Monthly Archives: June 2012

Absence

Black,
this emptiness.

Like the nothing
of a moon less night.

The dark of the earth
without even the memory
of its missing sun.

The opposite of love
is not hate.

It’s absence.

Where the hell
are you?

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Suzanne

It was such an ordinary afternoon
until a common friend
called to say you’re
no more.

That you took
your life.
Alone in your
apartment.

Hey, that’s no way to
say goodbye!

That was the first
Leonard Cohen
song you played for me,
remember?

Made me fall in love with
his voice, his words.
Can’t thank you
enough for Cohen.
Now I can’t ever thank you.

Now I will never have
a friend who’s got
more tattoos
than most rock stars,
is funnier than most
stand up comedians,
has read more books
than you can find in most libraries.

So much of everything
you packed into your
short little life.
So much.

Your name meant ‘bright light’
I assumed you were strong.
I had no idea how dark
the night looked to you.
I am so so sorry.
For you.
For me.
For the bewildered
rest of us
you’ve left behind.

Thank you for the
conversations,
the laughter,
the joints,
the love.

Thank you for widening my horizons.
Thank you for being such a beauty.
Thank you especially for Cohen.

Thank you for
everything actually, my love.

Just one complaint.

That’s no way to
say goodbye!


This is the plan

If I tell you I love you
everyday
eventually you’ll fall in
love with me.

Of this I’m sure.

You may love another now.
You may not love me.
No matter.
Things change.

My plan is to be the constant.

If I tell you
I love you everyday,
including equinoxes
and solstices,
through the
changing seasons
and years,
one day
I’ll become a constant
like the Pole Star,
or a habit
like smoking.

So that you look for me
every time you’re lost
or  feel like dying.


Of Mice and Men

I must have been
fourteen that summer.
It was hot and endless
and full of mosquitoes.
I got malaria.

My panicked parents
took a delirious me
one evening to the house
doctor they knew.
It was full of her books
and her daughters.

In a week
I was in love with John Steinbeck
and her youngest.
The book was ‘Tortilla Flat’.
She was  thirteen.

She was the first girl I kissed.
I don’t remember
much of that kiss
except that my ears
burst into flames.

We never went
beyond furtive kisses
snatched in corners
of our busy households
full of people –
her’s and mine.

I remember being
delirious all that endless
summer.

By the time I finished
‘Grapes of Wrath’
my dad’s transfer
orders came in.

My first love ended
rather abruptly.
I was gutted for a bit but not too long.
I found new friends
At fouteen the heart heals fast.

We didn’t keep in touch.
Three decades
have  whizzed past
in a blink.

I have no idea
where she is.

I still love Steinbeck.


Split

I lead a double life.

In one, I’m an ad man.
In the other, I’m a poet.

In one life, I try not to lie.
In the other, I try to
tell the truth.

In one life, I write to
help turn the wheels
of economy,
help create wealth,
remind people to
keep up with the Joneses.

In the other, I write to
cultivate the fields of my
imagination,
help create beauty,
remind people to fall in
love more often.

One life pays for the bills.
The other keeps me sane.

The two lives are
as different
as chalk and
cheese.

Except one thing.

In both lives I get
to put my feet on the
table, chew on the end
of a pencil as i day dream
and call it work.

Leading two lives
is a small price to pay
for  never letting reality
touch me.


Sleepless

Tonight the full moon
is a round, white
pill of ecstasy
quivering on the
tip of my tongue.

All night, tonight,
I’ll harvest the sweat
of our passions
in the salt pans
of your body.

Unable to stop smiling.
Unable to hold a thought.

My gaze flickering over
your luminous body like
some crazed
cartographer
mapping heaven.

My parched lips
drinking hungrily
from yours.
Leaving me even
more thirsty.

A night spent
on a bed of unspeakable
happiness,
wrapped in warm
blankets of  the
forbidden.

Fulfilled desires
entwined around
each other, content,
until new hunger
stirs afresh in
the pit of our
stomachs.

No one is
sleeping tonight.


On reading

He lives in books.

Having minus thirty eyesight
in both eyes helps.

No cricket for him
when he was growing up.
Not that he could
have afforded a bat.

His father died young.
There was never enough money
for anything, mostly.

So he lived  in books.
In cool, dark libraries.
In the shade of
high trees of learning.
He read.
He read.
He read.
He read his way out of
penury, out of oblivion,
out of insignificance.

He read so much
they had to make
him a professor,
a teacher who taught
teachers to teach little
children the love of reading.

He lives in books.
So naturally,
he had a fairy tale marriage,
a fable for a life,
a textbook career.

It was as if it was all written.

It ‘s always written.

My father taught me
if you read enough
you’ll always find out
what.