How To Coax The Soul

By on May 16, 2014 in Poems

How To Coax The Soul Out Of The Words That Want To Become A Poem   With your full presence practice, practice being in the moment the way you are with your lover when your blood is two or three glasses full of the wine you’d been saving until you found each other. Swallow the moon whole as it rises. Hold the unending miles of moon in your body do not quake            like the birch and aspen do not stammer           like the young son of your friend who is already afraid of language. Know the words as this light, your body the lantern that was born to house it. Let yourself be held by the mystery of the moon’s opal fire. Do not be afraid for how long it takes you. Do not be afraid for your eyes to turn into coals. Do not be afraid of waiting. Or that your lover will wake or that he will leave you. Smell the enormous perfume of the white peonies in cool water on the bedside table...

How to Love a Phoenix

By on May 16, 2014 in Poems

How to Love a Phoenix   In Paris in winter there were women with flame red hair and pointy shoes. Their click clack chased me all through the light filled alleys their flames followed me as I rode the metro. Quietly. I bought feathers iridescent and jewel toned: flame, emerald, turquoise light trapped in jars and lined up on wooden shelves. At night I ate their colors and dreamed of a thousand colors and this beauty lifting off me like birds like love illuminating all the dark places I want to whisper their story          into your right ear I am whispering it now. These dark places form words: a smoldering, soft bird made of glowing embers and ash.   I’m asking you   to be gentle with this   hold it   as you should hold me   in a nest made of mist and light.   Then take notes.   This is the way to love: with open hands and an open, aching...

Yes, This Is The Way Dreams Get Built

By on May 4, 2014 in Poems

Yes, This Is The Way Dreams Get Built   This evening I sit at the typewriter, oh the blessed cursed typewriter where I am trying to make poems appear out of thin air. Ah, the dry, dismal trying of it. I am buzzed from an afternoon of drinking smoky oolong tea. I am full from eating too many almond cookies. Tonight trying to write is like facing my fear of swimming. Every attempt is an attempt to transgress the grip of the reptile mind. I am holding steady but reptile mind has grown into a steamy jungle. It is green, so verdant in this place where it lives. One could be easily captivated and never get out. Swimming should be like it is for the babies who are in the pool at the same time that I have my morning lesson. A loving, gradual acquaintanceship that leads one day to a full blown romance. Safe, safe. These mornings when I am in the warm, shallow pool with so many of them and...

Entering the Shrine

By on Mar 26, 2014 in callings, Poems

Entering the Shrine   I   It was a tough week not just for me but seemed like it was tough for everyone. S said she was deep in the thick of it with her relationship. I said, I’m deep in the thick of it and I’m not in a relationship. It’s bad, really bad. Then she pulled out a koan her teacher had given her that week. It spoke of being caught in a rain storm and finding a shelter for oneself, a shelter which for the sake of this discussion could also be a shrine. Who is the Self? What is the Shrine? The nature of koans. I had to admit I didn’t get it. I said, you gotta help me out here. I said, I went to the movies and I cried. I went to the library and I cried. I cried driving home from the library. I cried when I got home. Everywhere I went this truth: that I want to write poetry and read poetry, eat poetry, peddle poetry, sleep with poetry. If this is God speaking to me...


By on Mar 25, 2014 in Poems

Transcendence   I. In the months after the worst days of my grieving I went to hear the story of a questing man’s walk into our country’s deep woods and our tawny tea stained ravines lit by owls’ wings and moths’ wings. Everywhere he walked he was amazed by his fragile breath and the beauty of wet fields held tenderly by fog and the shining auburn coat of the fox who watched everything. I was all invisible aches and pains. When I closed my eyes I saw shooting stars blooming like flowers into the inky well behind my eyelids.   The evening was intended to be highly interactive. And so I shared my hopes and dreams with a stranger. Then our group formed two circles that faced each other     one inside the other and one by one we met in the radiating orb at the edges of our skin palm to palm and staring intimately into the eyes of the other.   I nearly died from overexposure....


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