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Monday, May 31, 2010

TO SEE HER AGAIN, A Love Poem after the Verse of Gabriella Mistral

A Love Poem after the Verse of Gabriela Mistral

And never, never more to see her form,
Not even a glimpse of her,
Not in the nights filled with trembling stars,
Or in the face of dawn’s first light,
Or in the blazing sun, whose heat
Discolors sidewalks at noon?

Never, never, again, to witness her walking
Upon the kicked up dirt of the bridle path,
Along the river underneath the shadow of trees,
Never, her body
Against the white washed walls of the causeway?

I wonder if she remembers the bridge, the one
Topping the low-rise concrete dam,
I told her then that nothing had sufficient strength,
That no material exists to control the overflow,
Is there nothing to contain my flood of feelings for her?

How else might I relate my mood?
Ask the pertinent question?

Never, never, again, to eye her fleshly presence,
Entangled, standing in the tresses of the forest,
Or stooped to gather strawberries
Picked from rows and rows of fruit in the truck-farm field?

I call out to her as the night envelops me,
I forget I walk big-city sidewalks.

My cries echo, repeat my anguish,
Through the empty parking lots and the city canyons,
A voice that registers with no one;
Over and over, I hear myself implore her to return to me;
Should I not, and is it not better to forget her?

Oh, no! To see her again,
Not important, makes no difference, where,
It does not matter when
-- My, my glory of heaven! --
If today it is within a deep, blue patch of sky,

Or perhaps tomorrow in the vortex,
Within the swirling ocean power,
That force which carries all kinds of debris,
When a ship and all its glory sinks,
Down, down into the Sailors’ Locker,
And image of her surfaces when all else disappears
And the scene’s sole illuminate is moon light.

Oh, no! To see her again, and to view her in the moment
When the volcano opens
And I am before the lurid, red hell-mouth,
And witness its demons’ roaring spew of steam and ash.

Yet I do not flinch, I am steadfast,
I have no fear of misadventure. I look into the fire.
I do not plug my ears, I listen,
And from earth’s deep, distant core,
Amidst the hurly-burly of all the explosions,
Within the lightning claps and clamor,
The mad noise of boulders being thrown
I hear it! I hear her name, Cheri, Cheri!

Yes, I admit her deviltry besets me.

And to be with her in all the spring times,
And in all the winters,
Entwined in paroxysm of mighty-muscle clench,
While I suck up the blood of her neck,
And spot it all over,
Make it black and blue with the power of my caresses.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A DREAM OF YOU, Desert Vision, A Poem in Four Parts, Rewrite

Desert Vision, A Poem in Four Parts, Rewrite

Sweetheart, I know you love me.
I know you appreciate the poetry.

For three years now I have struggled,
Wanting to write an epic,
A great, big, love poem about us,

I sought to post the way this thing of ours went
Right from the start, all banners unfurled,
How time marshals forces
Though we go about our daily business,
And children are born, and as they grow up, think,
Believe fervently they are meant for one thing
To discover later, underneath it all,
A new world order sweeps away the old,
And the fulfillment of prophecy remains unknown,
Until the actual event transpires,
The Word takes on meaning after the fact,

Headlines acclaim events;
Yet history proves otherwise, often, something other,
Although the finite first meet the eye,
Spirit alights, it writes the script,
The real story line lies beyond
Those first-glance tales of human endeavor.

We intend to do one thing, but, many times, later,
Discover, unwittingly we do another.


Today I write, declare the moment
Yes, I say that is the way,
The way, it had actually had happened.

Now consider, should you desire,
How I dedicate this verse to you;
It tells a tale about things
That had transpired before I had met you,
Or could have had inkling of your name!

I include you in geography,
You had not experienced, an earth, whereupon
Your feet had never trod.

Where do I get the nerve?
-- The actual gall of me, hey! --
To affirm this poem, claim it our story,
That I have written note to events,
Which include your presence, decades,
Long before our hearts belonged one to the other?

In truth, the matter propels me, no choice,
I do what destiny would have me do.

I found these words,
I had inked them once,
On lined, yellow, perforated sheet,

‘I sit at the desk, night after night,
And sometimes, it's even day and night,
Often I write on topics, quotidian and small,
On matters of no special interest,
Issues, which critics in essays declare,
Lack propriety and moment,
And do not belong to sphere of poetic ambition.

Now years have passed,
And choice less still, I write.’

