Thursday, May 29, 2014


What was it like when I didn't believe?
How could I live? All that I saw I knew,
all that I knew I saw, but nothing else.
The world was leagues of quantifiable data,
geographies, encyclopedia, and science
forgetting quality. What was it like
when I wallowed in a lowly hopelessness?
A choice to see no future, no magic,
no angel, and no miracle. Was I
impoverished in a deconstructed ethic?
No longer am I shackled by the map
of yesterday's identity, now I rise
free from name and description, believing
in everything that I may never know.

Friday, April 18, 2014

She's the governor, the ruler, the mad designer

She's the governor, the ruler, the mad designer,
the sundial that counts the trembling hours,
my sovereign granting final legitimacy
to the state and station I've established.
She's who I ought to capitalize, her grace
determines my will, she's the awful sin
that draws the trees and flowers from the earth
toward a trembling cloud pregnant with life.
She's the architect of cities, the author
making fruitful choices, dispensing wrath
and justice at her terribly senseless whim,
remaining mysteriously beyond our reason.
Yet I have a faith that I should not have,
and give thanks for my total depravity.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's the shimmer of an ineffable beam

It's the shimmer of an ineffable beam,
it's the baffling way the measure seems,
it's the difficult textures of the form
that charge me to make daring claims
for the dignity of a dazzling prism.

Red memories deliver the loud alarm,
bitter thoughts render a low doom,
tender visions ornament the vast dome
whirling about us in foolish rhythm.

If slumber brings me a poignant arm
while the creeping luminaries roam
the vault of sky obscured by storms,
I shall choose to hold my faith firm.

It's the glitter of an ephemeral moon,
it's the fleeting rose finally in bloom,
it's the perfect and enduring kingdom
that inspires me to grasp the steam
wandering between tulips who squirm.

To recognize the overwhelming swarm
of paralyzing spirit and the easy slam
of beautiful truth only just proclaimed
between the syllables of a poor poem,

then remember the calm, whimsical hum
of the indescribable and holy freedom
affirmed by a voice across the chasm
of our unspeakably sublime dream.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tossed in the wind like the oak branches

Tossed in the wind like the oak branches
battering the old window, thinking myself
higher than any teacher, then thrown about
like a tired ship in a merciless tempest.
Cast like a joke into a secular nonsense
ignoring meaning, imagining that I rule
this broad path, that I'm the lawgiver
launching myself toward a good object.
Yet the heave of thunderstorms is beyond
my understanding, the abject absurdity
of a world without god becomes apparent.
The fictions of an individual cannot
be where I place my trust: the hereafter
is the authority that governs my way.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The way she listens to me talk, the light

The way she listens to me talk, the light
across her yielding cheek, the broken
flowers sitting on the desk, the blinds
and how they separate us from each other.
The truth she sings to me, the delicate
sadness of her gaze, the easy loneliness
she feels that's just like mine, how she is
a perfect mirror of my vulnerable self.
The ocean cannot hold her, nor the sky,
the trees can't comprehend her soft breeze,
nor flowers understand her fine sunlight.
No words describe her, no image captures
the mystery of her figure; though I stammer
I yet chant the high things of her love.

It was her yellowed skin, a green morning

It was her yellowed skin, a green morning
between cottonwood trees. I'd never felt
the flavor of the plum, the violet heave
of her insides before the dome awakens.

It was her soured lip, a sweet beginning
to a miserable vanity. I'd never heard
her tongue inside my body, the gold curve
of her brow bringing darkness to the dust.

What could it be? What is the awful sight
of her wearied eye? The neglected person
hidden beyond this anguished identity?

But shall we be released of this smell
of blood? Shall we ever taste the fruit
of our labor despite the dreadful storm?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

If the striking brow by which this eye gazes

If the striking brow by which this eye gazes,
from which good judgment proceeds faithfully,
had turned away this spiritless darkness
by proclaiming its love will rightly linger,

my sighs would declare their honest thanks
for this tenderness that has finally expelled
the low ignorance, the seclusion and illness
where I dwelt for many moons desperately.

And once stark obscurity would be removed
by rapture swallowing my basic weaknesses,
staying with me throughout the long night.

