Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oncore Oncore

It is a day of held back skies,

of skies restrained and waiting.

A day the clouds hold conference

and dance around a sun-caught moon.

No one seems to notice

or if they do they have the wherewithal

to storm the gates of morning

twice swaddled in last night's dreams.

Some people say they never dream.

They insist their dreams are things

of skin clad situations,

that they are pros at thinking them alive.

I see a man pushing

a wheelbarrow of pillows,

filling his calendar

with impossible appointments,

impossible alliances with those

seeking respite for thought.

Not realizing that at the end

of his supply he will be more wearied

than those to which he gives relief.

Now is now.

The clouds cease deliberation.

Recess is now a reconvention.

The sky loves earth with rain.

Earth loves sky, blooming the world,

splaying endeavor, dissecting work,

spending all that isn't fear.

Nothing is greater than its telling.

Courage redeems the secrets.

Canyons gape. Rivers flood.

The sea can't sit its stand.

Oncore. Oncore.

We spill ourselves to filling.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crossing Over

Her dream was meant to be finished. She awoke to the sound of the neighbor’s hammer. A slipping board had proved too much for the old man, up in age and easily distracted from the business of dying. His time for subduing the earth was diminishing. Taking no thought of the dreaming woman in the house next door, he herded the board into place with his hammer and drove it in place with several nails.

The formerly dreaming woman stared at the ceiling, remembering. Following the elaborate production of the Wizard of Oz, she stood in the bleachers to get a glimpse of the water outside. This was the beginning of her dream, or at least the beginning of what was remembered. While the neighbor argued with belligerent vines between her house and his, she stared at the fan revolving over her bed and pieced together the rest. Before its interruption, the dream had put appendages, square footage and geography to her confusion. It had been the hands that pull a rabbit from a hat. Only in her case, the hands had placed her in the hat. She was the rabbit, the interior of the hat was not that of a hat, too small and too dark to take note of, but rather a place of light and activity, the tail end of a grand production. Adjusting her pillow, she recalls its particulars. Herself standing applauding, then retreating from a bleachered auditorium to the docks outside. Her contemplation to enter the water was interrupted by a pleasant enough assistant to the manger. With a southern gentility, he called her back, explaining the risks and ordinances against enjoying the water in full view of the dining guests. Sensing her disappointment, he calls her to the opposite side of the building. This, she decides, is because he is about to give her information he is not authorized to give, or if not authorized, certainly not encouraged in the middle of a busy night when he should be serving paying guests. With the building between him and management, he points to a place on the opposite shore.

"Over there is a place where the water will spin you in its embrace." The idea immediately appeals to her. She pictures herself being playfully tumbled by water. She sees the water as her lover and she its surrendering bride. He continues his explanation.

"There is a saying about that spot. Tell them to go slowly as they make their way in. Unless they are old. If they are old, tell them to hurry."

The neighbor yanks at another vine. She hears him groan. For his sake, she is glad he is making headway in the small scale jungle between their stucco houses. Already the dream is dissipating. She remembers her disappointment in the dream. She looked out across the water, realizing she would not be able to find the spinning spot alone. Finding the place required a knowledge she did not have. Speaking to her unspoken sorrow, the kind man makes an offer.

"If you want to go, I will take you."


"Yes. Now."

"I must change my clothes. Wait."

"Hurry," he says.

As she turns to leave, the man asks for a hug.

"Not now," she says. "Later, after the spinning."

P.S. Don't try to figure this out. I think it is about the stone of myself needing to be polished beneath the swelling tide of God's love. I can't be entirely sure. I'm drinking micro-waved coffee..........

Monday, March 29, 2010

Broken Flowers

I woke up thinking about broken flowers and the Bill Murray movie, "Broken Flowers". When I woke I realized the broken flowers were women. Obviously. A broken flower is an impossible thing. A flower is not glass. It thrives or dies. The broken flower puts in mind a tender thing that has taken on a varnish so as to protect its tender construction. Bill Murray was not broken but empty. Broken is better than empty. His (character's) only moment of passion was when he suspected he might have given a part of himself to create another...........when he pursued the boy he pursued the possibility of breaking and life spilling into himself. I'm sure the broken flower also refers to the hyman. But that is obvious. Numb is not good. Numb means something is not working. Something is so shut down that circulation is impaired. When circulation is impaired for long enough, blackness sets in because the blood takes a nap and refuses its travels. When blood naps for too long, appendages can snap off. A toe is a tiny thing but once it snaps off you miss it. Fingers are missed also but not as much as noses. Ears are just as bad. For lack of an ear, glasses sit askew. Then both seeing and feeling are impaired. Once an appendage snaps off, odds are it won't be snapping back on. Also, I found it tragic that a man who carres about a seemingly homeless, hungry boy has to explain that he likes girls. But he should have said, I like girls to like me. I don't really like girls. I just think they are pretty. Like flowers. When I bump into a girl, I break her. Don't walk behind me barefoot, you'll hurt yourself on the trail of broken flowers."

