Sacre Coeur
November 15, 2011

this is a century of speeding up in slow motion
of slowing down quickly
of biting lower lips in dark alleyways
of kissing strangers behind half-closed doors
ours is a generation of dreamers and
false starters of second-guessers
we have maps but don’t know where we’re going
we have dictionaries filled with foreign words
people stop us on the street
thinking we belong to the city in which we find ourselves
we mutter we fumble with the change in our pockets
everyone is shrugging off our insecurity
everyone is moving on to better people
people with answers people with shoes on their feet
as we realize that we have lost the keys
to our bike locks to our apartment doors
to our post office mailboxes two blocks down the street
that never have any letters in them anyway
we are the ones without umbrellas in the rain
we are the ones whose parents call on sundays
when there is nothing to do but sleep
and ask us if we are still losing weight
if we are still writing
if we are going to move closer to home
we don’t think so but we say maybe
we say that we are meeting people
we say that the sun is coming out for summer
and we are getting tan on weekend afternoons
we are visiting our cousins at the shore and
getting drunk and setting off fireworks on the sidewalk
and running from the police
so fast our hair flies back off our foreheads
so fast we let our thoughts trail behind us
and crash into cars parked at the curb
this is a century of bruised knees
this is a time for falling down
but at least we are good at standing up
we are experts at dusting ourselves off
we practice falling off front steps
off back porches off two-story rooftops
and one day we won’t land
and then something else will start

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a philosophy of language
November 13, 2011

preceding essence

I believed in falling into being and
her and the way her mouth moved
when she said the word tomorrow
and I loved her eyes in the morning
and we fell into step on the sidewalk
we breathed together in the midnight light
we knew when to talk and when
not to talk and when to hold each other’s hands
and there is language immanent in every
movement of her arm though we don’t know
how to speak really because we are still learning
the most basic vocabulary of this foreign language
living is a foreign language these
touches are an unknown dialect
I am learning I am trying to learn
I am wondering who speaks this fluently
wondering if I can fall in love with them
so they will teach me their first language
nothing is so easy nothing is natural
to me to my limbs and in the depths of my being
there is nothing there is emptiness and so
I can be anything I tell myself I can fill myself up
with anything I can hold on to
anything I can keep between my fingers
what is this I am trying to find nothing
nothing but that’s okay I can live
I must live I am inevitable

Parts of me are broken records…
October 6, 2011

Here is a generation

the best of all things
the best of the small things
the smaller things
the smallest things
the best of the widest
and brightest and greenest
and wildest things
the best of secret things
the best of not-so-secret things
the best of the best things
the best of the worst things
the best of the not-yet-existing
things the long-standing
things the see-through fragile
things the best of all
deep-settled quiet things
the best of spoken-loudly things

these things are everywhere
these things are nowhere
they are inside of me
they are outside of me
they are in the sky
in the ground
in the dresser drawer
on the desktop
they are in your eyes
they are in my hands
they are everlasting
are fleeting
are floating are
sinking swimming
dying living are coming
are going are
birthing are killing
they are bloody
they are empty
they are shining
they are shadows

they are nothings
take these things away
I will make new
things you will make new
things we will fall in love
with so many things
we have never felt
we will fall in love with
our own making we will
lose things to make
new things to love
making love losing
things loving making
you and I and you
loving losing making
the best of all things

writer’s block
September 29, 2011

writersblock
ritersblockw
itersblockwr
tersblockwri
ersblockwrit
rsblockwrite
sblockwriter
blockwriters
lockwritersb
ockwritersbl
ckwritersblo
kwritersbloc
writersblock

Welcome to the writers’ block.
I’m going to go for a run around it.
Watch out for the barking dogs
behind the chain-link fences;
jump over the soggy newspapers
left out last night in the gutters.
The sweat has started streaming.
My hair is sticking to my neck.
I hope no one sees me
in my rings around the rosy posy glowing
writers’ block.
Ashes and ashes and ashes and
I am falling down.
My knees can’t take much more.
I have passed the same words
scrawled in strained spray paint
across Miss Metaphor’s
front door too many times;
this door is the solid gate to lost lines
in dimly lit back rooms
sitting on disemboweled velvet couch cushions.
I have turned left on Trochee Street,
left on Ego Ave,
left on Transcendentalism Street,
left on Shakespeare Drive,
left to all my own devices,
pick-pocketed by teenagers
hanging out on the corners.
They offer me false starts
and sickly sweet intoxications
and disappear to some other
more successful burgh
where they hide my lost longings
from their parents –
the published authors
with their leather arm chairs,
with their canned cat food,
with their fresh bakery bread
and full faces.
I’m going to steal from their pantries
in the night when
I can sneak away from the warden
of the writers’ block,
eat their bread with the butter I take
from the pop stars,
wash it down with
politicians’ wine.
I’m going to get so fat off
other people’s renown.
Let it happen.
Ashes and ashes and ashes.
My knees can’t take much more.