new poem : return to the source

return to the source/punto de referencia

the wind picks up at night though the air is still balmy as
the radiance fades, transforms from sunlight to neon on chrome
and what I feel inside being once again home : I left a mountain
to repent to an ocean again and you left an island to have a moment
even more alone again. yeah, to hear Spanish again, to view bridges
over vast bay-spans, to take white-grain sand in hand and see
stars above us on a cobalt-black canvas of uninterrupted sky.

you gave me everything, you gave me a triangle of noise and
saltwater endless, freshwater depthless. we walked off the beach
and passed Clarice on a stroll in the other direction. I asked her:
"where are you going?" and she replied "on a journey back to the
source". like turtles, like dolphins, brutal tiger sharks and the floating
sea cucumber prized by the Chinese as dinner and unknown to
nearly everyone else. here, it was the ocean once again imploring the
writer to its patchwork of dischord under a torpid sky nocturnal.

I curl up next to you, damp hair here and boardshorts drying on
the balcony's rusted rail painted chalk-white just beyond our
open sliding glass door. so much time in the loud air, now just the mute
sounds of the fan above us, sea beyond us, and those two girls on
the stairwell coming home from the beach-side club, heels in hand.

estivating, we're in slumber for the moment, awaiting the
radiance, first dawn, draw of breath at the sight of surf.
all is ocean and all creatures here dwell whether in sleep
or their bright-eyed return to the surface—they're all back
to the source. just as your plane touched down on native ground,
pulled to its gate, awaited its reward of pax and kerosene.
it came back to its source—you were fast back to your own.

when you wake, when you shower, when you hear birds from
your childhood and smell the bubblegum sweet of Florida in
spring, you know, you know.

—for Evan

  • Current Music
    Rubén Blades: "Maestra Vida"

(no subject)

Needless Drama Day. 
I brought her a muffin. 
It came flying back my way.

Now needless to say
I've got breakfast for tomorrow
yeah, whatever.


  • Current Mood

new poem : "tales of the day"

tales of the day

I am in the morning of silence, the drought of the first half of the
Western world; I look on the functions of industry from its variant
spiritual homes—places like Nikel, Murmansk Oblast, Russia,
standing in blue-black snow with the glitter of cobalt raining down
on me.
I am left panting—not out of breath nor drooling but out of thoughts—I am
asunder in the sea of mourning our world has wrought, from bombs to
plowshares and once again back again. Аппети́т прихо́дит во вре́мя еды́.
when seperated from our grand muses, we then find the subtle, the paltry, we own
the night because we were born to the northern darkness. we were born to a lacking;
and yet what a mess will make this whole, and what falling of books and crystal would
make you listen? and if Virginia is really for lovers, someone up there ought to have realized
what a treasure you are already. see, from what I understand, an F-16 crashed into the old
kitchen of your house and no one heard it, pilot ejected and the drop-tanks caught fire
yet that, thankfully, was put out by the fictional personage of the mammy in plantation
literature: with four-gallon buckets of water, Disney-like, she saved the day.
on a March night with rain driven to make highways into mirrors, I had dinner
with the National Security Advisor. She was late, but magnific as expected for her
office. emerald ring and gown of satin, Chanel and other assorted bling. And it's
all true, it's your own, my friend, in the morning when I wake beside a boy making
a space-opera out of his own addictions I reflect on Nikel, Richmond, white elephants
and white alligators. I want it all. and drink bourbon to them, Liza for having the balls
to cover a singer half or less her age and do it better, Laura Bush for wearing green worthy
of Jackie on mornings no flowers would bloom, Faye Wong for owning the islands like I own
the sky. all. all is dream and all is good, talked now with Koa over in Hawai'i and we prepare
a victory suite all our own again.

