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National Poetry Month Project

Apr. 30th, 2004 07:16 am An Imaginary Conversation about APAD

Q. Some of those poems were pretty rough. Why is that?
A. One of the criteria for APAD (and having made up the rules I've nobody to blame but myself) was that each poem had to be written on that day. In fact the vast majority were entered on the fly.

Q. Why is it that so few of your poems are about yourself?
A. I disagree in part. We are more than just our thoughts. We are also the sum total of everything around us. And I think sharing that world is at least as important as baring our immortal souls or what have you.

Q. World around you? So where do you get the ideas for your poems? And how true are they?
A. How true are they? hmm. Once upon a time poetry held the same place as fiction does today..concerned with story telling and showing the greater truths. And that is often what I try to do. My poems are often very very very very short storys.

Where do I get the ideas? I keep them hidden in a tin that used to hold Bailey's. Each morning I would release one and let it type away.

Seriously. From memories, from thoughts, from other people's live journals, from books I am reading, from looking outside the window.

Q. Why is there so little in the way of political statements in your poems?
A. Several reasons. Political poetry tends to slide far too easily into the murky realm of diatribe.And like any preaching it tends to be appreciated only by the choir.

And in a way I do consider much of my poetry to be political in a truly radical sense..that is to begin at the root, which is caring for one's self and the people around you.


A Poem A Day April 2004

Day One

Unsweet April descends
with unconscious irony
drop by drop the
thick greygauze sky rolling
against itself for
company with
one bird, its future
compelling it out
in song's hunt

The soundtrack for a slow
contest of unravelling
the day's clouds or mine,
greying thick memories
in a dark room of dry rain

Day Two

The answer comes at
dusk stalking with soft
pads of
lost loves and
decayed gods waiting
on stiff-pewed dreams
for someone
to ask the question

Day Three

There is a silent
song within the song
strings bring out
note by note
the guitar
pressing against
fingers as
the strings are pressed
vibrating in a secret song
that only fingers hear and send
to the heart

Day Four

lie in wait
before the gate
that only I can free
but fear is strong
when rights blend wrong
and I lose sight of me
Somewhere in the thick
brambled blackberry a
child hides like
a blank canvas
not knowing his
failures or triumphs
in the years ahead.

Would I tell him
having seen them all?
Perhaps but I have
grown slightly moonwise
enough to allow the
penetration of foolishness
in the wisdom of knowing
I cannot always tell them
one or the other,they blend

Day Five

"It was all a dream" she thinks,
as she watches herself walk away
from the broken potentialities
that the two of them shared
"It is all just a dream"he thinks,
as he watches the distance grow
in imitation of the arguments
and fragile moments he had

" They seemed to be such a dream"
their friends say to each other
in muttered, glad tones that
another dream implodes in
the bitter land they share

Day Six

Confitebor tibi in cithara, Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es anima mea, et quare conturbas me?

They sit together side
by side in a room filled
with memories and dark wood
the sunlight sparking like
quiet chants off the crystal
they sit like a couple
but are not. His voice is
roughened by years of Latin
and then years of change.
She smooths her dress in soft
quick gestures as quiet
as her brogue.

"So many,"she says,"so many
leave. I wonder if they ever look back?"

He chuckles in whiskey tones,although
he left the drink years ago. "What people
forget,"and he looks out a window
as though looking for
a different time
when hearts kept
time by bells, by chants.
"is that the question is not always
what or who you believe in.
Sometimes the question
is what or who believes in you."

note..the latin is from the Tridentine Mass and translates..I shall yet praise Thee upon the harp, O God, my God. Why art thou sad, my soul, and why art thou downcast?

Day Seven

without comfort or comfort
she lays in bed and moonlight
and with one
finger lightly
traces the
cartography of
old loves before
drifting off to dreams
of St Brendan in a
curragh of flesh
exploring her
in wonder

Day Eight

curl and wait
in so many ways
curl like small
children behind the
chesterfield waiting
for wonder and holidays

curl like snakes
waiting for the
approach of sunlight
or food

curl like love
words wrapping each other
in languid curves
of lascivious intent

curl and wait
in so many ways

Day Nine



In a world of blissful
irony they are between
gawkstorms and able
to stretch gaucheward
their primeblack pinfeathers
toward the holes left
in the sun
by absences
over the winter
then,theftwise they
block the song of
possibilities for
nestling mates
the world become
their wide red
angry hunger slash

note..being a delint fan it is hard to have sympathy for the cuckoo. This poem is actually a joke of sorts though. ku is welsh for who? and also the cry of the cuckoo..supposedly asking who has died during the winter. a gawk storm is an april shower..but literally a storm of cuckoos. And gauche is left..but also shares the same root of cuckoo. Which as a lefthander I am not sure I enjoy knowing

Day Ten

the moon leaked
magic into the darkness
shimmering the
light glitter of
sporadic moonlight
of flesh on flesh
soft sights like
trees in spring breeze
now the full moon
looks behind my
shadow for companionship
and,finding I like it
am alone
shuffles behind the clouds
in sorrow or

