to cut back.

She had fallen asleep in the living room again, beside the simmering fireplace, with the window cracked. It was like sleeping by a campfire, the contrast of the soft heat and cool air bringing her back to a place of childhood and longing. There was something addictive about a fire, the measured build of the elements as heat met paper met wood met air—the initial catch, the crackling increase, the leap of flames, the slow burn of embers. It was like a birth and a death—right at her fingertips—and it warmed the room beautifully.

Lee was avoiding her bedroom. She had been for weeks—ever since the holidays. The pillowy couch by the fireplace was only comfortable to a point, and then her back would start to ache. But something was keeping her from that room, from that big, firm bed. She thought she knew what, she thought she had it figured out, but then she would forget. In the meantime, she continued to make fires, sandwiches, phone calls.

She checked her phone, first for the time (and to see how many times she had hit snooze), and then for the regular dose of notifications. There were only a few this morning, nothing to really stimulate her to fully wake. She got distracted by a cat video and then a news parody, and found herself laughing before her coffee—which was rare. Not really laughing, but slightly snickering as she stretched and pulled herself up out of the couch cushions.

It was cold and overcast, and she sucked in the air as she gazed out the window. She could smell the eventual passing of winter, the tiny hint of spring, the desire to run through a field or chop some wood or take off in a canoe. Instead, she followed the well-worn path to the coffee maker.

The house would be as quiet as she wanted it. Sophie would sleep until noon. There was no school today. It was Martin Luther King Day.

I have a dream.

 

to enjoy what was

take me to your timberline,

show me where your true self ends

 

and your truer self begins.

i want to see in:

 

i want the spiral of a dream to take me

out of time,

 

put me in the womb,

put me on the edge of battle,

 

put me in the pack

chasing survival;

 

to forget the forgetting,

to feel the source,

 

to see the spine of life continuing

as it passes through doors.

 

to enjoy what was

is to carve joy

 

into what is,

into what will be again:

 

it is all the same clay, the same

tools, the same deep grooves.

 

you call me to the fire, and

i answer with water;

 

and we sit at the edge of the mountain

and conspire to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

poem in your pocket: not your normal ode

20150430_111552

i don’t trust

pants without pockets.

i don’t trust myself

to wear them, to not

have that container—like a

bucket but so much closer—

to not suddenly drop my phone,

your number, my own hand

straight down my back/side.



the kangaroo has the

right idea: built-in

storage. if we had a

skin pocket, i suppose

i would want to carry you

around in mine. unless i

was being carried in yours.

we could take turns—at least

until the baby came.



i don’t trust a poem

that can be kept in a pocket.

it should be a siren: burning

a hole straight through and out.

it should burn the pants

right off you—right

down to the ground.



a good poem is all the lies and all the truths

you have ever told, rolled up into a tidy

scroll, for just a moment, and then—charging

forward and backward and upward and downward and

every which wayward to take out an entire block—

like a bulldozer, like a flock of flying rhinoceros.



i don’t trust a person

who can be kept in a pocket,

who wants to pocket another.

if i were to carry you around in mine,

it would be for just a tiny time,

until you gathered the dark heat you needed,

until you chewed your way out:

slowly, gorgeously,

letting me feel your teeth

as you broke into the world

to be heeded again.



this isn’t what i expected to write on

poem in your pocket day.

but when do we ever know

exactly what we are going to say,

what is going to break out of all

of our invisible burning pockets?

if you always do, shame on you.

20150430_111258-2

nothing is too much to ask

wheel of the body:

 

earth

air

fire

water

 

:burrow of the mind

 

nothing is

too much

to ask

 

like looking into a

mirror of time

 

we starve

our iron sides

 

of these gifts

 

what do you want

to be when you grow

 

up is really just what

do you want, which is

 

to say: to be happy

 

to walk and not faint

to wear talismans of

fury and fervor

 

to strike love into

things like plants

 

to long for spirit as

one longs to under

stand a language

 

longs to hear the

words and to

 

know

them

 

but we are terrified

of the elements

 

out of balance with

our own making

 

strutting the curb

side of the spine

 

while distant stars set the stage:

all of life, a carbon-dazzled

 

dizzying maze

leading to infinite

 

chains of

choice

 

we perch on the edge

 

facing the throne in

stead of occupying it

 

instead of going in

for the steep feel

 

we do not own our space

 

we habitually lean in,

lean to the power of

 

another tower

 

we—innovators with

wings as eagles, with

 

veins as volcanoes; deep

enough for the hurt—

 

mount up and ride

out to meet them.

 

self, immolation

20130811_165145

the galvanized timeline

of the indigo

 

seeking a sacred self immolation

 

letting this little light

break free

 

this little liturgy train out-creating

the tunnel mine of the brain

 

paginating the running pages that think they can that think they can

 

while high above hot quiet air balloons of

wood float on pieces of the four winds

 

divesting toward reverance on

pieces of the four deaths

 

camping out in the refining

stars of the body

 

sitting with the suffering

being with the beasts

 

singing the knowledge of pain,

the fuel to heal

 

burning side-by-side with

neighbor; sister; brother; lover

20130811_165406