In this packet
are daisy seeds.
Plant by June’s end,
at ½ inch depth, in full
or partial sun.
“…where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiancies shining in bright mind essence, innumerable lotuslands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven”
I don’t know about radiancies or holiness or magic.
And I don’t know about uncreated emptiness or bright mind essence,
but I do know this:
When I was driving home today the temperature gauge on my car
suddenly shot up to 220° and then dropped to 180°
and then again rose fast
up to 240° when I idled.
I kept watching that needle,
Because I also know a car’s temperature
shouldn’t do that.
Something was wrong.
I almost pulled over
Who would come rescue me?
How long can I leave my car on the side of this road?
What would become of it?
Instead I kept driving half-expecting the car to die.
But I made it home.
So I did my bounden home duty and recklessly plow-mowed the .13 acres of my lawn.
And in the process pushed my way into
a swarm of butterflies.
(and by this, I mean, at least 7 butterflies flying frantic from tree leaf to sky and then into one another and attaching and detaching themselves, alighting, landing on the tips of bush branches, where they would push off with impossible Herculean strength to effortlessly skyrocket and make an instant upward cork screw to nip the wings of one another in the dying sun of my backyard)
I wondered if they were fighting
while secretly hoping
they were just skylark playing
when one landed on my belly.
I’d forgotten about the car.
Drawers hang open like some dumb tongues
Hanging out of mute wooden mouths,
Lights are left on – I don’t mean to do this, but I do,
Music’s weirder and louder too,
Dust can be seen (my friend says it’s dead skin piling up),
The bed’s not right,
Don’t always lock the front door at night,
More beer cans, in general,
And the shower’s dirtier and so is dinner.
I know. She makes this so much brighter.
What was it
when I was sitting in the booth
across from the two state police cops
dressed in metal and blue?
Their shining faces were
glowing too hard as they ate flesh and blood.
They talked low and close with suspicious
glances at the strip mall bar patrons
who gulped cigarettes and liquors
while stumbling for words to help
one another through the day,
cow-eyed, listless, innocent,
but waiting for something
better to happen.
On a Sunday, the cruel TV flickers as cops sit
and eat and stare and so do we
and then we all drive home to
a screaming empty house filled
with jagged plastic toys,
and we all stop looking at each other for a while,
but never quite comfortable from the memory.
A flicker of happiness
is sometimes found
in the fires we build
to make temporary light,
or when we pretend for one another.
Even as we stagger through dull days,
with the numb dumbness
of the muddy ruts we make,
when we tense at awful traffic,
or shine hate from hearts
to others in our way.
So, together we puncture these staggering
doldrums with a collective breath,
this pregnant stasis that threatens at all instances
to overspill our thirst
and drown our false terror.
Breathe out pure air.
Here we are.
Never before, and never after.
Start the poem with a word.
Or two words. Conjure loss.
Instead plow ahead with the fingers
in the underglow of the computer screen light
so they look much grainier.
Coming in obvious tangible forms like this
see the skin that betrays
the hands that have stayed for so long
they look leathery and pocked now and
not from being worked too hard
or from being unused and dormant
but from sitting still too long during winter’s hard heart
and lulling softly in July’s dampness.
As the head falls hushing down,
slow, into thick,
that were gone, but now pulse alive.