Earlier today, I had packed up your mail,
Readied the address to Coral Gables,
And when you later called and asked
How I was doing, me, under compulsion’s demand,
Lonely, slave to love and ardent desire,
I answered 'pathetic.'

No one else will have me.

It as though I have some terrible pox;
Other women see it and shun me.

My mirror image, though, it is you,
I cram my schedule, insufficient time,
The day wants the hours,
I have endless lists ‘To Do’.

I isolate terribly, talk to no one for the week,
And when friends telephone call, I rush them off!
Honest! No time for idle talk, or chat.
No choice! I return to my desk.

I dread any date for lunch.
I pass on evening engagements.
Sorry! I want only you.

I just want to be with you.

Yet I have that other side,
More than everyday necessity and much more
Than simple expression of my love for you
A confidence I wish to share with you and world,
About how I always knew that you were the girl for me,
Though I came to comprehend it, my great love,
The singular fact, only after the event;

I believe I might say it right,
Watch me now, and let’s see if I say it right!


I remember Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona,
Danny’s store packed with Native American silver,
Bracelets, necklaces and rings, properly displayed
On racks, in trays, locked within showcases,
And on clear shelves, velvet pads, the array of colors,
Alexander, my son, maybe eight, but not more than ten,
His years of age, playing behind the counters,
Next to the shotguns, diagonally propped,
On the floor twelve-gauge shells in open boxes,
Ready, should there be an extended engagement.

I share with you the times when, flying in
From Dallas, the grand noise, engines’ reversal
To land at Sky Harbor, the ground crew,
How they scrambled, and then, rolled up the staircase,
The platform for debarkation, and me, I would descend
The steps full-tilt straight onto the tarmac,
Fahrenheit, ninety-five degrees in early morning,
A rental car awaited me, and I was off
Over to the parking lot at the Dog Track,
To the swap meet that was unfolding and I sought
The cowboy named, Roadrunner, who always had
Tons of loot, the goods, every Sunday’s hauls.

Though at this point, it, more dream than reality,
I recall the very special meeting, when traders
Lined up, raised hands, and one after the other,
Volunteered to say that jewelry great here and
Proclaimed that whosoever is welcomed into
The lounge camper, who greets the Navajo,
Both the man and wife, with eyes at slight, diverted,
And who knows that the children divine a pattern,
From their running across the gravel lot, left and right,
Up and down, then unto the asphalt sidewalk,

That person, who enjoys when they stop to refresh from
The water-cooled, stainless steel, floor-pedal fountain,
The bright sparkling, that eye of the desert,

The stream which gushed upward, next to,
It was on the right side of the pari-mutuel windows.

Upon that person, who bore witness to the design,
Who abstracted anagram from within
All the children’s scurry, who traced,
Out upon the open parking space, meaning,
Who was brought to new vision,
Who was able to see within the minds’ eye, the dance,
The dance holy ones once danced in godly regalia,
That person, who heard within the children’s feet
The drums, the rhythms ancestors had orchestrated,
So to let go, leave this material world,
And find entrance to separate reality,
The traders at the meeting, in-order, one-by-one,
Both arms raised up on high, head flung back,
Palms stretched and fingers spread wide apart,
As though they pressed upon the sky,
Called upon Great Talking God to sanctify their wish,

It was at that moment
They bestowed their most precious title,
And between the ghosts and the human beings
The word rang and cemented the union, ‘Friend’.

One Sunday afternoon, I felt good magic
When a child ran up behind me,
He quickly, then, touched the back of my hand.


Later I met a Mexican friend up on South Mountain.
His house was painted a bright, distinctive blue.
I bought more jewelry and got into my car,
I took the Express Way North, exited at Bell Road,
And headed to way out West of the city.

At one point, I passed the shopping mall,
I thought about Monday’s appointments,
How a salesman's lot means he sits,
Marks time to wait his turn with buyers.

That night on the concrete patio, the one surrounding
The big swimming pool, at Community Center,
I buck danced to beat, which played
On the rock an’ roll, radio station.

Although it was already that Sunday’s dusk,
And the day’s high temperature had receded,
It still was ninety, over ninety degrees while I sat back
On the lounge chairs and watched Alexander,
Time and again, practice dives off the high board.

Even then, it was long ago, and in Phoenix,
It was you! Darling, I had been waiting for you;
The desert air brought dream of you,
The shimmering, the uplifts, the vertical lines,
Up, upward, shafts of heat rising
Out across the desert vista,
Now I recognize it was a dream of you,
And this, my verse was racing,
Already galloping through my mind,
I managed to pull in the reins,
Then I hitched it up, tied it to the rail at the tip,
I hitched the reins at the tip of my tongue.

