Marbles

Marbles

30 November 2014

BRUISING

Come,
Sip
Ruby from the glass
I wait to hear you,
Come sing
Croon a tune
A jazzy boozy bluesy one
They’re the best
Give me a tempo
In sanguine, flaming mode
Listen
To the lub dub
Lub dub
To the lub dub sounds
Of my heart
Keep time with them
Your voice has an
Addictive
Hypnotic tone
I need that fix
Just as I need the
Torture
Afterward
The torture of absence
And silence
So jump to it man
My man
Bring the brandy wine,
Sweet
Vintage port
I have decanted
And bring me your song
Jump to it lest I begin
To sing
I sound like Blossom Dearie
On crack
But still,
I can’t resist belting out a tune
Out of tune
Something of hers,
For example
I can’t resist
I believe the lies of handsome men.


Truth be told
The most excellent songs
Have a beat
Undressed
Of music
So for now
Forgo the music
And speak
In ardent tone
Of mysteries
Carved
In unrhymed
Metered rhythms
Of riddles in verse
Decide on the pages
Your choice love
My love
And read to me
With emollient tongue
Or forgo the book
And read
From the heart
Subjects you know
By heart
I wait, I smile
I listen
Read to me
A recondite portamento
You have scribed about love.
A kiss,
Not softly,
And read
Sweet to me
Again, again
My love.



I favor and fear
The intimate
Eloquent offspring
Of your contemplation
Lovely like falling in love
Is your issue
But enigmatic too,
And bruising in spots
No irenic introspection
From such a genial man
Epithelial,
Your geniality is not
But sometimes will nap
On Hypnos’ lap
Forgetting to chain
The turbulence
Protected beneath.
Speaking figuratively
I’ve felt your bite
And remember my fall
As you pulled on the rug.
But you did it
With bruising grace
And so I’ve given you
My bruised grace
Genial man
Mine,
My genial man.


My genial man
I look up
Into
The riotous beauty of
A mackerel sky at evenfall
I lower my gaze
I see
The atmosphere reflected
On the rippling water beneath
I imagine
During such moments
I imagine
I am with you
Because
That is your beauty,
The riotous beauty of
A mackerel sky at evenfall:
Sanguine, flaming
Enigmatic and provoking.
A mackerel sky portends
Of change and storm
I’ve seen the storm within you
The cloud darkening your gaze
But your shoulders are broad
And your will is fierce
And your heart
Your heart
Although burdened
And bruised
Is strong
And poisons the tempest
And remains unshaken
That too is beauty
Your beauty, love.


I close my eyes
I wait, I smile, I listen
My love, my love
Read to me
Your song.

23 November 2014

IN FRONT OF THE ART MUSEUM

Last night I dreamt
You were peddling books
In front of the art museum.
Used books- although
In my estimation a book
Can never be referred to
As being used;
There are always unexpected nuances
To discover between its covers,
So how can a book be used?
After all, a book is not a woman,
Displayed, peddled, used, used up.
Very courteous, you were standing
Behind a makeshift stall
Explaining to curious passersby
Of art books, poetry books, psychology
No longer in vogue
Things of the past, things to be rid of,
No current value to you, their  owner.
You had acquired new spectacles
Gold rimmed and stylish
To fit your new outlook,
Your new views
And you said to me
“Look, I am flying,” you said.
You flew over
The terra cotta roofs
Leaping from rooftop to rooftop
Agile, like a panther.
I was taking you in, every inch of you
My feet were rooted on the pavement
There you were, on top of the world
Too adroit to ever fall,

Or so you thought.

18 November 2014

SHALL WE DANCE?

I never aspired toward
The terpsichorean arts-
Pastel color satins,
Diadems and stars
In my hair, point shoes
And sylph like alignment
Were lost on me.
From my perch in lowland
I could not envision
The possibility of becoming
Airborne, the freedom of
Leaping into a jeté.
I knew about discipline
That took captives,
I never considered
The liberating discipline
Of dance.

