Nostalgia and Eternal Reoccurrence

Clouds cling to the cave’s mouth

disguising the demons who dwelt

there. Our words worked on us

like wine and laughter, while love’s

simplicity quickly complicated

all which was said. Thus the poem’s

parameters become the poem,

and our forms fall into function,

as peach blossoms frost

the temple walkways in spring

with a light pink brocade.

(April 26, 2022)

Ikkyu Reiterations: Compassion

to kill

without love

without hate

(the mother,

the father,

the monk,

the god,

the city)

is to burn

(nowhere, and

everywhere) and

then be free:

one’s mouth filled

with bloodied words

(April 14, 2022)

Resurgent Storm (2nd iteration)

I feel my life tonight—

the weight, the textures.

There is no wisdom to create

an escape, no simple design

to relieve the recurrent terror.

Outside the wind grabs the trees

by the hair tossing them about

in an ecstatic frenzy.

I step into the growing night

and listen to the trees whip

the pale sky into the dark.

What control I thought I had

flees from me, abandoning

the promise of the light to come.

(April 11, 2022)

Where the Words Come From

He tries to trace the shadow

his pen makes on the page

as he writes. It keeps moving,

changing shapes as if it has

a will of its own, an agency

beyond the word’s ability

to slip next to each other;

to re-inscribe the future

into familiar patterns

easy enough to follow

without thinking too much

for at least one more day.

(February 23, 2022)

This is a metaphor, But for What

If we only watch

Disney movies—

I said to my film class

through the little Zoom boxes—-

I’ll have to kill myself.

A mother overheard, (you know- Covid),

and wrote the principal

to complain.

Engels wrote:

the tool changes

the worker:

My face melts,

like cotton candy in water.

(February 16, 2022)

Set and Setting

“till we turn to see 

who you were, who you are, everpresent, vivid 

luminous dust” 

            -Denise Levertov 

Like wolves feeding on a fresh kill 

steaming in the snow, each dead second 

is pulled apart. No matter the effort, 

time disallows the past to continue 

fully formed. The future devours us 

leaving little tufts of fur and bone bits 

to decorate our current troubled paths 

and explain away our broken sorrows. 

I am hungry for something I don’t know, 

a freedom from imposed obligations, 

an escape to a place I am not known. 

Yet, where I am, and who I’ve been tangle 

like the strings of old puppets in a crate, 

waiting for someone to haul them away. 

(September 28, 2021) 

Campfire Story

A nostalgic old man,

whose whispers adhere

to the flames’ tongue,

tells his one story again.

You are charmed.

So the chains slip

into your veins,

your heart, your lungs.

The air thickens your breath,

until every song you hear

is the only song you hear,

then you can no longer dance.

And the fire burns down,

for nothing’s left to say.

(August 6, 2021)