Friday, March 26, 2010

All Talk

I look at you.
You look at me.
I look at me looking at you.
I think thoughts.
Think words.
Thoughts like litter.
Words like seed.
Do I pick them up?
Do I plant them?
Is it already too late?
Has the wind caught them in the wires of my mind.
Has this furrowed soil suckled them in?
This frightens you.
It frightens me.
We are both frightened in the silence of the questions,
in the grip of what's left unsaid.
Fear does nothing but stir the wind.
nothing but dig a trench, die it says.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Night of No Arms

It is a night of no arms.
I climb its legs.
I fight for its ear.
Even still my words bounce off the stars.
Flailing in a tangle of extremities,
I consider the notion of love.
It’s absurdity.
It’s insistence.
It’s cheeky advances.
It’s sudden recessions.
Recession is better than collapse.
Collapse happens upon the lovers.
They fight for air.
Recession is a slow gasp.
The lungs have a chance to catch up.
If I were to choose between collapse and recession,
recession is the kinder death.
But only if you believe love dies.
Which I don’t.
If it dies it never lived.
What lived by its name was something else.
What died was the wish for love to live.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good Question

It came into him life, it went out of him truth. It could have been otherwise. The life, his life was a given. without his life he would never have been born. But he was. He took in the life he was born into. He could have spat it out. He devoured it. He swallowed it all. The pain and the comfort. The joy and the sorrow. He treated all to his table. He pulled up a chair and dined with al of life. It was a long impossible supper. He should not have lived. That first little connection to all his source of sustenance was immediately severed. From the beginning, he lived at another's sacrifice. Not everyone had it so good. Sometimes life stops before it ever starts. Sometimes life never starts at all but the days keep rolling over and stamping their wear on the face of the living. When life first started coming out of him as truth, he could have been frightened. He could of been told "shush." Don't ask those questions. Shush, don't think those thoughts. Don't say that. Don't ever mention that again. Let's pretend it never happened. He could have gone along with the pretending, he could have made a game of it until it became an occupation, until he made his living at pretending. But no, he was remarkably unique. His mother said, "oh my son, what an interesting question. I wonder the same things sometimes. Sometimes I have so many questions I'm afraid of becoming one. But I'm not a question and you're not a question. You are good at asking. I don't know how to answer that and that's how I know it is a good question."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is Not About My Real Life

This is not about my real life, the one I live on ordinary days. This is about that one, the one just around the corner. The corner I am continually peeking around. I am getting better at sneaking up on it. It is there after all. It’s more than real it is alive. The reason I say it is not about my real life is because I have gone so long limping on the definition. I have confused real for larger. My larger life makes peanuts of the real. My larger life is what I am pressed to pursue but it has
already caught me. I am learning to breathe in its grasp. I am more grateful than I was last week. Last week th real was choking out the larger. The real is a stop sign but the larger is a trampoline. I can bounce into it and out of it and not bother with the wind of the real. My larger life is one I am growing into now that I am less afraid of being big. I say Less but I don’t say Not. I have had to do a lot of talking to myself. I have had to admit questions about the things I used to pretend to know. Pretending is real. Questions are large. One question leads to another and they have friends and constituents. Questions have springs and special devices for slinging me into large territories beyond what I supposed to be real. Real should not be trusted when it slams the door on large. And it will you know. Bam. Sometimes the echo lingers. Questions are the handle. I keep yanking.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Happens When the Fireball in the Sky Lands in Your Dream?

What happens when the fireball in the sky lands in your dream and you have to listen to its flames? When you have to make sense of the blazing language that climbs up on your tongue and starts it wagging? I’ll tel you what happens, a light gets turned on. All those dark nights turn into summer and you begin to see why the shadows confused you. The fireball doesn’t have to be enormous, it just have to be hot, given the nature of fire you know that it is. You know it can burn you but it won’t. The fire will only burn the things that aren’t needed. Things like shame or fear or regret. Things like I wish I had not, I should have, I missed out on.... Once the fireball lands on your tongue you’ll be like those crazy people in Acts who knew about love. You’ll stop being cold, you’ll think about winter and how it won’t ever freeze you. You’ll realize how ridiculous it is to bundle up your desire. You’ll begin to yearn and stop caring about what is missing and why you can’t have it. You’ll start telling the truth and the feel the fire warm you on the inside where snow used to camp. You’ll act a little crazy when the fireball lands but it will be the kind of crazy that makes sanity jealous. People will circle around you just to stay warm and you won’t run out of blankets. I think the fireball was never meant to hide in the sky. I think it was meant to hide in you and me. It was meant to cause an uproar. To wake us up. To keep us hopping. To make us lie still. To undo us, to put us back together. All of this. All of it. All of that. The whole thing is ours. Its fire and its God and it is crazy and its good and now we can fan the flames and let it burn....let it alarm you. Good morning.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Your Trip to Paradise