Day Eleven

The rain is inconstant
as it waits for daybreak
sporadic splatterings
as though bits and pieces
of missing you
were falling from
darkness to be
by me again

Day Twelve

Crow sits
on a branch that
is slowly packing
its death away
for another season
This is no murder
just Crow sitting
guarding the
nascent rookery
guarding the dark
against another
grey morning

Day Thirteen

it caanot be helped
the mysteries soak
through to th bone
like confused rain
in cold weather
leaving you
restless and caught
in the scent of
ancient seas

Day Fourteen

The Chesire Cat
in a
cornucopia of confusion
begins to smile while
the world unfurls
and slowly

Day Fifteen

The truth is
I think that
he simply
at the end.
A life of
almost lovers
had frayed the
wiring of his heart
until one day
he set a remote
controlled car
next to the guard rail
let it go free
and followed it
into the river

Day Sixteen

Is the ultimate
isolation that gives
such profound intimacy
interrupted as
oak rooms slide slowly
year after year
toward the river
the sandstones, rubbed
clean of biography
by weather and time
leaning as if
in drunken celebration
of one
unexpected journey

Day Seventeen

in full syncopation
ghosts spring up like
rare flowers
to enjoy the sun
the only slightly
pasteled promises of
prior years
alert to the greening
potentials attempting
syncopation in

Day Eighteen

What I remember
is wood and shadow
only the
soundtracks varied
behind the nights
of endless conversation
and too soon finished wine
In Toronto the
woman with midsummer
night hair,who told
fortunes by the way
men traced the hem
of her fishnet stockings,
turned in candlelight
and said "This,
this is the eternal moment."
A week later
they found her body
by the Bluffs
but they could not find
what she had thought
to leave behind.

Day Nineteen

Sometimes I think
that abba must breath
within the prayers
of the mountain
the quiet stalking
of cougars fulfilling
themselves the
silent slide of
raptors in twilight

Day Twenty

My oldest
at the age of 3
saw unicorn
tracks in the
back yard
I fear
he cannot
see them anymore

I hope
he does
or has a child
someday who
will see them
for him

Day Twenty One

When Beauty returns
on a ship full of midnight
reclining on a bed
of roses and leather
I'll devour the weather
and duty in her head
the sharp edge of wrong and right
when Beauty returns

Day Twenty Two

Within some
strange mirror
of mythos
our neurosis
grown rock hard
roll us up the hill
and let us fall back down
at the crown
and again
until we
are become
a pale grey
legend of
our own.

Day Twenty Three

bushtailed and
grey Coyote
does his snake dance
back to the den
does he dream
of cactus and red
mountains in
a land where
even Man
must be
undone by

Day Twenty Four

when he
had gone
she stared
at the door
as though it
were a traitor
when she found
out he had
not really
been there
she locked the door

the door
shifted from
portal to
and shrugged
and waited
keeping its
just in

Day Twenty Five

My inconstant destiny, against umber tones,
blackwinged teases me less drunk than dreamwise
along slim accidental paths of song and bones
that wind in spiraled patterns under shifting skies
Like a tarot of nature sporadic futures stay or leave
inside this forest where even Chaos cannot maintain a hold
The rver birch become wraithkin to northern Saguaro weave
a swaying dance unseen where stories may be untold

The silence is undone slowly as another day begins
but around the growing glowing edges lingers a shimmer still
where a reality fades a brighter reality may fill

Reality to Reality and in the crossing of the two'
deep Truth as Mystery is the space betweeen till all is through

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Day Twenty Six

Forced from the green subtle mythologies
into the coarser realm of memory
I rebel: pull the darking shades of
old selves around me like ancient armour

The music that was made still echoes
and the dream still draws some from each
new generation into awe at the
majesty and simplicity of its completion

We who survive survey the pretenders
to a royalty that never was at all
the artifacts returned without depth
The flowers grown incapable of pollenation

This is not what we meant at all
This is not the dream we meant at all

Day Twenty Seven

Near dusk on whale road
the dolphin sport
in sleek splendor
the world is
a sudden tangle
of foreign tongues
I work my
way toward the stern
and the assumption
of an unresolved life

Day Twenty Eight

Two coyote
(out on a date?)
slunk to the edge
of the car park
and listened
to me play
through several songs
Then, deciding perhaps
that the music
was not edible
faded into the woods

Day Twenty Nine

Predawn on the Square
before the thrumming
of dinosaur devourers
fill the arteries of the City
Predawn on the Square
before the sideshuffle filling
of interchangable bipeds
in a world given to an anorexic legoland

Predawn on the Square
I hold the dark stillness
by its petals in gentle audacity
as I am held for a space within it.

Day Thirty

Guardian Gardeners
of pressed smoke and dream
we tend to the cool blooming
of the Compass Rose
Careful in our gentle pruning
in the fluttery constant passing
of pilgrims and gods following
the thin line to absolution or dissolution

Until the Harvest fills the Heart
and we can feed on their fading
shadows like a fruit of passion
sprung loose from the weeds of thought

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