19 April 2014

19: Holy Saturday 2014



Holy Saturday (2014) 

The nature of waiting
is not a special fruit
found in a poem
written while
considering the refrigerator
of a friend.
It is not caviar,
not free-range eggs
(picture them
giddy, liberated)
not Italian olive
paste. I’m sorry I’m so
bitter. The nature
of waiting is
not a day
from an idea about a day,
not a Turner
painting of a day,
not the dictionary definition.

Try a day of a mother
of a baby—she woke
to the sound of crying
she changed her
she fed her
she changed her again
she dressed her
she crawled around
she hit her head
she held her
she took a nap
she changed her
she fed her
she changed her
she broke a doll
she changed her
she changed her
she fed her
she bathed her
she dressed her
she put her down—that’s
what it was if
you really want to know.

He will come again,
oh yes, he’ll rise. 
Though you can’t quite say
you knew what he was
what it was
in the first place,
it’s coming.
Again.





19? I've been thinking about the banality of it all, the on and on-ness of my limited imagination

I've been thinking about the banality of it all, the on and on-ness of my limited imagination, as one will do when posting a poem a day during poetry month. And today a friend posted a reminder of my favorite band in high school, Houston's own Shake Russell Band.

I'll just say that I am so grateful the interwebs did not exist way back then.

Of course, the band had their own limitations, some of them lexical. So I decided to conduct a conceptual operation on one of Shake's local hits--one that I see was even recorded by Waylon Jennings. It was called "Deep in the West," and you can hear it here.

I chose the classic N+7, which can be so great for breaking up the rut of my brain. I went to N+9 for this, and I like the results. "I've gone hospital" is surely the best thing I've typed all month.

N+9: Deep in the Wildlife

Deep in the wildlife where the tall mummies grow I've gone hospital
Where the herds above turn red from the fitting dress below
Are you listening to me when I'm talking to you
Said together we're opportunity divided we're through
Divided we're through

Size function at nose yellow function that comes with the debate
Balloon in my hell I've been drying my faculties see me run
So you hang onto me and I'll hang on to you
Said together we're opportunity divided we're through
Divided we're through

Refusing to talk I suppose that it's all for machinery's sand
And legislation to give that's important before you can take from me
Are you listening to me when I'm talking to you
Said together we're opportunity divided we're through

So you hang onto me and I'll hang on to you
Said together we're opportunity divided we're through
Divided we're through

18 April 2014

18




Purple for Good Friday 2014, except when black

Somewhere (always) a curtain ripping,
noon sky suddenly dark. Yes.

Here with desperate mewling
dog. Some dogs get a ball
in their head, the idea of a ball,
and panic with desire. What
can you do about it. You can
(1) give them the ball (2) hide
the ball or (3) place the ball
just out of reach, so the dog
experiences a little torture,
the way of saints.

Then when lightning strikes
you think it’s the closing

of a coffin lid.








17 April 2014

17

That marriage

She was trying to tell him
where they met (here)
what it whispered. He was

trying to hear.
A dog had found a ball
panting, leaping,

biting. He remembered
the way the first book began,
story fashioned.

In the small room
for it, listening. These
the objections, these its

scarves, its particular
patois. Laughing
at the dog. The rule is

you don’t have to explain

it. Ever.

16 April 2014

16

Brevity is the soul

As for wit, it goes on and on
Like death, or like an old photo
Snapped by the old mother
One of few not featuring her thumb.
Most importantly? It’s Holy Week, so
We tell all our Jesus jokes – trust me,
He can take them – then taxi
To the theater to view what is most
Profane, what's sure to set us soaring.
Quickly. You can’t remember every
lake you ever crossed by boat or foot.
Sometimes the sky calls, rude shout
of a toddler, look at me! it’s a perfect day!
and you have to say, That’s it, I surrender.
We’re having a perfect day. Maybe.
One evening you’ll stop mid-sip and know
how fast it spins, how desperate that
makes the many names of the light,
but that evening is not here yet.
Brevity is the soul, thank Christ.

15 April 2014

Talk about meaning and emptiness: Tax day 2014, 15th "poem"

 Pantoum

We didn’t mean it but we said it:
these were the words we’d been thrown.
Some of them careening like the three cups
At the fair, the con man’s hands fast, faster.

These the words we’d been thrown. 
We hurled them back just as taught.
Always fair, a con man’s hands. Always faster.
If one phrase didn’t land, we’d pitch another.
                       
Spewed them back just as taught.
There were no lies, and it was all a lie.
If one didn’t work, I’d cast another
When art happened, it dropped like accident.

There were no lies, it was all a lie,
a stew of language, cups, versions.
When art happened, it fell, an accident.
Darling, let me in on the way to mean,

born of language, cups, versions.
Because sometimes I swear I got a glimpse.
Naah, you never let me in on it. Too mean,
too pleased by emptiness.

Anyway. I got a glimpse.
We didn’t mean it but we said it
too, pleased by emptiness--emptinesses!
the sum of them careening like three cups.