chasing shadows again

{October 28, 2008}   ~untitled~

when dusk steals out over the city
creeping whisper-soft like the brush of unseen whiskers
painting the drowsy canals with darkness
I will come out with the lovers and the beggars and the cats
to stalk through the streets

murmurs and blushes
ancient eyes and the frayed hems of old coats
silken fur and endless mystery
will seep through my skin like ink

I will not watch what they are writing
but trace my way through the sinking buildings and swaying boats
with all the indifference of the moonlight on the water

in this twilight city
there will be hours to search out messages written and waiting
lurking in the half-heard conversations
the invitations into the unknown that are but a twitch of a tail
a shadow half-glimpsed
forever remembered


What can I say now
To the woman who understands as I do
That the past must be absolute
I cannot undo what has been done
Years have passed
Wounds that once bled have closed
Even if the scars remain
They remind us who we are
This is for you
I hope it is a kinder reminder than a scar
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who inflicted me on the world
While people missed their football game
There are times I wonder if you are sorry
If you ever were
This is for you
Whatever the answer maybe
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who taught me my first words
And hiked with me on your back through the woods
While I was too young to remember
This is for you
So that you know I cherish those things now
This is for you
With all of my love

My father taught me to love the everchanging ocean and that bears are beautiful – he gave me the sense of beauty in finding peace in things that could roll me under and rip me apart.
You taught me not to walk out too deep, to balance my checkbook, to always keep sight of the shore – I realize now that gift was no less.
This is for you
So that you know I am grateful for that
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who was never afraid
The woman who could do everything
The woman who for years couldn’t tell me that you were proud of me
That knowledge I stole
Secondhand from my father like smoke from his cigarettes
This is for you
So you know that I heard
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The tiny woman who pushed cars
Who could get Brian’s truck out of the snow
And insisted I learn to check my own oil and change a tire
These were not so womanly as teaching me about painting my nails and doing my hair
But they were the gifts you had to give
This is for you
So that you know I still remember
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
The woman who I swore I would never be
The reason I always wanted to run away from home
Now when I think about leaving
I know there will be this empty place where there was once sound
But you will not be far
You are always with me – your blood in my veins and nothing can take that away
This is for you
So that you know I am proud to be something born of you
This is for you
With all of my love

You are my mother
And some of your faults came to me too
I cannot tell you these things
Just as you could not tell me
I can feel tears threatening as I write this for you
Both because it is at once bliss and anguish
And because I am afraid you will never see these words
But this is for you
Because I’ve always wanted to tell you
This is for you
With all of my love

pressed against the skeleton of a cursed and wayward ship
you wonder if you might have drifted through the slowly decaying galleon’s ribs
if only that dolphin had left you be
the transition from quickly to late to too long to timeless nothing to you
you know that you could get there faster
atop a starfish or cradled in the arms of a sea anemone
you remember with longing the hands that wrote the message you carry
more patient and with more trust in the sea
able to seal your cork back in with wax and release her dreams
with a kiss and a whispered prayer
her hands stilled in a graveyard now and
her mouth that pressed to yours for more wine silent
you know better yet you still think of yourself as her lover
you know you have a duty to cross the sea
to offer up her last words in hope
though you are shattered at last someone will place a rose on her grave

I had intended that to be more playful, but c’est la vie. Perhaps I will write another one! This one is done speaking for now.

I’ve come back to her now
closer than her haunting dreams
she still sings for me
time can never change her
could never hold hold the sea

she rises up to whisper
to tell me what I need
she’s not like other lovers
she speaks to me in tongues
in the breath from sailors’ graves
cold against my skin
I shake the salt from the sheets when she leaves

she’s walked up from the ocean
but never left my dreams
even when I sleep tangled in her hair
all she does is call
all she does is linger

in every breath of crashing wave
she calls
she cries
she screams
my love come home
come back to me
bring the wounds that will not heal
bring your blood that doesn’t sing
bring the broken shards of dream
but come home
back to me

I can taste her kisses on my skin
this love is forever
and maybe after then
light shimmers over her skin
in rippling paths of truth and shadow
that will always lead me home
back to her
back to me

if I stray too far she calls
she cries
she begs
she screams
my love come home
come back to me
bring your wounds that will not heal
bring your silence and your fears
bring the light you cannot see
and just come home
come back to me

I wake tangled in her hair
surrendered to our dreams
she’s not like other lovers
I shake the salt from the sheets when she leaves

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{April 7, 2007}   A scrap of a story….

But the words were long ago, and no matter how mighty the roar of the lion, no matter how strong, no matter how the sight of him alone filled all the world in the terrifying intimacy of the moment—time would rob him of majesty and leave him crowned with only dust. I remember the words as I remember the lion now.

On nights when I wake to write down prophesy he recurs in my dreams in a grand and abandoned garden, an ancient statue heavy with dust and the weight of the ages. I take up my pen still able to feel the silt-fine dust of decaying marble on my fingertips. On the nights that I wake in terror with his roar still echoing in my ears he appears to me wreathed in flame and tatters of his former glory, wrathful and more than half consumed by madness. But the nights I cannot shake from my memory, the dreams that haunt my every waking hour for days, he walks along beside me through dreams that are not of his making as my companion, my guardian, my brother.

And I know, even as I stand here on the balcony overlooking the sea of lights that is home, he is somewhere out there. Waiting. Walking. Searching.

When he finds me I will ask him if he shared my dreams.

This is a little scrap, unedited. I am not entirely sure who she is talking about, or if I will pick her up again. Her name is Samaria [Sa-ma’-ri-a ~ pertaining to a watch, watch-mountain — according to my copy of the Bible] and that is about all I know about her. Thought I’d toss it up here as I have yet to put up any of my own writing thus far.

{April 5, 2007}   What am I…

…reading? —The Thousand and One Nights, translated by Edward William Lane – Getting Stoned With Savages, J. Maarten Troost – and reading aloud to a friend Tamsin, Peter S. Beagle.

…writing? —i’m working on a poem for my girlfriend – which is going on in fits and starts. No real writing projects right now, though I have been doing tandem exercises with a friend (really, it’s just like skydiving with friends!) and if I get into another one I may toss it up. We shall see.

…making? —right now, this webpage. I have beads half sorted for a few projects, but nothing is done or moved to ‘work in progress’ in that sense.

…checking out? —strange maps – specifically this one of Kerouac’s

…laughing at? —my brother’s insane puppy (who just may be the cutest Boxer ever)

…in love with? —many, many things – for now I’m going with RUM – Captain Morgan Private Stock or (when I can get my hands on it) Stroh 80

…terrified by? —oompa-loompas (have been forever!)

et cetera