Monday, November 7, 2016

twice weeping


under burning oak
and tipsy moon, i sat
crying for want of you

---

train to old saybrook
track six and not soon enough
without you, tears freeze


Monday, October 31, 2016

all souls'


to know our dead
is to know the landscape
of our hearts

the scars and jagged places
the straight and plain

it is not wrong for your loved one
to be remembered

not wrong for you to think
on the curve of their cheek
and the back of their fist

and just this once
not wrong
to murmur their name
no sin,

only the sick shiver risk
of them murmuring yours
in return

to name is to know
speak my dead
and i flinch
bone deep

these things are secrets
unknown
unsaid
unheard

and the darkness perpetual
the fear eternal
the stakes,
unbearable

only today
only today
the light of these candles
gold, black, white
pools on the altars:

your heart and mine

and shows these things
in such flickering shadowscape
as to be borne

and in the movement
of darkness
your lips speak my names
mine, yours

and we flicker in and out
of such knowing
as is unspeakable
only fit for God

and yet today
as right and meet
as your skin feels
on mine 

to know our dead
is to know the landscape
of our hearts



Saturday, September 10, 2016

getting there

l'achi achuvi 

the mountains will melt away under him
and the valleys will be broke open
like wax before a candle flame
like waters down the steep canyonside
like my heart confronted by yours

has darkness fallen?
not yet, my own heart

light still pollutes the evening sky
like the taste of a lie in your mouth

has night come? 
not yet my own love

but soon

the word came to me
and i could only speak it
the way it came over me
like a green flower tongue
like true love in deep cups

therefore will i make this place
broke stones in a meadow of solidago
a slope yet unplanted
fallow as my own body
fallow as your heart

wailing and sobbing
barefoot and naked
thus will i go
and we'll call it justice
the way things have gone

but in my iniquity
and in your sin laden despair
still, the word comes to me
and still i can only speak it
close against your ear
close as your heart
close as mine

not tempered in writing
not softened with sweet

darkness comes
darkness falls
and if you can't see
that's the darkness
my own sweet heart
the plunging night
of sunless ashblacked sky

storm swirls
still i speak
cassandra
screaming in the wind

surely a remnant remains
surely these fields
are made for planting

(only take my hand)

this whirlwind 
twists turbulent

(coals burn our feet)

so still




Sunday, August 28, 2016

the blade

do not mistake me,
for that child
that woman

do not see me
as the one who turns away
who runs
who hides.

no.

do not mistake me.

rather know me 
the one who cries out
screams
bleeds
falls, broken
to the loving earth

i am a light in darkness
a wall against the floods
the last battalion
a strong maple

do not mistake me
for one who turns away

when the blade comes
cutting air and sound

do not mistake me
for who will flinch

know rather:
i stand until i fall
and fall where i have stood

Friday, August 19, 2016

lady of perpetual solace


l'achi 

ave maria
those were my first words
lying in the incense cloaked dark
i didn't know you then
but still i whispered to myself
ave maria
and sent up my sighs, 
mourning and weeping
morning and evening
i didn't know what i was saying

on the first day of my life
there was light and there was darkness
the heat and sun mingled in the quad
and the cold stone dimness of heaven
i sat, second row from the back
far corner, and did not understand
didn't see the queen's shining face
amen amen, i murmured, 
and did not understand

you heard me then, 
when i was silent
and later, 
in screams and sobs
your face was perpetual
veiled as moses
compassionate yet staid
like the icon on the altar

you hear and do not speak
my lady of perpetual solace
the deep well of my pain
you drink it down
reflect back stars,
night and day
day and night
and keep your peace
your peace and mine

the angel of the lord 
declared to maryam
and thus spoke maryam
be it done to me
according to your word
and according to your word
it will be done

my lady of perpetual solace
hearing and not speaking
loving and not touching
interceding without ceasing
and wounded for my wounds
ave ave maria

Thursday, August 18, 2016

hungry ghost festival

hungry ghosts.
i imagine
mouths like chasms
breathing in the meat of this world,
not pausing to chew.

my ghost
he has his hungry moments

not today
not hungry ghost festival day

today the sun catches
in the pool blue glass of my goblet
and the heat soars to the cerulean sky

my ghost walks in the garden
shakes his head at the weeds
pauses, 
to stoop or reach 
inspecting a fading rose here
a rabbit chewed leaf there

he is hungry maybe, for the heat
he doesn't seem to feel it,
in his red wool jacket


at night, though,
in the bitter air conditioned room
he slips between the sheets 
hand neither hot or cold against my ink kissed thigh
but heavy, present, 
hungry as he moves across my skin

Thursday, July 7, 2016

amensia 6

the past is gone, like water
run off rocks and dried up in sun
i can no more touch it
than i can the sky

