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?