Lost Books

Several weeks ago something made me think about rereading Tristan Tzara’s “Approximate Man.” I searched every bookcase in the house multiple times( yes, I am obsessive). I couldn’t find it. I knew I had not loaned it out… I mean who do I know that would want to read it? Then yesterday, from across the room, I spotted it on the shelf in plain sight. I figure a ghost, or old age.

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Agoraphobia

Outside,

the trees and bushes seem

to vibrate in the bright heat;

as if any moment, they’ll collapse

into their own shade, exhausted.

*

Inside,

they are framed in the window.

I watch them from across the room

from the chair I’m sitting in.

I am cold in the conditioned air.

*

August

has begun. Soon, I’ll be back

at work, teaching my students

to find meaning in the mundane

details which often overwhelm us.

(August 3, 2019)

Returning Home


Like lover’s forgotten notes,

disturbed dreams fold

into night’s pocket. I wake

into another dark morning,

surprised I was still asleep.

It’s wearing to be aware

even in one’s dreams. The days

protective surety thins

and the ground falls away

into air. Too often I return

to you, who does not exist

beyond my desire for you

to exist. Like stepping 

suddenly into a forest 

clearing, each narrative 

trace left from dream,

or memory leads me into 

a present space. Not caught 

up in past complications,

nor the fractal explosions 

on the verge of occurrence,

I notice momentarily 

the effulgent light along

The edges of the shimmering 

leaves, and I am happy.

(January 15, 2018)

Birdsong

multi_mockingbird

 

“All life is a foreign country”

–Jack Kerouac

 

All my life my tongue

could not curl about

the words spoken here—

my teeth cut my cheek

as I stumbled over

simple words, simple ideas.

I was silenced in simple

misunderstandings, in fear

of the wrong word spoken

too loudly, too softly,

or not at all.

I wish I were

a mockingbird able

to flit between the leaves

singing the song of others;

to speak earnestly around

the mundane bits of life

we share, like now, or mimic

an old man’s nod of greeting,

or children’s laughter outside

this window; or to simply cross

over the border to a home.

 

(September 1, 2018)