Tag Archives: mediations

Parking

Riding around
old ground
saying

“that’s where
we used to”

and
“I remember
pulling over right there
so we could”

and
“all the times
when we’d stop there
before going home and we’d” 

and
“how about that one night
when we”

and 
starting to say 
something like that again
but then all
is forever changed because
they’ve put a development 
and
the road through the houses
comes out where
there used to be
a little pull-off
where we used to

It’s gone now

Every time
I ride through
this town
full of ghost parking places 
I end up mumbling

“there’s no way
anyone still does that
is there?
do the kids here 
still find places like that
for that?
where does it
happen now?”

then cussing myself
out for
staying too long under
this nagging cloud of
unfinished business
I have yet to
release


Pop Culture

I can’t keep up. I can’t keep up. I can’t 
keep up. I’m losing the ability to talk to anyone else.
There’s too much to navigate. Too much to 
know. I dare not get it wrong for fear of being
laughed at, ostracized.  I can’t keep up. I can’t
breathe in that atmosphere. I’m suffocating under
the movie talk. Who are all these characters? How does
a franchise differ from a series? Is this the one
with the dog or the one with the Sword Eagle, or
are those the same thing? I can’t keep up or 
even try. There are bands playing songs 
that sound old and new at once and I can’t decide
if I should like them out loud or keep silent. None of this
was designed for me. I’m not supposed to know it exists.
I’m supposed to have a bitter vocabulary about all of it.
I’m supposed to have a lawn all are supposed to avoid. 
I’m supposed to love or hate but I can’t even recognize. I can’t keep 
up with any of you. You are so far into the deeps of it 
I’m afraid to follow. I can’t hold a narrative thread longer
than a minute these days and couldn’t hold onto a lifeline
thrown to me if I was drowning in all this. I am drowning in all this.
I can’t tell who I am out here without a reference point and there are none here
that you don’t already hold like a stronghold. Like a home base
in tag. Like a ball in a game of keep away. I can’t keep up,
I’m stupid. I can’t keep up, I’m lazy. I can’t keep up, I’m old
and it all reminds me of how little substance there is to me now
for so many people to hang onto. Everything I’ve lost is out there somewhere. 
It’s been swept out of my hands and I can’t keep up the search.


Spinning

In bed with the universal
I try to sleep, but it wheels
around my head

as it wheels around everyone’s head.
As if I am the pin in the center of
a garden pinwheel.  
As if each of us is a pin,
each of us believing
we are at the center.

As if. Look at it spinning.
How could it be
that we each are the center?
Surrender that. You and I will never know
that answer. We see it spin the ceiling,
the floors, the ocean of sleep
waiting for us, and we worry
that if we slip free 
it all falls apart. As if.
Look at it spinning around 
so many centers. Impossible physics,
maddening science. Either that is wrong

or we are. As if the universal
could be wrong.

As if. As if there is anywhere
to which we could fall
where the spinning would stop.


Bouquet

Originally written 2007.

1.

The brain
knows many things.
Some of them you know,
some you do not.

2.

If the brain
was a flower,
you would be
its scent.

3.

Perhaps the brain
is
flower, starving
for light, lunging out
through the eyes
for sustenance.

4.

If you plucked
your brain out
and held it to the light,
would you find a mind?

5.

The mind lives
in the brain and
hides in its petals.
The mind is the dark
among the riots of color.

6.

You sleep
and the brain corrals
the mind. They talk all night,
pretending they are
you. In the morning
you are nearly mad
from the echoes of their
conversation.

7.

Put your hands
around your mind
and know it’s not
part of the scheme
that you should understand
everything: there are things
shoring up the partners
that would terrify you
if you knew them.

8.

The brain blooms
long after you close your eyes.
The mind rises from its nooks and folds
to escape, moving past you,
playing in the meadows.

9.

The mind drifts back
in the hot late afternoon. Your head grows heavy
with pollen. You open your mouth
and bees fly in
to take their fill while the mind
avoids being stung
by the danger in the commerce.

10.

When you sleep
the mind and brain bear ideas.
You pretend they are your own fruit.
The brain laughs at you. The mind
strokes you softly, saying,
“There, there…”

11.

You are the scent.
Something plucks your brain
and you die slowly. Maybe
another brain and another mind
recall you for a while, but
you’ll certainly fade.

12.

Anything
fed long enough
on vision, scent, touch,
sound, taste will double back
on its own surety. The brain
makes you sleepy. The mind
makes you frightened. You
make yourself believe
there are reasons for everything.

13.

A night blooming flower
holds its beauty
until first light, collapsing
at the first touch of your hand,
staining your memory
with a scent you can never name.