This is an unabridged collection of my poetry, starting in January 2002. The newer stuff is at the front because it’s better. I think some of it is really good; some of it is less so, but it’s still me, and it served a purpose at the time; for that, I honor it. It really is the map of my journey, my road trip through life.
Every bit of love and joy leaves the check on our table, to be paid for in large bills and change, a currency of grief.
A lifetime of revolving debt.
Every moment of helplessness is balanced by a scene in which we reluctantly play god, all the while wishing we could go back to being the understudy.
The entire play is off book.
Pity this sensitive human heart, so easily moved, feeling first love and last goodbye with equal intensity. How could something this fragile be made for everyday use?
I don’t recall agreeing to this.
Are we to be spared nothing, then? Is it absolutely imperative we feel it all, in all its exquisite sharpness; in all its aching stillness; in all its baffling contradiction; in all its unanswered and unanswerable questions; and feel grateful?
This is how it is, he said, with a smile that held no joy, and only the conviction of one sentenced to life.
I was certain once, too, said the woman with the hundred-year-old eyes Certainty the folly the fallacy of those who don’t know that they don’t know. I was one such.
Is there no room for uncertainty in this world? No place for wonder? No patience for mystery? No home for possibility? Isn’t it possible that for just a moment, you could see the stars between the stars where there was only darkness before, and be heartened in the night?
Is a life lived with no margin for error a death lived in a room where sunshine and fresh air are the least of what is not admitted? It is dust we speak of most often as settled.
And if you can open to the chaos the same way you thrill to the summer storm that violently shakes you awake in your sleepy warm middle-of-the-night bed, what then? How vast, then, is the universe existing in the space between your hand and mine as we walk down this road? And how pitiable the one who has never felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up?
Seems to me ‘tis a fine line between strength and habit; they may be easily confused by the outside observer is the ocean mighty, making boulders into sand? or merely persistent, unable to do other than what it does what it has always done?
If you asked it “How do you manage it?” would it disavow any knowledge and continue its rise and fall and continue through fall and winter and continue breathing with the moon; can there be strength without choice?
In spite my heart continues to beat my lungs continue to breathe my eyes continue to open each morning my world continues to turn in spite of what happened, or perhaps in spite of me
Every time I move I hear the tinkle of broken glass shards slide and grate past each other my heart a more fragile gift than I knew I’d offered shaken and dropped
Every time I breathe I hear the exhale of broken dreams
I create myths instinctively for the same reason all myths are created: to calm a desperate human mind that cannot understand how why and the cold curtness of “why not?” in reply, or worse:
silence so much silence
The stories I tell myself:
there is a certain and unknown number of tears I must shed, and when I’ve cried them all, a scabby, scarred heart and maybe peace will be mine
if I could just…if I could just…if I could just… then I’d be able to close the door I know has warped in this seemingly endless rain, to remain forever ajar, letting the weather in
if I touched the things you touched, I would feel closer to you I would feel less lost I would feel less loss and yet your fingerprints are all over my skin and the memory of their placement only makes me ache
I wander the shores of your distant sea, a latter-day Demosthenes a has-been oracle the pebbles in my mouth the words themselves, dry and tasteless, as I shout against unyielding storm, its voice mightier than my own now hoarse; you will not hear my whisper in the gale, lost in the noise of men, no antidote to the poison, then, the quiet murmur of the tide, steadfast and patient as time waiting waiting; Time is not a father; it is a mother, a womb, bleeding only when empty. I am Penelope, always undoing always undone I weave an epic without fail, with threads destined to unravel in your absence, waiting to see your sail, even in tattered ribbons, humming my work song, wishing I’d been born with the Siren’s lungs.
This language is mine Silky lover willing slave The only one that has ever done exactly what I ask it to command it to the crucible of creation exists between my lips and fingertips If I say I lack the words to tell you to tell you I’m a liar. It’s just if I let them out they might overwhelm not sate they might devastate you may not ever be the same or I may not and I cannot know whether that’s to the good, evil being so relative when hearts speak, and understanding so tardy.
Neil and I, we’ve both been looking for a heart of gold, a heart that’s bold enough to pump red-hot and fearless, as a child’s to live and love with unalloyed abandon; a heart that loves the one that carries it enough that it can love another untarnished; a heart that shines brightly, even at midnight, and flickers only in its own fire, not in doubt’s passing shade.
that it is the oldest bricks that last that hold you up for better and worse the perfect perpendicular and those chipped, tripping you unexpected ly and those worn from pacing the same path too many times the heat of anger of shame of passion of passing close to the sun time and again hardening what was muddy what was a mess into our edifice of soul.
It is easy to forget that we are divine
and our foundation is light no matter the ramadas we build to shelter ourselves from it no matter the armadas we marshal to protect it from the world and ourselves no matter the doors closed on it with a jarring slam meant to force forgetfulness; the fact remains that beneath darkness imposed, we shine, and it is in the darkest night that stars are brightest.