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798 · Mar 2018
Tranquility's Instruction
My father died in his sleep.
My heart filled with gratitude,
and I touched the ashes of
his remains without hesitation.

I walked close to her - the curvy,
tanned girl who raised her naked
leg. I walked closer to her, claiming
the comfort of our naked kisses.

I have done these things, brave,
only to extent that I was reassured
by the anonymity of loves conflagration.
You have done these things as well,

and so we are instructed-

      If your going to stand,
            stand tall, and light.
      If your going to fall,
            fall heavy.
      If your going to pray,
            call to heaven
            with all your body,
            all your beauty,
            all your sorrow,

      and know.
No allusions to talking sticks,
or metaphors of a chrome plated god,
because it's only life.

I can make use of a woman
with supple ankles stepping off the bus
kindling my hips and heart,

(but you've heard that one before,)
and, it's only life, so this might
just read like an instruction manual,

or both halves of a confessional,
but there will be no use made
of dancing dogs or moonlight

in battle, because it's only life,
and I have never really known
what it is I want to say to you.

It’s something like, "I love you,"
but asides from just being
very frightening to say,

I also think, it's more.
If it's only life, it's also
only death,

and what can be said that penetrates
death. What can be said
that won't collapse like engine failure

in the span between you and I,
if I try to say an "I love you"
that's truer than death.
It's like trying
to see lightning.
I sat long enough
this Tuesday twilight,
brave enough watching
the twilight sky,
brave enough to forgoe
a glance to the right
to make sure a racoon
hadn't stumbled upon me,
and it and I, startled,
would scrap, resulting
with my hand bitten -
embarrassing cowardice.

Brave enough I watched
and the lightning climbed
a height! It etched itself
round the top of the thunderhead
that towered above and above
other domes that I assumed were the height,
but higher even, the lightning climbed,
and I wondered if it knew I watched,
cause it took its time- not a blink,
but a scrawl up the round height of the dome
at a height that I dared not know existed.

Could not be more unremarkable, me,
on the stoop, on a Tuesday twilight,
but the height, and the height,
and the lightning will be there, good-
good as my mother's skin under
her thin, summer top, good as the
first girl fervent enough to undress
with me, good as my wife inviting
me to come through all the boredom
and distress, good as the end,
when I'll know the lightning
sees me, cause I'll see the lightning.
492 · Feb 2018
It Will Be the Conversation
I hope death is a woman - a big, beautiful, black woman, who will instruct me on the ways of the crossing-

            “Before the union,
              is the mingling
              of your suffering and joy
              shuffled with your then and now
              most true in the ways you were
              never right or wrong,
              only anxious in your loving
              better.”

And I will defend myself with my wisest words –

“Amazing!
  Though I’d never practiced,
  I knew to kiss you right there.”

and-

“There is so much terror in this life,
  prayer is bound to be effective.”

and-

“Don’t make it small. Make it round
  and sweet, like all good fruits.”

and-

“Even the most sincere privilege,
  a poet’s fame,
          will not save me from death.”


I believe she will smile, touch her finger to my forehead, and permit my disappearance, into that wet, wet love that holds your longing as you undress.
So honestly, my true intention
is to live this life better than you.
        Petty, I know.

But just so tempting to declare
that I can come to my end,
somehow elevated with an esteem
that will grab the gods' attention.

Perhaps, they will applaud,
and grant me a life saving boon.
In my excellence, I will request
an honorarium for my sacred duty-

To leave this world with all of you
brimming in the knowledge
that it does not mater how well
you live your life.

Because you'll know that the love-
my love, your love, the forever love-
is more compliant than desire,
and more abundant than the wind.

Step outside, for you might leap
into eternity from there.
Gaze to the right
and be comforted and fearless.

Know that I am beyond,
and armed with my gratitude
for our imperfect loving, I have been able
to discipline doomsday.

          It looked away so sheepishly,
          so aware of its inability to build
          an alter higher than the tears shed,
          the cries of joy,
                    on the day you were born.
(So sorry for the edits. Funny how you can obsess over a piece for an afternoon, and still miss a “the”.)

Title lifted from the 2nd Teaching, 40th verse of the Bhagavad-Gita, trans. Barbara Stoler Miller: "No effort in this world, is lost or wasted; a fragment of sacred duty saves you from great fear."
I asked my son, “why are you crying.”
“I am finally in love,” he said.
And I knew it hurt, that forever
awkward landing, just to rise,
      so as to breathlessly fall eternal.

No longer in love with me, for
that must pass, but with the body
of his future, novel and bright
as the reveille of himself.

