Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fumbling Hands


213/ or unbuttoning a shirt, slipping off old shoes, even this flashes back to the first transforming kiss in the dark, fumbling hands —

On a subject unrelated: We received word that Brendan’s birth-mother passed away in February. She was in a hotel— and the maid found her body collapsed on the floor.

Ricky is taking the news rather hard. He was working a Sunday conference when he answered the phone… How else can one react? Knowing she was only a girl, just over nineteen, and that her life filled itself with so much tragedy. On a slight level, she was a stranger, an unknowable child. But on a higher level, she gave birth to our son, our child. She selected us to take care of her offspring.

Need to build a poem out of this— a resolution needs to be reached. Daily stanzas constructed toward the circumstances surrounding her life.

What metaphor to use? A telling of beads? A laying on of hands? Or is this a scene which a tarot deck explains the unfolding of a life?

Ironic connection, the image bridging: hands fumbling into prayer, from pockets to prayer— to steal outright from the above poem and the earlier tanka "Hands Fumbling"— memory as prayer as consolation—

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wild Angel Mane


212/ so, we nightly weave out new recollections, new reminders of an ever present now, as it unfolds around us gently—

When Brendan wakes from a nap his hair transforms to a wispy, unkempt series of curls— wild angel mane, aurora of the sun. He appears as a heavy-eyed Apollo, a baby sun god of luminous light.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hands Fumbling


211/ we wear thin layers of memory, the outer surface of the skin— worn coats of faded fabric— our hands fumbling in pockets—

Monday, April 22, 2013

Robes of Fire


210/ dressed in robes of fire, as Gabriel, as Ginsberg— the spirit descends, leans, and whispers poetry, tongue and words buzzing my ear—
Setting Brendan in his car seat this morning he notices the waning crescent moon directly overhead. “It’s broken,” he says pointing upwards. “Daddy, moon broke.” His two year old voice heavy with a tone of worry.

I say, “Well, maybe Granddad will fix it for you.”

He smiles. “Yes, Granddad fix moon.” Everything resolved. Problem erased.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Small Hauntings


small hauntings

209/ enveloped within this poem are wounded phrases, words recalled from past conversations, small hauntings that still linger closely— yet,

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Manner Memories Fracture


205/ the manner memory lapses over itself— you suddenly recall your first awareness of the moon— its endless falling—

206/ —viewing memory as an unmade bed— under layers of fresh sheets lies the hidden self, a map to a lost ancient city—

207/ —in the manner memories fracture, a shattering of a mirror— fragments of a whole idea— pomegranates split open—

208/ —or how memories, ripped apart, expose clusters of seeds, hundreds of bittersweet seeds; your fingers stained with the sticky, ripe pulp—

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Descending Moon


204/ —or the brief moment the cusp of the descending moon leans a little closer to the horizon, mere seconds before contact —

Monday, April 15, 2013

All That Remains


Due to an unexpected bout of the flu I have been knocked off my feet for three full days: I slept restlessly with nausea as a bed companion for roughly thirty-six hours. Various periods of waking consciousness limited themselves to weakness, incoherent communication. Time played out by motions of light across the ceiling— one waking moment I was aware of the sun at severe angles to the shutters, then followed an immediate moment, pale street lamps broke patterns overhead in the dark. The consciousness skipping across a river bed of awareness.

Repeated cycles of broth, bread, juice, sleep. Mashed potatoes. Sleep. Broth. Sleep. Rice warmed with a little butter. Sleep.

I have used the analogy in the past: the whole experience is remembered as being underwater. Of wanting to move through the vast wetness of ocean, watching flickering surface details, out of reach.

And even now I am still weak after crossing the room. Or placing a phrase on the page. What is different today, however, this afternoon specifically, I feel the fading influence of the sickness. Concentration happens without as much effort.
At one point, somewhere in the rambling blur of recent events, within the rare cohesion of waking moments, I composed a short verse—it opened on the page as a Swedish music box, something formal and intricate, heavy with baroque designs slipping along the edges. Yet, to contrast the restraints of tradition, in my mind’s eye I held it on a scrap of paper— it existed as maybe five lines, maybe seven… an odd number of irregular rhythms and musical patterns of syllables. I repeated it three or four times, over and over— an effort of recollection, attempting to burn to memory the mechanics of the phrases.

As you can guess, the retention of the poem vanished as soon as it was realized. That is the way of these matters. The memory itself is limited to a vague haze of abstraction. The shape of the lines is all that remains. Outlines of ghosts. White on white.
Ironically, coincidentally, today’s tanka fits somewhat the theme of retention and loss. All memories are caught between possibilities of actions— in the end, as much as memories shape who we are, we shape memories to be who we want to be. Sometimes we get caught in the middle of the tug of war. Placed in a limbo of hesitation.

203/ the hesitancy of a stone skimming close the water’s surface— caught between rising and falling, acceptance and denial —

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Slight Hesitation


202/ —with the rhythm of falling into sleep, before a full immersion, there is a slight pause, a slight hesitation— then the plunge—

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Cold-faced Coin


201/ a series of wordless days— unfolding as blank newsprint— and yet the moon continues to rise every night as a cold-faced coin —

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Mute Corpse


200/ a mute corpse lay down with nothing left to say, even to himself— and so he remains, listening to roots of weeds stretching —

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Thousand Blue-Black Crows


199/ caught in the silence, wishing the bed sheets would erupt into a thousand blue-black crows proclaiming loudly their ancestral names—