The Physics of Love

The study of motion,

Pushes and pulls,

Accelerating bodies,

And knowing when to stop.

An empty space beside her

Soon filled by him.

Both so fine to the other,

This innocent embrace

Soon becomes another.

Bodies joined together,

Warm as velvet.

The willow tree beyond the lake

Next to the thorny bush

Is where they lay.

This taste, like copper, 

Bittersweet.

The dark stain of love.

The mechanics of falling bodies,

Thermodynamics of the heart,

Pain, that vector of love.

In Ruins

That house was not a home but it sure wasn’t this damn cold.

I do not know this place well.

There were a few minutes of hail the other day.

It rained for a while too.

Still no snow,

This is the West Coast.

It was cold.

A helicopter was flying too close to a building

I thought

It was just an airlift.

The clouds covered the sky.

It was dark.

It rained hard.

Still no snow,

No paradise.

I thought of the last time we talked.

Did we even talk that much?

It is too bright here.

The sun is out far too much,

And it is hard to remember

If you even knew who I was.

The trees here are not to my liking.

The sky is too often without clouds.

There are too many cars

With too many drivers

Going too fast to nowhere.

This is California.

I still walk everywhere

But not enough

And my feet have finally started to crack.

This sun is far too bright.

This place has no seasons.

The roads are too long.

There are not enough signs.

I think too much.

This is Hollywood.

Is it okay if I say this place bores me to death?

I do not care for the Pacific Ocean,

The waters are too clear.

Its current is too calm.

The Atlantic has more character.

These beaches are filled with sand.

There are too many body builders,

With heavy weights and bad tans.

This is not the ocean I love.

There are too many women, rail-thin,

Having lost too much weight

For those bright lights.

And too many men

Expecting some kind of film star end.

They all here seem to be waiting

For that Hollywood vision of perfection.

This is not mine.

Walking fast with broken feet

I forget if you actually liked my company.

The streets are too broken here,

Trees growing too far and fast,

Their roots break the sidewalk.

Insomnia

I.

I had no interest in that country, but I went

All the same. The streets I left behind were

Not mine. There was no whisper or mark of

Me. The summer rain washed the tennis courts and

We ran laughing (crying?) back inside not home,

But like it. Not real family but I soon forgot.

Hallow’s Eve in the cemetery. Night. It’s dark.

We are all drunk laughing (crying?). Scared stiff.

And then someone stands up, pulls down his pants

In front of a cherub’s grave. Laughing (sobbing?) mad

He’ll piss on it. Stop asking him to put

On that dress. The adults never were there to care.

We crawled out the window onto the roof

To smoke cigarettes, drink beer or vodka.

We got to choose our poison then. Standing,

In a circle, behind the bushes, under a

Tree, we laughed (angrily?) passing the  

Smoke, from my lungs to your lungs to his lungs.

We were family then. Hallow’s Eve, he didn’t piss.

We told each other nightmares seated, cross-legged

Until the giant with the deep voice came to join

In the drinking games. But he was too loud,

And in our drunkenness (fright?) we scattered in all

Directions. Shouting promises, like always, to meet inside.

II.

We were all from a far away place, each in our

Own right. Each of us a character: unique.

When our supply of alcohol ran dry, someone would walk

Into convenience stores and look around. We would

Follow her, then leave upset, thinking her empty.

But back inside the room, she would make

Magic, pulling out, laughing (crying?) vodka wine,

Whiskey. But sadly never beer.

Her friend had red hair. Her friend had red arms.

We said the right things at the right times.

Someone jumped in front of cars only to be

Held back. Someone hid broken needles upstairs, only

Found after he was gone. He

Left letters in the oddest places. But then Who were

We to judge? We never went to class but somehow

Always passed. We were laughing (crying?) running

Too fast. Looking too much, and too deeply at the world.

These scars run deep from the rails we jumped

Over to get down to the ruins from

That statue that made us pause, but never for long enough.

After all, it Was just a rock! We were always drunk (scared?),

But never quite enough. We smoked too much. We cheated at cards,

Each in our own way and each scowled in time.

III.

We were laughing (shouting?) our way

Through days. Living far too wild but not enough.

We did not dance. I never learned to move

That way. I never did speak on stage either.

