I am so brittle
I am so brittle I could crack
and fall in pieces at your feet.
Sweep me off into the corner -
all I want to do is sleep.
I am so hollow I could melt
into a smaller puddle than
you might expect to see.
No need to step on me -
I only want to sleep.
Is there a code I have to crack,
is there a solid I should melt?
Give me the key and raise the heat -
let me sleep!
FallFall1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Something fell. How could a sound so loud
have been a dream? Yet how could a sound
so loud have left a silence thick as this?
There is so little sound you might be deaf.
You say, "hello," softly, to the dark.
You hear your voice clearly through the air.
The lighted clock says four A.M.
Did something fall? It could have been a dream.
It may have been the picture in the hall.
Why did you hang it with a single nail?
Or was it something not so near as that,
whose size and mass you cannot say?
Was it here in the city, a block away,
a mile? There would be sirens, surely.
Or was it something both near and far -
did a world slip dow
Blue MoonBlue Moon2 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Not the one that appears every two or three years -
the one that appears once in forty-four years.
Not the one that is full for a single night -
the one that is full every night it is in the sky.
Not the one on which to see a man or a rabbit -
the one on which there are branches and leaves in silhouette.
Not the one that is drowned out by a glowing city -
the one that is as bright above a city as it is where the sky is darkest.
Not the one by which you might read a newspaper headline -
the one by which you can read what had been invisible.
Not the one whose name is part of a figure of speech -
the one that asks us to say something new.
Barbed Wire BalladBarbed Wire Ballad2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Bring more barbed wire. Bring the heavy rolls
of twisted steel and metal thorns. Wear
heavy gloves, unspool the wire from the roll,
make loops atop the wall. Bring more.
Bring more barbed wire. Here are metal stakes
on which it may be hung. Go on and on.
Here is a wire cutter for when we are done,
but that will not be soon. Bring more.
Bring more barbed wire. Here are people
to keep out, there are people to confine,
here a place to make secure, here we are
on our side, thank God. Bring more.
Here are people, there are people,
here a border, here a barrier,
here are places, here are people,
here a wall and here the
MagdaleneThis spine cursesMagdalene1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
my fate-dance choreography
as every muscle throws a stone
to shutter and kneel me
I swallow the howls
feeling double the pain
triple the weight
the layers of torment
Peace is all I beg for
but when I held
the bluebird of freedom in my hands
I let it go,
to conquer the skies
is my guilty verdict.
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BurningBurning2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
What is this fire
within me now?
Is it contained,
will it break out?
How can I sleep
when I must keep
Gift of the night,
play of the light.
What will not burn,
that I will learn.
Morning will come
when I am done
What will this fire
be in the day?
Out of the night,
something will stay.
I will show,
you may know
Your Man BluesI don't want to be a fat man, so I can't find my feet.Your Man Blues11 months ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
I don't want to be a thin man, seeking something to eat.
I just want to be your man - not too fat and not too thin.
I want to ring your bell, babe, and know that you will let me in.
I don't want to be a strange man, so people try not to stare.
I don't want to be a plain man, so people can't see I'm there.
I just want to be your man - not too strange and not too plain.
I want you to feel love, babe, as natural as rain.
I don't want to be a wild man, like a mule kicking in a stall.
I don't want to be a tame man, with no surprises at all.
I just want to be your man - not too wild
GapAt one end of the restaurant table it is the year 2012Gap6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and C. has just returned from a trip around the world,
to Brazil and Egypt and South Africa, India
and Thailand and New Zealand. At the other
end of the table it is 1945 and M. is in a jeep
beside a highway in Germany as 27 Sherman tanks
roar by at sixty miles an hour. I sit in the middle
and perform the spell that keeps the tanks from
crushing the table and my grilled flatbread
and my India Pale Ale and my wife's tomato
soup and grilled cheese sandwich and all of us
who are here beneath their treads. I can do that
with ease, yet spectacular sparks arc across
the voltage drop bet
New Year's DayThe first winter was composed of sleeping,New Year's Day5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
flower-like, but this second is like prowling
the gap between feeling and thinking;
limbering up the dawn, unscarfed, uncoated,
with my head like a getaway bag, hastily packed,
a floppy trammel of tossed lists: lists of lies
told and believed that have since
turned into calcitrate in unsunned cloisters,
and I should know the dawn because I've seen it,
and I should know the gap because I populated it
with crows and left-behind items of clothing.
