November 10, 2014

Maxim #20

Oh lucid, tangible dream … until last night, I’d forgotten what it was like to fly.  —  Literophanes

July 27, 2014

Drought and Jung

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

~

disorder

in dry soil

if only a parable

fixed in four days

 ~

but over time

drought affronts me

screaming like wanton child

yelling for me to listen

 ~

the more I hear

the deeper I dig

into the red soil of my psyche

to hide

 ~

but I fail to hide in dust

it only accentuates

my malnourished form

my imbalance

 ~

so I can only climb

to the highest point

of my consciousness

and force my young self to listen

 ~

listen

to the wind

to the silence

to the wisdom of droughts

 ~

of age telling me

to seek order in the present

and of rain that returns

only when I’m ready

 ~

 ~

About the Poem: In 1914, Carl Jung began his entries in what would become Primus Novus: The Red Book – cited as one of the most important contributions to the study of psychology. This poem pays a simple homage to the 100-year anniversary of the inception of Jung’s introspective journal.

~

 

July 25, 2014

On My Birthday

On My Birthday

~

we meet again each summer

always under the hottest sun

 ~

each reencounter brings reminders:

smells of chocolate frosting from a cake on a picnic table,

squishy balloons filled with water,

colored plates and napkins where bees hovered

playing in the center of the universe for a day

when the sun shone highest

 ~

and each thereafter incrementally less bright

though a little more centered

 ~

each celebration now flutters in a late afternoon breeze

a breeze that relieves me from a humid youth

under lengthening shadows

it resuscitates the flame of a lone candle

reflecting not the passing years

but the next one anew

~

June 22, 2014

Graffiti Me

 

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

 ~

in heightened instants

like the realization that the earth is moving

I see words

~

not in my head

but in the air

on the ground

~

whereas words emit images for most

images emit words for me

a sort of moving graffiti

~

busy floats around an impatient driver

linear abuts a business building

lonely whirs past a BMW on the freeway

~

summer attaches itself to leaves of a eucalyptus

caution drops from birds perched on light posts

momentary sits atop my breakfast

~

though I saw words for as long as I can remember

I thought others could read the air like me

but no one else could see what I could

~

there were words I didn’t know at the time

like commitment – there it hovered on a park bench

I thought others saw it too, but they couldn’t

~

reading in school was laborious at best

twice the words jumped from pages

and no one who asked understood my meaning

~

now most are logical associations

but there are other relationships that some would find strange

opaquely paired words and things

~

mandamus with books of good fiction

butterscotch with playgrounds

pareidolia with churches

~

I only see them at the right time

like fireflies, they flash but then are gone

only alive in synesthesia

~

yet when I recall those objects and places and times

the words are absent from my memory

leaving only an afterglow

~

though I escape the graffiti in my mind’s tunnels and shadows

I look in a mirror and words are everywhere

and I am always graffiti

~

May 18, 2014

Maxim #19

Never drink from a fountain at a dog park.  –   Literophanes

March 30, 2014

Once Home

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

 

~
returning to a vaguely familiar place
the smell of time resides in still air
though walls appear unmoved
the irregular space within is much smaller now
~
each room lodged between two times
then and now; chipped layers of paint overlapping
revealing more than memories
within shifting walls
~
cupboards
window panes
floors and doors
all worn as I touch the past
~
my hand over an invisible chair
seeing a lamp not there
hearing the creak just above the living room
illusory substitutes for reality
~
the vent in the floor
intake for dust of the past
keeps its stores in solitude
until the dead of eternal winter
~
I depart again knowing no satisfaction
what was once home is only a shell
of lives no longer there
my once resolute faith now lingers in the intake
~
more than the absence of then is now
the sense of a fleeting touch
of when
and of my somewhere
~

March 9, 2014

spring; transitioning conscious;

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

~

days and rain; contemplating mild;

grasses underneath; decomposing brown;

sentiments in curbside streams; carrying discarded salty;

footsteps on pavement; seeing all uncovered;

tree buds; pushing optimistic;

geese overhead; bringing northern;

new ideas; promising days of longer;

fragments together; blending syntactical;

thought; thawing emerging;

~

March 2, 2014

The Parade Thief

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

 

~

booms and sirens

calling a sleepy town to rise

the children are already awake

everyone else doesn’t mind the alarm

~

the parade is today

the sun rises brighter

the wind blows lighter, warmer

because summer stops to rest

~

the boy moves with an excitement

his parents wish he had for school

peeking through the screen door at other kids

popping with guns and snaps and caps

~

he fears he’ll miss the parade

having to wait for everyone else

but rather than upset the morning plan

he paces quietly on the porch steps

~

watching the oblivious

a cautious squirrel ascending a tree trunk

a robin bobbing in the grass

a busy anthill on a sidewalk crack

~

after breakfast his father moves in the garage

his worried mother prepares her tote

bikes, sandwiches, blankets, ready

for the pilgrimage

~

the boy listens for the go

among early blow horns

early firecrackers

early hissing of sparklers

~

children, parents, grandparents

they fill the sidewalks

cars funnel down to the lakefront

no one rushes today except the children

~

fathers and mothers reminisce

they’ve safely been there before

staking out a good curbside view

of recycled images of youth

~

grandparents settle into lawn chairs

they too have been there before

many times more

having lost count of their good fortunes

~

as the fire engines approach

the boy imagines his future

mother and father observe their present

grandparents preserve their past

~

as the parade thief displays its subjects:

marching band, drill team, rotary float,

politician, veteran, sauerkraut queen,

it seduces the boy

~

when the ritual is complete

and the tide reverses into remembrances

in the streets along the lakefront

mothers search for lost children

~

while the parade thief steals the boy away

through summer

through the seasons

and beyond boyhood

~

February 23, 2014

fictional self

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

~

self-preservation is a memory game

~

it is neither enough to remain content

nor to assuage change

survival requires action

supported by past experience

~

i reassess my past

so my memories impart change

~

i can’t capture the past

as it really happened

destabilized

it can only be contextualized

with new meaning and new intent

~

i recall memories

not as they were

but as i think they were

in relation to a present purpose

~

and in a present context

memory is held within a bias

of continuous knowledge

~

so the same memory

a thousand days ago and now

yields two different results

tinted by experience

~

the present is a continual re-contextualization

of every past action

~

the unstable nature of my memory

turns every passing moment fictional

~

it isn’t enough to acknowledge my fictional self

~

the art of survival

is to exploit it

~

February 16, 2014

conversation with the foghorn

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

~

just before sleep I hear the sound

of a foghorn in the distance

at a mid-octave pitch to mimic a mother’s song

the tone echoes in blue fog and winter ice

searching for a captive listener off-shore

~

I dream the cold night air

where I see myself under a streetlight

where my breath carries into the vapors

until the foghorn catches it

and I breathe again into the damp air

~

a sound

a breath

a sound

a breath

a kindred back-and-forth

~

our conversation continues

enrapt in a thick fog of voices that lifts only at daybreak

when words reverberate into the waking distance

until clear skies render my breath transparent

and sunrise forces the foghorn into silence

~

~

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