Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Poem For Early Summer

The end of an era is a heartbroken promise
But celebrate the good and great things from that time
Didn't your life expand like a baloon, fat and beaming?
Accept the speed limit. Obey local laws.
Ride the tectonic trucks for what they were,
     not what they weren't.
Vacuum your father's barn
Turn your diesel engine into a catamaran
Observe the surf

Then, what better time for spiritual deck-swabbing and sail-hoisting?
Maybe you balance standards, alternating the pirate flag with the snowy egret
Maybe you haul everything in, ass-over-tea-kettle style, laughing even
      (laughing, definitely—you love to laugh), clumsy but effective
So that the horizon offers—to the clear eye—The Next Thing
     when it chooses to float by.
And who knows—you might already be swimming in it, so look around...
Perhaps the flail of sudden water-treading will self-organize into
     a tight stroke, an origami of the water.

The blue sky reminds: there is both calm beauty
     and certain impermanence—it might cloud over by afternoon.
While sunshine pours down upon your sleeping lover's long, brown hair,
     so are the Days of Our Lives (or so they say!)
Yes, there's the daytime soapdish. Use it for hands, often.
Or washing away the drama of a dirty dish.
Clean the drain.
Revel in the pleasure of grilled fish.
If you reach out, the hand next to you brushes with affection
Let the skin squeal with delight
Dance  Stop fighting the sweaty ballroom
Let the simplicity of desire take over, and notice
     what had been obscured, perhaps, by the fine layer
     of sawdust you made when you insisted
     on running the hack saw against the grain.
And there you were, sawing away, with a kind of specialized envy
     reserved for hedge-fund managers and pentacostal snake handlers.
Now there's an audacity you can't quite summon
But you can set down the wrong tools and begin anew.
Start with a film festival.

Feed the birds and what do you have?
Happy birds, actually.
And they don't want your poetry—they'd rather have your crusts.
Divide the loaf sparingly, or with great slabs of garlic gusto.
Mix it up with salad greens and a cold Chablis.
I know the French are a pain in the ass, but gambling on a grape,
     you gotta admire that.
Move South for the panache of grenache.
Reserve a clay court. What a racket!
These people know how to live and that's why we're jealous
     of flower pots on interstates,
     a nouvelle novel,
     an église.
Arousal by the sauté pan    (a romance begins with accent marks)
You plan on fewer mistakes, so why not a pen? An inkwell?
Put on some gifted vinyl and respect when you have to stop
     every 20 minutes—the end of a side.
     The end of a chapter.
Your library is living large.
There will always, always be another good book.

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