19 October 2010

Love Does Not Dwell Solely in the Mind

For Amy Lynn Watkins

To make it burn you have to throw yourself in. – Galway Kinnell

‘Faith, love does not dwell solely in the mind,
And will not be controlled by intellect.
It infects the soul, and makes us blindly
Expose that which we oft’ strive to protect;
‘Tis lunacy to pretend we can love
Both truly and carefully – attempting
To keep one foot safe outside the flames of
Passion – for our own hearts are unyielding;
No breast can be proofed ‘gainst Cupid’s arrow –
The magic of love allows no defense.
We must fall completely, or grow hollow;
Razed in the battle ‘twixt madness and sense.
Real love can not flourish by increment,
We must submit and burn in sweet torment.

08 October 2010

The Mad Sonneteer Featured in a YouTube Video

Yours truly has been included in a YouTube video promoting an anthology that published three of my pieces (including two sonnets).

The video includes the best picture ever taken of me, and two lines from my sonnet, "The Ways That My Body Remembers Yours."

Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzfj3fGJ5G4
(I come in around the 3:43 mark.)


07 October 2010

Two Sonnets in Eclectic Flash - September 2010

Two of my sonnets -- "A Simple Word Too Easily Said" and "Poets Never Really Die by Suicide" -- appeared in the September 2010 issue of Eclectic Flash, an online and print literary journal (eclecticflash.com/home.html).

Here is a link to the electronic version of the issue: http://issuu.com/eclecticflash/docs/vol_1_sep_2010?mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml&showFlipBtn=true

My works are on pages 13 and 40.


12 September 2010

The Mindfield and the Green Light

For "Her."

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

You’ll probably never understand why
I didn’t answer the phone when you called.
To tell the truth, I don’t quite know if I
Can convince myself, or explain it all;
Just hearing your voice would shatter my will,
Breach the brittle walls I’ve built, and remind
Me that time brings no solace; I must still
Tiptoe through the mindfield you left behind.
I believed in the green light, oft’ seeking
A future in the past; though I’ve proven
Unable to seize either, as creeping
Doubt numbed my soul and left my heart barren.
I can not trust, nor let present hopes stir,
Because I’m still in love with who you were.

11 September 2010

There's Nothing More to See Here

The chalk outline, white against the concrete,
Marks the scene of the crime, as a crowd
Gathers, like greedy vultures, in the street.
“Did someone jump?” a voice calls out loud;
“Heart attack?” “Yes,” a cop answers, as he
Unspools police tape to control the mob.
“Well…no,” he thinks to himself. “Not really.”
“People, move back now, let me do my job!”
As a cold drizzle falls, he turns to see
Initials scrawled inside the dusty heart
Blur slowly, then melt away in a sea
Of tears, as two lovers, now torn, depart.
“Folks,” the cop says, as a dream disappears,
“Move along; there’s nothing more to see here!”

10 September 2010

A Simple Word Too Easily Said

For Kristen Brownell

Lord, how can so small a word cause such pain?
Indeed, the gift becomes too abstract when
Words, easily said, fall like drops of rain
On the ocean, and fool even wise men;
Oh, how the promises the heart believes,
When it dares to hope, break upon the rocks
Of high speech – but feelings only conceived –
Then sink down into the depths of self-mock;
Verses and oaths so quickly lose their worth
When once solemn pledges become dilute
Through casual repetition and dearth
Of the emotion real and absolute.
Even sweet words, spoke too oft’, turn sour,
And kill the root of this precious flower.

09 September 2010

Poets Never Really Die by Suicide

The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
– Ernest Hemingway

Poets never really die by suicide,
The sad victims of self-inflicted harm;
Though it’s often the cause the Times will cite,
In obits written while the body’s still warm;
They do not succumb to mere oven gas,
Single-car “accidents” on long, straight roads,
Exposure, starvation, or shotgun blasts;
Nor to drowning, slit wrists, or overdose;
Sadly, many fall long before they jump,
Or break their necks at the end of a rope;
They die when faith is lost and spirits slump;
When this mortal life leaves them without hope.
The cause of death need not be picked apart,
For poets only die of broken hearts.

