noli_me_tangere: (death comes)

Suddenly, all the rain is for you
 and there are compasses
    in the gutters,
gleaming as they point
   an inexorable north.  
Suddenly, the wind reminds me
 in no uncertain terms
   that the flow of history stops
on street corners
   in bar room mirrors,
 thick as honey and slow
with mercy
    it is written: you may lift up
 the edges of the minutes
   every once in a great while.

You may be more
   in an instant than in a lifetime
it says
  if you dare
to tread where some dirty angel

of time and place has led,
  lurking where the cigarette smoke is
 watching chance like a deal
       done with a slip of the wrist -

it will tell you that
 the price of things is getting too high
    To ask the wrong questions
        Or consult the charts
        Or lock up the valuables:
 memories,
  hesitations,
 hearts.

It was a collection of regrets
 and they were small
   and grew with space and absence
and turned a little bitter
 to the things not done
      to the beat of empty hearts
and the beliefs of fools.
 When it was done they shone
   -and I couldn’t hate them
        though I tried-
  for they were beautiful
   like the lies you told
     and the way you held
  what was more precious than you knew
  close under upturned pages
     warm as breathing
    in a cold bed
  soft as trusting
      in the vapid myth of love.

{{May}}

Nov. 22nd, 2011 01:31 am
noli_me_tangere: (empty)
Say nothing
                of April -
  it is November that's cruelest -
and the cold voice of the wind
  the ice-rimmed wings that crack
against trembling dawn
                to take
  all the years of rain
       between Heaven and Earth,
  ferry-man for the winter
      who touches the lavender
  by the door,
     the sharp, tough herb
       that clings the hardest
                   to last summer's soil,
    who says,
      all the roads of memory lead here:
         a house within itself,
   a piano showing silent teeth
     a hat upon the door-nail
       shoes that have walked
    down from the mountains
  to the wet rim of the sea,
empty
  except for three grains
        of cold still sand.
  Listen to the note where summer ended,
it rings in the inner ear
     like a trumpet that once hit a note
  all the way to the hospital,
   you did it for him then,
 and all your childhood hope meant.
     Listen to the winter pull
 her long cart over the cobbled road
     as though for the last time;
  no candle lights the way through this,
      no calendars any more
because this is where time is different:
           summer is in a room far away,
    a car forever winding up the hills
     running fast past the herds of antelope
   the fossil beds in Wyoming,
   still as a picture
      quiet as the gun in its leather case,
    bright and three-dimensional,
        a souvenir looking-glass, a story-book
   from the topsail yard
     to the Uintah peaks;
 you can almost hold it in your hand,
   this rough warm thing like a stone
from the canyons.
  You had a good conversation.
   He knew the way by memory.
noli_me_tangere: (empty)
In the end, love
   is the only language
breathed in quiet rooms
      to the time of oxygen, the shuttered eye
  looking down the halls of record
      the soft mystery
                 of the moving lips.

Past all the questions, the tales,
           the un-answers,
  past all of the shouting to storybook gods
       and the lists of the saints
          standing shoulder to shoulder
 through childhood memories,

In the faintness of echoes in the tubes
        or the swift shuttle of eyes beneath the lids,
   the twitch of electricity in the fingers
       and all of our fingers miming
     some animal instinct of solidarity,
         some panting struggle to let go,

When crowded around the narrow stage,
       all of the sentences of yesterday await,
          thronging for their turn before the curtain,
    turning, voiceless,
         watching the shadows silently,
      the dimming lights before their debut

 With the flicker of many wings,
          rising soft from a thicket of words
     leaving the dew upon the branch,
  and becoming small amid the sky
      but flashing, in the light there, brilliant
              they fly one by one away -

in the still time.
  into the eternity of the expired breath.
    Now it is a hollow, human thing -
created to hold infinities, an open, blank book,
    the letters fled, the gulf unimaginable.
           The speed of light.

In the end,
   it blooms, the easiest thing upon the silent tongue,
          these wordless moments are your gardens,
                                 your monuments,
               they are all that must be known:
 In the end, love

    In the end,
love is the only language


          you need.

noli_me_tangere: (Default)
The Great State of Georgia
     killed an innocent man tonight.


