all of the silences

she is a master at her craft
a builder of extraordinary skill
employing language deftly refined
and meticulously set, her words
one by anxious one rising
as another wall emerges
into the darkness of my days
prohibiting useless dalliance,
for all must have a purpose,
even this matter between us
that once glowed with passion,
this once glorious act of love
now extraneous to a fault

she has taught me much
as the months have passed
and I have struggled to find
reason in this structure she erects,
assuring myself that her silence
is warranted by my own
petulant brooding, her distance
the result of my loathsome features—
of course she does not touch me
for who would choose to fondle
this aging fetid flesh of mine—
how much easier to keep building
in simple untainted silence

I have learned my lessons well
I abide within these walls

I have become all of the silences
you have taught me to keep

[Thank you, dearest Allison, for your incredible talent at always discovering just the right words, which I then gleefully borrow from you.]

the trees

I remember, you know,
how your eyes sparkled
when I entered the room,
and I felt myself to be
so much greater a man
than I had ever been—
to be so loved by you.

But in the time it takes
for a heart to stop beating
your love for me died,
and I lied to myself
again and again, hoping
that you would return
to me once more.

And so I, a man of thought
and learning dedicated
to uncovering the truth,
found myself scourged
day after day by a reality
I could not bear to see—
and thus began to weep.

Which is how I know now
that it is time for me to leave,
for the light grows unbearably
bright, chastising my naiveté,
demeaning my once eager will.
I have seen trees grow and die,
and it is not for me to outlive them.

I wander yer words

I wander yer words
like a desert nomad
seeking water.

I cling tae yer sweet flesh,
finding warmest wonder
within yer arms.

I long for tender solace
frae this most fruitless
cave o’ solitude.

Dae ye ken me yet, lass?
Or ha’e I bitter become
a stranger tae ye?

You did ken me once.
I believe ‘twere you wha
cried me “Love.”


[I wander your words
like a desert nomad
seeking water.

I cling to your sweet flesh,
finding warmest wonder
within your arms.

I long for tender solace
from this most fruitless
cave of solitude.

Do you know me yet, lass?
Or have I bitter become
a stranger to you?

You did know me once.
I believe it was you who
called me “Love.”]

the bats

I still remember the bats.

I arrived back home one summer
exhausted from the journey,
shuffling through the day,
and when evening fell
and the light waned in the sky,
there was a shuffling overhead.

I went upstairs and sat on the balcony
overlooking the Aegean,
a thin strip of land in the distance
reminding me how close I was
to Greece, lights beginning
to appear across the water.

It was a peaceful moment
one I could not have replicated
without the weariness—
my thoughts were sluggish
my skin enjoying the warmth
of another Turkish summer.

Suddenly there was a flapping sound
just above me, and then another
and another, and I stood and watched
as leathery creatures took flight
from beneath the very eaves
of my otherwise quiet home.

More and more they appeared
dancing and bobbing overhead
weaving wildly amongst themselves
snatching at the intrepid insects
that arose in the dusk—
a feeding frenzy.

The second night I came prepared
to the balcony, camera in hand
ambitious to capture the moment,
but the weary light was unfriendly
and my efforts remained
quite pathetically unrewarded.

On the third night, I decided
to simply sit and watch
and enjoy an experience
that I knew would never come
back in Utah where I spent
the rest of the year.

But they had already grown
weary of rudely intrusive me,
and my patience brought
me nothing more than sight of that
thin strip of land across the water,
and lights that barely twinkled

as I quietly watched.

How I spent most of my time on that balcony.

reflections

the third rock that i threw
frightened me most of all
the vehemence of it
the jagged waves rippling out
and in like fangs bared

and when the water grew still
on bended knee i peered within
and saw a sullen dwarf
babbling about babies and trees
with a lisp that tore my soul

i wept at the sight and sound
of my self so poorly patterned
that i could wander naked
through each day unseen, unheard
amusing to a fault

naked

in utter confusion
time stumbled forth
like an agèd crone
quivering and lone
her mind mocking me
her skin cracked and
immensely disagreeable

the path before me
tightly laid and most
strictly ever observed
curved not even once
not one single moment
beyond the cruel confines
of a dryly decisive she

my thoughts cringed
craving a sprawling lush
and moistly lascivious
garden where vines twined
suggestively seeking
quickly climbing
crushing concrete bounds

i have in solitude
my humility nurtured
though dreaming of a place
without walls or lines
where naked i might
penetrate innocence while
fiercely growling

at the crumbling ruins
of the moon

shadows in the ice

what envious being is this
floating beneath the ice
whose fine obsidian voice
beckons from the deep

whose rigid fingers these
scratching blackened figures
beneath the frozen surface
shadows clinging to the light

no blade could ever pierce
this hopelessly frigid waste
I know—for I have tried
and felt my flesh tearing

no heart could long endure
the harrowing solitude
of her perfectly intentioned
realm of solemn necessity

i have clawing clung
to the skeletal branches
of these barren trees
vines like wraiths descending

i have whispered her name
like a too pious monk
proffering my liquid soul
to assuage her endless thirst

Salt Lake City 09 Jan 2013

without you

at this moment
this very moment

when ambition fails
utterly to commend
even the slightest
simplest movement

when flesh tightens
and bones calcify
eyes bereft of all but
the humblest sight

when spirits insensate
so sinfully ignored
and swiftly interred
in mountains of dust

at this moment
this very moment

hearts persist
in beating
far too loudly
to be heard

please

make it stop

Salinas 19 Dec 2012