History of the World — 1

You gotta make money to eat; you gotta make money to buy a car, pay your rent, put clothes on your back; you have to pay cash for gas, you have to pay cash for a meal in a restaurant, you have to pay cash to pay a bill; if you’re going to make a home, you gotta have a house; if you’re going to have a family, you have to have a benefits plan— it’s as simple as one-two-three;

you don’t have to pay (yet): to walk, to talk, to breathe, to shit, to count your fingers, or pick your nose; you pay (but it isn’t cash): to love, to think, to cry, to commit crimes, to pray, to manifest, to claim natural rights, to defend, to be a good guy.

History of the World — 2

The world needs more roads, needs more variety stores, needs more software, needs more television, needs more radio, needs more words to tell you what to listen to and who to pay attention to, needs more millionaires, needs more teachers, needs more rodeos, men and women ride past on horses, carry pikes that fly chevrons, wheel past, canter about the sawdust ring;

the world needs more rivers, more forests, more canoes plying pure waters; the world needs more air. more space for wires, more time for looking; the world needs more spice, more smells, more tasting, sharing everything with each other; the world needs more love, more touching, more rest of mind on friendly shoulder, last confessions of small days catching the final fears of our souls; the world needs more time, more people, more starts, more finishes, more astronomies and galaxies to provide them; the world needs more hymns and prayers, songs, choruses making one voice of many, a time of echoes and valleys carved between them;

the world is just wonder — my negative proof follows: mountains seem smaller, oceans shallower, when we are right beside them— they are meant to be seen at a distance; the stars are simple to understand when we call them the Sun; outstretched, my hand holds everything in it.

History of the World — 3

The seed
The flood
The creation
The dream
The hunt
The earth
The moon
The water
The long voyage
The magic helper
The depth of the ocean
The height of the mountains
The monster
The treasure
The quest
The abandonment
The conqueror
The slave
The enchanted weapon
The sorceress
The sun
The stars
The wind
The rain
The father
The mother
The son
The daughter
The light
The dark
The creator
The destroyer

History of the World — 4

To birth
To die
To mark and defend
To nest
To defend your young
To arm with tooth and claw
To grow hair
To kill
To consume
To excrete
To associate
To regulate
To explore
To recreate
To enforce
To condemn
To explain
To worship
To sin
To expiate
To murder
To make justice
To forgive
To wonder
To sing

History of the Heart 1

first beat.
warm, belonging,
before knowledge,
rhythmic start,
that will be part of you
all your time.

first shock.
first wail.
first broken heart.
hungry, cold,
this will be part of you
all your time.

first bravery,
first lie.
first friend,
first hurt.
first betrayal,
first enemy.

History of the Heart 2

now occurs
the first time
you see
with your heart.
you might look at the stars,
listen to a grandparent,
perhaps look in a mirror —
your heart will tell you
“this is true,
there is more
than you will
ever know.”
Know this:
though the heart sees truth,
the heart is blind,
it will never know—
only feel—
and this will be part of you
all your time.

History of the Heart 3

the need
to love another
a fated
journey begins.

the flowers given and rejected.
the collection of withered affections
in vases, china pitchers, milk jugs,
countless wine bottles — there
they will remain
until the heart of love
dashes them all away
and heart’s joy
becomes heart’s ease.

History of the Heart 4

from there
many journeys begin.
along the way
inevitable adulteries,
divorces, abandonments.

for some
child birth.
the revelation
that for each child
a new heart
is born in each
parent’s breast.

but for everyone,
the new horizon.
each love brings
new lands
to discover.
new truths
to be forged.

even when
love fails —
the new lands
the heart has seen
will never

History of the Heart 5

when two hearts
do not fail
they witness
each other.
openly, willingly
the record
of each other.

yet the land of the heart
will not be enough
because the heart wants the stars.
the heart always yearns
for the source of love.
it crashes
blind into
the belongings
of its home
it will not find
the outside
to see the sun
feel its
warm embrace.

History of the Heart 6

heart’s search
will always
be part of you—
each beat
a question,
an expectation
of finality.

the heart
will never know.
only feel.
this will continue
all your time.

heart’s search
must always
each beat
a question,
an expectation
of finality.
but the heart
will never know.
only feel.
this will continue
all your time.

History of the Heart 7

heart’s search
will always include
the territories
of fear, pain,
betrayal, timidity
and shame.
other hearts
will always
seek to lie,
to conceal,
bully, betray
and shame.
the heart will
explore all
these territories.
this will continue
all your time.

History of the Heart 8

the heart
will beat
all your time.
the heart
will beat
all your
time out.
until the
heart is
beat out.
and with
its last

will end.