socks

i felt you rise
in the middle of the night
shaking me awake as you lifted from the bed, i heard you walk down the hall, you were wearing socks, i heard them talking to the carpet, wool whispering to wool, i heard the light switch click in the kitchen and the ceiling fan start to whirl, i wondered what was keeping you up

perhaps you were getting some water, perhaps you were going thru the bills again, drawing numbers on the backs of torn envelopes with a pen running out of ink 

perhaps you were thinking of windmills in wyoming, not the old fashion kind which you like, but the modern ones that make electricity, which you also like, tall sleek towers with long sleek blades, and all the wind of wyoming spinning them, pushing electrons down long black wires, thru windswept prairies, along oddly number highways, across state lines and into your kitchen ceiling fan, to make, of all things, wind

circuit complete

or maybe you were thinking of your mother, who passed last month, your heart still broken, thinking how she used to talk on the phone with both her voice and her hands, as if someone on the other end could see her hands explaining things, same as you do, circuit complete

the same way i shave my father’s face every morning in the mirror, circuit complete

and then i heard you walk back down the hall, dragging your sleepy feet, i heard the static in your footsteps, circuit complete, folding your shape back into my shape, circuit complete  

outside, the darkness was doing its darkness, crows were dreaming their crow-dreams, trees were speaking the language of leaves, you were wearing socks, i was wearing socks, and all the sheep asleep on the rolling green fields of new zealand
were making socks

posted for d’verse

all the stuff in grandfather’s pocket (1st draft)

eh, not sure what i think of this one, i like the idea, but it’s not congealing the way i want it to. i’ll have to come back and look at it again

grandfather is always talking in riddles, he keeps them in his pocket, the pocket with the hole in, all his riddles are escape artists, they fall to the ground and follow him wherever he goes, like baby ducks

“remember, wherever you go, there you are” 

grandfather is talking in circles again, talking about ferris wheels, talking zodiac symbols and goblin on unicycles, he says “it takes one hundred million revolutions to make one evolution, so make it a good one” 

grandfather keeps his third eye in his pocket, with his chapstick and a rusty key, an old baseball ticket stub and a broken golf tee, three red rosery beads and his favorite naked lady coin, grandmother is always sewing the hole in his pocket, grandfather keeps ripping it out, “a pocket with a hole in it is like a heart without a head”  
 
grandfather is talking crazy again, static in the attic, rubbish in the oven, magic in the madhouse, is it wisdom? is it life lesson or myth? mystery or mist? (or “vapour” as hughes writes it) nothing we can understand

“the faster the dog shits, the more tired he gets” 

“poppa!” grandmother yells, “not at the dinner table!” and the kids just giggle, then he sends us to bed with a riddle and a prayer “sleep deep, children, dream-birds will bring you skipping stones and magic bones, careful not to lose them when you wake”

his face is a lexicon of puzzles, eyes glitter like razors, eyebrows thick as encyclopedias, his smile a thousand years of love, and all the lines, a map of some otherworld long gone and yet to be born, his riddles unlock forgotten doors

“look at me, i walk just fine, even though my sock is falling down”

“What the hell pappa? what do you mean?”

“if there’s a hole in your soul, don’t fill it with yourself, a hole can’t fill a hole, that’s how we collapse” grandfather is always making sense, and he gets younger by the year, i see it in his eyes, he won’t be an old man poet crying old man poems, angels only sing in riddles 

“surprise surprise, sunrise in the graveyard” as he walks across the rubicon, walks upon the water, he is adopting otters and river dippers, puts them in his pocket, the one with the hole in it, they will swim together forever and fly away as riddles  

posted for the word list at shay’s word garden

cycle of the moth

reposting this from my old blog to my new blog, rediscovering some of these old poems is kind of fun

so this moth sits on the back of my hand, examining my substance
and the circumference of all things
			human, and with or without comprehension
of the odd shaped man-contraption, will drop dead
living but a single day

weeds grow in the fields below cool shades of sky
and worms play with ideas of immortality
(mortally wounded flied dangle from spider webs
like spider snacks in spider traps in a way that only dead flies can)

the mortally wounded chevy nova sits flat against the gravity
of dirt road, uncertain of motion
			suspended in summer
				wandering in thought

becky and mick in the backseat talking, i am in the front
stevie ray plays little wing on some distant frequency
she crushes out a cigarette and lights another
then opens her mouth to let her confusions flutter:

	how come violets and blue, and not violet?
	How come the ocean is blue, but rain is gray?
	if the eye in the sky sees everything, can it see itself?
	is everything watching everything? 
        when dogs dream, do sleeping cats awaken 
                       screaming with nightmares?
	and we’ve been waiting here for hours
	if the tow truck never comes for us, does it still exist?

		we consider this

and suddenly hear the sound of one hand clapping
			blam!
as i slap another bug crawling across the dashboard
(it all comes back to me, the primordial memories 
like buzzing swarms of bees, or bees that swarm buzzingly 
swarming memories of primordial buzzing that comes back to me
like hot kilowatts of bees)

it all comes back to this moth, a dusty paper god 
	who lives but a single day, and spends it
				banging against the windshield

2009