At three am,
On a black kettle night,
a yen for Paradise awakens you.
Rising, you pack ridiculous
flimsy clothes -
shirts without sleeves,
pants without legs,
shoes without a hint of protection.
This crime is committed in faith,
committed in passion and a desperation
that sends large boulders flying.
You make your bed, carefully.
In case you don’t return.
In case your private domain
is blundered through
by indiscriminate survivors.

Even bent on Paradise,
you want to leave Perdition
in an ordered state
worthy of a benevolent obituary.

Stepping through the door, the night
hits your face and you take note:
this is not a dream.

The sun, swollen with the liquor
of nocturnal recline,
shows no sign of appearing.

Lifting from the sliver of earth,
you are not alone.
In a square of dark sky,
you see her or him or whoever
the beautiful creature is,
because it is the who of you,
it is the yes of you,
the now and then and hope of you,
the love of you
the desire for you,
the transformed you
after you become the creature
you were fashioned to be.

This astonishing you runs at break neck speed.
But you are not out of breath.
Colored in twilight,
your legs drum the delighted sky.
You are outside of you.
The shell of you is strapped inside
waiting to make your acquaintance.

You study you, amazed.
You are ageless.
Empowered by engines not your own,
you run through endearing weakness.
Past storms meant to grow you wings,
you run through sunflowers
facing the moon,
through rivers of ice flowing uphill to fire,
through yearning
and angst all forgotten.

You run through trees hung fat with
I-can-do-anything-leaves and
you are not pretending in the slightest.

You dive backwards,
your neck arching,
your legs stretching,
your toes pointed to God.

You are dizzy with balance, giddy with peace.
Leaving a trail of shrinking lights,
you think primordial thoughts.
Thoughts of fire, of flood, of fabulous fate.

You are a river undamned by God.
The current is swift, but it is not against you.
Rejoicing and weeping,
a flock of crystal stars fly beneath you.
With wings of diamonds and bone and
feathers of colored surprise,
they make a wind for the transfiguring mill of you.


For this trip, only children are permitted
to sit in the exit rows.
In case of a crash, only the children
can open the doors.
It has always been this way.
But only now do you dare remember.
To behold yourself as this child
you envision a lime green shirt, or was it red,
or blue or maybe it was a dotted Swiss dress
with a yellow belt.
You remember kid white gloves,
or bare hands or fingers dipped in sugar.

It makes no difference.
The hands are small and the child is you.
You look down.
You want to know this two legged shape.
It is attached to you.
You are attached to it.
But it is not you.
Your body is just a sentence
that carries the noun of you.
You are a fabulous stuttering phrase
that carries the ill stated truth of you.
But it is never, not ever clear enough.

And now
you remember your former bed,
you remember the warmth of it.
How it felt to be in the arms of it,
how it protested with your every turn,
how the covers were never exactly
as you wanted them to be.

You remember God’s smothered voice,
the feel of your hands against your ears.
In this knowledge,
the knowledge of your small hands
you agree to stop apologizing,
to stop making excuses.

This is a story written for you.
But it is not meant to be written alone.
In the story you wrote alone
you were stuck behind a door,
afraid to try the handle,
afraid to risk its turning.
But the nudge to do so was unmistakable.
All along you’ve questioned the nudge.


God himself explains your hesitation,
your resistance to the soft nudging
has to do with God.

You are afraid to encounter God.
Here in Perdition there is much
to overcome, to improve, to remodel,
destroy, amend, excuse, flatter, impress, refute.

But in Paradise, you arrive at an enduring story.
No need of your fixing, of rehearsed achievements.
In Paradise the water brims with tears
nobody needs to cry.
And the birds here?
The birds derive from angels.
The clocks are clowns and you are hour free.
The cutting wind has dropped its blade
and grown a cotton tongue,
and all the words are waterfalls
and all the dots have i’s.
The shredding cloaks of poverty
are gleaming satin gowns
and broken doors set sail as boats
and oars are pulled by skies.

In Paradise your questions beg
and answers grow like alms.
And yes and no are Siamese twins and
Mondays carry songs.
In Paradise you are who
you are supposed to be
and no one thinks to drown.