Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Psalm Unknown: Last Night I Did Not Go Walking

Last Night, I Did Not Go Walking

Last night, I did not
go walking,

but sat, quietly,
on a curb.

Two calls, in two days,
had made clear

on my part.

Worrying, now, my
fingers found

loose threads at my sleeve.
More edges

unraveling.  Some
thing to catch

I am sure.  Alone,
I spoke soft,

but did not find words
to finish.

* * *

Later, inside, I
wrote a bit.

I did not write words
of value.

What is there to say?
I am not

a sewer of clothes.
I have no

talent with needles,
nor fingers

hardened by effort
and calloused.

"And yet," one might say,
"your coat sleeves

need mending.  They will
not be sewn

themselves."  I know this
is some truth.

* * *

I think, on some nights,
of a man:

hands full of small seeds,
and walking

between furrows of
rich, soft dirt.

With authority,
he scatters,

but never looks where
his seeds go.

"There are so many,"
he must think--

"What are a lost few,
here and there?"

* * *

I am no sower
of small seeds.

I have no talent,
or green thumb.

But at the end of
my sleeves, threads

are coming undone.
Who else sees

what the crows will take

Last night, I did not
go walking.

I sat on a curb,
to think or

pray.  Then my fingers
found edges,

coming unraveled--
or unsewn.

KMC 4/7/14

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Psalm 51:On Drost's Batsheba met de brief van koning David

On Drost's Batsheba met de brief van koning David

The sound
of fire
in the brazier
wakes me,
and I know,
what I have long
flames lick,
and leave
not ash,
and old.

I have seen him,
and I'm sorry;
in your charges,
as I
have imagined them:
before bronze
and wood
and drawing
red, and

What kind
was this?
in blood-guiltiness:
yours, first;
and also

You age me,
The lines
are appearing,
in the corners
of my eyes,
and my mouth;
the stretched skin
of my jaw,
and shoulder:
a no man's
I will not remain
as new.

And what price

You age me,
Your eyes
and are weighed.
Your lust
for me
and consumes,
and I
am not
but sold.

KMC 1/15/14

Psalm 51: Miserere


It is my bouyancy, this quiet evil:
drawing me upwards, in this sea, this rest.
Resisting (as if it could not) the pull
of each of my hands, strained in deeping water.
Measures earned are measures surrendered.
The hard-beating of my muscles is fought
by air I hold in my own lungs, tendered
as a miser holds his coin: clutched, stored, caught.
My sin is ever before me, felt and
known by the shape of it, its sharp edges
pressing out, thinning skin, to rip, to tear.
My sin is ever before me: these hands
red from swimming, this face a grim rictus
breaking surface tension, gasping for air.

KMC 1/8/14

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Paterson: Book II, Chapter 1, p. 45--(so close are we to ruin every day!) II

(so close are we to ruin everyday!)

you can have
my leg-skin
(when I die),
if you want it.

KMC 10/29/13

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paterson, Book II, Chapter 1, p. 55-56

Capital of Call and Response

Let me
say again:
the present
is never present.

Yes, I know:
a pun.
The implication, of
course, is our gifts
are behind us:
signifying old feelings
through old money
and at times
celebrating the
ongoing nature
of things.

But of course,
none of us can wait
to open them.

How could we?

Another call
and response.
A confirmation
of existence
a moment ago
and a moment
a string of pearls
run backwards
to ourselves.


But this sermon
is tired;
 and I am
More sense,
borrowed from sense;
more pretense
borrowed from tense.
So much giving back,
so much taking—
and then
but always, like
sound, like
light, in

My words, and
your words;
my words, and
your words
are currency.

KMC 10/18/13

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paterson, Book II, Chapter I, p. 59

Desire and the Evangelist (from the ten minute imagist)

sweaty bodies stick skin to skin, roll over onto a remote
the channel changes

yelling forth from the screen goes unnoticed

Friday, April 19, 2013

Paterson: Book II, Chapter I, p. 61

To Be Good Dogs; or, the Need for Resistance of Memory

Listen: we see seconds of our futures.
It’s true: two Stanford doctors proved it.
Their experiment involved a woman
watching a computer screen as images
flickered past every two seconds or so.
Some were cheerful: puppies, rainbows, ice cream. 
Others were horrible: just death, death, death.
What happened next surprised everybody
except the two doctors: the woman’s brain,
monitored from another room, began
to flicker—once before the horrors, not
at all before the joys.  She had sensed them
more than two seconds before they were seen.

Conclusions, for the doctors, are easy,
but less so for us.  What does it mean, that
we can see two seconds of our futures? 
Not long enough to hit the brakes; not far
enough to stay away from the rotten
branch, the alley, the sophisticated
lover and his Gauloises.  Not fast
enough to keep us from wishing to go
backward, dreaming of different outcomes,
and the steps that would have arrived at them. 
These two seconds have never arrested
the accumulation of our singular
story, drop by drop, a cave formation
of ourselves, out of ourselves, from ourselves.

We are seeing in the wrong direction.
Let me know what has been, singularly.
Do not let us see ourselves as desired.
Arrest not time, but my thinking of it.
What, then, is the truth of those few seconds?
Time, as if it were a mother, places
its hands on our cheeks, turns our faces
away from our first and our truest love:
the want of keeping, want of memory.
We, like bad children, pull away, hide
our faces, avoid contact with her eyes,
and refuse to see; instead, only sense—
and those few seconds, in ones and twos, lose
out, and are delayed.  They are resisted.

KMC 4/19/13

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Paterson: Book II, Chapter 1, p. 45--(so close are we to ruin every day!)

(so close are we to ruin every day)

the waves begin so forcefully
and move so rapidly light flecks from them
in urgent bursts
of unbelievable whiteness.

Windows break, as bodies also break,
and thousands of eyes collect, signal, and transmit
a thing not yet filtered, understood, or seen.


Death pushes me from death.
The spectacle adds distance
in years, thoughts, and means:
I cannot die like this.

I know your secret, my betrothed:
you are not a ghost,
you are a lover.  Like a lover,
I know you less for your body,
and I make you exotic.  

I cannot die
Like this.
I will sleep in. 


8 minutes ago,
the sun erupted
 like a million
plasma flared
one hundred thousand miles
into empty space;
and light explodes
across the foot of my bed
like a bomb.

KMC 4/16/13