Too long, too tired
Too beaten up to care.
Now it's 2:15
And it's tomorrow
A new day
God, at 2:16 make into a new man
Such that to others I'm different and to me, somewhat the same
Fresh washed pillows
Guys like that
Saw through the house
We return to it
Notice nothing too wrong to cause our speaking
And then we are out
Old with gray clothes
I close my eyes and still see light
Softened blobs of it
And I wonder at it in my eyes or rather
It is deeply held in my imagination
Sleep now, boy.
The window at half-mast
Simply leave it
Along with the socks
As they are on the floor
And those unpaid bills
There are people to call
And lazy chatter over
Then a walk past closed shops
On a street the reminds visitors
Of another place, reminding us of where we aren't.
The night walks on
Past your particular disease
And down the path from your summit in 1997
The vintage that was bottled never to be even tasted
Thrown out instead with all the plans and sketches and other garbage you still carry and cannot put down
when there is a woman and rain
You are alone in your head
counting your curses
When will you learn what you are?
the slow rain asked
Look at your little house,
Isn't it clear?
Her voice cracked and choked
But already he was gone
where are you
when you're right beside
wherever I might be
where I am or what I am
or who I might be
is of minor concern
why hike into these strange foothills
where even you dread walking
with me living
with me is so difficult
when I will live like a hermet
while you stand in an empty yard
while I eat alone
The ticking dust
Climbs over the headboard
And down onto the pillows
Alarms are set
And still the ticking dust
Climbs down over me
My feet search for cold spots under the blankets
And the weight of worn clothes
As I search for a dream from which I cannot awake
My feet hurt
Sympathetic to the wanderings of my mind
I walk miles and never move
But most of all, I'm wearing out from the outside in
I'm wearing inward
One day to become a ball
A round milkdud of a human
Up all day, boxed at night
A man proceeds drifting down the street
He smells something we can't smell
We smell home fires, grilling, pies and cakes baking, the common home smells
But our man on the street licks his lips, opens the door to the house, closes it behind and shuts off the lights.
Who are you
When the wind stops its restlessness
And lies calm and dormant at your feet?
In the dark there are melodies and voices in the sounds of the house, the motors in the fans, the working of the mattress and blankets
The blind and its window are cracked the width of a finger open
A knife of air strikes your face from it. It's good. It is
Moonswept lighthouse water
Cable knit sweaters
Shy upturned nose
Crows feet across
The snow mixed with sand
They'll be wanting us back at the house
But we have a moment to pull your hair ribbon and wrestle the wind.
At seconds before midnight
The clock is too bright
The tick it too loud
The pants sit too low
The color is wrong
The hair not quite right
The breath a bit off
The words ill chosen, the sentence badly formed
The thoughts tainted
The heart ok
The intentions as purely as deeply as can be scrutinized
The names forgotten
The river of love drained
The nail driven
The humidifier is on
The bed vast and uncrossable
The quatarre depression gets us all in the end.
With warm hair twisting
You fell asleep
Against my back
You're silent now
For the first time today
I can hear my tinnitus
And the clock
The wind outside
I'm up again
at 2 am
watching Mission Impossible
reruns again redundant
And I never change
although I must
I must I must or die and bust
too late too late
To even be great or even widely pitied
Get out of a house into apartments in NY city
And stay up again alone
Just like tonight
Oh, you, beautiful boy
Beautiful boys all
Beautiful boys all of you
Was snow made especially for you?
A private toy from space, from heaven
From an unlocked box in your imagination?
Come! Run into my arms now!
When the snowfall is over
And we are all grown up
I'll live again
In the fullest sense
I'll melt as the snow melts
Into new forms and shapes
You'll not recognize
Not that you've ever recognized
Maybe I won't even know me!
Snow has alighted
Turning trees into the veins of angels
Shall I stand out there too?
Spread my fingers, crook my arms
And have the snow annoint me beautiful?
A girl I've not seen in years follows, laughing
And all the disappointment
like rings if you could saw me down
would drop away leaving us bare
ready for possibilities
Miss Brooks on a night
before a snowstorm
her bob and her bangs
She never really found anyone she was so busy being Herself
And now she forever dies in the lap of a murderer on Christmas Eve
My legacy...? I'll go back to taking my son to fencing when this play is over - my last for years. And I'll be a dim name recalled increasingly less frequently in the high school halls - that weird guy - taught Brecht. And I'll maybe be "your grandfather" to a kid I'll never meet.
But if there is something after, you'll find me where Louise might be. Having coffee on any given morning.
My ears make their very own sound which only I can hear
Filling my silence with the unending bowing of a tiny cricket
He tells me horrible things, things about my body and my balance sheet
And reminds me that I will never fit in and that love was mine but it left me years ago
I want to sip the night
and savour every drop of its mouthful of cold orange juice
I want to drink time
drop by drop and splatter none of it
But for you -
And each day is a shot of unchased tequila
Dopey drunk and slurred at the table
Through the cracks the wind is cold
One cold finger after another.
And where do I lie now, with these cold hands?
Cold on my shoulder, my hips, my lips.
make you better
Where is my power? Not here.
Not even a dad, just a guy
These days just a guy
It's your power.
You wield it everytime you dream in bed
but then you stay too long there
And at night, if the wind creaking outside keeps you up
You lay awake there
Fighting the urge to finally take the blame you so richly deserve.
Clocks have changed
They no longer tick tick tick
Or tick tock
Ours are quartz
They just tock
Tonight there are days between each of them:
Tock - when will my wife be home...
Tock - I'm so behind in work...
Tock - my son's laugh is still in my ears...
And now the tocks - the first at one pitch, the next slightly lower
such that it sounds like a limp
Time gimps along on two different legs
My son moans lightly in the next room asking for a little drink
A car goes by, and a plane...
And I am trapped here between the seconds.
I'll dummy down
ordering my own retreat
Mother, I've lost.
You're only here yourself because I hit the "m" by accident
wish I was a happy accident
instead of the distressed product
of this I am sure:
tomorrow may or may not come
and I go to where the sleepers go
The other night - January 30th 2010, my son and I were sleeping over at my mom's place. Well, not really sleeping because we were sharing a small bed and it was cold and Rainer was thrashing around and it was awful. And there were sounds outside - she has an apartment in down town Glen Cove - strange windy noises caused by anything other than the wind, cars most likely, the sounds drifting miles from the Expressway or some such. And so I tapped a quick poem into my iPhone just as I tried to fall asleep for the hundredth time that night. And then last night, I wrote another one - right before corking off, under the blankets, the lights out except for the glow off the iPhone, and me tapping away.
It seems to me to be a good daily practice... nightly practice. Off we go!
done with it all
with the light to off
the clock to alarm
and to blow out the warm candle to wax
we try and succeed at less these days
now smiles are an achievement
now feeling ok in your own skin for 5 minutes out of 24 hours is
where once we read minds it's now sections of The Times
the night encircles like dark butter
I'm reminded how flimsy it all is
hopes, complaints, plans
it's all bent up
on the floor
and this life is a wool sweater
warm, scratchy, old
the moon alone
if the moon holds me
in his arms just above my windowsill
scattershot air and not much more under my feet
and no compass to me
then who holds me?
No one. No anyone.
no compass to me
thick with clotted leaves
I float out over the roof, the gutters- what a word for me!
the afterimage of the moon I see when I shut my eyes
til it fades to true black
the bodies under the blankets make moraines
the radiator boils like rain
and in the dark I can feel the corners
and the walls I cannot see