poems

 

On a Poem

I matchmake my meaning. 

Words coalesce and

test their phrases, 

taste pronunciation,

bite their tongue on slanted rhymes—

Blood dyes my meaning. 

 

Note their mingling, my words—

curious, ambiguous.

 

Clasping over em-dashes, 

forging a single expression. 

Dissusable semantics. 

A construction unique to their form. 

 

Their verse question until written 

declarative,

intangible until printed—

and even. 

Scribbles threaten longevity,

page tears corrupt sense 

of being, 

fragile art. 

 

Thrive in your drafts, 

jotted existence.

Find meaning in your deletion

if you don’t make it past 

 

this rough couplet

this rushed conclusion. 

On Wearing Glasses

Outside these ridges, there is blur. 

 

Wisped irresolution, unfocused wonderings—

Prints of unknown things

fuse in my periphery, 

rim my sight with inquiries, 

a halo of curious colors

a glance from distinction. 

 

Remain sideways from foresight. 

Encircle me in cloudy palettes, 

questions and catechisms. 

 

Let me daydream in fog, 

eye roll from focus—

a prescribed perspective—

and muse in my blindness, 

the mud crusting my eyes. 

 

This blur, a visceral framework. 

A constellation—I sketch in obscurity. 

Form shapes from the smears,

on canvas of cloud tufts. 

 

My lens, a crutch. 

Prosthetic. It bends beneath 

the weight of my imaginings. 

On the Armless Statue on my Living Room Counter

She leans, 

hip juts in clay skirts, 

a cloth cast, wrapped. Glazed domestication. 

 

Her waist pinched in naked air, 

goosebumps smoothed by artist hands 

and oven heat.

Hair pleated. Braided permanence. 

 

And her eyes cast down, 

and she always remembers her 

Missing. 

 

Phantom elbows bend,

shadow fingers mingle at the torso. 

Raise lilies for her motion, in memory. 

 

Her reminiscing, an apparition. 

Her imaginings, a coy thing. 

Envision what was, 

her fantasies. Haunt her. 

 

Stone dreams 

of fingers twitching, 

arthritic pain, 

palms pricked by lily stems

and sharp leaves, gripping.

On Faces and Frames

His nose blurs 

from this side of the pane. 

 

Fingertip smudges blot fine lines, 

swipe detail sideways, 

sweep across oval beige

that begs my eyes for clarity. 

 

On seeing an emblem—

an unconceived sketch. 

Nameless by distance

and fingertip prints, 

by steps, uncounted, from car door

to coffee shop. This pane, a film.

 

I fill his face with my stories.

A name into his nose’s bridge,

a wife across his bottom lip, 

purpose in his jagged jawline—

his blur, a wanting canvas. 

 

Framed, made real. 

This pane, a gallery. 

Blur eclipses behind a car door, closing. 

Stories rev with his engine.

 

Leave me to witness 

a streetside exhibit, 

anonymous things. 

On The Leaves Outside My Window

Yellow carpet foliage. 

Papyrus trills matted with rainfall, 

pressed by stepping sneaker soles

and ironed by baby carriage wheels. 

 

Ruffles lift with the wind, 

catch its rush under loose edges, 

bend to wistful provocations of flight. 

 

But these leaves hold their ground. 

Steadfast, stubborn like concrete. 

Mark their sidewalk space 

and weave Autumn rugs 

from curbside to doorframe. 

 

Here, a blanket to catch our footfalls. 

Frail threads pile to cushion our heels, 

cradle the weight of our hurry

as we grind our boots into its permanence—

Its life, a temporary thing. 

 

A welcome matt for cooler days. 

These leaves invite our stepping

until winter crawls too close

to warrant welcome strolls. 

An Ode To Instability

Here’s to unstable grounds—

When the soil slopes sideways, 

sudden shifts, tectonic shock

from still terrain—

Your toes dig for traction 

but shaky Earth is numb

to balance in your feet. 

 

Here’s to this shaky Earth—

To quivers from its rocky core, 

to quakes that question your kneecaps, 

to ruptures that threaten your spine straight. 

 

Shockwaves emanate 

bristles up your back, 

call veteran hairs

across your arms. 

Imprint the Earth’s sideways into your normal. 

 

Here’s to the caves and the crevises, 

the potholes and the mudslides. 

Here’s to facing the unforeseen slopes, 

to scaling the motion 

from one peak down 

to new unstable ground. 

 

Stillness is in moments.

Let these fields condition your feet

to ride eruptions

up 

your next moment’s peak. 

9/24

/2019

Kitchen mornings lulled into overcast. 

Gaping windows welcome Autumn—come. 

Sit stoolside, crisping leaves. Wet your lips

and sip the silence of a sleeping home. 

 

Find solace beside last night’s dishes, still

caked with lemon crumble, crusting. Rest for work. 

Motion will come. Rest now. 

Crisp in our quiet—

 

A young boy rustles sheets upstairs, dreaming

pancake batter, firewood, crunching leaves.

Westwood

A town, turning. 

Recycled corners flip to busy streets,

frame shiny cars queued before red lights, 

tastebuds dry for Friday-night cuisine,

a paycheck celebration—

and another door, cardboarded

 

For Rent.

Local windows watch, hollowed.

Make room for more elite. 

 

Highbrows excavate 

cornrows of worn books—

convenience stores, gifted from father to son—

a shoemaker’s countertop, dusted—

he lived upstairs, once.

 

Windows see and have seen, 

polished for the turning. 

Scrubbed of local fingerprints

that pressed from the inside. 

A generation’s farewell.

 

Visitors peer in, anxious waiting.

What will lift these gleaming floors?

In Waiting

Widen, palm. Stay 

stretched until you trap 

the fruits of your searching. 

 

Widen, palm. Blossom 

until resolve drifts towards your buds, 

burrows between arabesque petals, 

swallows your worry. 

 

Widen, palm. Grasp 

the blessing of your stretch. 

Let winds massage your spine—

Let roots grow taut in vacant soil—

sway to passing leaves

and map their route upon your base—

 

August heat threatens longevity

but gardener gloves nurture your interim.

A moth slips by, rests on nearby petals. 

Skies dim—a cricket sings its evening prayer.

 

To The Leaf Against My Window

You, coasted towards my dusty Skylight—

papyrus thin, lonely gusts weigh you down. 

Tapered edges quiver in evening breeze—

wind resistance filed you. Jagged curves. 

 

Amber overtakes your emerald shine

far from your origin branch. It reached up.

Vibrant clusters, jade in bushels flourish

and you glistened, once. How long did you dream? 

 

Did you ache for this, this empty dwelling? 

Skylight dims—glisten, your yellowing hues. 

 

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