Sunday, February 27, 2011

Small Pieces

Small pieces not necessarily related....


Never shall there be another He and I --
whoever left first was luckier than the One
who now lingers in corners;
                           and could I follow
He who remains
uncharted, absent, or infinite -- I would be uncertain
of where We go, or whose shape leads.


We loved, our lips
cold but for
the warmth of a stone unmoved.


His breath rose in the morning and I called it
glass, soon to break; broken, soon swept,
tossed as slivers to stones.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dwelling Places


between two pieces of China,
perhaps under a rug; did I hide it
or did you hide from me?

somewhere, a cottage, a doorstep destitute;
termite holes, pottery, sheets of unused wood, rugs matted,
chipped floors -- hardly a window;

it took me three hours to finish the walkway; the house
fell to me -- thirty years
of tightening, clasping, bolting and screwing
doors, doors, doors,
always problems with doors.


We lived for some time by a quiet slot of
sand-worn purple sage and morning calm;
no one can quite relate the value of beach property;
spent all of our time by the surf, bearing pen to reed
to wind to tunnel to flood, to inrushing waves, to outpouring spray;
verses upon verses turned over, but never ink to paper.


another place
is behind bookshelves.

I checked under the Chickering, an upright Grand
against the far wall, years cramped
between the keys; small spaces,

your belongings tightly packed, still in question.
Was this our house? was it old or young?

How I remember you -- a wall
indented with last year's calendar; I never turned the page, never made
plans, never left

that which has left me -- to be sought for
in a humble compartment, our dwelling place.


perhaps I swept it into a heap --
stacked it with papers and threw it in a barrel, lost
track of notes you sent me -- letters;
locks to a silent house.

I find the best place to listen
is in your chair, where you sat the strongest; Bach's portrait
and the keys resounding with each bump of wind -- door rattle;

will it fall from the ceiling? I think footsteps. I wait --
   but always the wind, always a sage brush of leaves, of torrents,
   of sweeping the porch in expectation.


And at night, your sigh
once so familiar, is a gust in the hall
at an endless hour; an unfound watch or post card
shoved in a winter coat, bottles tipped over.

So many places
I might have dropped it, but I am tired now, asleep
but for the dream of it, of a house, our title and deed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Return from Winter

I settled by the buried remains
of acres absent of leaves; in the heart

of winter, I tilled fields. My hands did very little
to pockmarked, half-scarred

earth; I waked
without food and in lucid hours

saw fish frozen as stars, and trees smooth as bone
casting thin shade from a whispering sun.

What was your offering?
I have outgrown gardens,

groomed the undergrowth and watched it wilt.
Yet soon ends an epoch of perfect white;

floods from the mountain tops,
fields turned flat by the thaw.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I have taken to watching you sit at an outdoor table. You threw kindness
at me -- though it could have been as ordinary
as a good lunch.

I am pasting your smile over a sandwich because
I am starved, looking for a place where
I might enjoy crumbs.
We are in this place again; I only know how to swim with ice.
Heat is as painful as light creeping through closed lids--
my hands haven't moved in a year.

you left, as did the Sun; do I hide now from dawn
or is a momentary thaw simply a deeper night,
ice melting to freeze again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I do have days of abject hopelessness. This is one of them.
It could be that you changed... but more likely, given our circumstances and the direction of the wind, it was I who changed, I who pulled back, I who unveiled the flaws. I am disgusted... at myself? Certainly not at you; at something that was in me, something I didn't see.

There are days when I feel poisoned. I just want to extract it out of me, delete the words, not see the damage. You leave a residue of toxins; negativity; egotism; vanity. I don't know what was once so charming. I was seduced by something, your mystery, that which needed to be filled in or saved. There is nothing left to be filled. You are full of holes and I am quietly growing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am not mad, though I fear at times that madness may not be
a permanent affliction -- instead, it wraps us in cellophane,
suffocates small appendages that drop off over time, fingers, toes,
eyeballs rolling wildly across the ground; unable to see

myself, I am still speaking to the room where I store up silence
and open my mouth with endless -- faith, a god madness,
the creator within has triumphed, made me functioned and whole --
what humility, to discover our essential self rolling in fields
of dung and hay.
I said it first to the dirt that I am a prophet; I say no words
without first consulting the faith

made of blades of grass, our unassuming apostles, alive
to bow their backs

to the feet of others, those of no faith, who still know themselves
as pieces
of a wide something, pebbles in some design

