The Void

I.

My heart a vacuum

void of any life

cold, dark, and hollow.

My soul is empty

a hole in the universe

gravity absent.

My body broken

as it shelters in it’s place

grieving as it licks it’s wounds .

Nothing can fix this,

mirror, still water, deep thought

a useful solace.

Hard thought blended with horror

head bent in sorrow

face on bitter wall.

 

II

Stand facing to the world, child

let your fingers touch the wind

this too shall pass, breathe.

One Spirit has it in hand.

Trust that what will come, will come

let chaffe float away

dandelion seeds

Que sera sera.

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Falling Apart at the Seams

The decision is made and the work is in progress.

I will be more organized.

I begin the research, purchase the app

Organized for All Time

This is finally it.

I have won.

I get up, as usual a half hour after I should.  Not because I have not awakened but because I am thinking about a story or a poem or a painting.

Productive!  Yes!

It is usually the time of leaving that my ends become loose and frayed.

I leave, and realize a mile down the road that I have forgotten my phone.

It is only upon a full house search that I realize it is on the passenger seat.

In the car.

I drive along and just as I have passed the last little drive thru

I reach for my coffee, already twisting my hand for that askew opening

hard and fast rule in place:

light colored clothing is forever banned from my wardrobe

I am signaling for the on ramp, in fact am ON the on ramp

just moments before my faultless car

will surely patronize to remind me that I have forgotten to get gas

again.

which even when I was NOT endeavoring to be more organized

I never did.

yes that delicious sip of hot super power

is sitting on the counter at home,

I saw it while searching for my phone.

didn’t I?

Yes, you did.

And here I look at the clock.

And feel

the pallor of death, the sick, clammy sweaty feeling

that my guts are spilling out and they are too slippery to hold.

Arrived guts stuffed back in

and at the gateway to the LIFESKILL of organized.

said with a sneer.

as the second epic battle in the search for keys begins.

I am gathering dandelion fluff and milkweed seeds

on a blustery day.

I fight my very nature.

Only to get inside and realize

my phone is not in my purse.

But on my passenger seat.

No it is in my hand.

Now where exactly did I put my glasses?

Fortress

Fortress

Echoing rotunda,

stalagmite twisting to a beating heart

neck aching open mouthed

my eardrums bleed

stumbling

deaf from this chamber of horror

the abysmal cavern is next

the last vestiges of a devoured soul

is being licked off the slimy stinky walls

by demons

who look like movie stars and politicians and administrators

i gag until nothing comes out, a pool of bile at my feet

staggering up the twisted stair of nails

to the daring precipice

solid ramparts

i stand on bleeding feet and appreciate the wind in my face

just as the book of affirmations told me to,

I hear the whipping and snapping of the stars and stripes on the pole above me

and when my helpful meditation is done

i notice my brain

far far below me

being quashed by a one eyed giant

in a wooden vat

that should be full of grapes.

I have my fortress.

It has done nothing to protect me.

 

 

The Lone Tree

my own blood

my beloved

my heart beats loud in my chest,

i know it is because my heart,

it is not so good,

too soft, too big, too fragile

I find beauty in these things

the solemn melancholy

the smallness of me

against the bigness of the world

i revel in each of my broken branches

the storms that have passed over me

leaving me in pieces

i curl in upon myself

a moth not yet emerged

from its brown leaf cocoon

i do not want to leave this place

it is safe here.

i am a stone foundation

still holding back the earth

while a tree grows inside me.

i once dreamed that my hearth fires burned bright

that my tending kept it strong.

now i cannot find the matches

and the wet wood will not burn

these cold fingers are a revelation

i weep against the morning sun

leave me to my darkness

leave me to my cold bed

leave me to wonder if spring will ever come

i wrap myself in furs

and step naked into the snow

my breath like a dragon

it wraps around my ankles like a Scottish mist

the wind takes my hair

and i toss my head like a wild horse

only there is my shadow,

and i sidestep afraid

i turn to find comfort in affection

and only my own arms wrap around me

i stumble lost in the woods

and fall before her feet

abandoned.

my heart

it is not so good

it is fragile

soft

i stand in this place

and my breath it is like the reaches of space

i cannot find the air to breathe

as i see how beautiful

this whole world is.

and how unbearably

ugly

man

has made it.

