Seems unfair to let the fledgling
try to fly when wounded,
But it might be what I need.
In my own defeat.
Is it a blessing or a curse?
I don’t like letting go,
even if I know it’s harming me,
I’m an atheist flutter when
I think of you,
the child that pirouettes
across the floor — helpless — cloudy.
How does the miserable sun
shine without enough rest?
When I look at my world
I am resolute it’s been
Each stain ingrained
Process notes: some of this piece came from my end of a conversation I had with fellow poet, Elizabeth Crawford Katch.
Fervor in a radiant night crowned
by the sweet pink jasmine queen
where the bustle of thorns thread crossroads,
dogs jump the ceded latched bar,
and the first men burst into the room
believing they’re dreaming.
They see an angel crowned with roses
supported in her arms is an old dying man,
her white dress is soaked red and shining,
but she does not reach piety for a second look
because drunken violence is never enervated.
The woman says to the men;
“Put serene hands on clean air without tears
and at once return to my tumbled-down house
to look for something to cover him.”
They take a spool of twine
and leave for the road to pick up the pieces.
The day is no longer audible and strange,
in the distance our skin contains the fabric that covers us,
where I dwell I love your surface; poppies
and porosity moving gradually,
it makes me want to drink the substance.
An attitude before the breaking doorway,
a thoughtful deal, not frivolous,
it’s a rising light in fatigue.
Immense celebration’s field,
a woman’s double smile’s literary,
known and continuous,
such nonviolence obeyed with longer flows from
these gnarled vessels is an open dark night —
then everything turns blue and
She had been a quiet girl,
wrapping herself in a guise of diamonds,
playing childhood games of mystery
chasing secrets from her pillowed-nooks,
looking for shadows in light only to find them
hidden in darkness.
Today as the troops gather; their laughter shines.
I sense excitement and enthusiasm.
She reads the speech aloud,
they listen with intent
to engrave it in their memories.
Such passionate creatures
betrayed by torrid dreams of:
martyrs and seers.
Tonight she spends time unnoticed
among ordinary furniture
and her mother’s faded curtains,
while a melancholy cat
lies upon the floor.
She writes the words to verses in my wrists,
I’m soundless, a stranger,
when the roof begins to turn
with a rusted iron hiss.
There are all kinds of stories to be told;
some are born of substance in special languages,
hypnotizing and teasing
where words are just a quirk of the mind,
an image or other intangible reminiscence.
They come complete as apples,
repeated without risking
an alter in meaning and reality.
Others remain hidden in the shadows of memory
like living organisms rooting themselves out into the flesh,
their tentacles are filled with adhesions and pain,
becoming the stuff of nightmares
to exorcise the demons of memory
it is necessary tell them as they are:
We hadn’t learnt to deal with the reflection of our fear.
In blue misty shadows, I remember your smile playing in my eyes
and the time you cried when I said I was leaving; but you always
knew I’d never go …
This month I’ll layout marigolds and flowers of the souls
leaving thirteen layers of heavens between us
while placing una copa de tequila, pan de muerto,
y fotos de ti upon the altar.
I’ll burn the incense and light the candles
as I say a prayer for you,
“Let us consider things as only lent to us, oh, friends;
Only in passing are we here on earth;
Tomorrow or the day after,
As your heart desires, oh, Giver of Life,
We shall go, my friends, to His home.”
When plants and pictures against the wall have
the same interbalance as the distance I keep
from the living, it’s a polarized position for me.
Searching beneath armchairs,
I try to catch the butterfly’s breath,
for a tingling gentle notion
in my immediate sanctuary.
Outside my window
flowers grow wanting to be a posey,
so they may walk through flames
and love; leaving ashes in their wake.
It’s blue agile and irreversible.
I remove my belt, my skirt, and toss my sandals to the corner,
but retain my knotted ponytail.
I laugh descending my body to insomnia with docile wakes
only aware of my nakedness
when my hair touches the tip of my shoulder
as a sheared-eye looks at me from above:
Enervating I wait for suspension to it all,
feeling goose bumps overtaking me,
I pause my smile.
Is it only fear where joy can’t exist?
Neglecting these efforts like a stranger to the precarious lamp’s light
bringing my fingers to the edge of the blue sheets
I touch them running along the seam,
all has become a dream.
Our indifference to life is because life kills ours and others.
It’s worthless and natural,
life and death are inseparable.
Every time life loses significance,
the second becomes irrelevant.
Process notes: The last stanza is loosely translated and slightly rearranged words by author Octavio Paz, but essentially what he was saying in “El Laberinto de la Soledad”.
The heart and the miner have crossed
off the cliff, they dive united within love’s expression
an anxiety known only in darkness.
Vaporous as the city after rain
The air lifts me higher;
silenced with no words left to say.
Day birds sing ceremony, chirping in the afternoon
basking in green times established
between creation and dream’s wonder.
The heart’s fruit sliding through my hands
like small starlight from another light.
An image once quiet living in the water
can rise up forever in memory.
Glare cannot hide the golden thread of my intertwined fingers
when the swan’s in the sun not flying.
A juxtaposition of life,
men get war’s grief.
When horses aren’t enough for the dismal
display of meandering bullets shearing flesh;
fetish is exposed thrusting
a blade into the mother of life.
Roses won’t grow ‘tween you and I
where we plant the imperfection.
How many locks?
Meandering one’s self.
The screeching owl never visits anymore.
It is there I see you — my dreams drown in my throat.
Without a note, your sound so final birds fly away.
I am worried. But you say not to be.
And the stars haven’t shone since you left.
I love you against night and summer,
against light and quiet,
against the stuttering sea
as September’s lips express themselves
through an invincible smoke of death,
I love you with happiness
roaming rift within my flight.
In your absence I’ve learnt so much;
I listen to time, where surprises sustain
with the language of kindness.
I know smiles that once existed
within these walls cannot be replaced.
At length in dazzling daydreams you watch me,
we face each other in restraint.
Still my bones live within light
over the gradual loss of decades,
because you won’t turn your eyes to look away
from the underworld of ravings and calculations.
These are dreams of blue sorcery’s pain
and men who hover in silent absence in the pantheon.
In the morning I’ll say I looked at the night
while you noticed my foreign body
and submitted two curious dreams to contact the wind.
Within his heart lies a demimonde spirit awaiting release.
Never in the right place, his soul is an asylum
which needs to be reborn.
When he flies high
surely there is a grand hard landing.
Where abomination’s art flies from canvases
leaving dark rites of rituals spreading
through the room.
One can never bare their soul completely:
So, she lights the gray away with candles
saying prayers for transgressions,
pledging allegiance to the sparkling oranges
growing on shelves in cylindrical swirls
of the bitter and sweet.
Hoping for the day when she can be herself
for those she loves.