Saints and War Criminals: an online book of poetry

Poetry from '94/'95

-field notes

there's an incredible richness to the leaf litter here;
several centimeters of debris
yielded some fungal filaments, small soil invertebrates
and i think somehow
i've come to be more alive out here
now that i see how she lives
entirely too fond of  her
rich brown eyes soaked with green tinges
laughing with wild cheerfully smiling
and her thumbing through
stacks of notebook paper
most beautiful
all about her is beautiful
- is she really meant to be here and
am i really meant to see this?

-December 16- i know my love is more than raven's wings or sitting slowly over cold coffee cups watching her brown-green eyes and ridiculous hat "I know exactly what you're going to do" she says to the old friend who's beating her in a game of chess. mid-afternoon sunlight hears my intense prayers; perhaps she'll want me someday, perhaps i didn't really want her, perhaps it's best this way (though in the five am stillquiet of the living room this is exceptionally hard to believe)
Sweet wintry morning's an infinity of ifs as if eggshells crack more neatly than the drawn blinds in our cold sanctuary snow fell overnight, light truer than rain falls through the solitary window 'crost the niches and pinnacles of my spine. (my body, naked, glows with the evaporated sweat of night and the birth of morning, again, silhouetted in the window with a cup of tea steaming) And all this might be grand but i think not quite so much as your thin hand resting on some of your stray fine hair, eyes opening slowly amber-green tinged to meet the light; and this, i think, is no disgrace.
- in a graceless state They are silent now, piled beneath the snow with the wind circling overhead. Perhaps somehow it could have been different. At this cold tired hour it is very hard to write, but i have no longing to sleep quiet beneath the snow - at least not yet. Death is merely where the roads converge and can flitter on soft owl wings as easily as scythed and field grey uniformed marching. And perhaps it would not be too much to ask that before meeting this august convergeance there might be time to share slight breath felt on a cheek, or touching the small hollow between neck and body, or seeing reddish-gold hair outlying a pillow, trapped in morning light through a window - on a morning like this one with the snow thick on the ground. And for me i suspect that this would make the pounding of the owl's wings somehow less difficult to bear.
Poems from '95/96 - edgeland (for Kay) early morning is grey in the east, and the thrush flies up through the grass; stems bend, seeds scatter in the thin breeze. Now it is autumn in the edgelands and a mouse preparing for winter is sprinkled with rainwater from the grasses. The scant sunlight seems to set the field afire. And now it is winter and it seems that no atmosphere keeps the still grass from the lunar cold. Crows shadow the field in the early afternoon. Crows in the evening converse over the barren distance. Then spring and summer. But the edgeland goes on, forever.
Poems from '97/98 It's a spiritual case of rectal prolapse. I've read somewhere that suicides rise in the summer when the central performers become more steadily convinced that in the heat and the light it's they who don't fit the jigsaw of this sadness. Couples embrace in the streets on my way home and in the cities we are fighting wars over melanin. Each new day brings some new bill in the mailbox . and all under the cheerily obese sun beaming bourgeous on how happybrite (the spelling is important, mind) And thank God there's cold winds and storm on the horizon, And thank God there's cold winds and storm on the horizon.
- autumn's nearly dying. - the moon has dwindled to a mere point in the sky and in my dreams there was snow. i do not think there were coyote tracks. ducking indoors for a moment means a break in the horrid silence, and the warmth of breath-shrouded windows, crowded into a space made tolerable by the heat of bodies and ovens. the pigeons on the ledge outside the restaurant aren't as fortunate - they shudder in a stillness as deep as dreams. in the cold country my bed is next to the window and my blankets layer around me for protection and a few hours' icy silence death would be hard-pressed to be quieter.
gravity's failing. it's strange to feel a sort of sad elation from being weightless, but it's true. there are fewer and fewer ties to earth and some night some night soon (unless someone should care to wrestle me back to the ground and plant me solidly to the soil with fierce kisses reeking of mud and wine) the ties will be loosened and i will simply drift off.
-beer and blasphemy i remember your smile the day gravity cracked into several dozen bloodstained jigsaw fragments -hiking boots and voodoo dolls with a deck of tarot cards jammed in the pocket of my motorcycle jacket thought i was so damn cool talking over beer and blasphemy and watching all the pretty girls across the street. lost my innocence long before i lost my virginity, losing the remainder of my hope now, wonder if my soul will be next? - sitting by myself as always watching myself grow a year older and silently daydreaming about kissing you.

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