Thursday, October 16, 2008

Heart To Heart

What does it mean to you-
Glimpsing eternity in a day?
Would you turn me over to this boy,
Azure and emerald burning in his eyes?

It is the next week.
He is not here, but you remember every exchange.
I race along to the rythym of his kindness in
Each letter you grasp so tightly.

Those were golden-ish days, when the mail came.
I felt calm then as your mind studied each line.
Yet something began crumbling underneath...
Where went the lovely colors?

What does it do to you-
Sitting in the same room, with heads so close?
Breathing in his silent company
While the clock ticks tirelessly on?

Do his perfect lips just haunt your dreams?
The cavity wherein I sleep pulses heavily
As the ringing by your bedside begins...
His voice awaits your "hello."

Blue and gold hues seep slowly back through
As he tilts his head to your shoulder-
And up towards the sandy midnight air
Where satellites and flying debris grace the sky.

How does it turn you like so-
A small moment shared by your two bodies
Close together on the black grass.
He watches you breathe as your eyes close.

And it is at this point in time
That the heavens send their sign-
Lightning down his throat,
Thunder through my veins.

I feel the way it burns you in and out-
Yellow, purple, and crimson tones...
Hallelujah for damage to the old pride;
It is saving grace that he holds.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Be Happy.


"I imagine you driving
in the rain. now
play some more."

They were just a few simple chords, and I didn't have the words to fill them up. She was trying to help me with my song by creating a 'scenario.' I closed my eyes and tried to see it: overcast sky, yellow fields, eight white knuckles gripping the wheel as I sped on home. What would my thoughts be in that moment?

I couldn't imagine.

Two days later and I found myself in that place: driving the 30 mile stretch past rolling hills and a perfect, clouded sky...it began to pour. I sighed heavily, knowing that in seconds my vision would be shielded almost completely; the windshield wipers needed serious replacing. I let the pull of the road guide my steering and the trills of Bob Marley bring a smile to my lips. I remembered with awe the parallels of my current situation with her words that day...

"What would you sing about if that was you- driving all by yourself?"

I tried to concentrate. Self-analyze. Thoughts, my thoughts. What did I feel? Were there any dominant emotions tearing their way up to the surface? It was silly to have these questions...yet surely driving through a storm with so much to think about, so much to mull over, ought to raise up some kind of feeling...

And then it came. I was feeling, and it was tearing its way out- slowly, so slowly. The road wound around itself in moments, and the earth's tilt seemed to pull me more steadily in one direction. My heart raced. I knew the feeling so well, and the word shot forth like a spark from my trembling lips.
"No!"
No, no, no, not this. Don't be feeling this. Don't let yourself think that way. I had so much still...
People loved me. My friends still knew me. I had love for them, too. Big love. They needed to know that. So I had to be there the next day to call and tell them.

I would be there.

The original lyrics echoed through my ears...they needed to change. And I needed to change my heart. Change. Change. Change it all.

Whips of rain lapped against the sides of my car. I planted my left foot more firmly on the floorboard. Some part of me had to be in control because the dashed, yellow lines stayed in my peripheral. I hugged the subtle turn to the right and closed my eyes for half a second. In that moment a sequence of images flashed through my mind...

*Sitting on the balcony and watching people through their windows. A boy that sat next to me took my hand and said gently, "We need to talk." The anxiety enveloped me, minutes before I found a place by the dark tennis courts to cry.*
*Walking out of the auditorium full of blank faces, all blank except one- whose eyes found mine and returned my gasp with an all too friendly smile. "Hello, pretty girl."*
*Standing in the middle of an ice-covered parking lot, with my arms outstretched in pain. I was begging him to say it again, with different meaning. But he turned and walked away. I counted the steps that furthered the distance between us.*
*A wintry frost that coated the metal stairs up to my apartment. He stood there at the bottom and brushed the snowflakes out of my eyes. In my ear he whispered softly..."I can't. I'm sorry."*


