29 July 2011

neither of them folded well

 two bills
and neither of them folded well
        they both had truth
to tell
and it took them a while to get there

but when they did
laughter just because
the often wonder why
that cuts through the disguise
 of fear
          and lies

 the drink
        or smoke
where wonders arose
      never gave the kind of damn
 that they were supposed   to

supposed to
burned all the way through

 and back again
to england
    and new england
 and new new england

 to ramona
before the war
       but during and after
the settled score

with shuffle off looming in
the mortal coil wearing thin
                 both found time to
                     take me in
                                   and tell me


23 July 2011

come back to the old kind
of trust

the arithmetic of care

                           near the rock river
in bloom
                           the year’s second full moon

a  beautiful   dutiful thief
                           just saying that comes as relief
no longer
keeping it
                  from myself

sharing the wealth
                           the health                    
the burden
    of words
                           you couldn't call it anything else

these are the ones
                           that woke me up
that made me
                           and forget what it is about heaven

turning over every leaf
                           to find they are the same
what was
the name?
                           to finally place the blame

in brazil it isn't summer
                           clandestine behavior  
to taste
the sweet sunshine
                           cold and clear or warm and bright

joyride got to have
                           summer twice
before she took
the bad advice
                           she spilled it slowly late at night

she took the time
                           to take a chance
before the fall
broke both her hands
                           put the idea back in a can

it came from eyes
                           and minds   hearts in the air
from scorn
and stares  
                           golden waves of golden hair

not sure i was
                           supposed to be complete
not even
remotely sure
                           about supposed to be

to those that would
and everyone
                           the wood makes a good effort

to hold back the water
                           feel like it ought to
come back
to the old kind of

Helping Mr. Rothko by Henry Xavier Porter 2007

22 July 2011

how soon is

                                             how soon is never?
                  three hundred and fifty one days a year
                                             it's seventeen miles to buffalo
 bullet shot in d major
              the spinning sky
scared of the future
                  sick of the past

a ten twenty-two
          from me
to you

mixing wine and palestine

the misinformed leading the under-informed
                                             leading the oblivious

  the sun is rising     but not for you
you re-retreat to the greens and blues
            of the southern tier    where bad news
has trouble getting through

your whole life is an emergency
       maybe this is one of the whys

       and  the only thing you ever draw   is eyes
or good stick figures ready to fight
   the full passion of lantern light

                  but that’s what walls are for
                                  someone else    born to ignore

we slept in the same bed
                  just not at the same time
precious crime scene
        not especially clean     or mean
every piece stuck in between

         her    she stood right here
cried styrofoam tears
           for the poison that is years
the undeniable veneer

you see
it comes down to which criminals  we feel most comfortable with
the ones with the sneer or the ones with the lisp
          like the hem around a hanging tree
singing hymns    of suffering

 the legend can only grow if you are big enough to handle it

when i get tired i drop things
my keys
       my watch
        the ball
names of the almost famous
                  who forgot to tip
                     didn't know how  
                                         or why  

  i met him the one time
     but somewhere in the telling
it has turned into a lie
             because nobody smiled
 Photo by Patrick Riedy

20 July 2011

the ones who do not know me well
have consistently declined

eighteen years of a high wire act

            she ought to have been paid more
                           enough retreat  to attack
the pinpoint cause   exact

the ones who know me well have consistently declined

there must be something else to the world

        warm to the touch

breathing like a boast

drove south  looking down
          headed     out


clarinet discussions about language
about painting
         about    time

  it's early in the morning that i miss him the most
i could just steal enough heat
                                        made me feel less  like a ghost
he would smile me to sleep    then wake me with something to hold
                i was both angry and crazy

now it's only been half enough time
                  to count days

yes    the points were
               one blind
                           the other fat
he loved my hair when i let it curl and wrap around what he always said was the prettiest face    in every room     jesus    look at the moon

                   turn of the century north and fleet  blush of cheeks 
    power red on my chest  the long discussions to determine
                                                                                 what was best

i loved when he noticed me     afraid  
         took me out tonight  i was just going to stay
                                                                                 and hide

the ones who do not know me well have consistently declined

                  mistakes were at a premium

i started to think that i was one of them

                                    and then the moment shouted
                                                                                 'shine on'

The Seagram Murals by Mark Rothko