I am not strong. I turned away
as my limbs quaked, poisoned by that
curious concoction all parents
must drink if we wish to free

the future from our briny net.
One part pride, one part fear,
finished with a spit of envy,
guzzled down with rueful surrender,
      no longer the center of the fire’s dance.
434 · Jan 2018
Strikes
The yellow sickle moon
is hay in the barn, the way
that youth is exuberant
and death is wise.
The dogwood is a tree
full of butterflies -
so life strikes,
then death strikes.
In the calendar of life, fall
just a handful of holidays
perfect for the making of love.
I will leave this world confident,
even well before death,
if I am convinced you know
how much I love you,

just as I was convinced
by my Mother's bright smile
through the ravages of her cancer.
I was normal
until the story of love
thoroughly confused me.

So now I have to chose
from a selection of hopes-
none of them attractive.

I can let the dogs dissect
my limbs, so my new body
can heal you all,

but then my weariness
will not be curable
even by eternal sleep.

If nothing else, I've learned this.

          The only words to fear
          are the deathless words.
          Keep them out of touch,

          but not out of sight
          as the gazelles glance and
          bounce round the lion.
335 · Feb 2019
Serious Replies Only
Oh yes, I nearly forgot to mention.
I do enjoy many orgiastic revelries
in my solitude, well, at least during
those certain moments of me
beyond myself.

If you'd like to join in
please forward a note of interest.
Included should be instructions
on how to best help you
transform your pain into wisdom,
how best to get you
to mingle your pleasure
with anonymity,
what we should tell your loved ones
if you happen to wander away
angry, saintly, or full of prophecy,
and a detailed description
of your vision of the beast's fiery mane.
You remember- that time when the god inclined
and presented itself, god to human.
I am such a failure,
and I am echoing
the most refreshing
laughter during this recounting,
because while I wither,
I dumbly take
an interest in the gods.

They are right over there
just sort of swaying in the
magnolia blooms' creamy flow.
I believe their dance deciphers love,
but as agreed, I am too dumb
to understand. I only hope
that the new born's smile

upon my face, will beckon the rejoicing
of your tomorrows soon to come.
326 · Jan 2018
I am dying
My redemptive acts float
above recognition.
They are rooted in desire,
and need, and love.
They are impossible to eulogize
because they are as common as
shrugs or affirmations
delivered by my timid eyes.

You all know these acts.
You have no life without them.
A baby knows them soon as he, or she,
grabs teddy, and bites
his soft brown nose.
They are nothing moments.
They are valueless commodities
disregarded on the markets
of pride and sentiment.
They give no lessons.
They're just dumb and true
and they fear the advance of death
no more than boulders fear
the waters of a lake.

During a good long life you get
about a thousand or so such moments.
In one of those brief, tragic lives
you get maybe a hundred,
maybe even less. But of course,
tabulating them near or at the end
is about as smart and useful
as shoveling that lake.

They tell me that I am,
just like you, the way a grackle
is just like a grackle, or a lion cub
is just like all other lion cubs.
They tell me, that yes, life is pretty cool,
and that I will miss it,
and I will miss you.
...and, I'm not really dying in the typical sense, but in the poetic sense- who's to say.
325 · Mar 2018
Love's Important Numbers
I embraced my lover,
and noticed she was dying,
not now, but always dying.
So I spanked her with magic numbers-
      seven, and nine, and forty,
and my clothes fell from me,
and my body fell from me,
and she was fearless as heaven,
and this was love.
308 · Jan 2018
Forgiven
The moon never suffers
as the savior did suffer.
However, the moon is so swollen with love,
we are assured of our survival.

Go ahead, sleep many hours
and have lucid dreams.
If you want to know who you are,
indulge a whole season of character flaws,
and wander aimlessly mimicking prayer.

I heal.
I say it the same
to all- "No!”

No one knows what I am talking about,
but everyone knows I am right.
Your body is a fire
wrapped in flesh,
and the big lie
tells you -
"fear yourself."
296 · Feb 2018
How Passionate The Gods Are
I am begging for mercy.
There is no voice
for this body lost.
I abandoned beautiful things
before they could abandon me.
Now, full of poison,
I look upon our youngest relics,
and how their naïve sway
dictates the commerce of the streets,
and I weep, unsure if they or I am lost.

I am begging for mercy.
By your grace, I rediscover
the nails hammered
into my jaw and forehead.
Perhaps you never extracted them
despite my years of folly.
I know you are near.
Like a good lover, you counsel
more sincere than any Wise Man.

