Sunday, March 08, 2015

Hold Still

Hold still, the night is calling
Your name under its breath.
Don't turn, it's not there.
Maybe it never was...
In the mirror, you look like yesterday
Only older, only more silent,
And the night is just as young.
Abandon your words, they never suited you.
Abandon all hope...
The world dims and you fade,
And names lose their sounds;
Nothing remains of the day.
A face stares you in the mirror,
Both gaunt and bloated,
Eyes hollow as the stillness,
And just as dark.
The years are gone.
Behind you look, almost recognizing, almost believing,
But it's all so far away.
And you're still too scared to look
The other way.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Early Anniversary

To Wojtek

I love you like the simplicity of the air
Like the banality of the life we share
I love you like the pillows on the couch
Like your head resting on my lap
Like hot chocolate after a fight
Or a warm bath right when it was all
About to go down the drain…
I love you like five fifteen years of my life
Like our cat asleep atop the laundry basket
I love you like the wanderlust that possesses you
And like the many lives in many lands
We want to lead…
I love you like the dream I dare to dream again
Like the fear I dare to cherish again
And the certainty I feel
When I’m not too busy doubting our love…

(Originally posted on September 05, 2004)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kill

Kill, kill, kill everything.

Kill the light falling on this page
like a false promise of warmth;
kill the news of a world in spiral.

Kill time, cruel time, ruthless time,
endless time, fleeting time, time
laying at your feet like a bored dog.

Kill hope, lazy hope, easy hope, hope peeking
like misguided blossoms in a snow storm.
Kill this, the need to reach out and touch,
say I am here, and you?

Kill that, the urge to call them, to hear them,
to assure them as only you want to be assured.
Kill it, kill it all, kill the want to live again, kill
the want to die, kill the want to be, to become.

Kill it and remain, not a reminder, just
a hollow shell mistaken for what was,
just an answer to a question that has
long ago given up on one.

(Originally posted on February 03, 2012)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quartet of Endless Grey

Wipe your foggy breath off the cold bus window;
the snow-covered scape outside is darker than it.
Watch your faint reflection in the streaky glass;
the bus's harsh fluorescent lights do you no favor.

I never thought hunger could grow larger than the body,
but you don't let go of a chance to prove me wrong.
Never did I look so large as I do through your eyes;
nor have I felt so small.

I once said I'd never regret a thing--
I regret it all now, even the regret.

It's done:
no more happy endings,
no more new beginnings,
no more looking forward,
no more then...

It's all been done:
there's no tomorrow here;
there's only an endless now,
not interrupted by night or day--
an endless drone, an endless hum,
an endless pattern of downward eyes and hunched backs,
an endless silence syncopated by the static of the everyday,
an endless fog, an endless grey,
no one to save...

I forgot the taste of skin,
I forgot the smell of hair,
I forgot the feel of anticipation,
I forgot what it was all about...

Last night god killed himself;
he obviously wasn't divine enough.
Pity us men with rolls on our sides,
scars on our necks, and morning breath.
Pity us, mortals,
You, who's never lived...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Reasons for Living—or Not

It often begins with the low light of early spring:
the distant sounds of life on a chilly Sunday;
your reflection in a screen, bigger than it needs to be;
a dog nearing the end of her life, turning away
from food like only a dying animal can.
                                                            The last
to surrender is often the sense of the beginning,
that what might have been can still be. Instead
is a rigid sense of awakening, that this is all there is
and will be: a cold counting of assets, tabulating life,
seeing it on the losing end.
                                        And in the silence
connecting all—bathing you with your own thoughts
and the smelly leftovers of yesterday’s dream—
nothing much can be said or done:
not the anger, the last remnant of life;
not sweet abandon—only a persistence
as stubborn and meaningless as everything,
a refusal of the game and all it wills.
                                                      And yet
you remain unable to turn away—
not from longing, but from paralysis:
the closing of the eyes is often
harder than it appears to be.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Condemned To Be Free

“Liberty! Liberty! Liberty!” they cried.

