If Only in Words

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Where to go when the words hold no refuge?

What will be sent to take their place?

Dedicated to the transient forms

that shape the time elapsing.

The ink runs to get ahead of itself,

passing outside of bus windows,

leaving you like a widow holding mementos,

lingering inanimate, like dreams

but bound by desire,

put out like smoldering ash.

It glows for a time

before it goes cold as a concrete floor.

The concrete was no longer necessary,

now awash with shadows of selves and no more.

All these shades in the life of a candle,

its gradual disintegration,

eventual integration with the whole,

again it goes dark

until I receive another spark of insight.

Pushed to the edge of here or there,

into the tight chair of words.

All the solitude I can bear,

all the encouragement I will hear

goes unspoken in silent symphony.

This impulse to record resumes eternally,

with the curves of your words reflected in mirrors.

The eyes that read them growing wider,

distorted, out of proportion,

blurring into the next page.

Keep turning

this toiled land.

Something to plant seeds in,

until it has grown deformed,

like a kicked in pumpkin

unrecognizable to itself

and from where it began,

invoking a response to begin again,

from where it flaunts a collective pain.

The mind holds no silence.

Hunched over paper,

eyes dropping from frustration,

thoughts like a vapor.

I’m weary and unaware

of day or night,

all is amorphous and white

as this barely caressed skin

no longer draped with letters,

like walls, all is stone-still.

Even the crickets behind it are silent.

The palms barely sway,

only to clutch at desperate pens,

here for hours and then days,
perhaps eternity is a passenger

in a sedentary vehicle.

Longing for Lozzi’s Monte Carlo

or trains that pierce Sicily,

anything that will not adhere

to this empty time-table,

this sibling to despair,

Cain slaying Abel.

Does the line still survive?

The pen no longer moves,

with a passing wind.

It used to leave fragments,

the charred remains of flames,

it was there and unnamed,

the unseen taking me in,

pushing to reveal something beyond expectation,

 if only in words,

taking curves,

running on their own tracks

with the sound of needles that scratch

a finished record,

it seems there are no more revolutions.

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The Precipice

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Grains of sand

scattered by brooms of wind

into hands

initiating what comes

without a heading,

that which is quick

to the forgetting,

like a vision

the night is wetting

for smooth sailing

through perilous corridors.

There’s a stranger hand than mine

moving this vessel,

now capsized in the Molokai Channel.

The molten sun dripping bright fallout,

illuminating the outrigger,

navigating to land on future islands

in the memory of sea.

Poised there eternally

for dreams to come ashore.

Sunsets awash with blood and sand,

braile to the feet

grail for the hand

to gather what sails in from Tahiti,

on gentle trades of poetry.

The truancy of its passage caught

in coral structures of thought.

Patient for instruction,

the pen poised on the precipice of paper.

A replica voiced again in fluid meaning.

A representation of text,

the quiet in the land,

some kind of darker architecture,

lines of grafite and paper.

What it implies

as the temple dies

in fissures and cracks

that fracture the colonial residue,

seeping salt water into its tissue,

flooding the apparatus through and through.

Soon this motion is channeled

from the tips of the fingers

to the grips of the pen,

whitely collapsing back out

to form another fist that hits

with porous volcanic impact.

It is never static,

all variation voiced in the choir,

like schools of fish it shifts suddenly.

How to seize this color?

This floating feather

is a metaphor,

caught between moments of readiness,

led by whim and chance,

beautiful coincidence.

Feathers like letters competing for words

but on a softer background,

the place of shadow,

the impression of wind in the sand,

convinced it is from within

but not sure of where to stand anymore.

When whole hillsides collapse into the sea,

will it spare me?

The grasping, the attaching of meaning

to that which is no longer concrete

but sealed in obscurity.

With Nightly Emergence

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Words wander in sync with churchbells in Bologna.

Under the shadow of its narrows,

light filters through breaks in the buildings,

through tables populated by candlelight,

conversations, from unknown lips

would converge with nightly emergence.

Words, dream initiated thoughtful insomnia,

turn corners in the narrow quarters,

casting lamplight on the rain-wet familiarity

of past lives and old journals.

I fish your form out of the moving masses

that make up the internal rhythm of the city.

The main drag, the ongoing strip

shows one curve at a time.

Each choice, each rhyme,

cast in fascination’s design,

you familiarize and then rationalize

that you have claimed some of it as your own.

Heading for the exits,

through the archways,

into the stream of intermingling strangers,

words, delicately dance

on transient departures towards

shuttered windows in the glittering night.

We live out these sentences.

Share this common tension.

The outline of rooms,

the lack of attention.

Silence, like auditory acid,

eats straight to but not through

the mood chains I succumbed to.

The darkest shades from the smallest brush strokes

cast shadows as if caught in the gaze

of a probing searchlight.

The most distorted images regurgitated,

the words you write

projected on blank walls,

larger than the letters would allow.

Another pendulous moment

perched over the present,

punctuated by suspicious sidelong glances,

distracted and separated

by the thick sheen of magazines.

On this overlapping stitch

we’ve weaved this one life.

I know better

than to hope for brighter fabrics of weather.

Whether or not we’re together,

I look for beacons in the future’s fog,

for exclamations in the tired log

of plateaued feelings.

Mounting indifference, climbing to the ceiling,

gilded, guided by light

glimmering off of some discarded metal fender

from a vehicle that brought us closer

to whatever it was we were never

going to be able to hold on to.

All I Behold Clandestine

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There is no tension between the tree leaf and the shadow wavering

wind breaths blowing from beneath disheveled hair.

The writing volcanoed from out of hiding in its tiny alcove,

from its universe of all I behold clandestine

to any attempts to control or mold from experience.

All the rusty artifacts of antiquated memories

await in dusty sheds for my

cracking open a corridor of light.

Recollection, that collection of meaning

laying dormant under the rubble of echoes.

Words, broken letters,

strewn in the aisles of an elusive narrative,

now raised to the touch of probing fingers.

There’s often more than just this flow of thoughts

to allign one’s attention,

this subtle ascension

intercepting sun shafts,

bearing the spare impression of invisible footsteps,

the muse exists partially formed

in its dim-lit reality of far off glances.

It’s keeping distance

with a cold kind of charismatic resistance

to the information I volunteer to it.

This communication,

this aka body extension,

akin to a staff that reaches out

and taps gently over condemned ground.

With unsteady spontaneity,

akin to Coltrane,

taking a simple progression and improvising,

seeing what can be accomplished inside of a circle,

making the edges appear nonexistent,

awash with sea they disappear overboard,

seize the harmony, the discord,

fractured or polished, it knows no reward.

Poetry in every paused breath

confronts the poverty

of endless mechanical death.

Paper never proposes the limitations of its illusionary borders.

The abyss is at the foot of every table to peer into,

to reach through and pull out a dripping fist

from its ink-black mysteriousness.

Now holding seeds and waiting for instruction.

To cast the lead in this loose production

of reason usurped by desire.

Balanced on this tightrope,

perched bird on the wire,

full of repetitive motion, initiating fire

creating this illusion,

like a conjurer’s shadow

on rust colored peeling walls,

a suspension of belief willingly follows.