Until that cloudy, liquid
Afternoon.  
You let your
Voice spill into the room,
And I thought of dancing.
Your words were dancing,
Nimble, gliding around us,
An intoxicating choreography.

I understood
The manifold complexity
Of the art, and your
Dexterity. 
Do you remember?
That day I asked you
Timidly, hopefully,
“Shall we dance?
In our own, unique style,
            Shall we dance?”




17 November 2014

THE BEST YEAR

Being not an optimist
I am resigned to the fact
I shall not acquire the wealth I desire
I thirst for a peculiar, infinite type of wealth.

I’ll never keep it in a bank
Or watch it surge on the big board.
Philanthropy won’t be its role,              
I mean to share it all with you.

I want it plentiful as rain
Which overflows the riverbank
Abundant light in cloudless sky
The nonmaterial, ethereal I want.

I speak of love.
An infinite, measureless love
Harmonious with spirit and with flesh
A love of quiet reason, warm-hearted laughter
Whose flaws are light
As dust upon a cloudless crystal
-Weightless dust caressed away by breeze-

It’s rare such a love, but I will bargain:
Call to the stars, they gaze upon infinity
As it travels by-
Send him to me I’ll ask,
The stars have seen his sails and know his name.

I’ll bargain in the cruelest way I know:
A glimpse.  Bittering forces stars to listen
Let it last a month, a season, such a love
I’ll take it for a full year if I can,
A full year sounds very nice
And if then it must end, I’ll let go
I promise to be brave.

I will be brave
In defeat, brave in the severing.
I’ve known braveness in anger:
In their fortune,
How others squandered years of time
With you-
Why?
Live without discovery, not giving.
You.  Oh!

Perhaps one day…
Sharing even briefly a handful of infinity
And if not, I will dream:

I am awake in this dream
And I have fantasized of everything,
Even the necessity for tangible wealth,
Always an annoying detail
To pester romantic hearts.
I wager, for the tangible
Small, finite digits will suffice:

I have
Enough to buy us freshly baked loaves
Imported cheese and olives,
Enough to build a hearth from weathered fieldstone
And dress our bed with perfumed sheets, soft and smooth.
We’ll need sandalwood scented soap,
Pencil, pen, and paper,
A computer if we must.
We’ll get seeds for our garden
And splurge on a few hybrid perennials.
Candles also.  To light away the dusk.
That should do it for necessities.
The luxuries we will invoke together
As we embrace in the dark.
You’ll blow out the candles, smiling, one by one,
Together we will conjure a different fire
Its flames of inextinguishable desire
Fueled by a wealth
Of love.

16 November 2014

INTO WILDERNESS

I took stock of everyplace
I had been,
Everywhere I had touched.                             

I imagined going back to my
Old haunts  
Carefully erasing my fingerprints.

Some were covered by layers
Of dust or mold
Others showed traces of regret

Most had fissures filled with rust-
Red, angry scales
Which formed as I befriended the dispassionate.   

These embossments rendered me untouchable
A cruel and a just punishment:
Sidelined for being an apparition of myself.  

I wished for clear surfaces devoid of my history
A thorough polishing
With an obliterating magical cloth.

No, I did not want to disappear.
Relentless sky
Wilderness unfolding in complexity

Sand and foam hard as flesh
Searise mountains
Rockboned the scented land, awaited embracing.


15 November 2014

ELUSIVE HUMMINGBIRD

From far away I hear his breathing,
Labored.  He must be running…  I write to him
Stop.  Unlace your racing shoes, remove them
And peel off your socks blood and sweat.
I picture a stretch of
Long extensors and venous arch
Prominently defined from the revolt
And there at each ankle hinge an old wound,
A round scar the color of rust.
We have all been crucified one way or another
In our fashion we react.
You run. 
Then you slow down and wink
You bestow upon me the punishment of Tantalus
A fact you’ll deny, sweet your denial.
You’ll say take fruit, take drink, so reach
             My muscles never did reach
             No matter how near you were
                          I love you
Runner, elusive hummingbird
As you fly from the nectar of emotion
To the elixir of intellect
To the comfort of denial
             Stop.
Because, listen: because
             I
             Don’t want to stop.

