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Holy in the Infinite

Month

May 2014

Yesterday

Yesterday (5.25.14)

 

once

you told me

you were afraid to cut me

so you stayed far away

to keep me from bleeding

while I was already so

thin-skinned

 

and now

you ask for the most sacred

of things between us

and I am left,

fingering the razor blade myself,

passing it from hand to hand,

weighing my options,

and wonder

where the change

in you,

and even more so,

where the change

in me

came from.

 

and i hear it let it be

and I shiver

delight in the terror

that only uncertainty knows

and realize that the uncertainty

is the only thing I know

for certain these days

 

And her voice comes in the night

reminding me,

in my moments of drowning fear,

that refuge comes in love

and that if I can learn to love death

ever approaching,

I can take refuge in anything.

 

I swallow your name

to keep me from yelling it

cursing you and the sky

and I hold it there

in my chest

until it overtakes my lungs

and I can’t breathe

and it comes pouring out again

 

how do I admit to you

too late now

that I am the one that

created this chasm between us?

that neither

can truly cross?

that I was the one

that tempted fate

and lost the bet

and lost you within hours,

and that I will rise

each morning,

I will ache with worry,

write with regret,

delight with terror

until I bleed?

 

 

 

On Either Side of the Door

On Either Side of the Door (Hallway) (5.24.14)

 

I shut my bedroom door

and crumbled

against it

doing my best to refuse

the tears that have come

constantly since I began to see

the unraveling.

But it’s hard to avoid

when you carry your constant reminder

in your chest.

 

These days, I prefer silence

to the false company

that seeks me out.

For how could anyone understand

this maddening tapping

that taunts me

day in

night out.

Others beg me to speak,

but what could I say

to assuage their fears

when I can’t still

my own trembling.

 

You

on the other side,

of our shut door,

hesitate to knock

unable to speak

to acknowledge my heartbreak

and all I wish to whisper

is, “no, no, it wasn’t you

that did this to me,”

to release you from your fear.

 

But you don’t hear

the sounds caught in my throat,

I can no longer yell

over the pounding in my chest

and the tears,

and all I can hear is you

whispering,

“I’m so sorry this is happening

to you.”

 

no way to tell you,

the door was never locked

 

I wish

oh how I wish

you were brave enough

to open it

and that you could embrace me

despite of all of the ugliness I’ve become,

the darkness inside of me,

and I could feel the rough of your jacket

against my face,

and your hand on the back of my hair

and just for one moment,

I could feel safe

with you,

my friend

that I miss

so much

 

with no pretense of bravery

no fault, no fight

or expectation of the other

just a single moment of safety

in all of this fear

regret and sadness

 

and that under the palm of your hand

my heart would beat

and without saying anything aloud,

you’d say you’d remember it

and the girl I used to be

 

Instead,

our palms pressed together

either side of the door

looking for a way to speak

unaware of the other

as you settle down next to me

legs stretched out in the hallway

in silence

I Am Here

I Am Here (5.21.14)

 

I am here

But at the same time

I am gone.

I stand before you now

changed,

to as I should be,

who I should have become

long ago.

 

I did not turn away

as he pulled the

needle from my arm

and a spray

surprised us both.

“Did that hurt?”

he asked, eyes apologizing.

And for the first time

in a long time

I could honestly say,

“I didn’t feel a thing.”

 

And I smiled

a new, defiant

decisive smile

as the vibrant

red flush

darkened to black

on the bedsheet.

 

When it comes

time for change,

place your hand

on my chest,

on my heart

and feel the fiery

phoenix

going to ash.

 

The universe

comes to transform me,

spit me out reborn

without my permission,

but who am I to say

what is to be done

and when?

 

The smell of lemons

linger at the edge

of the drain

before it is pulled away

with the love and bravery

I have fought for.

 

The afternoon sun

leaves room for a chill

and without much fanfare,

I shut my doors and windows

to keep the breezes out.

But the light comes

through the curtains,

unavoidable,

and rearranges me.

 

I bathe

naked for birth

the second time around.