  • Current Music
    The Divine Comedy : "Something for the Weekend"
  • Tags

the lagoon

 i can think of millions of things you would say to me, 
but it seems you never will 
so i'll hide my face in the star-reflected mirror saying
im not there, im not there
still yet the lagoon was that pure pool 
where everything lived for the first time
you said my eyes were like the owls but 
i felt harrowed and shy 
cause i can't, yet
gossamer wand on an eyelash
and then wind,
i'm not there 
through weeds ,phosphors and coves
wary feet traveled like , 
that patient bird flying home 
but still yet 
the cureless offing spoke to me
my tender step mussed up and
i was heading back towards the sea
it seemed we'd never meet real this time
where everything was golden truth
the sky was hung with fog and mist 
the day i set myself after you 
 so i'll hide in that worn out cove
pack some books, blanket and mead
 and i'll try my best to warm up under 
the stars, with my own dishonesty 
to myself, yet
that pure pool waits, where  and when
the fog clears away
no noise except one voice calling out
im not there im not here, will you wait 
cause i can't, yet 

new poem : "North Brother Island"

North Brother Island

morning to take us across the broad black of river,
boat pushed to water in meekness, slowness, still damp
from its nocturnal outing. past. something before:
everything of rivers is always past.

all. the thin air and thick water vapors which rises
off rivertides early in the morning. I who cannot
sleep, many miles to the south, miss this but it is still
cold here also, and chilly air rises through the old floor,
greets Paul and myself on this October morning before
five as we walk off the old blue carpet to the kitchen that

hangs off the end of my apartment like a shoebox in
the tallgrass of a summer lawn or a showboat on rivers
of our imaginations. here we make tea and discover we’d
forgot laundry in the dryer the night before, now cold,
still damp.

so many things—your rowboat a good example—are
obsolescent. I think this, and geese flew overhead.
the world changed markedly slightly before it became
our own. our grandparents knew it as a fairer-skinned
bride or the groom with one good horse to his name.
still, there’s something very Kennedy about having a boat
and living on a quiet river in New York State.

the chill here leaves my throat but remains near the skin;
Paul sits back on the bed with his tea and the word ”asuke”
in black Sharpie on his left hand from the night before.
we have as our crown jewel nowadays, just one fine thing—
an enduring basis for the spirit that animates us as people:
those parties we go to, those friends we endure, the plans
to escape for a weekend to Atlanta though we don’t really
like Atlanta anyways.

New York we’d rather visit, you know, we could fly up and
see you at your uncle’s place in Manhattan where you once
left the windows going to the patio open and pigeons flew in.
in the morning from your room you felt the chill of the air and
heard the murmur of confused birds in the parlor and bath.

there are so many places around these waterways a small boat can
slid into, those islands and little coves. those stubborn Dutch
bits left over the many years that don’t fit into a sleepless city.
under the Whitestone, towards North Brother Island you go—
I imagine you draw the oars in close and bring your ship to one,
some place alone in the morning and forever unknown to light skies.

  • Current Music
    Basia : "Copernicus"

new poem : "sand we really cannot see"

sand we really cannot see

pero yo soy el tigre; es un fuego que me consume, pero yo soy el fuego

—Jorge Luis Borges

we are on a beach I wish to call black: I want black sand, a slight tint
of magenta and an overcast night—with the moon curtained by clouds.
though this sand is gently white, you still in utter darkness walk to me. swim to me.
we are moving towards our real goal: to be unaware of the water.
as it merges always around us. native to us. we don’t know.

beaches have become so iconic to people, sources of peace, mixed in
with sunshine and dolphins but the real life of oceans is brutal, you
know that well. it is magisterial, non-stop, no apology for the Florida
thunderstorm shelved out the easterly coast on a July night and here
we are, in cloud-cast gravitas of lack of light, lack of sight with a save
of heat lightning demonstrating the narrow passage and jumping waves

every paper thing in society tells us to love more,
but if we did it would be here, away, apart, and no
social circle would gain any single benefit. malice
is not the way out but the damage of the way in.

the sand we cannot really see except in these lightning instances is
white. glossy, even, perfect. and its claim is vast. the ocean though
owns it as it owns us all. under. fire over. tiger under. air to ignite,
to breath, to bring your love before me but water to return us latein the night.
again. & over again. we don't end. bodies connected
darkness abounding before a storm as big as every captain's widest tale
of what storms become after a week at sea, compass rose none to record
our fate before this binding ocean drawn around glimpse of coastline.

