Conversation in Isolation

- 1953-

Neighbors nail the planks
dividing their yard from mine.
Our durable fence.

I walk half a block
before realizing I’ve
forgotten my mask.

One ant following
another, trusting we all
are going somewhere.

Stretched between two poles,
clothesline outside my window,
a robin’s rest stop.

Lemons fallen on
the sidewalk to be rescued
for my potpourri.

No one and nothing
touches me but this blue wind
with cool caresses.

Black Nikes

We need quarters like King Tut needed a boat. A slave could row him to heaven from his crypt in Egypt full of loot. We've lived quietly among the stars, knowing money isn't what matters. We only bring enough to tip the shuttle driver when we hitch a ride aboard a trailblazer of light. This comet could scour the planet. Make it sparkle like a fresh toilet swirling with blue. Or only come close enough to brush a few lost souls. Time is rotting as our bodies wait for now I lay me down to earth. Noiseless patient spiders paid with dirt when what we want is star dust. If nature abhors an expensive appliance, why does the planet suck ozone? This is a big ticket item, a thickety ride. Please page our home and visit our sigh on the wide world’s ebb. Just point and cluck at our new persuasion shoes. We’re opening the gate that opens our containers for recycling. Time to throw down and take off on our launch. This flight will nail our proof of pudding. The thrill of victory is, we’re exiting earth. We're leaving all this dirt.

Page 1 / Sapphire's lyre styles

Sapphire's lyre styles
plucked eyebrows
bow lips and legs
whose lives are lonely too

my last nerve's lucid music
sure chewed up the juicy fruit
you must don't like my peaches
there's some left on the tree

you've had my thrills
a reefer a tub of gin
don't mess with me I'm evil
I'm in your sin

clipped bird eclipsed moon
soon no memory of you
no drive or desire survives
you flutter invisible still

Page 5 / sun goes on shining

sun goes on shining
while the debbil beats his wife
blues played lefthanded
topsy-turvy inside out

under the weather
down by the sea
a broke johnny walker
mister meaner

bigger than a big man
cirrus as a heart attracts
more power than a loco motive
think your shit don't stink

edge against a wall
wearing your colors
soulfully worn out
stylishly distressed

Related Poems

December 2, 2002

As it happens every night, beloveds, while we turned in the night
sleeping uneasily the world went on without us.

We live in our own time zone and there are only a small million of
us in this time zone and the world as a result has a tendency to
begin and end without us.

While we turned sleeping uneasily at least ten were injured in a
bomb blast in Bombay and four killed in Palestine.

While we turned sleeping uneasily a warehouse of food aid was
destroyed, stocks on upbeat sales soared, Australia threatened first
strikes, there was heavy gunfire in the city of Man, the Belarus
ambassador to Japan went missing, a cruise ship caught fire, on yet
another cruise ship many got sick, and the pope made a statement
against xenophobia.

While we turned sleeping uneasily perhaps J Lo gave Ben a
prenuptial demand for sex four times a week.

While we turned sleeping uneasily Liam Gallagher brawled and
irate fans complained that "Popstars: The Rivals" was fixed.

While we turned sleeping uneasily the Supreme Court agreed to
hear the case of whether university admissions may favor racial
minorities.

While we turned sleeping uneasily poachers caught sturgeon in the
reed-filled Caspian, which shelters boar and wolves, and some of
the residents on the space shuttle planned a return flight to the US.

Beloveds, our world is small and isolated.

We live our lives in six hundred square feet about a quarter mile
from the shore on land that is seven hundred square miles and five
thousand miles from the nearest land mass.

Despite our isolation, there is no escape from the news of how
many days are left in the Iraq inspections.

The news poll for today was should we invade Iraq now or should
we wait until the inspections are complete and we tried to laugh
together at this question but our laughter was uneasy and we just
decided to turn off the television that arrives to us from those
other time zones.

Beloveds, we do not know how to live our lives with any agency
outside of our bed.

It makes me angry that how we live in our bed—full of connected
loving and full of isolated sleep and dreaming also—has no
relevance to the rest of the world.

How can the power of our combination of intimacy and isolation
have so little power outside the space of our bed?

Beloveds, the shuttle is set to return home and out the window of
the shuttle one can see the earth.

"How massive the earth is; how minute the atmosphere," one of
the astronauts notes.

Beloveds, what do we do but keep breathing as best we can this
minute atmosphere?

Cold Gin and a Pandemic

A swig of fresh lime squeezed over ice
San Francisco’s Junipero gin with a garnish
soothes the overwhelm of more bad news
and sudden heat

What I learned at home today:

           the length of estrangement becomes short
           in comparison to the weight of regret

          100 more days of solitude—a poet’s irony

          bare white walls wait with open-hearts
          to catch our sighs

          how much I miss my father now that he is dead.

Toss back tonic water with an extra kick
catch the sun warming the side of my face
through the glass door into the dining room

now a reflection
of how many years have passed

          how the idea of a father became a ghost

          how a ghost haunted me into adulthood

          how adulthood became a poem always in the works

          how poems became home

          how hard it is to live inside this one

Force Drift (VII)

                                                                and then

                                                                a sudden 

 

                                                               and catastrophic 

                                                               world 

 

                                                                you a subtle 

                                                                body 

 

                                                                driven 

                                                                through 

 

                                                                fear 

                                                                up harsh 

 

                                                                walling

                                                                driven 

 

                                                                under 

                                                                ego

 

                                                                down harsh

                                                                futility

 

                                                                you see

                                                                it when 

 

                                                                they Mutt

                                                                and Jeff

 

                                                                let

                                                                seeing in

 

                                                                we know 

                                                                all 

 

                                                                is 

                                                                power 

 

                                                                you mere

                                                                body

 

                                                                bare

                                                                life

 

                                                                in 

                                                                isolation

                                                                with 

 

                                                                threat and 

                                                                incentive

 

                                                                coffee

                                                                a meal

 

                                                                shower

                                                                a letter

 

                                                                asylum 

 

                                                                          *                                          

 

                                      “touch, too,       is an infinite 
                                       system of communication,”  she said, 

                                       floating in the pool, and traced an arc 
                                       along the light       wave surface       then my arm,

                                        “each living gesture   precarious  
                                         which is the root of a latin prayer.”