Tag Archives: JS

From the prayer of forgetting

receipt

From the prayer of forgetting

1
The shapes at the water’s edge
They are not your memories

They are the clothes of the drowned. Forgotten
Because they are no longer needed.

2
After a long walk through life you were tired.
You paused, hand on knee, to rest. It took

A little longer than you thought to catch
Your breath and the trees had been bulldozed

And the spiders had covered you with the silk
Of memory. I came with a single dream’s knife

And cut a slit so you could back out. Later the city
Builders saw the shape standing alone

Like a magnificent cocoon, covered
It with stone and called it a church.

3
Your soul comes to you
Like bees finding their hive

Assembling into shapes almost
Making sense to your eye

Defined by a sweetness it will never taste
And a sting it will not survive.

4
The onomatopoeia of forgot,
Regret. They sound like things

That almost are but aren’t
Solid enough to take steps

Or kneel on stone in prayer.

5
I invalidated a receipt once
By writing a poem on it.

No further exchange was
Necessary or authorized.

Like a cowbird I laid that egg
in the nest of your eyes

And you have raised it
Into something that flies

Away from you, recognizing
Neither of us as its maker.

Talking after running

talkingafterrunning

Talking after running

The heart after running is less likely
to lose itself to ledge or leap. It has

Asserted resolve over a measurable distance.
So if the heart leaps after running, it is more

Than a magnitude of muscle memory. Doesn’t
The steady heart know the world’s greatest

Victories are like fireflies in a July field
I walk across after the night’s mile has cooled

Me down? Steadier than these glimpses
Of what threads through us, across time

And space. Yet it leaps as though into the light
for words it might wander toward

If this path did not already describe it best.

The Sound

evergreen stars

The Sound

There will be no meeting. Go deeper– is it quiet there?
He is the one you could never have. Though he could

Never not be yours. Deeper– it’s the sound of waking.
When we were younger we could drink a lot more

Coffee. I remember our first cup together. In the depths
Of the night, its upside down ocean, sound is replaced

By a strange pressure on the ears. On the entire surface
Of your body. This is where fissures open up in the roof

And new mountains emerge. It’s where stars are born.
Where a shy medallion spilled from God’s pirate ship

twined through the waves of dark sleep and became
The moon. Some hearts would explode from the pressure

Mine is like the cork that has to be pushed back
Into the wine bottle corkscrewed side down. Torn

But doing its job. Deeper but not so deep
You couldn’t pluck it out with your bare hand.

Sometimes a memory is tame as soft rain, deeper
than falling asleep, like a read book empty and full

at the same time, the sound of a candle in the room.

My ghost’s primary victory speech

8

My ghost’s primary victory speech

I will first ask the mountains to stop counting.
Four hours after midnight I will wake my body.

I have done this a lot lately but he can’t take a hint.
I will say first I am happy nobody could be here tonight

Next I will say first nothing has been certified
Nothing has been sanctioned nothing needs to be

Said first I will say that first and then I will move
My body’s finger across the lever of night

I will do that first because nothing comes next
So it all has to be said first and hasn’t he said it

All already can’t he wake up long enough to
Lie by the open window looking nowhere

Through the silence of mountains and
See where this is going and do the math

There’s only one ballot to count but
So loud In their spring are the starlings

Wednesday the 11th [from “The Week,” a series of 7 poems leading up to Friday the 13th]

Wednesday the 11th

The small city’s skyline is low-slung
Like tired dogs. A TV antenna, decades

Unused and tilted from last century’s
Storms — that could be my silhouette

Against the quiet valley gloaming —
Left out like a boy raising his hand

In a classroom emptying of light.

Five Devastating Kicking Techniques

Five Devastating Kicking Techniques

kick

Pancake kick
Sit down into the kick
And spread out until you are irresistible.

Trophy kick
Hold a single moment mid-kick
Perfectly balanced and do
Not move the rest of your life

Winter Weather Warning kick
Promise vengeance. Promise no mercy.
Then walk softly and meekly past.
Then kick a week later.

Spring kick
Turn your kick into soft raindrops
That hurt nobody. Immediately
A million small green kicks emerge.
People come outside and beg to be kicked.

Love kick
Kicking the habit is
Just another kick.