—for Evan

  • Current Music
    Albita : "Corazón Adentro"

(no subject)

 Abuse. It's such a big, ugly, dramatic word. It's hard for me to say it without feeling melodramatic, overreactive. That was always your favorite tool, to use my inability to trust my own emotions against me, making me feel like I was overreacting. I look back now and struggle to find a time when you were genuinely worried about my hurting, and all I see is you being worried about my blaming you. How sick is that? Truly, where was your concern for me in all this? I always wondered that, even before I put those big ugly messy words emotional abuse into the mix. I've lost track of the number of times I accused you of caring more about your convenience than my sanity. But every time, it was my emotions that were wrong, not your actions. Every time the blame could be oh-so-conveniently steered back to me. It's easy to blame someone who's depressed for being upset. I've heard for the majority of my life that I'm too sensitive, that I'm too defensive, that I lose all sense of proportion when I'm upset, and that's the truth. But you would let me down and leave me alone and wondering, again and again, deliberately withholding the concrete details and simple straightforward answers that I needed more than anything while giving me just enough to keep stringing me along. You won my love, an all-too easy feat, but you never returned it in the way I deserve. You always made my place clear, one of many, another figure to add to your always-evolving myth. Hell, you'll use your stories of me and how I broke your heart to get the next little girl who wanders into your trap - and I use the phrase to describe all ages, because you make us all alike in our weakness, our dependence, our surrender of power and control. You played me well, sir, and everyone but me saw it. That, I think, is the most perverse thing about this entire episode, the fact that I come out of this maelstrom of shit ashamed of my ability to love, because you made a fool of me for it. In truth, I know that you are the fool for hurting someone who truly did not deserve it, for manipulating a love that probably could have saved you if you'd returned it rather than toying with it, for becoming one more guy who fucked me over. But in our only-too jaded world of hookups and breakups, my sincerity and utterly unbridled love makes me look the moon-eyed calf being led to slaughter, when in fact opening myself to love, being hurt, and being able to open myself yet again as freely should be seen as a sign of my strength, and every time indeed makes me stronger. I loved you, and you made that beauty into something ugly, something that I have to carry with me every day as I try my best to function normally when it feels to me like everything I understood about my life has been ripped out from underneath me. I am not too enlightened to hope that fact kills you. I want you to carry this around like I do. I want you to have to face anew every day the fact that you were emotionally abusive to me, just as I have to wake up every day to the fact that I was emotionally abused, that I let myself be abused.
But in spite of what you did, in spite of what I let happen, I'm still as strong and as clever and as beautiful as I ever was. (How sad that a simple affirmation of my few good qualities sounds egotistical and narcissistic in the cold hard light of today's world). I will be fine when the pain and the fear and the memory of you has finally faded. I am blessed to have so many good people in my life right now, all of them kind enough to see through all the things they have to face each morning to see that I need help, all of them kind enough to reach out to me despite their own considerable burdens. The oldest of friends and new ones, family from all over, people who don't even know me that well and have no reason to care about my shit, all reaching out because improbably, they do care. And in the midst of all this outside support, there is all the love and support I'm finding within myself. I suppose I should thank you for that, but I'll just thank myself instead. After all, I'm the one who came through for me when you didn't.
  • Current Music
    None, sadly


As I should have expected, talking to you instantly threw my world right back into chaos. I should have known better and just waited in silence for you to return, but I don't ever learn, and the thing I am farthest from learning is patience. In a way, I'm glad. I feel that I was able to say a few things that I'd felt for a long time but been unable to put accurately into words. But in every other way, I'm feeling pretty foolish and rash right now. I do still feel your absence like a hole inside me, but contacting you through these distant echoes over uncertain channels only widens the gap, agitates the wound. I miss YOU, you as you truly are, not the person projected through the harsh words on this cold screen. How much irony is there in the fact that I miss someone I can barely remember. I miss a feeling, a presence, a ghost. Find your way back to me so you can quit haunting me. Please.

new poem : "mala in se"

mala in se

"BELIAL came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd Fell not from Heaven,
or more gross to love Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood"

—John Milton

Dearest Max, and also that dear Timothy
(for what epistle was ever written to any Max?) :

I write, first of all, to implore you to guard the trust.

