This is the way water
thinks about the desert.
The way the thought of water
gives you something
to stumble on. A ghost river.
A sentence trailing off
toward lower ground.
A finger pointing
at the rest of the show.
I wanted to read it.
I wanted to write a poem
and call it “Ephemeral Stream”
and dedicate it to you
because you made of this
a hole so deep
it looked like a green eye
taking in the storm,
a poem interrupted
It’s not over yet.
A dream can spend
all night fighting off
the morning. Let me
start again. A stream
may be a branch or a beck,
a crick or kill or lick,
a syke, a runnel. It pours
through a corridor. The door
is open. The keys
are on the dashboard.
- Elizabeth Willis
Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,
Like children building tree houses.
Our love is serious business.
One look from you and my spine reincarnates as kite string.
When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.
There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.
Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.
The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.
When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.
I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.
I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is
Language fits over experience like a strait jacket. - William Golding
And how to fill them
is the problem of cigarettes and paint.
First time I felt my undoing
was in front of
a painting—Sam Francis, I believe.
Oh, his bloomed out, Xanax-ed California.
I liked the word guard, but you know
we made each other
nervous, standing too close
for everyone concerned. All art being
a form of violence
as a peony
Here you come
with your open hands.
- Louise Mathias
Whatever — the soup is getting cold.
Last sentence of a mathematical theorem in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook, 1518 (x)
-How genius lives perilously (maybe necessarily) close to the pedestrian!