.oldmaple

And yet so small

I wake after a fitful rest
I find my body naked in a vast expanse of desert
I am thirsty
It is night.  I lay on my back the sand

I gaze up at the stars
and I fall asleep again
I wake floating somewhere out beyond our solar system
far beyond.
I am nowhere
I am everywhere

I float and drift into sleep again.

I wake and find myself a stirrup bone
in  a pile of bones
I vibrate against
all the bones of all humanity

I sleep, I wake

I am a spider suspended from the ceiling of  the palace ballroom
I am an ant in the rain forest
I am a mote of dust on a ray of light
I am a duck in the desert
I am a moose in the city
I am an octopus in outerspace
I am a mosquito at the bottom of the ocean

Yesterday I was a giant.
I couldn’t find a cage big enough to hold me.

I read today that mystics feel small.

I was already infinitesimal as the words came to my eyes.

But I am an ignorant savage.

I wake on my expensive mattress.
Truly worth its weight
Insomniacs deserve such a bed.
I feel the dog twitching in his dream
Breathing heavily as his legs muscles make larger twitches

A tear falls down my nose
as I realize
I am a sliver of glass in amongst all the broken hearts of all humanity.

I reflect on how, I am never jealous of this man.
How I encourage him to go out with his friends,
How I don’t give a rat’s ass how he spends his money,
How he never has to be told to do the work.
Or pay his bills.
I never question where he says he is.
I do not ask when he comes home late.
I don’t care who he is talking to on the phone.

Who was the one who was crazy?
CooCoo finger spiraling around my ear.
Who was the one who was “co-dependent”?
Why was it ME when I only ever had these problems with him?

I was blindsided I tell her.

I never saw it coming.

I was too busy

Pretending everything was alright.

And covering my own insanity.

I hate myself for still carrying this burden.
I ask myself, what would it feel like to go a day without thinking of him, or her.
I wish they would disappear so I don’t have to ever think of either of them again
I wish they would hurt, so I won’t anymore.
I learn to embrace this hateful me, this ugly me, this dumpy me, this frumpy me, this cactus of pain that stabs me, this tapeworm inside of me with its gnawing and infernal hunger.

I have so much more now than I ever had then
SO WHAT IS IT THAT I CANNOT LET GO OF?

They say that we are more like an etching than an intaglio.
We are not what is scarred onto our surface, burned and blackened,
We are what is left when everything else is worn away.

I fall asleep.

I wake up.

I am naked now.

But I am not shivering.

In a Cage

IN A CAGE

The bull mastiff
hang dog
crouched in
a pug’s kennel
a lovely hand embroidered quilt
draped carefully
over top
a warming pad
scrunched up
underneath.

an over stuffed heart
its maroon
soft tissue
oozes out between the ribs
each pulsing torturous beat
in its trembling and swollen and pinched vessel
like red jello dumped into a clenching fist

like

an eagle in a parakeet cage
its brilliant precise piercing eye
searching  a terry cloth towel
draped carefully
to keep out the light.

A woman
paces the same paths
day after day
like a kit fox
in artificial night
as small children scream
and bang on the glass
her giant ears quivering
Barefoot
she steps toes deep in a fresh pile of shit.

Meanwhile in her mind which is wrapped in swaddling cloth, a crown of daisies, tinkling bells and doves fly in circles around her
finds herself filled with a hateful violence, the cloth is burlap, the crown is thorny, a piercing animal scream, and horseflies madden.

You see, all these things are the same.

Caged birds do not always sing.

Wishing this would leave her
Wishing she could embrace it
Too tight to fit through the gate
in this cage which can no longer contain her.

The only thing left is to wait for the key
or to smash the cage.

 

Murmuration and other Nonsense

Old Quarry Road

 

 

Red Sumac

I am a dream that danced on the dream of a murmuration.

I am partial to this lake.

It has it’s own scent.

He calls me foolish.

I do not care really.

I stand face to the wind

this is my truth.

simple as it is.

My fantastical belief

in future people

confirmed in the Valley of the Guardian

by a flash of light

and three gunshots.

There can be no other explanation.

The Guardian makes his way to the edges of the brittle rock

come to collect bodies

as we exit with our bags of bones.

Do I dream a life lived backwards,

or is it always seen smaller in the limited reach of a rear view mirror?

The smallest memories make you,

decision is not a spiritual consideration in this life.

Have you seen the small picture?

Have you looked into the glistening softness of your blind eye finger nail?

