The young oneShe comes
Looking for secrets,
armed with a tape recorder
holding her youth around her
like a flower
asking you how you come
to be a writer.
You show her
the canyons in your face
the swamps of your battered hands,
your wrung neck,
your stove-in chest.
She asks, But where
are the gifts,
the sweet lip-prints,
the lover's tokens?
You show her the burn scars,
livid, ropy, thick,
with connective tissue
mindlessly run amok,
doggedly trying to cover
pressing back entrails,
pressing back emptiness
And she cries, Where
is the light, the sacred flame
that doesn't consume?
You show her amulets
of seeds, leaves, riverwater,
stones, dropped feathers,
from an owl hair-bail,
dry branches, sterile soil
waiting for burials.
She stammers, Where
are the magic mantras
the tendons of the mind
that never snap? Where
is the believing?
And then you show her
the still lips, the naked ears,
the flung-back hair,
the eyes on the bare horizon,
the hung breath,
the drumming, listening fingers,
the raised windows,
the nailed-wide-open door.
The questionsForgive me, I am waning poetic
and your questions fall short
of the substance of dreams -
my dreams are so varied
and often so vague
and mostly so private
that I cannot tell you
which instrument I would play now
out of all I have tried
and which changing, mythical animal
presides over my soul...
or the wish I blow on every dandelion,
or what costume I would wear,
for I want to wear many,
or what I invented, when we invent all things daily,
the Wheel, the Word,
the first bit of fire,
or even where I go when I want not to be where I am...
How do you ask me these things
when most often I, who have the right to know,
Ode to voyeurism
The snow and wind danced madly in the streetlights
the mercury stood still at twenty two
the evening's choice TV was Johnny Carson
So I decided I would look at you.
Ten thirty, as I reached into the closet,
Alarm clock numbers told me through the dark
Your shade was up, binoculars on ready, I focused in
The images were stark.
The lights came on, the show was close to starting
You tuned in 99, I did the same.
First went the shoes, you'd looked six inches taller
Then went the blouse - I almost went insane.
The skirt was next, it snaked down to your ankles
Anticipation tightened my face
The pantyhose and slip performed together
A melody of nylon, silk and lace.
The best was yet to come, my breath was heavy,
The radio crooned "Talking in Your Sleep"
You reached your hands behind you, almost teasing
The bra fell softly inches from the slip
And what was left - a pair of french-cut panties
Much whiter than the freshly fallen snow
Before the snow was over for the evening
I had no doubt - they would have to go.
A whisp of blonde-brown hair peeked out boldly
As, both thumbs hooked, you statuesquely stood.
The radio obscenely started playing
"Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
And then they fell like Rome fell to Atilla.
You killed the lights - I stayed to watch the street
Because you made me wonder, if the snowflakes
Would melt, when near your scorching body heat.