A Healing Word
In writing now--as catharsis,
I read the blankness of a stare into a mirror
as currents of malice, unease, mockery,
extend the stare as greeting, resentment, defense,
regard the mirror as boast, testament, tether.
I have no truth, no advice.
I refuse the necessity for proofs or polemics.
Vanity reshapes any question into my answer,
a harsh life into lyric poems of holocaust and upheaval.
I follow the compression of a line
to civil war Spain, to the blues,
to the snare of free association.
If I lose the line of curative logic,
in revising, if I forget my point,
I sacrifice sense for image,
image for rhythm,
image and rhythm for neatly coded curse.
I make closure a demand.
An Arrangement Of Necessities
As I deconstruct the fable of the Chinese mare
it becomes a needful, sighing guide
inside the minutes of every myth,
a metaphor for melancholy,
a merging of damaged wire and mathematics.
I write at home
and the war is somewhere else.
I draw no line between my needs
and someone else’s goods.
The dimes I steal are pooled
as red coins for dispensation.
“Give me the $20 suffering,”
I say at Sunday criticism.
Irony is my favorite emotion,
my center as my voice.
I worship at a tree of crows.
I marvel at the stammering
as I view the words of God.
Tomorrow I travel,
see my headlights on the car ahead,
lay my pallet in the dust ruts beside the road.
All is in order here:
the secrets I acknowledge, the children that I don’t
are discarded in the highway weeds.
In a month, a miser’s mood
vacant as a stone thrown to make a river wall,
I watch a line of fires building from the Eastern horizon.
I leave to show I can.
Toward The World
(Where No One Is Waiting)
I open my morning door
to the cooing whir of birds in flight,
the glistening weave of a spider’s web.
leather soles slide on dew-damp sidewalk,
a cat slips through the clutter of courtyard planters.
Wind-floated leaves hang in the morning haze.
A perfume trail of White Diamonds and wisteria
lingers like the moon.
Beyond the gated line of plank fences, security mesh
the street is a deep mosaic of shaded green,
sun-touched spreads of oak, palm tree, pine,
high, jutting arcs of new town homes.
Oleander and crape myrtle layer the street median.
Early students pass by, pack-laden, intense.
One carries a carving of a yellow-eyed crow,
almost losing it in the stretching leap over a puddle.
Tell me a story, the day seems to say.
Twenty years gone from Miami and Monterrey,
fables have fallen into disfavor.
The past is a dog nosing in the night.
I arch my back to ease it before the drive,
shrug my jacket into place.
I leave with nothing but hours rolling to report.