I will seize the day
once I ease the pain.

© Matthew Harlovic
Nat Lipstadt Mar 2016
for vicki who loves this poem for the best reason ever: just does...
read a thousand love stories,
pause, rest awhile,
read ten thousand more,
and then deny equality.

If you ask for no more than you can give,
you ask for not enough

love is imbalance not an equation,
with a single solution

love has both constants and variable factors

so you write of tribulations and tributes
so you write of lamentations and liftings

you think you are on the same page
but do we not all read at different paces?

one of you is solid, one is dotted and dashed
one of you is straight, one is bent, forever curving

when you think you are
in balance
in the same place
in syncopation

perhaps you are for a moment
a calculus of one point on a trajectory

and you say I can only ask for what I give
and am given
and no more,
you have miscalculated

this flux
when the old terrain is flayed flat
but thru the windshield you see the
plateau ends, the geography unknown,

when you see unknown
when you seek the unknown
when you give from places you did not know
you had to give from
when you kiss a hand
for  twenty minutes more than than the one minute you intended
when you give more than is asked
when you ask for more than you can you think you can give
the imbalance that  is the only concert
the imbalance that is the the only constant

how do I know this?

what are my credentials?

you are not a teenage girl,
what matters of what you know, recall of these matters?

I am who I am
a diversity of man and manner;
I am past prime and in decline
but this I know
for having failed ten thousand poem times
you must ask for more than one can give

but that's not fair!

silly one, still wretched confused,
even after one hundred thousand poem times

you must ask of
more than you can give
and ask no less
demand no less

a body in emotion is not a body in rest
when the imbalance is too great or insufficient

then you write a poem
look in the mirror that cannot lie
and move
move off

  begin to ask
to whom may I give myself
more than is asked.
then you have finally asked
the correct solution to the
unsolvable equation
Ask for more than you can give
was added to HP on
Feb 8, 2014

can't you tell me why
after a weekend of butterflies
in our stomach

you decided that your
anchor on this irrelevant
ocean floor has not

found its ship back yet?

can you tell me that
the real reason was my

ignorance? inexperience?

would you think
about giving a try
to do it again


because if so i
would gladly grow up
and stop writing you poems

and start confronting

i really need to stop on being late in classes.
Evelyn May 17
When God sowed darkness and the Devil a spade,
Abuela dug so deep
her oldest son fell through.

I dangled my constellations like ghosts that might
carry him to the surface,
a grip as hard as ice,
a grip twice as thin.

Inertia yanked ten in two --
five fingers, pop;
ten fingers, stop --
he took them all down, the
tendons’ endless unfurling.
I, ladder, endlessly descending.
He, father, ends up standing.
Darlingerode Dec 2017
one, two, three
there's only you and me
and we will never part
four, five, six
i'll promise you this
to love you with all of my heart
seven, eight, nine
i am yours, you are mine
let's not forget how we did start
ten to the nth
you are my Keneth
my one and only, my love,
my sweetheart
happy 3rd baby <3
Mom would say, “Your dad has friends,
Black friends on the police force, of course
We don’t set down to eat with them.
It wasn’t safe to say to her, “Ahem.
Did you hear what you just said?”
She’d swing one upside my head
And it would be like a garden gate
But with the weight of her stout arm
And the harm she could do with that
Sat me back down on my bony butt.

I wrote “black friends” but that is because
That was not the word she used, applause,
Applause. Clean it up for the publishment,
Don’t cause a resentment for the wrong reason.
It is never the season because I am white
And it’s never right for me to say the N word,
Haven’t you heard? They can, and I can’t
Even in a rant that describes the horror
Of living in a half right, all white world.

My fingers permanently curled into fists
So hard to resist saying to my parents
“You daren’t speak like that to the preacher
Or half of my teachers because they’d see
Just how deeply grained racism can be."
And both sides would take it out on me,
Just a kid, so I agree to hide what you did.
I agree to pretend you aren’t part of the problem;
Another prejudiced person, training me
Explaining to me how life really is right now.

You saying to me “Don’t put your lips there
On that fountain. Some N person might have, too!
And that made sense to you. Perfect sense.
You were that dense, that unquestioning, too.
Ready to do what your white society dictates
And making me into a swinging garden gate
If I don’t toe the line, and hold my confusion
While I pray for no contusion from the slap.
I hold hands in my lap and act submissive.
And I act like I accept all this as right
Because I am white. But, even though I won’t
Say a word at ten years of age, I don’t.
Leon Zebrick Apr 19
Oh fine jewelry worn by men
Wesley's watch is lost again
"Wesley where's your silver Tissot?"
"Sorry Dad, I do not know"
The little ticker is out of its case
Wesley's watch is lost in space
"Oh now where did my keys go?"
"They were right here a minute ago"
"You lost your keys, now, did you Son?"
"Can I use your's Mom?  Got to run"
"I found my watch, Dad, mixed in with clothes"
"All the time right under my nose"
But lo in five days, maybe ten
Wesley's watch is lost again
"One day, boy, it's going to get snatched"
"And it's a damn good thing your butt's attached"
Well today the watch is on my arm
Safe from Wesley , safe from harm
It feels warm
No dad, I can't walk any faster.
I'm ten years old, my legs
Are half the size as yours.

That's what I should've said.
s Oct 2017
I think it's been four hundred days
since that innocuous defining phase,
But that's if we were keeping count,
and if numbers meant a thing at all.

For isn't time just ornamental,
perhaps even incidental,
when the commodity is sentimental,
or like love, a hypothetical
fundamental ?

Same page?, I ask,
tying to gauge flipping thoughts;
As if I knew where
my book was marked.
But pages, I can dog-ear,
to hold onto a moment
that would otherwise disappear;

An excerpt that I can savour
many moons later,
when love turns to favour
and leaves
a bittersweet flavour.

It's today
I'm looking for,
among shuffling tenses
but the focal lenses
are blurring
And my words
are slurring
for I'm too close
to your near perfect nose,
to find a reason
for why we chose

I'm afraid this poem has turned
into a rhythm & blue,
or maybe it's an untimely cue
to write that song about you and me -
One that's been due
for a month or three.

A nonsense rune
with an infectious tune;
in the four chord beat,
where the lyrics
unfailingly repeat.

A rhythmic monotony
of a romantic comedy -
a stanza about you,
and a chorus about me -
a few things kept true,
and some made up for story.

Something about
wine pink shirts
and warm maroon shawls,
with just a few words
about unsaved phone calls.
A yellow lamp here,
an airport kiss there.
a night spent in fear,
of doubting you'll be there.
A white wall washed
in cinematic glory;
Two kittens tossed in
to make trouble & pee.
And then a pre chorus
about card tricks and foreplay
and the time in the bus,
we talked about a good day.
A few bits borrowed
from the last rhyme I wrote
and that could be followed
by one even before;
For what could I say
that I haven't already proclaimed
in ten odd poems,
gushing with love, unashamed
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