How we loved our paradise

How we loved our paradise of silks and breezes,
noisy water in the distance, comestibles nearby,
libations, sleeping in whatever god’s pajamas and
sneezing their incensey perfume, how we pawed
through things and went without shoes, you tied my
hair in a knot and tried to throw me off the roof, oh
how we laughed, we were so good at laughing, we
were so not good at everything else except perhaps
sleeping, and sex, oh we rode those magic carpets
bomblets whistling down to left and right and in the
hazy distance a sheathy zeppelin gliding whale-like
through air you could breathe up there if you were up
there but we were down here and the long holiday
was becoming a not holiday, a kind of anti-fetish, oh
everything was just so nonetheless, the sky the color
of a stone, you polished my shoes for me and sent
me off to look for work, oh how I looked for work and
trudged from till to till how distant our paradise then
as I ironed my iron-worn skirt, when nothing I did
was good enough and there wasn’t even any sex, I
started forgetting about that somehow, to my
consternation, I recall, oh we weren’t laughing then
or even speaking and all the doors that would be
slammed had been slammed and there were no more
words, the look I caught on my face passing a mirror
was like death like something had slammed into my
head and lodged there and I’d have to wobble about
wincing like that with it forever, like some alien thing
had crawled up inside my life to brood—out out out
I’d say but everything was rushing in, rushing into all
the troughs and hollows flooding corridors and
floating the lamps and how I longed then how we
longed separately for our easy long ago days when
we didn’t sleep on ice and didn’t faint not very often
or just fall out with grief all the lost people and all the
lost things and weariness oh the weariness what a
weary weariness it was, so so weary, we wore muu-
muus and overalls and accidentally took our daytime
meds one night oh what a night that was–pacing
waiting sleep never coming then the day arrived like
coming down from lsd without having had any of the
fun that was so like things then, everything was
aftermath without having any of the before until we
forgot about before and there in our forgetting a new
world erupted in the midst of things, one in which we
were suddenly gallant and vaguely tipsy with
all that forgetting but not really caring much at all
after all falling in our boney way into our cushy scroll
the shreds of all our thoughts like bedding in some
short creature’s cage oh how all hinges were loose
then how we rolled this way and that looking for the
thing inside that was like a counterweight,something
anything to outweigh suffering or trick it into
shuffling off bye now and don’t come back but we’d
forget that too from minute to minute we were good
then at forgetting forgot our keys forgot to put on
our outdoor shoes forgot how we had once hated
each other and ourselves forgot in fact all the years
intervening between about 25 and then whenever
then was, forgot, forgot, forgot,and there we were—
the people we would always be, every moment like
bobbing up for air in the ocean on some bright blue
day with its frightening horizon where all time stops
but still not like the last day on earth though maybe
a bit like the last but one, suddenly this
spaciousness in which nothing much was expected to
happen, so anything could.

The mirror states

The mirror states its own flat case,
recalls when you’re not looking
all the looking it contains,
the blank mind it conjugates,
the eye it’s proxy for.
You wear the empty skin it
puts you in, what you think others think,
the reused canvas, the leftover
little thing you let it make of you.

Maenads

Maenads - vers 2 crpd

how we loved him, that wily wine boy,
the racket he made to call us out
how our families kicked doors shut behind us
to be rid of him, to make us follow
wherever he wanted us to go

how we loved his wildness
his outfits and his crazy hats
when at last he foxed up as a man
we screamed and tore our dresses
we slept with leopards and snakes
we wrapped our hair with vines

we loved the way he made us unafraid
and reckless, our bodies like wide water
and him the boat and the sky
so unlike imposters who underestimated
what we could do if our ire was up
and our cups were full of wine

we were his hands and eyes and mouth
this man who needed to fear
the women he needed to love him
and needed to kill what he loved
the nights he made for us to tear into
till there was nothing lasting we could know

if echoes of our music shadow the wind
into the place where you sleep,
wake up, make haste, and come along–
girl, he’ll have you if you do or if you don’t
and with him, doing is a lot more fun

