Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sleep well my delicate seraph

Sleep well my delicate seraph
The sunrise will bring joy to you
And to all who share your love

Your happiness is my reward
Your smile my greatest gift
You’re soul a thing of beauty

After this night of sharing your love
Sharing the happiness you bring to others
I too – shall finally sleep
I’ll sleep the sleep of the just

Michigan Breath and the True Taste of Divinity

I
Less a penumbra
More a halo
Sticky sweet moisture
And the smell of Michigan
In the summer
She lingers inches from my face
Her tongue a gentle snake
Basking in the afterglow
Of pre-dawn sexual insanity
Unfamiliar scents hang
In the crisp autumn air
I lost you in the electronics aisle
Losing myself for one shaky moment.

II
The closer I walk
Within His reach
The further I move
Toward my own divinity
Waiting for me
A lover in another room
She is waiting for me
While her taste stays on my tongue
Where I can roll it around in my mouth
The smell of Michigan
On a long summer day
I lost you to my insecurities
Losing myself without salvation

III
No less permanent
Than forever
A question lingers
Like a misty wisp of smoke
My eyes water
Was it she that chose my future
Was it me by default
Sleeping safe in my best dream
An unfamiliar promise assaults me
Hiding my morning mouth
Behind a cigarette
I’m losing you to what I’ll never know
I’m losing you to my divinity

Forever Moment

Tormented shell of beauty
Eyes that avert all contact
Love as elusive as smoke
Even if you catch it you can’t hold it

Tormented grasp at beauty
Shallow pallor like old porcelain
Honesty to the pain point
Even if you hear it you don’t believe it

Tormented look at beauty
Gone from my eyes not from my mind
One forever moment caught in time
Even if you found her you would surely lose her

The Ragman’s Voice

Crows the size of dogs
Walk brazenly down my alley
The lifeless limbs of small children
Dangle from their razored beaks
Just below their dangerous colorless eyeballs

The dense morning air informs
A violently suffocating day
The barbarous sun reflecting off
The faded pavement offers no comfort

The guttural grumble of distant thunder
Hangs over the shingled rooftops
A tattered shroud

The ragman’s voice cuts through
The open spaces void of sound
His sing-song cadence draws the women out

The plastic-heeled-vinyl-strapped sandals
Crack and pop against the wooden steps
The hair on their fragile heads
Is matted down with sweat and baby food
Mouths painted – eyes red

The ragman takes their remnants
Memories of their dingy lives
He heaps them up onto his battered old cart

The women scurry like panicked roaches
Back into their linoleum and tile kitchens
Leaving the Ragman’s voice
To sing his simple song

Humble Thanks

Midnight 9/12/01

The evening sky is that dangerous shade of mauve streaked with muted blue
Airplane lights flicker soundlessly in the distance passing over the city
Heaven just got a fresh batch of immigrants who will be looking for safe harbor
Somewhere the man who was late for work yesterday is holding his children tighter
Who is going to explain this to the children?  Who is going to make them understand?

The strongest of nations is suffocating – choking on its own fear for the first time
And the baseball season wasn’t quite over here – one symbol to push back in their faces
Heaven better start making up some rooms because they can’t keep the new folks waiting
In a classroom in an old school building a young woman struggles to keep her eyes dry
Who is going to explain this to the children? Who is going to teach them healing?

The night is wrapping the city in a shroud of darkness – a calming but eerie darkness
The prayers of the generations of tribes float skyward on the billows of black smoke
Heaven is a place where family will wait for you until your time finally comes
In a small house on your street a child falls to his tender knees and offers humble thanks
Who is going to explain this to him? Who is going to explain this to me?

Angels on Clark Street

Trying to retrace the steps we took that Indian summer day we walked on Clark Street
From Belmont to the Historical Society where the eccentric old woman played piano
The agitated waiter rushed us through our meal but the view of the lake was impeccable
You were wearing light summer shoes that day – I was wearing heavy field boots
You waded out on the big rocks into the polluted river while I snapped pictures of statues

Now it is December and I am walking past Chef John’s Golden Bowl
I can almost see us sitting inside the place drinking coffee – I had just quit smoking then
Every angel I see on Clark Street tonight is prettier than the one that came before
The prettiest of them all – I imagine – is the one who pulled me back onto the curb
The angel on Clark Street who literally saved my life on such a beautiful December night
She tucked her groceries under her arm and walked away leaving me scratching me head
My angel looked back at me once and smiled – I was too embarrassed to smile back
She eventually blended in with the rest of the angels in the moist evening air
I have loved every angel I have ever seen on Clark Street in December

Downstairs at Carter’s

We’re downstairs at Carter’s and peace is on my arm
The devil wants me to play with him but he won’t call out the changes
It is a night for lovers but the music simply consumes me

And we’re downstairs at Carter’s and beauty is on my arm
Nothing as ugly as that man could survive anywhere else but here
Carter’s has become a primeval greenhouse nurturing these weeds

She feels like bourbon in the glass
She is golden on this night for lovers

And we’re downstairs at Carter’s and serenity is on my arm
The sweet sound of blissful music settles my empty stomach
I gorge myself until my full mouth is dripping her rhythm – no blues

And we’re downstairs at Carter’s and strength is on my arm
Wrapped tightly around her beauty completely aware of its own existence
The alignment of the entire universe is balanced in her delicate grasp

She is like fire in my belly
She is golden on this night for lovers

And we’re downstairs at Carter’s and love is on my arm
And she is golden on this night for lovers

Boquitas Pindatas

(The Dream)

The little painted mouths
Decry the betrayal
Thrust upon them
Their normally dulcet tones
Shriek bloodless echoes

The salt from their tears
Streaks the perfect red paint
La Sueno! La Sueno! La Muerte!

Their throats are raw
Still they cry
Their arms unfurled
Faces to the sky
La Sueno! La Muerte!

The little painted mouths
Twisted in a violent frown
Decry the betrayal
To the blood red moon

Indian Summer Breeze

Crippled by the Indian summer breeze
That rushes in through the back door
And wraps around his naked legs
The memories swirl with the pain
Creating a potent cocktail that chokes him
The couch – a burlap womb
Holds him against the blue light of the television
He is looking for mercy
He is finding a half-filled pack of smokes

At Three Legged Lake

The photo album lay open on her bed – the picture offered no clue of her whereabouts
Her mother stood on the porch looking over the peach blossoms wringing her hands
That older boy was back in town – that much her mother knew for sure
She heard them leaving together around midnight – she thought it was strange
He had parked around the corner from the house

The wrestling matches or the fishing show – whatever it was – couldn’t hold them
The older boy wandered away but came back soon enough – she was asleep
He looked – for a moment – at the peaceful young face of the girl on his mother’s couch
The phone cord fit so easily between his fingers and around her neck – around her future
He was disappointed when it was over

The flashing Polaroid camera gave her face a spectral glow
Her eyes looked through the lens and up into his face
He slipped the picture into a copy of the Bible that he kept in his desk
The event was less than he had hoped for but he wanted a memento
He dropped her body at Three Legged Lake

The cop that discovered the body was squeamish – and maybe just a little frightened
Her killer had left her at the lake wearing nothing but the phone cord and a T-shirt
He couldn’t deny the attraction of her youth despite her condition
He told himself that he needed to stop pulling the overtime shifts
The cop thought of his daughter – tucked safely away at home
He put the call in to dispatch