but aren't they all random?



A Pocketful of Poesy was a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog* up until the great derail of 2013. The impossibly-high standard of quality proved impractical to keep up, without a book deal. But don't take my word for it: click RANDOM and judge for yourself! And feel free to offer your critique.
*based on poem rate for calendar years 2009-2012. Also, kidding about the book deal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the importance of clear goals

I've got my guitar in my hand
as I type this
I want to destroy the world
with my guitar, if possible
and in its place -

who knows?

Maybe just a smooth flat space,
extending endlessly

towards you

This is one reason why

This is one reason why
the term "poem" no longer
carries any distinction:
because it doesn't mean
anything
anymore

Every now and then a noose

Every now and then a noose
slips from the sky and strangles a guy
right before he can say the three
most important words of his life.

Now, when that happens - as his feet
kick out sideways and he's lifted
hovering a foot off the earth,
twisting, trying to make gurking noises
("gurk! gurk!") eyes bugging out,
neck straining, head back unable
to see the rope, to see what it's attached to -
what is going through his mind? Is it

"Oh no - no! Not now! I did not get
the chance to tell her: 'I love you'?"

Fuck no. It's "Get this fucking noose
off me!" I mean, let's be real here:
Love is a luxury you can only pause
to consider
when you're not in the process
of bring being choked to death
by
a
mysterious
airborne
noose.

sunset / coming to earth

The glint in your eyes sets the sky on fire
I watch as the red golden light from your eyes
catches flame, travels back up the sun's warm rays
'til the sky burns - blushing from your beautiful gaze

As the plane tilts in towards the falling sun
as the wings throw their glare through the round window
as we drop like a graceful stone towards the ground
I drink in your glow, and the light turns rose

I know that you aren't the cause of it all,
that science decrees it's the sun makes the light
but if science were here, in the air next to you
it would judge twixt the two, and declare you more bright

We are hung up like stars, suspended like clouds
our lives lie awaiting us down on the ground
we could peer out the window and see them almost
so tiny and far, like the ghosts of a ghost

but we'll step back into them and bring them to life
once we get back to earth, leaving heaven behind
and it has been a heaven - to be by your side
and to wish on your kisses, and dream in your eyes

you and I and the sun are alone in the air
the three of us sinking, so steadily down
when we reach steady ground, you and I will get out
and step back into earth, leaving heaven behind

With my eyes shut tight

With my eyes shut tight
I can see your smile -
the image etched in
by shining light.
You are lit from within
and I close my eyes,
and I walk to you
and you are my guide.
You are lighting my path.
Just the memory of you
pulls me on, draws me in,
though I walk in the dark -
I know I am safe.
You are lit from within
And I keep my eyes closed
'til I find your embrace.

The End Needs A Little Work

My day is gray
and dim and drear
inside my head
without you dear
even though outside
the sun is brilliant,
bright and cruel

I look around
inside my mind
from memories
to future times
cherished moments, future hopes
unsure - but no less true

the sky clears out
inside my head
the clouds dissolve
from white to red
the sunset bursts
the light regains
its color and its glow

I see you here
inside my mind
you smile
and the knots unwind
the tension clears
my thoughts stretch out
to punch you in the fucking mouth

aw hell no! Wait, you know
I'd never hit a lover, I just, you know
sometimes you get mad
towards the end of a poem
when it doesn't work out
right

I don't have to describe
everybody
knows that pain

revocable

cancel everything
all fond words, all silences broken
take back all understandings and misunderstandings, hints, glances
brushes of hands
(as the stick was passed),
clinks of glass
to toasts made and to toasts unspoken - to wishes too dear to speak
aloud (lest they never come true, as we all know a wish will never come
true
when you tell!) - put it out of your mind. Roll it all back.
Take back everything.
Unmemorize.
Forget.
Live life. Act as though.
And then, when I see you again -
suddenly see it all rush back in - as if no time had passed
as if you had been there all along - just waiting for me to turn around!
and it all rushes back, with no hint of surprise
just like never apart
see it come rushing back
coming in like the sea
in your beautiful eyes.

summer then

summer
hot
the sticky tack of asphalt

floating
heat
breathe
stink hot
sunburnt lips from earlier

bed, cool by comparison -
still hot.
darkness
crickets
fall slowly asleep
fall slowly asleep

pine -
whisper of needles
- smell of pine
close
stifle
eyes open
dim silhouette - needled branches, over
a dark dark gray square
night
here comes
a car rolls by outside
tires fade away,
sticky
licking the street

I never understand your eyes

I never understand your eyes
they tell me things that can't be true
I guess I'd say "too good to be"
but no clich├ęs apply to you.

