sentinel III

Lately I have noticed
how people place sentinels in front of their words.

Many do not move themselves
to regard your unpopular view,
but rather, fix their sights on words
Suddenly unguarded.

Loose threads hang off my own,
Offending threads on unfinished edges
that require urgent pruning before I may clear my name.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Strange, though,
That I should need to measure my words, daily, with the greatest precision,
Percolate them until no more coarseness exists,
Without further hint of ambiguity,
To keep alive some popular refrain.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Truth moves stagnantly,
amid a virulence of lies
It’s never as interesting, is it?

How is it,
that without these sentinels I keep,
my words might be commandeered
and bent to win a different game?

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Evening and I’m home, alone, unheard, the sentries dismissed
I’m patrolling the words I shaped that day
Some made unrecognizable
superimposed onto pain.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

See the sentinels guarding others’ words
See how you, too, might’ve made them
your own.


I am so uncomfortable all the time.

I am so uncomfortable all the time.

Every morning, I cut the pattern of my discomfort from fabrics of chagrin, ambition, shame, boredom, fatigue, sensitivity, anger, intellect, hope, desire and indifference.

The texture of my discomfort shears against my skin. I occupy rooms, but barely.

It feels as though there is not much of me with which to occupy anything.

There is more of others. Others who fill rooms with their generous spirits. They are clamorous and demented, supplied with talents foreign to me:

Like laughing, loudly
opening wide their mouths and throats and just
without constraint.

I only have so much air in my lungs for laughing.
Most things in life are not funny enough for that much air.

I am not a serious person
but I also am.

How do I explain that to anyone?

I can’t help the words I use. I like words. More than pictures.
Try making friends in 2018
with those credentials.




raising poems

I do not claim to write poems
I raise them.

Sometimes, I haul poems from rocky places,
pulling them
like stubborn tubers from the dirt
peeling them
until I see the glistening flesh.

If poems are seeded,
I need only water them
and hope they don’t turn out poisonous.

(I have already raised
a sprawling poison garden of poems.
that I lost control of years ago.)

Some poems are bricks that I lay, one by one
until a wall is built
And then I try to climb it.

There are poems that I rip like old paper
from walls I thought were strong
to expose other poems underneath.
Sometimes I want to paint over these.

Other poems I pull at, like feral threads
unraveling my imitations and the lies I tell myself
unraveling the comfort-truths I weave.

Some poems I raise from wells.
Dipping my bucket into depths I cannot measure,
giving and taking and giving,
until it gets at something
It plunges into water that I cannot see,
but I draw it anyway,
Bringing it up to daylight
and hoping
that I can drink what’s there,
that it quenches me.

A poem is the divining rod that directs me
to water
to bewitch it.

A poem is the germ that leavens the bread of my discontent
so that it may swell and become something I can cut open
even eat.

I raise poems.

Each poem that I raise, in turn
raises me.