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

heatwave

the brief midsummer downpour
offers fleeting relief
a line from you

a land without rain ii

i crave the rain
like i crave the release of your body

we dig in the anemic brown dust
raped of richness by the endless sun
and it swirls in clouds around me
stinging in my eyes
begging for even one tear

the wind blows, occasionally
brings the sticky scent of moisture
taunting my breath
my body taught with need for it
but no rain comes

and we dig
enough graves for all my lovers

and the dust swirls

how long oh Lord
how long?

a land without rain

the earth is poison here
breaking us even as we break it
from the infected air to the undead trees
this is a fragile age
a glimpse of the beauty that was
and the horror that is to come

in a land without rain
oh Lord have mercy

when the storm comes 
to wash this all away
pray for my children, angels of God

they have tasted death at the dinner table
every day of their small lives
and yet they have the innocence of sparrows
and those too will be felled

here in the last days of a land without rain

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

kyrie

in this land without rain
Lord have mercy
how the grass grows when it's dead
i don't know but
Lord have mercy

on this mind without rest
Lord have mercy
does he feel me reach?
i don't know but
Lord have mercy
 
on this heart without balm
Lord have mercy
how the world turns
i don't know but
Lord have mercy



Friday, June 24, 2016

stones

if then there is to be consolation
let it be this: the wound will never heal
and you will carry this pain
like stones in your pocket
until your dying day.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

the water and the blood

i have been tempted
walked this wilderness
from one horizon to the other
and seen every false god
from canaan to time square

and i have bowed down
in the temples of dead eyed statues
i have prayed to the wind
and kissed the thighs of every
goddess prostitute
until i tasted salt 

i have seen magic men
cast down their staffs
showing me marvels
showing me rivers of blood

i have eaten the meat
of wicked men
and knocked on every tree
in that sacred glade
and i have walked
the soles off my feet

and now, i have walked this whole way
to tell you:

i can taste the difference
in between the water and the blood



a torch towards water


i fell
the darkness came up
and like a torch towards water
i went down

my own end racing airborne
up to catch me 

i screamed
without sound
i'd left my air above

and reached:
caught wood
splinters
slowed my fall
split my skin 

the wood of this tree
in the blood
the blood
in the tree
and there was solid ground

iconoclasm

the dead god hangs in state
his yet cold body 
embalmed in gold
anointed 
by the careful hands
of the women he loved

on the altar, 
candles
flicker
throw up light
and tallow soot
onto to those feet
i kissed a thousand times

look:
the polished precious flesh
a wise god and a cold one
look how he regards you
the glass eyed stare
of perfect death

your prayer your sacrifice
a thousand broken hearts 
the blood that gives this idol
life

but look:
how corpses go
decompose 
the gold on wood
that splits with rot
until the dead heart
breaks its cavity
and from the fertile earth
a blood red tree


call to pray

this is the city on the hill
the city of temptation
the seven gated torment

the city is a beacon and a light
the gold glints on the domes
the towers
the seven gates

this is the blind child
in a harlot's cape

the streets of the city are crowded
mazes on the hill
for your life you can buy eternity
a purse without a bottom
the heart of a virgin
the book of joy

and the men in the market
jostle her one way and another
she tastes bruised fruit
and hears the bells that call to pray

the first gate is love
second, hope
third, safety
fourth, piety
fifth, self
six, compassion
seventh, life

what will you give
for hope?

look, the guards at the gate say
look
piety shines in their hands
they do not see her blindness

what will you give to see?

she is bruised like the fruit
she tastes the dust in the street
and hears the bells
that call to pray



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

blue pool

this is not the new country
not the lands of waking

here every inhaled breath
of chemical pollen air
sends my head spinning
to visions, to song

every drop of blood
a sacrifice
worth its shine in rubies
either from bird bite or saw blade

the wind presses veiled worlds together
close as the curled petals
of magenta yellow fancy tulips
look sideways

see the past, the future
old loves new

the blackbird here never touched the sun
and if she touches him
he shines a rainbow of blue pool

he drinks from the pond
gives to me one omen
before flying east to find
new news

here the ground is raw
bleeding old things
when broken open with a spade

in the garden, i peel off my
sweat stuck skin
and mixing red dirt with rain
apply an ointment
to the broken bits of soul

by dusk the air is thick
with black bugs and spirits
the clay has dried and flaked
left my soul scarred silver

i shiver
pull the falling dark around me
and lay down with dead men

through the grape vines
the stars spin madly overhead
moving across
the seventeen sided heavens

yesterday's corpses keep me close
warding off the dew chill

Sunday, May 1, 2016

bodies

bodies betray
there was a hole in my head
a gape
where once a wisdom tooth
rotted to soft brown powder
'that's right sweetheart'
the oral surgeon said
'nice and easy.
won't even hurt'

so there was a hole
in my head
where something was
and then was not

that was last week,
the week before.
now i run my tongue
along smooth pink gum
no pain, no ache
just wholeness

as though nothing was lost

bodies betray
healing resiliently, they lie
scars fade
muscles strengthen
until facing the light
they say
'we are whole
untouched
uncorrupted'

bodies betray 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

vampire skylight

vampire skylight
midnight rain
through the ceiling's
blue gauze moon gate
city cloud cover orange
turned smoke pollution grey
the hush of falling water
no traffic