Your smile is a mystery
so when you smile, mine is too
since even though I don't know why
I cannot help but echo you

subtleties

the subtleties
of what I mean
are far too subtle
to tease out
although my meaning
should be clear
you'd never hear it
from my mouth
there's some connection
missing there
between the tongue
and scrambled brain
and only one thing fills it in
by kissing me
you've made it plain

Scratches and Claws

I wish that what I had to say
could find the words itself
it makes as if to claw its way
straight through my chest, and leaves my mouth
without so much as one good word
to start a proper, pretty speech
a string of words such as I often toss
without a thought to each.
How lightly do they usually go -
like pebbles skipped across a pond
the dappled surface lightly grazed
by dotted line - the depths unplumbed
but no such words come to me now
I'm moved by heavy, leaden things
that make as if to claw my heart
as all my words lie locked within

faith, love

when life goes, love
will not linger after.
There will be no music in the heavens
to waft our souls skyward; we, our hands
clasped as we rise, gazes interlocked,
will drop like stones into the grave
and wither ever after. You know this.
Whatever I may know on the topic
is neither here nor there, really.
And anyhow: "know" is far too strong a word
to waste on hunches and puffs of whimsy
such as I was brought up to believe in.
Still,
I love you.
I believe in love,
and

I am glad I was born

gullible.

fecklessly

such music in your laugh - who was
the artist who composed the tune?
who taught you how to make that face?
who put the you I love in you?
you light the room, but from within
I sit just wondering awhile
who strung the stars that light your eyes?
who hid the sun inside your smile?

the stopper

your heart has had enough of love
it won't believe a word of it
and as the hurt fades from your eyes
you see the truth in what was said
but don't believe a word of it
your heart has been through floods and hells
and though it can't take any more
your heart can live on nothing else

Slung

slung in a hammock, not swaying at all
contemplation takes on new meaning
as the mind empties, empties, empties
of all the,
of all of the,
the whatever it was, that was in there.
Blue, invincible sky
between the blades of tree leaves
shuffling and whispering together,
idly wondering "what are the names of these
two trees, that this hammock is slung between?"
Am I idly wondering?
Or are the leaves idly wondering? I admit
it's become quite ambiguous

nature:

nature:
implacable, relentless;
hates us all,
equally,
with a blind passion
indifferent to our uniqueness, our loves,
our needs.
But we win in the end
by saying to nature
in the end:
"it's okay. I loved
you anyway."

Requiem for Big Joan

I have lived life too large. Experience
has crushed and crashed in waves.
I've been joined at the hip,
with souls unknown. Thrown
from the decks of dry-docked ships.
All of life's lessons learned
too late.
My life has been epic and tragic,
and useless.

Won't you please?

When I say "be mine" - I mean just that
I wish to list you among my possessions
Right at the very top of that list. This
is not empty flattery.

I made the mistake

I made the mistake
of giving you that hat
that looked like a pillow
with the stuffing knocked out. Black
on top, and a floppy black brim.
and in between black, like a letterbox screen
of a beautiful bruised morning sky - blue,
white, purple and gray. As stupid as it seems
after all these years - every time I see
a piece of sky that looks like that,
I think of that hat
and you in it.
God,
I loved you
in that stupid hat

As eyes go, yours

As eyes go, yours are nice enough.
Brown and warm, like, well...let's not go there.
But you have nice eyes, as I've said.
It's strange that there are not many gems
that color. It's a pretty color, but
what to compare it to?
Who cares about the blue, blue sky!
When did the sky ever touch you? Sink down instead
go on your knees to the deep rich earth, sink your fingers
into the loam. The earth has tones
richer and warmer than the empty air can boast.
Yet who wants to be told: your eyes, they are as dirt to me?
They are as the soil, rich with life and flecked with gold and precious ores?
That's a good way to get your head smacked sideways
by the girl with the pretty brown eyes.

"the Sudden Valentine"

Your valentine eyes flicker,
lashes lashing out
with a flip disregard
of society's whims.
Why should two such beautiful eyes not stare?
Look all you want, you!
You,
with your tongue
sliding over a ridge of even white teeth,
as the spasm of a smile
tugs one corner of your lips. You
with your sultry, sultry gaze, and your
oh so scandalous ways. But oh, so prim
and proper now, are we? Well two can play
that game too, you slut! Albeit, not as well
as you do. No, never so well as that.
Take me!
with your swift motions
and sudden hands whisking, diving,
undoing worlds of inaction,
each flashing moment frozen
as if two lovers
caught forever,
set under glass, were freed
in one greedy moment.
Take me! and rock me!
wrap me in the rolling, naked embrace
of one night's passionate folds, searching
each other, exploring each other's every nook and cranny
as we melt like buttah. Yes, sex
is what I mean. Though I put it in an elegant way,
though I put it in an elegant place, right where you like it,
yes! Right there! There! Yes! Oh! Right in your
poem!

a brush, with

I hung out with a poet once. Not an important one,
- are there important ones? Nowadays, I mean -
but published, at least. Published in books.
And an expert in poetry, one should say.
He teaches it, or at any rate, literature - in Ohio.
His name's George. Once we sat eating Greek:
my girlfriend and I, he and his sister,
all around a square table. Or maybe not his sister
now that I think again. Her absence, rather,
hovered over us as we sat eating Greek, and
discussing a book - not an important one, but
by a prominent guy, at least. I read it later on.
It was kind of perverted!

