Teaching

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I’m not sure I do much,

but open doors, set up chairs,

provide a place to read,

talk, write; which is enough

and yet, is not enough

to beat back the belligerence

barking like a spittle-flecked

beast. I can’t save them

from what is to come,

nor always be there to speak

amiably into their distress,

and voiceless traumas.

But there is this room,

an open door, and a chair.

 

(March 27, 2018)

Time’s Lackadaisical Continuum

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A fire flares and flickers

As the dark embers pulse,

Keeping beat to the dancer’s

Feet twirling in a circle.

He hesitates to speak,

To throw his slow mind

Into relief against her quick

Laughter rippling the room.

His words bind him to earth

Like roots tangling underground;

Hers flutter like butterflies

Rising as one from flowers.

 

Flames, flowers, roots and embers

Turn, and turn, and turn again.

 

(January 30, 2018)

no one leaves the cave

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make a random reference

to some allusion other

than the one here now

 

and if one misses it

from ignorance or

one’s own obscurity

 

the dead grey eyes

hear in the fissures

more than conceived

 

in any normal conversation

in which one’s a part

minutes arrive like hours

 

and all the inhabitable

caves encompass the other

 

(January 17, 2018)

Crush It

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“yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me”

                        —Malvolio, 12th Night, William Shakespeare

 

 

 

I wasn’t one of them,

I just want you to know—

I wasn’t like those others

She said almost as if she

Believed what she said

 

He smiled and nodded

As she said it again

But he knew as well

As she that she was one

Of them and was the same

 

But he was in love and wanted

Her to be what he wanted

Her to be not with those

Who were those who giggled

And mocked his doleful thoughts

 

Not that he cared then or now

He was in love then as now

And wonders now why she

Wanted him so badly to know

She wasn’t one of them

 

 

(December 24, 2017)

The Act’s Compromised

“a whole scene through the keyhole of language”
–Roland Barthes
Stray bits of light glowed along the edges:
What he wanted her to say in contrast
To what she said. We only see what’s there,
What we understand. Through the dark, fireflies
Shout out for love in sharp intermittent
Bursts. How do we ever find each other?
He understood little of what she said.
His desire, her intent, shrank the language
‘til fine grains of difference determined
If either could move without consequence.
With one key to the code, a tumbler fell,
A latch opened, yet, the door remained closed.
Enough had been said; they each bent to read
a denouement from their side of the door.
(June 23, 2017)