new poems sent to you

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

don’t get too busy to take walks

walking uphill gives you perspective.
walking downhill makes you feel your back, and knees.
walking backwards takes trust.
walking in the street makes you appreciate people who pave. 
walking in the moonlight there is always further.
walking in the starlight can mean you're stuck in love.
walking in the darkness is dangerous but you may
come across a fox.

walking in a city can make you hate people
or see them for the first time.
walking on trails makes you
think about moving stones.
walking on sand makes you grateful for ankles.
walking on water makes you a prophet.
walking on fire makes you quick.
walking through trees makes you
breathe.

walking to figure out problems changes
how you think.
walking without a problem in the world
makes you sing.
walking and singing scares the birds away.
walking and listening to birds reminds you of your grandmother.
walking around your grandmother’s house
is a way of protecting your family.
walking away from your family’s house is hard.
walking to a friend’s house is always easy.

walking at work means 
your feet and eyes have to move at the same time.
walking in Malden, smelling sweet popcorn of cremation, makes you
thankful for places other than Malden.
walking in the snow can give you a fresh start.
walking in the spring makes you want to have children.
walking in the summer means you like to sweat.
walking in the fall can help you accept endings.

walking on Rosh Hashanah, you can see the world for the first time, again.
walking on yom kippur can help you apologize.
walking with your brother makes you
listen to your brother.
walking by yourself makes you
fluctuate between where you are and where you are not.
walking where you are not is hard, let me know when you figure that out.

but walking where you are is something you can always, always do.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

the moon outside 152 walnut.

oh god, the moon i said, an old woman
peddled her bicycle closeby and looked up.
there was a red light flashing on her basket.
it’s the frontier, to noone in particular,
where love goes to die. and then comes back.
crazy. massive black borderlands, where no quarter is given,
not air nor water,
where light travels home, where we go
and come back from always.
leaving home on a journey home.

we all have someone whom we wish to show everything.
even if it is just the moon outside 152 walnut.
i wish it were only the moon i long to tie close to me,
blistering cold and bright. it’s so clear tonight.
as the old woman circles back around, she is checking out
what is salvageable in the trash. aluminum glints from a cloth bag
hanging loose off her shoulder.
many things can be seen in the moon tonight.

i have a memory of the moon from inside each of my lover’s rooms
where we used to sleep. i remember rising
as the snow quietly piled in the half light of morning,
looking at her arms coiled around the pillow,
the great darkness of the tattoo on her back and all its corners i would kiss
thinking how lucky i was to rise in these wee hours to wait
the morning’s tables and get drunk off their cheap champagne.
and then come back.
i don’t know what is salvagable or how to get away from love.
planet to planet, gravity pulls. always we are travelling home.
moon in the front yard stop yelling about what we used to feel like
young, confident in love, all the secret writings
we’d leave to remind each other. yelling about the moon
when the fans at night could not keep us cool 
and the noise outside was too much

anyway. hold on there, almost full. so almost empty.
something’s in that trash.
you can’t throw away the moon.
each small thing in my new home brings the past with it.
even if i wanted,

i cannot seem to close the door.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

9 nights dreaming

what’s the best way in?
the window as it rains, the legs of it,
dashing this way and that, all over
starting and ending, dazzling, dizzying,
dripping everywhere entering and exiting at once, 
clean and distracting, i,i
rock back and forth holding, shivering,
black cotton cleaving something.

is it joy, finished, crackling,
thunderous stamping, the stampede
of bodies, eager eyes snipping the fabric,
vodka tonic ice, red faces, hands, shoulders,
smiles? one hundred fifty ready to fight, shouting. its so short
sometimes this too. history. i,i 
if i could lay my head down in her lap as the night ends...

when do you know it’s too far,
been too long?
you’ve sat with a cool glass of water
waiting on a meniscus
and the embers beneath have ceased
burning your ass at all, now
it’s a glacier.
drip. drip. drip.
better in a month? a year?

there is no handbook

when they come for the lesbian electrician
with her shaking hands, who struggles, genuinely struggles,
with mental illness-- will it be clear then
through the muffled door, or across a hall of young mothers
just wanting a raise and to go home?
why bother with this?
she would soon retire anyway,
(you think of her dog she used to bring to the office before
they closed her office, black scraggly obviously spoiled and) 
why risk it all you’re 28 and at the beginning

there is no handbook for loss
for the questions, for love of course

i am learning the lesson of sitting with for now--
with at least the grief of want;
with the absence that makes the something grow painfully clear.

but how can it be standing to?
we all must live together, meaning
be kind and be challenged. on one foot,
and as yourself.
when was the last time you did something
you know could cost everything? 

for my love without hands to touch or lips to speak,
for my union sister when the workplace goes quiet and tense:
desperately, fervently, with strength

when we know, we risk it all.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

turning season

Summer is gathering momentum,
almost as tall as wide,
in these weeks of July when even
the ocean starts to steam 
and predators grow bold
and we prepare for Teshuvah, the turning.

