Friday, April 24, 2015

For Those Who Were Here Yesterday

first posted here: tumblr

But not today.
Today turned into a labyrinthine tangle
and this city was full of wild and kind hearts
and the moving bus carried me home too early
on wheels made of loud worries 
which kissed the grey road stretched before us
like a long arm reaching 
for the other hand and the bus 
wove among the orange cones 
and yellow lights of vigorous construction
because no matter what happened, we tend 
towards remaking–what we should have said
or done, or how we should feel–
and the buildings were like bald faces,
tired faces, weary and heartsick faces,
nodding at each other, eyes sliding over
to compare and measure and fall short
and the crows collaborate
with metal fences
and become makeshift gargoyles
watching over sidewalks we’ve stumbled on 
with our eyes closed, while seagulls circle 
like an immigrant’s thoughts, full of guilt
and need, and songbirds show off 
their red chests and chatter about sex
in the season’s careless glories, landing
among growing things, pecking 
at the hard truths, showing how the cage
has no door except the one everyone walks through, 
and then the lights changed
so the tide of sound ebbed and returned
like our own stuttering breath
and when I knew nothing
about everything, and something of nothing
I stopped at my usual place
greeted the black dots of rain 
like an old friend going over an old conversation 
and I put both my feet on the ground
swung my backpack over my shoulder
which I have crushed against myself
thinking what will come from today’s subtraction
thinking of what rushes in to fill the cracks
thinking what will I do today
today, today, today–
this excess of time 
I’ve been squandering since.

Remix of Jessica Greenbaum's poem.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Playing Catch Up: NaPoWriMo

Never mind my excuses. Here are a handful of poems to honour the month.

(prompt: fourteener)

Twisted words fall from open mouth, as poet asks for truth.
It comes and goes like a radio song between the ads.
What is it for anyway? Who is it for? Who speaks truth
when lies suffice in the day to day? The poet is he
who pans for truth in the streaming words. What shimmers? What glows?
What will the water bring to the surface there? A small truth
embedded in a tangle of lies, sharp enough to cut
through the bullshit. Will it feed you? Will you carry it home?
Will it save you from yourself? Will it save you from the world?

(prompt: loveless love/break-up)

Don't hold on too tight or you will leave bruises on tender flesh.
It is what it is, though there is room to grow, or wither.
The moment weighs you down lest the wind carry you away.
You must play the game or practice laughter. Neither
will help you be the best. You can still lose it all in a throw.
To dream of loss now is to be aware of limits. Eat, dance and sing
anyway. It is what it is. It was what it was. It will be what
it will be. You are not as important as you think. You are everything.

(prompt: remix of Dickinson poem, 930)

The poets live on light
but wicks burn out.
Vital parts they stimulate.

Each the sun of their age,
each work disseminating
their circumference.

The wicks' sacrifice:
Light lives on poets.
And the rest of us survive the night.