limbo

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (61)

months of laconic weeks drift

past as the centuries two-step

a dance macabre about the village

square like old lovers late at night

dance slowly arms entwined 

in a practiced grace

your death’s not important 

to them any more than mine 

only this dance matters

the horror of it lies 

in the death head’s grin

which does not pretend 

to hide its deception 

there is no skin to map 

its laughter into flowers

across our blind eyes 

no dead platitudes to act 

as balm for our world in flames

(June 14, 2020)

Vanishing Point

“Falling is one of the ways of moving.”

— Merce Cunningham

Finding walls

where there were

none before,

I stumble,

and fall

toward a point

perceived as distance,

yet, always here.

What I see is

only what I know;

perception’s a deception

one swallows entire. 

The eye’s led on

from the outside in.

(June 2, 2020)

dark earth (a reading)

dark earth

from a work in progress: process, not a journey (60)

obsessively the earth gives birth

to its dead rich and fertile

safe inside itself unseen

unvoiced like ecstatic dancers

beneath a moon-bright sky

the earth lifts the rose

the oak twisting and throbbing

into the air so i burrow deep

beneath the black soil a worm

gnashing rocks like prayers

until i find a darker god

and somewhere in the black clay

an old woman natters

lost in perpetual disappointment

as a death skull’s laughter’s

trapped in his life’s delusion

(May 7, 2020)

dark earth

from a work in progress: process, not a journey (60)

obsessively the earth gives birth

to its dead rich and fertile

safe inside itself unseen

unvoiced like ecstatic dancers

beneath a moon-bright sky

the earth lifts the rose

the oak twisting and throbbing

into the air so i burrow deep

beneath the black soil a worm

gnashing rocks like prayers

until i find a darker god

and somewhere in the black clay

an old woman natters

lost in perpetual disappointment

and a death skull’s bored laugh’s

trapped in his life’s delusion

(May 7, 2020)

Infinite Watched Pot

“That is, if you write it has it happened twice”

—Michael Palmer, Notes for Echo Lake

I woke and now it is now; the sun’s setting.

Was the writing the thing that happened?

Would today happen without being written?

Are they two events or one?

I see something—

like a car crash,

or water boiling on the stove.

One’s disconnected,

one’s intentional, possibly

even a causation; for example;

I’m hungry, so

I hop in the car for a burger.

She was in a hurry. It was

raining. She slams through a yellow light.

The driver in front of me dies

on the wet street. Or,

I’m still hungry. I hold dry

pasta knowingly, and watch

as the tiny bubbles form

on the bottom of the pan.

Did anything happen?

I am hungry, and will be

each time you read this,

even if I was the driver

who died, or I just wrote

it down; even if something

more than this

was in my thoughts

as I waited for water

to boil.

(May 3, 2020) 

radius

The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated with end.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles

I do not know where I am

nor by extraction where you

are in relation to me

other than someone else

.

when I look at you you become

the object of my sentence

a reference toward action

that is wholly defined in me

.

my eye contains the complexity

deep within the oyster’s pearl

layer upon layer’s luster

shines with time’s light

.

an accumulation of vision’s

blind devotion to itself

(April 14, 2020)

Belief Leads Us On

The pursuit of happiness

provides a simple delusion

that happiness exists; and

that, if we continue chasing

blindly behind this empty

flag, we shall one day trip

over it as over a rock,

and fall into eternal bliss.

So, we run on, full of purpose

and dread, as if encased

in a cloud of angry bees.

(March 18, 2020)

allegory

from a work-in-progress: process, not a journey (39)

each day the shadow

fluctuates

each day

I cover my face

from fear

of the shadow

from anger

from humiliation

that no one sees

rising and falling

with accusations

to be some other

as candle flames

flicker a wall

(March 12, 2020)

echo chamber

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (29)

the mirror reflects

a person I cannot see

.

familiar yet

not

.

a ghost

that is me

(February 19, 2020)

disambiguation

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (18)

I’ve been here before

floating adrift frightened

the water is cold

a door opens

I walk through an emptiness

to arrive in another

I’ve been here before

this time the people are blue

and the music hasn’t started

a door opens

air rushes in

to fill the space

I don’t want to repeat

but no one is listening

and patterns are seductive

years later

the same song plays

I dance alone

I’ve been here before

a door opens

I step through

there is no dream

there is no metaphor

the wind is silent

(January 23, 2020)