The memories dug deeper and deeper into my past. I went through each detail with painstaking tenderness...all the breaks. All the apologies. All the lasts.
Some may not believe it, but each memory was a different person. I had let myself open up- yes - that many times.
*Another, he stood against the car and watched me walk to my door. I blushed as I noticed his stare, and that smile of his right then stuck with me for too long.*
*And then I was sitting in the pews. Watching my angel shift his weight from side to side. He was too perfect, and I had to take it in one last time. My angel took the train ride home.*
*Pulling away from his kiss, we both waited for the feeling to come. But there was none, so he half-waved goodbye and headed west: the product of two year's anticipation.*
All were different, all were the same.
A stinging and sensational burning crawled up through my veins as I recalled one more...
*It wasn't so long ago, that night I found myself still hurting in his embrace. His lips to my salty skin were repentant and forceful...a innumerable amount of "I love you's" and the one desperate "please stay"...I pushed him away, out of my car, out of my window, out of my life. He sat for a while in his truck, in hopes that I would change my mind. But I drove away from the scene in a frantic calm, away from the only one who never stopped loving me.***

And I wouldn't let myself remember any more.

Not the others hiding within the cracks. Not the first time I felt my heart crumble from within, when I was sixteen. I stopped there, before I could see the reflection of my serious eyes in the rear view mirror. Buckets of rain bore harder onto my soul. This wasn't what I wanted in my song.

Would I be loved the same again? Would I ever be seen as just a girl with her heart wide open, cautious but willing, bruised yet mending, dead still and beating? Would I rid my myself of these ghosts before they ruined yet another beginning?

Here I was, driving in the rain- all alone- just like she imagined. No middle to the music, after the part where I leave off...
"this could be it, this could be it..."
Only an ending
-something much easier to create.


"Don't worry, be happy now."



Saturday, April 26, 2008

Birthday



I've had my favorites of course.
Teddy bears of every shape, size, and keeping
Still smile and line the yellow walls in that dusted room
For a moment I imagine they are each a different brother
Gracing me one by one with a summer day and a shiny penny.

The slightly warm cake tastes like Mommy's hands 
Smells of years three through ten
Beads of blue chlorine drip drop off tangles in my hair
As I squint at other tiny pink faces drowning under my fins
And cherry was not my favorite flavor
No, not even now...
Cherry-out of the concession's trove- made me cry
Just as the wimpy presents, belated applauses and 
Candles that would not go out
Those fireworks that went on forever and made my eyes sore
So I wasted wishes on the fate of flames.

What hunger did press its way from those swelling breasts?
What lovely grief and yearning
For a way to move both forward and far, far away
While returning still to icy teethers-
So sweetly benumbing on roots just beginning.

Today is my birthday
The number ten added onto nine other feline attempts
Finding new life after every tragedy of curiosity...
"Happy birthday to the lonely heart,
Happy happy happy her
See how she glitters off the April sun"
Skipping now to the song of confetti falling
Round a long table in a wider room
Over my grown-up lashes and painted mouth
The slightly cold ice cream tastes like raspberry dreams
And my most favorite of flavors is 
Salad green. 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Day The Music Died


Hold the stick
The rhythm seems smooth with delicate, cautious tempo
But metronomes change too suddenly
Then delay the drumroll
While notes remain splattered on this concert hall's ceiling
Waiting for the final autograph score
Before I let my hands follow the poor director's lead
He should know that the music in me 
is gone
and dead
crushed to a pulp and powdered into dust
like a Monarch's touched wings
at the final clause of winter...
no more song, mister. And I do regret.

The first yellow days put across lovely visions
Such cream-filled, storybook dreams 
Of a grand symphony composed by Consonance
Held together with harmonies so finely tuned...
And I was eager to play
Intent on hearing sounds of my own shaping
Avid on giving away a little more each time
Missing a little more melody
every pitch took me higher, into greater realms of 
dismissed exertion
aborted fancies
the usual...
and clearly
hearts burned on too short of a wick.

