Dance began with the first
separation of elements,
of wind and of water.
Dance began with the wind —
the faintest slightest shift of air
against the skin of the water.
Awareness of surface tension.
Dance began with water —
the tidal swelling without words,
“lift me up,” “lay me down,”
a slow slow silent sigh.
Logic must be laughable.
After all, so many jokes
about Mister Spock exist —
eight million, six hundred and
seventy thousand at least,
as an approximation,
most of them variants of
the classic six on eyebrows,
green blood, “yo mamma,” Kirk, sex,
and, yes, vulcanized rubber,
but there are three million less
if Data is excluded
from the search, which is not like
removing the evidence,
except that Data, too, is
logical, of course, and if
the search includes both Spock and
Data, as well as more terms
related to logic and
logical, such as geek, nerd,
logic of course, computer,
research, and both rational
and rationale, you will find
the number of jokes totals
thirty-three million and eight
hundred thousand, which is more
than fifty percent of the
total universe of jokes
in your language, that being
sixty-seven million and
one hundred thousand —
so much evidence supports
the premise that your people
for some inexplicable
reason find logic funny.
Oh, no, not sissy dreams of what you wish
or what you want to be when you grow up,
no strategy for making ‘dreams’ come true.
Not the fears that itch & shiver in our skin.
Just ordinary plain vanilla dreams
(if any of the nightly concoctions
our brains cook up could ever be called “plain”),
or the dizzying disorienting
paths our minds wander when we aren’t looking
that pop like bubbles when we snap alert,
leaving only the faintest chill sprinkling
that quickly dries, or a faint scent that fades.
All the hard work our brains do while we sleep,
trying to assemble meaning, structure
and link the gathered fragments we rolled through,
stitching them like quilts to hold the layers
together, or perhaps some more fragile
metaphor. In the morning, I’m muddled
riding the bus, and wishing I was still
asleep. Looking out the windows, watching
very simply — what is familiar, what
is not. The ribs of the bridge at dawn strip
light and shadow like torn fabric, create
rhythms that bump along my brain’s ridges,
creating a sensory cavalcade,
memories escorted by eyes into
jumbled juxtapositions, strange puzzles.
The knotting network of nerves stretches out,
nudges the delicate dendrites that nose
from cell to cell blindly, tasting their way,
triggering a blip here, a sizzle there,
an ache, a bruise, bewilderment, old friends
familiar though you’ve never met before,
chatter, colors — stuttering chemicals’
curious cascading kaleidoscope.
Posted in Creation, NaPoWriMo, Series, Syllabics
Tagged bus, creation, dreams, NaPoWriMo, poems, poetry, sleep, vision
The green and white shell is just big enough
I can curl my pinkie finger part way
inside, where it is smooth, slippery, clean
and dry as it never was when alive.
There are many kinds of spaces like this,
lovely but slightly odd with absences
of some past or future that will/was/won’t
fill the gap hollowed with infinite care.
There are other types of spaces, you know,
in which some enormous pressure is gone
or at a great distance. I dream of life
somewhere with a few folk and many pines.
For others it is the space in the day
after the kids sleep or before they wake;
the high emptiness of the clouds over
great waters; streetlamps after the bars close;
sunlight through lace streaking faint trails of dust
over wooden floors freshly swept, while flutes
and guitars quietly sift through the air;
the loud crowds in which there is no known face.
These are all intimate spaces, defined
by presence. For good or ill, we know what
is lacking, what is missed, unlike the first
space before any others, when nothing
was nothing; nothing was needed or lost,
nothing was missing, and everything was.
The first stained glass was sunlight
bright shining through the trees,
hot petals and sour leaves.
The demarkation of light
and shadow made lines as crisp
and limply mutable.
Colors bright as that famed fruit
whose flavour first made folk say
moment, when everything is
alive with savor and portents,
purpose and sensation,
more than at any other time.
Millennia before glass,
before St. Patrick’s shamrock,
before Venn diagram’s
two brights, the meaning of three
was there to see — apricot
gold, mango orange frame between
shadow bold as bittersweet.
It begins with breaking, but does not end there.
Like by becoming pregnant you find you
have joined a secret club you did not know
existed. Exists. But after pregnant
comes birth, after birth comes baby, and more
afters – after baby comes the long haul,
the forever and ever amen. And you
did not know it was a club, but there it is.
The forever and ever amen club,
and you’ve just become a lifetime member.
Being broken, you feel different, ashamed.
You scrap plans for dancing Saturday night
with the unchipped china on the top shelf.
You have nothing to talk about with them,
and can guess what they have to say about you.
You begin by staying home. Every night.
During days you walk alone down the streets,
noticing every now and then someone else
who seems broken, too, but what does that mean?
You practice a small shy smile. They smile back.
First, be broken.
Fight back, or don’t. Bide your time,
or endure, biting your lip, and hope
to survive. Choke back a groan, whimper,
or let them loose. Moan. Throw your pain
in the faces of those around you, or
let it pulse once in silence across your face,
and be swallowed like a wave into the sea,
then like a wave return once again, again.
What is broken?
A bone. A heart. Whatever you ignored.
Whatever is most needed at the moment.
The body. The mind. The spirit. Pride.
A sense of wholeness. Ability. A sense
of self worth. Identity. Who is who and
who is me or you. A barrier. A boundary.
An imagined dream. Hope. A voice. Someone
you love. Sometimes it is the pain
that breaks. Sometimes it is a fever.
Give up, let it go.