Be yourself, everyone else is already taken - Oscar wilde

flowers eyes

Some subtle girl is in this room
not me, but her, or she is free
and every time I roll over
I’m wishing her air were here
and like the summer solstice show
her eyes are lit like flowers
blooming loud like proud wow helpless

but I’ve returned from over there
where she lay feebly fainting
and every summer song is sad
to make us breathe repeating

she might be here but maybe it won’t be her

Sons

I’ve got some new things to hang up on the wall
since I’ve discovered Facebook
Some pictures surfaced like some forgotten tomb
from an old dead Pharaoh, me
and to see the glee in youthful simple party free
can bring the most and darkest misery
Oh sons I’ve waited long to wait for you to come
back into my heart and feel
this journey’s ending fade away

Girls with black veins and sleepy June weeks

I’ve been asleep most every day this week this year
And he’s been in me like the years within the lifetime
And we’ve been she and they’ve been laughing
Let’s wander to the kitchen eating Ice Cream from the microwave
And look upon creation’s calloused lawn
to see what emptiness is there in trembling green
I’ve had a friend or two this year, but they are gone
We’ve had a lonely lunch beneath the trees at dawn
Thinking about kicking habits and trying to be free

But heroin needles don’t remove from veins so easy
Like masculine facial hairs I try to zap away
She’s found another four hours of relief
And I’ve another four to count the ticks on clocks
But I can’t have her because she’s gone at 23
And I’m an old, too wise, overripe banana
With people lamenting my brown spots in sadness
We met in a hospital this doe and I
Everything was different then because of the locked doors
Now there are no locks and we are free
To wander lost apart, aimlessly

She’s too old, and I’m too young
I’ve left the prison yard
and she looks through the fence as I leave
Maybe some day in decades from here
I’ll see a youngish girl with no bruised veins
And a happy, goofy smile
With an impossibly silly hat
Cussing at sailors and exploding the world with her fists
Maybe…maybe I will

Alone a lonely longing

But smiling. I’m always, but smiling. I’ve left the world where there were birthday parties and smiling babies. I didn’t leave because I wanted to; the earth just tilted that way, and I scrambled to stay where I was, but I slid down the deck, the world of babies and parties shrinking into nothing. And when I finally hit the bottom, it was a different world. It was more real, but it did not have the colorful charm of the old world I knew. And my skin is different here, and my hair is long, and my name is new. And the old world is starting to seem just as much of a dream as this world once was. I don’t have much here, but things are always ok. They never crash, they only bounce and settle. People here are much more warm and they smile and hug with sincerity. I can’t help thinking about the old dream world from which I slid away, the world of loud families where I was really but a ghost. Will I ever go back to that dreamworld? Only as a visitor, yes. Sometime.

Ancient Present

I’ve forgotten something, always, but then again, there is nothing to forget, because the past is detritus and shame. The present is striking like a whip sting on a pleasure boat. The present is the clueless shambles that we know and that we hate. We talk of future as if it will ever be the future, but it will just be the jangly present when it comes. It will be nothing different, it will just have more past baggage to carry as it checks in here. Someone will whisper that “this is the future” and we’ll just keep walking hearing those words like a memory of dream. We might furtively glance at our fellow men and women with upturned eyebrows pleading for smiles that always just come as pursed, controlled faces. Someone once told me that the ancients knew something we don’t. Was their present this toiled, filthy ache that we know? Was their present really the future? 

Writing with a melody in mind

Each week is a year in the world in which I swim with waves of ice and buoys nowhere, and yet the sun is hot and I am free to float; I do not sink. And the fish beneath my feet are friendly but do not talk. I’ve known I’ve been floating here for some long time, but my eyes are not always open. Sometimes, they are squeezed tight with the expected pain of a lonely Thursday afternoon in June where nothing is happening except for scribbles on a lonely web. No one will read this text but I cannot close my leery mouth to shut the verbs from flowing. It all just goes. The floating is my curse, but often then another floats by, a fellow cursed, troubled mind. And we lock hands tight, and sometimes kiss, but the ocean is the master and not my desires. So away she floats like driftwood with lonely eyes. We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again. We’ll know this patch of unloving water. Again.

Floating

I hate Red Bull, but there’s an empty Red Bull can next to my bed.
I heard that you can buy Red Bull with food stamps. I heard this thing while metaphorically floating on the ocean next to someone, you know the feeling.
Life is a lot of rocks, and I want to float, so where is my ocean and my sea, the river dream that carries me?
I’ve been on and off a little scared in life, from lonely little boy/girl Mark to now the proud and timid me.
And some people are oceans and they just surround and do so much more than hold you, they make you the kind of safe that you cannot even imagine, just with the touch of skin to skin.
My body is holding its breath because she isn’t there.
But maybe some moment soon we’ll float upon the open sea, you and me.