Only a few more ways to give
To replay that "ditty of bliss"
Except the same old frenzied arrangement
Crawls from parchment to printed copy paper
Da capo, with a bit more bended tessitura
And careful counts into the next measure...
My dear amanuensis,
I could stake your life on the leger lines
above and below the pretended pitch
I would bet that you run during seconds uncounted
crying in the winds of color that rush past your face
the volume rising from serenely soft
to absurd, fortissimo howling
shocking depths of unlocked tenderness

caesura, caesura
we don't count time while in love
take your breath mark while I live still strumming
and take it slow
none can steal this tempo from my pulsing veins
caesura
caesura
we don't count time while in love.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Little by Belittle

I cannot undertake this tidal wave of your teasing...
In and out again, I am washed up with just enough breath
To carry my soul through to the next round.
Grains of sand make their way to my throat
Burning like an acid sample
While the distant lighthouse sends out its searchlight
For my broken bones over the shores.

What am I? Some nail to please your Carpenter's tricks?
Beat me and beat me until I've given in to the hammer's head...
Still I think you should know that I tend to (t)rust
At the most inconvenient times.
I suggest that you spare your perfectly crafted tools 
For I cannot live up to these labors of love
And maintain any remaining shards of nerve.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Am: Part II

I am 
An artist with words
A Draftsman of disembodied thought
Davinci with a new set of oils
(Curious to where Real begins before it ends...)
Rembrandt in the renovated man's era
A Picasso mocking color in theory

Coarsely worn bristles are my lyrics
So delicately laid upon this canvas of cloth
(One that I tend to call Apathy)
They give texture to ordinary streaks
Though none of us "poets" see ordinarily
For our eyes are shut tight by the adhesive of ashes
We breathe in pastels of the most intoxicating nature

I am 
Susceptible to the wills of an amateur's desires
I can play like Daguerre with camera obscura
Capturing still, black-white frames
Of Deadness
Frailty
Renewal--

charred feathers floating pitifully 
through the tunnels of dusk
graceless and stiff
over Intuition's bloodied trenches.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Poker: A Disfavored Pastime

Note*** I posted an older poem that is back a ways in the blog. You can find it in the left hand module, entitled "a Personal Haunting". It sort of goes along with this "story", in a way. I'd appreciate any kind of critical feedback :) ***

I
was dealt a bad hand from the beginning. 

Through my nervous fingers each glossy surface glided smoothly from one palm to the next, rearranging themselves in meaningless order. My pupils focused avidly on the opposite end of the table, to the gentleman in the dark hat, sitting quietly in a shadowed silhouette. The lack of light surrounding our game made the visible blanket of night through the near window nearly explode the room in tones of cerulean, which produced an extraordinary effect of the separate faces of the seated players. Every gentle cheek and downcast eye stretched into a long countour and every slight smile morphed into a menace, as if they equally shared a secret. I kept my gaze averted to the gentleman' s narrow brim, imagining how it would be to trace with my fingertips that sharply crisp axis around his dark head. It was no mystery that at least one present at the event shared such a secret. His grim silence during the circumstances of casual whisperings and foretellings among the others made this quite evident. The real clue was the way in which he held his cards- each one aligned perfectly to the invisible lines running vertically from the ceiling to the table's surface. The man of mystery was only a temporary diversion to the fate laid out in my own two hands, for I soon realized that my turn was approaching. 

They told me his name was Rex Burgle, though the majority of the company resorted to calling him Ex. Why not just Rex is a fact I never did acquire, still 'Ex' seemed more justified- a whole other name completely, a cover for the character dressed in black clothing. I was thankful for this- it would have been impossible to take him seriously with a name like Burgle. There were moments, briefly sweet, when he did in fact amuse the crowd by his silent moves and smooth shuffles. It was so obviously strange that he would sit there and not say a word while the guests' volume heightened with the minutes. And yet, the simplicity of the gentleman's tricks combined with mystery of such a visage confounded my observation. It occurred to my mind that he had been a part of me all along, some Master to a region of my soul unchartered. His posture indicated pride, his reticence hinted shame. Ex. I knew him well. 

