Tag Archives: time

strings

Winter’s melting into the apartment

In the misty light, my insides warm and brassy
She and I lay in a heartbeat’s hibernation

She exists in telegraph bursts,
The moments between a switched flip and a bulb exploding to life.
From time before time, the question and the echo,
Ribbons and a kindling spark, heat and smoke and everything

The very zipper-teeth of her tumble over everywhen,
A hundred thousand backbone dice cast into the pit
Some lost to history, more stuck between the pages, others now

I’m rattling in the cup of the future, waiting to roll
I’m learning to be less present

I dreamed my mother’s eyes were taffy-stretched
Woven in forever knots through the skeleton beams of our unfinished house
I’m tangling more and more

The frayed ends of me wander, winding, riverlike
Crossing, curling, turning ever away toward her
Vibrating to her pulse–the waves and the warped

Winter is lifting

My breath rolls in like a stranger, and the heart wakes

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there, here

Now, we are grown older.
A discarded pair of glasses, eye, shade or costume, is not ours for the trying-on.
We have come to the park not to chase across the grass, nor to examine worlds and kingdoms at trees’ feet, but for still and silent council with colder, quieter elements: rock, restless water, the sun in its jewels and brocade taking survey of its limitless empire.
Here the seconds widen.
A minute is gulf enough to inhabit oneself, small, complete and simple; to locate this unusual, unremarkable corner of space and enjoy, for sixty seconds, the terrifying brook of murmuring time.
In the random span of our living rope, here we might choose to exist, reserved and serene on a gray and stony shore.
In our age there is no madness, neither pain, but only shores of faces, hands and hair and fingers, whose high watermarks make up our passing time.

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Optimism Failed.

At the dawn of a new millennium, we shook off the dirt of a tired century of brutal war.

We stumbled, our eyes raised in question, mistaking a common sunrise for the blinding light of a new era.

The journey to that horizon was not unmarked by grief.  We were met just across the centurial threshold with a knife to the gut. It doubled us over, and for a time we knelt and clawed our wound.

Time passed.  We healed.  We slowly straightened, our eyes fixed again ahead, and
we took another step.

Despair was not unknown then, either.  Our youth, as has always been its duty, swung its angry fists and battered back the choking arms of misdirected tradition.  Our wealthy, as will always be their instinct, walked the mill-wheel and turned the screw to crush the have-nots that struggled for light.  Our fearful and misunderstood, as has always been their tragedy, took weapons of war against their neighbors where air and light were too scarce to share.

New frontiers opened in sex, and our concepts of identity exploded like brilliant fireworks in the face of a slow and primitive social eye.   Love and terror and wonder and revulsion in waves of “it is” and “it cannot” rocked through us, but we walked on.

In the clarity and warming glow of that millennial sunrise, we found out strength in what we shared, and not in how we differed.  We found progress in embracing new thought, new ideas, and we swallowed the bitter medicines of acceptance and honesty.  We were prepared to examine our weaknesses, celebrate our talents, and stride more confidently into the unknowable roads of time.

We were optimistic.  Confident.  Arrogant.

Optimism failed.

A blind spot festered in that forgotten gut-wound.  The harm of the old world had not been laid to rest, but had found fodder unnoticed in our own bowels.  The ways and wars of the past were alive inside of us, poor and jealous and unseen, but safe.

The wealthy saw it first.  Like hounds hunting hares, they smelled poverty and took to the hunt.  The fearful and misunderstood heard it next, a whisper from bloody gods, and they sacrificed their neighbors to its cause.   Unseen in the fertile vastness of our gut, the infection thrived.

It grew its own eyes, and saw that ours was the body and blood, the strength and heat of life.  Its was the cancer and consumption, that which eats the living.  It watched our legs take confident strides forward, though the ground was often uneven and difficult.  It followed our eyes to the rising sun, though the light sometimes blinded our way.  The fearful and angry mass within us saw prey and prepared to feed.

Roiling from the gut of us, the festering wound took hold of vital organs and we found ourselves falling, sickly, frozen in the disorienting horror of the miseries we had forgotten.  War.  Bigotry.  Hatred.  Sexism.  Violence.  Hatred. Rape.  Murder. Predation.  We had never shed these sins, only swallowed them.  Somewhere beneath our beating heart, they had defied the antibodies of progress and justice.

We had been blinded by optimism.  Optimism failed.

But we will not die.

The body is young.  The blood is strong.  The heart will deny this cancer its spread.  We have found it, and in revealing itself, it has destroyed itself.  We will invent a new treatment, one that is targeted.  Where there is bigotry, we will dissolve it with tolerance and solidarity.  Where there is hatred, we will appear with love.  Where sex and gender, ethnicity and culture are under assault, we will demand that capability and opportunity are universal gifts and cannot be taken by ignorance.  Where violence is the path of sickness, we will bring healing through unbounded unity.

Optimism is our way of life.  It is the strength through which we defeat the sickness of our collective body.  We hold to it as our greatest asset and our sacred creed.  We will look ahead.  We will smile.  We will take strides in spite of the elements around or inside of us that look to hold us back.  We will embrace not only the familiar, but that which is least familiar to our ways.  We raise each other up and allow ourselves to be carried in kind.

We are the optimists.  We are fallible.  Our failures are hard, and we must remember the days when we failed.  The unseen infection, as much a part of us as heart, lungs or liver, will have its day of notice.  And then, healed by our furious optimism, we will dismiss this sickness and carry on toward a sunrise, common or otherwise.  The next day is always ours.

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low thoughts

A staggering wind like drunkard heaving presses unwelcome against my mass.

What red infant’s fist unfurls the buds of leaves in the spring, and what bony talon rakes them into a rattling, dry death when the warm breath of fall whistles away into steel winter?

I remember pushing through walls of bodies in crowded streets and at events and during instances of urgent passing.

I am not entirely aware of myself. There are things I know: dimensions and lengths in units that make some rough sense of how I stick out into space. I have an idea of my appearance, and have studied my reflection vainly or with dissatisfaction from day to day.

All of this fails to come entirely to use when I attempt to steer myself sideways and slide, coated and careful and catlike, past an oncomer rushing opposite my direction. I mean no molestation, but there is an error in my awareness and the bulk of my great ship careens, victim to some careless undercurrent. Some belly, limb or ass failed to report its sum to the navigator and now we smush, crash, or sliiiide across the hull of our adversary.

“M’sorry” as I pick up speed, beating a hasty retreat, a practiced and well-worn tactic in escaping a distressing encounter.

I am in years just beyond the blind corner of thirty.

While I do not expect that I will ever die, I admit that an eventual end hangs around the front of my brain more often these days that when I was stumbling break-neck through those foetal days of teen-age and twenties.

Leaves fall with the imperceptible shattering of limbs. Did they know when they were green, or when they fought the sun for golden brilliance? What exhale of a sleepy god tells the leaves that their time has come?

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