Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hallway Haiku

A girl, one hand in
her boyfriend's hair, the other
clutching her cell phone.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

West on Route 2 (excerpt)

The Writer

We write poems now,
our words messengers, carriers
of curious cargo.
I want to be the poem, read over
and over, steps of words,
fame woven with familiarity,
held on the lips, intimate
with the mouth, forming shapes
over and over, punctuated by “oh!”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Poem (Take two. It's really here this time.)

Rocks

I.

Solid, stable,
an anchor, a handhold
when the world
runs cold.
Stoic and quiet,
silent layers of
sedimentary secrets.
He stands tall above
my single-digit self,
his snowy peak unscalable,
the air’s thin up there.
Can I, will I ever
climb that high?
Seismic shifts of years
brought him—wore him—down.
Cracked and broken,
slipping away—not even
a rock stays.


II.

Hard, slick when wet,
sharp and pointed.
Careful where you fall,
and upon whom
you fall. Rock
on rock, plate tectonics,
her stubborn shale against my
yielding sandstone.
Wore me down, she
seemed unscarred, convecting
the cold through herself.


III.

Another rock, solid, dark.
Stifling pressure,
squeezing her darkness
into diamonds—
the jewels of her words,
strong, focused beams
reach into my corners, light
splitting through watery prisms,
into a spectrum, color
against stark, weeping walls,
deep within.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Trust, Heat

Trust, Heat


“Trust heat,”
my student’s poem
says. Trust, heat,
I think.
Trust and heat,
verbs and nouns,
actions and objects.
Why object?
Trust heat, let it
lead you, like a
tree turning toward the sun—
bearing fruit. Bear it
when it grows heavy
and your limbs know it—
let your muscles burn
while you think of the
sweet promise inside.

Light and heat from the
same source.
More emotional alchemy—
fear, anger, worry are
all drawn
into my soul’s strong wick.
Light seeking direction,
darkness to fill,
to illuminate.

Reignite the torch,
find your key,
let the shepherd
in your heart lead you—
a gentle nudge, a wet nose,
a familiar paw.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ride Report, Tues. 5/12/09 (poetic version)

Lords of the big rings,
small-cog spinners, mid-pack winners,
fully kitted saints and sinners
in the church of the maxed-out heart,
whirling dervishes on a different plane--

Slicing the blossomed air
each forward surge a dare
drop the shoulders, hands
loose on the hooks--
hey, how's my form look?

Good move, I say aloud,
as someone grabs a wheel--three's a crowd--
two off the front, empty road rises ahead,
teamwork, an alliance unsaid.

Riding, surfing a swelling wave,
crawling out of the cave
of my mind into the
slanting dusk--
push on, perfect circles--
today, I must.

My alchemy machine,
stress and anger burn the best--
off the front now, in the
soft asphalt quiet, alone,
no chance for rest--

But no need! My speed
keeps me upright as we
hurtle into damp, sweet twilight.

It's not a bike, but a
fulcrum, a magical lever--
right now I'm immortal,
turn those cranks forever!

Ride Report, Tues. 5/12/09 (factual version)

Time: One hour, 51 minutes, 20 seconds.

Distance: 35.9 miles.

Average speed: 19.2 mph.

Maximum speed: 39.5 mph.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Poem

Drafts in the Room

Cloudy day in the classroom.
The sun’s inverse outside--
a first draft is a dirty window,
I say, and you must clean it.
Revision resistance, the myth
of the perfect first draft
rises, shrouded in this
mind-mist in my midst.

Revise or continue are the
options for today. Look
back or forward—
up to you.

Your first draft is
a candle in the room,
throwing feeble light.
Show us the carved wood,
the chandelier, the
shapes and sounds of
a living room--
bring in the torches, raise
the blinds and invite us into
all the rooms of your mind.

You enter a relationship
with your writing, I say—
think of friends, family, love—
not always easy.
Befriend your writing, offer it
a drink, a handshake, a hug,
a pat on the back, a place to rest,
to lay her head on your lap.
Let it ask you things—

take your time in replying,
but get it in by Monday.

A Letter to My Students

I don’t say it enough, but I care about you. Each of you. That’s why I’m here. It’s too much work to do it for the money, so there must be ...