"Thank God for You, Valentine"

When Christ, Our Lord, reached out his sacred hand
to lift your chin, and look you in the eyes -
forgiveness flowed, and overflowed your heart.
So too, we two were mingled in that gaze.
Our hearts were joined, our thoughts commingled, too -
a love as pure and sweet as marigolds
swayed swimming in a sea of field-green wind -
yet shone their golden faces to the sun!
That, then, was how I knew that we were one.
That we were blest, as only fools can be.
And so, Dear Lord, we lift us up our love,
and dedicate our hearts, to beat in Thee.

A Valentine from Way Over Here

Dear valentine:
we were never that close
and since we started fucking
that distance has only grown
sometimes it seems like I am fucking you from across the room
other times, it's like fucking from across town
that distance between us, well
it inspires some pretty ambitious sexual positions,
but we don't care.
That's just how we do it!

We two were meant for things we'll never do

We two were meant for things we'll never do
meant for being thrown together
like we never were
together, like our lives never were
like we never were complete,
although, we never felt alone
as if somehow we'd always known
we'd end up meant to be

For God so loved us both
that he sent his only son
just to be our chaperone

now sometimes we both wonder
the same thing, at
the same time
but you can't see it in my eyes,
- blinded by distance -
and all I'm left with is a hunch.
I bet you've had the very same one.
And that's a pretty good bet, but
we'll never shake on it

In some fantasy afterlife,
our various ancestral clans
place salacious bets, looking down
fully expecting us to get
together
and they know it's a lock
But it's one we can't pick,
can we?

maybe with some mysterious assist:
- God rubs the dice on his sleeve,
hooting with faux disapproval
as rakish angels with cocked halos
savor our fall from grace

it could happen

you could end up meant for me

wake up! open your eyes: you moron,
you could still end up meant for me

we two were meant to wake up
to open our eyes
to make use of ourselves
entirely

but
I suppose it's no use
to continue in this vein
(though miraculous epiphanies
can happen at any time, of course).
And yes - a miracle can happen,
even after you have given up on it.
but it's no use looking at your watch.

we two were meant to wake up
to open our eyes
to see

At some point you have to
wake up, open your eyes, and see.

you know, a dream that never comes true
can still be true

redeye

time.
stops.
for 5 hours
,
sitting suspense
inside a giant pill.
pressure in your head, ears stuffed
with ambient sound; hiss of air
from a thousand plastic nozzles
letting the air in from nowhere
waiting
looking around the cabin
the backs of peoples' heads
waiting.
looking out the window: earth so bright -
the ground so far below, colors
thinning out into the air,
colors thinning out
into blue

waiting.
the outside window has
(squint)
a tiny crack in it
just a crack
- waiting

Annoyed, you look up
you reach up,
twist the toy nipple shut
cutting off the air (that blasts your eyes for a second)
button click
turning off the little light.
grasp at the handle, pull
down
push
sliding the window panel down,
shutting out the light.
The light comes from inside now
brown, dim, like a paper bag
with a flashlight inside
dim enough to sleep, but
not enough for you to sleep.
There are
books to read,
and magazines, and
this safety card.
If You Are Seated In An Exit Row
but you are not seated in an exit row.
you would like to be seated in an exit row
it would be nice to have some responsibility.
your book seems to have petered out
right in the middle of a sad chapter.
Sad,
but not sad enough
to want to keep dragging through it
with itchy eyes, and a neck
that kinks when you shift your seat

now you are a little worried. you always are

you wish this poem was over, already
safely over! Well Over
coming in smooth and graceful, with that rubber jolt and bump and rumbling roll
letting you know "OK! Even if
the wheel struts snap - we're already on the ground now,
and the fuel is spent (mostly) - and so we'll probably all get out okay"
(mostly)
but
the poem isn't over.
It's going to keep dragging on

dragging through the thin blue sky
in a high white arc
til the clouds go dark
in another couple hours.
til the clouds go dark,
and the wheels come out
and time restarts.
For another couple hours,
waiting.
you reach over, pull
push,
open the window

- just a crack

My love for you is smarter than it looks

My love for you is smarter than it looks
it sizes up its opportunities
seizes them, each for what it's worth -
its sneakered feet sneaking round corners
spying upon you for your weak moments -
devious in its sly insinuations, whispered
sweet nothings, nothing-definitives,
nothing-you-can-proves. And yet -
despite, or in spite of, or perhaps
out of spite, to spite itself -
my love for you
loves you

My love for you is unable to take your call right now

My love for you is unable to take your call right now
if this is an urgent call, requiring immediate assistance -
if you are unable to await the return of my love -
please contact either my indifference,
at extension twenty-one fourteen
or my ire,
at extension twenty-seven seventy.
Otherwise, please leave a message.
My love for you will get back to you
at its earliest convenience.

my feelings for you are aberrant

my feelings for you are aberrant
they can be picked apart, let slide
under a microscope, characterized,
classified, but we both know
what the lab result will be.
We know what it is we're dealing with
here, and what to make of it:
love.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

To My Muse

To My Muse

My muse took wing
and drifted off
a feather in
the wind

And since I couldn't
follow that, my
inspiration
thinned

But since she flew,
I've never missed
her whispers
in my ear

Because her whispers
from before
are all
that I can hear