summer of the painting

i want to live in a

light house.

 

it’s

time.

 

these wrinkles

and lines need

 

something to open

and close

 

with a light

inside.

 

you have the

gift.

 

you are starting

to believe it.

 

you are starting to

love your self

 

to

pieces:

 

a solitary wing

with its lantern

 

pair flapping in the

distance;

 

a flickering

cyclops

 

watching

the seasons;

 

a window;

a wind—

 

to speak through

and in and on

 

and on

and anon.

anselm-kiefer-wolundlied-1982

Song of the Wayland, Anselm Kiefer

 

 

iv.

it starts with

a surge,

 

the intersect of

neck, solar plexus,

 

words — — then,

the dark descent

 

down, down into

the cave drawings

 

of who am i?

 

hunted,

haunted,

 

built for

slow idolatry

 

and waiting:

which is its

 

own electricity—

self-sustaining

 

legacy.

after all is

 

said and done;

after all the

 

battles fought—

few won;

 

what am i here for?

 

 

 

 

iii.

i thought i lost you:

on my own—

 

twist of lightning;

home alone.

 

open-chested

trinity:

 

a paradox of

riches—

 

first steps,

first stay,

 

first time

driving away;

 

the lonely light house

winks at the bay.

 

and we lay, we lay,

we lay down our dark

 

arms and rub up against

the furry light of day.

 

 

 

while waiting for your phone call

as soon as you leave

i feel it:

 

the immense sadness,

the emptiness, the

 

alone-ness.

 

it makes me wonder

why i’m here; what my

 

purpose is

outside of you;

 

outside of

bringing your life into

 

being.

 

this house, this rent,

this uneaten food in the

refrigerator.

 

as soon as i’m alone,

every thing is vast and open

 

and possible

again;

 

beautifully vacant.

 

it makes me think

and want to create

 

and fill up the spaces

with music and dance and

 

paint.

 

this piano, these poems,

this uncooked

recipe.

 

how can something be

so delicious and so alone—

 

electric in one moment,

and dead the next?

 

it’s a long, long road,

up through this fissure

 

into the dark hollow of

spine.

 

it’s the only way

to move and be moved;

 

it’s the only

way—up, up—

 

and it’s

mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

get up and out

so now i will tell you there is actual joy in

allowing something to dwindle down to its

very last drip. sometimes you need to see

the bottom of the barrel: the empty panic;

the dark places where you have scratched and

scraped to get by; the tiny spaces that hold the

last bits of grainy fluid before going dry. mean-

 

while, above ground, in full view of sun instead

of storage, there is a grand canyon piano with no

quiet pedal just waiting to be played. get up and

out of the basement. it will still be there, splayed

under your feet, holding your wares, your fears,

holding you up. but you need not stare at the

scaffolding. there is a whole horizon of sky for that.

 

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

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.