two stolen poems and a forced memory

Having spent the entire part of today, most of yesterday and a good portion of saturday so self-, and another-, involved, tied up tightly inside dark internal feuds, I find sticking to my goals quite difficult.  Staying within the lines I drew out for this project is proving harder than I thought.  And so I found myself in bed, having fully abandoned this vessel to the shift in tide.  

I do not forget.  Ever.  And grudges and regrets are piled high on my wagon as I push it back and forth through the square begging for pennies.  Without this forgetting, I do not forgive.  And so I continue to trudge.  Daily inventory of my stock must be meticulously calculated both morning and night.  Afternoons are spent making sure I’ve missed nothing.  Nothing.  

I know my flaws.  I judge myself harshly by them.  

two poems by Frank O’Hara

Morning
I’ve got to tell you
how I love you always
I think of it on grey
mornings with death

in my mouth the tea
is never hot enough
then and the cigarette
dry the maroon robe

chills me I need you
and look out the window
at the noiseless snow

At night on the dock
the buses glow like
clouds and I am lonely
thinking of flutes

I miss you always
when I go to the beach
the sand is wet with
tears that seem mine
although I never weep
and hold you in my
heart with a very real
humor you’d be proud of

the parking lot is
crowded and I stand
rattling my keys the car
is empty as a bicycle

what are you doing now
where did you eat your
lunch and were there
lots of anchovies it

is difficult to think
of you without me in
the sentence you depress
me when you are alone

Last night the stars
were numerous and today
snow is their calling
card I’ll not be cordial

there is nothing that
distracts me music is
only a crossword puzzle
do you know how it is

when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
I beg you do not go

 

My Heart

I'm not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don't prefer one "strain" to another.
I'd have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says "That's
not like Frank!", all to the good! I
don't wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart--
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

 

When I was ten or eleven, maybe even twelve… the exact age is blurred into a thousand minor mismanaged details but I shall continue.  When I was some age, not yet quite of teen, I was found many a morning running wire or hanging boxes on some job site under the never so watchful eye of my father.  Never so watchful due to trust not neglect I guess should be mentioned.  One of these mornings was a frigid and bone shattering cold  winter Saturday found not so inside the unfinished frame of a home on some not quite developed platte of soon to be neighborhood.  These open sores of soon to be suburban bliss were notorious for their biting winds that blew across open un- treed or grassed fields of two by four  and plastic and plywood.  And so I was found to be early that Saturday morning gloved and multi layered crouched in too big winter boots attempting to wire my way into a hefty paycheck of cash and hot chocolate.  Finally having reached the limits of my overtired, over frozen fingers, I decided to plant my body as close as possible to the propane heater parked in the more protected centrally located “room”.  Here I attempted to reconnect with those unheard from locales situated at my most extreme extremities.  Freezing cold, drowsy eyed, and just plain young, I stood as close as i could, short of crawling inside the flame for a nap.  As was inevitable, where there is fire, I will get burned.  I believe the smell of burning hair hit my nostrils at the same moment the nerves in my leg thawed enough to alert the pain sensors.  I looked down to discover I had managed to burn a nice thigh high hand sized hole through three layers of legged garments.  My dad’s equally inevitable answer was “heh, looks like you stood to close.”   

I am sure I can draw numerous tiresome parallels between that moment to these present moments in my life.  

I am equally sure my father’s words are still applicable.

I am also quite sure I have no desire to.  I would rather put these words down for now.  Let them sit.  Return to them another day.

I shall try to be content enough with the fact that I did this at all today.  Today when I had abandoned the ship to allow myself to sink.  

Some days are not about progress or productivity.

Some days are simply about putting the time in.  

—–And JM, thank you.  I was only able to write at all because I decided at the very last moment today to check your site and see if you had written. And finding you had, and very well might I add, I knew that I must too.  So, thanks… and stuff. And I’m looking forward to hearing much more about those stories.   

 

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