madness treads lightly stirred
by breath that snakes between the lips
necessary for life as blood
or rubies spent in wrath
we count the darkness and look
for yesterday in the bloom of bones
This game makes my intellect feel
Which feeds into my underdog tendencies
But maybe I look for a way to be the victim
What the hell am I talking about?
I’m pushing wooden pieces
Across a board, building the farm
I could never hope to imagine in my wildest dreams
Life is great sometimes
That baby in dirty, torn blankets,
Silent, ignorant to the dark, tortuous war.
Born to a terrified, on-the-verge-of-death woman,
while hateful eyes look on, regarding this birth as a nuisance, that of a stray mongrel,
wishing that mother, and now child, would disappear,
perish like the perimeterous souls, day in, day out.
Below the stone-cold gazes, a warm heart infiltrates the dank, musty imprisonment.
All too aware of the perils of childbirth, hellish conditions,and total dismay cast forth in captivity, stands a woman with two squares of chocolate tucked in her pocket.
Bittersweet encouragement for when she or her own didn’t know if one more second in this concrete hell was possible.
Two squares of chocolate: a provision of hope, a reprieve from a cruel reality, knowledge of a world once known, but not forgotten.
A selfless woman, witnessing the terrified young mother fighting for her life and that of her just-born child, reaches into her pocket, unwraps the tiny square,
touches it to parched lips, and reassures her that, this, too, shall pass.
That baby received a chance at life, living a life of gratitude for the gift of hope, where none could be seen.
If you look past the wooden houses, and the paper people inside, you’ll see the fire spread.
When I see my friends, their chests burst at the sight of me.
All covered in red, the monsters race through the streets.
They’re for me, and the bodies left behind are free.
They’ve already paid the toll to cross the river.
Your shadows creep up out of your mouth, and they carry with them all your belongings.
Now that you’re alone what will you do?
What did you want to be?
Could you find the money?
I wanna watch the flood today.
Underneath a blue sky, always trouble underneath the sunshine.
Little figurines dance on their shelves, as the people are sold for what they’re worth in the world.
The bubble bursts, and they end up in the streets on fire.
From their little houses, all their money’s burned them to ashes.
All my friends tell me, they’ve all forgave me for the future.
It’s just life catching up with me.
The child has grown, and he’s gone mad.
I blame all the forces that made me what I am.
The collapse of the society, pushes us into ground.
Were we ever free, or did we dream up our lives?
You fall forward, my hands hold your pockets.
I’ll follow you into the grave, the rest into the sky.
Their leaving the world, and we’re saying goodbye.
No one is ready to see the sky.
Open eyes of children, and they fly so far away.
The fires and the beasts have beat us down.
My mouths full of dirt anyhow.
I can’t see anymore.
Is this what it was I was looking for?
No one is ready to see the fires they’ve created.
It’s so far into the future, I’ll die before it reaches me.
I can feel the ashes on my bones.
I can feel the fire, in my worthless soul.
If you look past the wooden houses, and the cemetery trees.
You might find a blue hole in the sky.
A ladder built out of my possessions.
Finally giving me rebirth.
This is leaving the world, and this is what it’s worth.
A world covered in all the things that gave way under us.
LETTERS TO THE DEAD: SEVEN
Hey Kevin (1952 – 1993)
Just a postcard to let you know I’m thinking of you.
Always do. My little brother who taught me so much.
For the cover of this postcard imagine a black-n-white
of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rodgers in “The Barkleys Of
Broadway” dancing with the cool fluid motion of robins
in a mating dance. Even in the still frame there’s flutter.
Oh such sex appeal to a square like me, to you it’s art.
To write letters to the dead you have to read letters
from the dead and thanks to our mom (who saved every-
thing) there’s plenty to chose from. I’m amazed at how
often you sent these hip California images of dancers and
artists with a letter “to just stay in touch.” It has not
been as easy to read these as I thought it would. The ones
from the late ’80s have a lot of details about the treatments
and therapies for aids you were undertaking.
I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five years.
I still miss you so much.
Lakes, Presidents, and Littles
Once people believed
the dark spots (on this side)
of the moon were lakes.
A lovely place to go
for alone time, every mother
needs some (both a lovely
place and alone time),
not to estrange herself
from the littles
but just to be president
(briefly) of her own body.
Little latchers follow her
to the bathroom,
not understanding it’s
aunt flow’s time to visit
(the auntie who comes
from the moon and knows
what’s up with the dark spots)
and it’s already crowded
in there, aunt flow with
all her luggage and a mind
to speak her piece. Littles
(pushing and stretching—
something they learned
at the beginning of time)
could part the sea (if
need be) to get back
in mother’s sight,
view of her move-
ments and the moon’s power
(lakes, craters and otherwise).