Golden

Turn and face the sun my friend

the crisp fall hues will wilt and fade –

to hide, to heal, then grow again

my endless faith

where it’s always been.

Listen to the song bird’s ode

there is a wisdom in its truth –

to pass, to feel, so gently known

a thousand things

yet you’re never alone.

So give in to this gold still here

note the honey in its passing –

to say, to deal, in no despair

for colors change

yet never there:

no not this.

not you.

(we’re golden)

Inheritance

One day I will have a son.

He will inherit all my tomes of poetry.

Every book of Billy Collins,

Charles Bukowski,

the complete collection of Emily Dickinson,

and Sylvia Plath,

along with three copies

of ‘Leaves of Grass’

which I will read to him at night.

I will make sure our walls

are adorned with paintings

and the reverberation of music.

I will show him how to play

guitar and piano

and old records.

He however,

will be a football star

major in business

use my books as coasters

and be nothing like me.

And I,

will never be more proud of anyone,

for anything.

ever.

How the Daylilies Grew

On an unremarkable day

a fourth grader swung his feet

forward and back

like a pendulum

(If pendulums could wear light-up Sketchers)

The world around him:

a game of Uno playing skip cards,

a Tamagotchi slowly starving in the pocket,

a field day running too slow for ribbons,

Yet to that fourth grader

that swing set stood like a castle

and he ruled as king

or maybe a jester, either way …

The friend on the other swing

laughed with him

giggling together

and planting little seeds

which, over a decade later

would grow into truly beautiful

precious

daylilies.

Just Them

Among fields and skies and parkways

I trace my dreams into dirt

onto walls

across my forehead.

I swallow pens

and chew paper

screaming at sunsets

petting lonely fires.

I squeeze my work until

it hardens to coal

seething for spark

lusting for ember.

Yet the clouds are heavy

with rain and thunder

so this wick is made wet

to hide from the flames.

But how fortunate,

among all this chaos

and turbulence

and fury

I was baptized:

by 100 famous poets,

moving my hair

kissing my forehead

by 100,000 nameless writers

straightening my tie

dusting off my shoulders.

Only for them.

JUST for them.

I will go on with this.

and other lies

what’s on your TV,

what your friends tell you,

Spam (the mail and meat variety),

how you felt yesterday,

Mark Zuckerberg’s “human” features

my words,

your words,

Shakespeare’s words,

the words on your phone,

Oh! and birds (probably)

Those dreams you fantasize about,

the way your lover feels about you,

your perception –

of other’s perceptions of you

There are a lot of things

that aren’t real

its all salt water

mud in a syrup bottle.

get it out of you.

Do what you have to

stick a finger down your throat

retch if you have to

Get. It. Out.

The Bookstore

Bukowski had his bar stool

the last seat at the end,

Shakespeare had his room

in the back of the theatre,

Thoreau had his cozy pond estate

among rural Boston trees,

this egregious little amateur has his table

in the corner of a book store.

It has everything I could ever need:

bitter and sweet coffee,

the company of every great soul

to ever slow dance with a pen,

the graceful movements of strangers

with endless mysteries I’ll never know,

some woman in a red sweater

that I can fall in love with

while she flips through used poetry.

This is my castle,

my muse,

my blank canvas.

If I could instantly travel

through any breath of time,

any scene of space,

anywhere in the whole of existence:

I’d go

maybe half a foot to the left

for just a little more leg room.

Emily

This morning,

I got rain on the spine of her book

part of me thinks she’d like that

she’d find it fitting

it’d match the rainfall of her world

the storm of her soul

so deeply felt,

so beautifully expressed.

I looked up what she looked like

an old photo with these full pursed lips

like she could barely contain the words

locked behind her teeth –

she looked thoughtful

like her mind had the same pauses,

the same punctuation as her writing.

I wondered if she felt like me

frustrated her words only decorated

the fragility of her own papers –

her whole life only five published works

out of her 1775 masterpieces

her 1775 genuine expressions of humanity.

This morning,

I wrote her a love note

folded into a square

and watched the rain in the street,

carry it into the sewer.

From my Car

He gently places the flowers on her step

heavy from the weight

of all that young bachelor’s heart beats

all his feelings,

all his intentions,

his cherished observations.

I watch from my car

swallowing thick gulps of air

tasting the tension in his blood.

He rings her bell

runs off grinning

like a thief pocketing diamonds.

She opens the door

smiles at the sight

brings the flowers to her chest

breathes in her hopes deeply

smiling in the sea of its aroma.

Yet that bachelor never saw the smile he caused

only I did,

watching from my car.

Where is that bachelor now?

I imagine him in open pasture

somewhere warm

picking more flowers.