Wednesday, January 29, 2020

loverboi

1.

Lover, I do not know your name
Because I did not ask for it
A name is wrapped up
In the heart's asking
And we reserve our hearts
For the world outside of the
Brief joining of our bodies

Because what the heart asks for
Emerges not-in-between
The back and forth of our
Enduring Longing and

[the name does not enter here]

Fleeting Satisfaction

[the name may enter here]

2.

Lover, or more accurately:
Lover who is my approximation of Love's body

I hope that you are living
Outside of my body and
Living outside of your body because
The body refuses the asking of the heart

[the name as it enters]

Until it observes the asking among other bodies
Who ask the questions we dare not, and when
the asking is observed it causes something within your body and my body

[not quite Enduring Longing]

To unfurl darkly and shamefully
So as to avoid the body's hands and eyes
To hide among the interstices of the heart
Briefly detected as a dull ache
Present within each heartbeat

I know you know what I'm talking about because
We both remember the moment that that dark unfurling
Was given to us (because it was given to us)
By someone else (either your mother or father or some older boy
In your childhood and for that I am so, so sorry)

That silent wound that bends your knee in proposal
To ghosts of men who haunt your sex
We have both chased these phantom loves
Blinded by our velvet rage
Now do you see
How your past
Coils around my past and
Our futures begin
In that same frayed thread?

It ends in the same place too
A deathbed hallowed by 13 angels around
Your head and my head
When they whisper back the secrets of
Your longing and my longing--
Is that when your name will reveal itself
Written in the Book of Life
That only holy eyes may see?

3.

Lover, when will we stop playing these games?
It is our queer hope to exceed
The violence of this world
That violence that breaks
Your hold on my hand and
Sends you out the door.

How fucked is it that the game we play is one of survival?

Our bespoke love tailored in shadow.
Our love's light transfigured to refract
Our hidden shame.

4.

Lover -- if I could
I would ask your name and
Use its power to set us both free but
Instead we accept our sex and deny
Our yearning
Trembling, I coil myself around you
To invoke the not-in-between of
Your not-name through
Incantations of bastard's magic

One day we will know each other and
Someday, somehow, someone in a future time
Will know our names and
Speak of us fondly.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Microdream: Dawn Chorus

I traded my old water bottle in
Went from a bright cerulean blue -- deep with feeling

To a stern metallic grey -- sleek, cold, and withholding
All the things I wish I could be

When that vortex of feeling
Takes hold of me

Surrounded by the racket
Of the dawn chorus
All the birds singing their agonies
Through the bright blue day
Their notes suspended in the cold winter light

In that cold winter light suspended
I asked myself for forgiveness

I gave up on writing poems a long time ago...
The world doesn't care about the art
Of the personal tragedy anymore
The planet is dying
And no one gives a shit

We are too isolated
Within our own hierarchies of pain
Most of my friends (me included)
Are worried about finding jobs

(And if not worried about finding jobs,
 then worried about finding love,
and if not worried about finding love,
 then worried about finding themselves)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Incantatory, Your Steps

Incantatory were your steps
Cycled in rhythms of
Lamentation + celebration
Your comings + goings
Form the circumference of that circle
Giving shape to the reminder
Of a future reunion

There is no easy way to say goodbye
So sitting in silence I care for you
While you admire the sight of me
Dressed in yellow for the first time
A dim sun in my room's low, purple light.

Your body + my body
Is that of man and man
And that human craving that anchors us
To the floating frenzy of this world
And how long have a I thrashed!
Desperate to release the tether

Tattered + exhausted
I succumb to the day-to-day
Remembering fondly the night-to-night
Intimacies that saved us
From our selves
When the moonlight whispers
Loud as ice cracking under the weight of liquor

Drunk -- we fall into this!
I stumble into your second world
And you are elemental + longing
And I am elemental + longing

Skeptical I wonder: Is the bed a grave or a cradle?
Together we are figuring it out
Figuring it all out

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Amber

A family moves towards reconciliation
Scrubs the blood off the kitchen floor

Evidence of the ways they were made
To raise their children

A brutal theater reproduced
Silence and sound become twin barrels of the same gun

All things in their right place
My childhood home is a war museum

See how all my subterfuge
Is laid bare at my feet

The boy, hidden -- a spy in his own home
These signs I learned to interpret to protect him

My grandmother's church hat-- a threat
My grandfather's blood pressure -- a premonition

My sister's bratty ways -- a nuisance
My mother's entire life -- a warning

My father's truancy -- a void
My own body -- a reaction

I've been queer in a way that's failed me
I've been terrified of my own family

A family moves towards reconciliation
Scrubs the blood off the kitchen floor

Evidence of the ways they were made
To raise their children

A brutal theatre reproduced
Silence and sound become twin barrels of the same gun

All things in their right place
My childhood home is a war museum

See how all my subterfuge
Is laid bare at my feet

The boy, hidden -- a spy in his own home
These signs I learned to interpret to protect him

My grandmother's church hat-- a threat
My grandfather's blood pressure -- a premonition

My sister's bratty ways -- a nuisance
My mother's entire life -- a warning

My father's truancy -- a void
My own body -- a reaction

I've been queer in a way that's failed me
I've been terrified of my own family

And yet every card they bought me kept
Every birthday and graduation remembered

Celebrated in memory's amber
That fragrant resin resonating through time

These small, pleasant reminders
Pulling me back from margin back to center

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Beach Haikus #1-9

Wrapped up in sea breeze
Pelicans triangulate
The sky dreams in blue

Waves crest, break on land
The sea and sand mingle here
Elementals talk

The ocean contains
Each and every one of us
Past, present, future

Throwing yourself in
At the mercy of the waves
The thrill of return!

We live in the wake
Submit to the undertow
Hear slaves whispering?

Beach-time isolates
Whirlpools thrash -- salt in vortex
Lungs remember breath

Love transcends decades
It lingers bright as sunburn
Blushing, enduring

Laid out on the beach
Music drifts through sunlit air
Sun kisses body

Fly in buttermilk
You clash with your surroundings
Who started this fight?


Monday, May 20, 2019

Microdream: Grief

Each and every thing
I can pluck from my mouth
From day-to-day


Feathers
Ashes
Songs


Anything that drifts
Lazily in the air
And flutters onto the ground


To alight in the crucible
Transformed by its longing
Marked by the sounds of love

That has nowhere to go

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Dry January/Ex-Dream

The first, second, and third days tremble through the week
Stumbling and nascent, their legs shaking off the weight of entering the world
Anew
Senses sharpen like knives on the whetstone
Appetite and thirst shift between stagnation and craving
How odd to think of you now…

On the fourth and fifth day my stomach
Sends me quaking into the kitchen with appetite and thirst
Renewed
I toss together kale, spinach, arugula, and olives dressed with tahini and garlic
When I first met you
You were dressed in bourbon and ginger
The night flushed in your cheeks and eclipsed your demeanor
Earth’s shadow pours blood over the moon

The sixth and seventh days convince me
Of my power over the urge
I button up my shirt, slip into oversized slacks
Crank up the car and it sputters with the weight of age and rust and moisture
Before ambling through the driveway, scraping past the shoulders of bushes
Their waxy leaves winking in the winter morning light

When I first met you
I noticed your eyes were the color of hazel
They danced between green and cold
The same way the sunlight does, bouncing from leaf to leaf
On tree to tree

How odd to think of you now

As all my poisons are dispelled from my body