February 14th, 2012


(no subject)

For a friend in pain

There is a woman in Turkmenistan
who's learning English. Her lush eyes are dark
her skin is brown and soft. There is a mark
on one cheek from hot oil. She has a plan

to study Dickens. She has no idea
she'll meet and love you. She's a fiance
though hasn't let him name a wedding day.
If you die now, she will not shed a tear

Tomorrow will be warmer, or if cold
it might be brighter or have driving rain
that glitters on the air. I know that pain
makes these not matter. I know you've been told

there's comfort. But I'll say this, do not die,
be found with flies licking at one dead eye

(no subject)


I wake and there's no pain. The surgeon's smile
actinic bright. He says I'm young again
a side effect. There's something in my brain
that kick-starts cells. Or maybe it's my bile

washes them clean. I'm thin and twenty-five
and just as wise and somehow have to write
novels and poems. And make love all night
to cute young women. Know that I'm alive

awake in every cell. World's out of shape.
I'll have to help to heal it. Reread Marx
and then improve him. My slightest remarks
are noted and critiqued. There's no escape

from pleasure, and responsibility
in which I'm trapped for decades til I die.

(no subject)

On her art

I need a lullaby. Night turns past one
Drowsiness burns to wakeful. And I write
with eyes that tingle, wrists that ache. The night
silent outside. Another poem's done

and my brain teems. So many years asleep
I make up for lost time. Perhaps a villanelle
Or just another sonnet.Might as well.
One to make people laugh? Or make them weep?

Wares for all seasons. Morbid yet facile
soppy yet academic. Words I'll speak
on stages, written out of witty pique
to tease some friend. There's a sardonic smile

I see in mirrors flash behind each eye
I sell my soul and as Mephisto buy.