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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)

Perpetual Reinterpretation Machine

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It is familiar enough

to be familiar, but no

more: a scratch in the dark

which stops when you stop

to listen to what you think

is a sound somewhere nearby,

but it’s just you thinking

in the silence to the dark.

It’s absence breathes heavily

as if aroused with metaphor

still clinging to its half-formed kiss.

It waits on memory to form

a shape which conforms to desire’s

simple reduction to a truth.

 

(August 17, 2018)

 

 

 

All Memory Wears Nostalgia’s Taint

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It’s not fair to compare

one to the other where secrets

are apropos to a love affair,

or some distant war as far

as that goes. Yet, what’s to be

done to stop it? What metaphor

within yourself were you willing

to sacrifice? As long as one

doesn’t mind water swallowing

your words, it’s simple enough

to drown in any nearby river.

I, too, hold my expectations

at a distance in order to live—

I’m not sure what occurred,

or even if we were just lovers.

 

(August 15, 2018)

Dream Journal #33: Projections

 

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She infused your words with hers

as you did not say what she intended.

The words in the letter in the dream

swirled and slipped across the page.

You began to read like a film voiceover,

then her voice became stronger erasing

your words as she spoke your confession.

You knew she knew you knew she wrote

to you she thought; but was unsure

the letter, your letter, her words said

as much. If only she did not know

the letter, as her desire, was a dream;

and no amount of bland exposition

could explain away her obsessions.

 

(May 2, 2018)

Necromance

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As blood from wine,

He is transformed;

The words solidify—

Lift from the page

Like a starling murmur

flows in morning air.

Obsessively, his thoughts

Turn and return

To the slightest wisp

She might, in passing,

Have whispered.

Memory is present

Always to form

A different future.

He writes and revises,

Remembers and reforms,

As if a candle’s smoke

Can reshape a flame;

As if all the words

Are uttered correctly,

He will be reborn.

 

(February 5, 2018)

Still Point

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“Our awareness leaves us defenseless”

–H.D. The Walls do not Fall, 27

 

 

 

Like an assassin’s garrote,

A grape vine swirls around

The surrounding trees;

It pulls itself toward light,

Tangling through the clotted

Branches, among the shadow.

 

At dusk, the edge

Of the earth’s present;

Unlike the dawn,

Where it’s disguised

In a radiant light.

To be aware is to vanish.

Totality’s moment

Slips past unnoticed.

 

(January 26, 2018)