Narrow Chamber Music

I sit in the
n_a
_r_r_
_o_w
chamber
of your
heart
vibrantly
un
___f
____u
_____r
____l
___i
__n
___g
my soul’s
melody,
and,
while it is still
an interrogative
reverberating
in your
h_o_ll_o_w
bones,
I pack up
and go
trudging
away.

I mark
my departure
with a
determination
not to err
as Eurydice caused
Orpheus
to err,
and so
I wander on.

I strain my ears
to timpani
madness
to hear
the echo of
your refrain,
but
all I hear
e
_c
__h
_o
i
_n
__g
are
my torrid
footsteps.

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Désespoir est la chose qui fleurit

Bright, vermilion blossoms
Bubble upward to branch tips,
Thirsting like old, parked ships,
Coaxed forward to bursting rush,
Until, like cold lips, they gush
Forth as melodious thrush
In white effervescent blush.

Softly down they float and whine
Whose interminable grasp
Overreaches that first Asp
Toward the fairest beacon.
Blooms fade; leaves fall; roots weaken;
And other sad stories leak in,
Yet no dusk the day seeks then.

&
if failure is the proof ‘gainst trying,
then let us all leave off from dying,
for here we lie and we’re not sighing
in reckless love; the sin was plying.

Grains which propose golden seascapes’ flow
Must gestate as they glow,
And sudden from the earth they’ll spring
That Vibrate as they Grow.

As, new-anchored in her lotus bloom,
His Venus curls in sleep,
The arbor aisle lies verdant while
Adonis gently weeps.

Writing Implements

“How do you write?”
the moderator
asks.

“Oh! With a
typewriter!”
says she.

Her fingernails clack
on the burnished
tray which
holds
our waters
and she laughs
a
lilting
laugh
along with
the audience.

Her breasts
are smothered
beneath her
burgundy
blazer–
after all
she is more than
simply
a woman;
she is an Artíst.

“It makes me feel
closer
to Hemingway,”
she says.

There it is:
the pretty bow
that constitutes
a writer.

An audience
will fall in love
with wit
like that.

I get my
proximety
to Hemingway
through a bottle of
Vermouth under the
bed
and one of
Rum next to
the cat’s dish.

“And how about you,
sir.
How do you write?”

I swallow hard
against the
implication.

“Different ways,”
I say.
“Whatever is handy
when
the heat
comes.
I’ve written on
grocery lists,
in book margins,
on pamphlets,
church programs,
music scores,
receipts for
cat food,
anything, really.

But I usually write using
my laptop…
or, if I can’t
get to it, then I’ll
use
my phone.

“A phone?”
she says.

“My goodness, what has
our craft
come
to?”

The audience laughs.

I’ve forgotten
how that goes.

I wish I’d told
the truth.

But people can never
forgive you
once you
tell them
the truth.

If I had
shown
more courage,
I would have said:

When that storm
.flashes. and
breaks on me
with its
silent thunder,
the only
implement
common
to all the
writing
I’ve ever
done
is
a chronic
desperation.

The trouble is

The trouble is,
I am a man
to whom
great events
seldom
happen
who is
in possession of
speeches of
great pith
and moment–
puissance
shimmers
about my scapulas
while I take out
the trash
and try not
to drip,
d
r
i
p,
_d
__r
_i
__p,
as the carpet is
ripp_
_ed
and its edges
sl_ip
underfoot
and cannot
.grip.
the
bare
wooden
__floor.__

I am
st.i.tch.ed.
together
by
others’
perfect words
imperfectly recalled,
and yet
am one
whose
own
voice
cannot speak
for trembling.

I am
perfect intentions
with
imperfect execution,
or–wait,
I didn’t mean to use
that word,
“execute,”
it’s so
final
and I’m not done
until
.finally.
you
hear me.