by products

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else

one last wandering thought

a traveler, who takes it in
and spills it out in all these words,
is no more than a charlatan:
a raven among brighter birds,
a mountebank in camera,
a faker on the take,
who kids himself that this makes sense
with thoughts not yet to bake.

a wanderer, who sees all this,
but cannot find the common thread,
is no more than a channeller
who hears not meaning but what’s said:
the train goes missing on the track,
through miles intervening,
when stories end and start the same —
devoid of all

like meaning

my fingers lightly trace the shape
of sun-washed shoulders as you lay
upon a towel beside a summer lake

your eyes are closed your head upon
your hands and you are murmuring
and i cannot say how long it will take

for me to show you how i feel
to transmit through these fingers all
or most of what you mean to me
or just how deep how precious

my fingers stop on browning skin
the distant sounds turn nearly still
and love reflects both sunlight and

this ache

In Praise of Syrup

The maple trees have formed an arch
That leads us to our room and bed;
A quaint old house from 1910,
With yellowed photos, quilted spread,

And pancakes stacked on pancakes when
We rise from wonder in the night,
A perfect sweetness in our mouths
Like love that knows when to be

Light

but colder still

my love, you knew me in the frost
and held me warm as you could hold;
my love, you gave me everything:
a home and walls against the cold

now biting is the winter’s wrath,
sub-zero like the arctic dawn,
but colder still a fireside
ablaze, but now that you

are gone

collocated

stems or out of spinning wonder
collocated dancing preening
sharp like crack of early thunder
derelict in point or meaning

you the magic worker shameless
they the audience enraptured
this the day and worktime aimless
those the moments left uncaptured

on a street of ever forward
every vigilant and humming
i in hunger looking onward
to a dawn that’s never

coming


Photo by ID 181583495 © Philippilosian | Dreamstime.com

A Lake at Sunset

If only I was something more —
Then maybe you would love this shell,
And not recoil from a touch;
Such constant and self-loathing hell
As I find in myself each day.
  But yes — all this is beautiful.

If only I had status — then,
You’d take to me, and want the things
I had to give. But you do not.
I’m supposed to like there are no strings,
But I’m not really made that way.
  But yeah — this is a gorgeous night.

For those of us who’ll win no prize
For wealth, nor symmetry of eyes,
  Must know that inequality
  Of this kind is, it’s plain to see,
    Accepted and approved of by
    The female half of humankind.
  For men who can no status find
  Are out of running, out of mind,
But slow to give up, asking why
They should lay down and hope

To die

A Lavender Sea

Across, beyond, within, between —
I love, you love, but we don’t love
The way we meant to try to mean:
Throughout, upon, around, above —

Our feelings are our falsest friends.
They steer us towards, away, astray,
Where all our means turn into ends,
And futures into

Yesterday

nearby

they drove across the field and they were silent,
she stared ahead in quiet disbelief,
he was the one thing she thought she could count on,
but she felt no surprise or rage or grief

just numbness at the news that he was leaving,
that all that they had built had been a lie,
and that the fantasy she’d dreamed of making
would never be, but always be

nearby