June 10, 2006 at 7:20 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

The first Sunday
after the first full moon
after the first equinox of the year,
rise early and lean outside
in the spiced air, listen to the bells ringing.
Morning bells,
bells of the far churches
chuckling their delight for the advent of another spring
in a world that has dawned.

and already the snows have grown weary;
they drop their coats
and troop back into the darkness.
Already the gale, brabbling wind
discards his piercing shrillness
and his iciness;
he bounds forward on us warm and naked.
Already the distant sun, long aloof
forgets herself,
wanders our way, smiling broadly.
Already the crocuses and daffodils,
the jonquils, the dogwoods, the wisteria, even the white iris
alone in the field by my house,
cast off their shyness; vulnerably
expose themselves before the world,
unprotected and beautiful.

And it is spring. It is spring.
I look beyond the empty lot, out past
the steeples that stand like toys on the far street; suddenly
I see earth supple before me like a gardener
like a mother suckling rich seedmouths

and they spring up.

They spring up, they spring up
in eudicotyledon splendor of living,
resurrected in body once again.


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June 10, 2001 at 5:27 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

Sun is a flight of photons
pelting me in the morning
entering the soul of my body
in photonic penetration.

Gold little embers
enter me through the fingers
through the weak frailty of my arms
cocked before me.

How should I know what the secret of life is
when it is only embers
even the sun’s little embers
come to me by these arms?

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April 22, 1986 at 5:23 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

That day
when spring is come
and birds blow song,
when wind is blue
and sun stirs up
thrashing about till cold be gone

and buds peek forward
from the womb of the tree
raising their heads like flowers to the air,
while black flies buzz black with
the quick lust of the bee
and butterflies
with their certain, butterfly flair

and ants spin hotly
out their cave-doors in the ground
searching new food
and dragonflies wake soft,
wee in the silence of the morn
beyond the winter-death of sound,

that day, I’ll prance to you
out the early light
and we’ll make our bed
until it is night.

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4 Poems on Nudity

October 10, 1981 at 6:57 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

Dirty Eyes

Public nudity is illegal in the national forest
for the forest has no eyes
but dirty men do
and dirty men run the world, run it dirtily
and when dirty men get naked
it is only to put dirt on someone, usually of the opposite sex.

Public nudity is illegal in the national forest
as it should be.

As it should be
in this obscene national world.

Wealth & Poverty

The Tasaday get to go naked
any time they feel like it, which is most of the time
and they are the poorest people in the world.
And I, one of the richest —
no it is illegal.
My body is obscene. Don’t think of it.

Illegal Wilderness

When I was hiking down the river trail

inside the edge of the Cohutta wilderness
with all my clothes in my arms and my nakedness public below me

public to the woman, anyway, who was with me
and who made
me rise up in stout freedom
as I clumsily hiked along

— if other
hikers had come around the bend
I could have been arrested! My

wilderness —
unclothed of God and all!

The Lord’s Way

Actually, if Christian friends tell the truth
(and I know they would never lie)
God disapproves of nakedness.

Which isn’t surprising, seeing He made it.

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June 10, 1981 at 6:54 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

There are certain smells
that hang around
no one but girls
I’ve found.

There must also be
a smell for boys,
maybe the scent of their pee
or maybe their toys.

But I cannot tell
no matter how I try
what a boy’s smell is.

Guess I’m a boy is why.

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June 10, 1981 at 6:46 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

If you take ten things you know
and mix them well together
and dump them to a salad bowl
will it help you find the weather?

Ok, you bring a million things
into your search of weather
or split them to a million bowls
is your salad any better?

And have you found a single cloud
from your verbalizing loud?
Have you seen or touched a sound?
Have you made a raindrop round?

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June 10, 1981 at 6:26 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

If dreams were my fingers
and prayers dances come true,
on falling meadows I would linger
sleeping with you.

And life were a true thing,
which it is (but not soon)
I would give up my manhood
to relearn it from you.

If wind be my voice
with a tongue green as leaves,
I’d speak you no noise
harsher than breeze.

