Epiphany

It’s wearisome! And the Queen, the Sorceress who lights her fire in the pot of earth, will never tell us what she knows, and what we are ignorant of. — Arthur Rimbaud, After the Flood
Yesterday,
            a wind tore through
                        my state.
Today I survey
            the damage
            the loss
of trust           
in the day’s patterns.
So much
            fragility
            is hidden
            by routine,
                        a shield
                        of the commonplace,
so easily shattered
by the simplest mischance.
And now,
I stand in silence
            studying the ground
            at my feet.
A leaf
            trembles
then falls
through the still air.
I tremble
            in doubt,
then look up
            as if
                        expecting someone;
yet
only cicadas continue
                        to grind through
this unrelenting heat.
I come to a slow understanding
            of this world
I have folded
            myself within.
( June 2012)

Pebble

a quick side arm flick
sends it skipping
across the lake’s surface
one two three times it lands
each touch along the way
like her hand upon his arm
becomes a center
of an expanding circle
a heart opening to love
a universe changing into itself
(June 2012)

from "Sonnet" line 12, Four poems

Frenzy
as if ariadne
unwound multiple
threads through
possible passages’
turns in time
to choose all
at once
then he waits for the moment
it takes the bud to open
a hesitation between heart beats
only in the tense demarcation
of the word left unvoiced
silence is no more silent
than the thrum of blood
heard while holding one’s breath
in a dark moonless forest
listening and waiting for the next
twig snap to anticipate his approach
Decision Point

a rabbit a few leaps away
from the protective briar
sits still as his death
near a dandelion and waits
for her to notice him

from “sonnet.” (work in progress, line 12, syllable 7-10)

(February 2-12)

Ten Poems from "Sonnet," line Seven


 Half
what’s missing he thinks is what’s wrong
tell me what’s there to work with she asks
both see the same flower before them
neither see the same flower before them
it is the glass which frames the problem
with one step
we cross a border
such a brave new world
traveling all night from Nice to Rome
we stepped sleepily into the city street
dazzled by the morning sun
and the speed of the foreign tongue
we were suddenly surrounded
then robbed by gypsy children
what gets taken
each time I see you
whatever vague thoughts
trouble my heart
only to return
as you depart
the frame of the door
the walls of this room
the language one uses
define a space that is
non-existent on its own
an absence 
an opening
a new thought 
a word
there is an art to hiding
in the open to exposing
yourself while you maintain
your sense of self
to move like waves of wind
across a field of wheat
one must let go of the earth
and dance with the air
he holds the brush
before the canvas
lost in thought
where to from here
one step
then another
trust
is a process
there is no end
the door closes slowly
I stand
indecisive
afraid of my choices
where are you now
it’s cold outside
fear weaves
like frost


(January 2012)

social construction

for hours
on the living room floor

my children build
worlds from plastic
bricks

each piece
follows another

for years
our world unfolds

from “Sonnet,” (work in progress, second Quatrain, sixth line, eighth syllable)


(January 2012)

from "Sonnet," (work in progress, third line)

memory is creative
filling in between
the shadow and the light
something new between
what is thought
and what is seen
– –
now
exists
on the cusp
of when
– –
such naïve terms:
still I wake
into a new sun
to wrestle my crystalline fears
with love and hope
for they shield
my metaphorical heart
as I naively long
to see
her eyes come
for me
– –
so many unspoken words
(like limits of secret pacts
these borders we cannot cross
without learning  new language)
to speak to one another
– –
To find water at a stop in the alps
I jumped off the train
going from Vienna to Venice.
Lisa called to hurry,
flakes sparkled the night like stars;
I danced with snow for the second time.
– –
then there
you are
already
within
the familiar
– –
the air forms to your body
without effort
I breathe you in
– –
not so much a matter of will,
as it’s a matter of will not.
– –
a rose unfolds despite its beauty;
the weed despite our disdain:
he longs and obsesses
as easily as she coyly
plays with her hair
while laughing at him
– –
intent
(December 2011)

Me and Lisa, 1979

among the crepe myrtle

and spring flowers
of austin’s japanese garden
we would feast
on canned smoked oysters
cheap wine and each other
from “Sonnet” (work in progress, 2nd line, syllable 7)


(December 2011)

The Day Before Ezra Was Born


i held my breath
then sank
into lake pleiad
the summer heat
the deer flies
the  long hike
the short swim
to the lake’s center
everything else
vanished
in
ice cold water

from “sonnet” (work in progress, third syllable)

(December 2011)

On Fashioning a Fetishistic Totem

An object
Any will do
Preferably
Parallel
To the person
Upon which
Your obsession
Is fixed

But purely
Disconnected
Except through
An association
Known only
To you
Will do
As well

The projection
On your part
What you will
Upon the subject
becomes for you
The world
To widen
To welcome

Be wary
The words
You say
To yourself
Will be
The way
You believe
Despite yourself

Speak softly
Succinctly
Each sound
Sends echoes
Locating
Both you
And your
desire

(September 2011)

A New Year, Same Obsessions

I write to define myself – -an act of self creation – -part of process of becoming – – in a dialogue with myself, with writers I admire living and dead, with ideal readers

Because it gives me pleasure (an ‘activity’)

I’m not sure what purpose my work serves

Personal salvation – -Rilke’s ‘Letters to a Young Poet’
Susan Sontag 9 Dec, 1961

From Sunday New York Times Magazine p. 55 September 10, 2006

I am not sure of the difference between self-definition and personal salvation. Of course one wants to write oneself as the hero of one’s own story. Salvation and redemption coming at the end before death like Beowulf against the dragon, an old story, but then originality is an illusion, and a creation of a consumer society where the new is the desired. I wonder how much of the idea of the self is simply a remnant of the romantic movement, the enlightenment bifurcation of the individual from the whole. We are communal animals, perhaps the enlightenment was an aberration. What was the reaction from the church toward the enlightenment? What was underneath the religious objections to Voltaire and others? Was it just about power, or was there a fundamental reworking of ontology? Or is ontology based on power: epistemes determined by the dominant social group. See things my way or be suppressed.