But all I can smell

is the dirt

the dust

of war in my hair

 

Light Traveling

Light Traveling (5.23.14)

from now on,
i’m traveling light
and I certainly don’t mean
without my song
strapped to my back
I mean that I am light
light traveling
beams of nothingness
traveling everywhere
and nowhere
at the same time

fractured and shimmering
both luminous and blinding
bloodied, golden and glorious
but I feel myself going
turning dusky, penumbral
but I feel myself going
going gentle
into the night
and turning into shadows
of what I used to be

I used to be incandescent
pure and glowing with heat
my hair
aurelian, streaming
my battle sword of courage
glinting and iridescent
glittering with bravery
my eyes illuminated with
pure laughter of secrets
and desire

watch the light
the angel always said
it changes everything
cut out tiny pieces of me
and let the light bleed out
like stars pulsing in rhythm
with each beat of my heart

watch the light
turn to weightlessness
resplendent and white
light traveling,
traveling light
far far from here

Show You My Heart

Show You My Heart (5.20.14)

You want me
to show you my heart
reveal to you, my words,
my last solace
that keeps me held,
stitched together with verse.

You want me to
reveal myself
turn my palms
my poems 
up towards your face
so you can see the holes
you left behind.

You want me to undress
the wound in my side,
haphazardly sewn,
so you can see for yourself
the gaping and aching inside of me,
a sight unseen.

Does it give you a thrill
A soft shudder of satisfaction
to know that you
now stand strong enough
to break another
the way you too
were once broken?

Does it anger you to know
that you gave me this gift
while trying to destroy me?
You broke the dam
that kept hold of the
screams
words
and tears
that welled in my throat.

Are you secretly jealous
that I changed your 
fear
into my vulnerability?
That I changed your
weakness
into my strength?
That I changed your
darkness
into my shining
resilience?

If you want to know
all my secrets,
look past the words.
You will find me
in the deserted streets
of small island towns.
You will remember me
in the darkened bars
of frantic cities.
You will recognize me
buried in the mountain snow.
You will chase me
glowing and flushed 
on beaches
on train tracks
in fields of roses.
You will find my mirror
in the people I love.

And yes, even you,
who gave me
the greatest gift
I have ever received
in my loneliest place.

But how could I ever
trust you enough again
to bear
to bare
to show you my heart
strong and steady
beating and thready
stitched together with verse?

Beyond the Water’s Edge

Beyond the Water’s Edge (5.21.14)

 

The light,

the voice whispered,

is beyond the water’s edge

just beyond.

Tread carefully,

for you will never know

how far into the darkness

cold and deep,

you can go

before you can’t get back,

and grace is gone.

 

You should not have

summoned her into existence

wishing each night

for love.

For when you wished

instead

for hate,

the water rose higher

threatening in waves

to send her back

to where wishes are from.

 

For now, we both

learned too late

that love will never

change to hate,

for they are not

borne from the

same place.

The struggles,

the desires,

all come from the

intimacy of knowing

the heart of another,

and hate never

takes up residence

in the heart.

 

Hate resides lower

in the bowels

the underbelly,

and that part of her

has been cut away already.

Feeding her the poison

let a stranger into her home,

foreign and merciless,

to lay siege to her heart,

while she stood defenseless

and she ran to the water’s edge

looking to hide momentarily

beneath the surface.

 

The river rose

threatening

and alluring.

The struggle is over.

The screaming of terror

and rage

has fallen silent.

No battle cries of courage.

No last breath.

No fight for air.

It just slipped away

as the water came.

 

Yesterday, the heart you knew

the beat so familiar

in the curve of her neck

beneath the brush of your hand,

ran cold and unfamiliar.

Bravery is a hollow front

when you have nothing to defend.

She left her love,

the vials of poison and blood,

her heart to their own new devices

and walked away a ghost.

 

The girl you knew,

the girl you might have once loved,

but instead wished hate upon,

died yesterday,

and in her last breath of courage

she did not call out.

Instead she stayed stoic and strong,

remembering

to mimic your silence.

She drowned as everything

held in her heart

overflowed,

rushing forth in agony.

