POEMS WRITTEN TO CHALLENGE SUICIDE
RUH ESANLAM (SOUL SYNONYM)
Upon hearing of loneliness,
you shall cease to exist.
Loneliness has caused
my form to vanish.
Although being alone,
it became a quarrel of two,
a coloring which the Colorless
One gave me.
I am Thou and Thou are I,
and one of us shall never die.
“It’s not that I’m holier than thou,
just holier than all prior versions
of myself. Which is something
equivalent to thou.”
Are you there anymore?
Pray for me, that when the end comes
I’ll outwit the powers
that would try to block
my soul’s upward flight.
There’s that S-word again.
There must be some easier synonym,
some way to deploy the word
without the encrustation
of all its prior uses.
“When you can’t think of the right word,
just use your name.”
Alright, so I am a Jesse-shaped fragment
of something that tried, in spite
of all its obduracy, to qualify
as a changeable thing.
I am that world-wandering reveler
of Messianic Breath.
The saints glorify the Lord
for the path is tedious and the goal distant,
and the Deity you worship
occupies the center of a wheel
composed of pronoun-spokes.
You may find me speaking words in public
That only you can hear the secret compartments inside of.
I’m floating out tiny craft to you
Whose hulls hold contents I don’t have any insight into.
You can hear things in what I say
That never occurred to me as I said them.
Until it’s a conversation that I physically steward
But only happens between you
And something independent inside me,
Some rogue ambassador of mine
Standing with his signal-flags inside the turret
Deemed off-limits to its king.
When I say you I really mean her,
Because that’s all that seems to matter.
Wondering at a woman’s reported laugh
That crosses the finish line faster
Than the lazy giggle she’d give to
Some other man.
What does it mean? And I fit inside “it,”
I’m included like a small curved loop
In the hieroglyph’s corner,
I suppose it is like the three-way argument
Between scribe, papyrus, and scholar,
Which one party doesn’t know he’s absent from.
Maybe it’s better never to transcend your dumb self,
Never to translate, never to know
What’s there, flickering like a powerful ghost
Inside your own speech,
Invisible to you
But plain as sunlight to her.
THREE BANANAGRAM POEMS
We, under the wet vane, hidden
In the cote with the doves,
See a quasar’s tiara in the night sky.
The novel bade us adieu,
Took its dialect with it.
I can’t say what is the juice
And what is the rind.
The next day, the farmers tend the fields,
While I wait to feel awe.
It’s good when the duel is a tie;
When every fop gives a fey warning,
A weak ode to lost data.
Pick any Russian novella,
Bingo, an epic fail.
The duelist goes to veg under a tree,
Pops a zit, adjusts 19th century coats.
First the pen writes two dots of the colon:
The wine costs one dollar,
I easily barfed,
A rout in my stomach’s civil war.
It was a doozy.
This diet fits me like a Lego brick
Fits its sibling,
By peg into boot.
THE WHITE BOWL
DVD pirates feed public domain’s fauna
The parasites inside Mickey Mouse’s guts
Disney lawyers’ trauma
The best defense a cartoon gets
The artist is under attack
By reputation leeches
Enchytraedae lay down
Their souls about to bloat
Jacket, clothes — but felt her heart
Showing up, flying ups and downs
All throughout him psychoanalysis crowns
All feet not feather, not lately power
Or lil glower eleventh hour
The white bowl always has grapes leftover
On the stem to snag the cluster-corner
Of a still-life’s rot.
Still my thought was overwrought
My run-on sentences run on athlete’s foot.
“I’m up to my mistress in debt.
Costly can be these multiplied loves.
To love poisons this anti-quote’s an antidote.
The love-prisms I see your gestures through.
Sorry I tossed my maze at you.”