We gambled through the night. The bodies in between our two ends of the table were merely there in flesh, but colorful spirits of surrounding cities and voices. The familiar play of Poker transformed into Hearts, oh Hell! before I had time to gather my senses. Ex came to be my only opponent and ever more my greatest alibi. With every maneuver he urged me to play on, risking my whole share of winnings. My legs were numb under the table from the tense position in which I strained myself to breathe slowly, cautiously. Any sign of weakness would take me down, for his confidence dominated the back room of the casino. This place I never would have found myself under normal circumstances- under safer standards. I recalled only the shadow of a some hatted figure beckoning me into the doorway at which he stood, enticing my most secret longing, seducing the "natural man's" appetite. I followed and wound up here. I let myself drift off into a world of trusting disguises and now I hardly knew how to achieve escape.

Soon Ex sensed my apprehension, and in one quick swipe his hand fell, complete with a fully perfect suit, onto the cold mahogany and it was finished. The game was won in his favor, like always. That narrow brim raised like a ghost and two pitiless eyes the color of frosted lakes burrowed their way to the portion of courage still existent within my mortal being. Little by little his stare finished me off. Would it help to scream? None to listen meant none to hear. So I challenged my fear with counterfeit passion and allowed the shadow to take me over, wondering all the way if this was how it felt to be raped. Pain streak after pain streak, the line of gambles never ceased. All I wanted was my liberty back, yet Ex controlled my actions from every angle. His face now exposed, I collected memories from the course lines that shaped the wretched thing. So many memories. I could feel his cold breath on my back, and just as the quartz chandelier on the ceiling seemed to sway a little too far-removed from its metal hook, sleep embarked on haunting another's poor trance and I awoke.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In Love. Again.


In love again- and this time it just...
Fits. Like a charm. 
In deep with this one, in the most serious delight.
I drape affection like moss around its chiseled surface,
And the physique's graceful shade consumes my eyes.

I am mad for this unshackled, blithesome fanatic,
Wild in the heat of its passionate design...
Experience suggests there is no other to handle my fire,
So the more that it rejects my devoted heart,
The more I thrive on keeping up.

Sweet is the caress of shapely steel wielded over my frame,
Gentle is the brush of sun against my head.
Back into its steady arms, I gradually let conversation fly
Free as the weightless pollen grains of Spring
And ease in taking apart its perfect soul.

Enveloped in its kiss,
I am assured-
It is entirely,
Altogether
Honest. No act.

There is no time left to tame the days' most faithful tears-
No backwards vision to retrace those cursed steps 
Towards generous lips and false impressions.
I am allowing myself to get carried off...
In whims of softer dreams.

Truth in mortal beauty finds these mistakes too estranged to swallow-
And with sincere dismay I cannot push another down my throat.
My arms outstretch to the ghosts of a disquieted past 
Full of such mortal misgivings...
And touch true answers to beauty 
Unveiled in the vitality shining overhead.

I am in love again
With Life, with wonder.
That tender essence incapable of disappointing,
Unheard of breaking the bravest, starry-eyed spirits...
Such a bud that will never deter in becoming,
Nor dissolve a weakened child's fancy,
But raise my heart
Into Release.

And this time
It just fits.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Auxiliary Precautions

In the event of creating a Constitution for the newly reformed colonies of the United States of America, James Madison and two other elite authors of the precious document wrote several persuasive letters to the colonists, with hopes of establishing in their minds a more refined way of looking at government. These letters, better known as the Federalist Papers, warned the people of the disastrous effects of a monarchial society and the dangers of handing too much power to the constituting body. To avoid such a "liberty trap", these men set up protections against tyranny and built them into the Constitution itself.  The solution to the threat of another overly controlled nation were what Madison called "auxiliary precautions." I couldn't help but draw an interesting parallel...and after further study it made more and more sense. How does one know how much power to give to another without that party taking full advantage? Does there exist any happy medium? Is it even possible to balance control with faith in the virtue of mankind? Partially broken in my stubborn pride, half dead and unfeeling to any other man's supposed devotion, and deterred in all effort to to hand over trust that has seen one too many critical minds, I can say that such precautions would do me some good. 

"Experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." 
-James Madison, Federalist Paper 51

Auxiliary Precautions

"If men were angels"-
This would not be necessary.
But the pages of my sorely blemished past
Never bore the record of such astral marks.
In cases of "men over men"
Certain rights are set to each party-
Trust sketches her finest lines
Between the sunken and the brave-
And for each exists a set of laws-
Checked and balanced.
In order for integrity to preside-
Each quietly commands the other
With kind, temperate hands...
Only before the day that indulgence
Has satisfied it's ravenous hunger-
Until fingers tighten their gentle grip-
Sufficient power hastily handed over 
Seems only fair to the upper.

Still-I must propose an inquiry of 
The most honorable intent:
When is it too much?
How do you give just enough
Without him retrieving a leash worn
Of black and blue-
Releasing his instinctive undertaking-
Punching the system's volition-
Striking the very core
Of a healing heart's beholder?
Must he ever abuse such faith?
Credence has simply become
Hollowed-
Liberty undermined...
This fool's paradise is crippled-
All because somewhere in the dream of 
Creating a "more perfect union",
We forgot auxiliary precautions.

Father Madison knew the pattern-
His agenda wrote one sacred history
Of such a struggling pair-
Each wrestled over the other's head
In the gradual rushing waters of democracy-
Gasping for a voice- 
Both golden and tended. 
"Is it not possible to give to each department
An equal power of self-defense?"
Thus are individual duties assigned-
Separate, but equal.
Or is it enough to fortify 
My own heart's defects-
Left by the savage hand of 
Men- over me?


Sunday, February 3, 2008

a Personal Haunting

***this one is way old, and I've been neglecting it. so here goes nothing***

His purple and black excuses 
I took apart and understood
The weight of his self-regard 
I let shatter every grudge...
Those sultry evenings spent in the park
Wasted on an aching, tempted organ
Valued in a young lover's eyes
Yet so imperfect in memory's script-
I let loose
And dismissed.

The summer was so gracious
To bring me this stump
Of an imaginary orchard...
His juvenile, crafted mind was all it took
To intertwine my willing heart
With fresh layers of deceit.
And ingrown plans of becoming Captain-
Pilot. Politician. Priest.
Replaced my own rosy fantasies
With visions of vassalage.

I can pretend that the Others
All those others trampling days upon weeks
And weeks into eternity
Playing the familiar trend of pretend as well
Broke me down to silent nods among screams
And cordial "no thank-you's" in seas of approval...
But ever has it been his stony mark
Lacking warmth, forgetting mercy
That stays its emerald shade on my beating flesh
Changing colors with the seasons.

His haunting flies closer by-
Rots my engine of a dream with reminders
While the planets dancing overhead
Fulfill their part in prompting
"He could love half-way every time-
Leave you with so much inside, so much 
Still
Burning 
To 
Give.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Green Pill



In one swig I swallowed his words whole-
A solid, green pill...
Manufactured by the boy's indifferent hands
Wearing thin, powdered gloves
Stretched over coarsely configured fingers-
Over all warmth and tenderness
Of a lover's human touch.

He put on the gloves to prescribe doses of
Poison- to creatures with little left to give.
A table's freshly pulled paper ruffled and creased
As I made ready to medicate my soul...
He wore the gloves when congenial love turned ill-
And all other over-the-counter tricks
Were remiss to dissolve.

Animal sketches that bordered the enclosure
Brought so mild a laugh to my throat benumbed-
Their animated eyes watchful with wild intensity 
Through the plastered, paper mache' wires.
Then with no anticipated invitation
Salty drops rolled their way down my neck,
Hardening out of a trusting formation.

