Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the genius of it all


A long hike in the foothills,
the sun so low it haloes the hills,
autumn falling, streetlights warming up.
Everything beautiful, better running away.
I’m running away. I don’t slide, don’t talk
or write letters and hope they go unanswered.
That’s the problem with goodbyes,
they’re terribly effective.
Baby, if I had a yes in my heart,
it would fill my mouth more often.
I’m swaddled by stories
that rock between tellings and
small, unmappable meridians,
toward love beyond love, light beyond light (et cetera),
but let’s tell the truth at the end this time:
I don’t want you to be alone anymore,
don’t want to be out of all this
and as senseless with life as we always were.
Failure is a one-act classic,
but we are always fond, oh-so-fond of it,
the genius of it all,
the genius of ourselves
and the way we pour ourselves out
and sometimes mean it.

in reach



Time, o time: I am but a wastrel in a Cadillac
with a whole year of heartache
and a modest talent with words.
Look around. Everywhere things where they shouldn’t be.
But everything’s in reach. You’re in reach,
sometimes at night I think of reaching you
when happiness is a kind of hysteria
that requires looking in the mirror
for too long in the mornings. OK, the truth is better:
I’m better a little lonely. I’m better in the cold.
I’m better missing you from places I’d almost never escaped.
I’m better in New York, where I haven’t stopped looking up.
I’m better in New Orleans after all is lost.
Once all is lost, I’ll listen to your voice from Venice
or Neptune or wherever you’ve fallen in love to last.
I don’t know if technology fixes loneliness
but it will make sadness more precise.
I fall in love to you when
each transmission is complete,
when the last beer glass
still glows with light from the TV,
when I fill this house with song
and then burn it all down.

old catalonias


No loss for words,
more words won each minute.
Chaos agents across the land
change the rates of measure,
leave some numbers the same.
Bullets in the walls, hiding in the wells,
battles I don’t remember every time
the park is empty and I hear a sound.
Maybe we never quit seeing soldiers.
They never really quit for better words:
I’ve never been to hell but there are lot of people
who say I should go. OK.
Then every suffering for itself,
and whiskey take the hindmost.