I wrote this half a year back….
Enough distance now to put it up. Really it’s about 30 poems in one. Methinks.
Left, you have.
Yet you are not gone, and little feels right.
I remember my first act, after you left. Removing everything of mine
From sight, like frigid fridge handwriting. Pots and needling weights.
Even in my new room, once the guests’, which became monastic.
The less evidence of my existence, the
Easier to go on existing.
I even threw photos of my family hard into the closet,
Not wanting them to see me like this, or that. And I
Do mean “threw,” I think to share my feeling of being thrown.
Like the vomit after too much spirits. Rum or vodka or gin or all
Combined. All to brief pleasure, all the drunken love,
All the challenge to livery,
Only drunk again as sickness. Ever after. Rejected.
I find, after you sat me down for shared heartbreak
My broken heart jagged and far split between us
That what you say is your half a heart
Unable to begin “love” with “in”
Because of a heartbreaking divorce, before my time…
Oh the blissful memories of “my time”…
Had tied itself to mine in Cupid-bowed ways, by violent strings
I had not fully understood.
Until the near death experience of hitting bottom.
You say you lose yourself around others, most of all lovers,
Have your whole life,
Despite a yearning to find yourself.
And so you don’t know yourself. Can’t, without spending
Years alone, sans me bans me, working. Hard.
Without the warmth of my embrace to
I could slay the man who divorced you, for denying me
Even that nuclear option. If things failed between us.
After having given you a ring.
Accepted. By need. From me, one kneed.
You say a partner’s needs can be a straight jacket, and so
I feel I am a clouded being to you, surrounded by a swarm of
Parasitic straight jackets
Craving the hungering hunt
My heart’s same hunt,
Each mouthing psycho mosquito proboscises starving for your blood.
Yet through the swarm my heart somehow tied itself to you,
And I did not understand.
I had been so certain. Of my centered strength. My solitude.
Yet where went my Buddhist peace? My non-attachment not
Dead detachment? Am I not wise
Left, she has.
“Buddha” sounds like “Yoda,” right?
The new agony of
Other strings tied me too, in ripping arrowed similarity, to
TV, games, news of the American and ugly
Slow motion presidential train wreck so easy to see coming, and
The agitation. Panic. To “get something done” and not
To somehow, some way, “Save the World.”
But now I can’t even listen to the radio in the car.
Not news. Not rock.
Not even Classical music.
Heartbreak is far more classical.
For even the holy water of classical feels like
Photogenic cool water thrown on a grease fire.
Or a eugenic grease fire thrown onto cool water.
Ah the failings of human art.
But I can do ocean waves. And thunderstorms,
My beloved Sounds of Nature albums, embraced warmly
For almost twenty years
In a way
Which no mere mortal grease fire could ever withstand.
Those old hobbies and passion, my God.
The news. The TV. The videogames.
The night owl and unbedded, unwedded ages
They are not merely uninteresting
Rather more they are bewildering. Sickening and terrifying.
Fathers of lies.
And you? My lost love? My solitary sleeper?
My backward savior?
You shook me so badly the stillborn, lifeless passions fell from my tree,
To rot in the dirt.
I could not have let them go on my own. Stems like chains. And so
It was for the best.
You almost killing me
Honesty and trueness to your soul.
“Free to be me!” Through, and true to be you.
Now in me there is calm clarity,
Though also the lack of you. Peaceful meditation is a breed of empty.
In hindsight my hobbies managed a drowning nothing, in an ocean
Of waves goodbye and the gagging brine of well wasted Time.
Late nights, apart from the warm bed
Which in hindsight
Twenty and twenty, me being forty.
Warmth which, like so many blind men before me, I grew in drips to treat
But you said it would be hard.
Our trying times.
You did warn me of your past. Broken. Divorced. Halved.
You said we should be just friends. For safety. I did not know you.
You did not know you.
You tried to stop me you us, but I swore I knew you.
Then I insisted.
I couldn’t you couldn’t we couldn’t.
Old sad bittersweet happy attachments gone.
Strings stitching or unstitching? Seeding or unseating?
The God-damned regret!
It is as if my deathbed is already upon me. Heavy. Not rightly under me.
My attachment to you does not now sicken me. Or terrify.
At least not in the same way.
Yes there is incomparable gratitude
For every single moment of my silly little life and you probably have no Idea what American Beauty I am talking about,
But at other deadly times
That attachment strings along its own danger, like a wild dog leashed.
The alien of jealousy. Amplified in my own mind, like a
Monster under the midnight bed
From another world
And sticky with goo and flapping with Lovecraftian tentacles
And rife with suckers for suckers and festooned with poisoned spines
And a slithering sick green yearning to wrap me up and
Sap my goodness.