I was reciting poetry, not out loud, but to myself,
Though I knew not its power, no idea the prophecy,
I knew not the meaning of that woman, who I glimpsed,
Who walked out among the columns of earth fever,
And stood next to the Saguaros in the twilight,
Who appeared in an instance out on the horizon,
Seemingly, over and against the floor of the desert,
Before she disappeared leaving me to these lines,
Whose cadences I repeat from once upon a time
And now so long ago, today at key board,
These words I use to describe a dream of you.

Long before I had ever made your actual acquaintance,
I envisioned you a figure in landscape,
I saw you in time prior to when you were born.

At the airport, when security stopped me, I stood
In a booth whose sliding curtains dropped to the floor,
The jewelry I carried in my on-board luggage,
X ray showed a concentrated jumble of metal,
And as I awaited the woos and ahs of personnel,
When they opened my bags for inspection,
It was then that I began to wonder, and it remains
Fresh today, as if I describe events from yesterday,
It was then I began to wonder, when you,
When your love might saunter in, and make life complete.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SOUR GRAPES, An Original Love Poem Styled after Catullus, Rewrite

An Original Love Poem Styled after Catullus,

Understand, I always liked that guy, Herb,
Let’s just say, I was fond of him,
I respected him as a colleague.

Yet now, it is decades later;
My once good feelings for him have nosedived.

I mean one thing, certain, I felt, you were his gal.

Of course, I was attracted to you,
Hey, your allure, it tempted me!
The way you stood, it complemented your height,
Made you demure, such poise, left knee bent forward,
Your shoulders tilted,
You brought your right shoulder down to the side.
And that smile, I shall say it,
You were gorgeous, and I always favored a brunet.

Not to forget your intelligence, hands down,
You, why you were the smartest woman I had ever met!

Nonetheless, propriety required I not make a move.
I was Herb’s friend,
How would you expect me to behave?

And you must recall -- I know you remember --
I had been otherwise engaged, busy.
And though you might not have realized
My busyness’s full extent,
I was too occupied on too many fronts,
And that had done me no real good
So far as my being with you was concerned.

I know. I know. I missed the bus.
The train had left the station. I had my chance.
Passed on what very well might have been.
God, when I think about it, the splendid opportunity,

Allowed them all to go by, life and happiness, years of it!

Let’s get it straight, the facts are the facts.
It had not been my fault, I swear!
It was that Herb, he had blocked my way,
He puffed himself up and proudly took the stance,
Made it clear that for all intent and purpose you were his.

I do not really care for the fellow anymore,
Even the thought of him bothers me.
I do not like repeating his name,
Yet now it amounts, how time flies,
It amounts to more than three decades later!

I want it known, world to know,
Now and forever, my regret,
That I had missed the splendid opportunity,
Love and life with you, please,
Understand! It had not been my fault,
I swear! He stood in my way.

Though once a friend,
I do not really care for that guy anymore, no,
Not a bit. I do not even wish to repeat his name.



Piqued, the morning she moved out
I gave her back the photographs.
Let this thing of ours become distant memory.

A top-notch beauty, she's sensuous,
Smart, thrifty, and disciplined in her work habits.

But she does not keep her word.

After our first year
In a call to voice mail,
She poured out her suffering heart,
And confessed that her former boyfriend,
He had physically abused her.

It was during the course of their longtime affair.

I remember Princess Diana explained
A third person had spoiled her chance for happy marriage,
With us, the same, this man's specter, a constant presence.

I will not forget she cowered,
Readying to walk out the door,
Childlike, fearful, shoulders slumped forward,
Eyes to the ground, she replayed,
I must guess a previous experience.

I did not raise my voice.

Were that not revelation enough,
She admitted, shortly thereafter
To eating disorder, 'a form of anorexia',
She called it. So at root of our affair
Lay poor self image, explaining both
Her being with me, a man twice her age,
And that other, five-year romance
With a beast, a criminal whose coercive
Words and deeds proved his love was true!

Later this week
From a spot above the head of our bed,
I'll take down her Grandfather's painting,
(A birthday gift from her to me)
Icon-like, it portrays the infant Jesus,
Who is held in his Mother Mary's arms.

I’ll return it with the Lord's Prayer,
A hand-colored photocopy of a hand lettering,
Though taken from the modern language and character,
The document resembles old Swedish and Gothic script.

