Saturday, May 14, 2011

They Smile In Your Face

Ten of Swords
Wounded Healer

It's been a while since I've kissed the scars
Of someone I love. The indentation in your leg,
The star shape to the left of your navel,
The weal sewn over your heart. No more
Delicate fingertips and wide-eyed awe here.
When you first know a body, you count the scars,
You wonder over them, you hear every story
These marks tell. You are hungry for the news.
You would push the point of your tongue
Into a tiny, still-red canyon, mining
For information, for emotion, for the undeniable
Truths of the past. Now it's an act of faith
To overlook what hurt you so long ago.
It's tempting for us damaged
To worship the wounds, you know.
So I resist, slide my lips quickly over and past
Those places, over and past for you.
These next few moments are what I live for.

The interpretation of this card, counterintuitive as it may seem, is that this could be the card of highest revelation and enlightenment in the tarot. The woundedness forces the subject into deep inner knowing. Think of the swords as acupuncture needles along a meridian, and it makes more sense. His head is turned away from blame or martyrdom and toward the clearing skies.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let My Freak Flag Fly

Mother's Day means I get all the real grated parmesan cheese I want on the pasta, and that I can get up in the middle of dinner and add some lines to a poem.


I always read while I brush my hair.
It keeps my mind off the pain. I used to cry
When my mother used to brush it,
So she started taking me to the Navy-base barber,
Along with my brother, to get it all cut off.
"Pixie cut," they called it. I looked more like
My great-aunt's skinny chihuahua, shivering
After a dip in the deep end of the pool.
(Oh, for heaven's sake,
Yes, let the record also show that
My mother had five children and a job,
And found time to sew our clothes
And matching Barbie-doll outfits
And crossed the border to Tijuana
To get us the prettiest birthday pinatas.
The fault is not with her, but with me,
For never being cute enough
To carry off short hair.)
I am reading, or trying to read
"Annals of Science" in the New Yorker:
"Dream Machine: The mind-expanding world of quantum computing."
I never took math or science past 10th grade.
My mind leaps to the easy part:
Play with the words, think about sex,
Wonder what this science might tell me about love.
I learn that like a poem (you saw that coming)
No one can really say
What a quantum computer is good for.

We are sweating in your apartment
Over a canvas so large it fills the floor.
You have just moved in, and there's no furniture.
You are trying to show me how to draw
A perfect circle, using a string and a pencil and a pin.
The cord knots up on itself and the canvas
Wrinkles and I give up, tell you,
"I can do it, I can draw it freehand."
And I do. The circle becomes the sun.

My solipsism is not a closed circle;
I am open to new experience.
If I am only just bright enough to learn through my senses,
I would pray you admit that there may be
More of these than five, and I (and those like me)
Might understand in ways we don't yet understand.
I live by language, and today I find myself
In another world, where pronouns
Are entirely ambiguous. Who are you?

I read: "a brilliant and distressingly thin physicist"
And I feel my hands pressing for (and not finding)
The place in your shoulders where the pain hides.
I read: "The fabric of reality" and I see my hands
Slipping under your shirt. I read: "Quantum mechanics
States that particles can be in two places at once"
And I see the faces in the firelight, and those
Sleeping at home. I read: "two particles can be related,
Or 'entangled,' such that they can instantly
Coordinate their properties, regardless of their distance
In space or time," and I remember staring
Into your eyes, and starting to cry
Without knowing why.

"Einstein found entanglement
Particularly troubling,
Denigrating it as
'Spooky action
At a distance,'
A telling phrase,
Which consciously echoed
The seventeenth-century
Disparagement of gravity."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Of Safety And Surprise

Of course it's not really the end of anything.


So this must end
And that must end and
The other must come
To an end as well.
Even a rock will crack
Under such seepage,
Split as sure as rot.
Under a dark moon, void
Of course, here's
The formula, the slime
And vine whose twist
Found the fissure and
Pulled the granite
Beneath the creek's surface.

Photo: Legit and my own for once; Sunday run on Soapstone trail. Nine stream crossings in .9 miles, big fun.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Your Tulips

Got five minutes to write the poem I started yesterday!

Thanks to all who voted for me for Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere(R). I love the registered mark. I'm going to put it after damn near everything from now on. I was not a Winner(R), but I feel very warm inside(R) nonetheless.


From early on, I stopped paying
Attention to the numbers
Of books lent, kisses given
And received, numbers of nights spent
Crying, either on each other's sofas
Or in each other's arms, or beers,
Or any rounds passed around--
The return on keeping
Track of these is mean.

But track I did the phases
Of the moon, the path of sun,
The rise and fall of bodies
Of water, the week to expect
Certain fruits and flowers,
When to look for mud or drought
Or storms. The earth's clockwork
Fueled my faith in abundance.
I knew more would be given.
On Beltane, at my feet lay
A nectar-sticky tulip poplar flower,
A full month before blooms of other years,
A full month before the bees
(Fewer every year) come to harvest,
And I felt the outrage of betrayal.