“Take me to your leader,” it whispers, wordless yet understood.
“I… don’t…,” I gasp, its fetid breath hissing at me through
“Your leader is in your gut your slime your core,” I hear.
It feels my reason for its coming.
“Where is she?”
“With… our… friend… neighbor… a… man….”
“Promised they were just friends the liar the poacher the traitor?”
“He knows he fucks her fucker he knows you are not wanted but he
Is and you must fuck with him break his boudoir windows graffiti
His door slash his tires and then I will heal you my fucking concubine.”
Like married property,
In its cold swallowing slime not like the warm soft homecomings into her,
I gag out an answer.
“I’ll… steal… light and… decoration… from… his porch….”
Breath comes so hard for me and the spine poison infects my blood.
“For now that will do yes will do steal them smash them kill them.”
And the alien lets me go,
I plan to return the decoration and light in the daylight,
When my unwanted but only remaining lover
Flies high away
With its low yearnings
As if never to come back
Though we all know it will.
Non-attachment. It should be mine, by now. Alas it must take
A longer recycling of rebirths than advertised.
When you left?
Strung to my vagrant heart?
It went along for the ride,
Dragged or willing,
Like a finger pulled from a dike protecting an orchestral amphitheater,
Or a bottle’s stopper
Which I could not stop from leaving my constricting chest.
A poem! Writing will save me!
And this is my attempt. Despite doubts. Self loathing.
So I hear my dead father’s voice. Louder than ever.
“The only problem with your writing is that it has no heart.”
Not even half?
Oh sweet merciful Jesus who I do not believe in!
You who left
Even those who can talk to you awaken my alien.
Feeling still sacred, I cannot be intimate with you.
And others can. Even in the extraterrestrial confines of my mind.
Yes I mean “men.” Ships docking with my lost woman.
Star-faring travelers. Easiest and unholiest of all the sinners.
I picture you at the “meet market.”
Dark parts of me say women need their protein to fill their hearts.
Good God and Sweet Jesus the hyperventilation! The panic attacks
Keeping me from work.
The pain of having been… fired.
And so, like a lowly pastor exiled from his church, his cathedral,
I watch shivering
Locked out, soaked to the bone in the cold dark thunderous reign
Gasping groping clawing for
Through the heart’s blood stained glass
Watching, my soul desecrated by the distorted, uncertain sight of
As unworthy unbeliever after unworthy believer
Pisses in the holy water and
Shits on the holy relic,
Each in turn and out of tune
Only I feel the sacrilege, convulsing contributing tears
Down into the downpour.
Only desperation motivates me to run, to try to hide
Through the soaking night
Toward and into a far and lesser church that cannot be right.
Though I was and am told
I would be welcomed in those far off and uncertain other sacred places,
Able to preserve sanctity there, if not here.
New guest of a wanting congregation.
Still pressed to the glass, the teller seems somehow to hiss
From beyond the bounds of my exile’s torchlight glow,
Out in the frigid darkness
And very much not here. Near the dream of safety. Glass aside.
Where ever-fresh shit and ever-gold urine keep the holy things
Warm and safe
You say: “I believe you’re in love with an illusion.”
I reply: “Like God?”
Am I in love with God?
Or merely an angel?
I feel I may be, maybe. But feel too much to care for dogma’s dangers.
Poison fruit, you say. False hope, or knowledge.
If you caved, let me in, and fed me.
I might think myself your priest again, able to protect your holy things.
When I could not be. Could never be.
All wrong? For true?
But what poisons fruit?
Merely looking at you in wonder? How small can fruit grow?
To listen to your breath and heartbeat, untouched
As we lie a soft patchwork quilt at midnight?
You asleep and me unable to waste the beauty with dreams?
Why do I still have poison fruit within reach, some might ask.
We still share a home. Yearn to be friends.
My readers? Should I turn my back on her?
The other day she found me hanging upside down on/in/from my
Inversion table, unclothed.
“You look funny like that,” she said, gifting a faint smile.
“To me,” I replied with a dangling shrug,
“The whole World’s upside down.”
At times I worry
Society has lied to me,
Versed me in gentle, unmanly, Feminism-suggested timidity
That advocates deference and
That weakens my confidence
I now worry they do not tap the most primal well.
The very thought of such lies and betrayal, from a
Teacher, of mine of mine, trusted since
Fills me with primal rage.
Just every once in a while, when it won’t bother anybody.
Sometime a part of me fears I’ve become a doormat, contacting,
Only near the church entrance, her bare feet
Pressing down on my chest.
It doesn’t feel so bad. Why doesn’t it feel so bad?
Not like the deathbed or the forked tongue pressures.
