Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

28
Aug
09

I Never Said I Love You

I never said I love you,
Though if I did,
I said it like a philosopher,
With words deliberate and measured,
Tentative –
Questioning Love’s meaning,
Its myriad parameters, manifestations,
Expressions,
Attaching disclaimers hoping to debunk
Romance’s mythological aspirations,
While with a bated, second breath
I cited its transcendent qualities,
Secretly hoping they were possible to achieve.
Then, to myself, honoring the comfort of your breath,
I would sheepishly admit that being in love –
A recondite admission at best –
Was better than being alone.

I never said I love you,
Though if I did
It was only in the place of anger –
My lurching, desperate words
A passive-aggressive plea to be recognized, subsumed,
Held up in the cradle of security.
Like that time when my father died and I had to travel
Half-way across the continent with money I didn’t have
To be his lone eulogizer;
To collect his ashes only to leave them on the train
And find, day in and day out,
That no one turned them in to the lost and found.
All the while there was you
Chastising me my incorrigible lethe,
Then turning smugly away, forgetting
That not a soul assisted my journey –
Not even you, my love,
Who stayed behind luxuriating with money
And friends you did have,
Loving me in your self-satisfied way,
With phone calls on the cell phone
You bought me for the occasion,
Prying from my stoney lips
Those words . . .
Always right before hanging up.

I never said I love you,
Though if I did,
It was when I was drunk, and so were you,
And there was laughter in the borderless field;
And we like aquatic angels were swimming
With translucent wings
Along an endless stream of possibility,
Howling cavalier exclamations
In camouflaged tongues,
As if knowing that all –
And of a sudden –
Would evaporate as all magic does,
With the blink of a weary eye
At the soundless morning call;
Leaving us with erased memories,
Headaches, cotton mouth,
And eyes unable to meet the golden light.

I never said I love you,
Though if I did,
I didn’t know what I was saying,
Nor perhaps what I was
Not saying.

I never said I love you,
As if three words comprised an anchor
And your heart a bottomless sea;
As if your saccharine cliches,
Your shine-eyed eternal promises,
Your long-winded, osculant kisses,
Your emotional transferences and
Your wiles, sneaking about the cage of my laconic heart,
Would somehow braid a sticky, sinewy ligature
That would bind me in eternal rue.

I never said I love you,
Though if I did
I take it back,
Because I never said it right.
And if ever I see you again –
Though it will only make you scoff,
And prompt you anew,
In one final, parting tremor,
To spatter my error
With the blood of your unrequited heart –
I will say those words.
And I will say them with a tenor
Worthy of their sound,
Even though it won’t change a thing.
Because now, only after years of practiced surrender,
Do I know what they mean;
And know too
That they apply to you,
Belong to you;
That they sing a song of reckoning,
However artless and clumsy,
That is,
Or at least was,
You and I

AN ~

04
Aug
09

three poems

Recognition

You called it an hourglass
Though it measured but three minutes,
Which was all the time you’d ever give me
To make amends
For things that didn’t suit your fancy.

As if love was your whim,
You’d turn it over and linger
With your expectant smirk,
Your calculated countenance,
While I sought the magic words.

You made me look up at you –
Even if you were sitting
and I standing up–
When alas I spoke them.

You wanted a child
Which is what you got.

Then one day I grew up.
I met a poet who laughed at my mistakes
Like a child who laughs at the wave
That knocks over her sand castle;
Who raised her eyebrow when I misspoke,
Paused, head askance,
Eyes tilted skyward
As if helping me reconsider.

She never measured time,
And so time with her passed
Unmeasured.

When finally I came home
You didn’t recognize me;
You didn’t bother to ask where,
Or how,
I’d been.

So next time I left,
Having finally recognized myself,
I didn’t bother to come back.

Nature

What is still in nature is so
Because nature itself bequethes it;
What is vibrant and stunning is so
Because nature itself commands it.

We watch aspen leaves shimmer in vernal breezes,
Drenched by sunlight; green-golden and lush –
They lull us to afternoon sleep.

What is my love is so
Because nature –
A pulse within me –
Offers it up like a fountain
For you to drink.

Everyone Loves a Winner

Everyone loves a winner
Not me
Not born winners, anyway
Or perennial ones

I root against the Yankees and Lakers
The Tiger Woodses and Lance Armstrongs
They are false idols
Propped up by marketing firms
Steroids, money and perpetual hype

Sure I’ll grant them their talent and work ethic
But then many talented people work hard –
For scraps

I root for the losers
Because they are like us
We bumblers that cascade forth wildly
Straight for the wall
Without taking the obvious turn

I root for the losers
Because I have to believe there’s hope
That madness, idiocy and the blatantly absurd –
That which these days warrants praise and respect,
Will one day warrant what it deserves

I have to believe there’s a chance
That vitriol, slander and slight of mouth –
And all that these days passes for grace,
Will one day pass for what it is

I have to believe there’s a reservoir
We’ve yet to tap
That will nourish, enliven and enlighten us
To rise above deadly propaganda
And clouds of delusion

I have to believe that one day
The Cubs will win the World Series
Not because I give a shit about the Cubs
But because if the hapless can conquer the crown
Maybe we too can conquer our folly
Leaving perhaps for our childrens’ children
Some small hope of victory
If not survival

I have to believe that some day
The Lions will win the Super Bowl
Not because I give a shit about the Super Bowl
But because if the futile can rise to the top
So too can we rise from the scrap heap of narcissism –
The Buy Now, Pay Later
Lie Now, Lie Again
Eat today what won’t be around to eat tomorrow
Because we ate it today
Ethos of modern times

Everyone loves a winner
I will too
One day

When winning isn’t something gloated over
Some reason for one man to heckle another
When winning isn’t killing innocents in
The name of God
Or the Flag
Or Fear

When winning means everyone
Gets to celebrate
Gets a shot at love
At intelligence
At beauty
At hope
At
Life

AN~