Is that my cross to bear, is that so?


14 November 2014

KOKAKO

Six o’clock Sunday morning, good morning.  Your kisses,
A cup of coffee, intimate phrases, bright day!  Outside beckons
The warmth of southern March.  Hurry, dress, and we will
Take the rocky path, we’ll march away, away toward the grey slab
Of cloud capped mountain, a stone sentinel it is, appearing into
Windowed view as morning’s promise shakes off our dizzied sleep.

Come in the kitchen where, no, please me, don’t go back to sleep,
Newborn sunlight is rushing through glass stained with canine kisses.
Wait for breakfast; ask the dog about the latest mess he’s into:
Dug up the garden, but hydrangeas and roses don’t mind, their bud beckons
Another cycle of bloom.  Yes, beautiful our garden! Cheese with your slab
Of bread? Sunlight warms the planks beneath our bare feet, and yes, we will   

Sit on dew drenched grass to lace our walking boots.  We will
Go. How perfect the fit of my hand in yours!  The hushed silence of sleep
Cloaks each house we pass, this hour belongs not to humankind.  That slab
Of gabled roof gives ample proof: there winged creatures gather in a chorus, kisses
To them are not as sweet as song.  Hear morning’s birdsong!  An avian aria beckons
At each turn: bellbird, grey warbler and fantail bel canto, nature’s madrigal.  Into

Tall evergreen soloists fly, hide and watch us passing by, we tramp the valley into
The wood to go.  And as we climb we leave the lowland green behind, hide we too will
From the world.  I follow you meander ‘round red and silver beech, your smile beckons
I keep in step.  Overhead the canopy carves light and shadow patterns, sleep
World, away world, says the wind and I intone in kind.  Soft mist softly kisses
Our flesh; vapor drifts on fern, and moss, and pendulous leaf, covers a rock slab     
                
With drops that look like tears, yes we both cry, this forest and I.  Rest upon a slab
Of broad cool stone, ask me beside you: I’ll read the riddles of your face, peer into
The luminous brown of your eyes. I have espoused the pain of sharing you, take kisses
Left discarded when you away another one’s embrace.  Seduced, I will  
Give.  I need the boundless joy of being near you.  My love won't sleep:     
It waits for you, it hopes for you, longs for you.  It beckons 

And endures as a beaten mountain endures assault.  It beckons 
You in dulcet honeyed hues: sigh it’s me you want it asks.  Near a slab
Of lichen covered rock nest a pair of wattle birds.  They sing and sleep
Unaware their ancient species is nigh extinct.  Their duet ascends into 
The air. Sing away the future loving birds.  Sing.  Soon, we two will         
For home, where waits the world, and wait, like songs caressing lips, kisses.

When at night sleep beckons we’ll entwine each other’s limbs into
Wreaths of our flesh.  In and out and around each other, sweetly we will.
Was the roving real I’ll wonder, or a slab of daydreamed thoughts and kisses?      



A CONFESSION

Sometimes I think about cauliflower
When I am alone
Daylight or dusk.
My friends say I should give it up.
One friend in particular, she is vehement:
“Cauliflower again?” she’ll ask.
I don’t know if she is wrong or right
That’s something I truly cannot grasp
Even though I’ve tried to
Understand her point of view.
Over my desk at work I have
A poster of a beautiful head
Of cauliflower.
Cauliflower can be made into soup
Or a purée with milk and olive oil
Salt and white pepper-
Use black pepper if you don’t have white-
Freshly ground, a must these days.
I don’t need the poster at home,
Where my thoughts are free
And unrestrained.
There is no evanescence
To these thoughts, nor
Can they be transferred

To another vegetable.
The only negative thing
I have to say about cauliflower
Is that it’s a lot like love:
When it stinks
One tends to gasp
And want to clear the air.


12 November 2014

NOTHING MUCH

If you think about it,
Nothing much has changed.
I’m still the same 
Drowning soul holding on
To the life line you sold me.
Somehow, that time,
I managed to swim ashore.