And thoughts were an oak tree,
not intellectual — but were dark —
words curl like black branches,
kisses thicken like bark.

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June 10, 1980 at 6:50 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

Oneness is found in the East
Wonder’s at home in the West
but Faith resides in a place of peace
between a woman’s breasts.

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June 10, 1980 at 6:50 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

The Queen’s Lace puts a heavy head
up. I put a light.
The Clover’s frock is red tonight
beneath moon’s parasol.
I’m liable to die.

Even the flowers cannot be erased
from the backstop of time.
Even grace
can’t save the lonely daisy
of Human life that has lost its stem.

The wind can be stopped
by a factory at work.
The life
of every worker can be stopped
when the flower’s plucked.

The flower’s been plucked.

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June 10, 1980 at 6:49 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

Thought never made a man be a man
Machines it has made on every hand.
Thought-machine nabs a woman, woos her by soft
Cooing rhythm of the electric hum of his cogs;
Then thought-woman, like an earthworm, swoons, makeup gone smuck,
Uncovers her hairless legs, straddles machine, and they fuck
By the light of the silvery moon
In Ju — Ju — Ju — June.

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Gibbous Encounter

June 10, 1980 at 6:48 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

Sit then, we shall make a nest
and I shall clutch you, my lips impress
a dark rose on your breast.
I will put it for a test
of this encounter as your guest.

There then, and let me plant
another here, and here beneath your pants
let loose another in the forest: we’ll let him tramp
around for a woodless valley. Let him find the camp
I will make tonight — but first must go out the lamp.

No lie back again — don’t stir.
It’s now too dark and — brrr!
it’s cold! But don’t act so uncomfortable. I’ll cover
you warmer than the warmest fur.
Me or blanket — which would you prefer?

Go ahead then, hesitate.
Let that silly mind of yours step in to legislate,
like some old spinster, the kind of love you make.
Go ahead, let it tell you wait
until it’s worked out some ideal, romantic way to mate.

Why do you huddle on the bed
squeezing double knees to the breasts
like that; why fold arms around your naked head,
throwing such a volley of tears, and nothing said?
I’m not impressed.

Look at me.
Lift up that naked face — don’t you see
you must be sensible. This isn’t fantasy.
And it’s no game; now will you please
take down those knees?

So cry at me. You say it’s sex
I’m after. You think I’m out to flex
my muscle in your female factory; your text
is that you’re the big production, me just the annex.
I’m the one that’s vexed.

I took you for a woman. I thought
you saw me as a man. In moon we walked
this night to your apartment, now at the bed you balk.
It tires me, this talk —
now, feel it! my erection’s hard as rock!

No, no, don’t try to slip around
me to the door. Sit down!
You stay there on the ground.
I won’t be made a clown
even if I have to hold you down.

Since you won’t get on the bed
we’ll do it here. I’m fed
up with your resistance! See, you make me whip your head
against the floor, and now the wood is red;
and now you’re still.

I’ll have my way before you’re dead.

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Sex Real & False

January 1, 1980 at 12:00 am (Darkness, Poetry)

Real sex is beyond the mind.
Real sex makes you blind.
Real sex brings in the demons.
Real sex is the living semen.
Real sex whorls you deep
in the other’s sleep.

False sex is a skill we’ve learned.
False sex is a fear we’ve spurned.
False sex is the mind’s cute fun
meeting the other one one-on-one.
False sex is the fear of feeling.
False sex is the body’s heeling
falsely to the mind’s chosen fun.
False sex, facing one against one.

Real sex is a breath let out.
Real sex is an unstopped shout.
Real sex is tears on the face.
Real sex is fear let escape.
Real sex is the nude revealing
of oneself to the other’s healing.

Real sex can’t be talked about
or the flame goes out.

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December 10, 1978 at 6:15 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

A brown leaf scraped at the window pane
just when I
had thought I had lost enough to cry.

It signaled
to me like a finger pointing

to a spot on the ground full of the sun-spanked clover
I had been sitting in earlier

that very same day
hunting & hunting for a four-leafed one that I might save.