Message Received

But then I was a girl and always a girl and never a boy and always alive and forever singing and quietly dancing and smiling at my own stupidity and lamenting my youth and pausing to take it all in

And you can see deep within your past as you gaze within your soul like looking through strong telescopes at the night sky where the faintest thing comes from farthest away and maybe took 30 years to get to your eyes

And the explosion of peace inside your mind makes it all worthwhile as you remember the shame as it sublimates away over maybe years but it was all worth it

And maybe you’ll be whole one day but at least you saw the message you sent to your future self when you were 8 and had to go underground

These Tweets will be Famous some day

When the polar ice caps are melted
And the polar bears are swimming
When America is back to Native America
When the dream is back to being alive
And we don’t fight each other to death
And Wal-Mart is calcified like arrowheads
When there is no one spirit man or woman
When the typewriters found are working
When the Golden age is pyrite and rusted
When the Buffalo come back to roam
And the spirits walk like glowing men
And women birth the gods
When time slows down and stops
And Tea Parties are prehistoric
When the President is a pauper
And the judges are humble servants
When death is not a haunting menace
But a gentle friend

These Tweets will be Famous

Some Day

Poem 54 (For my children)

Providence

Our tailored minds made strewn with hope
from awful providence and its harbingers
are often overruled by heart’s foul bell
that rings us back into the plain and bereft

And God or gods or cards or stars
send hope-beams back into the maze
of all our constellating dreams
and we are pushed on

But dreams are like cyclones
They blind us to our days’ delights
in their own absurdist way
of which we are ignorant

Some of us are poets and some of us are pawns
Some of us are regal and some just ply the gods to yawn
Some of us are children and some are aging fast
Some of us are hopeful and some make hope wan

So when some sooth is said
to your and my beleaguered head

I really don’t know…

You’ll have to ask God or the gods or the cards or the stars

But I’ll be here, where I love to be, writing…

The Transgender Knight of the Realm Fights For Justice And Sometimes Tilts at Windmills

I haven’t seen my children in, let me check the counter, ah 195 days. Thanks counter! And this stabs and strangles me and leaves me limping. But it’s only a flesh wound! That knight’s night is a dream.

So I plod on and do my best to nurse my broken heart with the learned skills I’ve gathered. I’ve become that knight, I suppose. My armor is patchwork though. Some of it is makeup, some of it is voice, some of it is chest, some of it is skirts. My chainmail is a camisole. I curl the visor bangs over my eyes with a curling iron.

I’m slowly getting through it. The dreams of my children will suffice for now. I have to imagine what they look like. But I’ve always been a creative sort. I imagine that the older boy is still a toe head. And I suppose the younger still has his floppy hair and goofy inquisitive look. The older one is doing his best to be a knight!

So the knight, like Quixote, is a bumbler by birth. She’s filled with the zeal of the fight. Of course the sword is double edged. What is a single edged sword? And what is a sword if it’s not swung? An unswung sword, only a page would countenance such a thing. But sometimes pages have wisdom.

I’ve bumbled on and swung my double edged sword with sometimes precise poise and sometimes limp-wristed parry. And one time or three there has been collateral damage. Some people were hurt because they knew not that this knight was She. And I’ve accepted that. It’s all a hurtful mess of tangled ties that sometimes tear and trip.

So I’m resting with the Windmills in the distance. And some lofted bombs come toward me mortared. But I have to sit with my page and nurse our wounds and think of arrears and garnishments and interest rates.

I love to write as much as I love to right. Sometimes in my dreams, I can fly. I can’t fly high or faster than a speeding bullet, but I can just lean forward and fly forward, carried with the wind. It’s just the right amount of flying for me. And so I lean forward and smile and go toward my windmill, my children, my zeal, my peace.

The Days Gone By

Music is my time machine, that lifts my soul and plants it where it doesn’t belong

to when I was crying because I couldn’t find the puzzle piece to see you boys

And then I gave up on finding the piece because it was too painful

But now as the music wafts through my room’s ether

All I see is the puzzle piece shaped hole where your faces should be

————————————

I hope I’ve given up trying to reach her, the one that stole my jigsawed cardboard toy

But who am I fooling? I know the hooks are in my heart, and the fishing line snapped

They slowly rust away, and my heart grows over them like sad, sullen ivy

In the part of the yard that no one visits anymore.

So I have the song on repeat that makes the hooks hot against my heart

I was young and now I’m older

I was young and now I’m older
and I made my way into the blinding world then
and the sticks rained down upon my then blond head
and the lesson I learned was
If you get to know me, you might hate me

So I went back to my parents’ house
And they didn’t know the new lesson I’d learned
But I was timid now
and they weren’t sure why
But they just thought this is who he is now

And now they just thought I was shy
“He’s so shy, but he smiles a lot”
“Well then that must be just how he is”
Whenever I met a new person
I was distant for a very good reason

Then when now I was older
I’d gotten so good at hiding me
that I really couldn’t ever see me
And so I was just shy and timid
And I thought that’s just how I am now

One day, when I had nearly broken down
for the 1,234th time or so that life
from holding the sword that I used
to keep people away from me
my shaking arm dropped the sword

Now swordless, my inner me sensed a chance
And she ran screaming out
and then I ran screaming about
and everyone around me was terrified
especially those who liked my shy self

And they said “who are you? are you well?”
And I said “who am I? am I well?”
And I was weeping for about a year
So the number of people I knew was shrinking
because they got to know me, and they hated me now

So now she was out front, and I was odd, and they were now scared of me
And they held out their swords toward me until their arms tired
and dropping their swords, most of them chose to just run away
But a few stayed, and now we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Ode to the boys

So I had a thought that if I could see my children then I would be redemption

But no

The marbles didn’t crack, fly my way

and alone without that buck-toothed beautiful boy, the light skin toe head brother my son

he is

alone too.

I met two friends this week with wayward fathers gone

and I said, How’s about if it was all reversed

and he tried hard to see you but was sent away and cursed?

And they knew that I was just foolin, but making a point

Because I fight the fight inside and

outside my friends they see me weeping

crying William where are you are you still breathing?

and Daniel’s there

I’ll be there soon.