This life is a small perfection filled with too many mistakes to count

It is not mistakes we should be counting,

rather it is the spring lawn of forget me nots

that are scattered on my mossy memories.

I am free,

I may be broken,

but I am true.

Which of these matters most to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desire

Untitled Painting by German artist Anselm Kiefer

Even if the brilliant sparkling sunshine streaming through crystal clear morning windows
a cat’s paradise, even if the body wakes wide open just before the alarm, ready to seize the whole entire day with cheerful good nature, should the clouds pass over the sun and cast a long shadow in the heat of noon, goosebumps erupting on naked flesh, the spine reacting tail to medulla oblongata, there is always the oily viscous force of the melancholy, always a chasm like vacuum waiting to suck all the light away.

The tar pitch shadow clings so, and like a meadow sweet rabbit nibbling unaware on the purple bouncing heads and three leaves of clover, when the shadow passes, it is thoughtless, reactionary, defensive never asking “is it cloud or is it predator?”

This is how it is.

The lake, may be on the granite mountain top, flitting insects buzzing joyfully about their short day, they fight amongst each other stating boldly with no thought, “this is my territory.”  Still the ancient water dragon, long thought to be a myth, emerges, like a snatching crocodile.  Whose territory is it when demons willfully rend your daydreams?

And later as the serpentine body suns itself, fresh from the kill, on the afternoon rocks, lazy and somnolent, there can be no cooling splash of skinny dip water to ease the heat of all the heart that burns.  It is this burning which throws the greatest shadow, from the inside, some blistering iron shield, burning with its brutal unrelenting light.  It cannot be borne, and the attempt to throw it off seers deeper on raw flesh.

Let the sun set on another empty day.  The smoking Tiki lit party peopled by things that only emerge late in the tintinnabulant evening.  Vampyres, sycophants, inside-outers and the like, all gayly masked shunners of light.  That self absorbed one, over here on the outskirts? Drawing unwanted attention to herself, through inexpert attempts, and angry outbursts at all the blood sucking, soul eating, and bucking bronco beauty ridden to exhaustion by popular opinion, and the sullied imperfection of a rotten culture.

Later she takes to her fetal eggless nest.  Sightless, she prays for eyes long after she prays for the dreams to bring a vision, but still either way she is blind, her sockets empty, she begs for love too, but rejects herself.  Either way she knows her nightmares and moonlit unfenced borders will steal away any hope of peaceful slumber.

Why does she keep waiting for tomorrow it is an old cliche that will never come.

She digs in waiting and wanting anyway.

The Broken Heart

Can you hear the subtle sound of my breaking heart?

Can you?
To me it is a clarion bell.
Broken? you say,
Do you not see my shattered pieces?
Heart? That rusted tin man thing?
To me it is like wine, and the heart of a fresh kill,
no,

it is the heart of an old woman
who is incapable of understanding.

What more must I do in this life?
Wait and See.
Wait and See.
I cannot wait any longer,

This life is too short.

Just once in my life
I want to matter more than things,

More than someone else,

More than a drug.
or an ego.

Just once,
I want to be swept up.

Unexpectedly.

Can you hear the sound of this heart?

Its the flight call of the killdeer.

The flutter of its dubious broken wing
Spins the cauldron of my gut.

Cold Embrace

Image

Painting by Caspar David Friedrich

Lurker,

perpetual
looming shadow
to my quivering mouse
I burrow in
my stinking nest.

Phantom,

keening
moaning ache
to my blind spider
in the darkest cavern
I creep my way forward
hoping to escape.

Stalker,

I can feel you breathing
neck hairs like urban soldiers
my third eye tingles
your cold embrace
imminent
goosebumps erupt
and I have
spider belly.

Shrieker,

I cower in a darkened alley
you tower over me
I am wet with your spittle.
I am afraid of the sting that is sure to come next
That sucker punch to my gut.
That hand on my baby cheek.
That red face of shame.

Breath on my neck
You whisper,
you belong here with me.

I want nothing more than to escape you.

In a candle flicker of inspiration
I suddenly find myself turning towards you.
Taken aback you stumble
hand out stretched to catch your fall

this moment lasts a million upon a million years

like the time of the universe
already farther than our minds can fathom,
stretched out in slow motion
marble statues in our slow reactions
2000 years old already
glistening,
translucent.

Marble Diana from National Gallery