The Book Life


April 8, 2011
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It’s been wordless lately.

Not me. Just the music.

Words won’t capture me or this mood
and the string sounds
I cannot describe at all
just catch me, stop me,
leave me gasping or at least open mouthed,
fully figurative hands on either side of my face,
someone standing in front of me screaming
and my eyes full of tears.

An excess of feeling.
This is what ails me.
A lack of places to put it.
I need more containers
and sometimes the feelings
don’t fit into the poems.

Because I do not understand it,
cannot take it apart and cannot make it,
the string sound draws out what’s left in me,
bits too small or too awkwardly shaped to go anywhere else.
Draws them out with a straw and then spits them out
on the sidewalk for someone else to step in.


April 5, 2011
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You are beautiful when you move like you’re underwater.
The air around you practically liquifies in acquiescence,
convinced that it has been confused all along, about its being.

I feel the same as the air. Liquified, tears in the corners of my eyes,
like I’ve been going about things all wrong.
Not wrong in a bad way, just a pre-revelation kind of wrong,
like there’s no way I could have known otherwise.

Because we are both human and breathing, I know that we are not
actually underwater.
[I am not entirely convinced that you are human, beautiful.
It’s clear your element is something between, neither air nor ocean.]

I love you within every move that you make.
I cannot turn air into water with the wave of an arm or the arch of a back.
But maybe I only needed the proper inspiration, and maybe now I have it.

Inspired by the ballet “Sea Shadows,” choreographed by Gerald Arpino, as performed by The Joffrey Ballet at the IU Auditorium on April 5, 2011. Definitely a work-in-progress.

Traveling Friends

April 4, 2011
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I took pictures of their feet
because I knew in the end
that their faces wouldn’t matter.
More that they wore skirts,
rolled up their jeans,
carried their sandals;
mostly that took me to the beach.
I understood their impermanence from the start.
Don’t misunderstand, this isn’t mean,
just true. We probably all knew.
And maybe it was me who impermanent,
perhaps they’re all still best of friends.
After all, I was the American transplant,
the temporary visa to prove it.
I’m not sure any of us cared, that day, about impermanence,
and perhaps that’s what counts.
The social relegated to scenery.
It was the beach and cool sand
and the weather just nothing but British. Not even warm.
And the boys and surfboards, of course.

They never treated me like I belonged, not really.
And only five years later,
I’m clearly okay with having only pictures of their feet.
It’s nice scenery, and I don’t think I was there to make friends.