Committed to Ritual

 

bandstand-pic 

The days and nights pass

in calm acquiescence. As

expectations lurk without

patience, sad laughter slips

into conversation’s pauses.

We each drink to avoid the

silent ramifications: there’s

nothing to say; and, what’s said

means nothing. A stock phrase

spills from a stock question

in a communal recitation.

Only empty gestures remain

to conjure, with a hollow

dance, the clichés of love.

 

(May 10 2018)

solve for X

eyeem-49219149

 

you present as a variable

an x or a y

an unknown desire

 

to provide an outcome

for a question

I did not know to ask

 

each only opens one door

to slip down the hall and out

is to dance the wet grass alone

 

or sit near the window and sigh

as one grey day blurs into tomorrow

with your answer left unresolved

 

I do not know where to go

within the variables of my heart

 

 

(February 11, 2018)

 

 

 

 

Time’s Lackadaisical Continuum

butterfly-gif-animation-9 

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)

Cough

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clotting into a thick mass

dread drops like cottonwood fluff

throughout the soft afternoon

 

I cannot breathe this darkness

too many knots of decay

to choke like thorns down my throat

 

each morning I spit a bit

then find scraps of redemption

as I stumble out the door

 

a new day’s dark-red dawn blurs

a simple numbness unfolds

inevitable and cold

 

I gasp and look to the sky

hopeful I will breathe today

 

(November 30, 2017)

 

i sound out words in an unknown language

“pale light by which it reads itself’
            –Michael Palmer, Light Moves 3
almost morning almost night
the cloudy day verges on rain
i know figures on the wall as wall
a cuneiform by which i’m accounted
a permanence impressed to clay
to which i’m owed as recompense
i understand little i read now
the words slur thick in my mouth
inarticulate i shuffle a dance
hoping my steps fall sure
beneath this pale neon moon
tell me again i sing who i am
(September 3, 2017)

The Dance Takes Shape

As he arranges his explanations,
He dances a quirky dance,
More of a twitch and stumble
Than Fred Astaire’s monochrome
Grace. All his interpretations
Are framed in such a manner
As to hide his ragged edges.
He has become the illusion
Of flickering flames: seen
Then unseen between shadows
Dancing light upon a wall.
Yet, he is no cave dweller,
No shaman dancing the night
Beneath an occluded moon;
He shuffles stories like tarot cards
Flipped before an anxious heart.
The closer he comes to know
Himself, the farther he slips
Away from a larger world.
(August 19, 2017)