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, 2009

New York, ’94 (revisited, revised)

The doctor said Don’t trust people
who don’t smoke pot or listen to Dylan
don’t trust people who don’t like the beach
and don’t ever trust people
who say they don’t like dogs

and then he walked into the ocean
and just disappeared for awhile
well he found love in some guitarist’s apartment
I guess in the end we find ourselves in our friends
while we crash in the waves together

Stepping Across the Stars

We hid in places
where the whispers which echoed from yesterday
couldn’t sneak into our hideaway
and with eyes set on the sky
and feet floating in the forest canopy
we skipped across the trees
because we’re that rare species
born up in the leaves
with feet that grow down to the ground
and every once in awhile
one of us will reach towards the cosmos
and be heard some nights
stepping across the stars

The Game

Floating backwards
through purple passageways
The slow-turned arches
we’ve seen in our dreams
The glimpses we’ve been given
of gazing through our own eyes
into the underside of the sky
I stepped upwards
and grew grass from my fingertips
and while a cast of crows was calling
I drew the smoke into my lips
and I felt the mist take me
and soak itself into discordant places
while the band played a song about rabbits
and a little girl went insane
hearing two chords
played arpeggiated in a dozen ways
and she turned to the boatman
and offered to play his favorite game
where the clouds crush through the rooftops
just to let go of all their rain
and the adults give up their day-jobs
just to play with the freedom they’ve made

An Afternoon With Infinity

Two dozen roses
spilled into three vases
made out of glass
and filled with kerosene
and the Teardrop said
Give gifts to your elation
and in return your odyssey
will be never-ending

and he said he wrote stories
or more accurately, handbooks
on how to do things
like Expand Your Illusions
or Enshrine Your Conceptions
and Berkeley saw something
hidden in the heavens
and he knew it was the Earth
upon which he himself sat
and he knew that the cosmos
could not array themselves
with more than mere simplicity
and he was given rainbows
to toss across the hilltops
and below them sped the raindrops
that snuck beneath our rooftops
and wet our heads
with infinite description

New York, ’94

There’s no harm in getting free
finally believing nothing’s wrong
There’s two doves in the window
whose wings flap in time to this song
The summer air burns quietly
It’ll melt everything before long
And in this life I step lightly
letting the good things come along
If I could just find myself for a night

When I met you, you burned brightly
and your eyes cast long shadows
as you tossed your hair lightly
in this concrete meadow
You said you hate your step-dad
well we’ve got something in common
Let’s get wet at the seashore
Let’s make love through the window
if I could just find myself for a night

With a phone call I find out
that the summer’s almost ended
and you’re back to your old friends
my shirt’s torn please don’t mend it
that’s just where my heart broke
I guess I wasn’t pretending
I’ve got three weeks to live my life
I’ve learned why not to end it
if I could just find myself for a night

And the doctor said Don’t trust people
who don’t smoke pot or listen to Dylan
don’t trust people who don’t like the beach
and don’t ever trust people
who say they don’t like dogs

and then he walked into the ocean
and just disappeared for awhile
well he found love in some guitarist’s apartment
in the end we find ourselves in our friends
while we crash in the waves together

Stained Glass Apartment

Heart made of plastic
in a case of stained glass
We’re two dogs in the hallway
pretending carpet is grass

We don’t play well together
We’re all tangled in chains
I scratch up the apartment
and you howl when it rains

We sleep side-by-side
in our four-poster bed
You hide your secrets in me
I keep mine in my head

I found a key in your pocket
to a door that’s not mine
There’s some lock where it fits
I guess I’ll find out in time

Now I run ’round the room
I’ve got the whole place alone
It feels quiet and empty
I know you’re not coming home

The things we never had
the things we never want back
They remind me of you
a stranger starting to pack

Lines drawn on the carpet
Doors closing at last
I guess we’ve both gotten older
we can’t just live in the past

I scuff my shoes on the doorway
as I’m stepping outside
the carpet muffles our footsteps
as we both say goodbye

I guess there’s some kind of bright side
to starting out all alone
two dogs in the hallway
one still trying to find home

For The Love of Poetry

I wonder at the whispers
that find me in my holy moments
and line my mind
with words to describe this life

I pine away at pistons
that push me through my listless days
while I hide in the castle of my childhood
where wildly my imagination plays

Sometimes I climb my own religion
with made-up meanings
and maps that lead to a made-up place
and I conjure up my oldest demons
knowing that they’ll soon escape

And all these lines my mind is keeping
in metaphors and slanted rhymes
which I’ll write down in broken meter
each day until I die

Prospect Park

I saw 200 electric guitars play in the park today
and I overheard somebody say
that there’s no sound more beautiful
than 200 electric guitars, lightly strumming
afterward a band played
and they called themselves liquid liquid
but the truth is that the singer
wasn’t ironic enough
to keep me engaged
so I left around midnight
and a voodoo drum circle
was walking around the park
so I followed them for awhile
until we came to some greek columns
where a christian couple screamed through speakers
about learning to love jesus
but the distortion cut through their preaching
and made the message almost melodic
in a devilish sort of way
while beside them a black lady fanned herself
with an old plastic bottle
she’d probably emptied
trying to keep herself cool

Flowering

All I ask
is that you learn how to speak in another voice
give me some other lover’s words for awhile
can’t you speak them silently to yourself?
can’t you make them sound like something meaningful?

You spoke to yourself as you sat on the colonnade
putting two and two together
with the marionettes that you made
beautiful faces shattered beautifully on the masonry
and your apologetic brother sang a song made from his misery
but it sounded like another one of his lies
it sounds that way each time he cries

You sound out the overheard words
you remember from your mother’s bedroom
the vague visions which taught you
all the wrong things about love
and made you this siren of coital confusion
on every college campus you go to
but it’s not your fault what grown-ups do
they’re just as confused as you

When you grow up and find a young family
I hope you’ll teach them what you learned from me
that your past is just that, long gone history
and that changes come swiftly, if not instantly
you’ll always be a lost little girl to me
but maybe somewhere you’ll find yourself
gather your thoughts
and change my mind