Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

You Can't Go Home Again

there was a melody
and it played so sweetly,
hovering above a childhood me
and the suggestion of Autumn air
ushered in by a sure descending dusk
of a September day slowly closing its eyes

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Grope (for WMG)

we rise through the thrashing of our births and wade the mud-rise in our mouths

across the calendars of Winter feral cold, Spring soft cautious sublime, Summer stone lizard heat,

Autumn color forgetting almost every August, and so august we are as we climb through old bones,

propping Faberge dreams on the tips of our intentions and balance our will and our worth all at once

as we stand in the sands that were made in the time we stood dumbfounded by our own existence,

those mountains before us now beneath our feet were never as much obstacle as our uncertain selves

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Of Goya, Of Borges, Of Pixinguinha

through these blinds
a painted snake of light, in sections,
crawls across a shadow wall with the sun
to escape the cold of this white hot winter -
the same sun bathing colonial window boxes
across the tropics, overhead in a southern hemisphere's summer,
and I am bitten by this daydream - of Goya, of Borges, of Pixinguinha -
venom sweating sand, warm rain and cigar smoke into this February room

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Anodyne Of Air

mellifluous was the morning

no nicotine crutch hobbling
the rhythm of soft samba light

pure gesso snow falling
in 2/4 time

gray anatomy ,
a wallflower lining the horizon,

the Goya reds, yellows, pinks, greens
and even blues find favor
in this new canvas I don

dawn's sweet tones
painting possibilities
with a cardinal's song
in the cold anodyne of air
i breathe sweetly at last

Another Canvas / new poems 2011


there's a parade -
there's always a parade

years piling up
against the barricades
held in a loose and tenuous grip
by a thousand failing men

turn corners
turn calendars
turn channels

and keep your memories
in technicolor if you wish,
for the nights you cannot count
are forever black and white

filled with forgotten teenage boys
turned grey by middling age
and left to clean the debris
of abandoned fanfare
littering gutters

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

How A Heart Sings (for George Baker)

the air is rich,

slow to come,
but there

carrying comfort
to a sterile room

breathing life
into languid blood
still cold from a curious sleep

where she
ran fingers through your hair
and whispered,
not yet

the heat of her breath
still lingering across your face,
as you awake

the sun more sure
in a sky hiding her
and a waxing crescent

oh, how a heart sings
for here, for her, for now

lingering a while longer
in the timely warmth
of a winter reminded
of a coming spring

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

And Tomorrow

morning star reveals the silent, slow march of elephant years

failing grey memories sit hushed in the dull green of matted rushes

fogged dew reminds the breaking day of yesterday's clear cut choices

another new sun warms the stones above the buried cold blue of remembrance

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Collapse Into Now

i hide myself inside glass and beam
of this old house

from feelings i left
to weather beyond recognition

in places of impermanence,
in pieces scattered
in paradises left wanting

but not from your love

nor from the wind's reminders
of the tender, timely shelter of your arms

but forever from
the walls i fashioned
to forget the fall

but never the collapse into now
where i am safe and warm,
secure inside a house your heart
has made a home where i can hide
inside your love from memories
of a howling, hollow rain
no architecture can forget

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010


we were here

i'm sure of it

smoke on our shoulders

sun in our throats

we sang

swaying with the trees

glimmering teeth smiling

the western sky holding us one last time

so laugh with me

look for the lost years hitchhiking back roads

the maps we burned will never tell our secrets

forgotten promises still ride the wind somewhere unseen

listen closely to the water we are

the erosion of all memories but one

we were here
i'm sure of it

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Waking A Saint

those old ghosts
still slip beneath my skin,
suck warmth from my blood,
marrow from my bones

i vomit,
i shit,
i spit
shake again and again,
trying to break their will
to wander my thoughts
where they undermine my memories
of a sun too swollen to set,
that still sheds light upon a heart
beating back specters of sadness
lurking in the shadows of a soul,
warming blue hands caught in the grip
of a world without hope still haunting
the skeletal remains of a broken
but still breathing man expelling
demons through the condensation
of his breath upon cold ghosts,
waking a saint to hold the flame
of his spirit up in the face of their dead wind

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

The Dust In Our Hearts

we slip away
from one another

out an open window

through a door ajar

our footprints
are erased by weather

over an open field

under a sky aloft

and we are left with
rain on our faces
sun in our eyes
wind in our heads

to wander crooked streets, unmarked paths
hoping gravity will take leave of our feet
to realize dreams of flight
and our fancy to go home again
knowing all to well in our waking state
that we are bound to walk alone
these failing, furtive memory lanes
where our ghosts remain, remind,
remember the way it really was
not the way we wish

well before we slip away
from one another

long after our footprints
are erased by weather

leaving only
rain on our faces
sun in our eyes
wind in our heads

the dust in our hearts
slipping through our hands

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Leaves Tremble

these days
even the autumn leaves tremble
indiscernibly at first
but as the brittle night breaks
against dawn's stone light
the shudder of dew betrays
the slightest of movements
to an unfolding eastern sky

safe between cotton barricades
we ride out fall's first frost
listening closely to the sighs
of once flush foliage's soft capitulation
as we steel ourselves
for the winter we know
is waiting with His still breath
beneath the rustle of dead leaves
carpeting nearly forgotten summer lawns

and so to save
the memory of once lingering heat
we bury our love
under our dreams still rife
with the colour of spring
and prepare to sleep away
the days where even decay
forgets its own mortality

