The stars in their random shapes
are nothing but burning stones
some gone, some only uncharted
memory of fading light.
I could never figure out
the constellations, & now
this book tells me the Greeks
saw them differently, & if
you lived on another planet
you would have different
myths, or not.
The stars are not our business, &
remembering the pock marks
on the Moon is like naming
trout, or our own self-
inflected spasms & stains.
Along 101 these tourist spots are packed
with folks with time and money to spend
on drinks and dinner — silver-slicked
husbands in over-sized sport shirts, khaki
pants, portly wives with man-style cuts
white slacks — their next thought:
where to stop for breakfast, lunch
wallowing in the mundane, Cosmos
and Bud Lights, then back into the RV
eating dinosaurs for dessert.
Dreaming in near adolescent sheets of a naked
classmate, her school uniform tossed on a chair
I awake with pleasure in the dark to think
I’ve wet the bed, my small, hard penis
pressed to sticky wetness, in panic
blood stains in the morning? then
fell back to sleep. In the light, only
the palest of stains, neither blood nor pee.
Each night falling asleep to fantasies
of delight hoping to wake with a shudder
until I learn I didn’t need to wait for dreams.
Our view of reality is conditioned by our position in space and time — not by our personality as we like to think. (Quoted from Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell)
I am not lonely
the beach is lonely
a place of loneliness
just the rock, others
who are here alone
what will remain
the surf pulsing
back & forth
each wave lonely
up the beach
they meet only when
they pull back to foam
each single pebble
rattling against this one
then that one, both wet
cold, smooth, alone.
“Variety” is not Cumin, not Oregano
variety is Viagra, Salomé, it is
“Categories,” the endless doors
to other worlds, to other’s visions
never dreamed of by St. John
of the Cross, Miester Eckhardt
— but, perhaps, by St. Teresa, her
convulsions like those videoed
in bedrooms, on bathroom counters
among laundry, or nude in mirrors
— women on dunes, in hotel lobbies
driving cars, on the toilet, everywhere
but where they drop off the kids, or
meet the Pastor to talk about divorce.
(the waitress prompt)
Coffee grit wall of windows
“eyes” so last century, now
flat screen red-carpet Premiers
each window a stacked channel
kitchen light over kitchen lights
yellow bedroom constellations.
I’ve watched for years
a bank teller, school teacher
Summer barista in red apron
Winter kitchen windows in-
visible in Summer, midnight
lights flicker any time of year.
Can you see me? Lights out
on my blank existence, my wall
weak tea bricks, windows as
nights smothered in clouds.