Saturday, February 18, 1995

I DIDN'T KNOW I LOVED—after Hikmet




I didn’t know I loved the way
his eyes repeated the color
of weathered stone
or how, unlike stone, they ripen
into dark clouds when he smiles.
Or the way his son’s eyes
are the clear promise of summer skies.
Stolen kisses at 4 am, I sleep alone;
she comes, spreading her body.
Sometimes I see how the division begins
in the darkness
when we pull our hearts in,
afraid of the eventual loss that inevitably comes.
Sometimes I too think the heart
is something to protect—
like death, it cannot be saved for later.

I’m stuck, this rock,
this tree becomes the center.
His voice like smooth stone against my thoughts.
The boy and I go walking on the headlands
trying to find the summit.
I envy the way water knows its predestined course,
for the heart is always hovering like a hawk,
the hunter’s eye seeking small clues in the grass.
On this side of the San Andreas Fault,
the sea breathes us in.
Seeking completion,
he is afraid of arbitrary divisions.

The trouble with unrequited lust
this full valentine moon,
is that I’m liable to develop
carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.
Say “master painter” five times real fast. . .
When I howl at the moon, t
hey gather downwind. But he is afraid.

Polly, pretty Polly. . . 
The volunteer sent to serve ice cream
for the class party—Polly’s father—
wore a heart sticker on his sleeve,
redigging his daughter’s grave
with each scoop.

With careful steps anyone can find
the center of the heart
Like waves crashing against the rocks
disturbed swallows rise
like dark clouds before the storm
making me believe the heart
is always hard to approach.
Where do we go from here?
What of Polly’s father?
The chambers of the heart
grow infinitely larger to accomodate love.

inside the heart of the rose
is a secret chamber
where the silent worm waits
for darkness to creep out of the sky
because there are no other parallels
for death; it feeds upon the pollen
that falls into the center of life.
Beyond the edges of the petals
a whole green universe
is waiting for the sun to rise
above it, to take it towards completion.
The voices of birds move away
from the thoughts of roses.
How am I supposed to act now?
He has to come of his own volition.
The cat curls in my arms, chews his fleas.
The child and I hold onto each other.
We paste glowing constellations on the ceiling.
I cannot divide this love.
At least he knows the rooms of his own heart.

Returning home from the mountains
I bring snow for the child,
afraid of the father’s eyes, how like glaciers.
I can’t stop the mind from anticipating.
Confused by the non-eye in poetry,
I was a bird caught in a church bell
he’s the tongue on the harmonica
between my legs.
I can’t tell if we’re moving away,
or closer to each other.
Who is stalking the dreams
I wish I had as a child.
Perhaps we are sideways rain;
a squall of momentary jealousy,
a patch of weather on a glassy sea.
Someone served us delusion.
He named it island. Called it lonely.
Said, What if it doesn’t work out?
What if it does, and 7 years later
I’m on the road playing music? Then what?
They talk about moving.
What about Maureen? the son asks.
If you take out the “I”,
delusion is a seven-letter word.
Prime numbers aside,
it took God 7 days. Aye. Aiii. I. . . sing
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. . .
After I fell, I couldn’t breathe.
The longest word in English is a lung disease.
He comes to massage me,
leaves me fingering the crack in his bed.
Crawls in with his son.
I dreamed he sawed the legs off his son’s bed
until there was no place left for them to rest.

2/15 - 20/95  



From several in class writing assignments, and prose journal entries. I do not know which I prefer, in hindsight,
4 untitled VALENTINE POEMS
INSIDE THE HEART OF THE ROSE



Thursday, February 16, 1995

INSIDE THE HEART OF THE ROSE (see Hikmet poem)


Inside the heart of the rose
is a secret chamber
Where is the where the silent worm waits 
for darkness to creep out of the sky
Because there are no other parallels 
for death, it feeds upon the pollen 
that falls into the center of life. 
Beyond the edges of the petals
a whole green universe is waiting 
for the sun to rise above it, 
to take it toward completion.
The voices of birds move away 
from the thoughts of roses.

Higham Family School
16 February 1995


I recycled this in a longer poem
I DIDN'T KNOW I LOVED—after Hikmet

Wednesday, February 15, 1995

4 untitled VALENTINE POEMS (see Hikmet poem)


I'm stuck, this rock, this tree
His voice like smooth stone
The way water follows
its predestined course
We go walking on the headlands
trying to find the summit 
for the heart is always 
hovering like a hawk
Hunter's eye seek small clues 
in the grass.

15 February 1995



I didn't know I loved the way 
his eyes repeated the color 
of weathered stone.
Or how, unlike stone, they soften 
into the clouds when he smiles.
Or the way his son's eyes
are summer skies.
Sometimes I see
how the division begins 
in darkness when we 
pull our hearts in from old pastures.
I'm afraid of the eventual loss 
that always comes. 
Sometimes I think too, 
that my heart is something 
I can protect, but like with death, 
it cannot be saved.

February 15, 1995


The trouble with unrequited lust 
under a full Valentine's Day moon 
is that one is liable to develop 
carpal tunnels syndrome in both wrists.


February 15, 1995


With careful steps anyone can find 
the center of the heart.
Waves keep crashing against the rocks;
disturbed swallows rise like dark clouds 
before the storm, making me believe 
the heart is always hard to approach.

February 15, 1995




I recycled all of these in a longer poem
I DIDN'T KNOW I LOVED—after Hikmet

Wednesday, February 1, 1995

LIGHTHOUSE


In the crystal cave
I wanted to crush the baleen
of the moon's heart.
The survival of golden mapping codes 
unleashes the body diagram
in the lighthouse of your imagination. 

February 1995