Tuesday, December 22, 2015

They and Their Song Shape and Sleep Manhattan

During the revolution, iron
chains ate fighter
ship hulls beneath
my rippling reflection.
British and American
blood gurgled the cold dark.

The Hudson's nervy
waves erode Manhattan,

but curving around
the cloisters, slowly
cutting stone, the white-
capped water continuously salutes
West Point soldiers. Now,

if you're sitting still, you'll
hear kind calm lullabies
roiling through sea
air. Violent deaths cannot
muffle the songs of valiant men,
even under watery graves.


Monday, December 7, 2015

100,000 Pageviews

I just saw that I now have over 100,000 page views.*

I feel like this:
Kyle, Holly, and Nicolas

*Who cares if ninety percent of the views are likely my own naval gazing.


A Letter to Nicolas Erickson

All the walls will fall. I've labored over a work for you for over a decade -- many works, actually. Salinger's Buddy Glass had Seymour, and I have you. I relate to the second born of a large brood, and to one who likes to write. By default he became the eldest because of an absent first born. You're not absent, but you've often gone your own way regardless of others' wishes and sometimes regardless of understandable logic. Forgive me if this opening is cruel. I've had to be cruel to myself to write this. I'm currently writing purely from the heart, so this is trash. I hope art will enter later.

There's no doubt you've bravely blazed your future legacy with all sincerity. Oh! the cost of being fearlessly earnest! If we could but wear another face for a while, prepare a face for the faces that we meet -- to rip off Eliot. But we can't.

You know, I've recently torched my own trail. I have regrets, but as Joy Harjo said, we must "let go of regrets."

This is a poorly constructed letter. Each paragraph builds an incomplete thought and leaves the reader wanting. Let me begin again.

All the walls will fall. By this I mean "nothing gold can stay." Brosef, we're so heavenly minded we're sometimes no earthly good. William Blake took pride in this state, but though it doesn't show in his writing, he had to be terribly embarrassed at times. I hope he was ashamed. I am. I'm ashamed of how much I've longed for transcendence. Our family has suffered for our being overly heavenly minded.



As you know, Whitman stirred my soul and confused me. I experienced "church" with Whitman, and I thank poetry for making me want to stay in this world.

Czeslaw Milosz confessed he'd be likely damned to a lower level of hell because he loved making literature more than his loved ones. What happens to us who love loved ones so much that we know we must be honest to our calling regardless of whether or not they understand?

I thank God for His grace and mercy, and I thank my family for the same.

How does anyone stand this world. I can only "get the news I need from the weather report." Televised news in America is heartache.

I'm still too honest in this letter to construct a descent metaphor.

Back to the news. Can poetic intuition help one disregard the pain of the world? No. Pa-pa asked us when we'd be ready to be Christ for the world. No one can be Christ but Christ. Yet, we endure our attempting to be like Him. And we're horrible at it, brother. We can't remain sinless, and attempting to do so leans toward the type of pride that got Lucipher kicked out of heaven.

Kyrie eleison! Our primary prayer and life's work must be a cry for mercy and forgiveness -- for ourselves and others. Christ said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." I say, "Forgive us because we often no better and don't choose to do it."

As I ended each previous paragraph, I'll end this letter abruptly.

I love you. I miss you.

Kyle


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mental Music

Eva asked, "You have
a photographic
memory?" "I don't

know," I said. "Bluebirds
are my favorite
aves. They can make
melodies that quake

my heart to weeping -- .
Spell your name from back
to front, add an "s",
and think of blue wings.

Sing, Eva, and you'll find
mind photography
unnecessary."


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Counter Poems #10 - #12

Rick Farmer said, "keep
putting one boot in front
of the other." It's easier
to turn a boot than a rudder.


I'm from Oklahoma and Texas
where knives and guns
are as ubiquitous as chewing gum.
I couldn't care less about a Lexus.


When the Earth Shakes
bake bread, do what your
mama said, and wake
early. Brother's are a bore.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Counter Poem #9

What is more intimate: a New
Yorker kiss on the cheek
or a Southern hug? Either
way, you breathe in a friend.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sheri's Wait

She spoke to Mr. Cancer.
He gave her little time.
She insisted.

            Once a blue
bird, not a blue jay,
rested on her vacant
shoe. She thought
this through:

         Some jays mock
and steal the nests
of other aves.

Sheri wrestled cancer till
she nestled in blue dreams.
She won a night's sleep.