|January did not open differently.
More friends died.
in the brigade of our lord
and otherwise, fell
or started on the slow slide downward.
The spiral from and through this world
toward whatever next.
Reagan's' Homeless kept getting in the way
of Downtown Southern California Traffic.
No to traffic lights.
It rained too much.
Not every day romantic deluge,
but punky drizzles when
the garden begged for leaky reservoir.
to all the dreams that failed
while passing past us toward The East.
I caught a cold. And then the flu.
I didn't catch myself in time
to get a six pack of inoculations
against the dreaded
And thus I met St. Valentine
behind some bungalow
in grubby moccasins
(holes cut out for big toe comfort)
instead of in The Mall or Church
with best sneakered foot
The simmer of Santana winds.
forced jade green
to cinnamon tinder sticks.
It kicked the newly dying leaves
from yard to yard
and pummeled them until their dust
April entered and not quietly.
So many suns passed into sunsets
it might have been a year of Aprils.
Pee spots on the leaves of elephant ears.
Only gutter rain receives mombritta shoots
and comforts sulking agapanthas.
and gave but little help
as rain drove friends to rims
where they had little hope
of transport back.
Such is a year that gives us Donna
Jessica and Tammy-Faye;
and that's to skirt some mention of dear Helga.
Jesus, this was only Spring.
Mary Lynn rang up
one afternoon in May and told me
Spencer had gone off to Nicaragua
did I know the number of some baby-sitter
not into Heavy Metal or cross-dressing.
was all right, she said, but any seance
would have to be
held in the kitchen not the parlor.
Newtons mood swings came
Like time does in the middle of a laugh.
One day he'd decend
to scrape the bottom, then he'd travel
back up high enough
to grab some handfuls
of green willow,
his hands as verdant/evergreen
as limbs he reached toward and grasped,
or so he told me.
What is sickness if the wellness
tastes so clean.
Pain is but remembered vapidness
when crick is gone.
will see you through, my friends,
two-bit philosophy will see you through
Some mockingbirds were here one day
shouting foul language
at a daytime owl
who's only guilt was chanting
to some intended mate who packed
and some things
and fled in dark of night. I wished
I could have been
in that owl-trying time,
as I wish I could have been of better use
to friends now gone.
I remember love.
It used to taste like deference.
It was what difference is.
Way back when I had smiles
to change a life
I must have wasted them on life itself.
as not so much the center
of the year as what it really is.
Toad time. Tadpole to frog weather.
Croaks come out of crocus in a single voice.
Its not alliteration but nature being literate.
Freeway daisies riot on the freeways.
Crabgrass given inches, steals the farm.
Hobo birds, like finch and sparrow,
seed the underbrush with baby tear.
Those swallows, who did not come back,
come back now as prodigals or better.
Come see the lilies put on habits.
Don't they know Good Friday
and The Resurrections been and gone?
If June's a time of California jumping
and it is. It is. No wonder pale skins
itch when summer is a comin' in.
About the time I settle in to write
Edward pokes his head into the room
we should run and play.
So off to Westwood or the beach
to try out software or the patience
the temps at the Emporium.
The two of us Dame Culture's brats
A month of running's what July was.
Days of thither,
well as yawn.
The air was full of Contra-dictions.
Every compass pointed North.
The does gave birth to fawns.
The heart, the hart was in the highlands,
Reagan's Homeless slouching
down the boulevard toward
that would be island separate
from us all
that would define the new infinity,
that place so like Downtown Beirut
Ocean Park has sailed
and with it Muscle Beach
leaving Arnold no new converts.
Capitols not lower case
define our favorite places always.
The heart malingers
and will not let
It suffers sunshine well as rain.
It gathers pain and saves it,
leaves off saving rainbows
in favor of the cloudy day.
Why waste time in cataloging joy
while enjoying it?
And that's the news this stanza.
Hail the sun burnt day that offers
ring around the
some London bridge or other falling down,
but out of sight and hear shot.
Me, loves prisoner
some other August?
It must be here say, rumor,
no matter what
some journal in a younger hand confirms.
I have always been as independent
thought my country was.
I might have loved,
but in the abstract.
If I fell down with lovers or was snared
why no scars?
These lines are only worry lines,
these middle pounds the saddle horn
of time not deference.
And yet in stillness of a certain kind -
when things are quite so
or not quite so, or comme ca -
there is a haunting
born of tenderness once borne
of grief that came and went
that could be
if one would give it head.
Ah, but in the wilderness
A cat of any stripe is welcome