08 September 2010

There is a Poem in That Photograph

A sonnet to celebrate a photograph taken by Valena David

For Julie Thiry

There is a poem in that photograph;
The verse slyly hidden amongst the rain,
Writ on her luminescent skin, and half-
Concealed in the waves of her tousled mane.
Rhyme bubbles up from enigmatic eyes,
While the hint of a grin creases her cheek;
It spills words in a Mona Lisa guise,
Which says so much, although she does not speak.
Critics will explain away the magic,
With talk of composition and background,
Missing the mystery – the poetic –
Searching for meaning better left unfound.
I give my pen, weak as it is, to raise
Up both artist and Muse in highest praise!

07 September 2010

The Ways That My Body Remembers Yours

For Amy Lynn Watkins

My lips remember the curve of your neck,
And my tongue recalls the taste of your skin.
My fingers can feel the warmth of your back,
And my ears hear you moan my name again;
Your wondrous perfume returns to my nose,
And your eyes penetrate…searching in mine.
When I think of the times I’ve held you close,
Each sense ignites a fire in my mind;
Our bodies entwined, melting together
In a warm and wet enveloping cloud,
Were caught in illusions of forever,
As lust wrapped us both in the Dragon’s shroud.
Muse, my passion demands that I explore
The ways that my body remembers yours.

06 September 2010

I Would Write My Poems on Your Body (Redux)

For Amy Lynn Watkins

I would write my poems on your body,
With words that linger like kisses on skin;
Timeless lines praising all you embody,
And find no shame in committing this sin;
I would give sonnets like warm caresses,
To trace o’er your flesh eliciting sighs,
And pen for you most unworthy verses
Of love many know only with their eyes;
The fire of our passion would become art,
Raging higher as desire mates with rhyme,
Requiring no fuel but these beating hearts
To defeat assured death and outlast time.
On flesh and bone the world will take its toll,
But love grants endless life unto your soul.

05 September 2010

'Tis Sin to Write for Thee Perilous Beauty

For Jamey.

‘Tis sin to write for thee Perilous Beauty,
Praising hair infused with streaks of gold;
While to hold peace is the law and duty,
I here defy God, and so curse my soul;
When by convention I should be silent,
Denying my pen the words you inspire,
Your loveliness compels me to relent,
And thus celebrate eyes cut from sapphire;
In truth, I am a scoundrel to transgress
Upon sacred vows with mellifluent
Rhymes of lips and skin, though I must confess,
I blush at my guilt, but do not repent.
Accuse me not of mere concupiscence,
In faith, my love will serve as my defense.

04 September 2010

You Haunt My Soul With Unmerciful Eyes

For Christina Martinez

You haunt my soul with unmerciful eyes,
That wound my spirit where no blade can reach,
Down in the place my candescent heart lies,
And time no longer serves to heal the breach;
Before your torrid gaze once more I stand
Defenseless; searching for some safe harbor
On a sea of passion; I beg your hand
To save my heart and sustain my labor;
I have faced this peril before and know
Those orbs are filled with unspoken sorrow,
But delight and deceit be damned below,
To the Devil I’ll condemn my marrow.
Against this tempest love I am powerless,
And left but to rage in Lear-like madness.

03 September 2010

Your Beauty Makes a Coward of My Tongue

For Erene.

Your beauty makes a coward of my tongue,
As if thy form has robbed me of my voice.
With Cupid’s blind-shot arrow am I stung,
Though, by my faith, I dote without a choice;
Your lips steal the very breath from my lungs
And drive my mind beyond the edge of sense.
By the heat of thy touch, is thought o’erwrung,
Yet, by that same palm, I crave indulgence;
While ‘tis sin to love thee, I’ll be brave still,
Praying such boldness overwhelms your heart.
Give me thy hand, if it should be thy will,
And I’ll stoke the fires of passion with art.
But speak my name and all I am is thine,
For with my pen I’ll praise thy love divine.