It was like dismantling a spiral staircase
step by step, leaving a sequence of hollows
stripped of the season's riverly cadence.
So I have my
There Hid the Sacred HollowThere hid the sacred hollow,There Hid the Sacred Hollow1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
gentle with fern and old pine
where my heart thrived when it was very young,
when life stretched endless like a yellow day.
I understood that whatever I was not then,
I would yet learn, and I would find.
But it was false anticipation-
mark of the very young
who sleep too long through a yellow day,
who nestle in the succor of the sweet fern
and old pine, of the sweet yearn
GhostSweet the hum of a soft night;Ghost2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I know summer will slip away,
but now it is warm and the dark sings.
It was September
the last time you were in my arms;
I lay with you, thinking,
"You are here, you are still here."
pentadactylismpentadactylism1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
and in so doing
you deign to make
some unknighted landfall
in a mime
of an irreversible
all this time
when we’ve gathered up the last
of roadworthy flowers,
touched our final
in the skull
on leaving . . .
we’re still together
hungering in underboards
dog-fed on blood slivers, whiplash and improvidence.
do we pick at moments
to unlock their gnashing
i have no reason for what i want
just . . . be my collaborateur
be everything that is outlying and forbidden
the cavus which cannot bear the weight of waterweeds
and i promise to keep you
ever since our funeral
in that godless hollow
of a mind
Thin IceThe ice is thin, the ice is thin -Thin Ice3 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the shore more distant year by year,
and nearly sixty since I left it now.
There is no going back again.
And I am old yet not so very old -
I bless the ice. I pray for cold.
Fade outI don't know how I got hereFade out10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
It's the end of the line for ghosts
and the scent of this strangeness is soothing
even though the wind will keep whispering
for a while, I'll stay and play
and the music won't stop
until I've rested enough for this numbness to end
until you end with it.
In the heartIn the heart2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
In the heart, doubts
In the doubts, a small room
In the small room, a table
On the table, a map being soaked by rain
On the table
In the small room
In the doubts
In the heart
A mirrorA mirror4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have a mirror that shows another face.
I have a face that asks to hear a song.
I have a song with room for light.
I have light that is the red inside every color.
I have a color that is waiting for its name.
I have a name that means tenderness.
I have tenderness caught in a mirror.
un-gaggedWords rattle and hissun-gagged1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
snakelike rivers twisting, jousting
silenced knots that would defy
the very sword of Damocles,
tongue-sharp and flesh-thirsty.
Smothered flow, refused exodus
(like a circumscribed sky)
music-less and cramped
between the whimper and the howl;
foul and violent the taste
of muse's suffocation.
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religion a door might have openedreligion1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
onto the great void and we might
have held hands and stepped out,
dressed like tigers for the effect
if we hadn't been throwing punches
and excavating black words from our tar pit brains.
so the door stayed closed, we missed
the pristine moment and we never left the living
room that night, never made it to the space
of rational numbers and deathless men
those sunken-eyed spectres with immortality
clutched in bird-bone fingers, clutched
like woman or bottles of brown beer.
I didn't much care, my heart needed
vacuuming and the dogs
would have wrecked the place
if we'd left them alone for eternity
water processspirit-sloth and overdone;water process1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
wonder-lost and undercome:
you are trenchant, sweet love.
you planted early mornings-
I lay coffee-drunk and thin;
the stir of your brown hands.
I Am EyesI am eyes, that unholy duality.I Am Eyes1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
There are six deer in the dead field
who have survived late fall,
with its plague of men and guns.
I am eyes, turned to the pregnant sky.
There are pockets for hands,
thick wool for feet,
but eyes take the cold head-on.
There is clamor far away. There is cackle and bray.
There is grumble and wine, there is raw meet.
Handed over like suspicion, taken like greed,
like gold from the cocoa-skinned hide-hidden
lesser gods, there disappears my world.
But I know nothing of this. I am sleepy.
I am eyes.