But never found. And the brush
of pain
was too much for the scant
my life retained.


some brown leaf screamed at my window
just when I
had given up on the lie.

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Death of Minnestress

November 14, 1978 at 10:14 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

It has come after all
even the moon is a widow.

Hurt-eyed catless moon must stand
wet-mouthed in the air, tonight
caught in the center of darkness breaking about her.
Like cattail losing the seed that it must lose to the wind
she weeps her whiteness above me.
Minnistress is dead and tears are dried in my eyes;
they will not move
just as Minnestress’ dead body will never more move.

Moon, I believed in you, believed in the night
you ruled with your face:
to find out now you did not rule. You only fell
eager-breathed on roaming Minnistress
who by sanct right of some living cat-mystery
wore the moon-dark crown.
Tonight you are pain-faced, little better than I:
with her dying you are part died.

Moon, old mistress and old guardian,
even you are alone.
You are widowed. Moonly
woman is gone from you, you have lost
all vital part to stone.

I stand in the street, in disgrace.
Bereft of all will in my body. I wait
for the last moment, when I have to know
of the unwilling darkness crashing upon the night, and of
the withdrawal of the moon, and of her black eyes
that prick my blood with despair to chase me inside.

And know what I must know too well:
that the woman in the moon is gone
is become hard-eyed widow
stone-bitter with her lies and illusions.

Unwilling, my being is thrown
like the churning tides of an ocean into confusion.

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Willow Love

September 3, 1978 at 6:13 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

If I hold to the soft light
and you to the sad
what makes it such a wrong right
that we should be glad?

While wind meets the poor willow
and the branch gives way
why ought we be still — oh
and crouch away?

If you be unsure
and I full of an old wait
and fearful before love’s lure
why hesitate?

We cannot make a strange sun
sing a white moonsong
nor make two become one
nor live for long.

And if flies be for a day
and robins but a season
why ought we betray
such unreason?

Let the stars then be stars
in their eternity
while we be what we are
and save serenity.

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Manifesto (of sorts)

May 10, 1978 at 6:12 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

— I —

I have made a discovery.
A startling thing.
I have stumbled upon myself.
And I have discovered: I have no worth beyond this body I name myself.
A body, it is hardly much.
Yet it is so, it is so.
I have discovered a marvel. It is so.
My body is myself.

It is so, though.
I’m no great thinker. My mind is no great thing.
I play chess, I play ping-pong: both but little better than average.
I cook a little food.
I am a student — again, a little better than average.
Which isn’t much to claim.
And, once claimed, amounts to nothing.

Certainly it can’t justify me.
Isn’t sufficient to explain or account or pay for my existence.
I exist, and nothing I can do will pay for the cost of it.
What I do, all that I am able to do, in the end lies worthless to pay for my existence.
I write — yet I can’t find the magic words.
I hate the words I do find.
Words despised in the blood for not being quite good enough.
Not magical enough.
I want — I want to pay for myself.


I am a tangled bundle of old debts.
I shall never, never pay them off.
It’s beyond me.
Well then, I will just be, and know that I am nothing.
This dream I have, I will hold onto it, even if it is a fire that burns me.
I will be burned, that’s all.
What choice have I — what else?
To live in the darkness that is death?
To not live?
Or just to be, in the darkness of life.

— II —

To live I must hold a little candle.
Yet the very candle is me myself, individual, inviolate.
Beyond me, yet myself.
The little flame flickers. I am sick.
Flame bursts forward in flashiness, strong and proud. And I am healthy.
Beautifully healthy.

A stupefaction comes up, like a dark air: flame ebbs low, I’m sick again.
It dies to a small hard incandescence.
And I know, with a painful intuitive knowledge, I want fuel for my life.
Some other flame, proud, bright, to bring me to.
If but a small lingering ember — if even that.
But something, something to touch me, and I it — as if touch were some unknown softness, and gentle, so gentle.
A harsh touch puts us both out.

