Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Caravan of Those Who Have Turned Their Face to the Sun

I walk in the shadows, dear,
and I wear the mask we all wear:
a mask made of shadow and of starlight
a mask that hides my face
by showing it

covered in colors,
gold and red and black,
showing a mask
that transmutes the things of this world
into something we can comprehend,
and comprehending,
something we can despise.
And if we have faces, dear, they are faces so colorful,

with hues of the soul's spring and the spirit's fall,
that only a monster with teeth of crystal rose,
only a professor with terrible tweed skin,

only a warrior with sand for soul
could ever hope
to know us,

could ever hope to comprehend the weakness
that keeps us from turning our faces to the sun.

We walk in shadows, dear,
and when we look each other in the face

we cringe and turn away,

hoping to preserve some part of that old world,
the one where the sun through crystal leaves transmuted everything into sea foam, a green
and waving sea that we swam
one night
when your shining body fell into my embrace

one night when above us whispered the white wings
of one whose whispers saved us.

Take my hand, dear, and we'll
walk together in the shadows and we'll look
each other, blindly,
in the eye, until one day we do not sleep but are all changed,
until we
can look each other
in the eyes,
and join the caravan of those who have turned their faces to the sun.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Politics

Dear Christian Conservatives: Trying to legislate things like a specific stance on marriage, homosexuality, or indeed sexuality in general is like throwing sharp darts at a child with acne in the hope that his zits will pop. It might be effective, but you won't like the peripheral effects. There are many other ways to fight this battle, and I would be willing to bet you a million literal dollars that all of them are more effective than cramming one more piece of legislation or one more sophistic legal definition down everyone's throats.

More political thoughts are fomenting, but I will only write them down if, as the narrator says in Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, "My ideas either clarify or depart altogether."

Friday, July 08, 2011

4 Free Verse Riffs From a Sleepless Night in July

Riff 1-- 1:00 AM

How far away is Heaven
and what flowers will bloom there?
As you sit upon your chair
and blink stars pinwheel overheard
spinning dancing raven's claws
staring like eyes of the dead
as you sit upon your chair
what eyes, what circles
what starlight what gaslight
will we breathe there,
will the flickering flame
the candle's wick
become one flickering flame all across the sky?
Will the sun, no bigger than a basketball,
sputter and flutter in your hand, as the eyes of the dead stars look on,
singing in their fear,
until one day, bathed in snow,
they blink and awaken,
wrapped in golden wings
with lips turned black as pitch
and burning with a coal,
staring, swaring, swaying,
round the blazing trees
as the midnight smell was
in our hair and the midnight
taste upon our skin?

Riff 2--1:35 AM

I take my baptisms when I can:
the cool of a morning shower
washing away all the sins of the night
(the minotaur with three rose
of crystal teeth
devouring the wheat I planted
while, tied to a stake,
I could do nothing),
the soft sister's tears of a spring rain,
washing March's dirty snows
and crying down the whiskered
face of the hare, my friend,
who twitches and sniffs
and pushes away the earth
seeking cover while I lay down
in the grass, spread my arms,
and the rain covers me with her tears
the grass rising up, a
straining stretch staring wide-eyed
tower of Babel, embracing me,
the place where the earth
rests her head on her arm,
the scrying pool
where her tears form a well
looking out at the future
(I dislike what I see),

taking my baptism
in the warm inviting pleasance
of a friend's smile,
a promise of springs swelling
from the earth, a swelling I fear
will dry up,
as I take my baptism
in the aching beauty of the night air,
in the dreaming embrace of night wind,
the wings of the night
teasing me,promising me
far things--

bedouin fires
czars' spires
golden sails
ruby lips
a thousand roses,
all aflame--

but always I timble from
the silver shimmer of a flying carpet

onto the back of my bed,
a hundred-headed glass-toothed minotaur
looking at me with judgement,
until I flick my wryst
and he is gone.

Riff 3--2:33 AM

A late december night
snow sprinkling
dandruff from God's tonails
and it should cry out as it hits the ground
and I should smile
but neither of us do.

How can snow
make a song
in the night air?

How can I smile
when my dreams don't care?

I made a snow-angel today--

There's a man with wings
pressed into the lawn
and on his wings
smeared dirt and blood
a thousand things
into the green slime
of my

your smile white-toothed

your flickering

like angel's wings--

Riff 4--2:40 AM

Grass scratches at my calves
tall, itching, as gnats
fly into my eyes,
my mouth,
droplets squishing full of life
snuffed out
in the ocean at the back of my throat
cicadas shreik in fear
I am
the sheikh,
the shreik,
in your eye, your head
and did you know your cat
clawed me? Here, on my hand, and if you'd

kiss it,

but you're off, grass crunching beneath your feet,
skirt flying up around your pale knees,
grinning at me,
rolling your eyes because
my face has gone dark and solemn,
like the thunderhead charging behind you across the sea of the sky.