Self and Dream Self
Routines of decaying timefade, and your waking lifegets laborious as science.You huddle in, becomingthe deathless younger selfwho will survive your dreamsand vanish in surviving.Dream brings on its storyat the pace of driftin twilight, sunless color,its settings are believed,a library of wood shingles,plain mythic furniturevivid drone of talk,yet few loves return:trysts seem unkeepable.Urgencies from your timejoin with the browner suitswalking those arcades with youbut then you are apart,aghast, beside the numberlessdefiling down steep fenceinto an imminence —as in the ancient burrowyou, with an ever-changing cast,survive deciding episodestill you are dismissedand a restart of tensesummons your waking sizeout through shreds of story.
ear early tuned to hear beneath the call to end
eating flesh, sentient suffering beings (creatures
bred now for slaughter will
then never be bred) less life less life tuned to hearstill the vow solemn and implacable I made as a kid
walking a sidewalk in Bakersfield
never to have a child, condemn a creature
to this hell as the prisoner
chorus in wonder is released into the sun, ear early tuned to hear
beneath the melody the ground-bass less life less life
Song of Social Despair
–Marvin BellEthics without faith, excuse me,is the butter and not the bread.You can’t nourish them all, the deadpile up at the hospital doors.And even they are not so numerousas the mothers come in maternity.The Provider knows his faults—love of architecture and repair—but will not fall into them for long:he can’t afford the adolescent luxury,the fellowship of the futurelooks greedily toward his family.The black keys fit black cylindersin the locks in holes in the night.He had a skeleton key once,a rubber arm and complete confidence.Now, as head of the family, he isinevitably on the wrong side looking out.
What I’ve Learned About Trauma
It isn’t as easy as being
Something That Happened to You
a package you opened once.
You will wake up in a new ZIP code
have to wander your way home,
carry a few of the things you love to this new place
you live in now.
& so you buy throw pillows.
You put up twinkle lights & have a big celebration,
point at the open windows
& tell everyone who has ever seen you crying –
look how I have not caged myself.
look what I have made out of two paint buckets
and the blessing of my still-here body.
but, of course,
trauma leans into the bar cart.
Spills a drink on the new rug.
Breaks off the door handle on his way out.
Trauma sends you letters
for the rest of your life,
usually disguised as something else –
a medical bill, maybe,
or a box of photo albums packaged up by your father,
just so you remember
trauma knows exactly where you live—
who did you think built the house?
This Black Rich Country
Dispossess me of belief:
between life and me obtrude
no symbolic forms:
grant me no mission: let my
mystical talents be beasts
in dark trees: thin the wire
I limp in space, melt it
with quick heat, let me walk
or fall alone: fail
me in all comforts:
hide renown behind the tomb:
withdraw beyond all reach of faith:
leave me this black rich country,
uncertainty, labor, fear: do not
steal the rewards of my mortality.
There Is a Light that Never Goes Out
Don’t dream it’s over you don’t
know what’s it’s like it’s like that
& that’s the way it be near me be near
close to you crazy for you got the look
what you done done a do run run
run away run away she was lying
in the grass & she was it something
I said I know what boys like a prayer
a virgin girls just wanna boys
don’t cry don’t don’t you
want me don’t fall on me O
what a feelin’ more than keep
feeling fascination hush hush
voices carry too shy too shy close
to me & you don’t you
forget about hold me now don’t try
to live your life in one day it’s my
life nobody walks in LA woman
every breath you take you take
my breath away there’s always
something in the water
does not compute no new
tale to tell me if you still care
computer love went to her house
to bust a move & had to leave
real early tell me tell me
how to be you & me when I’m alone
in my room sometimes I stare at where
are you calling from call me
tell me fall on me let me be your time
will reveal won’t give me time I’ll
stop the world shut your mouth
on mine I can’t I can’t I can’t
stand losing cause this
is thriller thriller night fine
young pretty young thing is ooh
I like it sends chills up you gots
to chill party up you got to let
me know nobody loves you I am
only human & need you back
in love again bring on
the dancing let’s dance let’s
stay together & dance this mess
around dance dance dance
see how we are family I got
all I need to get by your side
to side back & forth word up for
the down stroke me everybody
wants you let’s go crazy let’s pretend
we’re married let’s wait awhile
again spin me right round baby
I’m a star under the milky way
In a trivial gesture, in a greeting,
in the simple glance, directed
in flight toward other eyes,
a golden, a fragile bridge is constructed.
This alone is enough.
Although it is only for a moment, it exists, exists.
This alone is enough.
En un gesto trivial, en un saludo,
en la simple mirada, dirigida
en vuelo, hacia otros ojos,
un áureo, un frágil puente se construye.
Baste esto sólo.
Aunque sea un instante, existe, existe.
Baste esto sólo.
Ut Pictura Poesis
How do I fancy a good atonement Homebound body
so slow to bounce back from overuse, meaning, darling,
A cuff of immensity threads me — centrifugal
I could fragment thus a rifle shard in a blood flick, dew
perched upon arrival
Where travel is a future &
not such arts
as ordinary inheritance azure mass — explicit menace
in a wing lull I try not to take
My mother, grandmother for granted
& not their elegant fierceness in flight– How do
I resurrect the excised archive of my relatives
How to use the word
love, mean it my animal glow–sacred rot
This luxury of time to even ask: Who were they