Saturday, May 30, 2015

For Joni

there are times when
we leave reason behind
what’s in front, in the now, begs forever
things like tumors
and fractures and aneurisms
are small change for the price
of understanding never
raw things like rumors
and capture and vampirism
remain in the nice
how we dissect the heroes of memory
is all about us
is all about we
our personal quest is plagiarism
I knew a woman, I felt her pain
I knew what she was from my own
personal ism
to hear what she suffered is the sweet song
it is not our story
it is not our longing
we dissect bones we unwillingly envy
it often comes down to
a suite condescending
an opera of voices in crisis unending
how we love what she gave us

beauty unending
is not for our small selves
to tear into bits
how we love what she gave us
that is what it is.

Photo: Norman Jean Roy

Saturday, May 2, 2015

I was an orphan before I was born
no history completes me
no port in a storm
no future no animal complexity
whatever I saw
whatever I heard
what senses I tried
what danger I smelled
came from the unholy family
the ones who asked Hell
what to do with me
I was an orphan before I was born
and dressed in the clothes of the time
I curtsied and smiled unrefined like a mime
whoever I loved
whoever I feared
what I noticed was gone
what they said lived on infamously
children gone aimlessly
I was an orphan
not lonely or misunderstood
I was hungry and boasted
I was learning for good
whoever I trusted
whoever I lost
came before me and after
at considerable cost
I was an orphan and I still am
it keeps me from running
in my party dress
the shoes blacked to shining
those boys in their jest
one leaning in hunger
another angry at best
I didn’t exist in the universe of real
I didn’t persist at the altar of fate
those boys dogged my future
those boys understate
what orphans grow into
those orphans can wait
I live free or die a thousand times over
like the tide or the sunrise
the mussels dug under
I am orphan now and have
no need of a shell
I live free or die with no family’s bell
whoever I loved
whoever I feared
they are gone with the wind
they are magic uncertain
the last laugh is mine
I will grin wholly confused
I am an orphan today
I am orphan infinitum
ring for dinner this time
leave an empty space
ring for dinner, it’s time, 
it’s time and the place.