We have it tacked on the wall,
It occupies space directly next to the refrigerator.

Does she believe in God? I ask myself.
It's early morning and I am tired.
Yeah, but I still would like to know.
She's sick; she doesn't know what she believes.

I have a big blank spot in my schedule.
I feel bad all the time.
I don't know what to do.

What am I without her? I wonder.

Can't I – I mean... Is there
Any way I could make her better?

I feel like shit.

I want to get up from the keyboard
And go into the kitchen and weep.
I may never speak to her again.

I loved to sleep with her,
Hoped she would stand next to me,
Become a loving a companion, a wife.

Instead I got her boasts,
Sadly Pyrrhic confidences about her imminent victory,
She vanquishes the ghost of her former lover.

One day she came to me at work,
Asked me to step outside, and whispered
How at 4:00AM that same morning in our bed,
In our home, she recognized her failure,
The fact she could not give herself to sex,
Would ultimately mean his deviltry had triumphed.

In reality she had lost the fight.
The terror was ascendant;
He stood beside our bed.

But now a fool is talking.
I am the one, screw loose,
Who hoped we might write love songs,
Which themselves became legend,
Who wished the kind of love, no restrictions,
Limbs askew, monkey love, she and I
Bound up in a passion limitless, a universe,
A thrilling heaven, like some Islamic vision
Whose paradise has eternal, physical bliss,

By God! Given over to this physical ecstasy,
That happiness and children would be our bounty,
That we might enjoy peace,
And our love attains power of example,
It brings cynosure, light for the ages.

No! Intimacy failed us.

She lives in drama,
Where terrible wound reopens, Fanelli's, Dojo's,
And the Tavern on Eighteenth Street,
Each a scene, time, time and time, again.
She enjoys the nightmare theatrics,
She eschews healthy flesh,
The pain of the past captivates her soul.

I am afraid. The demon drives her.
And now, when all is said and done,
He alone is her dream lover.

Monday, May 10, 2010

BLUES, Deep and Bad

Deep and Bad

I got the blues, tonight, honey.
I got the blues deep and bad.

You’re not here and soon I leave,
I go abroad for a long, long stay.
I doubt we see each other ever again.

I sit at the end of the bed.
The bedroom couch is gone,
Much of the art is removed and sold.
The furniture arrangement no longer
Resembles anything you once knew.
The whole apartment looks different,
Not at all the same, changed from the time,
You dwelled and laughed with me here.

I got the blues, tonight, honey.
I got the blues deep and bad.

Vivid recollections, your loveliness,
I need not close my eyes,
I picture you as you stand in your white hotel slippers,
And wash grapes under the faucet in the kitchen sink.

And my loving you, it frequently comes to mind.

That we had fallen and broken apart,
No words reach the depth of my regret,

Listen to the music coming over the TV.
Oh, sweet momma, daddy,
He has caught a wicked case of the blues.

Horns blare.
The drum pounds, hits my entire bodily frame,
And when I fall, drop within myself, my soul clamors,
“A middle note is missing”.
My heart’s down, down strokes a shuffle,
The rhythm accompanies the lyrics,
How did it all go wrong?

I doubt we see each other ever again.
I go abroad for a long, long stay.

I got the blues, tonight, honey.
I got the blues deep and bad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PLEDGING MY LOVE, May Version, 2010

May Version, 2010

Abide with me for fast closes day.
Darkness deepens with alacrity,
Nothing halts the night.

Stay with me while time permits.
Although other comforts flee,
Accept I mean the best,
Spare your soul from bottom and regret.

In every deed, and in my every word,
I want to be true, do right by you.

Though many things to tell,
One thing sums it right,
One thing huge, deep and great,
With ocean of delight,
My heart embraces you.

You, my love, are all my life today.

I wish to assure, let it be known,
Though you in mortal moment seem,
Great Light, Infinity, blesses you.

Happy outcome, whatever your secret dreams,
That they find an absolute alignment,

God’s will be done,
And that you have the power to carry it out.

And I add,

I hold belief, whose strength
No public fire, no coliseum of wild, hungry beasts,
Nor awful rendition chamber in far-off land,
Might ever shake, nothing my faith dissuade,

Yes! Certain, as I write,

For you awaits the greatest gift --
That at the hour when you awake and start the day,
You will have come to believe,
And learn to say a simple prayer,
‘Thank You. Thank You, Lord, for life,
And yet all You do for me.’

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