recitations

and darling, isn’t this
(my highest sincerity)
everything you’ve ever dreamed,
lift the glass veil (a universe
between your hand and my skin)
between sleeping beloveds,
the space of infinitesimal
décalage, and you
may as well be folded in the same
corner of wild earth (seething
desires of my dismantled heart)
the cool in-between
dispersed by his slow breath
and the brush of callous on your cheek
sing the old litany of words,
those that are yours (is that
me in your poem?) and verses
torn from dogeared leaves of prayer
(not really soothing, but soothing
nonetheless), the fractured
dreamscape of his face obscured
by the blurred reflection of your
slow-moving lips (I died for
Beauty but was scarce-)
side by side along the water,
too weary to reach out an arm
(all my wits to you)
and swim
across-

6/11/16.


Poems noted:

a universe between your hand and my skin“- mad/ness by Holden Lyric.
not really soothing, but soothing nonetheless“- The Torn Up Road by Richard Siken.
“I died for Beauty but was scarce-“ by Emily Dickinson.

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Impasse

The words will come when they’re ready,
but more often I find my desk steeped
in ash and vacant envelopes, white
paper tongues dry as corpses.
Shriveled leaves of absent thought
and passion. I had promised
to replenish their emaciated folds
with some new strain of spark,

but what can I do when
the hours sail by in perfect mimicry,
phantom passengers waving
their tattered flags to the bleached
skeletons leering from the shore.

Fallow

There was a time, a luminescent absconscion from pitch delusion into a softer demesne of hopeful lyric, when the penumbra dissolved and the curtains unfurled to the resonance of the first arching note, and I believed that every word was worth its weight, every phrase enough to assuage the gasping ache of festered grief, when I prayed to the illimitable haven of living voice to render each moment in righteous truth.

Give me crimson and gold, amber-inflected horizons and empyrean blues, inflect the firmament with scintillating flare and hue. When midnight obfuscates the last light and saps the sky of Polaris, Perseus, Hercules, all our silvered heroes, place into these reverent hands a holy convocation of the utterance I need to do right by these ephemeral moments. Whisper forever of that which I can only live through language, and that which I alone can speak into vicarious existence.

A year has gone by, four dry seasons of virgin pages fallen in perennial autumn. I press my ear to the cornucopia and it echoes, a hollow resonance like a dial tone. My hands fall, two empty nets at my side. The famine sinks in, sandpaper lips and impotent tongue, and I entreat once more the faceless churn of late masters and departed loves, What clandestine thieves transgressed the inviolate harvest of measured lines? Where has it gone, the amaranthine chorus of immaculate verse and treasured word? How can I invocate once more the sempiternel birth of ink and memory? And they answer at once, a tumultuous roar of ancient condemnation, unstitch their mouths and bear their scarlet teeth, seethe into my soul as one onerous voice, There was no thief, there was no thief, there was no thief… 

Reverence

There is a palimpsest 
of crystalline promises
waiting on the highest shelf,

dust-cloaked mezzanine
built upon volumes
of tender letter and verse.

You are not
their beloved essence,
the exquisite chime and call
heard in each
remembered word.

You never held them
in your hands like I do,
their slender curve and warmth
pulsating on your skin

But I have saved them all,
the hopeful sketch and gleam

in the pristine gallery of indelible memory,
running my finger down
the weary leather spine

slips of future vision
twined with thread and stem

and threading myself
through a thousand hours
preserved in loose pages
and re-lived within a breath-