word count: 108
in antiquity, the sun was said to be
a god (shaped like a man) who ran all day,
cooled his burning feet in the western sea
& came home with his rays docile & dim
to his beloved, waiting there for him.
he’d give her anything in his peerless power,
which is what turned their romance sour
when she made a simple, devastating wish:
“stand before me, Sun, in your true form.”
in horror, he begged, “anything but this—
i’m too strong, even at the break of dawn!”
but she wouldn’t hear it—so, he turned on.
what she saw must have been magnificent;
she was immolated in an instant.
word count: 101
my love, your genius is hosted in you
like a parasite, a demon, an ancient
ghost haunting your wanting eyes. how
those little windows burn with the immense,
intense magnificence inside! & what i’d
give to set foot in that cathedral, to
see the hoard of treasure being held there
hostage by the fire-breathing monster
whose lair you are—it’s true, love, all i do
enslaved to this blunt, unfeeling craft
is look for ways of understanding you
so one day i may be strong enough to
lay eyes on the unfathomable view
that is your soul & live to tell the tale.
word count: 76
wisdom is moderation of all things:
to neither be a puppet nor pull strings,
to lead with strength but not an iron fist,
to smartly borrow from but not consist
of lessons learned in lifetimes besides yours,
to seize the day while still doing your chores
& take action, but give in when you’re wrong.
balance & reflection make you strong,
except in love, which no wisdom can touch:
love proves it’s love by loving far too much.
Charisma shows up everywhere
wearing a stranger’s face.
strangely, she’s always recognized
& never out of place.
she graces who she pleases,
ignorant of looks & wealth;
she’s powerful in poverty
& faithful through poor health;
she’s drawn to freaks & outsiders,
but princes have her too;
she’s blatantly bisexual;
she favors no skin’s hue;
she has no code of conduct
or unbreakable taboo
except this: she expects the most of both
her host & you.
a charismatic person
can pull on your inner strength,
crossing the chasm between you with
a rope bridge half its length;
compelling you to prove your worth
as long as you’re on earth,
Charisma is the catalyst of all rebirth—
& she’s your other lover, love;
she rarely leaves your side;
her confident hand guides you—
i’m along just for the ride.
word count: 97
i think Time itself understands
the commands of your quivering twin wands;
you shape Now as it passes your hands
infinitely docile, resembling strong
youth, infancy & age with equal grace—
some rhythms are warlike, some fight for peace,
right foot runs straight while the left syncopates,
teasing timelessness out between beats.
where is your totem pole? what tribe taught you
the primal ecstasy that invokes gods?
whose ancestral wisdom pumps life into
those hollow drums, mesh skins & tapered rods?
i know this one thing: if hearts measure time
for other hearts, yours keeps the beat for mine.
(a study of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 128)
word count: 66
how bad could it be?
it’s unloaded, see?
i know what i’m doing.
there’s no way she’s suing.
“i see black light!”
“does no one understand?”
“shoot, coward, you’ll only be killing a man.”
(hugo, james joyce, che guevara above).
me? i’m not the type to fall in love.
what? keep falling?
don’t be absurd!
now i know a few more
famous last words.
word count: 97
i persephone though living wander
in death’s shade along the sidewalk by day
the moon raising her sickle overhead
reminds me monthly of the bloody dead
bodies who have carpeted battlegrounds
for generations laying their lives down
for the next generation & i am
a fly on the wall who will die with all
she has witnessed & not said & i’ve read
everything written about releasing
your final breath with ease & it’s no use
because fate just rolls a die & cuts the thread
but i wander in this land of the soon-dead
happy because i love you though doomed
word count: 87
2 different women live in my soul:
one is idyllically domestic
in her pale yellow apron-wearing role;
the 2nd holds down a fantastic
leading ladylike profession, respected
everywhere she goes—both unrealistic,
one a little closer to home.
they both channel their Qi like pros,
creative, sure of themselves & kind—
of course, neither of their 2 souls is mine.
i’m in the middle, where they’re combined
& only the intention of each shines.
one warms the heart, the other cools the head,
& you, love, keep the two from being dead.
word count: 115
whether you like it or not,
opposites make up your thoughts—
sex & celibacy / right & wrong
force & delicacy / short & long
a swinging pendulum—ding dong
killing, giving life / hurting, healing
dressing & undressing / floor, ceiling
hiding & confessing / breaking, sealing
great people in history have tapped into this mystery by
mapping patterns in the sky
making thousand-pound things fly
cooking medicines & foods
writing music / painting nudes
leading troops / shooting hoops—
all successes walk the line between human & divine—
all i’m doing is trying to not spend my lifetime dying.
looking, love, into your eyes,
I come to see & realize Love is
the opposite of death / my deepest drive
to be alive / desire for you to live & thrive.