I waited for the needle's point to prick away-
Extracting blood that boiled so hotly for his touch,
Puncturing every delicate kiss that weakened
This organ's very conscience.
He whispered under the scope, "Breath slow,
In on one, out on three..."
And I did well in my breathing.

I did well in pretending. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On The Other Side

           'Boy, it is heavy today...what does he put in here? Oh, there's Meredith- better walk straight so that I look like I do this all the time...chin high- yuppers, just like that. Boy, o boy, does she look jealous! I should take up trombone...'

She was fully aware of how ridiculous it looked, still it was just another attempt to earn some short-lived respect. The other children pushed their tiny bodies around her, weaving here and there from the right side of the path. Strings of dark, sticky hair swept over her crystal eyes as she kept her gaze directed at his backpack. Bike season was long past...these colder days brought only the promise of a 3 mile march to the house at the end of Harmony Way. That little house with panelled walls and blue carpeted rooms was always the final, sweet destination. She tried to imagine it as if the scene engulfed her bundled figure on the street lined with dozens of moving sticky heads. She could smell first the thick pomegranite juice saturating lawns of blue, then the welcoming roast simmering over her mama's stove. She could see the shape of a tetherball pole in the back yard through a paw-stained window, the lonely stump there in the corner, the chickens huddled close behind wire mesh walls. All of these things she sensed while her size 5 feet trekked on the paved sidewalk behind her brother.

He was a fifth-grader, and as if that didn't make him king of the school already, he had a clarinet- in a shiny, black case of plastic with a perfectly rounded handle hinged to the top. It was her only hope that at the end of the day she would be permitted to carry this case with the fancy musical object inside. It was not a light load to haul for those 3 miles, but boy did she look cool as she knocked it recklessly against the sides of her Belle princess sweatpants. The other school children watched enviously from across the street, unsure of whether or not they should laugh or join the band themselves. Anyone who was someone was in the school band. Surely all the kids knew that.

This other fifth-grader, a blazing blonde with legs as long as a giraffe, always stole the brother's attention. Okay, so she was pretty... if one was attracted to awkward, freckled zoo animals with high-pitched shrieks that passed as giggles. Whenever she was in eagle's view on that march home, it was useless begging to be the case-carrier. He wanted to show off to the giraffe, so he carried it proudly and walked a minimal of 6 feet ahead of his sticky head sister. And thus is went for the entire school year- always a battle of who needed to look good for someone else, thus earning the privilege of carrying that black clarinet case. 

Of course none of this mattered as soon as the young girl's feet planted their muddy tracks in the front entryway waiting humbly at the end of Harmony Way. From then on the evening consisted of talking to little John hunched over the fence, spying on the next door neighbors while they slurped up their supper noodles, writing pretend road signs in chalk on the long stretch of fence with Emily, and swinging the ol' tetherball back and forth to Chase, that young, energetic mutt whom she loved so much. If either one of her older brothers allowed themselves to play a game of Match or share their legos with her, she felt a refreshing kind of dignity. Older brothers were the definition of cool- that is, when they weren't being stupid. 

Years passed, and that sticky face narrowed into a teenager's new glowing beauty- cautious of the world but eager to take part in every one of it's thrills. Hours upon hours she stood outside her oldest brother's bedroom as he recorded his guitar over his bass, then his voice over the guitar. Such sounds amazed her imagination and left her ears exposed to a new kind of pitch. Meanwhile, the other brother (clarinet boy), banged on his set of used drums. The vibrations went through the floor and walls of a bigger house, on a foreign side of the country. Together their sound was...just like a symphony. A bit rough and unmatched, but still so perfectly in tune to her ever changing scenes. It was her soundtrack to every day during those few years with both of them around. They never knew the impact of their expressive minds, edgy rhythm, and amateur lyrics on a sister listening silently from the other side of the door. 

And she still listens.