We sat together, we cried that way, and

Sometimes we thought we’d die like that. We were

Laughing (quiet?) planning trips back home. To where

We did not know: Someone wanted to see

The Berlin Wall and get lost behind a

Curtain that was already gone. She had a voice

Of a songbird. And when she went dry, she

Said goodbye. We were never sober enough.

We drunkenly (sadly?) stumbled around and somehow that

Was enough then. I ran laughing (sobbing?) through

Those streets and soon saw I was alone. Drunk (confused?) and

Still not sober: bleary eyed, pounding head, not good

Enough even then. No more red arms. No need for

Me then? No more dry eyes. No more of them.

And no, no going back. No, there is still no

Time Machine. No way to find that home again.

No way to say hello in the right way. No time to say goodbye.

We are not those laughing (scared?) drunk (loud?)

Young things lost on the busy streets.

We are not young. Maybe we never were?

IV.

I was drunk (laughing?) running (dying?) on

Those streets. I was going too fast and now can

Only look back with strange eyes on those days when

We laughing (still drunk?) ran on that cobbled road.

Bread Crumbs

“I have gone looking for myself. If I should return before I come back keep me here.”

-Yogi Berra 

She had leaned over

the rail of the balcony

and somehow lost her footing.

It was a good thing she had always thought ahead

As she was most certainly dead.

She had been eating a scone.

And in that final lonely picnic

her soul walked out of her body.

Her bread crumbs still fresh on the patio,

this is where her soul lingers

But she dead, still young,

her fiber broken.

She must be in a hospital but all

around her, no matter how far or fast

she walked was the old house

And in her head: a deafening noise

her will along with the replies echoed.

It was a large house.

The place was empty if not for her

Yet someone was calling to her

the television set was on,

a hot cup of tea was steaming

The piano was open with sheets of music spread upon

its face.

Yet she could only roam that

old house, where it was always dark 

and each floor told a story

Running down the stairs to the

basement where the dolls are to the higher floors, sorry,

up there where the people were.

The voices were arguing now,

“How old is she?” There should be a

cake somewhere for her

to tell. As she is pushed forward

To the balcony where the picnic was, 

Still the murmur.

And the attic where the old things are.

It had always been dark even when

the lights were on. She remembered

flying. And she

is on the driveway face down

on the pavement, alone, before

her feet push on once more.

The coyotes are howling and

the house is dark.

It is cold as she rides the wind

Unable to stop or unwilling

The will is read “You already said that!” 

Her husband’s voice: It sounds angry.

It has feeling now.

The doors were too heavy

The window was open

She runs faster to

the top of the hill.

A bobcat is grinning and

the trees are dead up there, where her

queen bed—more like a king’s—is. 

She remembered falling but never hitting the ground.

The Pied Piper

Listen close, listen to what I say…

Through some truth this wanderer was led,

for all the children had come out to play.

He sang soft. He sang loud. He sang low, too, that day.

His song, he sang, he played it well, they said.

Listen closely to what I say.

The notes were long. The notes were quick, too, they say.

Their bodies now cold, and on their faces smiles linger,

for all the children had come out to play.

And in his rage, he cried, “They must all come out and play!”

The land has withered with you in bed.

Listen close, listen to what I say.

Those words, that song, the notes: I am certain it was they.

It is all too quiet now, as the Pied Piper has been fed,

for all the children had come out to play.

His frame jerked, “A dance!” He shrieked that day.

And in that hanging garden, tired eyes have yet to close, it’s said.

Listen close, listen to what I say:

For all the children had come out to play.

Carnations

These thoughts are like gifts from an old forgotten friend:

She in her eternal beauty stands upright.

Her smile inspires the movement of celestial bodies.

So I hold fast and close this timeless beauty

And hope the world will somehow understand.

It is a pity the world will never be privy to this,

Here in this room, or able to spy,

Upon this bright light shining, unrepentantly through

Burning. What fools are they who simply look away!

 Stooping low, now, her smile still constant

 Still always willing to help others in an instant.

A hard day’s work leaves sweat upon your brow, though.

Dirt is such a constant part of your countenance.

Its beauty never wanes nor wavers. Yet,

Perhaps this is my curse but also my blessing

To know the truth of beauty and of your quiet 

Grace without the need for a washed face.