         Do not be intimidated by beauty.
         There are no kingdoms,
         no pleasures-  only time.
         "Reality is the coincidence
         of *** and death."
         Embrace our anonymous love
         and release the healing passions
         more ****** than a begging bowl.
The "reality is the coincidence of *** death," line is not mine. I think it's from one of the later Hindu texts, but can't recall which. Just want to get some sort of citation out there.
293 · Aug 2018
Confused by Love's Manners
I permit myself a ****** season,
so nothing corresponds with me-
Minaret, moon and wall are
all too sophisticated to stoop so low.
But, the very dumb sands
of the desert quiver and hiss
towards my soul
and drive my hips
away from discretion
and out towards
the thrilling oblivion
of you and me
shameless and beyond.
291 · Feb 2018
I am only brave with you
The people approach with their codified fears,
the ones written for the protection of securities
that flinch and flee in the face of loving and dying,

and they successfully convince me to not dare
have that thought beyond the thought, and not move
my limbs through postures choreographed by passions

stoked far beyond our minds, and not approach you
with a daring beyond my timid heart to give you
a reckless slap on the shoulder and pinch on the thigh.

Don't do these things, for beyond is only the sparks
dancing above the fire, burning out quickly on the wind,
and that's no fortune you can retain to prop up your children
wading among the fear of the people.
My first verse written with Hello Poetry in mind, as it's readers might actually relate, and that's really a big comfort to me.
287 · Feb 2018
What the First Poem Said
So how can it be that my life
has not become a sweltering series
of orgiastic celebration?

I mean, I know from the recording
of my original passion that I've been
baptized in the obligation of surrender-

          "come to me woman and tell me
           are you of the sun or the moon
           come to me man and tell me
           are you of the land or the sea
           cause I love you dearly
           and I must know"

And yet, here I am still burdened
by the routines and the fears
for my children's fortunes.

I'm grateful and all, no doubt,
but I still refuse to hear death's call
until you and I perform our
          scandalous, sacrificial acts

that will force death to approach
with at least a little more candor,
at least pretending to be my friend.
Just some thoughts on find the first few lines I ever wrote, there in the middle, that I ever thought - "hey, this is a poem."
The scent of orchid is so confident tonight.
Swathed in it, we nearly collapse.
The half moon tries to reassure us.
It tips our love onto its brighter side.

Pleasure comes in rude little waves
and steals composure off our shy faces.
Cresting at the *******
your brown ******* slip from yourself
and into my mouth.
The insights hit like bolts,
but fade like the tide.

Do revelations have patience,
because already I have forgotten
the reciting of our scripture.
Even if you and I collect
a million rain drops tonight,
we still won't have the rain.

Still, let's do nothing different
except let out shadows
walk away together
and let the moisture
clean our flesh without hesitation.
Then we'll let it burn.
        Let the tall grasses burn,
        and our wet desires burn,
        and our bodies burn,
        and all our prayers burn.
264 · Feb 2018
I Am Weaker Than My Voice
He pinched my tongue
between his thumb and fore finger
and with a good yank
dislocated it from the base of my spine,
and slid it out my mouth.

He said, "if you're not going
to use this, then I will."
He draped my tongue
over his shoulders
and it took on new life,
hissing and slithering
like the viper of redemption.

Now, I look inside myself,
and all I see is a hillside
bleeding fire. The best
I can do is scribble down
a few words about that breathless voice.

The secret is not selective,
but it is destructive.
Familiarity with eternity
breeds annihilation,
so I hop around
from anonymity to anonymity
no longer cherishing
the days I claimed, "I am."
258 · Feb 2018
Surrender
Same as if a wave
tried to divorce itself
from the sea,

so you will never
make yourself happy,
even though our purpose

is to be happy,
just as the sea
will roll and break forever.
256 · Mar 2018
How Love Negates the Self
It was awkward when I stumbled into my lover
as my intention was to be more coy,
but an ache jumped to the tip of my tongue,
and I tripped on the fat toe of desire.
Eye to eye, we are naked in love
falling as a gentle, spring shower
with all the power to waken
the slumbering hillsides of grass.
245 · Jan 2018
My Lovely Family
I courted a prayer
to restrain from desire,
but creation crushed my will
in the millhouse of fertility.

The sea touched me
in a great moment of my dreams,
and called me to that bright necklace
it drapes along the shore.

Now, I can not deny
I suckled when I was young
making me a horned man today.
I have no choice, I do marry
and swim with golden children,
breaking waves with porpoises.

I bear my own child
who annihilates in me
all that hesitates
when I witness nature.

