One year ago today…
February 2, 2012

…this blog came into the world.  Perhaps this passage of time is meaningful.  Perhaps I am a better poet than I was then.  I did not choose Groundhog Day on purpose, but it makes me think of rodents running the world – groundhog shadows dictating the seasons, hamster wheels turning the world on its axis, the internet powered by the body electricity of a million white mice in glass-walled laboratory tanks.  My not-so-secret wish is that I want to tap the glass and make their bodies scatter.  Making waves.  Internet fame.  Maybe I’ll write a rat of a poem, or a ferret, a weasel.  Something that keeps you awake at night with its eyes.  I’ll write a black bear waking up to spring, emaciated after a long sleep through cold months.  I’ll write a blue heron.  You won’t see it coming.   You’ll glance out the window of your car, driving past a marsh, and all you’ll see is the wings spread against the clouds, and you’ll catch your breath.

Of all the years I have been alive, this has been one of them.

 

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lyrics
May 22, 2011

I’ve been working on this song for a while, and I think I’ve finally gotten the lyrics out of their awkward phase.  That being said, they read like song lyrics, not like a poem (in my opinion), so keep that in mind.  I would highly suggest just making up your own tune so that you can sing them, actually, and hopefully I’ll make a video in the near future so that I can share the music as well as the lyrics.

Dirt roads

I am a gardener,
my calloused hands are never clean.
My knees are always green with grass stains;
my ways are not fit for your fast lanes,
but come on, come see me.

Why don’t you take a ride in your fast car
and amble on down to the countryside?
I’ll give you seeds for your window box;
come see me, I’ll open up all the locks
for you, just gotta come here, dear, to me.

Hey there, my city dweller,
climb up out of your urban cellar.
I’ll be your sunshine,
and I’ll be your April rains.
I’ll be all of your springtime flowers;
I’ll liven your life for all of your hours
if you would just come see me.

Come on, take a ride in your fast car,
just take your sweet time
cause I’m really not that far
away, today, you’ll see me.

I’ll give you blueberries, apples, and kisses.
I promise this country will grant
all of your wishes.
I’ll be your summer shade,
and I’ll be your backyard creek
if you’d just come see me this week.

I’ll be your sunshine,
and I’ll be your August storms.
I’ll be every one of your summer flowers;
I’ll liven your life for all of your hours
if you would just come see me.

writing about not writing (a paradox)
May 15, 2011

Writing a poem about not being able to write would at first just seem to be ironic, but in my case, I assure you, it is not.  It has been quite a while since I have written a poem that I really feel good and sure about, and so despite the fact that I have still been writing poems and attempting to revise old ones, I feel as though I am not writing.  So this poem is not ironic, though I suppose a reader could choose to take it that way.  I would have you think about it as a paradox: a poet can write prolifically but not be writing anything.  I add that it is not necessarily about the quality of the poetry, either.  It may be that to the reader, the poet’s writing has not changed in its meaningfulness and lyricism.  But for the poet (at least in my case), the poetry is not coming from the same mental/emotional/artistic place it once did.  And so, I am caught in a paradox; I am writing, but I feel as if I am not writing anything.  In this poem, I blame my poems for my not writing, but if you know me at all, you’ll see that I’m really blaming myself (though I feel a need to clarify that I do not have a “god is dead” tattoo, nor do I ever plan to).     That being said, enjoy my (non) writing.

Writer’s Block, An Explanation in Personification:

My poems have started sneaking out at night.
They have started drinking on street corners
and jumping in puddles,
and so I am constantly having to buy them new shoes.
They prefer vodka, my poems,
because they are reading Dostoevsky
and become idealists and dreamers
in spite of themselves.
They are shouting at me
that lofty suffering is far better
than cheap happiness
as I revise them.
They are offended that I add rhymes to them
like pink bows so that they will
cooperate with music.
No, they want their words to clash,
or so they tell me.
But secretly, my poems are wondering
where the spring weather has gone to hide,
and they are not so full of angst
that they forget to go looking for it.
When no one is around,
they sober up and hunt for dandelions
and patches of sky not covered with storm clouds.
They are afraid of looking cute,
and while they secretly get sunburns
and make daisy chains,
they practice furrowing their foreheads.
They all banded together one afternoon –
the day they turned 18 –
and with all the vodka money they had saved
got god is dead tattooed on their forearms
so that if they need to,
they can look serious.

free verse
April 10, 2011

Awakening

The lightning is asking me to shout thunder back at it,
and the wind is telling me to let my hair fly long and loose,
and I am listening to the entire world as it speaks to me!
I am opening every window of my house
and beginning the spring cleaning
and sweeping everything old and dusty and dank
out from under the carpets
and over the threshold,
and the wind is taking it all away.

In the night when the moon seems brighter
than every star combined,
I will sleep on the dewy grass
and leave a crumpled outline of my self
for you to find in the morning.

Won’t you join me here?
Won’t you let me bring you close to my self
and embrace you with my long bare arms
and let you see that this is part of
whatitmeanstobehuman?
Let us be human together!

In the night when clouds blow past the moon
and cast shadows that remind us that
light must be noticed,
I am noticing you,
you and your green eyes shining in starlight,
and you and your feet stepping silently on packed earth.
Stand with me at the brink and
hold my hand
and you will be alive with me
and we will feel the life of every bird and river
rumble through our bodies,
and I will kiss you once and
it will feel like a thousand times.

Pantoum
February 6, 2011

Spring and Light

There is a man of spring and light,
and he never knows the reasons why,
but he is one who knows the night
and raises trees to speak to sky.

He never knows the reasons why,
but planting seeds, he knows they’ll grow.
And raising trees to speak to sky,
Springlight Man knows what he has to know.

Planting seeds, he knows they’ll grow
and that the rains will come again.
Springlight Man knows what he has to know,
not asking why like other men.

He knows the rains will come again
and that the swallows sing at dawn,
and, not asking why like other men,
he accepts it when their song is gone.

He knows the swallow sings at the dawn,
and he is one who knows the night.
He accepts it when his song is gone.
He is a man of spring and light.