I do not want you to leave.
The string is taught enough. I have been taught enough.
Stay with me. No matter how thin.
Yes. I welcome our risky, continued home sharing.
Pairing? Pear? Ring?
What about my primal primacy?
Should I at the first moment of the end,
For male honor, thrown
Your fucking ass out onto the fucking street?
The pavement sea? Expelled you
To the oceans beyond
The apartment door and its mat? Banished you?
Couch surfing sounds like fun.
I hear it, ear to my conch.
Like recreation. Re-creation, re: Creation.
O the howling wild primal man scream burrowed deep into my guts,
His blood curdling mine with shockwaves, bone shaking scream
From where he lies trapped,
Awash in the bowel shit my Civilized mind feels arisen above.
Raging at my obsequiousness; its dishonor.
“My God!” he wails. “Why hast thou forsaken me?”
Jesus married to Satan.
The “primitives” made string from guts.
The scream again, from far below….
Atonal. Without rhythm or harmony.
Do I listen?
Am I Folding? Breaking? Into billions?
Would I feel hissing evil, obeying? Fanged? Deathly venomous
To another honor?
My educated honor?
With you Eve, you first and only in the flowering Garden with its hidden
Oh unknown God how I feel!
Vile interplanetary jealousy
I now know how fared the hearts of women I left
And find myself
Filled with abject horror at the kind of Karma.
Of and for all who can win sacred time in your church while
Stained glass obscures
Sex has at last become a sin.
The great and heavy weight on my chest, the shortness of breath,
The serpent, wrapping me with indigestible knowledge of freedom.
Knowledge fit only for the gods.
It is that legendary Human pain, of loss after gain, the
Ancient marrow agony, felt
For the first time, by me,
I am not a deity of mind soaring above dirty shit after all.
These new and terrifying feelings I’d felt immune to, and above.
Now I understand Hitchcock’s Vertigo, at last having felt my own.
Now the apartment is halved, though not yet half empty.
Now the light fragility of all mere friends, to me, weighs heaviest.
For you wish to be friends.
But can goodness sustain sacrilege?
At long last normal pain grounds in me, grinding
Poor tired hungry,
As if I am a home beneath
A lighting rod, a rod aloft like Lady Liberty’s grey torch,
Bolted to the small soils in which ocean clean dreams grow.
In a flood of pounding blood
Full of dirty fuel.
Remember the flowers, writer.
Flowers attend weddings and funerals.
So many flowers. Orchids, roses, tulips. A grand bouquet tourniquet.
Upgraded to “premium” by Capitalism and delivered to her office
With green stems and leaves the color of money.
So hard not to speak to you.
You always loved flowers. Or gardens rather. The living.
So I felt half guilty sending beautiful dead ones.
Better the potted plants, perhaps.
It reminds me of often watering your house plants
To keep them alive.
The flowers I sent to your office.
Sent, not delivered.
The florist delivered, at my request, after you left
Linking one lovely stranger to another
Without me there to see.
Also of course they were
For your beloved coworkers to live vicariously through, too.
Those same coworkers it warmed me to bake bread for,
Wheat rye teff spelt oat,
Though they also took it with its bits of cheese or nuts or fruit
Without me there. All of them there, with you,
Are good. And women.
But that wasn’t the reason.
Can aliens take nutrients from human food?
Return to the flowers.
Nestled deep in the blooms with a card at long skeptical last
Lay the ring you’d
Before the turn away. Too many planet turns of day.
So tenderly wanted when once I just hinted
In a warm bonding bedded flood, years ago, a hard raised possibility,
Like Jesus raised
To remarry your fractured heart and again
Divorce the sick from sickness.
The whole from halved, unbroken from broken.
Oh that night in bed.
You’d said you hoped I’d find the courage.
And that wish had the ring of truth.
So I did,
So as not to be there on one courageously denied knee.
Just friendship. Wordplay. Promise. Devotion. Love without the “in.”
This time, unproposed, a new courage is required. Unrequested. Unwanted. In advance… of what?
And in the flowers themselves? The flowers in which the ring
Lay pouched in? The blossoms, stamens and pistils.
Of blooming rainbow beauty.
The ring. Two little diamonds. White gold. And a larger green gem.
Recently discovered green, the jeweler told me. In Russia?
And made of magnesium.
A beautician cut my nine months of unruly hair the other day.
She cut it during one of my peaceful days
When weightlessness out weighted jealousy, and thanked me
For the pleasure of my company.
I believed her, that she wasn’t just playing for a tip
After helping to doll me up to find another woman
Who might protect me from my love of you.
And the responsible hair?
Short and sweet, curly and coif-able at the top,
The beautician sold me on forming cream. Twenty percent off.
