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Showing posts from June, 2007


O to be young and hoard my wisdom!
To have ambition to match my desires
And strength to achieve my ambitions!
Gangs of children parade by me,
Jumping and punching and loudly observing,
Laughing and popping off like fireworks.
For them to stand at a crosswalk
Is a torment of delay. For me today,
It is temptation to curl up on pavement
With my head against a streetlamp.
Couples still pawing adolescence
Announce everything in earnest,
Every word punctuated with wrath
From gleaming faces, electric eyes
Sparking with passion, arms gesturing,
Sinewy legs impatient at the stroll.
Yesterday, I walked across a harbor,
Twice by bridge, and my body,
Grudging as a forlorn companion,
Has yet to forgive my abuse.
Gravity has learned my name.
As more years pile on my back,
It gets harder for a planet to ignore me.


Frames so unabashedly ornate
They might have inspired awe,
Turning in the air,
Carving out polysyllabics
Like flashing gold blades,
Then returning to their mount
With halfhearted resolve
To resume their chief occupation.
It’s a wonder they're not crushed
Under his beleaguered brow,
So heavy it looks, muscled
From the challenge of toiling
Under the unjust demands
Of all our foreign idioms,
When he's charged,
Without excuses, to pass on
What he's charged to acquire.
Such a bastard thug is language,
Bracing its arms between us,
Palms against our eyes-
His eyes laboring clumsily
Over the misarranged symbols
That he glues together with memory;
My eyes burning with pity
That claims no allegiance.
He would not thank me for my pain.
He sacrificed his native mores
To sail off the end of his world,
And he pays our charges daily,
To keep the passage closed.


A photo made an ache in me,
Though there is nothing sad
About the subject-
Five years old
In turning point garbs,
A tassel against
Her ruddy round cheek,
In a color whose name
Turns over with the decades.
The melancholy
Is only with the viewer,
Flexing fingers
With a need to stretch
Across the meridian
And sweep the ornament
From her delicate arcing brow.
She’s a lot like me, I’m told.


Twelve years old, I battered
Cardboard boxes in my yard
And felt strong; relented
Only after my knuckles bled.
I relished the labels
Of my peculiarity.
Yesterday, magically saddened
By the too-loud refrain
Of inappropriate people.
We can't help our skulls.
Some things we know are settled.
But no one expects to bleed.
We seem too well-planned
To fall open like that.


I have to stop hurting my mother.
She does the best she knows how,
In that walled-in life she leads,
On that clockwise path she walks
On a tether to her fictive ideals.
We all have our ancestry,
Who set the stones of posterity
And hide from blame in their graves.
They cast their shadows
Long after they’re lost to the sun.
I would like to believe it’s no chore
To wriggle from under
The thumbs of the dead.
But I keep on hurting my mother,
Though she did the best she knew how.
I injure her with my distance,
And my dismissive lack of concern.
She bore three sons into this family
And half of us are gone.