The grief in my eyes would be assuaged
by an intense love ultimately expressed
in the serene refuge of this weary person.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When the fascinating blue sphere lifts

When the fascinating blue sphere lifts
herself from the sunken garden, apples
spin in the alluring breeze, necklaces
leap over the valleys of her collar;
and not only do plums slump in the sky,
but avocados adorn her wrists as bangles,
raspberries and tomatoes sway faintly
in a splendidly innocent understanding;
so that her arms become lithe branches
bearing slender bananas, plums, pears,
and luscious, multicolored watermelons;
creating honest love full with treasure,
decorated with freshly exalted blossoms
flitting in the cool, iridescent wind.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mystified by the furiously intense eyes

Mystified by the furiously intense eyes,
the bewildering breath on my soft ears,
the severe sweep of a delicate neck,
and the fierce frame of a fine brow;
stupefied by the bold edge of shoulders,
the daring, tender flesh of ivory arms,
the pure figure of a classical waist,
and the beguiling exposure of breast;
astonished by the honey-flushed thighs,
the uncovered, navigable and open lips,
the great, uncharted riddle of her body:
remote and trailing a miraculous veil;
yet the sweetness of a flourishing flower
defies the definite amazement of man.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The iris dilates lazily to give

The iris dilates lazily to give
range for the light he observes.
She advances by design to leave
a margin about the troubled grave.
It will overwhelm him to resolve
the frayed shapes apparently alive
declining as inconsolable waves.
How once he woke willfully to shove
her form about the canvas, to serve
her body at the threshold of doves:
writhing, squirming, moaning, heaving
as if the holy ghost were proved.
But now her figure opens, a curve
swells as her soft frame forgives
his indiscretion, and finally removes
what previously made him not believe.

Monday, March 31, 2014

He who measures out the irregular power

He who measures out the irregular power
of syllables stretched across thin paper
can't help but fumble with confused answers.
The tired tree, the purple-opening flower,
the gentle breeze declaring quiet showers,
the aware clouds moving delicately over
the dust reveal the inscrutable keeper.
She whose eyes glint like coarse copper
trapped in a crude form shifts to temper
his artless body with a noble whisper.
The trees shake, the simple flowers shiver,
and the river embodies an unbeliever.
As a light stirs, his low faith may waver,
he may doubt the conviction of his lover,
or the justice of the ultimate lawgiver.
But beyond the trials, the toils, the fevers,
beyond the miserable abiding hangover
he finds within her gaze a light uncovered,
a person who will decisively deliver
the resolution of his shattered prayer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The air itself, the pouring rain amongst

The air itself, the pouring rain amongst
the heavy branches, the low clouds parading
across an infinite sky, the laughing child,
the unassuming talk of thoughtless mothers;

The heaving earth, the thick mud whispering
under her feet, the glory she has suffered
beneath a senseless dome, the nonsense words,
the confused grammar of a translated verse;

These things that wash a spirit through my heart,
course through my body like a wandering river
roams the unknown lands toward the ocean;

Yet none inspire me like the delicate person
receiving all my hurt, who holds my sin
to give account before the terrible judge.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If I were ruler I'd get rid of maps

If I were ruler I'd get rid of maps,
ideas, notions, abstractions and thoughts
that compass the infinite dome of heaven,
or limit the kingdoms of poor hearts.

If I were ruler I'd get rid of words,
labels, names, identities and titles
that restrict the meaning of a person,
or define the vicissitudes of love.

I'd banish anything trying to confine
my self within images, my faithful god
who cannot be narrowed by any verse.

I would wander territories without
my own understanding, trusting in
the great vault of sky uninterpreted.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm waiting for the sun to rise between

I'm waiting for the sun to rise between
the crooked fingers of the southern oaks,
to rend the heavy clouds with a brilliant
light reflected on the bayou's surface.

I'm waiting for the moon to set between
the tall branches of the patient pines,
to marry the quiet crescent's dim white
with the tepid vibrations of the water.

I'm lingering in the undetermined place
between dusk and dawn, the mysterious
separation of the lover from his beloved.

