Friday, January 20, 2006

Digging in the Past

Paseo del Vulcan and the Double Eagle Airport

Between desert and sand
stripped down to mesa dust
we lie plane bathing
droning our sins in silence
erupting from sacred mountains
of long-dead fire.
from Bill Hocker, photographer
Him clouded uncertainty
clad in perfection
reserved for the shallow or lost
me pulsated yearning
like ants marching across Mexican weave
toward home.

The two of us salt-lick borders
where skin to skin our touch buzzes
frequency unmapped
connection unchartered
but richless
destined to fly away home.

He says you will burn.
I say brown is better.
We shade ourselves
with all we cannot say
fan ourselves with the flame
of our burning-out love.


Albuquerque March 17

Albuquerque, March 17, 2003

By midnight
the streets were clear and quiet
rain softly drumming on tear-gas canisters
tapping on placards now wilting in the bushes
dissolving horseshit piled up in the streets.

The echo of flashing lights
remained glowing in the puddles
but the sirens now warn of the coming new order
in other corners of the city
to other crooks for other crimes.

One barrette lay open and glistening
in the intersection
between opposite lanes of traffic
at the base of a light
now free to turn green.

She will ask for it at police custody
her release the only thing they can hand her
in the absence of peace
apologies not yet forced from the mayor
by the headlines

her arrest still signaling
just their job
just another protest
just one more voice
shoved face-down to asphalt and rain.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Lobocraspis griseifu

Lobocraspis griseifusa

This is the tiny moth who lives on tears,
who drinks like a deer at the gleaming pool
at the edge of the sleeper’s eye, the touch
of its mouth as light as a cloud’s reflection.

In your dream, a moonlight figure appears
at your bedside and touches your face.
He asks if he might share the poor bread
of your sorrow.  You show him the table.

The two of you talk long into the night,
but by morning the words are forgotten.
You awaken serene, in a sunny room,
rubbing the dust of his wings from your eyes.

-- Ted Kooser, Delights & Shadows

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Close but not close ENOUGH.

I'm exhausted.

Finished one 40 page chapter, and it's all I can do to breathe!

But I have to turn around and write another one Saturday! Argh. Not sure I have it in me, but I don't know that I have it in me to stretch this out any more than it already has, either.

Rock. Me. Hard Place.

How did Odysseus get out of that one again? Trickery? Perseverance? Or did Athena sweep in with the wisdom he needed to change the situation to his advantage?

Like I said. Exhausted.

The good news is that it's 4/5 done. That's 80%. The bad news is that it will take considerable effort to finish the last 20%.

In the meantime, life is GOOD. Friends GOOD. Feeling balanced and adult and pretty damn happy. I'm working hard, so that's half the battle where I'm concerned. Too much free time, and I spiral into life-thoughts and hence, depression.

So looking forward to exercise! And friends! I can feel myself itching for social time with people I haven't seen in over a year. So bad.

Soon enough.

Soon. Enough.

Back into the breach, dear fellows. Pray for me.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Favorite NY Views

Roofline in Harlem.

Check out the reflection in the windows, not to mention the sexy fire escapes. My god! So beautiful...

Adorning a post below the famous shirtwaist factory building, site of a historic turning point in the labor movement after the death of 141 women when a fire broke out. The building is now owned by NYU, where students now learn to be activists!

Favorite Brooklyn Views

Loved the graffiti. Check out the uzi!

Industrial aesthic. Ooo...

Reminds me of the Santa Fe shot. Industrial detritus. Mmmm...

Creative housepainting. With graphiti. Yes!

The door to the Hitchhiker's Galaxy. This time...PANIC!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Venus de Milo

Upwards of steam
I breathe in silence
breathe out anger
muscles hardening to stone
one by one.

I am turning into Venus
arms lopped above the elbow.
You wouldn’t know it but
I’m reaching for you –
both of you.

Lover of my dark places
and hardened faces
Hermes guide back
into my hell-cave childhood,
your looming height
guards my secrets,
winged feet
prickster pranks
flank him on my other side.

Lover-to-be of my still-to-bes
domestic god of the hearth,
cooking-stove heat of rice simmering to a boil,
feed me a grain at a time
until I am full
from your hand,
belly distended
from our slow-swelling love.

June 2004

Friday, January 06, 2006

Brian Turner -- Asbah

From NPR: An American soldier in Iraq writes a book of haunting poems, Here, Bullet.


  • Brian Turner reads "Ashbah"

  • The ghosts of American soldiers
    wander the streets of Balad by night,
    unsure of their way home, exhausted,
    the desert wind blowing trash
    down the narrow alleys as a voice
    sounds from the minaret, a soulfull call
    reminding them how alone they are,
    how lost. And the Iraqi dead,
    they watch in silence from rooftops
    as date palms line the shore in silhouette,
    leaning toward Mecca when the dawn wind blows.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Baudelaire -- The Eyes of the Poor

From Paris Spleen, 1869

(Haussman was actively redoing the now-famous Paris boulevards, which Baudelaire references below. Baudelaire popularized the image of the flaneur -- the casual, removed observer who sees and strolls to be seen in urban spaces.)

Ah! So you would like to know why I hate you today? It will certainly be harder for you to understand than for me to explain, for you are, I believe, the most perfect example of feminine impermeability that exists.

We had spent a long day together which to me had seemed short. We had duly promised each other that all our thoughts should be shared in common, and that our two souls henceforth be but one -- a dream which, after all, has nothing original about it except that, although dreamed by every man on earth, it has been realized by none.

That evening, a little tired, you wanted to sit down in front of a new cafe forming the corner of a new boulevard still littered with rubbish but that alreday displayed proudly its unfinished splendors. The cafe was dazzling. Even the gas burned with all the ardor of a debut, and lighted with all its might the blinding whiteness of the walls, the expanse of mirrors, the gold cornices and moldings, fat-cheeked pages dragged along by hounds on leash, laughing ladies with falcons on their writs, nymphs and goddesses bearing on their heads piles of fruits, pates and game, Hebes and Ganymedes holding out little amphoras of syrups or parti-colored ices; all history and all mythology pandering to gluttony.

On the street directly in front of us, a worthy man of about forty, with tired face and greying beard, was standing holding a small boy by the hand and carrying on his arm another little thing, still too weak to walk. He was playing nurse-maid, taking the children for an evening stroll. They were in rags. The three faces were extraordinarily serious, and those six eyes stared fixedly at the new cafe with admiration, equal in degree but differing in kind according to their ages.

The eyes of the father said: "How beautiful it is! How beautiful it is! All the gold of the poor world must have found its way onto those walls." The eyes of the little boy: "How beautiful it is! How beautiful it is! But it is a house where only people who are not like us can go." As for the baby, he was much too fascinated to express anything but joy -- utterly stupid and profound.

Song writers say that pleasure ennobles the soul and softens the heart. The song was right that evening as far as I was concerned. Not only was I touched by this family of eyes but I was even a little ashamed of our glasses and decanters, too big for our thirst. I turned my eyes to look into yours, dear love, to read my thoughts in them; and as I plunged my eyes into your eyes, so beautiful and curiously soft, into those green eyes, home of Caprice and goverened by the Moon, you said: "Those people are insufferable with their great saucer eyes. Can't you tell the proprietor to send them away?"

So you see how difficult it is to understand one another, my dear angel, how incommunicable thought is, even between two people in love.