Summer rains are so easy to forgive
Not a hindrance, but worn as an accessory for the evening.
A soothing pitter-patter on the windshield
A slightly inconvenient sprinkling that only adds more character to the night.
Or a welcome gift to our lawns and gardens:
The hallelujah afternoon downpour:
All watered and cooled–
the air fresh with verdure and petrichor;
A passing spell,
The whisper of Nature’s mercy,
A moment of weakness in the heavens,
A minor fracture in the sky,
A brief, cathartic sob
We receive with tempered joy–
Summer rains are so easily forgiven.
Let’s wear shittier clothes
and drink more coffee
Let’s eat peanut butter
and dust the bookshelves haphazardly
Let’s define “darkened luster”
and bleed our hearts
Let’s lose another dulling pencil
and another night’s sleep
Let’s take a stroll around the block
and step in Siamese tandem
Let’s look for poetry in crowded rooms
and the unanticipated sideways symmetry of pinball flippers
Let’s fix our gazes no further
and retire to an away place
Is there any poetry left in you?
Do shadows of words still flit behind your eyes?
Or are the pills what make this shade of magenta?
Have you found every synonym for a good idea?
Where is the mile-marker for too far?
Was this July anochecer born of the bloody, nutrient-rich placenta of yes?
Blackened heels and soles trodden barefoot over someone’s unswept apartment floor–
Black coffee balcony nicotine mornings and
Half-watched movie, impromptu cider nights,
Black ring around the eyes, yesterday’s
Makeup precariously in tact
After one week of our Ted Hughes, shitty shoes, never lose synthetic Bohemia,
Do you have any poetry left in you?
I am the sun
I am canary song
and summer lawns
My core is fractal yellow
A cosmic burst
bright as the light on the other side
hollow-stemmed and soft to the touch
I am everywhere
If you’re fool enough to love me
and tired enough to welcome me
I will only get worse
I propagate myself as a constellation corpse
and by the second-thought wishes of passerby’s
and before you know it
I am everywhere
It wasn’t supposed to end like this—
It was supposed to be a civil nod of the head
A conciliatory, halfhearted hug
And promises that we won’t forget—
because we won’t—
and that, in the end, it would all be OK.
Well-wishes for the next leg of the journey
with wistful smiles
and mutual respect—
Acting like the good people we both are.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this,
When you woke up fifteen minutes early and sat down to a bowl of oatmeal and the morning paper,
noticed a chip in your favorite mug, and realized you liked it better that way
When traffic was slightly less horrible yesterday afternoon
and you saw a robin perched on the power line
When you got into bed with freshly-washed sheets,
and slept noiselessly, never getting too hot or too cold.When you laughed at the increasingly ridiculous tactics of telemarketers, and you told them how broke you were:
“Hello, is Robert there?”
“No, I think you have the wrong number”
“Oh, well maybe you can help me out; I’m calling from the fill-in-the-blank research foundation and we’re starting our annual drive…”
“I have zero monies”
When you finished all your reports and left work ten minutes early
When you listened to the silence of your still, unoccupied living room
and you found a popcorn kernel between the cushions.
When you decided that matching socks might be a good idea, and you matched them all.
When you smelled the potent, artificial meadow breeze of the fabric softener before you started that load.
When you sang along to classic disco hits on the way to your doctor’s appointment.
When you met your friend for coffee and struggled to find anything to talk about, so you both analyzed the complex body of your respective lattes.
When you took a walk around the block and waved hello to exactly three strangers.
When you watched a forty-minute eighth inning, accompanied by a cold coke.
When the ice on your windshield glinted in the morning light, and you remembered your gloves to scrape it all off.
When you finally called your sister and you took out the trash
When your parrot asked you earnestly, “Where Bu?”
And you watched her take a nap, before snoozing yourself.
Poetry is for the mentally ill
and those with an ailing heart—
It has long been used as a treatment,
a tincture of distilled experience and emotion
But treatment comes with risks:
just as much as it can be succor,
it can be an exascerbator
and the condition may worsen.
But fine poetry is a risk worth taking.
One hour is too much–
any silver distraction–
Half an hour is too long–
every dusty go-to fixation–
every threadbare coping skill–
the vertigo of imagined crisis
Fifteen minutes is insufferable–
All of the gravelly compulsions–
All of the scraped-up scraps of reason–
Five minutes is an eternity–
Some brief reprieve–
Some taste of stasis–
Something better than this
Come to me now, distant savior
All of it
I breathe you in like water
You rush through me and out of me:
a tickle at my ear.
I hum a tune that is faint and purple
You barely notice that you notice me.
You will try to ignore it,
fight to push it out of your mind,
but you won’t stop listening.
I sing honey liquid notes
you’ll hear whatever you want to hear
You will find yourself
ever closer to me.
the perfumed air around me:
Sweet lotus blossom
salty ocean breeze
You will find bliss,
you will lose yourself,
and I will take you there.
If you come closer,
I will breathe you in like water and
We will rush through me,
no more pain.
The pas de deux of awkward hello’s
A sashay into “how are you”
The stiff arabesque of “Look, I’m fine”
Just trying to be en pointe