02 September 2010

If Age Presented No Impediment

For Erene.

If age presented no impediment,
As it were but sand falling through a glass,
I would wish you to release the love pent
Within my pen, a love too long held fast;
Measure not the thread of my graying years,
Nor let your gaze linger upon my scarred
Visage, but let me live within your gyre,
And bestow upon me your love unbarred;
It is in thy pow’r to unlock my mind.
Oh, part the long centuries and grant me
The gentle touch of your Greek sisters nine,
And I will spend love’s labours but for thee.
Young heart, I would desire you my Muse,
To give, by thy love, words for me to use.

01 September 2010

In Truth, How Worthless Have My Words Become

For "Her."

In truth, how worthless have my words become,
When I have so long pledged myself to thee?
Is’t possible to dip a pen struck dumb
By the absence of such a Muse as thee?
What shall I write when my prose is cheapened,
With patronizing rhymes dripping in ink,
When with denial my sadness has deepened,
And pain I endure when of you I think?
I must now doubt my course when next I find
A companion heart to beat next to mine;
The perfect match of body and of mind,
A soul content to paint outside the lines.
How may I again profess love as sweet,
When I have writ such ardent words for thee?

31 August 2010

This Sonnet is a Requiem for Love

For "Her."

This sonnet is a requiem for love
Once blinding and hot as the August sun,
Now faded, awaiting the early fall of
Leaves as winter’s chill cools spring’s passion;
I do here repent the words, penned for thee
While I languished in love unrequited,
Tortured by touches used to deceive,
And forced from Diana’s table unsated;
For too long I sought asylum in your
Memory, finding instead a prison
Of false solace, and my mind given o’er
To an Ophelian loss of reason.
I pray my heart, like a phoenix, shall rise;
Reborn to delight in a new love’s eyes.

30 August 2010

Damn'd Cupid has Forever Cursed Me

For "Her."

Damn’d Cupid has forever cursed me
To dote on imperfection’s perfection;
With my eye to admire her beauty,
While my heart bleeds, battered by rejection;
The Archer’s arrow easily pierced my breast,
Though she, to love’s wound, was proof’d it seems.
Now visions of joy have been smashed to dust,
And the failures suffered infect my dreams;
Am I thus condemned to crawl in darkness,
The blind victim in this malicious hoax;
Destined to be consumed by emptiness,
And forever doomed to pursue her ghost?
Oh, impious devil, pity my plight;
Release my heart that I may turn to light.

29 August 2010

My Fault Lies Chiefly in Loving You Still

For "Her."

My fault lies chiefly in loving you still.
It casts a shadow over all I feel,
Clouding my mind, overwhelming my will,
And closing my heart in a tomb of steel;
This yearning is a malignant cancer,
Cut out time after time, but never cured.
Age only makes the failure grow larger,
Ensuring that my soul remains immured;
Memory serves to refresh my pain with cruel
Truth: I will never be free of this curse;
This defect will force me to play the fool
Until I draw my last breath on this Earth;
My splintered heart lives shrouded in darkness,
While my mind drifts further into madness.

28 August 2010

A Universe Begins With Just a Kiss

A universe begins with just a kiss,
The gentle touching of trembling lips,
An exploration of innocent bliss,
And the measured tracings of finger tips;
We take each other in with ragged breaths,
Enduring the raw pleasurable pain,
Inhaling fragrances of mingled sweat,
As every move becomes the other’s gain;
We promise ourselves a lifelong romance,
While lying together in a close curve,
Intertwining in this tender dance
Of pulsating heartbeats and exploding nerves.
Love grows into passion, and leads to this:
A universe begins with just a kiss.

