YOUR KISS

I dream of being perfect, perfect in every way
lover, dreamer, warrior, farmer, poet, priest
I ceaselessly sing, sing neon digital exclaim
because I seek, seek a return to the heart
and i confess, confess to every crime
whether it be thee or thine, you are my only crime.

Trace a line of surf in the sand
the ridge of ripple or grain
caught between defining each
find the stipple of love, of hate.
I wash in sand, I wash in flame,
I wash at the river’s edge.
I cannot ignore the basket floating there
the king asleep, the lost child drifting.

There is but one drink, drink with me.
This is the only time, time enough for both.
one kiss, kiss me, kiss us both, kiss thee,
let it start, let it end, end me now, let me breathe,
let me know, if you live, you will live with me.

TYPOGRAPHY I

I am standing at the mantel of the fireplace
my grandfather built and I am correcting
the time on a digital clock. The figures
tumble past, little connect-the-dot people;
I think about 9 pin and 12 pitch type,
OCR characters, bar codes. I know
some people think digital fonts are ugly,
but any alphabet is beautiful, any scratch
conceives for us mathematically if not
immaculately; the letters illuminate the
source and claim it as kind. I am leaning
on something that leans on itself. The rock
is steel from which my matrix is cut, and
I am writing in time on my inheritance.

TYPOGRAPHY II

Poetry
is not a trick. It is wrapped about
the source of meaning and truth. It
exists to convince us these things do
exist. It is a picture of the moment, the
exact tally of what is said and what is
thought, dreamt and felt; it poses side
by side with the real, the tangible, the
visible, to convince anyone it happens;
it happens all the time.

It is the poet
who takes this raw stuff and consumes it,
makes it part of body, transforming
self. Heart becomes crucible, hands
hammers, fingers molten pots of lead,
lines of type effortlessly trench paper
until it bleeds ink.
The poet’s voice
sings “It was always like this, long before
you or me.” Perhaps I found this song
scrolling on a mantelpiece. It happens.
People can’t believe it, but it happens—
it happens all the time.

LAUGHING

His face is distorted—look at how the
guy stretches his mouth as wide as he can
and ROARS it out, expelling his breath in gales
of sound, slapping his hand on his brown double knit cuffed
trousers
bending back and forth from the waist
HOWLING
pounding the green rippled linoleum table top
the golden suds in the fluted beer glasses shaking in symphony.
Who can resist a guy who laughs like that?
Everyone is laughing.
Old men’s eyes crinkle into olives gleaming with tears;
young guys in black T-shirts, bearded, bedraggled, hug their beers
chuckle, check out their friends, compare laughs,
start to guffaw—slowly, near noncommittal grunts at first
that stutter, then roll over into rousing brouhaha;
three guys, they look like plumbers, joiners, or tapers,
hold big fat beer guts, wear baseball hats, grin gleefully,
look around the room with obvious satisfaction,
making sure everyone gets the joke;
the waiter grins a glassy chesire cat grin
that is nothing less than a lazy laugh—but hey—
I’ve never seen the waiters in this joint smile before—
who can resist a guy who laughs like that?

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