Sold me on it after, before and after helping me
To cut things away.
Hair a symbol for laziness and misplaced attention.
I really do have love to give! I just don’t know where to put it!
Sometimes I imagine being safe with you in your life bed. Or
Even under it, the bed on me rather than you on me.
Though made of solid wood, I imagine the bed lightly
Even with you in it,
As if the bed is a doormat.
My heart seems to wish to stay tied to yours.
It does not come when called. A dreamer vagrant
Tethered yet untethered.
Trying to fill your heart’s empty half by swelling itself.
As if it could be a chorus of happy Whos from far below in Whoville.
Proving to you that love does not come from a store.
Though the flowers did.
And the ring, just the thing, oh that little bit more.
Because talk is cheap.
Though oh how we paid, Scrooge-like for three years.
No. Remember the flowers!
Bouquet. Three spirit gems for a passed future present.
And I wished to prove to you, kneeling in your pain and
Through mine, that
You are not vile.
You are, I propose, to be loved forever.
By at least one man.
Who will not halve your heart again, should it heal,
By divorcing you from faith
And who will forever try to hold the halves close enough for orbit.
You are worthy.
I need it, I see. I did not know, as they say, what I had until it was
So I look for it. Seek my heart.
For as close as I can get I cannot find it on you, or in you,
Or even near you
To reclaim it. Nor can you.
And yet it is there.
It has to be. Gravity and string theory.
I know it feel it. My heart. Beating at me. On me. Near me.
The old friend pain.
That it has dissolved into billion-fold stardust
Distributing its musical beats through your being, seeking beneath
Behind before and after every
And every split up trauma
For the answer to the core question.
It is the question that drives us, Neo.
You know the question, just as I did.
How to make her heart whole, for it is
The greater one.
My bad teacher said so.
I cannot be demeaned.
Yes. It feels so and so must be true.
Yet I still need mine back!
Too kind to me in this lovingly explained Cadillac of breakups, you are
Make forgetting you
Drive the constricting, coalescing stardust back to me. Out of you.
Terrified and recollecting.
Slithering serpentine coils.
Hence, my heart stays. Inside you. Far reaching and fearless.
For its answer. Yours.
To refill the inside of me. For the future. For my soul.
And not just me!
You are not my only beloved! You just loom too large!
Other loved ones need me alive and I will not fail them!
I will not empty a bottle of pills onto the screaming voice
Dug into my guts like a prehistoric tick.
I will not bullet my Civilized mind
With a grease firearm.
And I will not scale the lost holy fucking church tower only to
Dive into the green grass and many-torched grey of the graveyard
To die and rot into dirt and then to let the World grow my
Stardust into monied flowers.
And so, perhaps, the purchase of flowers and a white gold ring
Stoned like my middle name
Serve as a symphonic trade and cease the orchestral, orchestrated
Everyone is an orchestra to someone.
Violins. Fluted orchids. Organs.
The heartstring pull in that violence of bowed violins.
And the dike’d amphitheater’s tall, lean Conductor, back turned,
The stardust and magnesium will recombine, without being hunted
Down, like a ravenous pursuing monster’s pray.
As musicians do, for every performance to every audience, as in life,
To return community to each seated stardust cloud of
Each in-folded and attentive audience.
And by creation, by music,
Unifying again that which only seems or seemed to be fragmented,
For Human perspective lies, even in me,
Unifying to make all that has left me right again.
For, being in love, I am like the audience of the World even beyond
In wonderment at some great Creator’s music.
With baited breath
For the eruption of a unified and heartfelt standing ovation. Whole again.
And then, perhaps, even a glimpse of the Great late night
Blood stained pastoral Conductor’s face, before
The audience breaches the dike again, expelled out into
The night’s deafening oceanic silence,
Like cold terrifying black Death.
Until warm peace and the ever-present passage of Father Time on
Mother Earth resurrects
Heart and sunrise into Life. And we grow, with courage,
Having long left the concert hall, re-baptized to bloom in,
Write stories for,
And be garden blessed by
Life and living.
Which never stops turning over new fig leaf horizons
Never ceases showing you new sunrises,
You and me and all,
And never, ever tires of telling every you who can listen
Day after day after day
“Today is a new day, beautiful.”
A new day
For flowers to grow up out of the grey graveyard cut with
Blades of green. A graveyard that will eventually grow flowers
From every you too.
But not today!
O that holy inalienable World.
That World that makes one man’s breakup so stardust speck tiny.
Our real church, the whole Timely World, which loves even its serpents,
Holds too much wonder to leave the attentive and
Naken and hanging.
Upright. Swathed. Whole.
As it was, and ever shall be.