1996, Compassion Fatigue, Picasso's Incandescent Angel, Struck by Lightening, Syllable Tapestries

Shadow Boxer

The phone rings,
your name prints up,
black bold Chicago letters
accompanied by your number.

I’ve weighed the matter in ounces and grams,
pints and half pints,
through minutes, hours, months, years,
even a millennium
before my hand reached out to grip the phone;
securing the call, before the answering machine.

Via microwave and long optical fibers,
strung up on crucifixes which parallel the tar river
in rack and file.
Your voice prattles in my ear:
A trickle,
a fog which blanketed the slumbering fields,
crystals of light bouncing about the leaves;
then a coyote sticks his head out. Yaps.
You wanted me to see,
without comparison
without using the word karma or slut.

I tried.
I swore to myself,
I would see,
however, I failed.
My focus was too feeble.
You are restless.
You wanted to tell me
how you felt inside.

You wanted me to listen,
yet not be reminded of the dense fermentation
of inescapable memories which permeated the air.
You talk as if you cared.
I struggled.
I’ve listened close,
walking about the house
cradling the battered black cordless phone,
tightly between Ear and Collarbone.

What can I tell my bones?

Trying to become godesque,
is far from becoming god.

The frames of the film pass through the gate
transparent enough for the sun to peer through the clouds.
Don’t talk.
Keep your distance.
Don’t tell me you care.
Just let me close my eyes & sleep.
Please let me Dream.

I could only understand
by hoisting knives and tongs
establishing myself once more
in front of Stainless Steel,
Heat Lamps & Cutting-boards.
with a french stove burning my soul.

“Working makes you feel better.”
Replied Grandfather Chef,
as he deboned a Gini Hen with his machete.

The tomatoes reduced to paste upon roasting bones.
I pull ‘em out of the oven,
Plop ‘em in the stock pot.
Placing the roasting pans on the stove,
deglazing with red wine
and scrapping the fond off with a spatula
from the bottom of the pan.

The rain washed the air;
everything which had been mistakenly cast-off
now stained the ground bright lemon-pollen yellow.
I no longer grieve,…nor dream of the dead.
I observe the beef stock boiling,
contemplating how much seasoning
should impinge the soup once it had reduced.
However, when the time comes,
the words make their own way out.
They didn’t need my silly input.
I will not explain you away with a book,
as I have done before.
Salt to Pepper, Garlic to Basil,
over this damp grave,
I speak my last words of love.
and stir it all in the soup.

1996, Picasso's Incandescent Angel, POETRY

Anna Ruby Falls

Two waterfalls meet,
white liquid air.
A proud hickory towers into the canopy,
as Morning’s fingers entwine through the leaves.
The shadows mesh with the dark rock spots,
spirited lacerated beauty.
Many have died upon those rocks,
walls, separation, oceans.

The water continues
not listening nor worrying
entangled with a mysterious thread.
The bed of rocks tremble under the force of the water
as it plunged downward with a delicate pounding
and the blossomed heart sprung open
giving forth life farther down.

Morning’s light runs down the path,
followed by morning herself
laughter bounces off the rocks
and the sphinx, perched upon the rocks
sticks its head above the canopy
to proclaim the meeting of the two.

Picasso's Incandescent Angel, POETRY

The River

-Don’t over-compensate.
My friend advised me,
over and over again.
Did I listen? I guess;
because, I didn’t go a ground.
I navigated myself through the river,
one hand on the stainless steel wheel
and the other holding the Binoculars
to my squinting hazel nut eyes
trying to spot the next maker
be it green or red, flashing or not.

The fish and dolphins observed with sarcastic eyes
as they dodged the bow of the boat.
The bottom of the river rose
six feet, five feet, four feet
and then went back down.
I became the boat,
that stout Island Packet,
worrying about depths, winds, and wakes.
A dragonfly pilots itself beside my head;
as a pelican dives into the water for its lunch.

I have a sudden urge for food myself,
my stomache tells me that;
but, I push it out of my mind.
I’ll think about that later,
when I find a cove to anchor in;
safe from the storms
which have been bearing down,
out of the darkness that surrounds me.
But for now, me and my crooked teeth
are trying not to be succumbed by these waves
caused by the Angel which just whizzed by.

Picasso's Incandescent Angel, POETRY

The Meeting

Heart in Battle Dress,
face scared from previous hunts
and tangles with Love’s imminent fangs.
I lurk on a stool in an alcohol Jungle,
armed for skirmish.
Bow taunt,
arrow in hand straight and sharp.
I glanced about,
all around
circles stain the bar from my drink.

If at that point, you’d asked me
w/ face smeared black for battle,
-Had my spirit defected?

I would’ve answered, -Yea;
albeit, I saw it that night.
It was an electrical moment.
which shook me,
jolting me back
up against the polyurethane wood of the bar.
I saw Picasso’s Incandescent Angel;
she came over and spoke to me.
The light was blinding.
Her blazing blue eyes caused seeds to sprout.
Leaves unfold, catching the radiating light.

With her hand on mine,
the Incandescent Angel’s words,
delicate in their arrival,
wrap around me slowly tightening.
The arrow, sliding from my fingers,
splintered upon the floor.
I place my bow in the trash can
with the plastic cups and beer bottles,
as we walked up the sidewalk
to get something to eat.
I chose to be myself
following the way of the spirit,
the way of the hunter was too painful.

Angel, I come with no presents,
only the wind at my back.
I can only give you words
threaded together in a necklace called poem
and leave with the hope,
that you, too,
desire to continue our conversation on another day.