Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Request


Let me live for loveliness
Let me trade in lights
Let me chant my overwhelming
undulating Rights

Rights come only from without
A potter lends them with his wheel
Let me keep in my clay curves
A treasure moth and rust don't steal

Oh, let me prance and dance and roll
Let me flaunt and bow and trill
I will pour and lay myself
I will shimmer and be still

Only let me in Your sight
Only let me take Your name
And I will only be Your child
My coming comes because you came


On the Rocks

She would stand there in the darkness with a petal for a skirt
and prop herself on backs of crowds and drape herself in strobe
And while her clackers teetered, throw her weight from toe to heel
Her hair would catch and complicate the earring in her lobe

She used to find tonight's conviction in a stranger's conversation
--used to love this darkness and this spicy, hopeless air--
she used to warm her hands on every hothead's flirting rhetoric, and
used to find a poem in the bottles by the bar

She stands there at the door tonight and cannot quite go in
The clanging glasses ring defeat; they keep a hollow time
and panic wrings her hands--tonight has happened (so) before
She steps inside and orders sorrow on the rocks with lime


Saturday, March 5, 2011


I'm better looking when I'm crying
My eyes look greener when they're wet
I've drunk thousands of the wantings
that taste better not to get
And I've danced the dance of lacking, and I've dreamed tomorrow's corn
But I could swear, my baby, I've run out of things to mourn

The problem comes when you forgive it
when your father comes a man
and your mother comes a broken heart
and the world becomes a Plan
you run out of ways to shout about the pain of being born
and I swear to you, my baby, you run out of things to mourn

So you sing your songs of glory
and you cry your cries of pain
but you can't remember reasons
or the friction, or the rain
so you write a poem of justice, and your mouth goes wide with scorn
But the outrage is a little forced--you've nothing left to mourn

One day you find the sun is out
You half-way mourn the cloud
then let it slip and slip away
Let fall the joyous shroud
It takes you and you cannot weep, can't paint your face forlorn
And if you cry, it's over milk--you're out of things to mourn


The Germans 2


I forgot that

I love you


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Germans


We'll meet about once a year, probably

For sushi rolls and discreet shows of taste in wasabi
We'll smile the smiles of scared she-chimps
and grasp each other's elbows in manicured vices
before we sit and cross our knees to open the joust

We will play catchup as a points game,
asking after old friends off a checklist
jumping to mention first
(+- for Intimacy of Terms)
where they are going and how they are doing
in these stacked years since the school days

But She is the one we don't ask about,
for there is a limit to our cruelty;
also I cannot take it, for she was mine and is now


The strain arrives in about half and hour,
as smiles begin to crack and militant humor loses ammunition,
and we cast about for the key phrases of graceful retreat:
"before the bank closes,"
"cookies for tonight,"
"meeting my brother."

We'll never stop, either-- it would admit the breakdown of diplomacy
the ripping of our nametags (HELLO, I'm Decency)--
we hug through our purses over the table,

and for an instant, I wonder if you really hate me at all.