Previous | Up | Next

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


Breathless


The first time I saw you
I ran into you, slightly audaciously forward
Your dark brilliant eyes
flashed at me in mild reproof
and I fancied that your slightly smiling glance
tarried on me for a moment
with almost as much fascination
as that which held me breathless
until far after your long hair had tossed in turning away

-- Spring 1990


Simplicity


I spot her distant smile
and choose simplicity,
her face among many as many times before,
white skin, black hair, black eyes,
her name a blank on my tongue

A voice says

	Her veins run liquid fire
	Her back is an S chiseled in alabaster
	There is a mole on her left shoulder blade
		like a blot of lust
		written on a tablet of purity
	Her eyes are cool opals set in the midst of a sea of desire
	Go talk to her

He's not helping

Simplicity knots and wrenches away from me
I build her into an unbearable vision
If I tilt this windmill
it will shiver into insubstantial powder on the breeze
We share closed-mouthed, enigmatic smiles and glances away
yet
were I to whisper destruction into months of silence
I would see the real woman awaiting me

-- Fall 1990


Foreign


I would write
a poem in a language you do not speak.
And I would read it to you,
and, finishing, smile
and say, -- There.
-- You have heard
my heartsong,
purer than any I could compose
in our English.
It is the lament
of the foreigner,
walking, awkward, afraid, uncertain,
and small,
drowning in
what he cannot comprehend.
This
would be my poem to you;
in not understanding
you would finally understand.

-- 1990


Muted


The sky glows faintly
past moonless midnight --
mysterious sourceless muted light --
not quite surpassing
the glinting stars behind.
I ponder this
as I lie sleepless, preoccupied,
gazing out my window.

You are an enigma,
wordless woman.
You are a rock,
solid
and silent.
None may move you
	-- folly be the efforts
	of he who tries.
Crickets and cicadas outside my window
sing loud their little business
but stone, more substantial,
offers the ear less of an explanation
of its greater strength
and weightier worries.

I blow through this night rootless
-- as all nights, and days --
a nomad puff of dandelion-seed
seeking soil.
-- All soil is
stone split
	and
crumbled into loamy richness
	by
eons of roots' grasp --
and yet you admit no fingerhold
on your smooth surface.

It is no wonder
that I roam.
	A
different child, a
shadow on the playground,
now in manhood
still seeks
to flesh out self.
And fumbles at conversation.

You, too, are timid
	-- so, you drift back, silent and passive
	into my sleepless thoughts --
this I can know.
But your muted eyes, faintly glowing that
absent smile --
this, I do not know.
Do they reflect my want of you,
or glitter celestial indifference?

-- 1990


Previous | Up | Next