o21

puncture something sweet

in the mutterings of a collective sigh for the return of a regular day.

the next following the anticipated

slowly sifting in the gush of the grains of sand 

immeasurable to all but felt by endings. 

the grainy dregs of coffee caught cold 

please nobody (including the cup) 

for forgotten potential squanders man’s efficiency

craving a caffeinated desire. 

bone dry disheartenment 

brittles the bones of a man with far seeking eyes 

stonily kept on shape shifting desire. 

and so disintegrating to dust flustered by the wind 

carried to nether’s unsettlement

fostered by exhilarations promise of feast.

o20

i. (a girl to the universe)

oh wallflower hope 

good to taste and easy eyed 

fabrication’s fabric

lying

with lips bound in repetition 

and likenesses surpassing visions mend. 

in bodily furloughs

these inept arms would reach to you 

thumbing soundless discords of neither

here nor there

and not the melodious steam trail of sunday mornings in the kitchen

and not the nightly clatter of china. 

in waxing whispers the proclamation “God” wanes

amiss in the repetition of seeming similarity. 

 

Suddenly this defeat.
This rain.
The blues gone gray
And the browns gone gray
And yellow
A terrible amber.
In the cold streets
Your warm body.
In whatever room
Your warm body.
Among all the people
Your absence
The people who are always
Not you.


I have been easy with trees
Too long.
Too familiar with mountains.
Joy has been a habit.
Now
Suddenly
This rain.

-Jack Gilbert

Portraits of Children Around the World and Where They Sleep

In the fall of 1973 I was studying as a freshman at NYU, and after failing to make my initial train home to Maine, I was rushing through Grand Central on the evening before Thanksgiving 1973 when I spotted you, emerging from one of the railways, with a look of utter confusion on your face. You had the blondest hair I had ever seen, and a plaid dress. I had never seen a plaid dress before.

I was, in those days, terribly shy, and if I am honest with myself, I’ve never shook that stubborn sense of timidity or loneliness in crowds. To this day, trying to explain the uncharacteristic courageousness that seized me in that moment, and inspired me to walk up to you and say “are you lost?” is almost completely beyond me.

You were studying at Olberlin, and on your way to spend Thanksgiving with your aunt in Jersey City. After explaining to you where you could get a bus, I asked, in spite of knowing it would mean sacrificing my last chance to spend the holiday with my family (and likely infuriate my over-protective mother), if you wanted to get a drink and you said yes.

We walked out into a rainy Manhattan street and ducked into the first (cheap) bar we saw, where I ordered us two bottles of beer. Now in my 50’s, when with any luck a man might finally begin to acquire that elusive thing called wisdom, I know that there is nothing more exciting yet rare in life than making a true connection with someone. I have always been too sentimental for my own good, but in all honesty, I have never felt more at ease with anyone than I did laughing and talking to you that dimly lit midtown bar.

When I confessed that I purposefully missed my train to keep talking to you, you smiled slyly and said “well I guess it’s only fair that I miss my bus.” With no money for a cab, we walked to my Lower East Side dorm room, which was deserted aside from my German classmate Franklin, who kindly gave us a half-finished bottle of red wine.

We made love that night, and in the morning coached one another through shaky phone calls to our angry relatives back home. With the November cold turning the night’s rain into a dreary wintery mix, we stayed in bed all day, sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes, discussing politics and philosophy. You told me you had never felt “so New York before.”

That evening, you took a bus to Jersey City. A few weeks later I received a letter from California. You sent no return address, and I never saw you again.

I have been married twice since then - once divorced, and once widowed. I have had a successful career as an English professor, and am a proud father. My life has known its share of triumphs and heartaches, of love and loss. Against my better judgement, I haven’t forgotten that day - and, at least once a year, while mowing the lawn, or reading a newspaper, the details come back to me.

Perhaps, if life’s strange circumstances can permit it, we can have a second drink.

missed connections, NYC    (via crewcuts)

(via madelinealine)

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

Jorge Luis Borges, You Learn  (via rawkiss)

(via newyorktoparis)

Left Behind by Joy Katz

when finally your thinking becomes sound…