Work on What has been Spoiled

From “Renditions of Change” a work in progress

Caught in a tight 

spiral of self-loathing,

I try to scrape

and cut away 

memory,

like a benign tumor.

Yet, I return and return

to each malignant moment,

and paint my face

in ritual guilt,

as if one could absolve

the past, and be free. 

(February 12, 2019)

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)

I am Not You

I write into myself
a space to survive
the expectations and lies
that have become my home.
This is no autobiography,
but a bald accusation,
of anyone who dares
arrive at a reading
and not see themselves
inscribed upon the page.
I have become myself,
naked and exposed,
despite interpretations
formed in other’s woes.

(September 17, 2017)

Revision

“I Hallucinate my Desire”
–Roland Barthes
It was not her,
But the cliché
He clothed her in
With which he fell
In love; it was
She he wanted
To be, not himself—
The staid mockery,
An easy fool
To be displaced.
Caught in his own
Clichés as well
As others, he said
Too much too soon,
Or too little too late;
As if some other
Past could be
Rewritten into
An iteration of all
He could not become.

(June 1, 2017)

Field Trip

I leapt up the mountain river
rock to rock each turn and leap
a new revelation oh look
then look again to see anew
an inlaid distraction explode
the laughing froth splashing
about my dancing feet then
almost thirty years later
on a bus filled with students
that moment on that rock
in that river ecstatically opens
like her initial kiss almost
as if time’s inevitable
profundity ceased to exist

(January 26, 2017)