Do not be bashful. Please, do not look away.

Before you take that bite,

As many women of far more weight and design than you

—Look first upon me, 

And leave the blushing cheeks to another time.

Now simply see:

I am here.

And this was not just a copy of an icon.

Bite the apple and know:

You have defied design and time.

Your beauty and brightness are known by people close and far.

You are often visited by men, whose hearts are both weak and strong.

And all alike in love for you

And willingness to expire in their quest

For a single glimpse of your smiling bright eyes.

And yet, like a moth who has finally seen

That final spark,

I gravitated towards you,

Even though I ought to know better,

I should not.

As those great poets of years gone by have spent their lives proclaiming

This fire by which I have been warmed

And my sprit given cause to write:

It is your beauty,

The greatness of your bright eyes,

That when brought to task

—When turned to me  

Councils my soul on all that is

And what is light.

The apple core I kept,

And glanced at it a while.

It was all that was immune to

Your devouring lips,

Your unquenchable thirst,

And insatiable hunger.

And those red stains, 

Which linger upon its skin,

Taunt me.

A reminder of when your shining face was not known to me for the cover it was.

And for all my hopes, my wishes,

I know this world is not mine alone.

There were others

And you were not mine.

As the frowning eyes watch

(When do they not?)

I know no matter how much I would like to hide,

There is always that witness there.

This discovery that we have not been alone,

The sole occupants of this room,

Which has taken away the stars,

And all that is bright.

Though I may now be quite cold

Having, of my own choice, been

Deprived of your warmth.

I know this was not the greatness I yearned for,

Not the definition that would complete me,

Nor the embrace I would stop for.

 This was just a nick,

  Nothing more.

Those moments of cheer

And those peaks and valleys I often experienced

Were nothing more but

A confusion of the senses.

I was paralyzed by my expectancy.

That passion was not that

But mere whim.

And all that was love, but a sickness of the mind.  

Sibyl

This is where she sat,

Writing on oak leaves,

In the dark,

With the aid of Apollo’s light.

And when the wind shrieked,

And angrily blew

Her words away,

There she would remain.

This is where she danced,

Singing to the fates,

Who often listened,

But did not reply.

This is where she asked

Love-struck Apollo

For her choice of gifts:

As many birthdays

As there were

Grains of dust

Before her.

This is where she laughed,

And turned that brightest of gods away,

When he granted the wish

And came

For her virtue 

That day.

Yet not shrewd enough!

For once sent away,

That great god

Refused her pleas

And once gone

This is where she slowly understood,

The cursed nature of her words,

As she slowly shrank into herself,

To be put into a jar,

A foolish ornament for a willow tree.

This is where she hung,

From the twisted branches 

Of the willow tree.

And when the children 

Came to play,

A boy asked her,

“Oh Sybil, What do you want?”

This is where she caught,

Death’s eye.

And as the willow tree

Mournfully bends,

This sigh echoes 

In the wind,

“To die…”

This is where she remains,

As those letters

To the sun

Scatter forever.

Breakfast

The bacon was piled in a heap.

The coffee was cold.

The egg was sunny side up

—yolk intact.

The toast was there, along with the gun.

She looked at the counter, once more.

making sure everything was set right.

He walked in, like always,

sat down on the stool,

and looked toward her.

across the room,

leaning against the kitchen sink,

cleaning the rest of the cheap china,

she stood silently looking back.

the rag still wrapped around a dish,

soap dripping on the floor.

into a puddle.

and they say

and they say

avalon 

was swallowed

up

in mist

run.

hear the sigh

of heartache

in the wind

remember

cries of rain

the mist 

rises

the people

leave

enter in

to the woods

run.

dance 

into the depths

find the grotto

hidden away

light shining through

stay.

kneel down

at the water’s edge

raise your head

near waterfalls

listen to the creek

and pray 

for your love

alone.

you know

i get scared 

you know

like most 

do

you may not

understand

my fears

I love you honey honey 

if you do

i often

find it hard

to notice 

that

you call me 

childish

i react

i hurt

i have this

nightmare

that you will

one day

leave me

for good

childish

i wonder

how mature

how tough

i must be 

for you

i was born

fragile-bodied

complex in thought

but simple in action

and all those actions

translated to the sky

my wish for you

always.