Saints and War Criminals: an online book of poetry
Poetry from '94/'95
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
all about her is beautiful
- is she really meant to be here and
am i really meant to see this?
i know my love is more than raven's wings
or sitting slowly over cold coffee cups
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
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
for protection and a few hours' icy silence
death would be hard-pressed to be quieter.
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.
Take me back to the main page.