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Night | School | Wanting | Losing | Finding | Flying | Chance | On Foot | Turns | Confidence | New York | Favorite sequence


Proposition


"Proposition:  assertion is true
if the assertion's predicate holds
its associated experiences"
scribbled my professor
in dry white chalk
on a dusty whitish-greenish chalkboard,
a pat statement scribbled among many.

But he failed to consider a few extenuations.
I would postulate this

Proposition:  assertion is true
when a cat's paw of breeze
unsettles a heavy-handed wing
of one of the fluttery butterflies
that grip my stomach
whom I have so far succeeded in calming
as I part my lips to speak to you

My assertion remains true
even as I feel it begin to go all wrong,
silly geese flying not south but east by northeast,
senseless honking trailing off into silence

My assertion is
still true
though you discard
the unlikely-looking grey oyster who
guards tight-lipped
his lustrous pearls
in favor of a finnier, bolder,
toothier man

-- Spring 1990


Haze


I wonder and guess where you are
How you've been
What sort of thoughts are driving your mind
No one's seen you for a week
And you're not home when I call

When I last saw you
the bright eyes and leaping mind I had known were
heavy with
not enough sleep
and an alienating burden
that I couldn't touch or know
or even scarcely see
across the hazy distance between us

That's my clue I suppose

I miss you
in lonely unease
like this chilly October night's long walk home
without a coat to hold in my warmth
or protect my frailty
And I will still wonder
with unclosed eyes
deep into the countless sleepless ticks of my clock
in the quiet darkness

But my boss
smiled at me (!)
tonight
and we joked over a beer
And leaving homeward
I see that the stiff October wind
has blown the city night
clear of smog and dust --

brilliant bluish moon
	casting stark tree shadows on the pale sidewalk
and brittle points of stars
pouring pure and sharp from the
blackest sky
to hone keen my blurry consciousness

My body
in still and wordless wonder
for a while is light
and for a moment life is a good thing

-- 1990


Stop Sign


The ways of a man's mind may seem nonsensical to a woman,
so you may not understand, but ...

A woman is
a center
and a woman is whole
and she holds life
But a man is more of a
reaching out
and he always needs
and rummaging through the meager leaves and travel bag
	that are himself
he never finds the roots or the trunk
or the warm home and respite for feet weary from the
	distant paths his mind wanders

This is why man is always
searching
and sometimes conquering
	and seeking to possess
while woman looks askance at him
through knowing eyes
and laughs to herself at his folly

This is why women are fast friends
and can bear to carry another's tears on their shoulders
	and in their tangled and wettened hair
and share the bitter open wounds of the deepest gnawing aches
But
	while men
	shoot the bull for a while
	and -- unable to hug -- give each other that awkward
	chuck on the shoulder in parting
	and then turn hesitantly away uneasy and unsatisfied
	with a weak laugh and something mumbled
they know that a man's company
is just not enough

This is why
-- although I was a
passing interest
to you --
this is why -- even though we'd barely met --
my oldest hopes
	that my transient heart might find a warm place to live
crumbled
and the pieces
sank heavily to the pit of my stomach
to boil forth in bitter gall of anger and frustration
and then subsided into the cold burdensome
	renewed reality of life-long empty sorrow
when you told me
about
him

-- 1990


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