Monthly Archives: January 2013

My heart is as heavy as my head tonight.

My heart is as heavy as my head tonight. I am sure it is equally hard but the weight is what bothers me the most. There is no explanation for the condition I am in – not tonight.

There are times when my heart becomes unbearable – too precious. There are times when I can’t even stand to listen to the broken-hearted balladry that pours out of my heart when I smell something that reminds me of something else – when I hear a snatch of a melody from a song my father used to sing.

Some times my soul will trip over its own feet as it steps up onto the curb by Laundromat. Maybe my soul skins its knee. Maybe there are some teeny, gray, dirty rocks embedded in my soul’s hand. My heart watches – helpless. My heart begins to cry. Each tear a precious vessel absorbed quickly back into the fiber that is my heart. Each tear means more weight, but my heart will not betray itself.

My soul brushes itself off and goes to put another quarter in the dryer. There is nothing as sad as missing the mango man with the white cart, but my heart can’t reconcile being helpless. My soul is practical even when my heart is heavy and sad.

Some days my spirit soars over the neighborhood. It careens off of the odd turrets and architectural antiquities decorating the façades of the crumbling building. It breezes through the trees insinuating itself in between the feathers of the soft-boned birds living there.

When my spirit gets caught on a stray branch – maybe a big antenna – my heart just looks up and watches – still helpless. The sadness of the spectacle overwhelms my heart even as my spirit struggles to free itself from whatever has captured it. My spirit is intrepid even when my heart is heavy and sad.

My mind has never betrayed me. My mind has never stopped long enough to get a good look at what my heart was doing. My mind was last seen heading south on a cool slick highway with a bottle of dreams and a sack of promise slung over its shoulder. My heart wiped its eyes and waved good-bye, but my mind never noticed.

My heart is as heavy as my old work boots tonight. They hold about the same value to me right now. The boots sit in one corner of the room where they collect dust. My heart sits in another corner waiting to be told what to do.

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I Weave my Hands

I weave my hands and fingers in dedication
To those already come and gone
And in anticipation of those not yet here

I openly welcome with a welcome hand
Beckoning forth as to bring all closer

I push away lightly fingertips dancing carelessly
On the ballroom floor of air
The fingers do not threaten as they rumba and tango about
But they do keep their own distance a private dance for lovers

Impassioned by speech my hands gesticulate
Like my father’s clean red hands – like my mother’s wrinkled white hands
Like a four-pound bullhead on your line on Memorial Day weekend

I weave my hands and fingers carefully – thoughtfully
each expression a work of art – each interchanging movement graceful

I put my weary head in my sturdy palm
And my palm never gives in
My palm holds strong and never abandons ship
When my palm finally begins to give in
And when I have stopped my fingers and hands from weaving
I put them to rest between my ear and my pillow
I put them to rest between my lover’s legs

Pulling Close Holding Hard

I.
Whenever I look at you
The white-hot sparks blind me
I have to close my eyes
All that I have dreamed about
Has come to me
And its body shudders
And it pulls me close
And it holds me hard

II.
Whenever I touch you
The white-hot sparks burn my fingers
I have to hide my blistered hands
All that I wanted of us
Is finally here
We weren’t even ready
But it pulls me closer
And it holds me hard

III.
Whenever our lips meet
The white-hot sparks blind me
I have to close my eyes
All that I’ve waited for
Has finally come
And my body shudders
As it holds me harder
And it pulls me closer

Because You Look Like Her

I could only want you for how you look
Because you look like her
And she will always be
This thick wedge of lead
Buried between my ribs
Gouging out my heart

I could never want you for who you are
You are too strong to be her
And you’ll never understand me
Keeping this thick wedge of lead
Buried between my ribs
Gouging out my heart

I could never have you for myself
Because you dance just like her
And now you – too – have learned
How to push this thick wedge of lead
Into the space between my ribs
Where it gouges out my heart

A Lullaby

I have seen the trembling hands of men
Much stronger hands then mine will ever be
Callused working hands that never apologized
They tremble violently while my soft hand is still
The promise of a morning that will bring peace
The promise of a morning that will forgive
Still they tremble – and I prepare for sleep

In The Morning with My Sister

I
I never realized how much magic amazes me
The quickest sleight of hand makes my pulse race
I always want to know how it works
But I am always let down once I do
I remembered this one morning
After seeing my sister do the ring trick
I ran my fingers through my hair
And went in search of the elusive cigarette

II
She told me that she doesn’t know how to get out
I told her that there was only one way
She cocked her head and looked at me
I told her that I only have three friends
Four she said and kissed my cheek
I turned my back and walked toward my car
I never asked for any of this
I’ve lived this night before
A twisted martyr scene on my father’s front lawn
The neighbors at the windows tittering nervously
Now alone, in a dark vast parking lot
Wishing that it was over but knowing that it isn’t

III
If the world ended tomorrow
Who would miss what?
How much would they miss?
It’s only words that testify-mystify-mollify
Words that roll around on your tongue
That soften with saliva
That feel good against your teeth
But if they get diluted by thin air
Will they ever be realized?
Who would miss them?
How much would they be missed?

The Ugly American

I was an ugly American who thought she was brave to come here
When she could have stayed there – stayed in that faraway land

She said if she was truly brave she would have stayed there in her homeland
There in that faraway land with no ugly Americans to breathe their beer on her

I couldn’t grasp the idea of staying somewhere cold and uninviting – alone
Me the ugly American; she the stunning Polish dream – a dream walking

She felt so good in my arms as we danced to a nameless old love song
Her smell was as foreign as she but she felt so good in my heavy arms

Jesus Christ I have never seen anyone who looked that good to me
She looked like a dream I dared to allow myself against my own will
She looked like a movie star coming down to frolic amongst the mere mortals
She looked like the remnants of a piece of Italian art carved carefully in Caracas marble

She started to say something but she knew her words would hurt me
The ugly American is a sensitive beast – but you can’t hurt me – not me

I’m sorry was all she was able to whisper in my ear – she didn’t let me go
But she seemed to know she already lost me – me the ugly American