Sunday, April 24, 2011

Standing in the Doorway

I am seated in a chair, facing toward the sunlight that enters this room through an open door. Outside, I can see tree fern branches lifting and subsiding and the mix of green light growing golden from a lowering sun.

I feel you, though you, in body, are miles away, sedated, supervised, monitored, hanging on. I know that part of you is departing just now.

Moments later, still seated, I can feel that you have slipped inside me, floating messages to me from deep within - that in the doorway, we are holding hands, beholding the sunlight together.

You will step onward and I will remain.

Then I am standing up, forward in time, hearing eulogies and the voices of those who will speak them. Their words do not meet you where you are or recognize you where you once stood. They guess at your substance and rise like the clamor that erupts in a bar after a toast to a long departed loved one.

Strings of myths and stories help the storytellers say to themselves that this is who he was and this is who I am and I exist as he existed. I am real am I not? But you are not and we are not and this waiting underscores all that we cannot name.

We, both of us, were never here but will never leave. How it hurts to have nothing to add but silence.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Then, we were among the many friends and faces, wet-eyed, laughing and chatting with a see-you-soon ease. By death and slight of hand we became fewer until it was just I and my voices – of no standing and having a calendar only as something to carry in case.

But you came back to me this afternoon as you said you would. I could hear you speaking to me as I walked by the little park a few blocks from where we had lived. You with me and through you my mind opened onto a room where we all were together again, laughing and chomping delicate and exotic morsels, jesting with one another, drinking, forgetting everything we had promised to hold dear, passing through those moments as if we had centuries to spare.

I have no time to spare and I do not want to sleep through sounds like my boots thudding on uneven sidewalk or the sight of a single fall-reddened leaf hanging at the end of its bare branch, or Latin drums drifting from an upstairs window I-know-not-which-one, or a sweet kiss I can taste that helps me remember -

You and I will be together again soon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Before zero existed, did this space exist or did we, by our giving nothing a name bring it into existence?

What about bits of memory that shoot through my mind only to vanish en route? What happens to the parts of the story I can't quite recall?

And wishes made in childhood, almost grasped, then forgotten? Can they come to me in a surprise one day, fresh-slapped and screaming?

Who suggested this thing called forgetting and called collisions of circumstance a coincidence? Are these just tricks of the mind shields from what we doubt we can hold?

Emptiness sketches the shape of what existed before this silence. In its outline, our former symmetry gives light to this darkness.

The Retreat (a confession)

I am sitting up in the night’s smallest hour, a near right angle on this camping cot. Ears stretched open. Did I hear someone coming? Please?

Quiet! Too quiet. Quieter outside of me than in please someone make some noise!

I know (and will admit) that I am home in the noisiest places. My internal zero centers when everything bounces and people scream. Fighting neighbors, drunks making love. In the center of this turbine I float like a little sage totter on sandals, offer pocket wisdom, have medicines up my sleeves!

For free! Have it all for free!

But here! Here! In this bunk house. This monastery. Away from it all. A gate clacks against its post now and then. A dog howls on the other side of an empty valley. I am awake waiting for the return of two brothers who passed some moments before exchanging muffled whispers.

Oh what were they talking about? Is there something wrong?

I am a shout trapped in skin. An explosion looking for a place to express myself. Please stand back. I am doing the best I can to self-actualize in a beneficial way.