— III —

Life flames like a candle that burns detained, or not detained.
And it longs for fuel, for friendly conjunction, a cross-flame.
My blood longs to fuel the pure yellow flame of another.
To make its show, for all it is worth.
If it be not much, then I’m sorry, I apologize: it be not much.
I can’t change what I be.
Let me burn out, let me die.
Or take what little I am and flame me bright for my one short burst of glory.
Burn me, die me out.

Ah, to be burned out! Burned unto death.
It would be enough: it would be enough.
Or else to burn out, like a flame bereft.
Fate is fate and must be so. Let it be so.
If the moon crosses me, the moon crosses me.
Then let the moon cross me.
I can’t escape the past, which is my body.
Nor undo the myriad deaths that have frozen like ice to become the past.
Frozen, they are incorporated into the body.
And so the body wears the masks of many childhood deaths.

And my death is that I cannot talk, I cannot make communication, from my male being to the female.
That death has gotten upon me.
It is a matter of grace — moon’s grace — and grace isn’t there for me.
The moon denies me it.
I wear the denial like a death-mask.

— IV —

I tell you it isn’t my choice.
I tell you I have no choice.
Once, once, moon gave her sanction to me; perhaps twice she gave it so.
The first time I betrayed myself, my own self, in three ways.
One was ignorance and one was fear.
The third was uncertainty.

The second time I betrayed again, and was betrayed.
My crime was knowledge, and lack of fear.
I ought to have feared.
The third was uncertainty.

The grace has not been given again.
And I must admit, the second time, it was hardly given full-blooded.
It was only a partial grace.

— V —

The matter of love has defeated me.
I stand here, totally defeated in love.
And unable to love, perhaps.
And unable to come whole-hearted, as to a loved one.
And unable to trust the whole-hearted coming of another.
My brain wants some sort of surety given.
My brain wants an exchange of gifts, first.
Draw out a document.
Draw out a legal document!
Let us get this in writing.

So you see I am defeated in love: it’s gotten the best of me.
A little while, and I cannot trust to love.
A little while, and I cannot trust the love of anybody.
Would you that I should trust you?

Then tell me so — tell me so quickly, don’t wait!
Tell me now before my flame has lapsed to a mere weak ember from its wounds.
You shall have to come quickly or my wounds may scar.
Scarred, it will be the permanent death-mark of love on my body.

If these seem the words of a scream — I wish that it were a gentle scream.
A loud one only scares you away.
Yet I would to the gods I could be heard.

Is anyone out there going to come in?
Knock on this door — will you?

— VI —

Look at my leg here: it is nothing.
A bunch of tangled, denied feelings. Nothing.
It has no direction in which to orient its life.
No recipient for its surge of life.
No being to surge to.

Therefore my being is directionless — has only a dream.
A dream: but the memory of a longing wanted.
I’ve a longing wanted — wanted by me — but still just a memory, nothing surer.

I want that my longing be unclothed, be turned to naught, be made nothing.
Let it be made nothing.
I want my dream to be surpassed, as one runner surpasses another.
Dream ceases to exist.
An experience different from the experience of longing has come by, trampled over it.
On over it.
Oh that my dream should disappear into dust.
From ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Would that you or you or you should become a trampler.
One who tramples longings to dust.
Come to me with your runner’s arching feet!
Shall I run with you?

Shall I make to the wind with you?
Shall my fingers eat meal with your fingers?
Shall our feet follow as shadow does shadow?
Shall we know the mutual dark?
Shall we share this day — the one-directional day?
Shall we weave our sunlight together?
You and I, shall we do all these?
Or shall we retreat to our corners, our little corners, and do nothing?

— VII —

Myself, I am willing to give up.
I am willing to say, to you, to myself, to anyone, enough of all this striving.
I am all strived out.
I have been rubbed again and over again with so much strife, I am quite sore.
My deepest emotional self is sore.
So that it doesn’t know what is a friendly touch anymore.
Every touch hurts now.
Oh, don’t touch me. It shall only mean pain.
Oh, don’t touch me! for I am wounded there, wounded vitally.

