A minor quartet

The Art of Dreaming I
1. Close your eyes
2. Remember

The Art of Dreaming II
1. Trust your eyes
2. Surrender

The Art of Dreaming III
1. Damn your eyes
2. Carry on

The Art of Dreaming IV
1. Open your eyes
2. Forgive

How we are tricked by memory

My poems come from pith,
just below the hide of me,
from the circus trance of
living the long moment,

the split between inspiration
and expiration, blue with envy
of the sky, such security!
We’re doomed, aren’t we,

to just missing it all,
to the rear view,
to always thinking,
“So that was it?”

Never mind.
It orders itself soon enough
into personal mythology.
You know the stories,

how this and that
caused something or other,
you either played a part
or didn’t. Nevertheless,

a certain wistfulness,
thin as a spider’s wiry grip
and as strong,
betrays us every time.

Occasionally, in winter

Occasionally, in winter
I take a turn into some vast space
–an empty parking lot, a parade field–
shorn of summer frippery

and I’m there again, there
where each single blade of grass vibrates,
where every grain of sand trembles
and the sun,

terrible in its wintry beauty,
fights back the clouds,
never mind their insistence
on seasonal priority.

Hard to stay home on such days,
all the triviality of existence
concentrated in a mote of dust
poised by the window,

ready to make a run for it,
unaware of the relentless
inescapability of it.

Sky and water

Water and sky indecisive,
light flitting around corners,
thunder mumbling curses,
a low energy kind of day

I recall a day exactly
like this, so long ago,
when we walked between the drops
to the 10th Street Pool Hall

to lay our fortunes down
on the Steepleton tables,
greener than any pasture,
leather pockets yawning.

Entire lives were spent
and measured in racks of nine;
I still hear the clack
between the thunder claps.

In the end, we walked out the door
pockets empty, hearts full,
into the long shadows
of the waiting sullen universe.