Wednesday, April 28, 2010

For Gary Miller-Wyatt

His hand shakes now
so that he cannot
hold his coffee.

His wife, elegant
and swift, has a thin
neck and holds

his coffee for him.
His students fail
to notice.

His students, queens
and priests, memorize
their lines like prayers

and worship, religious
fanatics that they are,
each night for hours.

He is not their god,
but he is their Platonic
shadow on the cave wall.

He is flawless and moves
the students like furniture,
like lions.

He has seen this before.
And in each young man
he sees a young Tybalt.

In each girl, a Juliet.
And in me, he saw Miller
and Shakespeare and

a promise that my best
was still in the wings.
And it has been years

since I last took the stage.
Both the lights and the
mechanics of the curtains

are strangers. But when
I hear the applause of my
typewriter keys, when I

see an ovation at the end
of every class, I always
look to the audience.

He is there, as he has
always been. A intensely
focused brow above

a widening smile. His wife,
with the thin neck, still holding
his trembling hands.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Born Again

It is late,
and there is no
black bird to
sing me to sleep.

So I will stay
awake and glass-
eyed in this
great stone church

where the saints have
no heads and the
angels do not
look down.

I will stay here
with no lamps
and open the
gospels in the dark.

I will whisper
the words that I
can read.

I will eat the
bread and not swallow.

I will twist myself
into a prayer.

They will build churches
in my name.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beneath the Water Heater

There is a cat.

From her soft voice,
she must be a kitten.

From her persistance,
she must be strong.

We cannot get to her,
not without ripping
the floor of this
cavernous house.

We cannot save her,
or we will not.

Either way, her voice
getting weaker, her

mew that rolls like marbles
in the back of my brain.

And when she is dead or escaped,
I am sure, her soft wails
will haunt my dreams,

I will die there,
you know.

Trapped in an empty wood,
everywhere I look,
cat tails

Psalm 103:12

But what of where they meet?
In that directional hurricane
on the other side of the globe,
where east meets west, where
they are the same, is it here
I wear my sins like skins?
Is it here our forgiving God,
still has me by the throat?

Damn this infinite sphere.