GOD OF LIGHT MEETS GOD OF WATER

Tell me   ;;;   in yr cast-off sweater   ;;;   a world
of waves thriving around   ;;;   yr skull   ;;;   where two
                bodies like ours   ;;;   will be beyond   ;;;   this room
                                darkened with air   ;;;   teach me dismemberment 
                so I can unscrew my lungs   ;;;   drop a cell 
of yrs inside   ;;;   so mine can grow as you 
our bodies two   ;;;   searching as one   ;;;   crook’dly 
                breathless breathing   ;;;   you pointed out the full
                                 moon   ;;;   dangerous & gleaming swans   ;;;   neck in
                neck   ;;;   do not share me   ;;;   red soaking feathers
down bellies   ;;;   a match lighting the rear of 
their throats   ;;;   out comes a moan   ;;;   then vomiting 
                constellations’ seed   ;;;   don’t believe me   ;;;   just
                                 watch   ;;;   alone in the hall   ;;;   crescent headlights

(Originally published in The Destroyer)

blackberries, which makes me think of meditations at lagunitas by robert hass, one of my favorite poems: 

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,

saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

When I was a Koutoulakos

i.

I ran away from home. I barely got away
with it—my sister was thrown out

of the house for helping me. Imagine her
on the streets with a newborn.

I said was eighteen when I was really
seventeen. Who runs to a war?

Well, it was supposed to be exciting,
it was supposed to be romantic. I guess it was.

I fell in love with a sailor, an Italian—
I had no business letting myself.

He proposed but instead, I ate his stomach
from the inside. That’s what he told me as I left.

ii.

The war ended. I was waiting
somewhere in Brooklyn, rode the subway

with someone

I could love. We told the same stories
about the old country that left us

dead parents, a missing sister, a step
father who drank himself to asphalt.

We never wondered what the point
of it all was. It’s just air that drives

the lungs.

Our families never had any money
but we were never bored.

They all thought I was crazy—
I’m not even close.


(Published in V23 Creative Magazine)

My latest Luna article discussing how you can write successfully everyday, and that writer’s block is due to disorganization, not a lack of inspiration.