Distortionary Dialogues

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Birthday Poems - May 16 2018

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1 Birthday Poems - May 16 2018 on Wed May 23, 2018 12:41 am

The following poems were delivered at a reading entitled 'Keep Begin Detach' held at E.M. Wolfman General Interest Small Bookstore in Oakland, and introduced by the poem 'A Birthday' by Christina Rosetti.



1
A metal vision: dense but malleable. Expansion
Beginning outwards from an overheated core,
Vapors vying for an opening. It comes in bursts
And sputters. I see faraway cities looming in
Window-shutters. Sky-shards scattered like gems
Nesting deep in chambers whose doors I’ll not disgrace.
I’ll find honor in a worldly way, without forgetting
My grandmother’s Sister Joan. She left the convent
For Manhattan. The Temple (T) for Religious (R)
Understanding (U) was her new home. What is TRU?
A shared awareness of a holy peace, a cult,
A commute. We walked one day in another borough
And her eyes casually let slip a secret:
I have aged, changed, and yet lost nothing.
She had the intimidating wholeness of a child,
And I felt ancient flutters in my young breast.
Two lives, one truth. I never had the chance to work
For TRU, itself a subsidiary of a higher body
Peacefully brandishing their United (U) Nations (N), who
Demanded space in the temple and made it UNTRU.

Now—time to put on those dancing shoes!
For fortune loves a good jig—you choose
The tune. I can sing of my people no longer,
But they are under care of my younger and stronger
Brother Walter. My name is being called from
A different country where my voice might ring anew.
Heraclitus scores again: opposites abound, each
Powered by borrowed flames. Reflected light,
May I share in your prescient recollections, which
Float like gentle leaves laying down to rest?





2
Clear paths,
blaring sun—
you inquire as
to our route.

A smiling reply:
You’re the one
who wants
to find out.

Sky is cut
by birds’ “V”—
black mass
headed south.

It’s not as if
This poetry
comes from
my mouth.





3
No it doesn’t go away
And I never expected it to
Because early on I saw
Faces of elders balk
At simple musings so
Rudimentary you ought to have
Managed a response, really.

All I did was ask
The question, over and over
And over again. It nags,
The question—sticks like
A thorn refusing to be ignored.
The question intractable,
Recalcitrant and beautiful.

And no, I won’t
Formulate it here
Because now I know,
I know now that
It formulates me
And it will not
Stop until it is
Good and ready.





4
A promise
to make a
promise—
sweet, gentle
deferral.

If
you walked away
my heart
would soar
to watch
your figure
disappear
in the distance.







5
Morning
A man asks
For a light
I don’t have
I ask
What are you
Thinking about?
His words, not mine:
“I am thinking about
the end, whether it can be
better than the beginning,
whether there is
a difference.”

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2 Re: Birthday Poems - May 16 2018 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:27 am

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