My mother is singing Hebrew melodies
over the white water, words swallowed by wind.
Black cranes gaze unmoving
into waves cracked by light.
A haze holds these sweeter scenes
in preparation for storms, or in their aftermath.
A film of sand on our feet means
we never leave this ground.

A one armed man in grief over divorce 
built the bones of the beautiful bungalow in the inlet
by the sea, now overtaken with weeds,
where we yelled and then ran for shelter,
where the stars first appear at dusk
and where the two of us suddenly made love
with nothing,
with the end,
and begged god to witness.

Back at the house the family is stretched out 
like a once full ballon
sitting quietly at this dinner table
less laughter, less air without him.

Come back to a place long enough
you begin to think it is only
full of endings.

But, when i pull the car onto the gravel
after days of drinking, and it is late, 
later than anyone can stay awake,
and i roll down the window smelling salt and cedar in the humidity--
a low engine starts up
in the gut of my heart.
A short field and then ivy and pines, hydrangea, 
beach plums and roses, blue jays
and cardinals with their eyes closed and beaks
tucked beneath their wings, bouncing
twigs and pockets where rabbits sniffle silently
below, where coyotes pad and prowl,
yip and scatch and skunks waddle home
with dirt on their snouts and roots in their
teeth and oh god the human beings,
tight bellied, buzzing electricity and prodding, 
the heat coming off of them, the way they stay just so close
and far, their skin with all its history, their strips of cloth 
all around, their complicated patterns 
of color and speech and memories they love so much.

How could we believe only in endings?
.Here.
I have loved and she is gone away.
And I have unlearned many lessons that now
I’ll suffer to learn again.

But down the hill in shadow or
bright green day, kicking up dust or clumping
mud, crushing spiders’ legs or carving ditches
to house new creatures, with great cacophony and splendor
or quiet as the sharks sleep,
we are rolling on
with every imperfection you can think of
growing strong and weak at times
but always on,
accustomed, new, rhythmic, strange
dozing off at times thinking it’s all done
or all the same and then, sometimes predictably,
sometimes suddenly,
waking up to it all.

This season
you are not ending,
but turning.

Wake up!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

learning

Evidence covered with a carpet of grass,
Network drawing slowly without ever
Taking away, dark and scattered home
In the corner of your arms, whenever
I visit, kiss your eyes

Perhaps the old maple from my childhood spoiled
Me for human love, that
Ebbs and flows, responds thunderously,
That expects
And needs.
It is not pretty, this view of me
From high in the bows.
We get stuck wanting to only grow.

Today is a cold sun
And warm wind, flags
Waving their arms planted over tombs
Of men infrequently remembered. they
Enlisted young
And it does not matter much what they did
To their descendants.

We who examine every project
Like the foreign thrum of an unseen beetle
Could never be so brave nor so young
Nor dead in quite the same way, though all
Things are not in exactly the same way.

I remember vaguely:

10 or 11 i took off
My shoes and wandered
Over hot pavement,
Mica shining
Like stars, until
Reaching a cool
Hill covered in mossy
Grasses, leaves all
About. I was late and
Could hear the dinner bell
But reached out a hand
To a knot of roots
Standing upright,
A thick rope of
Coils arising from all
Across the cemetery
It seemed, like many
Tongues of a fire,
And i looked
Up--

We have seen many
Restarts together, as the moon,
And a job, a love, a home,
A friend disappear, through it all
All hurt and poison,
All shimmering heat and flood, all
Pleasant and simple days, we take
Slowly what we can hold,
What we can use, and we
Incorporate what lives into our life.
Make a crown.
Then we incorporate what is gone but still lives.
Curl around it like a wound
until we do not.

Old friend, how do we accept Jung’s turning,
That we will never be
Any taller and i wonder
What are you drinking now

From beneath my feet?