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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Embraces

She waits where I’ve always stood
in all the ruin of 2 a.m..
where lawn meets street
in a concrete sweep
poured down to draw all the water away.

But this isn’t what nighttime should be,
or memory, or the unmapped expanse of newness,
this halting unexpression,
vowel streams rolling back until
they’ve never been said.

I’d like to return to the moment
before we moved from the couch
to the end of the drive, before we met
the end of the evening. And I’d like to know
she isn’t standing there, beside a culvert of her own.

 

Liner note

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Rather Not

I’d rather not know you looked,
rather not know what you found

when you found me there. Rather not have an algorithm
suggest how well we might work.

A glimpse I’d rather not have of our potential
or our difference, I’d rather

not know what you know. When I page
through my history I’d

rather not recollect what I’ve missed out on.
I’d rather not have here an archive

of everything the two of us have ever said.
I’d rather not miss the revealing,

the way the gloss of newness
sloughs away to show the parts I’d rather

remember later on. It’s easy enough
to shut it down, and I’d rather not leave a trace.

Liner note

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State

Turbulence, luminance, chamfered
sea along the wake:
Less your light, I phosphoresce.

 

Liner note

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Kermit Hands

The class outlier, I’m not an actor
or a puppeteer. My one practical employment

for what we’ll learn in the backstage studio
is know-it-all correction of other people’s

hands made into sock-stripped mouths, flapping snaps
like baby birds, while mocking someone else’s talking.

More snakelike, I bend at the wrist, imagine eyes
on my knuckles, pitch my thumb down and up to open

and close, all eight carpal bones leery of the shape.
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that

our puppets are peach and phallic, or
that in mine, what little way my thumb

can move is lost inside a cavernous jaw.
The dozen of us stand together, filed by height,

tight like books on a shelf, arms raised
as though all of us are hailing

someone far away, our puppets’
eyes on the camera and our eyes

on the monitor. When my puppet’s
eyes finally meet mine, I remember waiting

to meet the eyes of my first real crush,
relishing the galvanizing moment of connection.

In the monitor, our teacher’s eyes,
his own and his puppet’s, are never anything

but alive – his felted peach husk becomes a species
of its own. And the twelve of us, whether or not

we’re puppeteers, see. Even if we didn’t know
our teacher is the human half of Kermit,

we’d all still note the new presence in the room,
only possible when both of them are there.

 

Liner note

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A single eye, convective like the sun,
cold orb in sway like Naja naja’s hood,
swinging from powered sinews deeply run
through conduit to chambers I withstood:
She’s fixed on murder and a cold revenge.
A treachery of raven and black ice,
she sets herself, an ending to avenge,
with words that pare her pound of flesh, precise,
piercing like picks into my orbits. Here,
arrived through brief ellipses gold and blue –
paired, fickle rings – I wait to fill my bier
after our last, sadistic pas de deux.
My bad end is welcome as confection,
driven here in throes of mad affection.

Liner note

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Irrelevant. Irrelevant.
A joy of my invention,
engendered and gestated in
a polycarbide bell that rings,
persistent as a nightjar’s trill,
as Pseudacris crucifer crucifer’s pipe,
at the strike of my mind
advancing on the thought of you.

Impaired, I cannot see the sense of how
my shrill and tinny timbre might
speak anything profound enough
to draw you near.

The lack of limb I must account for.
Vast flights between we two I cannot scale.

But suppose a pose, a fond exchange,
a cleverness of thought, might shape the crucible
for your own mind’s reagents to conspire in,
inspire you to reciprocate. But even then

deciduous affection falls like teeth of mammals
grown too old for fairy tales,
bone and ash to soil and loam lain fallow
‘til a new admirer cultivates attention there:
a memory to eradicate, a notice to exterminate.

Liner note

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Double-blind

I had, until this second
when you caught me catching your eye,
a perfect methodology,
documents, data sets,
a reasoned structure to discover
what we might think of one another,
neither of us knowing
before the end.

But now I’ve tipped my hand: You’ve seen
my observation. A moment
you can’t disregard, a gaze
I can’t undo.

It’s ruined with us both unblinded,
an experiment spoiled, a hypothesis unwound:
Your sense of being studied breaks it down,
my latent hoped-for outcome
nudges the results.

Ironic that an observation
renders findings suspect,
that a study of unknowns requires
a boundary of unknowns,
a waltz of knowing and not,
deliberate ignorance,
seals and secrets.

 

Liner note

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