“Liberty! Liberty! Liberty!” I echoed.

“Our liberty,” they cried.

“My liberty,” I echoed.

“No, ours; not yours.”

“My liberty is yours, and yours is mine.”

“No, you’re not one of us.”

“I thought liberty is universal?”

“Only as long as it doesn’t conflict with ours.”

“And when it does?”

“Then our liberty trumps yours.”

“I thought we’re equal?”

“We made up this equality, so technically we’re more equal.
Besides, you don’t even believe in liberty!”

“But I do.”

“You may, but your religion doesn’t; ours does.”

“I have no religion! And I thought you were secular?”

“We like our churches; aren’t they pretty?”

“But you said: secular, human rights, etc.”

“You poor kid; you believe everything we say?
Why don’t you go back home, back to your people…”

“But I left my people; I live here now!
My clothes are here; my cats are here…”

“Oh, tant pis… Schade… Next!”


Saturday, January 03, 2015

In Their Shape

To Teta, once again...

We die, they say
But we never die, they say
We carry our dead in our hearts,
They live in us, they say

They say so much, they say so little…

She was here, they say
I remember her, they say
It was a long time ago, they say
It was like yesterday...

I hear so much, I say so little…

She’s somewhere, they say
Looking over you, they say
I look over my shoulder,
Still searching…

One day she’s at the beach
Collecting shells, they say
And years later I’m back here
Collecting my breath…

I won’t go back, I say
I’m done, I say
I moved on…

But moving on, a part of me snags
Dragging behind like a dead limb.
Is it me? I say
Is it her? I say

They say nothing; they only nod.
I guess that’s how we carry our dead, I say:
Our heart, dragging behind, looking like them…

Friday, January 02, 2015

Perduto

“You’ll never be great,” he said.
“And I am fine with that,
“But you are not.”

I sleep
But wake up like I haven’t
The skyline looks at me
Grey and cold
The same green windows
That soon won’t be there

I sit
I stare
I breathe deep
And suffocate
A beam, check where it is
Erase
Damn, it’s gone
Irretrievable

Songs rush through my head
In tiny white tubes
I am numb
Numb is good

I revolt
Against good
Against beautiful
Against my own ill-defined self
But I don’t have the energy
So I let it be

Perduto…”
She sings in my head
Like memories of our life there
Like the train tracks we waited in front of
And the night wrapped us with a dream
Flavored of hazelnut gelato

On it goes
We laugh together again
It is snowing
I can’t wait to be home
With you

(Originally posted on JANUARY 20, 2005)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Glass

To Troy

Every now and then, you let the curtain drop.
Your hands, grown tired of holding tight
To the ropes, let go. It's alright sometimes
To feel the burn of the rope running hurriedly
Under the weight of what's falling. It's alright
Sometimes to see the emptiness beyond,
to hear the silence, to admit your reticence
And the cold that's taken hold so long ago
It's become inseparable from you.

But your dreams tell a different story still,
Tell of a hunger far deeper than the cold.
Will it as you may, you remain human
Under the glass: thirsty, mad, and yearning.
Will they one day, too, turn colorless as glass?
Colorless, cold--but always--breakable.

(Originally posted on October 3, 2013)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

No Fault

It was my fault
I wanted you to be my revenge on life
It was my fault

It was my fault
I wanted you to be all that I couldn't
It was my fault

It was my fault
I wanted too much, I wanted too little
It was my fault

It was my fault
I bowed at the knees, I bowed too deep
It was my fault

It was my fault...

It was my fault
I looked away when I bit into you
It was my fault

It was my fault
You didn't bleed when I died at your feet
It was my fault

It was my fault
I keep dying the same way
Again and again and again and again
It was my fault

It was my fault
I turned out to be human, all too human
It was my fault

And it was my fault
You turned out to be human, so very human
It was my fault

It was my fault, it was my fault
It was my fault, it was my fault

No fault, but my own
No fault, not my own
No fault...