because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

self

why i write poetry

canal, drained

 

(because)

there are too many pine-sown miles
down sixty-four east between here
and the coast,
not enough syllables
in a night.

because the lightning flash is silent

and the cobblestones too loud,
chattering away our past
over slip-slick mouths.

because they pull
fewer bodies
from the dark of this water
than one might think

and our image
is a birdcage that goes
blood-deep,
is reduced to matchsticks
and catches flame,
sinks again.

the lightning, as i have said,
is silent.

because some suns
were born broken
and some days
destined to break and
once not many ago
i found an ant
in the sugar jar, drowning.

because (i
am not worth loving, sad, though)
some afternoons
there is a july morning
with open windows
and no thunder but
tucked in the space
where it should be
stands a poem.


untitled

i think i am in love
with little plastic needles, sterile
blues, the arrogance
of early a.m. overhead
lighting; size 6 latex
gloves that know
the thrill of a one-
handed knot
in 2-0 silk, over
and under
and over again;
back pockets
stuffed with blunt scissors &
stethoscope & note-
cards that read
like a map through
heartache:

the femoral nerve
courses laterally
to its artery as it passes
the triangle of Scarpa.
blood enters the liver
at 1500cc a minute,
mostly through the portal
vein, whose pressure
should not rise more than
5 millimeters of mercury
above the pressure
of other veins. neurogenic
claudication causes
pain on spinal flexion,
comes from central
locomotor stenosis.

other things too i
knew, that i would have
learned harder
had i thought they
could save you…

some nights
i miss those mornings,
sunless & taped
into narrow tubing
with adhesive
that still pulls,
even now.


words taken from the last line of a samurai creed

Ryoan-ji, the Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, is known for its Zen gardens. Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion,
was burned in 1950 by a Buddhist priest who had been seduced by its beauty; a replica stands today. Ginkaku-ji,
the Silver Pavilion, stands at the end of Tetsugaku no Michi, the Philosopher’s Path.

in the swirl of shinto-smoke
that reminds me of nothing

so much as my dead mother,
the absence of myself

is a sword undulled by blood or lust
and too bright for eyes

that have not known tears;
like coins thrust for luck

or safe passage; like
dappled morning on Ryoan-ji pond

where cranes stalk salvation
beside the unanswered prayers

of lost fingertips;
like broken glass

on asphalt in a hot Kyoto night;
Kinkaku burning in the sun;

Ginkaku-ji at journey’s end.


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