Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘knowing’

If without warning the world were to end
at 6:05 tonight, I would like to be holding your hand
at 6:02 and sitting on the back porch
in the low angled gold August light.
Maybe we would be talking about the birds—
what kind of swallows do you think those are?
And you would say, violet green swallows,
and even if we were not sure it was correct,
it would give us pleasure to know the answer.

We would lean back and watch as they keel
through the air just above our heads.
And at 6:04, we would not know to be concerned
about what would happen next. It is sometimes
better that way, not knowing, I mean,
especially when the cosmos in the garden
are just now in an uprising of bright pink bloom
and the grass in the field is taller
than our heads and if we breathe in
deeply, it smells as if the rain is about to come.

Read Full Post »

The distress signal. There wasn’t one.
Suddenly it was gone. Just gone.
The plane, of course, but also our sense
of what’s possible. How could we lose a plane?
The sky today somehow too big, the ocean
too vast for comfort. It would take only a scrap
of metal wing or a wail of a recorded scream
to set us more at ease—some hint of blame to rest on,
some floating debris to trace. Nothing worse than this nothing.
Nothing. Did a door fail? A meteor hit? Did
the pilot get distracted just enough? Failure
of power? A hijacker plot? It doesn’t help
that the path is unclear. Though it almost always is.
So we do what we know how to do. Make grids.
Analyze. Hypothesize. Offer rewards. Criticize.
Wonder, conjecture and doubt. And resist making peace
with nothing. There must be an answer.
There’s always an answer. 239 people know.
For the rest of us, the sky now too big. And the ocean
too vast. And our questions insatiable, starved
for a slick, for a bit, for a fragment of flight, for
anything, anything, that isn’t this terrible nothing.

Read Full Post »

in the sweets shop
standing in front of the shelves
unable to choose—
realizing that I am the one
who wants to be chosen

*

unable to see
the mountain at the end
of the clouded valley—
never once doubting
it is still there

*

choose me, choose me,
choose me, I say to the world,
but of course I mean
choose me
the way I want to be chosen

*

outside, of course,
preferably in the sun, far
away from all
other eyes, an inchworm takes
all day to measure one lily

*

all day asking
myself, what would be lighter,
and even lighter
than this, all day I land
more softly

*

who is the one
who thinks she wants to be chosen?
leaning into the
infinite whatever it is
that notices her wanting

Read Full Post »

No Guarantees

It turns out I have loved
learning too much.
Star charts. Yeast. Omega 3s.
Tear fluid osmolarity.
Particle and wave.
I want so much to make sense
of things. Like why we have
so few words for smell.
Why only some birds sing.
Slave to purpose, slave
to the why, slave to the need
to know. I want to compare,
to contrast, to chart, to rank,
to graph, to prove. As if
that might tell me my place
in the world. So I pin down facts
like butterfly wings, splayed
and precise and dead.
Meanwhile the world expands, overflows,
moves beyond all that I think I know.
Let me live on questions. Let
me lose my absolutes. Let me be willing
to abandon my certainty. We are that
which breaks down the walls
of the learned—let me know this,
and unknow it, too.

Read Full Post »

You are the path
beside the stream
and you the snowmelt,
too. You the cumin
in the curried soup,
and you the empty spoon.
You the wreath
of dried flowers hung
on my door, and you the hinge,
the lock, the knob,
the latch, the key,
the draft
that whispers in.
I have wanted you
to be other things
because that is how
I am. But you are
the sky that holds
the moon, and you
are the moon and
the finger that points.
And you are the night
that craves the sun
and then disappears when
so lightly it comes.

Read Full Post »

This feeling
this tattered net
this piece of cake
this morning
this poem
this broken yolk
this dandelion
this warning
this girl
and her friend
and the song
they are singing
this scent of green
this in between
this longing
this knowing.

Read Full Post »

The End

Dusting the heads
of dead animals,
I think of how much
my father cherishes
this antelope, this duck,
this winged thing I cannot name,
and I understand that it is not
the thing itself that still
thrills him and makes
him want to keep it on the wall,
but the memory of the thing,
how alive it was, how alive
he was in the killing of it.

*

Over tempura, Pam tells me
of the time that she went
to a man’s home, and there
on the couch was his rich wife,
stuffed, her hand stretched out
in eternal greeting. It had been
in her will, the taxidermic clause
stating that he would lose everything
if he buried her. I sip my sake
and laugh, perhaps because
it is funny, perhaps because
I do not know what to say.

*

Though it is snowing
the room is filled with slant sunshine
and the light does what light does,
it seeks out the darkness.
I feel how what I think I know
has become something dead,
though once it greeted me
with open hands. Though once
I was ripe with it.

*

If we’re made of dust
what is doing the breathing?

*

Not that I want
an answer to that.
Only to be a vehicle
for asking.

*

In the parking lot,
the sound of geese.
No one could say
it is beautiful,
the strangled song
slicing the cold, clear air.
But they’re singing,
my god, they are singing.

Read Full Post »

She did not know how
to articulate the existential risks
in a world of immortals, but

she did know she wanted
hot chocolate. She did know
the white lights strung across Larimer Street

reminded her of, well, she didn’t quite know what,
but she liked them, she liked them tonight
with the cup of hot chocolate (too much milk

and not enough cayenne) warm in her hands.
Scent of exhaust and urine and trash like the city
always has in the summer. And the sound of a man

plunking away on his guitar, his voice
not perhaps what she had hoped, but he was
after all singing. Yes, she though, if I were

alive forever, I would sing. And kiss. And sleep.
She could not say what was changing, but
she knew that it was, that it had been changing

since yesterday, since early last year, since her birth, since before that.
“It’s alright,” she said, to no one, “It’s alright if
tonight we do nothing,.” But something

was already happening, It had something
to do with emptiness. It had something
to do with night. Her shoes were lost

beneath the street. She knew she could not keep
the dawn from coming.
She didn’t even try.

Read Full Post »

You can’t solve being human. We will have this affliction till the day we die.
—Jeannie Zandi

I tried to know it,
catch it, show it,
to splay its wings
and pin them—
to chart it, graph it,
plot it, map it,
quantify and reckon,
I tried to stuff it,
box it, pack it,
leash it to a pole,
I wanted answers,
wanted keys,
I wanted oracles,
and in came tamarisk,
rodents, dust,
whole rooms
of I don’t know,
a screaming child,
my milk dried up,
my fear devoured me whole.
Splintered, rumpled,
rankled, crumpled,
my all collapsed,
unplastered.
Undone, released,
exposed, relieved,
I flowered
utterly mastered.

Read Full Post »

first the stars
then all the space between the stars
slipped into my tea

*

dried and dead
I leave them in the vase
the naked tulips

*

winter
every cloud
a love letter

*

hey poet
get out of the way
said the poem

*

bird on the wire
for a few moments
we both stop singing

*

the weeds gone to seed—
and who is this one
who thinks they are weeds

*

another door,
another door, another wall
becomes a door

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: