December 28, 2015

"...on a beach..."

the prologue:

bitten, something at birth, the whole earth is in on it and 
though you know this already, you await food 
and drink while being atmosphere-d

the poem:

<on a beach, mountains once, delta marsh clammed low tide>

sometimes life's keys 
get stuck, knees 
mucked bottom silt 
driven slip knot 
bent and articulate 
aggregate lore, rain 
tells our stories...

(the tiny knives 
are pieces 
of us wrapped 
in a poem 
a paused painting 
the way we move 
our fingers across 
the window sill)

"...we're eating seas 
calendars, climbed skies 
oh poor pored o'er 
mountains, tides 
and tongues..." 

songs sung 
on some days 
are the sand 
unlocking itself 
just as it did today...

"look", I said, "we have already
gathered enough for dinner..."

walking back in bi-valve tones, a tome
we're phrasing-phasing-modulating
by skipping stones calling forth 
to our gods and goddesses 
with river bottom farthings 
basket-ing each frequency, one at a time 
what we want to know is, 
what desire does when (un)leashed...

the eyes will say to you 
let's go set something else on fire
we'll catch what works 
for your wants, yet to be...

"...we live in your pockets,  
posing as ashes and pulp grain..."

we'll lay out newspaper 
across the weathered picnic table 
we'll be able to hear the surf coming in 
the salty air and clumsy rust 
covered lanterns hung 
a-swaying in jalopy lurch-n-arcs 
this syncopation is 
waiting too, just as we do 
for scent and sea 
eating as they please 
what they will  
of poems...

vacation by the sea chorus-ed

are we shells now...?

the question is
of thoughts 
and spoken roams 
even third eyes 
too, are only 
what were once(s) 
things we had 
spied, pried, savored
then tossed aside, 
piled high...

these discarded bits 
of emotional impact 
linger and demand 
twisting, explaining 
their why(s), they're wise...

mostly, during these times 
I'll open more wine 
to tine tipple 
what is spilt, dining 
on the near just past...

what happens next is...

that is is and only is 
and is often marveled at
when drunk with all that
recollection can do 
with any moment 
given expression to...

stemmed glasses await
thirst and pour
say to sate 
handle the sense
of every tabled feast being
mostly married to chaos 
while framed
in candlelight...

inside each of us 
a micro-climatic clock 
navigates the almost(s) 
and barely there(s) 
the afterglow(s) 
the pieces 
of each other 
memory takes home 
to knit and pearl...

the coda:

the trees will be
counting our countenances: 
appliances and augmentations, 
even the odd wholly diving kinds 
of marrow, bones will hide 
(decide/we/us) bared (deciduous)



  1. quahog pearls
    rare odd calm clam wobbles
    they wrap around parasites,
    necessity tightly collared
    to a shelled survival probably...

    grains of sand
    are how we tell it
    being how the stories
    we hold under bowed glass
    have been told,
    sold and rolled
    on the strings
    of culture
    and history
    we fight hard
    not to know...

    EJR ©

    1. This is fantastic. Post it; don't let it hide in comments.

  2. "bitten" ... Great opening. Sets it up to be about vampires (as a metaphor, I presume). Intense transformation, from which you cannot go back to your regular life. A partially unwanted immortality. At birth. With the whole earth being "in on it." This makes me think of someone who feels set apart from the beginning, as if he/she doesn't belong, fit in, or know how to properly conform.

    I love this:
    "you await food
    and drink while being atmosphere-d"

    "sometimes life's keys" ... There are so many connotations here. Keys in locks, stuck. Locked out of somewhere you desperately want to go. Or maybe you don't. Maybe you don't really care; you're just wiggling the key out of boredom. But hey, if it's jammed, you just move on to another door. Also, piano keys. Trying to write a song, but your muse isn't being cooperative. Or your "instrument." :P

    Knees getting stuck. LOL. I won't tell you what I'm picturing happening on the beach. Oh, sure I will. It's the BJ that just won't stop. Is that how vampires do it? I wonder ...

    "Bent and articulate" suggests figurative sexuality to me. It's not literally happening. Of course, you know I'm going back to those sirens a'calling. I envision them being very well spoken. In fact, they're probably poets, don't you think? I guess they're whatever they need to be, depending on the type of man they're "singing" to.


  3. "Agree-Gate Lorraine." Wow. That's a stunner. Some guys need that Lorraine type of girl. The agreeable one. The one who will (at least pretend to) go through any guy her man wants her to. She's so easy, and eager, to please her man. Maybe that's the best kind of sea goddess. But what happens when she reveals her true inner self to her man? Will he cast her away because she's not really as agreeable as she ones seemed? Especially if she herself IS an aggregate personality type. Bipolar. Schizo. Dissociate disorder. Whatever you want to call it. What if she has so many pieces that she's too [fill in the blank] to truly be loved? That's why she invents herself, I think. Because who she isn't is unloveable. Too complex to be loved? At least, that's what she believes. She will push people away until she is utterly alone, and then she will die of loneliness. (I'm hoping her body will last forever, but that it will be her heart that gives out first.)

    I love this layering:
    "a paused painting
    the way we move
    our fingers across
    the window sill"

    The excruciating feeling of being "paused." There's so much beauty, so much color, texture, depth, meaning inside her. But it will never be seen because she will never truly be painted.

    I sketched and began painting a girl several months ago and never finished her. She's me, of course. With big chunky headphones on, looking off to the side so as not to meet any eyes. It's secretly called "Unfinished," because it is, she is, I am. I will never finish her. It wouldn't be proper. She's my favorite painting.

    "we're eating seas" ... SO clever what you did here. I love a good word code. Of course your brain jumped to "C's" and so you listed a couple of "C" words after, but even that's code, because what you were really thinking of was Clock (minus the l) and Chunt (minus the h). What do you think a "chunt" is? I love making up words. To me, an H is always a ladder leading us toward mental ascension. Even a lowercased h. It's just broken. Gimpy. Physically challenged. I love a nice hump. Ha. Bent knees indeed.

    I'm just finishing up an awesome book called The Reliable Wife (you should totally read it). It's largely about this ... how we were made to "eat oceans," in essence, to be fed by vastness, philosophy, poetry, the substance of the soul. But really, those things are either too hard to go after or downright unattainable. So, we "eat" sex instead. Desire on a leash. Man, that cracked me up. But that's later on down in the stanzaic stacks.

  4. stacked stanza-ed "fadwil"<--a made up word

    ( a "fadwil" being a tightly bound round fingers bit of tissue paper for the purpose of emergency blotting when a woman might bleed or otherwise become more than moist unexpectedly )

    are we made to hear sirens
    said led lambs to the lions
    are we not here, to find
    what human desire is...

    very often, in our whorled whirled worlds
    we are connected, only, by fictional
    points of reference
    e.g. a nautilus for spine
    the tine ready supplications
    and interludes between our current life's bones
    and how our souls can be riveted in an awe that glues
    us to the symphonies inside every amnion that becomes a poem...

    because we humans
    all know, home is where
    the heartbeat is...

    EJR ©

    1. Some would argue we are here to deny what human desire is (i.e., "Nauti-lus[t] for s-pine." I think that's the trade we typically make, lust for pine.

      "heart-beat" ... Yeah, I guess that'll get the job done.

    2. Yes, peeling the grape now...combing some things into one wave...will post when the words behave as well as one might expect them to...

  5. I just had this "argument" or disagreement or confrontation ... or just basic conversation with my husband yesterday, about the tides, tie dyes, tidies, tie days ... of tongues. French kissing, in other words. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. Just made me think of it.

    "songs sung
    on some days
    are the sand
    unlocking itself" ... Again, this goes back to the siren. She doesn't sing every day; I think she goes back and forth. But when she does sing, it "unlocks" the day. Maybe makes the day worth waking up for. ... Are we muddling through our days, just waiting for something to kill us with passion? Maybe we're terrified of dying the regular old way. Maybe we just want some intensity, even if it kills us. Or permanently maims our brains.

    So I wonder who you're talking to here:
    "look", I said, "we have already
    gathered enough for dinner..."

    Your wife? Your friend? Your self? God? I'm not asking you; I'm just thinking "aloud." I'm going with God. Maybe you'd like to step away from God's presence for a bit so that you can hang out with the sea girl.

    Can't anyone be friends with her? Or does she have to kill everyone she sings to? Hmmm, I wonder.

    A tome to me. Perfect.

  6. Great line: "we're phrasing-phasing-modulating" ... I love that I can see the way your brain works by reading your poetry. More going with your natural thoughts rather than trying to fight them and control them. You just let them go.

    This is one of my favorite parts:
    "what we want to know is,
    what desire does when (un)leashed..." ... Nun-leashed. Ha. It turns into wrath, I think. Or an intense need to clean. I love the way "un" can function as its own word, meaning "off" somehow. ... What you're saying is that one the one hand, it's all kinds of kinky to just let your desire fly off (hee hee) all unhinged-like. But maybe it's even cooler when you put desire on a leash, with the end held by just the right pair of hands. You know, a little "mind(me)-control, so to speak.

    "we live in your pockets" Ha.

    I like the way this phrase sounds: "clumsy rust"

    "covered lanterns hung" (snicker) ... You're a blind lantern ... "hung" (which of course is suggestive ... but covered. So is this a condom kind of covering, or a general man-in-hiding kind of hiding? Again, just a rhetorical question. I don't need to know. I'm just letting you see how my brain works when I'm reading your poems.

  7. Love what you do with hyphens: "a-swaying in jalopy lurch-n-arcs" (also "narcs" and s/waying)

    "sea chorus-ed" ... see-core-us-ed

    It kinda sucks to be a seer. Seriously. I'd way rather be a simpleton. They sure have it easier.

    "the question is
    of thoughts
    and spoken roams" It's all there is, really. I think the key is balance. Just enough time spent in the brain NOT to drive you crazy. Too much, and you're lost. But if you also spend enough time being physical, it helps counter the damage.

    Ooh, I love number play (3-2-1):
    "even third eyes
    too, are only
    what were once(s)"

    What a great point. Are we actually hindered by our gift of extra sight? Yes, I think so. Seriously, I have just about NO common sense. I'm as deep as they come, but at times, I can hardly manage the most basic of life skills. Yes, I do think three eyes equal one in many regards. Can we get on disability for that? ;)

    I love playing with the word "bits." Again, with the masochism. That whole stanza with the whys/wise play is super cool.

    "tine tipple" ... Is that like stabbing an awl through the lid and super-hard-sip-sucking, but not really getting anything out? You can hardly get drunk on little-to-nothing. Drinking only what's spilt. That's just all kinds of sad. :( So much meaning jammed in here. Feeling like there's abundance to be had, but you're just not gonna get it. You're desperately licking up remnants but not allowed to have the real deal, the full bottle of liquid (s)wishes.

    Perfect capture of marriage/life ... chaos framed in candlelight. LOVE that!

    "the pieces
    of each other
    memory takes home
    to knit and pearl" ... So softly sad and yet, still sexy.

    I love the word "coda" for something. I get a little bit giddy when music slips itself into poetry.

    "the trees will be" ... Well we are trees. You're determining to exist, even when it seems all things are against you/us. I think the trick is realizing that the body must go on (doing what it does), but the mind/soul/spirit must also. It's a constant battle, I think, the guilt for allowing ourselves to exist versus feeling the right to exist, despite the world being determined to make sure we don't. That probably makes no sense. But I doubt you'll mind.

    I feel like an appliance a lot of the time. And an augmentation. Taking a piece of what I am and embellishing it, fattening it up and presenting it for the feast ... but not the pieces people don't want to eat; those get tucked away in the back of the ice box. Man, am I made of ice. Would that I could allow myself to be a sculpture, though. Is it too late? I wonder ...

    I love words like "odd," "wholly/holly/holy," and "kinds" that have varying connotations all stuffed inside of one word/spelling.

    Bones WILL hide. Always.

    Love the clever way you spliced "deciduous." I think "deciding" about we/us is the beginning of the end for a relationship and/or an identity. "Deciding" is a lie. "Being" is the truth.

    Or not. Whichever works for you at the moment.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the poem. I read it several times before I was able to comment; my phone wouldn't cooperate while we were traveling, which is just as well; having to wait until I got home allowed me to offer more extensive insights than my twitching thumbs and index fingers could have provided.