Daily Archives: May 4, 2015

WINDOWS

From this height
the sunset spans the whole world
before me: houses and trees are shadows
neon flares between them like sudden fire
the freeways run, always
strangely vacant with riderless cars
empty air

the windows up here
refract the blue slate and rose light
making the hills on the horizon collide
with ideas of Sussex, piedmont
or the cold clear wind of the Abruzzi
but that is never what is out there.

At home, the lamp curls its aurora
into the corners of the room
and out the windows
squares, rectangles of light
stake out a territory on the ragged lawn.

In the center of things
between the pressing of the window and air
— a small space —
there is a meeting that defines
nothing, everything.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

CUSTODIANS

Retired from other trades, they wore
Work clothes again to mop the johns
And feed the furnace loads of coal.
Their roughened faces matched the bronze

Of the school bell the nun would swing
To start the day. They limped but smiled,
Explored the secret, oldest nooks:
The steeple’s clock, dark attics piled

With inkwell desks, the caves beneath
The stage on Bingo night. The pastor
Bowed to the powers in their hands:
Fuses and fire alarms, the plaster

Smoothing a flaking wall, the keys
To countless locks. They fixed the lights
In the crawl space above the nave
And tolled the bells for funeral rites.

Maintain what dead men made. Time blurs
Their scripted names and well-waxed floors,
Those keepers winking through the years
And whistling down the corridors.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

LOVE POEM

The afternoon we left our first apartment,
we scrubbed it down from ceiling to parquet.
Who knew the place could smell like lemon muffins?
It suddenly seemed nuts to move away.

The morning someone bought our station wagon,
it gleamed with wax and every piston purred.
That car looked like a centerfold in Hot Rod!
Too late, we saw that selling was absurd.

And then there was the freshly tuned piano
we passed along to neighbours with a wince.
We told ourselves we’d find one even better;
instead we’ve missed its timbre ever since.

So if we are ever tempted
to ditch our marriage when it’s lost its glow,
let’s give the thing our finest spit and polish—
and, having learned our lesson, not let go.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

HUSBANDS

My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband’s muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he’d sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she’d vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father’s feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

WIDOWER

She took such good care of him
that he seldom lifted a finger.
So only now does he stand by the sink and peel
his first potato, with the paring knife she left as legacy.

The potato, he notes, fits the human hand,
was made to do so, one
of the miracles.

She knew all along.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

TURNING OF THE YEAR

We never know if the turn
is into the home stretch.
We call it that—a stretch
of place and time—
with vision of straining,
racing.  We acknowledge
each turn with cheers
though we don’t know
how many laps remain.
But we can hope the course
leads on far and clear
while the horses have strength
and balance on their lean legs,
fine-tuned muscles, desire
for the length of the run.
Some may find the year smooth,
others stumble at obstacles
along the way.  We never know
if the finish line will be reached
after faltering, slowing,
or in mid-stride, leaping forward.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

RESOLUTION

Whereas the porch screen sags from
the weight of flowers (impatiens) that grew
against it, then piles of wet leaves,
then drifted snow; and

Whereas, now rolled like absence in its
drooping length, a dim gold wave,
sundown’s last, cast across a sea of clouds
and the floating year, almost reaches
the legs of the low-slung chair; and

Whereas between bent trees flies
and bees twirl above apples
and peaches fallen on blue gravel; and

Whereas yesterday’s thunder shook blossoms
off laurel the day after they appeared; and

Whereas in the dust, the fine and perfect
dust of cat-paw prints scattered across
the gleaming car hood, something
softer than blossoms falls away,
something your lips left on mine; and

Whereas it’s anyone’s guess as to how long
it’s been since a humid day sank so low,
so far from the present that missing
sensations or the sensation of something
missing have left impressions in the air,
the kind a head leaves on a pillow; and

Whereas the last of ancient, unconvincing
notions evaporate from the damp pages
of thick, old books that describe how,
for instance, Time and Love once
lay together here; how in a slurred flash
of light she turned and waded back
into the sea, and how the slack
part of any day was and is
all in the way he, half
asleep, felt her hand slip out of his; and

Whereas, the blue heron stands on the shore;
while the sleek heron turns, broad
to narrow, half hidden among the reeds;
turning with the stealth, the sweep
of twilight’s narrowing minute,
of stillness taking aim; turning
until it almost disappears into
the arrowhead instant the day disappears,
until, staring out of the reeds,
the aforementioned heron
is more felt than seen; and

Whereas, you, with due forethought
and deliberation, bite into
an apple’s heart and wish it were your own

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

SPLIT

We speak of rebellion when the kid
is a hellion and the folks are as mild
as a spoon.

Likewise Republicans
born of freethinking lesbians

seem like reactors, turncoats
on how they were raised.
Let me offer another
concatenation
of this explanation. Think of your mother

as one discrete corner
of a person with a multiple
mental disorder.
You’re one of the others. One that split off.

Not a turncoat then, but the expression 
of what was suppressed. This same woman, 
your mother, who wants to help others,

also likes life as a racket 
where the best finagler wins.

For reasons we do not fully assemble, 
she cannot voice this redder side 
of her nature, and the voicing of it, 
that is you.

You are not teaching the former 
generation.

Their frenzied distaste in certain directions 
was the cue you used

to decipher the code
of just how you were not to do
as you were being told.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

GENDER BENDER

Evolution settles for a while on various stable balances.
One is that some of the girls like cute boys and some
like ugly older men and sometimes women. The difference
between them is the ones who like older men were felt up

by their fathers or uncles or older brothers, or if he didn’t
touch you, still you lived in his cauldron of curses and
urges which could be just as worse. They grow already old,
angry, and wise, they get rich, get mean, get theirs.

The untouched/uncursed others are happy never needing 
to do much, and never do much more than good. They envy
their mean, rich, talented, drunk sisters. Good girls drink milk
and make milk and know they’ve missed out and know they’re

better off. They might dance and design but won’t rip out lungs 
for a flag. Bad ones write books and slash red paint on canvas; 
they’ve rage to vent, they’ve fault lines and will rip a toga off
a Caesar and stab a goat for the ether. It’s as simple as that.

Either, deep in the dark of your history, someone showed you 
that you could be used as a cash machine, as a popcorn popper, 
as a rocket launch, as a coin-slot jackpot spunker, or they didn’t 
and you grew up unused and clueless. Either you got a clue

and spiked lunch or you got zilch but no punch. And you 
never knew. It’s exactly not anyone’s fault. If it happened 
and you don’t like older men that’s just because you like 
them so much you won’t let yourself have one. If you did

everyone would see. Then they would know what happened 
a long time ago, with you and with that original him, whose eyes 
you’ve been avoiding for decades gone forgotten. That’s why 
you date men smaller than you or not at all. Or maybe you’ve

turned into a man. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it is just human 
and it is what happens. Or doesn’t happen. That’s that. Any 
questions? If you see a girl dressed to say No one tells me 
what to do, you know someone once told her what to do.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

STEADY, STEADY

If it had become a competition in which we,
Like children desperate for the blue ribbon,
Pulled knotted hemp, gripping until certain
Of calluses, if our contest awarded the strongest,

The boy who could best inflict pain yet not 
Flinch when injured, then you won, for I must 
Imagine the brown of your back to reach my 
Peak, a short thread of breaths, a tug of war

With the heaviest child grunting at the end 
Of the rope until jerked and dragged over 
The line. That fat kid flounders through muck

The way I splash your relentless name 
In shivers about me. Watch him wallow. 
If he tastes mud as bitter as this poem

Of mine, then I win – and you love me.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

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