Make the room bright

From my new collection, Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart.

After wine, after friends,
in your room pushing back
bedtime forever. You strummed
songs on your guitar, songs you had written

in England, Spain, Greece, Mexico.

I read you my poems.
You fell asleep, darkness.
I stayed awake as the last bits
of beauty smoldered and went out.

I stayed awake all night
and the darkness filled with all
the joys and sadness of my life, all here,
now, in your room, the smell of rose water
lingering on the ragged edge
of time, of our time.

I stayed awake until dawn began
and your body began
to move:

“Open the curtains,” you said.
“Make the room bright.”

Link to Amazon here

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Eat the Storms

I was lucky to have my poetry featured on Damien Donnelly’s Dublin poetry podcast, Eat the Storms. You can link to the episode (Spotify) here. (I’m at 33:05-41:40.) Or go straight to the podcast website and browse. You’ll find lots of good stuff from one of the great poetry cities of the world, hosted by the warm and friendly voice of Damien 🙂

Follow the podcast, say hi to Damien, and give him a shoutout for his efforts to give voice to poets of all stripes and stature.

Gary

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Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart

My new book of poems, Schematics and Assemblies of the Cosmic Heart (117 pages), is now available on Amazon (pap. $9.88, Kindle $3.91). Read it. Rate it. Review it. Pass it on.

Link to Amazon here

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Rise and Fall of the Bread Pudding Chef

The bread pudding chef

Three cups of sugar, four
eggs, I stir, and then
you approach: kitchen
becomes temple, stars
move, blood boils and beads
up, I try to concentrate.

Four cups of sugar, three
eggs, you do bring
in thrills a febrile
wild terror of sacrament
unknown or untendered
in safer religions. Stars
move, your glance meets
the window. Three
eggs, I stir, I take
it you are a witch,
my bright-happy blood
beads no amulet.

Picturing a small transgression

i remember
once
the moon
was sinking

and you pushed
it
up with
your hands

“witch” i said
and you kissed me

A fragment

Committing twice the intentional
fallacy, once the affective,
I offered an algebra of clover
and storms sweeping in
along the front range:
snow was in your hair;
you were puzzled.

The bread pudding chef’s lament

Three cups of sugar, four
eggs, I stir, and then
you retreat: kitchen
becomes empty, fruit
sours, cream curdles and dries
up. I try to concentrate.

Four cups of sugar, three
eggs, and the sun became
as sackcloth, the moon
became as blood, the stars
of heaven fell, mountain and island
were moved from their places. Fruit
sours, the center cannot hold.

Babylon the great is fallen, fallen,
and is become the habitation
of devils, and then was there
great weeping and wailing, saying:
alas, alas, that great city,
for in one hour she
is made desolate.

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Bartholomew Park

Joggers traverse the perimeter.
At the center of the park is a playground.
There is one child in the playground.
He pops a head out from under a slide.
He pokes a stick in the sand.
One of the joggers has stopped near a trash barrel.
Several Coke cans and part of the meat of a fruit lay around the barrel.
She is breathing heavily. No, she is weeping.
The child studies something dark that he holds in his hands.

It begins to rain.

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Meng Jiao makes Masticadores

Thanks to Gabriela Marie Milton, editor at MasticadoresUSA, for publishing my poem, “Lost song for Meng Jiao”:

Lost song for Meng Jiao

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In the beginning

I haven’t seen you in 20 years
except in my mind’s eye
the hurricane center of the hot black night
when I slip to our trip to

Galveston. We drove all night,
knowing already it was the end,
and rode the ferry at daybreak,
the sound of the sea and the sad
cry of the gulls
scored upon us.

Then earlier, the southward journeys
past rice farms and shrimping towns
the thick humid patio nights
catching lizards
and laughing.

And earlier still, in the beginning
when we took LSD and lay
all night in a field of sugar cane
tasting the forbidden fruit

afraid

       but liking it

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Lost song for Meng Jiao

I too have seen the winter stream,
waves beating the swords
of ice, dreamed

of imperial jade, green and blue,
of topaz the color of honey.

Cold streams crumple
the ragged banks of dreary forest,
Above the stream the swells of snow,
Further still, the stars by time and distance frozen,

as far away as your language from mine,
as your solitude from mine.

Spring comes on apace.
The waves beat harder. The swords
of ice break like paper branches. We turn
inward, you and I, creatures of the winter, to seek

someone or something approaching,
cold comfort in translation, here,
the icy clarity of the mirror.

Meng Jiao (751–814) was a Chinese poet during the Tang Dynasty.

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#1, #2, or #3

Here are 3 versions of the haiku poem I posted last week. No need to read the original post. Just pick one of the 3 here 🙂

#1
a million falling
stars at once, filling the sky,
hands catch the hot ash

#2
a million falling
stars at once, filling the sky,
the ash they leave us

#3
what dreams may come

A million falling stars
at once, like angels they light
the sky against darkness, but some
thing is wrong. Unlike angels they burn.
Open your hands. You can already
feel, maybe taste,
the hot ash.

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