September 17, 2009

The Weapon

When we met, he had a weapon.
A gun. Kept it polished, kept it clean.
Kept it smooth, a well-oiled machine.

When he left, he left
in a hurry. Left
the gun with me.

I didn't touch it for a long time.
Kept polishing
silver & mahogany, keeping watch
by the window, darning lace.

Then, one day, I picked it up,
the gun. Not so fearsome now,
still & dull from being put away,
clicking empty like a clucking tongue
without much to say.

I oiled it up, loaded it
with cherry pits and milk teeth,
polished it to a lethal gleam.

Now I sit by the window,
the silver growing dull,
keeping watch by the window
for his face.

September 12, 2009

Everything Else

Chilly morning here,
by the docks, Rory's
breakfast shack, listening
to the fishermen

reminisce on catches past,
the weights
and measures of great luck,
seagulls croaking

affirmation overhead,
winging on to find
luck of their own.

Well, I've lost,
but the waves are coming in silver,
the sky lavenders at the edges,
and the coffee is strong.

I've lost
what I wanted most in the world
but everything else is
a hell of a consolation prize.



Hull, MA. 8.21.09

Subterranean Nocturne (lyric)

2 in the morning,
the rats all asleep
Each bench on the platform
holds a soul to keep
All here with their luggage,
their lives piled around them
Taking time off the struggle
Down here, underground

The men off the night shift
Dirty shoes and dead eyes
Heading home to
Sleeping children and wives
Dreaming of weekends
Of their next vacation
Never quite getting
Past the last station

And the tourists from
Texas or France or Japan
Movie stars in their eyes
Subway maps in their hands
Trying not to look up
From their nights on the town
Stuck here with the locals
Down here, underground

And the trains keep on coming
They keep their own schedule
The minutes keep going
Too many to mention
And the wheels in the tracks
Make a high, homeward sound
Passes for music
Down here, underground.

September 10, 2009

Unfurled (lyric)

For a friend who gets it.

We've been walking for a while, you and I
Through purple nights and lavender mornings
Through the mountains of truth and the valleys of lies
Washed the mud off our shoes and kept going
We've been walking for a while, you and I
Long lost track of the miles we have gone
And, darling, maybe we will never fly
But we can walk as far as anyone

And if we are rivers, all we can do is flow
Through the grass of summer and the rocks of winter
And if we are flowers, then we have unfurled
And now it's up to us to blaze or wither

Maybe you and I have seen too much
It happens when you keep your eyes too open
Broke our nails, burned our fingers, but never lost our touch
Lost our way, but never lost hope
And the times that we stumbled or crumbled or wept,
All the loose ends that almost unraveled
All the cracks on our hearts - ah, they just make the map
Of all the roads we have traveled

And if we are rivers, all we can do is flow
Through the grass of summer and the rocks of winter
And if we are flowers, then we have unfurled
And now it's up to us to blaze or wither