I wish to communicate.
Alas, fate does not desire
that we should speak today;
instead it blocks our way with fire,
which we perceive as brute force.
It’s not, of course, merely smoke;
but feel – its flames do not burn.
Though we both yearn in dismay
at the chasm between us,
neither trusts the other’s pyre;
and so we forgo friendly chat,
each one thinking that a liar
is not worth time spent to know.
Enmity grows between us;
two who could have been such friends.
The whole world ends just like that.
15 AUG 2006
Won’t you me the dance
out of reaching your space
into nothing close where longing
breeds its sorrow armor
Drum talks your babel tonguing
reduced to venial chancery
in the cold light of reminder.
My number forgets itself
when not recalled;
soon, its once my tender memory
archived upon three days hence.
My legs are not broken,
won’t you me the dance?
When music’s beatless ardor
swells into itself, then poetic
gran plies split themselves
and we have only the panic
of this moment.
Another one from the Memphis years.
Doctor, I am feeling ill; I’ve eaten all my young,
touring the coast of Africa,
going through the longboats
with a fine-tooth comb.
I’m a debutante at the Ball of Confusion,
filling fishbowls with the Water of Life,
burning the candle at either end
end of a switchblade knife.
Why do you keep following me
to take my pain away?
Don’t give me, give me anything
Just go away; come back tomorrow.
Yesterday is so far gone; I’m somewhere in next week.
Hours melt like tiny raindrops,
running down the gutters
onto Lonely Street.
I’m a candidate for mass frustration,
filling canteens from the Fountain of Youth,
keeping my hair from turning gray
by pulling it out by the roots.
Why do you keep on bothering me?
Please take my pain away.
Don’t give me, give me anything;
Just go away; don’t come back tomorrow.
Down at the end of river road
the houses show off concrete knees,
with skirts drawn just above the mud
that creeps up through the Augustine
beginning early June.
Some rivers, when they start, seem nothing
like their parent ocean’s genes;
they use the drying distance from the shore
while they’re still condensation hung
from gray and pregnant clouds
to form their own personalities.
Yet, even these stray souls return,
some from great lengths, and seek their source;
and once the delta’s fingers grasp
their children’s hands in welcome back,
all rivers lose their separateness.
So slow, they seep back to the sea with saturating steps;
and at the end of river road they meet up, with a roar.
26 May 2005