A TASTELESS SOUP
Nothing will be found there…
“I am the universe experiencing itself”
Behind the arterial highways
And nerve spaghetti bowls
And compost that looks shapely, pretty,
He and countless on the planet
Search for self.
Now too far
From the playground,
Too grown up to remember
That thing that takes the shape
Of someone called “YOU”
From that hole in space
Where all languages stir in
A tasteless soup.
THE POISON of SUCH PRETTY THINGS
Just yards from shore…
That kind of shallow wading pond
Is what glanced at me.
Never saw the shark shadow
Circle the drain of her pupil.
She gripped that harpoon
How mother’s save falling babies…
Held it level, upright, with no arch.
This was her tropical paradise
Bathed in crayon box colors
Melted on every flower.
She was queen here
And part lava rock, part tsunami.
I can’t swim. And here I feared
A wayward jellyfish all too happy
To touch me.
I have fallen into the volcano.
Skeletons of my likeness
My heart an echo chamber.
I’ll have to get used to
The underbelly of paradise
And the poison
Of such pretty things.
THAT TIME LOVE BENT BACKWARDS
With a roller coaster cork-screw spine
It more than met you halfway,
Arched like the St. Louis iconic monument.
There it was–LOVE–in all its contortionist glory
And all for you.
Fact was, you weren’t ready.
Somehow you were with the catfish, in the murk
Felt worthy, it seems, only of the
Skeletons of things.
Perhaps blind from being tied to
The end still of the last one
Who had cratered your heart.
Left you shell-shocked, still walking zombie-esque
Within the plumes from bombs.
It tried to embrace you face-first, love.
When that didn’t work it became a pretzel
Kind of thing and all for you;
Came calling with a firehouse alarm ruckus–
You didn’t answer or…
Help bend it back upright.
We lived where the
in a horizon of terraces
where among three generations
I steeped in patterns
of twitching lips
and silent looks between eyes
that ricocheted a language fluent
to the women.
I once regarded Rene from 23
cradling her cup and crying,
being helped home by Aunt Agnes
who’d just read her leaves in the
front parlour where heavy drapes
hung and drawn served only
to thicken the odour
of polish and mothballs
There, in the carved sideboard cupboard
I would delight in odds and ends,
learning even then
about the process of finding
and how that which I sought most
would more than often emerge
from the bottom of a difficult pile.
Poco a poco
Following a fallow writing period,
Ideas are now raining down on my head
poco a poco
Like machine gun
In Sectional variations
Monophonic in texture
Pen scribbling with staccato accuracy
Trailing its nib in highfalutin octaves
Hither and thither,
to and fro
and all over the place
With terraced dynamics
Through-composed like ballads
Waltzing around the dance floor of my skull