Wednesday, May 5, 2010




I say your name to myself out loud all these years later

and it tastes like a stranger in my mouth

like a bird caught in a chimney

beating its wings against black tin

like a word caught in the throat of the night

that wants to get out.

To you it looks like freedom.

But to me it’s an exorcism.

When I want to let my ghosts go

I just pick any dandelion in the fall

and blow.

I don’t hang on to them any longer

than fire hangs on to its smoke.

If you take your delusions too seriously

you can turn a legend into a joke.

You smother a baby phoenix in its crib.

And I’m kind of glad

your lies don’t inform me anymore

about how unreliable the truth is

and I suppose it’s some sign of moral progress

when the liars learn to fib

in a halfway house for the truth

they can’t face up to yet

like methadone to cold turkey.

I’ve kept coming back to you

like a sexy soul to a cosmic body

every autumn since you left like a koan

that couldn’t overcome its doubt.

I haven’t seen you in years

except in my mind

but you still don’t believe me

over and over and over again

when I recall how I told you

things would work out.

The dream we wanted to be

wakes up from us

and moves on

like a scar

that thinks of the pain

of who we weren’t to each other

as trivial

compared to who we were.

That’s the trouble with dreams

that lie to themselves

about coming true.

They don’t understand themselves

when they do.

















When the sky speaks

it’s stars sun moon

but when it sings

its voice is full of birds.

This morning I saw

two white tulips

hovering above the grape hyacinth

like angels that could still feel

where the moon left

cool wet kisses on their skin.

And cosmic events

are going on in the grass

that make the galaxies shudder

with unimaginable significance.

The trees have fingerprints

but no one takes them.

And every ant

is a prophet to all the others

as everyone follows everyone else

to the nectar and honey.

I watched them issue

from the tiny caldera

of their sandy volcanoes like lava

trying not to crush them accidentally

and stood in amazement

like a dumbfounded god

as they made the world.

And I asked myself

for all I have written

for all I have painted

what have I ever done in my life

that was comparable to that.

And the crows cawed

and the squirrels chattered angrily

flicking their tails like the horse-tailed hossu

of an old Zen master

trying to keep the flies away.

The point is there’s no point to get.

The period begins the sentence.

And it’s a foolish distinction

that honours its ends

in a world full of beginnings.

Look at the sun.

Look at the moon.

Look at the crazy flowers.

They’re all rank amateurs.

There’s a play.

But no rehearsal.

The stage is new every morning

but no one blows a line.

Everything expresses itself completely

right on time.

Everyone is the grail

of what they’re looking for

like a grapevine looking for wine.