to define is to limit

poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is thought

poetry is words

poetry is silence

poetry is emotion

poetry is gibberish

poetry is vague

poetry is ambiguous

poetry is precise

poetry is concise

poetry is babble

poetry is light

poetry is dark

poetry is mind

poetry is heart

poetry is hidden

poetry is everywhere

poetry is pervasive

poetry is absence

poetry is laughter

poetry is tears

poetry is love

poetry is hate

poetry is simple

.

poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is metaphor

poetry is plain

poetry is complex

poetry is slant

poetry is curved

poetry is bent

poetry is straight

poetry is cubed

poetry is convex

poetry is obtuse

poetry is infinite

poetry is hermeneutic

poetry is occult

poetry is transcendent

poetry is god

poetry is zen

poetry is buddha

poetry is Christ

poetry is religion

poetry is atheist

poetry is glib

poetry is serious

poetry is dirt

.

poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is earth

poetry is air

poetry is fire

poetry is water

poetry is elemental

poetry is irrelevant

poetry is submission

poetry is dominance

poetry is coy

poetry is rude

poetry is blatant

poetry is obvious

poetry is obscure

poetry is orgasmic

poetry is impotent

poetry is sex

poetry is flirtation

poetry is destruction

poetry is resurrection

poetry is creation

poetry is filth

poetry is shit

poetry is dust

.

poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is breath

poetry is death

poetry is ice

poetry is tongue

poetry is bowels

poetry is piss

poetry is you

poetry is me

poetry is us

poetry is other

poetry is privilege

poetry is poverty

poetry is gender

poetry is genderless

poetry is cadence

poetry is dissonance

poetry is power

poetry is gravity

poetry is nature

poetry is voice

poetry is spit

poetry is sight

poetry is blind

(April 11, 2020)

inventory

“breath, smiles, tears, of all my life”
your lips, your mouth
sweet curl of lip,
the open desire
of your kiss;
your eyes, of course,
the brown spatter
glistens; the deep
intelligent shimmer;
your anger scares me:
the dark passion
lashing the object
of its dire derision;
your compassion
for all you love,
which with gratitude
I am a part;
your unbridled lust
for life as you sing,
and dance, your voice
rising ecstatic;
your being you
with me for years
now, and for years
from now: my love
(March 4, 2017)

We Find Meaning Where We Look

“reanimated by appropriation”
            –Susan Howe
I put on other’s clothes
friends lovers conspirators
guises to disguise
myself to myself
random increments
casual in their sediment
like laughter in the dark
somewhere not here
lists compiled then
disaggregated in detail
still lack a cohesion
just words juxtaposed
we whisper together
as if we knew more

(March 321, 2016)

Anti-depressant

“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.”
–John Steinbeck
as I wait on the slow drip
of the coffee in the urn
each morning lest I forget
I slip one finger inside
each bottle one by one
as if searching for a hold
along a cliff’s edge
so I can maintain my grip
on the day to day trivia
I follow this routine
one pill for cholesterol
one baby aspirin because
the stroke ten years ago
one for allergies
yet still I can’t breathe
and one because I tend
to come upon parts
of my life as they end
like growing up
I suddenly was
and I remember
I forgot somewhere
like a book I left
unfinished on a train
how to be happy

(July 3, 2015)

lament

I miss your laughter
I miss your eyes
when you laugh
I miss the loose strands
of hair at your neck
I miss your hands
as you talk
your hands
in my hands
your hands
on my skin
I miss your skin
soft along your clavicle
the small of your back
I miss you near me in silence
I miss your talk
your intellect
your obsessions
your anger
I miss your passions
your kiss
I miss
you

(April 22, 2014)

subtraction

tension forms an absence
            like clay
                        clawed
            from the ground
 tension forms an absence
            like a mold
                        tossed aside
            empty
                        the casting broken
                                    on the floor
tension forms an absence
            like a hole
                        in the air
            where you
                        used to breathe
tension forms an absence
            in my self
                        from the life
            which pulses
                        without me
tension forms an absence
            from the love
                        around us all

(January 28, 2014)