Monday, July 21, 2014

All That is Beautiful

All that is beautiful is backwards to you now,
her hair, her smile, laughing like a pristine
and impossible angel.
Everything a negative film, the whites black, the lights dark,
a stunned, electric blue
makes up the sky. It makes you grit your teeth.

Perhaps church people come to your door,
knock hard and ring the bell, like they are doing now
on mine. My ears are hot. I want no confrontation.
And neither do you. Nothing but a drugged sleep panorama
spanning into something clear, rain-washed, and everything all right
for once.

If I had opened that door (I already know what you are going to say,
and I agree,
and I hopelessly assent,
and am disgusted),
if I had opened my window instead,
I would have been a no within a yes.

So I fold my arms, watch from a distance
as the proselytizers migrate, stoop to stoop.
If we believe it matters,
enough flowers shot with good aim
pierce the ribs at last.
And beauty rights itself. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

em - path - Y

That black 
folded wings and landed with a 
shuffled feathers. I felt
my neck stiffen
fingers flex
half expecting that paper shuffle sound
of evaporated leaf
sheaf dry
as sharpened feather
       shaft on shaft
barbed with little barbs
crackling zinging 
fingernails scratching bearded chin.

Let us practice listening.

Absolute and drenched 
in sound innumerable
and thumbed under lamp
softened on tongue
woven warm and home
at last.

Laugh Like Sarah

My King.
Here I am again, "small and unsure."
Give me words for this.
What paltry and circular thoughts I have. How can I escape?
What am I digging into, when I dig into You? How do I get through
the matter to the matter, to the stuff of life?

You see this tiny little fly traversing the fine hairs of my blanket
like they're hurdles.
You sense the faint, taut itch of my healing scar.
You smell my lavender oil and deodorant, my sweat.
You taste the strawberries' last lingering sweetness and acidity in my mouth.
Feel the thick of my waist, the dimpling in my knuckles, the fine flexing
muscles of my eyes.
Nothing, and everything. One actual thing, perhaps.

What is life worth? What gauges worth?
While trimming sticks today I wondered if I could ever be driven to cannibalism.
Would I want that badly to survive? Why? What kind of life?
What is most precious to me, when there is no applause?
Do I want to prove myself to myself? To the mountains?
To You, who heard me laugh like Sarah, Abraham,
at Your absurd promises?
I can't deny it.

"Will I now have this pleasure?"

Jenny and Tyler, "Skyline Hill"
Genesis 17:17, 18:12

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I stretch my hand and make
the sign of the cross, 
blink and start the car.
I'm not here for anything half-hearted.

What if I am lonely? What if I'm the only
one who cares? Who cares too much...
or not enough, not even 

What makes this work? Beneath the surface,
are we ice floes
or icebergs? Echo back to me your inward call
or don't say anything at all,
I'll be alright, 
I'm trembling,

I'm not here for anything half-hearted.