 I suppose they figured,
    why turn back now
after twenty-two years -
  that's eight thousand, thirty six days
 of pretending
when it comes to killing cops
   one black man is as good
       as another -
the stakes are too high:
  all the governors and presidential
hopefuls,
   all the justices and judges
     the lawyers and law enforcement
   the flag-wavers
    the racists
      the burning crosses
  the black smoke
    of a hundred fifty years
   the solemn chains
of two hundred fifty more;
   that's too much history
     too far down the steep narrow road,
  that ponderous and redoubtable tread
   of supremacy, waving the flag
        of imaginary birth-right,
 flattening the traces of those who had gone
      before, with lighter steps.


 Against that,
             what's one man--
  bespectacled, with books and letters,
        now a teacher whose only towers
  are of words, parcels given to a young nephew,
bright, starting small.
       That singular assembly
  of atoms of human matter
     the four limbs, the erect spine,
  the cradle of histories and futures unknowable,
       the eyes that record
    and the mouth that conceives,
the heart that contracts with purpose or pain -
      it is done now.
    It goes dark.
 The murder victim's family
and the Georgia State officials
    were the only ones allowed to see,
to watch the veins pump poison
     and a darkness come upon the eyes
         an intimate scrutiny of death,
  so that they could report
         justice done,
                 and mark it down
    in those thick old ledgers, one for the books -
   that despite the thronging of voices of love
and the pleas of the nations
    to step out of darkness,
          that blind executioner's mask that hides
    the face of hatred and of revenge
   in spite of eight thousand
    and thirty-six days
      of doubt,


     the Great State of Georgia
killed an innocent man tonight.
noli_me_tangere: (empty)
You are waiting
       under the noise of engines
 and a ghost of dust
          the echo of a stagnant air
       that smells of oil and hormones and faintly
                                              of rust,

 the static on the television
   the alien little tune it plays
              the anarchic whine of flies
                         the shouting from the nearby yard
                                   the trembling ignition that builds to a thrum,
         but then dies--

inert. if you could call
            the heat closer, tune it like a radio
      from suffocate to boil to rage
a wire in your nerve, vibrating to the right pitch
                     beyond the still thick syrup of the night,
        the becalmed cage

the weatherman in his sweat-stained
               shirtsleeves, poking at the screen
                        from left to right, a significant rise
    in his voice, from staid and steady
                  will note:  
  a rumbling miles away at sea, inching across latitudes
                                          and tides,

to a curious pinpoint -  a room
       stifled in lassitude and mildness,
                                                       encumbered by balance, a universe languishing at rest
                          and not awake,
                                                 it's there, in answer to a prayer-- 
        for some peak or valley in the unbroken plateau--
                                                                                                that all the fury of the hurricane will break. 

"Digging"

Aug. 30th, 2011 05:31 pm
noli_me_tangere: (write)
[The muses of writing are fucking with me. Therefore, I'm really unsure about this poem. Constructive criticism welcomed.]




Digging )
noli_me_tangere: (empty)
Not to lose the day
          hold back the golden curtain
 proudly on your balcony,
  figurehead
                  of some iron-masted
  vessel
riding down the slope of the hours
                     the wind of memory
                         comes through open windows.

Sharpen your knives.
Quill your pens.
                Bottle-black feathers deep
              like a shadow under a hill
   and quick:
                    breeze-caught, free of you
       where they might go, so many wings fluttering
    So many soft, repeating cries
    echo chasing an echo
    down the wide orange road.

                Don't startle so fast after,
  toes and fingers slipping on ledges
                 too eager, too rushing,
                 a never-silent stumbling
     and teasing riddles out of common tongue
      or sit staring, all hollow with echoes,
until your mouth goes dry
until you are the dust of the afternoon
                                slowly.

                  Scraping the day's dishes in the sink,
                  Or walking the primrose border
                  not dreaming of any wild scent or sight
                  Or flipping through the pages of a book,
  that library taste suddenly arising,
                  Or turning on the television and turning it off,
                                     they will return,

quick and halting like deep-eyed deer

or trembling just in reach like a feather caught
                       on a branch

or slow and pondering like rain across the mountain

or sharp as a breath underwater
                     or spreading like the stain of dawn on the horizon

swimming back to you against the future's current,
      coiled glistening in your eyes and teeth
                  as though they never left.

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