I paced the sand
Decided to find a path,
Any path, leading away from
Open ocean, the capriciousness
Of its winds.   

But the earth is round.
As I circled,
The land signaled
A change in the breeze.
I looked up only to notice
I had returned.


11 November 2014

LIFE AFTER A BEE STING

Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.
Soaked in haze I have a drunkard’s delusions: You confess erotic. 
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well. The fog in me.


Rain storm, ice storm, I don’t care, coat in the trash heap, I’m free.
Leafless branches whip the wind, magnolia’s death from winter’s narcotic.
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.


Bewitched once, beguiled twice, fog thickens, I can’t see
Into you.  Desire courses my veins and a fable, they’re hypnotic.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.


I took them, when the side streets were offered to me
Where I stayed withdrawn from main street’s narcotic.
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.


The sky a grey pearl, daffodil hasn’t bloomed, spring’s absentee.
Dead end paths and dead end questions, the cradle of a neurotic.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.


I want to sting you with the venom of a queen honeybee.
Enter a patch of milk fog.  I am there, discard your coat.  We are gothic.  
Rain scent and the fog floats, piercing windowpane, into me.
I know you loved me but you didn’t love me well.  The fog in me.



10 November 2014

HOLDING ON

We hold on
To our antediluvian edicts,
Follow rules and conventions
Everywhere: behind closed doors,
At the library, sometimes
Even in thought.
We must prove to ourselves  
We will never transgress.
Do we know from what?

When the lights are off
As we drift to sleep
We resolve for a different
Tomorrow.
Why live as we did 
Before we were swept 
By such a powerful flood?
We think of doves,
Outstretched arms,
Olive branches bearing fruit,
And we dream.

In the morning, after coffee,
We prepare for the day
But first we make sure-
Even the rebels, even the poets-
All of us make sure
We are holding on
To our antediluvian edicts.



September 2014

09 November 2014

WINTER MORNING

Footsteps
Heavy from rain,
Light from the parting fog-
To a beach of winter
I am an imaginary visitor today.
Seashells and pebbles crunch underfoot
Waves wash the shoreline
They make a rolling sound, almost in whisper.
Seagulls are early risers
They never tend to whisper.
I wear your old black coat
Zips in the front, a light patina from use
Perfumed with time, travel and wind,  
The scent of coffee also.
Farther down, the walk is difficult.
Boulders and beachrock,
The waves break with force-
I keep going.



(July 13, 2014)

06 November 2014

IT’S HARD TO BE GRACEFUL

Is it preferable to be decorous
And bow gracefully
To the poet who holds all the cards?
The one I love
And pine for?
He recognized instantly I was
Still am, always will be

Was what?
Deep in love?
Deep in the arts?
Deep in the throat?

Or is it preferable to get angry?
Disappear again?
Which does he deserve?

He said to guard against
Sounding obtrusive.
A man of few words, but he managed
To say “obtrusive” to me
And I was hurt, but I apologized 
To the poet who holds all the cards

He keeps himself in check.
He won’t let a single card slip by,
Although he shows them all to me 
Just so I know what I am missing.
“Look, this is the king of hearts,”  he says
“What a specimen!”
“Look, here’s the queen of hearts, a sad lady,
How come such sadness?”  he asks.
He knows how come, he’s a pretender

Each card signifies a loss.
Each one reminds me of my job:
Entertain him, caress his vanity
Well, why stop at a caress?
How about a good old b and j?
His vanity deserves it.
After all he practices his hobby
With superlative artistry,
He is the poet of seduction

Forgive me, I sound obtrusive, I know.
Hard to avoid obtrusiveness, hard to be graceful

Plus, he meditates, 
A pilgrim of mountaintops, 
Which makes him even more desirable.
I crave the gamut.
I mean, what good is swimming
If you won’t dive? 
I address him:
Will you draw me into the raw,
Uncloaked intimacy of your orbit?

I am such a lousy card player!