Monday, July 29, 2013

OLD LOVE


OLD LOVE

You misunderstand me: I do not
love peaches. I ridicule peaches.
Perhaps you can’t do that. But I do
scoff at them. May I do that. I may.
As for bicycles 

and cheesecake: you are correct–
I would sacrifice anyone in the world
to have bicycles and cheesecake (other 
than Faye, of course.)

And yes, I do like nougat. It’s a fine 
word, a good word, a naughty word
a word that–

It doesn’t matter. Now I am thinking
of Faye. For her, I would do anything–
the rest may go.

watercolor by faye hunter

PLOWED


PLOWED

If an umbrella could walk–
how cool would that be!

If I could walk–
I would like to own an umbrella

••

PLOWED UNDER

If an umbrella could walk–
how cool would that be!

If I could walk–
if I could be an umbrella–

••

PLOWED AWAY

If an umbrella could walk–
how cool would that be!

If I could be an umbrella
I would like to be me
In a dark field filled with candles,
Agave read from the Upanishads. 
There were tree frogs everywhere
but no guns. There were trucks.
Since there were candles but
no fires, there were people
but in a dark field filled with
darkness. And three guitars
playing What Is Life. Funny,
not that question, but funny
that the same man who wrote
What Is Life also wrote Beware
Of Darkness. What is Life?
Beware of Darkness. This 
dark field says what life is,
which is, Watch Out. But

Not now. Wait. This warm feeling
of everyone in a dark field smiling 
wants to say:

Nice candles. Nice life.
Even though we are here
for a terrible thing, everything
else is simply OK. Don’t worry.
Stay OK. 
OK. OK.

for faye 

I requested that you photograph a cloud outside the window.
You replied with a photograph of my blue sleeve.

The response to my request pleased me; still,
the cloud outside the window was frightfully indignant:

it threw things at the both of us that felt like water
mixed with the feeling that one has when one

is too close to a tuba even tabla in the early morn
or burning one’s very heart with an old match

from a pack leftover
from a failed 
presidential campaign

and he is smiling this candidate
and has no idea of what will soon 
happen but that is no

different than a cloud or sleeve
or what ever may be left

of us and what often occurs
after a terrible explosion
that we must not mention


GRACE

I sent a complaint letter to a very important person
and it was twenty pages long and it was front to back
typed and single spaced. I used my best vocabulary but
I did better than that. I looked up words that I didn’t know
just to use words that were more powerful than things that
I did know. This must never happen again to anyone ever
was my complaint, but I used everything in my power
to make it harder to understand and harder to pick up
and harder than ever to do anything about. Why did I 
do that? My heart was there and I was young, but the
intern was young, too, and he read the letter or at least 
tried to a little, finally gave you and threw it away on his way to the enchilada that he ate every day at the little place with the umbrellas, far away from work and trouble and all that we know now.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

REQUIEM FOR A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT


Everyone enjoyed his smile and cheery 
greetings in the morning. His Chinese wife and
his nice dog. The way he say Yay! to fireflies. 
His brown hair. His shiny bike and his dainty 
looking helmet.



I cut out a picture of Jean Stafford even though I only knew her vaguely. What I really mean is I recognized her name. In the picture she is wearing a light jacket with aviator lapels and a dark blouse.

Her hair is pulled back and strands are escaping on both sides. She is looking to the right of the photographer and towards the sky or ceiling. She is not smiling. She seems to be suppressing a thought. Her lips are pursed. She seems certain. She seems hurt. The photo must be years and years old. 

When you look up “Jean” here are the people you find first:

Jean Claude van Damme
Jean Harlow
Jean Stapleton

Not Jean Stafford.

I understand that Jean Stafford wrote very well. I do not think she is still alive.

I don’t think this is what Jean Stafford looked like. 

I fold the photograph and put it in my wallet. I will never have to explain this to anyone. 

This is a Jean Stafford story I like to say.  But I can’t truthfully say that it  is.
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