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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

yes i thnk to myself

yes i think to myself
we would have done all right
you and i but
can we truly draw the line
and swear to the one lie
we would not have told
or how
our beauty wreathed
in intelligence and creativity
would have been more
than this 
sitting at her bedside
with a spoonful
of black-eyed peas held close and trembling
as a kiss
saying take eat
it's me
can't you tell it's me

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

today in a spring

today in a spring
that seems so much like summer
i watched through the vine-covered
crape myrtles
as the sun went down on the old white park mill
empty now lo these many years
but with a dark glow like banked embers
in the painted-over basement windows
until with a sudden phantom urging
the flames rose swiftly from basement to roof
and the walls the very bricks seemed to disappear
in a shattering burst of light
and i held my breath wondering if there would ever be
such a season again
everything conspiring to let go, yet remain

Sunday, April 8, 2012

new book ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

for deirdre ...


so today the assignment was okay
write me a gazelle i mean
excuse me every time he says that word i think
back to when
i was sixteen and my constant dream
was going to africa
where every morning when i would wake up
on the savannah there would be these herds of ghazals
pressing all around but so gentle i never
thought they could be mean or hurt me even
by accident
but later on i decided
the more practical thing was to apply to be
an airline "stewardess"
we called them back then but mama put her foot
down on that one saying
i will not have you ruin your life fucking pilots that won't never
marry you anyway
because you will find out soon enough
that all the good pilots are already
married and live
in the suburbs of savannah georgia and never
spend any time with their families
no they
all the time are out hunting when
they are home hunting
poor helpless canadian geese that don't have an inkling
of what lies in wait for them
just like you you damn fool i can't wait to see the day
when all my intuitions turn out to be true
but by that time
i guess i'll be dead and gone if you don't go
before me like your brother did
so you better listen which i did which is why i guess
i ended up
working at the strawberry
farm where every year
off by the yadkin river you can see the geese flying over
and hear the hunters
shooting off their shotguns like crazy to kill something they almost
never eat only sometimes they will stuff one
like a trophy like it was a gazelle or something instead of
just a goose

a variation of a theme by e e cummings

i once closed a poem
with the couplet

things would not be so bad below
if hell had got hold of van gogh

which seemed okay until
a smartypants editor from
el ay

allowed that something that lame might work in a song
but if this was a poem
i was pronouncing the name all wrong

which critique embarrassed
me so much
i changed the meaning just a touch like so

if hell was not already bad enough
it had to put up with van gogh

but when at last
my courage to the sticking place i screwed
and i submitted the piece anew

the former smartypants
was no longer in residence

and his replace-a-ment
a young lady
from the infamous town of kent

said nah there is some shit
even the internet would not partake of it