I covenant with a new prayer-

         Make me a creature
         of the golden sea,
         dumb of time,
         dumb of boundary.
Today is no less beautiful
than the most glorious
days of the earth,
but I am still doubtful
that I will survive it.
I flee from you,
because you are always correct.
Your numbers always land
on accurate determination.
So I flee from you,
because the spirit flees from you.

I know the spirit flees from you,
because it tells me with the green caress
of the undergrowth on my taught
skin seeking comfort while I crouch
low, and it tells with a fearless bird chirp
landing jovial on my tongue.

You know the spirit flees you,
because you do not hear the spirit,
and you can't deny, the spirit
talks to everyone.
215 · Mar 2020
The Unsettling Truth
We've all heard the sonorous brook
use water, stone, bank, and gravity
to tell some lovely stories.

But I'm angry and wise now,
so the other day, I actually
heard it tell the truth -

That god has no power.
But, god does walk with full mercy
deep into our dark cloud of suffering.
213 · Feb 2018
The Beautiful Thunder
I understand why
there are militant guardians
patrolling the streets of sacrifice.

I know because I need to be pulverized, Boom!,
under the footsteps of their ferocious love,
because of all the insidious sins

I am trying to sneak into paradise
tucked under the folds
of my own good manners.
My voice is so simple
and very true,
but it knows too easily
how to disappear.
203 · Mar 2020
The Permanent Bliss
I’m confident you are bolted
to your deathless beauties.
I know mine are always
there - purple, nighttime,
desert, floating,
cloak, sickle,
luminous, wall,
minaret, wailing.

You see, our pleasure
serves the divinity,
and our fluids
have instincts
to drench every
permanent icon
in a flooding rain
of freedom adored.
199 · Feb 2020
The Safest Ambush
I'm learning
the senseless circles
along the pathway
to tranquility,
but I divert myself
and go knee deep
into the dripping hips
just because they are
much lest threatening.
I'm sorry that my paradise is so useless.
It doesn't save anyone, doesn't build structures
at which they might marvel. It doesn't
add anything to the design
of civilization's advance.

It's just me, here, resisting application,
in great gratitude and delight, happy
to wait for the day that you and I
will tackle each other, and be defined
by our wet, naked love.
191 · Dec 2018
The High Cost of Grace
You touched me with that potent grace
convinced me of our destiny beyond
I felt my heart evaporate into a passion
I gave myself a tender kiss goodbye
I faded into moonlight and prayer
knowing if any recognizable part of me
          endured until morning
I would be some brilliant new creature
with no need for that hysterical pride
that loves to declare that I am
179 · Feb 2018
Wet Wet Water
Why do we spit when it is  already raining?

          It is a reasonable question
          between you and I
          when we call things finished
          or perhaps just interrupted.

          Hey, it is just an accident
          during which we start to believe
          that love is greater
          than the collapse of time.

How wise are we to be fools chasing love?

          We have a brilliant future
          ahead of us during which
          we will  invent
          magnificent new ways to suffer.

          Wade far enough out into our sorrows
          and we will see something beautiful,
          like love between two bodies
          or death disguised as eternity.
The journey to no where
will abandon us,
so let's traverse life
with a strong rope
of good excuses,
and remain alert
for a melee of ******
forgiveness happening
          on the side of the road.
And we led them there.
You can tell yourself otherwise,
but I know when my son talks
of drilling for an active shooter,
numb as waiting for a napkin passed,
that I have failed.

I know the annals of my promises to him.
I whispered them to him in the womb-
“I am very confused.”
“You might not want to be with me.”
“I will love you all I can.”
“I already love you all I can.”
“Sometimes I feel very
sorry for myself.”

I hope you can see this
for all that it really is-
the freakish spasms
of the white man finally dying.
If any part of you is
young, woman, or dark,
please, do not hesitate!

Please, save my son
from all the fears that the
powerful protect with guns.
I will be there with you,
but I have already failed
so I won’t be useful for much
asides as a shield
of rather flaccid flesh

proud of nothing much
asides from his life,
and my falling before
your march forward
into the dance of
more colorful light.
The equality of this creation
is maddening to a criminal of affection
as desperate as me.
We are conceived,
we are here,
we live and we can love,
and we are about to die,
all of us the same.

