February 11, 2014 § 1 Comment
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
― Zora Neale Hurston
January 6, 2014 § 2 Comments
Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,
like children building tree houses.
Our love is serious business.
One look from you and my spine
reincarnates as kite string.
When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.
There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.
Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.
The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.
When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.
I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.
I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.
- Mindy Nettifee
oh my, oh my, oh my heart.
January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Sometimes, I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.
- Mary Oliver
January 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
I’ve dreamed of you so much you’re losing your reality.
Is there still time to reach that living body and kiss on that mouth the birth of the voice that’s dear to me?
I’ve dreamed of you so much that my arms, used to crossing on my chest as I hug your shadow, couldn’t fold themselves around the shape of your body, maybe.
And faced with the actual appearance of what’s haunted me and ruled me for days and years, I would probably turn into a shadow.
O what a sentimental pair of scales.
I’ve dreamed of you so much there’s probably no more time for me to wake up. I sleep standing up, my body exposed to all the appearances of life and love and you, the only thing that counts for me today. I’d probably reach for the first lips and face that came along, than your face and your lips.
I’ve dreamed of you so much, walked so much, talked, slept with your phantom that maybe there’s nothing left for me to do but be a phantom among the phantoms and a hundred times more shadow than the shadow that strolls and will go on strolling cheerfully over the sundial of your life.”
— Robert Desnos, translated by Bill Zavatsky
January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Watch out for love
(unless it is true,
and every part of you says yes including the toes),
it will wrap you up like a mummy,
and your scream won’t be heard
and none of your running will end.
Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can’t be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.
— Anne Sexton
i think we know to stay and open when our hope or desire to hope is greater than doubt that we deserve it. and by we, i mean i. and by stay, i mean shut all other doors.
December 30, 2013 § 3 Comments
It’s still cold outside, we’ve had too much pecan pie and bad fudge, the family circus is performing, and we’re not sure what to make of this year that was pretty brutal at times, amiright? Take a long, belly deep breath. Feel your feet flat beneath you. Pull that core tall. Smile inside your mouth and feel your face soften. Put your head up, point your eyes forward. You with me? Listen … When your perceived troubles make you brood, it makes you a joy cannibal. Cut it out. We’re trying to have holiday spirit here. Maybe you’re bobbing along in the ocean of wherever you ended up. Pick a point, create a purpose, and move (ever slowly sometimes) towards it. Every day is the right day to reassess, make a map, rally the stakeholders to your own life, show up for someone else, and build capacity to be a better fucking human being. This is why love matters most. This is why you’re alive. This is why life is so painfully short and your sucky attitude is a waste of fine time. Break down the barriers you’ve built between you and the love of that god, that man, that woman, that child, and that person inside yourself you bully. Fly up to your own big picture. It’s a challenge to be honest with yourself, stop rating other people’s sins over your own, and steer your own damn boat. Change only comes with challenge. You can still be what you gave up on back when. You are in control of your own reaction in each moment and nothing else. Stand tall, breathe deep, smile softly, and forgive yourself for all that shit you won’t let go. Now is the time to put it down because it’s stupid heavy and you have a light heart. Get out of the harbor. Stop gripping the booey. Be magnanimous, even when they don’t deserve it. Because you don’t sometimes, either. We’re all recipients of everyday grace and fear of hell isn’t what gets you into heaven. I don’t even believe in hell. Does that make you mad? Why? You are worthy of love and have so much to give. We all could work our hearts swole. Don’t be scared when someone loves differently than you, when their big plan isn’t like yours, and when their drive makes you ashamed at your own dog paddling. Pick a point, start a new year, and don’t look back. Head up, eyes forward.
December 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
- Wendell Berry
The priest at my church read this before his sermon recently. They sure know how to put me at home. Extrordinary poetry and art, women in robes, people of all races and classes, a predominantly hot gay boy choir, and above all, unconditional grace preached.