With Arms of Blue
To go along dying and singing
To go along living and breathing
into a world that is dying, cloves
knocking into lungs, the bloody
raincoat of love, that poor shrub
of a spouse spilling always, a multitude
of whiny details.
Misery, complaints, traffic, the cost
of things, etcetera etcetera.
Forty years, you'd think I'd have learned
each groove in the rock I call my life
by now. You'd think.
I run my hand along the banister of days
and come up with splinters.
I build a bed to die in and my daughter calls
on the telephone requesting to borrow
The audience I think I have is not real.
The lover I thought was mine is so far gone
by morning it would take a time machine
to find him.
All my dreams draw up beside me
wagging their tails.
As I reach to pat their heads,
an hysteria of teeth and nails.
Wisdom for Myself
(to get through life)
Not just flesh and blood,
become the wheel and ooze
of each, the singe and its
beginning. Do not bed down
with worry or spend any terrible
amount of time mouthing milk
or handing out candy.
The devil, naturally, will try to stop you.
God, Himself, may try to cripple
your knees. Become everything.
All that is bewildering and all
that is hypnotizing to your heart.
Become your dream, even if your dream
is a navel growing backward
or a wavy desire you had as a child.
Be broad as daylight, linear as night.
Bloom cold. Die warm and happy.
Love grows bold.
A little fugue.
A man hanging from the turnpike
bridge. Saturated gold, an aluminum
coat on everything old.
And it's time.
It's time to put this whole dumb life
Like a foot without toes,
I walk with the knowledge of boots,
steel-toed and confident.
My mother would be proud.
My father might tap my shoulder one
two three times with the palm
of his weather-beaten hand.
Good job girl. Good job.
I pick my graces carefully.
I take cold wind as an impetus
to carry on. I thwart no passion,
gather little dust, learn from those
with something to teach.
I smoke myself. Miles away,
a highway gets stoned.