I think you know better than I the errors we face as a world
and you know them as broad letters, as hefty type from a
well-worn letterpress, scent of oil and silverfish-gnawed papers
in the back of the hometown newspaper’s offices.

when the president visited Egypt they had to clear those narrow
streets left over from a Cairo of Ayyubid times to allow him through:
they had to cheer up the dust and present the glass face of the modern city.

somehow still, like an adventure movie, it was all mummies, tombs, palm trees, poor native kids in the streets . . .
what it is always when we see Egypt.

it must have been horrible for those gnostics on their pillars alone, with
by their sides, or even
those Coptics left alone, as Christians were not the star attraction—
not even those exotics ones no Christians here even know to exist
much less to share any brotherhood with.
and for Muslims? just as bad, because while all eyes were on them, they
were the eyes that mattered. it’s always the worst when you’re the one
expected to say something, to feel something, and the whole world waits.

to Timothy, to the non-Timothy, the Tim I do not know but whom
was included anyways:

running a church is serious business. you should have just
sold insurance or become a dentist.

Max, back to you, let’s do what we always do, and find some pretense
to talk and eat when we’re supposed to be doing finer things.
[thanks again for the pen: it’s nice to have something made of an absurdly
expensive rare earth metal.] too much good metal goes for things like
jet engines and car parts while little services the spectacle as was done in days of old.
you know, when you think of kings and castles
even all those shields and swords and stuff were mainly just for show.

where you are, did you see it on CNN?
from Austria, what did you think of the president visiting Cairo?
don’t you suppose he’d rather gone to see the birthplace of Mozart
or to Prague? Cairo so seems like something you have to do, like a
salesman who goes to Dallas and Midland before he is sent to Miami,
Chicago, or LA. but that said, Tracey Thorn told us we can be happy
anywhere as long as we do take due care.

ok, a thicker question:
do you think there are any demons behind our
problems with religion and religions’ problems with other religions?

is this a case of mala in se? could it be Mechembuchus perhaps,
that old tinkerer given to broker in shiny evil things? could he have
made lead-lettered sacred texts do his evil ways, poison the wells of
ink instead of water and lead men astray to, in the names of their gods,
hate their neighbors? perhaps the good of Jesus Christ or some other fellow
with the best of intentions but worst of timing brought down the
demonic powers so no longer could they make our sun go supernonva,
no longer could they damn souls to hell, no longer could they turn seas to blood
and at their best they had to for once work for a living,
writing, reading, whispering, suggesting, dripping poison into ready minds.

it must have been a chore, given how in Harry Potter the wicked just have their spells and wands.

so when our president visited Cairo he went from a nation that doesn’t trust him to another one
that doesn’t trust him and both pretended to love it that he did this,
because really, it’s like when your widowed aunt stops by and stays too long to visit mom,
what else can you do but ask her to stay for dinner, come again also next Sunday after church?

I would like to blame people for their actions but gods are better blamed,
after all, if the dog bites someone we can sue the owner, sooooooo . . .
if the person blows up something, we might as well just levy the tort towards his god, right?

I think it’s a plan of which you’ll approve :

just remember both ”torquere” and ”attorney” mean ”to twist” if
you take them in literal terms. like, say,
Jezebel's conspirators against Naboth —and men in general who stir up contention.

—for Max, and for Will Livingston
  • Current Music
    Angela Hewitt: Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052: I. Allegro, Bach