Writing and Knowing

I’m feeling inspired by the poetic guidance in The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Presently reading the chapter “Writing and Knowing”… hence the name of this poem.

Writing and Knowing

I know the kitchen, the confines of its smell
sometimes escaping the borders
of acceptable behavior. the waft, the clouds
the cycle sourced from my hands.
this delicate surgery has transformed into
an excellent prognosis, bubbling
but cohesive, wet without being soup
love without being complicated.
sit with your shoulders up. elbows
off the table, on the table—it doesn’t matter.
service is inconsequential, shape is a secondary thought.
we are empty stomachs and full hearts released
from responsibility.
our destiny is no longer in my hands, maybe it never was.

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Colonizing Relationships

I loved not knowing you for those longs legs
of time, of distance in thought
pulled you out of an abstract ocean
for new tastes.

Commodity is a flower of comfort
you thought meant love
transcendence in the highlight of company.

I am the new age, the colonizer of body and ideas.
Translation is loud, thought is a catalyst to movement.

I continue to reproduce, reap from the gardens I find
pull bodies from the oceans we buried them in.

Graves are the honors we dig.

I came to you puzzling words. Translation is loud,
I expected you to find the pieces
of my body.

the passages of suffering are thundering in your eyes

until I become your speaker, your menacing clouds

we prostrate together side by side irrespective of Gods
claiming answers.
you prostrate to your world for all it knows of pain.
I hold the weight of my head.
I know what my people have done.

Harwich

Sweet aroma of life come forth for us to know you.
Sweet dust of day cover us so we can forget ourselves.
Sweet silence of night let us fiddle with the absence of dialogue.

I say goodnight.
I say goodnight to hesitation asking it to greet the atmosphere
in its demise.
I say goodnight to monotonous ideas
awakened restless, elderly in destiny.
I say goodnight because you have spoken of passionate touch
and I can wait until tomorrow.
we have all been uprooted from familiar (even if only in the mind)
I say goodnight to you,
lone, wild, the iris in purple screams
ripe with sun
she says goodnight, sleep well monotony
encourage the herrings to run
upstream
the hesitant folk are nostalgic for their insanity
as am I
this is where I sleep with memories
the colorful day, hopeful for colorful dreams
I say goodnight to you, the one who reminds me of purple
and painted lips
so bright next to the blackbird even with her eyes closed.

The Mirror

for my son, age 7

Growing into himself too quickly
he questions the composition of his face
positions his eyes slightly closer together
as if an acute pose will make the
mirror aware of his inevitable manhood

tight with time, he is a builder, toppling
his hair, climbing it again with minded hands
he is arched as if running a bridge,
elevated in his position
as the undefeated ruler of himself.

I have encountered my only enemy,
I realize, a mirror that speaks to him
in futurist illusions of adulthood,
wherein lies of glorious independence
speak in imaginary tongue, and I
am the voice of unheard truth:

“romantic possibilities are not on the other side
of your reflection, know the blessing of your
present reality and speak to it as if it loves you
more than you can love yourself.”

The dark is my welcome time now
your original mirror, your arms tight
have you forgotten yourself?
simple presence with original source
oh, what little you know of life
I will teach you everything.

For My Ladies

We are some miracle, I think
on lonely days, that we come
back to time and place lips
on fresh wounds, bury problems
asunder even though they bleed
through the spaces of our unsteady hands.

I wonder at the places we’ve been
in our minds, the fantasies that they
can never hope to satisfy, the climactic
utopian visions we imagine of sex and
peace and religion. The epic visions of our faith.
Simple, possible unity leveled by an unruly gang
carrying testosterone and wealth.

If only the world of banks could
live in our minds, what wealth
to spend, what passion to eat.
If only they knew what was good for them
what a wonderful world it would be.

Under Stone

I have remembered you, in time
it’s passing. my arms tend to wrap air
on bright mornings and welcome
the rapid succession of days.

Evaporation is happening faster than
growth and I must rely on children to
lift these stones from the ground
reveal where life tends to hide
subtle, moist and immortal beyond the day.

Do we become none, fallen into memories.
Imprisoned by what could have been.
I am easily moved by a premise,
by a body, what to expect in the face of silence
unearthed, naked, body open below the sun
utterly silent and still.

Dear Friend,

We know each other in crisp fall air,
We know each other in sips.
We know each other within the sync of steam,
Within the movement of our lips.

There comes a time when all we need
Is the comfort of this that we know.
The occupied space of a subtle hand,
A whisper that settles the soul.

You are a song, a secret, a puzzle, a scream—
the joke from my book,
my unfocused look,
my silent epiphany.

You are my friend—
A symbol of what appears without asking.
I didn’t ask for this blessing.
There is no need.
You are a poem to welcome the afternoon.