The pieces of my body
which I believe fit my framework best
are the ten spindly twigs
ending on a pair of branches that have been
passive against the strength of wind
for decades, constantly trying
to shake away the leaves of autumn
even when the leaves
have already given way to winter’s brutality,
stronger than all other seasons’—
even when combined.
My grasping hands,
my clutched fists, my cracking knuckles,
my shaking branches, those spindly twigs,
my anxious fingers are prepared to scream
like the heavy wind which haunts them,
prepared to frighten the frightening,
to remove from their cavity the bone
needed to build the womanly form,
a form which cannot reach the idea
of the ideal my hands will create.
My hands know better than I:
all that I long to achieve,
all that I wish to revel in,
all that I need to experience,
every bit of grace I find,
every vision of hope I see,
every idea of heaven I have
cannot be had
once my body has chosen wisely
and therefore I must achieve,
revel, experience, find, see,
and hold heaven in my hands
when my hands
are still available for holding.
Before my branches
and their twigs fall
into the arms of the earth
and its grounds,
I must be sure to sway.
These pieces of my framework—
my best pieces, I guarantee—
deserve to be put
to their greatest use, to hold
all they can carry, and to be.
My hands must be the authors
of my many passions, the artists
of my desires, the couple bent
on knowing best
and pleasing the womanly form
of their creation.
These pieces, I have no doubt,
are my hands, and,
always joining them,
their fruitful abilities.
If you doubt
my praise, lend me your hand
and I’ll show you all mine can do.
I have felt the winds of winter;
I do not fear your air. Nothing
you say can manage to escape
what I, at one time or another,
have already said to myself.
and the use of my hands
led to your arrival,
so I am prepared to catch
all you have to throw, bear
any weight you can no longer, and
hold your hands when they are cold.
Even if you are the wind
and I remain as brittle branches,
I still will stand with you
as you make me sway.
October 17, 2013
Untitled Typewriter Poem No. Eighteen
Despite all I am
and all I have done,
and have done
nothing without you.
My sights are unseen,
my voice goes unheard,
my touch is unknown
until I have you
painting my visions,
transcribing my words,
absorbing my skin.
Our love will be real.
Our lives will be whole.
In worse times, even,
wait for cleaning rain,
wait for less thunder,
wait for warmer wind.
All storms come and go,
and the final cloud
takes darkness with it.
There, below, we sit
with leftover rain,
the sounds of silence,
and each other’s hands.
I have and I am
all I have wanted
and all I can be
because you are there.
October 22, 2013
There, on the other side, you stand and seethe;
Though, are your feet not dipped in river’s edge—
The very river’s edge of which I breathe,
which well would rise with tears from your eyes’ ledge?
These waters would continue on with ships,
and I would wade upstream beside them, too.
But when below my head begins to dip,
just know I am not drowning—I’m with you.
“The truth can live in other methods, no?”
I asked of you as I came up for air,
and, yes, you nodded, but—the river’s slow—
I’m frightened by new things. I am aware.
Though, as we’ll drift along held hand-in-hand,
I think I’ll seek to stay. You’ll seek the sand.
The man beside the shore puts on a play,
a one-man play where fights are breaking out:
“I am the best, believe,” we hear him say,
yet something in the air provides him doubt.
For on his left a demon sits and stews—
there floats no angel singing on his right—
but what the man knows not is of my ruse
and tale which seeks to share of those more bright.
See, I am this here fiend (I know my lines)—
you’ll only fear the night because of this.
To break him free of that with which confines
mean leading him from ignorance to bliss.
I seek to play the grandest role of stage:
The Devil’s Advocate. Am I a sage?
I am a sage! but better friend, no doubt—
The greatest friend you must have ever met!
But I would be left wandering about
alone much like my father’s silhouette.
The man I know, reclusive to a fault,
is not the man I seek to e’er become.
Though my dry mouth is craving rims of salt,
I know, in time, “just one” will turn to some.
Instead of bottled juice, I welcome you;
please come, my closest friends, O won’t you soar
into my life to break my life in two?
One piece belongs to me and one is yours.
I stand as half the man I used to be,
but now, with you, I am completely me.
My friends, they came with me to see the lights,
which floated up like fleeting bits of ice.
I hear by river’s edge on quiet nights,
that if you just look down, you’ll see them twice.
My friends, they put on plays, O what a troupe!
There’s never been a devil in the mix!
But if you are a doubter of my group,
then I’ll show you the fiends of River Styx.
My friends, they once were bottled like the ships,
and with them in my hands I never played,
but now together we will use our lips
to sail upon the memories we’ve made.
My friends, they said to keep watch over you,
and then you taught me all I thought I knew.
October 28, 2013
Untitled Typewriter Poem No. Seventeen
If I were written,
I should not be read
until you arrive
in the boldest,
most elegant poetry
disguised as prose.
you are seen
by any eyes
and you are loved
all the same.
But as poetry,
you are seen
by my eyes
and you are loved
as only I can.
September 24, 2013
inspired by Hugh Mackay
The time I have spent living is equal
to the time I have spent dying, and with
one foot in the grave, with paper and quill,
I can read to you the truth or the myth,
but each will leave you standing by me, still:
“The truth I have discovered in Wholeness,
mostly by including physical woe
in all of my days. Without the cold kiss
of sorrow, living is a lie. Calm highs,
they say, are found without dipping your toe
into low, rough waves mirroring sky’s bliss,
but you must consume this sea completely.
See completely and, even in blindness,
you will have all vision—plus, more to see.”
September 15, 2013
My brother is the boy who plays
well with others; he’s the boy
who tries to include the child
with Down syndrome in the recess
kickball game; he’s the boy
whose bones are broken by someone
else, because he’s easy to push
down. My brother is all muscle,
but he doesn’t know how to use it.
He’s a collector of items,
of little trinkets he doesn’t need:
First it was lip balm, then it was
tooth brushes and their pastes,
then it was erasers, and now
it’s strange flavors of gum.
My brother cries when
an authority figure enters
the room with pointed
finger, just like I used to
cry. But he cries every time
he hurts himself, and I never
did that. I’ve tried to build
an immunity to pain, so I don’t cry
as much as I used to, and when I do,
I don’t let my brother see.
September 10, 2013