Dig

Rodin’s The Three Shades’ shadows

Caught between Kerouac and Marilyn spawned in me the language, fearless pain as my mother, wrapped in mink, walked the edge then past as I watched then ducked smashed shards and men wanting to be sucked, degenerating the innocence of life and saints and promises made;

and where is Christ, the Buddha, ohm mani padme ohm when thousands of children die each year in America alone at the hands of their parents caretakers life-takers, when fathers teach their daughters the art of Kama Sutra, how in all this to distinguish any act as wrong, when killing millions in moments preserves the American way and what of generations born in winds of mushroom clouds,born without limbs or eyes to napalm women,what harm in being sucked by unlined skin—

the brain numb too short a time, too soon the blackout ends, too soon Marilyn raises her skirt, her breasts, her legendary grin, too soon barbiturates and lithium and caffeine caffeine—can’t sleep, won’t sleep, bring in the kid—she won’t remember anyway the feel of heels and calloused palms, slip between her unfledged lips like snow, like angel wings, then retreat to the oblivion of drink. What’s sex in this rhythm of hate and fear, in the mutual acceptability of mutual destruction? The Buddha uncrucified cannot exist.

And I know these people, this violence spawned of invisibility, sexuality hiding fungal lingams of death, sublimating the need to think of consequence when consequences surround us not of our own making—why control ourselves when we ourselves have no control in this atomic-Ku Klux Klan-raping world of sawed-off shotguns in the hands of eight-year-olds who need a fix, a blow, enough to know they are alive, enough to dull the tense despair of being alive

but this is my world too and the bombs of mutual annihilation have not yet dropped and I do remember the jazz-nuanced hipster world that spawned me behind Marilyn’s angel grin concealing desperate dreams turned nightmare horrible, and I

we carry these in symbols of anorexic models and crucifixions to bars and steaming baths and schoolyards filled with meth and smack, bliss only in the mind, the body sharp-edged and clutching.

Yet under these streets flow fresh-water streams—chip away with hammer and nail, dig through phlegm-stained concrete with fingers till whitened bone shows through, dig for water to wash us clean, past wanting more cars, more clothes, more love than we feel, dig for truth beyond lies that tell us drugs and sex, shaved heads and tattoos, fast tech will save us for only we can save ourselves yet if each self is saved we will save the world.

Thank you to the editors of Squaw Valley Review Poetry Anthology 2012 for first publishing this poem and to the community and poets who make Community of Writers such a rich and fulfilling experience.

Confession

Confessions of a Nature Lover

Back then I was going steady with fog, who could dance like nobody’s business, I threw her over for a leaf that one day fluttered first her shadow then her whole life into my hand, that’s a lot of relatives, this leaf and that leaf and all the other leaves hung around, I told her I needed space, which was true, without it I’d only be a soul, and no one’s sure that whisp is real, that’s why we say of real estate, location, location location, and of speech, locution, locution, locution and of love, yes, yes, yes I am on my knees, will you have me, world?

Bob Hicok

(from The New Yorker, May 14, 2012)

Well

Image - Version 3
It starts with the heart's pulse
      womb's embrace
   nourishment from other as if self

before we're spit into this slip slap of blue
      deafening white
   indifferent ground that shatters bone
         if we fall too long
            too hard

yet sometimes hands, like whispers,
      rustle through loss's deep well
   to retrieve silken strands

rewoven then into something like wings
      that expand beyond the contraction of loss
   and whisper through the dark
                                             you are not alone.

Thank you to the editors of 5AM for first publishing this poem.

I Had…

Assemblage horse by Dickens44.

Collies, gold and white                         fist strikes
Running beside me                                palms slap
As I explored                                            foot slams
Orchards of oranges and owls,          me against the floor
Beaver dams                                           hands rip
Abandoned in summer.                        heads off my dolls

Polished maple posts                           legs spread
Stretched sheer white lace                 forced apart
Over my head,                                        by arms wider
A walk-in closet                                     than my thighs
Held handcrafted horses,                   I can't speak yet
Stuffed elephants and bears.            can't say no

Chestnut horse,                                     nurses jab needles in wrists
Flaming in the sun,                               cold fingers bruise me
Neighs soaring in the wind,               asthma restrains me
Swift as a kite                                         muscles tear
To ride away                                           as I lunge
On.                                                             for air

Thank you to the editors of The Sonoma Mandala: Literary Review for first publishing this poem.

Masks of Cardinal Feathers

                                                                             Drape
                                                       Me in
                 Crimson rOse petals,
                                                          garnets,
                                                                          coral,
                                                Rubies,
                     and feed me
                                              dragon's Blood,
                                                                                     cherries,
                                                              straWberries,
                                         plums,
        salmon,
                              meRlot,
                                                      then make me
                                                                                        glow,
                                                             flush,
                                   blush,
                                                                             BlooM
                                              till I'm 
                                                         Rubeous,
                                         carnLian,
                                                     verMilioN,
          as ScarLet hummingbirds
                                                                    SOAR from our
                                                                                                          Mad
                                                         voRacious
                                                                                          heartS.

Thank you to the editor of Absinthe Revival for first publishing this poem.

Blood Root

Blood blossoms burst
forth in war zones
as roots stretch deep.
I feel them when we fight
and I want to burn your tongue
black with hot rock
rather than hear
words opposing mine;
engorged roots strike through limbs -
my hand, your face.

Thank you to the editors of Hard Love for first publishing this poem.

They Hold the Sea

Contagious as your hummingbird smile may be,
it is your hands...

hands that sculpt ki into a dragon's mouth
with arcs of mother-of-pearl framing
rainbow flames that smell of warm
milk and nutmeg, while your touch
draws the breath of muscle to bone,
then deeper.

Too few lines cross your hands,
large, almost too large,
they hold the sea.

Thank you to the editor of Something Like Homesickness for first publishing this poem.

Ki–Japanese word meaning energy or life force.