Thursday, April 21, 2016

sazerac ii

when the light is gone
leaving me only embers
and ash
and the high is gone
i cannot name the colour
of this sunless sky
only say
eternity is bleak
ever present
utterly ordained

sazerac

vampire past twilight
he drags on the dying embers
rotten cherry cigarette
and looks at the full moon
how it reflects death back at him
relishes this moment of mortality
this last glimpse of sun
in the fading blue of nightening sky
as brief and true as the absinthe rinse
on yesterdays sazerac

what is longed for
cannot be realised
what is lived
never dreamed


late april haiku

while cherry blossoms rot and fall
i think of you
my cho fu sa love


Saturday, March 26, 2016

the clocks broke

Holy Saturday

my son is chopping carrots
because in the depths of
crazy interfaith cross border
witchy lesbian hippie lands
slow cooked root vegetables
scream FESTAL more than
roast lamb

"i'm pretending Jesus isn't dead,"
a friend says
"i can't handle it. liturgically or actually."

my roman catholic property manager
along with his son
are out back
i watch him limping
slow across the gravel
as step by agonising step
he spring cleans in the yard

the sky is grey and uniform
inside, it's too cold to be warm
too warm to do anything about it

my kids are going to protest
the paving of their favourite beach
my sister hopes there will be bulldozers
she wants to chain herself to something

time is not moving
they didn't mention it in John but
when He breathed His last
the clocks broke

i've been sitting here,
kitchen table
cup of lukewarm tea
forever
literally, forever

time is not moving.
how can it,
under the circumstances?

the breaker of chains
will free the hands of the clock
until then,
i will be sitting here 



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

venn diagram on desire (Holy Tuesday)


this is the bed:
burgundy sheets,
burnt orange pillows
heavy smoke
patchouli and cedar
and warmth



my hands
clench
silk on skin
skin on skin



and i shake



press fingertips, here
arch back like so



lust comes in cliches
needs and waves
burning like so



the ache
and yearn



sighs on whimpers

this is the corner:
the cold floor
the small spot
between the wall
the sofa
the coffee table



my hands
clench
comfort in the fistful
of my own shirt



and i shake



press my face to the cold
flat surface of the wall



comfort seems in small things
the physical
fending off hard



the ache of my chest
the pit in my stomach



tears and tears




Monday, March 21, 2016

Megale Deutera

look, love
your hand
slick with blood,
with mud and sweat

here we are,
the both of us together
deep in the hellish dark
fell voices swirl around us
in a stone sharp wind
and the cold is bone deep

but take my hand love
grip hard
find the traction of skin,
under the slime

and cleave to me
my love

for step by treacherous step
up the slipping stairs
wet with their blood rain
we will go

my hand in yours
yours in mine
and us in the dark

so we will ascend
bound together
by the strength of hands
the strength of hearts
the fear
of endless dark

step by
impossible step
we will ascend
until we see the light
above

together in a pale dusk
heralding
the near dawn

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

it is early for rejoicing
2:41 in the morning
and the darkest hour
is always before dawn

outside my window
night moves
so fast as to be still
darkness carrying darkness

Palm Sunday
1:35 am 
i lay on the floor
the breath crushed out of me
i screamed

the agony was being alone
as though in a garden
but the end,
whatever end
was no where in sight

i swore once,
as lovers do
(i'll love you forever
only you
i'll never desert you)
and meant it
in my heart

imagine a man
kissing his beloved
and saying:
i love you forever
i'll never betray you

he meant that, too

we pile up broken promises
broken hearts
broken minds
a land fill trash heap tomb
and we are buried

darkness on darkness
on darkness

we cannot imagine day,
much less see it lighten in the east

but yet
Palm Sunday
1:53 am

i shave my head
dishonourably discharged
little gay sister of a buzz cut
and the hair floats down
like dust and pollen
on everything

number the grains of sand,
or the stars
and that's half the promises
i broke
half that you broke

we are a broken covenant people

but at 2:48 am
Palm Sunday
seven days
endless unknown hours
stretch
expand
contract

into one promise:
unbreakable
one tomb:
desolate
one dawn
invisible in the east
at 2:50 am
and yet so seen 


Thursday, February 11, 2016

veridical paradox

a/n: thank you to S for the title


this is a slavery of joy, my child
not a slavery of tears

a bondage of rejoicing
and not of weeping

my child, my darling, my love
that which i made
soul of my own soul

for i intended you to dance,

be it barefoot on the broken bones
until your feet bleed

can you breathe?
if not,
see visions.

can you see?
if not,
dream dreams.

my love is for the unbounding of rivers
the breaking of dams
the unleashing of waters and floods

my love is for giving, and taking
for the making free
and for the binding