27 August 2010

To the Lady With Whom I Would Grow Old

For "Her."

To the Lady with whom I would grow old,
The beauty who owns my heart, I offer,
Faithful companionship as years unfold,
And countless days of loving none but her;
When in long counted years I reach four score,
It is your company that I desire;
To hold your hand and feel my spirit soar,
‘Til I go to Heaven, or to Hell’s fire;
In the march of time, sharp-edged lust will dull,
To be replaced by smoldering passion;
An enduring heat that permits no lull,
And that will serve to temper devotion.
My love and muse; my friend and guiding star;
The faith I hold in thee can ne’er be marred.

26 August 2010

Love, of You, I Desire a Favor

For "Her."

Love, of you, I desire a favor;
A tattered scarf or a plain strip of lace.
Some gift to sustain me when I waver;
A light to lead me from the darkest place;
I beg some physical inspiration,
A forgotten cloth that still holds your scent.
Some token to fire imagination,
And jolt my brain when my dreams are all spent;
What I wish is only a trifle, yes;
A simple item that you’ll never miss.
This lifeless object I need, I confess,
To comfort me when I can’t have your kiss.
My Lady, I humbly pray for your love
To all the bright stars in heaven above.

24 August 2010

My Simple Love Poems Live in Your Eyes

For "Her."

My simple love poems live in your eyes,
And in the slope of your imperfect nose.
Your porcelain cheeks beguile, and belie
The strange magic that inspires my prose;
My poems lie in the warmth of your lips,
For their sugared taste enlivens my pen,
And causes my heart to stutter and skip,
While yielding the rhymes on which I depend;
The touch of your skin arouses my muse,
While quietly easing my troubled mind,
With a wondrous pow'r I can not refuse,
As your passionate breath steals away mine.
You are the womb that gives my lyric birth,
And the lungs that breathe love into my verse.

23 August 2010

I'll Not Promise Things I Can't Deliver

For "Her."

I’ll not promise things I can’t deliver,
Strands of pearls, or Everest mounts of gold.
In truth you will more likely discover,
I can give no more than my hand to hold;
I won’t promise you some fool’s paradise,
A shining love story perfectly told.
But I’ll be your bruis’d and battered knight,
Fighting life’s dragons, ever brave and bold.
I can’t promise you material wealth,
Though I’ll be, through summer, and winter cold,
A friend, a lover, in sickness and health,
Staying with you when you’re wrinkled and old;
My precious true love, worth riches untold,
I give thee freely from my heart and soul.

22 August 2010

A Sonnet as Apology to Christina Alvarado

Pray, pardon this inarticulate fool,
Struck dumb gazing upon Venus’ face.
I’ll strive to bestow, with God given tools,
Flowery words to match your Thespian grace;
The tempest past, for ready pen I reach,
Vainly to search for a rhyme to submit
In excuse of silence, or stutt’ring speech,
And to worship thus from paper pulpit;
Oh, sweet Muse, fire of my fevered mind,
Judge me gently and allow me to vie
To once more feel your gentle hand in mine,
And gain one more look in your timeless eyes.
Accept these weak lines of admiration,
For I could not give voice in exaltation.

21 August 2010

A Few Lines to Leave Behind

For my Family and Friends
28 August 2007

I pen these few lines to leave behind me,
In excuse for all those I shall bear hence,
To express the simple love I owe thee,
That could make such prolong’d argument;
I journey forth now to the promised land
Of faith, not unwilling, but unafraid;
To search for the eternal answers, and
Regretting only the things left unsaid;
I have paid the Lord the death He is due
And found an end to this fragile life’s pain.
With last breath I proclaim my love for you,
And thus defeat death when that love remains.
Allow these brief words to ease your sorrow,
And know we’ll meet some happy tomorrow.

20 August 2010

Sleep No More!

