Dinner with the Hemiingways

Published in Apeiron Review, Sept 2014

 He can’t sleep
so why should you.
Lights are on
at the morgue; they’ll
unzip him for you.

The man on the slab stops at the neck.
His hand is cool between yours, and
you’re shaking when you find
the divot in his finger, proof
of that last exertion.

Brown, curly hair fringes
his opened skull, the interior
exposed like the rubble
of Coventry Cathedral.

It’s catching, they say—the melancholy,
the lassitude, a germ in the tears perhaps.

You’re afraid, but
you might risk it, knowing
once you close your eyes
you could fall long into
that hypoxic darkness too.

It took a while.
After a few false starts,
putting it off and putting it off
until the time was right­— when the money
and the gun met, then he finally
lost the argument
on the drive over.

The view from the St. Johns bridge
is a postcard bearing bad news.
When you’re ready, go stand
on that exact spot, look through
his eyes, and try to change his mind.

Video links here

 

Revenant

Light your sage, smoke me out,
salt your windows and thresholds—
pray there’s a light for me
and one for you as well.
Physics be damned, and logic…logic?
There’s a world—ultra-, infra- to your
spectrum, your matter cage and confines of reason.
I number among a nation of revenants
cavorting in the static and phone wire
ing you sleep, and not sleep, listening
to you wonder about me. I could brag of
how it looks from here: the mystery, she’s naked now.
But gloating is what the lesser do. So
I’ll blow in your ear, brush by you, place
what was once a hand on your shoulder,
insert a remembered face into your dreams.
Your grief is a cold rain, to pass.
I am the filament beyond it.

Video Poem Links Here

Elegy for a Hymen

It’s a strange prize
that bit of wafer.
What is it exactly—
this small  ribbon of a thing?
A moment?
A boundary?
A sacrifice?
An eventual man worthy
of such sterling virtue—
this chevalier—he is her rescuer
he is her murderer.
A man among men, but
underneath the armor,  where
is he soft and perforated?
And what does he become
after the bleeding?
An odd quarry
like a fox gone to ground.
Hounds— the hounds sound
their awful music.
Their work is done,
their master approaches.
The pelt is relinquished.

Video Poem Links Here

Ecology of Atman

Were Heaven just a garden,
and life its soil, and we the seeds,
and death the sun, and dying spring,
where pneuma blooms perfume the air
lit upon by bodisattvas of the meadow,
then all we’ve really never known
is how we are so tended to.

Video links here

In A World Without Cats

Mice proliferate, lay down the law.
Birds are arrogant, and take advantage.
Surfaces are hard and cold, we
know nothing of plush.

Upholsterers must learn other trades.
You have no proof of miraculous returns
from the brink of death, over and over
again, even up to nine times.

You cannot practice unconditional love
for someone who would kill you for food,
kill you for sport, take or leave you,
indifferent to the end.

You keep thinking someone is
at the door, wanting to come in,
but that’s impossible.

Under the Bodhi Tree

The plague wasn’t a static point in time,
but a predictor of other plagues, and
an echo of earlier ones.

Holocausts and genocides still happen,
a form and its shadow, and its shadow’s shadow.
Forward isn’t a direction that can be sustained.

Even the Sun – a formidable animal
in its gleaming meanness is a slave
to gravity’s momentum, an incessant

drone, a constant poem.
A tree’s ascent–seed drilling the sky
a dervish obeying the drum.

Life spirals, so we’ve been going
in circles this whole time.
There is no way out of these woods.

Frangipani Grove

When all of this has gone
away, and the sun is a silver
memory, the moon: a stone
in a sky of stones, and bones
are sand, and land is flame—
when all potential in the void
gleans some notion that it could
explode, expand, become a world
again and then collapse and
fail as ages do, even then
the heart endures
in dark throb
a flint fire
a god song.