Thursday, January 21, 2010


For Ashley

I am a disciple of existential grammar
of, “That(,) what you gotta do. . .”

We are the essential components of us
elemental to expression

I am all consonants
and you are the curvy parts of vowels
we meet at sometimes y sometimes

our time is syntax like the sorted-though beads on a rosary
our location in relation to each other
is marked punctuation
a comma for each foot, a period for each year

These are the

The ordering of and relationship between the words and other structural elements in phrases and sentences arranges us

The exposition of or set of rules for producing grammatical structures according to the syntax of a language reveals who we are

We think with the part of logic that gives the rules that define which combinations of expressions in the logical system yield well-formed formulas

We are governed by the rules governing which statements and combinations of statements in a programming language will be acceptable to a compiler for this, for our language

We are the arrangement of any group of elements in a systematic or rule-based manner

I am smiling because your smiling be-
cause you know
how much poets lie
hopefully, as much as they tell the truth

but to lie about being a solecist and malapropist
and not about everything else
is better
than telling the truth about that
and lying about the other stuff

The relationship between

of how words look on a page
lines on a grid
the pages make a book
in other words
parts make a whole

how your hand looks in mine
how you look lying across white bed sheets
how we appear and travel along in storefront glass / together
how we imagine being together
and how we fit in actuality

The relationship between

I write in italics
and you write in all caps


and I shrug because I am the poet
what the fuck do you know
you are just the muse
just the thing on which the poet is completely dependant

that’s all

This poem I wrote for you
because of you

Because you are a daughter of a man with
a corny sense of humor
and because
I make you laugh
and worry about you
when you fly home
and wring my mother’s hands
like my mothers does
when she’s worried about me

I have heard you say on more than one occasion
how unlucky
our child would be

but I think
our child would be lucky
for the same reasons

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Last Poem

The Last Poem

On this day, the last day of the year

Joseph and his brothers celebrated together

He did not know his brothers would soon sell him into slavery

His brother too celebrated not thinking of the crime they would commit

they celebrated together in their father’s house for the last time

A year later the day was marked again in Joseph’s heart

and he looked out over Egypt

believing he would never see his father again

Imagine this miracle

On this day, the last day of the year

Husayn ibn Ali still lived

he ate bread with his wife and children

and with his extended family on this day

he pondered his grandfather coming at last to Medina years before

he pondered that miracle and was at peace

Ponder this also

On this day, the last day of the year

Nian Shou- the beast which lived beneath the sea and the mountains

came out to devour the children of a village

and a child wearing red stepped on his toe

Nian Shou has hid every year after

An unexpected blessing

On this day, the last day of the year

Simeon celebrated the Rosh Hashanah

faithfully waiting on the promise of God

that he would not die until having seen the messiah

his whole life became a silent recantation of a prayer

and he celebrated this day not knowing

that this year was the last year of his waiting

Consider this promise

As we bring these verses to completion

we might wonder how many are left for us to write

we might wonder

but think on how unexpected the verses will be

each a blessing and miracle in itself

only he who has forgotten to take stock is without joy

let only he who has forgotten to celebrate be unfulfilled

We are returning

says the Qu’ran

We are returning

our arms full of blessing

We are returning

having seen miracles

and promises fulfilled