Monday, May 28, 2012

Splendid Whatever

The moths wing against the blinds, punctuating the silence.
I’m doing it again, what I’ve always done;
trying to gauge what you want so you will find me lovable.

I picture you as you were at that wedding
and dream of your hair all night,
bury my fingers into the dark loam of curls
and bring them to my lips,
sweet lime and linden and sweat.

In the morning I smooth the sheets
and wonder about your skin,
Could I still glide my hand so freely down your back?

You have a picture of me, too, somewhere,
red-cloaked in distress:
The big bad wolf will eat me alive, can I come
to your room and hide?

Wurbly Wurbly Wurbly cried the Robin Sentinels.
Lilac trees plumed thin and yellow-white by your door.
You let me in.

You entertained me with masks and stardusts
and velvety cream pastels.
You slept on the floor and I on the bed.
Toms troubled the alley and thunder rumbled far away,
but sleep blanketed us in softly tufted counterpanes.

Tell me, now, has the grass grown tall? 
Do you brush against the stalks,
caressing the flush of the seed heads
as they seethe so warm and summer green?


  1. the ironic nonchalance of the title drives the nail forcefully into the construct of this sweet reverie, pricks the head of the passion and desire. you delight me. i laugh, as though that were ever anyone's goal. nonetheless, collateral damage, you delight me.


    1. Thank you, erin. Laugh, laugh, because I do, too. What's funny to me, well, maybe more ironic, that in writing this poem I am STILL doing what I always do, making up a fairytale confectionery dreamworld. I wonder if I could remake this so that world in my head could be contrasted with whatever picture is in the other person's head--to me, that is the "whatever." I was bemoaning my tendency to make up romance/drama, you know, oh, here I go again, and my sister told me to "own it." So, I wrote this. I question if that's OK. I'm feeling a tad like a thieving magpie, as I stole the moths from a good friend and the ending generated itself from an email (ding!) of the Poem of the Day which was:
      Wislawa Szymborska, “The End and the Beginning” and it's final stanza:
      "In the grass that has overgrown
      causes and effects,
      someone must be stretched out
      blade of grass in his mouth
      gazing at the clouds."

      So, what is this thing, this gathering and stringing of images? Am I speaking the truth, or making up stories? Or both?

    2. Oh, and lots of editing on this one, I think that's part of the "whatever." I had several notes written out and possible titles and they pretty much all got axed. The Robins just showed up and started singing outside while I was writing. But how to sew up the end and what to say as a title, those were challenging and I think out of a bit of exasperation I just said, "whatever."

  2. your Rijkswidget is currently displaying a marvellous still life of luminous abundance & mortuarian perfection, which seems very apposite, perched opposite the above.

    i sense impending decay.

    1. Luminous abundance & mortuarian perfection, is that the title of your new chapbook, then? ;)

  3. Ah, indeed it is, quite apropos. Thank You, bd.

    1. Still Life with a Golden Goblet
      Pieter de Ring,

    2. Still... life, eh?

      here are some moths, from Don McKay

      Moth Fear

      There must be dead souls who have not
      quite graduated into ghosts, air
      which has barely begun to curdle.
      No wonder they’re terror stricken, still
      clinging to the light, indentured
      to the dark, flapping the loose
      bandage of themselves against the screen.
      Why can’t desire just die and be dead
      when we are?
      Let them in
      they collapse upon your charity
      eat your socks and drown themselves
      in coffee cups.
      Crush them
      they find their voices in your memory.
      Better not.

  4. My turn to say, oh yes!

    . . . trying to gauge what you want so you will find me lovable.

    I wonder if we would enjoy life as much if we didn't make some of it up? Hedge called it emotional cardio at my poem on a similar subject.

    I love your writing.