Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Am An Autumn Day

The night before we ate Japanese,
I peeled back the skin of a mandarin and discovered
the pulpy language of Frank O'Hara at its center.
My mind wandered past the sick autumn leaves,
red, yellow, green, brown, green, green, green,
vanishing against the chill of dark.

I like to think I dreamt that night
of excursions in the sun, and meditations
near a fish pond. I imagine the heat painted sweat
on my face and body like the ridges on a growing lizard
which I shed in the water, allowing the gentle lapping
of Aquarius blue to rock against me.

The evening we evaporated,
I spent moments staring at the lip of my green tea,
confusing the sensations of sweet, bitter
and sake with the fermentation of love.
That night, I tucked language on my bookshelf
next to the thoughts of autumn leaving.

To become the blue, blue, blue ocean.

- Written October 22nd, 2011

Where We Found Japan

On Jasper Avenue, a Japanese woman
greets us at the door of Kyoto as we trickle in.
Ten dollars can buy you the western equivalent
of sushi, your first sip of sake, and language.
While the green tea washes your throat
of quickly evaporating alcohol, your bare feet
brush against the wooden floor anxiously
because it is not often one bares their souls
among raw fish, raw curiosity and concentrated
black oils.

- Written October 17th, 2011

Lethargy

Version 1:

I eye a landscape that I have known
for twenty years and watch the clouds
blend into the sky in the same way
I stir cream into my coffee.

I find mountains, stretches of prairie,
a network of rivers, and a fish pond in the center.
There are small waves evoked by the subtle
requirement of breathing.

At a wedding reception, I once met an old man
from Hong Kong who quietly smoked Marlboro
cigarettes. His exhales were patient; he expected time
trickled as slowly as blueberries dried out in the sun.

Now, stroking the flat terrain
of her stomach and the river’s legs and arms,
I wait for the berries to blossom, loving a body
and understanding the ease of indulgence.

Version 2:


Each morning I eye a landscape
I have known for twenty years
and cherish the scent of pear that lingers
on the necks of trees, and on the palms
of peony blossoms.

At a wedding reception,
I once met an old man from Hong Kong
who quietly smoked Marlboro cigarettes.
His exhales were patient; he expected time
trickled as slowly as blueberries dried out in the sun.

Now, stroking the flat terrain
of her stomach and the river’s legs and arms,
I wait for the berries to blossom, loving a body
and understanding the ease of indulgence.

- Written October 25th, 2011

The Dull of After Love

A woman with brown eyes
marvels at the sleek hide of deer,
and the slender necks of cattails caught
swaying in the wind.

Her grandmother is in the kitchen;
this tradition has become a science
where one awakes the chemistry between
pastry dough and crabapples like a slow
misunderstanding.

She is the biology of it all,
concentrated into a quietly beating heart,
and dissolving the day into its ordinary
parts of morning, afternoon and evening.

The deer have gone away by now,
leaving the aspens to shroud an emptiness
that crawls into the bones of two wild dogs.
They moan like precise lovers:
controlled, dissatisfied.

She thinks they must be huskies,
those that are warm, and large, and grey.
They howl long into the night, and unravel
the seasons.

- Written October 25th, 2011