For Arthur H. Monigold

“Macbeth does murder sleep.” Alas, I fear,
For all his genius, the Bard is mistook.
No, it was not the good Scot who crept near,
To steal innocent slumber, like a crook;
Nor did Claudius truly wrack sweet dreams
With “murder most foul” in Denmark’s garden.
‘Tis but fiction, though foul indeed it seems
When guards prey upon moments unguarded;
In truth, ‘twas one familial – one of trust,
That condemned me with his lies and incest,
Who used a child to sate his vile lust,
And damned me to endless nights without rest.
Weep, not for Dunsinane and Elsinore,
But for the child that lives, yet sleeps no more!

18 August 2010

A New Angel Flies in Heaven Tonight

A lament for the loved lost.

A new angel flies in Heaven tonight,
Lifted up on high by our mournful prayers.
And while, to the eyes, she is out of sight,
In our hearts she will remain ever near;
She takes flight on newfound gossamer wings,
To reside amongst ever bright planets,
Shining stars, and all celestial things.
Let’s rejoice that she’s slipped the mortal net;
She is with God, and loved ones gone before,
In a beautiful place, absent all pain.
Let us celebrate, and lament no more,
A soul free from a broken body’s wane!
We must go on; but through our grief and pain,
Know that our earthly loss is Heaven’s gain.

11 August 2010

Why I Can Not Write a Sonnet for You

For Catherine Harren Barufaldi

Ms. Barufaldi, with humble regrets,
I am unable to grant your request
For a sonnet that my own hand begets,
As my words rarely flow at mere behest;
Also, your marital status precludes
The penning of romantic verse or rhyme,
Which – as you know – a true sonnet includes,
This threat’s to turn the poet into mime;
Further, creating for a married Muse
Could lead to a dangerous consequence,
Like Writer assault or Poet abuse,
Leaving this scrivener beat out of sense.
Please, feel free to make future inquiry,
At present, though, I must dodge injury.

A Disputation of the Existence of Love That Dare Not Speak its Name

For Ian & David Newhem
on the occasion of their wedding
~ 25 July 2009 ~

We are but momentary motes of dust
On this Earth; floating in noontime sunbeams,
Rarely making contact with one we trust,
Or love, enough to share our mortal dreams;
As the fragile threads of this life unspool
And our too brief candle dims toward darkness,
We must seize our own joy, or play love’s fool
On a lonely stage, shrouded in lightness;
Mark not the word of Man; ask Him above
For blessings, and leave mortals to natter.
Look upon past love as prologue to love
To come…for ever, and ever after.
We must dare proclaim love – by any name,
For love unspoken or denied is shame!

30 July 2010

Lion's Tooth

For Dr. Cliff Garner

Taraxacum parachutes on the breeze,
Billowing against cerulean skies,
Landing, ivory white on verdant seas,
A cott’ny carpet dread by knowing eyes;
Exploding florets of golden yellow,
Stealing treasure out of the very earth,
Bursts of sun-burnt orange in fields left fallow
As Man battles Nature for worldly worth;
No more a child’s game; gone is delight
In old wives’ tales, and dent de lion myths
Of numbered days to come, love out of sight,
And the empty promise of granted wish.
I here do mourn the lost days of my youth,
And lawn and garden mauled by Lion’s Tooth.

29 July 2010

What's in a Name?

Bud Koenemund is The Mad Sonneteer! He earned his unusual – though perfectly descriptive – sobriquet during the summer of 2003. While taking a summer session English course at SUNY Rockland Community College, he allowed his professor, the indomitable Dr. Cliff Garner, to read a few dozen of his poems – including several sonnets.

Garner returned the work with many helpful suggestions, and – because of Koenemund’s love of William Shakespeare’s work, his penchant for writing sonnets (as Shakespeare did), and the overarching theme of his work – dubbed Bud The Mad Sonneteer.

While Koenemund writes in several different forms and across many genre, he usually prefers the challenge of writing an English (or Shakespearean) sonnet.