Let It Remain
Comfort of name,
pears falling, and
I will take no
from this day
but let it remain
here in the knowing,
in the tyranny
of the absolute
and its enforced
both flight and
of fruit grown full.
“Let It Remain” first appeared here in September 2015.
How could this be? I’ve been blogging for four years. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I began, but somehow have managed to keep at it. I’m grateful for your visits, likes and comments, but most of all, I’m appreciative for the friendships that have grown out of this odd form of communication. Thank you!
I Praise the Moon, Even When She Laughs
I got drunk once and woke in Korea
with you watching over me.
Odd, how you spend seasons looking
down, and I, up. If I lived in a cloud,
could you discern me from the other
particles? Perhaps your down is
peripheral, or left, or non-directional. I can
fathom this without measuring scope,
yet I feel queasy about the possibility
of being merely one vaporous drop
coalescing among others, unnamed
and forgettable, awaiting the particular
atmospheric conditions to plummet to my
fate. As if we control our own gravities!
One winter I grilled pork tenderloin under
your gaze, unaware that the grass
around me had caught fire, and when I
unwound the hose and turned on the
faucet you laughed, as the hose wasn’t
connected and only my feet were
extinguished. Dinner was delayed
that evening, but I praised you just the same.
I look up, heedless in the stars’ grip, unable
to retrace all those steps taken to this here,
now, but still you sway above the branches,
sighing, lighting my path, returned once
again, even if not apparent at all times. Every
star signals a departure. Each is an arrival.
* * *
“I Praise the Moon, Even When She Laughs” was published in Sourland Mountain Review in January 2017.
Directive to the Circumspect Texan
When the vowel trips through the consonant and knots
the tongue, remember this: artifice. A making. In one
hand, a knife. On the table, cured flesh and fermented
products. Imagine uncertain lighting, laughter, a narrow
opening and the uphill walk three days into the parametric
world of occlusion. Tell no untruths. Mention refrigerators
and your proficiency with duck. Admit failure and order
a second pilz. Listen. Discuss heat and issues of space,
personnel logistics and the pleasure of July departures.
Cite advertising and Ashbery. Savor what is rightly not
yours. Embrace inadequacy. Forego dessert. Express
true gratitude. Say y’all. Shake hands. Find the door.
“Directive to the Circumspect Texan” first appeared here in December 2015.
I offer nothing in return, and in offering, receive.
My mouth is a river
whose current bears no words,
but the silence is not of my making.
Notice the streets and their grey
hunger, the rain and the sun
passing by much
as one passes an unopened door.
That question, unvoiced.
That shiver preceding the icy touch.
You may deny my motives.
You may deny my existence and
the very notion of shape unto form.
I offer nothing, and in offering, receive.
“Bandera” first appeared here in May 2015, and was subsequently published in The Basil O’Flaherty in November 2016.
The Neurotic Dreams September in April
Already I have become the beginning of a partial ghost, sleeping the summer
sleep in winter, choosing night over breakfast and the ritual of dousing lights.
This much I know: the moon returns each month, and tonight you lie awake
in a bed across the river, in a house with sixteen windows and a cold oven,
where your true name hides under the floorboard behind the pantry door.
Differences season our days — from flowers to snow, root to nectar — take
one and the other lessens in its own sight. One day I’ll overcome this longing
for things and will be complete in what I own, living my life beyond the page,
past the white space and dead letters. When I mention hearts, I mean that
muscle lodged in my chest. Genetics, not romance. Tissue. Arteries, veins.
Dark cars on the street. Cattle grazing in the damp pasture. The liquor store
sign glaring “CLOSED.” Separate yet included, we observed these scenes but
assigned them to the periphery, grounded in our own closed frames. In a
different time I would transcend my nature and strive to withstand yours.
Look. That star, the fog silhouetting the tombstones. A bobbing light.
Love is a gray morning, a steel-toed shoe or coating of black ice; nothing you
do will repeal its treachery. There, on my stone porch, I will inhale the smoke
of a thousand burned photographs. The sun will descend but you won’t share
it, and I’ll no longer hum your tune. When I rise no one sees. Or everyone
stares. Imagine that great cow of a moon lowing through the night.
“The Neurotic Dreams September in April” was published in deLuge in December 2016, and was written during the August 2015 Tupelo Press 30-30 challenge. Many thanks to artist extraordinaire Ron Throop for sponsoring and providing the title.