It is a conflagration so fair,
it makes me want to rip out
one of my short ribs, and use it
to poke the god's in their eyes.
It is a design so ripe
for cruelty, but so equally
inclined to the passion
of our tender love
that it must burn brighter than hope
in the universe's beyond.
Imagine if every breath
were as sweet
as the prayer smoke.
174 · Feb 2020
My Precious Humility
My baby boy looks
at circular things
as if trying to remember
something that god
was saying.
173 · Jan 2018
Unprepared
I am unprepared
when my child asks,
"why have you cursed me
to this life?"
I muster only a shy grin
and ramble some about
dancing and destiny.
167 · Feb 2018
The Emperor
Passion's root is in suffering.
Ecstasy's root is in exiting.
******'s root is in ripening,
and none of this is convenient
despite what the pornographer
advertises.

Most sins are silent,
We garnish them quietly.
Desire and the devil deal
so subtle in the mind.

Seduction after seduction,
upon every glossy image we say,
'I'm not satisfied,'
till finally we consent to our slavery
in the service of The Emperor.
No voice, no vote, no volition -
It becomes a dry comfortable place
as we wait upon the occasional
splash of imperial fluid.
161 · Nov 2021
The Good Reasons To Live
I am anxious, which looks
a lot like the young sparrow's
feathers quivering taught
as it pecks a meal of seed
endlessly aware of theft
by beak or death by talon.

And I am so proud of it.
Both my tense tissues
and  frantic sparrow
vibrating in the sunlight
fearing our pains and endings,
ingesting our stubborn
dedication to life.
158 · Dec 2018
When the Music Makes Me Cry
You are the drummer, you are not the beat.
          What a tune.
We play a silence from the string and snare.
It is love that thumps against  the ear.
Without this love, the music is a lie.
I think I wrote this. I was going back through some old journals from the early '90's and came across this- kind of liked it. But then, I thought it might be a Rumi knock-off. For any Rumi fan out there, let me know if you think I'm stealing. Thanks
155 · Feb 2018
I think I am in love
Spring's breeze feels
about the open window,
and my shy body
opens wide its eyes.

The perfumes of magnolia and
the crescent moon hanging
onto the end of the street
save my life.

There is nothing between us
but a sheet of pleasure, thin,
the way lighting strikes anywhere.

Indeed, momentary trust
is the wisest thing,
even in this dangerous world.
155 · Feb 2020
Keeping It Together
I think it's a good idea
to base society on the family,
and base the family on lust.
154 · Feb 2018
Let Me Explain
I want to leave my house quickly, travel quickly,
journey to the neighborhoods of my youth,  
and honor the bones of my parents.
I will weep,
and I will recall,
and go to the ocean.

I know I want to do this,
because I have permitted you
to convince me, that you
and I are important,
convince me that the
rituals and rules we've
conspired to serve for the
secure worshiping of our wealth
are important, that I should
fret, be weary, and despair.

The gods expend no effort.
They look sidelong at our efforts,
and catching their gaze,
I remember, I remember them,
I remember them.
And I am so comforted,
now willing to toss this body,
that we've marked with
sticky tags and pronouncements,
toss it towards the elements
that the gods value,
as they can do useful things with them,
such as reinventing creations
bloated with more love.
You remember - the elements - the fire, the winds,
the oceans.

The ocean, where I want to go,
when I leave this house, quickly,
with you neither invited nor uninvited.
You will know if it's a good idea
to follow, if your personality quakes,
but your soul is well comforted.
Go to the ocean, where and when
my being or not being will have
no concern to me,
as I love the gods,
and I love my parents,
and I love you,
all that maters.
I am disappointed.
I can visit the neighborhood
of eternity at any time,
but can never bring
its riches back.
146 · Jan 2018
Let's Be Beautiful
The physical sport of love
is simple and brief.
The hard act to refine is
sitting around being beautiful.

Devoted service is so tired unlike
neglect which is ageless and vibrant.
See, there is no absolute evil,
but there is plenty of absolute fear.
144 · Feb 2018
Do You Believe We Can Heal
I wonder, "Hey, where can I get
one of those divine eyes?"
I may as well froth at the mouth
if I am going to love you,
because only a deluded person
can do the healing of this age.

Mix ash with seawater
and place it on your tongue.
Death will try to love you
as if it wants to live.
Offer your skullcap
filled with fluids
fragranced by humility.
You will have the solution for loneliness
but it will be so effective
no one will want to hear it.
141 · Jan 2018
A Way
I need the music, I need a way.
I understand so little that I am crushed
        by time's passing.
Your basic elements, your distances, your beginnings
        and ends all so cruel to me.
I need the music for a time to be.
I need the lodge for a place to be.
I need the people, your loving so electric
        between us.
That music, trying to crack open
        my dumb heart.

                            All things long to know you,
                            my love of dark light.
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