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

A Strange Boat

from a house above a weathered bluff
i wave goodbye to the days that i have lost
sitting here perched upon the edge of the world -
piano notes like little clouds of almost melody
drift over me like sotto voce apparitions,
their grey voices barely audible in the din of dim lamp light -
brothers and sisters in exile, dead memories
of decades that have come and gone, failing me,
leaving only their vaguely familiar fingers' braille sting upon my neck -
trains pass in darkness carrying distant thoughts
along tracks that parallel but never cross a lifetime passing by
under waxing, waning moons and their whispers of secret suns -
daughters, gilded in their mother's askew image
and dreaming of a far off, feral, ephemeral father,
are left to wait in vain the return of his sure wind at their backs -
fortune finds a compass, a star, a captain, a sail,
only to drown in an ocean while looking for a raindrop,
our pride protests our own small failings then smiles -
nervous laughter forgets itself by dawn breaking fragile
and forgives the long black night her pining siren's song,
wipes away the softly kissed dew of never having done -
a strange boat, this Time unanchored, adrift, amiss,
found from time to time broken and battered in memory's shallows
where bon voyage is nothing but a goodbye clinging to a lie -
there, amidst waves of 'what was' still crashing, only splinters of regret
left to languish along with the days that i have lost
sitting here perched upon the edge of the world

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Burden of Dreams

the hand, floating,
grasps at air
thick with desire,
turgid with the fear of failure

in limbo

a heart

the fragile seed pod mind
behind its motion
breaking open
above water
not land

why an unexpected wind
seems so distant in the face of desperation

the will to carry on
like a grip slipping,
yet still grasping
to hold onto
the burden of dreams

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Hug and Hum

these hours get late,
the birds of broad daylight are gone
and night smears cold, black acrylics
between the charcoal impressions of trees

here is where i hide
dark thoughts and desperate days,
behind waned moonlight and leaded glass,
in the deep inhale, the slow exhale of tobacco

drunk kiss i keep to myself
from sober stars, the so serious sun
and pull close the hug and hum mumbling
this lullaby of warm red wine to sing me to sleep

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

I Am The Cosmos

these things i know -

the sound of a train, at night, distant,
before sleep has carried my spirit
beyond the lapping on the shoreline

out toward the edges
i know all too well

where ravens wait
with their yellow eyes
to pick apart the soul
i have commended
to the wind,
to the sun,
to the sky

rolling out and infinitely
from the center
where shadows
pass over my thoughts
like storm clouds
diffusing the light
i walk awake
and usher in
an ominous night
i pull close
like a blanket of stars

my flickering flame
like a dim lantern
somewhere down the tracks
but still moving as surely
as the sound of a train
from left to right
out of sight unseen

the fading cry of broken daylight
hidden below the horizon
where apex and nadir
hover plumb below, above
the center i know so well
where spirit and soul
meet salt and air
at the edges of the world
where i am fortunate to ford
the waters rising all around
in search of basin, range and plain
where night sighs through
an iron rooster's whistle
and breathes deep the sunrise
painting rails in the gold of new mornings
where feet beneath and head above
are centered squarely upon broad shoulders
having felt but forgotten the shear bluffs
of my darkest thoughts left drowning
where even stars will fail to hold
this same sun from falling, swallowing hours

but never

the sound of a train, at night, and not so distant now
in the blind of black
where i see myself
so clearly

in the center of this life
still navigating the edges
by sextant and senses,
a map of constellations
in a pocket full of sand,
an eye to the sky,
an ear to the ground
still looking, listening
for heaven at the horizon
but more likely found hiding
beneath the beating
of this restless heart

- along with these things i know

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Bracing For The Lake Effect

She sips green tea

This coffee's gone cold, again

Shutters creak, cry to come inside

Dog dreams hover overhead
In the low ceiling's trapped heat

But escape is never an option here
Better to brace ourselves for the coming calendar
Send cold rosary prayers to frozen saints
Sketch elusive Barcelona by her open waters

Between the short-lived suns of December on
Where sleep feels narcotic, almost anesthetic

Before ourselves dare dream of heat's release
When dogs run free in search of Spanish sol

And so kettle cries fog brittled windows

We drink deep, steel the soul instead for now

Hot tea, slow blood, cold caffeine

Surround this island, around this island
Where we have fashioned naive architectures

