Notes in Windows

I would have me emptied, and to remain behind.

A plastic bag gripping a winter tree, in the wind, and the sound it makes is empty.

You hear shoes down the hall, though you don’t live in a house. They sound as if they are approaching. The truth is, they are not getting any nearer. And you remember you have been left behind.

Reflections in a bowl, sometimes city lights, sometimes the stars, for dinner. 

You stop to read the graffiti, and the notes tapped to windows, posted from the inside facing out, written on, leaving no margins: I think this happens more so than it should, in poorer cities. 

I would have me slapstick readied, though I remain on board. I know the captain has burned the charts. I know the city birds are one big computer.

The notes in the windows sometimes include pictures: an angel with the living earth for feet, or burning trees with typeset for flames.

A skirmish of ghosts, folding in on itself, breathes its last. I am at sea. Without a bathing suit in the arms of stars.     

The Self

Is 
Pummeled
Dirt
And cosmic
Spat,

A shoreline
Of
Alien coast,

More fictitious than thunder
Disappearing
Between the fingertips of the moon,

Is utter non
Sense
Played without jest,

A box of giggles
Forgotten of hat,

A grave contest drawn in
The dust of stars.

You will not know the self.

The self is not enough.

But you will burn nonetheless.

Just Saying

 The beginning stands 
 
Like an old shadow
 
Waiting for rags
 
For rain in paper cups.
 
Put the house up for sale. We’re starting over.
 
I stand on an ineffable table.
 
I borrow a folding chair and break the kitchen dishes.
 
I mop the floor as if I was in a movie, even if I was a movie.
 
I botch my words. I am smitten.
 
Beauty wears the seams of transience absolutely, and the seams of the
    absolute transiently.
 
The amble of gravity over the hills and through the voids
 
Bare knees howl.
 
~
 
I will not have words for you
 
I will not do right
 
I will not do ill
 
I will not truth
 
I will not loathe 
 
 
Just Saying

The Opportunity

 There is an oblivion 
Just next door
Recently relocated.
 
Here one visits
If one is willing,
A returning
From the future
 
That’s been with you
Before you were born.
A pumpernickel dawn
Of abandoned hospitals.
 
But some fool
Cut off the wings.
And misplaced
The spelling bee.
 
So, you hold up
The rainy bicycle
With the perfume
Of your arms, and
 
Into this pinch of creation,
And pinched by creation,
 
Till your knuckles have as
Many stars as a galaxy.
 
Laughter is a tree truck
Without a ride home.

Shapes of Self

 I know how the clouds fall into place.
 
And it matters now most of all because it is over.
 
Put all your tears back into the pockets of your brain, put back
The shadows and fevers, put away the stubborn impossible
Flowers, the trembling,
The not yet beaten-
 
The sudden is spent
Without preparation,
 
Like a crescent of light that holds the moon
in place.
 
And it matters now most of all.
 
We haul the ingenuity of our lives,
In shapes of self that cannot keep pace.
 
The pain is such that we will have to wobble home
Uncanny with bliss.
 
And we are better for it.
 
This sorrow is ample
And bright as it is blue,
 
This sorrow is simple,
Hardly here and hardly true.
 
And it matters now most of all.
 
Against this city smothered in machines
That pretends it’s not a ghost.

Oxidized City

 A certain carelessness 
 In a perfect circle
  
 It is too ripe and crude
 A coarse bird
 That fits in too well with the broken shore
  
 Unlike the polluting smoke of industry
 As it catches the closing beams of the sun
  
 A rosette triumph
 A too perfect charade  

Frost on a Barbed Wire Fence

 The sad of it
 Is lonesome sky
 The heart on a hill
 Frost on a barbed wire fence
  
 Where to begin to repair
 The midlife heart
 In what room to begin to laugh
  
 And when to say 
 This has passed
 And it will be one with us
  
 What hole is deep enough
 To make permanent the moonlight
  
 And if the stars 
 Come looking for alms 
 I will remind them
 I have only the sense
 Of infinity
 For purse strings  

Neighborhood Pool

 God jumps in first with a belly flop.
 But everything God does is beautiful, and this starts all of creation.
  
 Just don’t tell this to the Abyss.
 Not that you can. Be certain of this. You can’t. 
  
 Next the swimmers, tattoos of birds on their bodies, in search of fish,
 Along the roads in the air of October the first frost between their teeth,
  
 As the sky unfurls into handfuls of dusk. 
  
 At night, the moon is the butterfly on the city stoop,
 Crayon crossed out by crayon.
  
 The wind is the blueprint, said the parachute.
 And the Earth is our wind. The sunlight is both even and odd. 
  
 I purchase sheet music, and some boxes,    
 Because my head is cluttered
  
 With the snow 
 Falling into the street lamps,
  
 With unsighted poems and handfuls of dusk.
  
 What else can I do?
  
 In this city, and this poem like a periscope. And
 When beauty hurts, when it is ugly, ferociously so, and it will be, 
  
 Try a belly flop in the neighborhood pool. 
 Mouthing your every adieu to the Abyss.