Yet the two meet in a moment of time
beyond the trees in the garden, held fast
by a testament whispered in the leaves.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

She's like an old song I barely remember

She's like an old song I barely remember
that puts me back in time, back to when
it meant something, back into illusions
and fictions that I believed would save me.

She's like the way the books used to smell
when I confused their secrets, the way memory
floods the senses, how the fragments of life
resemble something different with each reading.

Let the old song move me out of history,
and into an eternal present, let the scent
of lost flowers be where I put my trust;

Let the recollections bring me salvation
beyond myself, let the magic I've forgotten
dissolve this misery I have imagined.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

She reveals herself in a different form

She reveals herself in a different form,
a different body, different eyes looking
out from nowhere, different novel details
hidden in the pattern of her hair.

She discloses mysteries when I'm not
expecting them, comes around the corner
quickly with a challenge, comes around
like a patient moon in delicate cycles.

Yet I am dazzled more each time, the eyes
are of an infinite depth, the mysteries
remind me this dream is unpredictable.

But without a definition I still recognize
something of the demure figure obscured
by a temporary body sleeping quietly.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I wanted fame, money, someone to give a damn

I wanted fame, money, someone to give a damn
about my writing, a book deal, a magazine
to serve as a platform for my ideals,
and an audience that lauded my expression.

I wanted love, her, the one I've imagined
myriad ways, I've worshipped in every temple,
whose praise I've sung beneath heavy oaks,
and whose scent I'll eternally remember.

I needed it most desperately, more than
clouds need a sky to ornament, more than
grasses need the teachings of a storm.

But now that I'm older I no longer want
any of those things, just a moment of time
enjoyed—sacred, but somewhat ridiculous.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Who moves the Sun beyond confusing clouds

Who moves the Sun beyond confusing clouds
and opens velvet flowers to the light:
revealing cypress, oak, maple and pine
to weary poets forgetful of dreams?
If stars were words obscurely defined
and storms composed complete sentences,
would the unclear water reflect meaning,
or imagine something uninterpreted?
So whomever confounds the broad heavens
and orients the language of the sky
frustrates the reader, and leads astray
exhausted authors chasing understanding.
But a perplexed spirit finds comfort
in the fog that keeps him off course.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Alone amongst the variable mysteries

Alone amongst the variable mysteries,
ridiculous secrets, innumerable dogmas,
philosophical systems of ill repute,
and muttered mantra I cannot describe:

I find the object whispering a dazzling
metaphor, dew singing scattered rhymes,
and clouds resembling antique rhetoric
forgotten by the turning of a dome:

So now, surprised by the delicate glory
of these contradictions, I find joy alone
reverberating like an eternal memory:

And still I am not justified: I serve
nonsense offerings to what is hidden,
and worship that which I will never know.

Remix Sonnet: Luther and Petrarch

Alone we must know so great a treasure
of good things, grace which our inner man
has in faith alone; we know by the word
priesthood doesn't consist in any display.

I find small dignities under that law:
a holy nation, truth, wisdom, salvation,
corporeal power according to the idea
of kings in the experience of life.

So now, in the midst of our enemies,
the freest of all uses various things
for teaching some little drop of belief.

And still this contradictory power system
needs neither laws nor works, but love
attained without eternal understanding.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Remix Sonnet: Ibn 'Arabi and Frost

I have a garden amongst the flames!
I have marveled at an ocean without shore.
I have caught this moment we are in.

I have to submit to the rule of parting.
I have an inner reality pure as gold,
And an azure dome raised over the earth.

I have a noble spirit put to trial
When he destroys it utterly at once,
Causing me to dwell in paradise.

But the concealed secret has no location,
No rapture, reason, ardor, nor tears
To quench the fire within my heart.

He whom I love is between my ribs:
I have made myself a message not heard. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Remix Sonnet: Kant and Neruda

I do not love the dogmas, the formulas,
or mechanical tools of external guidance.
I love the uncertain leap of the mind
between a narrow movement of examples.

I do not love without another's guidance,
or self-appointed guardians of thought.
I love the most innocent submission
that enlightenment alone can bring.

I love perpetuating reasonable mysteries.
I love the perfect multitude of freedom
designed for extremely dangerous use.

But this, after stumbling a few times,
is very difficult for the individual
lacking courage to use his own mind.