And I have taken her place.

Carrying that Tune


Carrying that Tune (and yet, and yet) (Completed 5.18.14)

My friend,
My friend,
come sit beside me.
You must be weary
carrying that tune.
That simple song of sadness,
strapped to your back.
The notes heavy 
and trembling
spilling out
in your overture.

They say there is one
song that sings
through your self
echoing to the edges of the earth
through the others 
and back again.
That song that echoes
and chimes through
the cathedrals
of the most ancient of forests
and crashes
crescendos
in the arpeggios and waves
of distant oceans.

and yet, and yet

I crave the barren 
solitude of desert
where no birds cry.
I dream in the echoing canyons
of loss,
the silence carved by rivers 
of heartbreak and tears.
For we all stand solitary
our hearts solemn in our
love’s syncopation,
counterintuitive 
to the rhythms 
of others.

and yet, and yet

Will you feel 
the way my music
holds you close at night,
quieting you like a lullaby,
the way the melody
he wrote for me
on my darkest day
calms me to sleep 
in the darkest night,
when my broken heart
finally sighs
and goes to rest?

and yet, and yet

hope in the heart
heart in the hope

and yet, and yet

Will you still remember
to be still
and sing of me,
to feel the song vibrating
in the thrumming of your chest
robust and full of life
even after the words carved
into my stone
have been washed away
by the sharp winds 
and the flat drumming of rain?

and yet, and yet

When I woke this morning,
the air smelled like the earth
and dampness.
and it reminded me 
of the silence
that will come with 
footsteps on wet dirt
above me,
and craved permanency.

and yet, and yet

All my life I’ve been
the tireless traveler
for doesn’t my name
mean wanderer?
Humming a low country tune
in the back of my throat
to remind me of my father
when I was a child.
That dusty song
in homage to the worn boots
and splitting guitar of my
oldest friend.

and yet, and yet

I beg the traveling come to an end
Admittedly, I’m more tired
than I care to show.
The song my heart sings 
for you still
slows my rhythm
turns my heart to blues
unruly like jazz
while I long to be
truly unencumbered 
like free-spirited movement
in allegro of the spring

and yet, and yet,

It’s the musty loam 
of autumn that calls me now
while fallen leaves and cheeky apples
lay in sweet decay on the grass
and children rush by
flush-cheeked and flying
while I sit solitary,
under the trees,
with my notebooks
and memories,
waiting.

and yet, and yet

My friend,
My friend,
come sit beside me.
You must be weary
carrying that tune.

Aristeia

Aristeia (5.4.14)

 

I prepare myself

for battle

going at it alone

as the ranks fall back

holding fast

to my helmet

wearing my bravery

like a shield.

But it will be my courage

that dooms me to this.

When the sky turns black

and rains arrows

laced with poison

that pierce my arms

I shall fight in the shade.

 

I will battle my greatest enemy

The greatest warrior

arrives, undaunted,

with fate on his side,

sinking his heels into the grass.

I stand

outside the walls of my city.

the gods have lured me

to my own destruction,

while my friends

close the gates

to protect themselves

from the onslaught.

 

And after I am gone

I will still cry in horror

as my soldiers

and my children

are thrown from the walls

of the city

and turn that sky to darkness

heavy with bodies

that fall like crumbling

 

As fate would have it,

I will die with kleos,

as my homecoming will come

just as the life flows out.

My own father

will bear my body back

to my home.

There will be mourning

while Iris and Thetis

heal the wounds left behind

on my emptied body.

They dress me in the

finest of garments

before soaking them in wine

and striking the match.

 

In time,

the weeping will stop

and all that will remain of me

is this poem of bravery.

The stories will be recounted

for years to come.

And I will be remembered as the one

who stood fierce in battle,

protective of my people.

The one who could whisper

and the wildest of creatures would be tamed.

 

Rainy Sunday Tangka

Rainy Sunday Tangka (5.4.14)

leave my bravery
by the vent of the furnace
with my rain-soaked shoes
forgotten until the fall
when it all begins to change

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