Clouds and Trees

"Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,/ and I want to cry when I think of my heart,/ muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy." – 'A Warning', Eric Anderson

Month: August, 2008


a backdrop of raindrops
and clouds with crenelations
fill my ears and eyes
and inspire my weakness
we are choreographed
by our cosmic strings
bound by this gossamer film
a spiritual sieve
and a lingering reminder
of the bitterness of the apple
and the bite of the tree


Ode to a Perplexingly Angry Lady

deftly i paint your face in the stars
and reflect on your failure as a constellation
your lips and your nose, your eyes and your brow
sparkling in terse consternation
it seems the heavens are simply adverse to your features
and though you appear to be a beauty at first
underneath you bubble with nitre
so someday your short fuse will burn out
and you’ll explode ‘cross the sky in a flash
but beauty escapes you
‘cept in burning and flaming
as you smolder
through the brisk
night air


memory’s a sieve
where I drain out all my dreams
lost if i should blink


sore joints
in an angry room
where fluttering wings
brought echoes to the silence
and in the rafters
ornaments dangled
and children prayed
and though the air was oppressive
and the voices were empty
these stone seats are less than cold
lined up all in pairs

A Proposal

Hold these helping hands
because i have something to say
there’s no need for a reason
so I left you unwilling
as we break out
all dressed up in our bravado
little killers out for vengeance
and with some notion of conscience

But we’re so cold
and our fingers are slipping so quickly
and we’re so old
but this life has been good
though the bridges are burning
and escaping
as the wind blows
and our novels are unwritten
and our medals are unwon

Please give me some notion of conscience
so I can free this petty heart
there was one thing
I always wanted to do
forgive me
because my knees
aren’t what they used to be
though you’ve taught me so much
I still see so little
but this mind sees freely
so have heart

It’s easy to regret
so toss that cigarette
into the fire
and hand me one
we’re just having fun
living life on the run
it’s not easy
so tell me a secret
i’ll tell you a secret
you’re not mine anymore
but that’s fine
take it easy
just take it easy
because this life’s
been good
so let’s keep on living


Underscoring his unhappy success
in a homely grotto
comes effortless gratification.

For a tranquil moment
he will spread his shadowy tendrils
filling, seeping into cracks and fissures.

As the room darkens
and the pace quickens,
whispers fill the room,
echoing through
tunnels and chasms
and endless labyrinths.

She takes a breath
for the sky
and another
for herself
and one more
for him
each shorter than the last
and then she exhales
and is empty
and gone
and he turns his back
to her sightless eyes
and reaches out a hand
for the lights.


Burning up
in our state of mind
purple and blue
ribbons of time
ancient customs
orphans of wisdom
we are analogous
to three hundred symphonies
a world of horizons
and the next season’s infamy
I am a soldier
of numbers and letters
and letting my mind go
is some crazy, mean machine
I would read magazines
sold under papers
as warbling street boys
sold out of their ovaltine
I am a demon
who’s toying with emptiness
while I imagine
that I am some visionless,
sellout envisaged in gold, satin lover’s skin
the dots of a jaguar made me believe in you
I told you whispers
of alacrity, secrecy
the tremulous tales
of bears in the wilderness
ending emotions
is easy on paper
but you closed my eyes
to escape from your arms
and as you clutched me
and split me wide open
I cried out for heaven
and saints of antipathy
cradle your sweat
in the heart of a celibate
and forgive all these demons
for their emphatic trickery
because when I wake I know
I made a decision
to be real today
to be real tomorrow
because the air I breathe
is the air you breathe
But it’s easy
to believe
in air.


as my hair fizzles
a dragon breathes into me
and I see the world


I feel silly
mourning the loss of a mind
and as I sit in this gray box
within a greater gray box
I write my poetry
on tiny notepapers
with a red pen
a sad, romantic spectacle, to be sure
what do I write for?
a diversion from these treasure maps?
for some lost love, far away?
or perhaps for myself.
either way
I seem to be running
low on paper and red ink
without having left
a single mark in red
on my enveloping gray
or on the world outside it


It’s been too long
since I’ve heard this song
but back then
the lyrics made more sense
and you weren’t sitting here
unwelcome in my bed

My feet beat out
some truncated tune
while you play distended notes
on the abscess of my chest
they tell me I’m a traitor
but I play the part well enough
while the liquids of my body
are screaming out in electric bursts
you are not welcome here
you are not welcome here
you are not welcome here

as they are wasted again
on someone I won’t think about
as later, I wash them away