(manmade, of course -- though I suppose man is still in the make)

spread thin beneath our feet. When I first looked down
and saw the dirt, I realized that here, too is a prophet of things
to come, mute but for love of the world.
A tree wanted to visit me, so, using
            the wind, it swept bits and pieces of
       itself to afford me a wealthy sample
of blooming fragments, abstracts, petals shattered
       by conflicting twigs, flavorless
                leaves coated in pollen dust
now entwined rapturously in my hair.

A body without legs....

I am tired of being Eve-- ill
at ease in the garden. I ate
an apple; they said it made me sin
but really, I was stricken by
the venom of a serpent--
(surely, my Father knows, he will
protect me, surely, my reputation)
but it was a man who found me
first, fallen, "Eve-- ill, Eve--
fallen ill
in the garden; how will she recover
the grace afforded her?"
They did not
rest my head peacefully in a bed
of roses; rather, threw me to the thorns
where the serpent's venomous weave
enveloped my form; I became
a body without legs.
when threatened or unwanted, i always end up the first one to push away...

in fact, i push away before anyone else gets the chance to push....

sometimes i push away without needing a true reason, just a bad feeling or a hint of discomfort...

i don't know if i have abandonment issues. certainly i've been abandoned, though not willfully, by any one thing. they say those afraid of being abandoned will usually be the first to leave, before they risk being hurt by others. i don't know if this is true. but i always assume i am unwanted. i always assume i am intruding. i always assume i am inconsistent with the group, somehow out of reach, on a border, foreign, unfamiliar. i always assume i am disliked, and out of this i try to make myself likable, but end up feeling, instead, like i am secretly despised by others. i hold myself aloof in the hopes that no one will form an opinion about me, because their opinions are hurtful. better no opinion than a bad opinion. better no opinion than a good opinion. better no opinion.

and my true opinion of myself is that there is no self... there is no theresa, no writer an no voice... all i am is a tangle of knots, emotions roiling and twisting around an empty void, or rather, a solid void where all is peace and nothing truly matters. sometimes i am the storm; sometimes i am the eye; sometimes i am the peace... and always, i am alone, and wish to remain alone.

better alone than unwanted. better not loved than unloved.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Of the heart that has gone astray....

i find shame in lamenting the loss of you,
as loudly as i may;

lesser hearts have split over lesser spills, but i'd rather
they think me beyond splitting-- no gaps in my design,
every piece fashioned in the shape of your absence.

i would contend with my greaters, but i have not yet recovered
a heart; nothing to compete over war-torn turfs, dug under.
it seems like a sudden age, gusts over fields;
the years ahead are what make me heavy, hammered, sullen
with endless wonderings: why be strong, why conquer the fear of others

when i cannot conquer the fear of you, of distant lands
uncharted yet inevitably looming-- your flattened face
was the final sight of love, buried now
in minor crevices, compliments, vague lingering remnants
of a heart which has gone astray, outdone.

Faith, A Rope, A Knife

in the beginning, i followed a single chord into the earth.
birth, at times, is death

i scaled ropes, earthen anchors
tied to those who would be tied together.

you need a knife, a divine edge
for cutting ties, cutting halves into smaller halves,
lesser selves, big chunks of soul
falling down crevices to places unknown, far away
from He who fashioned the blade. we seek freedom
in the roots of others, but we must

cut back; travel light.
carving the rot from our flesh
makes us born into new life; the beginning
of a rope, a thread, a strand

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Weather

I am ready to move beyond the blank flurries,
the voice of solitude, which banks next to me
and sails over my neighbor's roof --

I am ready for a forecast, for a simple weather drop,
but this is my sixth season remembering you
and as I count back days, it would seem that daylight
no longer keeps time; you are at a distance

i could never reach

between my watch tower and my neighbor's walls.
there is the sound of water thawing, motes and torrents carrying you away,
but the silence of neighborhood streets gives pause, still
iced cold, and your keys left solid by the door