There’s an island in my breast, a great wound in my body.
It is chafed white.
The very vessels my deep blood flows in, have been skinned white.
So that my blood is afraid and full of sick.
I am full of sick.
Oh stay away from me — for I fear I shall give you my sickness.
Oh come touch me — come touch me! — or I feel nothing, nothing can heal me of my sickness!
Oh come and touch me and heal me.
Oh let me be healed!

— VIII —

It shall not be easy.
It won’t be the easiest thing you have done.
The sickness won’t leave me willingly.
You must have some faith.

Unless you have faith in me, all is lost.
Lest you have faith in the weak yet lingering health that is within me.
There is a health, small struggling flame, within me.
Can you find it? can you flame it?

And I know the trust that I shall have to place in you.
Yet I say I am willing.
I will be wonderful.
My blood will be filled with the sanctity of wonder — utterly.
It will be so.
Can you put trust in that?

It will be so, then. It will be so.

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April 10, 1978 at 6:03 pm (Darkness, Poetry)

Why should I be a whole?
Even wholeness can get sickening.

A hand ought to go away from the body
and linger, like a being all its own,
poised on the musty air.
Before it comes back to earth, my body.
Before it returns to be me.

Then let me be partial: parts
like a bee
and a violet are parts.

Let the wind split, when
I jump before it, I challenge it.

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April 10, 1978 at 6:02 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

Darkness, it is beautiful. The dark.
It is my lips sucking at what I know not.
It is my fingers gone into the dark places, like a ship of explorers.
It is me forgotten in my desire to explore.
Yet I am the vessel that does the exploring.
It is my toes when they meet the ground, power flexed against power.
It is my knees conscious, like springs, of their final connection to the ground.
The ground is not-me.
Sky is not-me.
But my potency declares itself against the sky, against the ground.
Where I am is not-sky.
It is not-ground.

It is a mystery.

I am darkness. I move like a ship among the unknown.
I myself am the unknown.

The unknown darkness.
I shall lap over you, another unknown darkness.
I shall splash over you in darkness and un-know you.
In the dark rain of dark life, we shall be.

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March 10, 1978 at 6:01 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

There is an island in my breast, all snowy
with whiteness, frosted in tons of billowy
coldness of pain, and hurt of a cold wind blowing
at the core of me, at the quick.

Life, it is not a trick
played by some childish, freckled God;
we are not princes hidden in the forms of frogs,
nor princesses; nor will I succumb
to ignore what feeling flowers in my thumb.

I have not come through the battles of tonight
in order that I might be thwarted
in my running blood — nor by the poison of some white
sterile injury that has parted
me from the fingers of life —

though you with your mealy-mouthed touches have done
grave injury to me, and to the sun
that bleats in my blood with veins of maleness, rushing
like a river of gentleness, flushing
through my deepest-swelling reaches, plucking
the very quick of my life into bud in its fun.

And I tell you the wounds that ripple
in my blood like cold tadpoles utterly
alien, unknowable foreigners, spies, cold-eyed
agents, betrayers of me — out to hurt what’s fluttering

most alive in me; all that is hurtable —
they are the pus of evil, muttering
their lies of death. Ice to freeze the simpler
straight feeling in my blood, and make it whimper.

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October 1, 1977 at 6:00 pm (Darkness, Featured Poems, Poetry)

Now we linger
at the door of the temple of God
with liquid-brown anguish in our eyes
for we gaze
arms down at the drawn bright blaze
of hinge
fine-crafted and silver
that shuts us in.

or shuts us out

Oh the sparkling, all-virtuous hinge
clasping with all its strength puritanical
the oak-heavy door
that stands at the portal of the temple of God,
holding out the wrought iron bolt
of eternal demarcation and damnation

that shuts us in.

or out
Better to be a lonely old cow
that at least has its life
safely in place

and got the mute
whole green world of grass for its pleasure,
than be some pent-up young tiger
shut up in queue on the ark of God.

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