_________________________
modified image; original image from http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Dance.htm

something like

something like
our former grace
our former spin our
former face
latterly a beggar’s bag
our sky a boat our
heart a rag
our politics our
droning head
granny in
the iron bed
all our little bombs
and toast
lost library
receding coast
things that just happen
things that don’t
things done despite
the things we won’t
our spouse
our spawn our
racked life
our desert lawn
things we lock down
things filled up
what we abandon
with our luck
our jail mail our
punishing debt
our shaking house
and our lost pets
our love, our lot
our let

Probably Nike

probably nike Jon McL flickr fr poem cmprsd

she has wings
but you are not going to like them

a chariot
in which you’ll never ride

horses cantering off
to far-in-the-future crusades and crashes

shields that hover in the air
flying saucers are you scared

a painted face you’ll love
but never touch

an ocean she rides over
that you’ll only see by looking up

image and inspiration for this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fogey03/6602511055/

Already

The airlock wouldn’t open or it wouldn’t
close. We were in it or we were not. We were
dead or alive when you lifted the lid. We
then foraged, we delayed, return so
desirable it was a weight we shunned.
Tinderbox, bracelet, armoire. So much
forgetting that afternoon, the swing, the small birds,
smoke from the trash barrel, my writing. Now where
do you go when you know I know, when
everything is already enough too much.

 

 

 

 

we are running

we are running
our sky is the bottom
of a boat

approaching the wall
we pull out
our puny weaponry
disclose ourselves

bomb-light
startled trees

see our feet please
we’ll not show
what we see
just a simulacrum
of running
a simulacrum
of seeing
as if you’d fear
the village behind us
blossoming

hello
darling

we have a hacienda
in us invitations
cannot penetrate
a border spiked
our various heads
souvenirs
after images
of our afterlife
a sky-wide moat
as if someone
would

we had ankles once
jewelry, guns
berries
fetch was a word
with a water bucket
all we ever said
was O

we have
chemicals

cropped
and furrowed
into two
now we know
when you don’t
where you go

just look at
all this
room

the things
your hominids
have done
a ruse for hands
or thimbles
the deviant ladder
of our smile
your lesser loves
food one mustn’t eat
so it can’t
be gone

your machines have
memorized you

run

Grrrrr

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In your muggy prehistoric, we roam,
we rage and root up monstrous vegetation.
We converge at roiling waterholes
or in warm seas you call raging. Consider
our volcanoes, our smog, our canopies
and canapés, our lack of ice and
entertainment. Taxis. Cosmetics.
We are always open-mouthed, fussing,
grumpy preludes to grappling and ripping
or just showing off our dentition.
Our flanks commandeer broad air while you
are safely far from underfoot, small,
chittering in rank leaves or underground,
hiding out from your first apocalypse.

 

 

image: http://lhldigital.lindahall.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/human/id/297/rec/12

 

How it will come to you

sky for how it will come

How it will come to you, this joy
that rides in on pain and breathes
your inspiration. The one who
dwelled beside stands at the gate
waiting for another shining passerby.
In the tree, a conspiration of birds
abides this green nature. You had
forgotten how performance
isolates. But in this only moment
now, such surfeit, such grace.

 

 

 

My History of Knitting

All did and none committed still
some escutcheons translate the past
other artifacts fill everything
a bright blue sky with silver blimps
and miscellaneous persons
asking where the rockets are
where where where
idling at the light, binoculars
the dead giveaway of the damned
such misfortunes plagued us
left us wanting at the throwaway
such small things they were, too
just a little killing and the like
later on a mountain and a slough
and words, lots of them, so many
even the vandals called for a truce
the going, in short, was rough
they were still darting into the shadows
the minions were out laying blame
the rest of us under the shade tree
so many were calling out, and that
would be my history of knitting.