Monday, November 11, 2013

We don't write when we are happy.
We write when we are sad.
Words, swollen and wet
rupture onto a page
unprepared for weight.

There is nothing to say when we are happy.
Weightless, the words wait
for substance.
A million words waiting to care,
to mean,
to swell,
to drip.
The sun dries everything that shines.
How I despise the sun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


In time colored happy by past glances from you
I swing back and forth the pendulum
and wander empty-eyed
through two-edged memories.

Driftwood unmeant for sea or shore,
but fire
burns red then black,
the wooden heart of wanting.

Wood that feeds on fire
plants new trees
and roars enflamed
more fertile than before.

Oh reckless love,
losing the half of you
you gained when loving
the terror of halves welded...
is the sound of ripping,
disrupting things soft
and bleeding--
the evidence and color of love.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

And besides, it’s cold
and that makes me think of you.

One more night in Russia’s winter
listening to Rachmaninoff under vaulted ceilings.

What is it floating between me and the sun?
Frozen humidity reflecting light—a million tiny mirrors.

If I were a wish
I would be the hope of one more snowfall.

Make me twenty-one again
standing alone at night in snowdrift under foreign street lamps.

Homesick for home away from home,
for fur in my hat and gloves,
for the crunch of white flakes beneath my boots,
for history every step along the frozen Neva,
for the past I’ll never see again.

Have you been in love before?
I have. She was Russia. And she was cold.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Things that fall

A Leaf
A Petal
A Teardrop

A Snowflake
A Footstep
A Tree

A Bomb
A Soldier
A Nation

A Lover
A Fighter
And Me

I went running

I went running tonight.
The weather was optimal for memory.
I was one with the dark moist air.
My footsteps were soft,
my breath silent.
But my soul was on fire,
and my left knee screamed
inside its cage of flexing tissue.
My mind raced ahead,
snapping forward against the taut leash of flesh,
willing my age to catch up with youth.
I felt alive, if only half-way so.
The other half in memory.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


You left a print, not a story.

Beauty paints an impression,
a thing pressed into the soul,
not a time-line of events.
I bear your mark, your print.

Despite my dark nature,
I have in me small lights . . .

and you are there.

Friday, October 28, 2011

memory games

I would say I'm sorry.
Given the chance,
I would say I'm sorry.
But that's because it's now.
In an hour, maybe even a few minutes,
I won't care.
I will emerge from memory
numb again to past decisions.
But right now--
these minutes of aftershock
from a triggered sense,
the sound of a song we claimed "ours,"
or a letter I found
with a picture of you--
I would say I'm sorry
and ask you for a second chance.
I'm in the past.

Not for much longer . . .
I'm re-reading now,
fighting the urge to edit, now erase.
And now laugh--
"He wishes the past different!
As though his wanting now
could be his wanting then!"
I chastise the me of five minutes ago,
chastising the me of five years ago,
a fool to play with time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

trickle down blood
trickle down rain
embrace the curse
of living in pain
the sanity
of going insane

nothing consoled

When in love's pain,

there is
nowhere to go
nowhere to be
nothing to say
nothing to free
your soul from suffering.

It's drifting in space with claustrophobia
or motion sickness from the earth's spin.
It's freezing at 100 degrees Fahrenheit
or burning at the other end.
It's death by wanting
yet forced to live each moment more.
No search can end the suffering
nor find the right in every sore.

If at least it were the noble thing
If at least I sensed some glory
If at least I were the martyr king
in some heroic story

But it's none of these,
not ev'n at least.
In simplest terms it's boring.
For sits the man restoring
nothing by his sitting
and nothing by his spinning
of the harshest words--
the ones meant for his ridding
of the pain.
Not even rain
can drown his sickness whole
and leave him sleep, that peaceful role
of happy men, of kings extolled.

The suffered sits, nothing consoled.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

before their time

those first tulips
early to the season
pioneers of spring
the sacrifice of unborn colors--
will freeze to death before they see it

they die for living too early
for being passionate
wearing winter down
they fall in final gusts and flurries
before daybreak

then was I born
awakened to sunlit seasons
alive upon the graves of seers