Of hours spent in darkness beneath incandescent
Reading Hemingway and humming a cante fandango

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

The Art of Me

broken canvas lies bleeding

splattered paint in brilliant corners

of a mind, abstract and

keeping you in mind

so as to save myself

from this still life

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

At a Fraction of a Fraction of 24 Frames Per Second

someone buried the lights
in the snow

mistook me for someone they knew
stumbling these winter hidden streets

cold hands
reaching for coattails

dead stares
searching for connection

but the film is spilling across
an endless frozen floor

scenes, brittle, underexposed,
out of synch with the static hum
of hidden ballasts

so i skip frames
where i was not nearly drunk enough
to forget i was lonely, to forget i was fucked
and forged ahead splicing together frames
where i was left wandering blizzards
longing, looking for the glow
(buried beneath more than a decade of snowfall)
and the quality of light in winter
that summer, she will never understand

now that i am unrecognizable
and holding your warm hand,
watching an ice age pass by
in the blink of an eye
at a fraction of a fraction
of 24 frames per second

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010


I have stopped many times -



in the wind that knows no conversation.

my thoughts consider my thoughts -

the melody of emotion,
the geography of time,
the science of spirit

too long I know,
in search of now

where religion is nothing more than

his smile,
her soul

here in the quiet of a heart,
there in the whisper of the wind

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

The Heart Tenders Its intentions

the click, clip, quick
of heels

moving through
emotions, mixed,

in memory,
in a menagerie

of cold static,




where the heart
tenders its intentions,

in the drop of
the other then another shoe,

behind the guise
of lipstick's rhetorical smile,

within ennui whispered
across a shrugging shoulder,

indelible as the heat
of her footsteps fading

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Anchors Hold

rooms breathe -
inhale the cyan blue of dusk,
exhale the zinc white of the sun
as darkness brings lightness
to the weight of the world.

our cumbersome flesh can
knock over such a quiet night.

you asleep and i still/sitting,

both trying not to disturb
this quiescence.

anchors hold
these hearts.

submerged and shifting dampers
pull sunken piano notes
from shadow fathoms.

i try not to move,
ripple this room, a tranquil sea,

listen instead to you, the night

the two of us, weightless,

20,000 leagues below daylight,
beyond heartache.

our son, who one day will drift beyond our reach -
clinging to us even as he dreams

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010


Somewhere buried in the dirt of Taposiris Magna

Trapped for millennia beneath Skara Brae

Between wall after wall inside Catalhoyuk

- All of us -

Not ghosts,
but remains, reminders,
remanding humanity to remember

The thread that connects,
a tensile structure so frail,
somewhat inflexible, and all binding,
has no latitude for compression,
but impresses upon memory
the weight of lineal, linear reality
lost then found then lost again
to histories accumulated
and unwillingly discarded

The archaeology of our endeavors
hidden, but here, lingering in decay,
long after we have sewn our souls
to the wind that covers/uncovers
the civilized artifacts of our existence

Somewhere buried in the dirt of Taposiris Magna

Trapped for millenia beneath Skara Brae

Between wall after wall inside Catalhoyuk

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

You Must Believe In Spring

the cold wind's

against windows
which peer

into the thick bark of time,
tall against a storm scarred sky

where some rings are so near another
they must mark seeming moments
i held your sure sun in defiance
of winter years lasting more
than their fair share

and leaving me
waiting and watching

through windows
to appear

the warm first rain's reminder,
you must believe in spring

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

For Bill Evans

dead leaves
blow grey

stepping off a curb,
New York City 1961

puddles of rain

anomalous mirrors,
we look away

our own mortality

above us, in the trees
below us, in the streets

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

The Crooked Beat

I don't know what we're supposed to be

Reinventing the wheel
one word, one day, one melody
at a time

Hand in hand
mapping fingerprints

We sweep the floor clean
of a day's debris

Spinning slowly,
we stand still
as the world waltzes
lightly beneath our feet

We turn along with
phases of the moon
that slip beyond our reach

Our faces changing
in-between the light and dark,
ascending, descending
ad nausea

Somehow still managing to recognize
one another night after night
despite the uncertainty
of what we have become,
of who we're supposed to be

Our unfailing fingerprints
finding unchanged hearts
behind the crooked beat
of this mutable song and dance

We dare to drag
our chameleon bodies
back out on the floor
without a word,
day after day,
broken melody
be damned

Knowing all we need know when our eyes close
is who we are right now, whatever may come
of this beauty beheld in years cruel counting
in constant, perfect, and poignant 4/4 time

No Architecture Can Forget / new poems 2010

Prayer Book


take time

in your vine's grip

and let me slip her hands

of fate for a few hours fortune

where i bottle my thoughts and fears

in words to sober to speak or publicly protest

the sentence we are born to bare without divine intervention