raoin: (i want to believe)
Narrow, Honest is the Dawn

Keep laying that brick and mortar lover;
You’re so consumed with your failures
I want to let you succeed at something,
Even if it’s just blocking me out.

In the quelling darkness of our room
In the warm togetherness of the early morning
Before the sun has knifed its way into the sky
With all our mazy corners hidden
Your tender skin along mine is all I can feel.
In the soft shifting of breath in your chest
I hear only the assurances that we are whole.
All the words and walls have been put away.
To share a blanket is to share the soul.
And my goodbye kisses are all you desire from me -
Assurances that I shall return at sunset,
Bringing with me all the good and needful things of life
Bringing home to you my self, desiring only you.

Awake, if I could soften your hard eyes
when I return; if I could build windows into your walls
I would give you more than the moon
More than the food my hours earn.

In the Oven

Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm
raoin: (little me)
In the Oven

I suspect,
yes, suspect is a good word,
as I push the dates around on the calendar,
eye-balling them, daring them to differ with me.
A staring match with a calendar is a loosing proposition;
may as well bite my lip now and declare defeat.
I let my finger slide down the page in surrender.
I can feed myself a line of bullshit
but time, and its passage, could care less how I feel.

It’s a hunch;
like those furtive notes passed with boxes, requesting check marks:
Do you ask because you know or do you know because you ask?
Sure as rain and spring yield bud and seed,
some things are true before you know them
and will be true no matter when you know them.
But some things, like a pie, aren’t really pie until they’re done.
Before that its all parts of a whole, pieces juxtaposed but not united;
not yet imbued with the suchness of themselves.

I can page forward through the calendar,
but I wont find any answers there, just more indifferent time.
A day is just a placeholder for something bigger,
even if it’s the day I’m on right now.

I can make pie after pie,
but I cannot resurrect fresh cherries from the cooked whole.
Its not that I’m cooked or uncooked,
its that I may be cooking.



in point of fact, i am not.
i waited to post this until i knew for sure.
raoin: (water snakes)
tell me, darling, is there still a spark?
or only lonely ashes of the flames we knew?
should i go on whistling in the dark, serenade in blue?

- Serenade in Blue, (1942) Harry Warren and Mack Gordon
(made popular by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra featuring vocalist Ray Eberle with backing vocals by The Modernaires)


Become a Sigh

she sighs and i think perhaps
today is the day

i have contented myself as best i can
i have 'made do' as they say
with television and books and the gossip of friends
emotion and passion and the intimate touch of another
all by proxy
an echo of the real thing

i can touch myself
and imagine that you are touching me
i can be vivid and graphic
but it will always fall achingly short

in my own head all things may be perfect
detailed jewels; intricate patterns of actions
and perhaps that is the failing of my own fantasy
i cannot believe myself

it is the flaws which make the truth more real
the imperfections; the mistakes
they lend credence that reality surrounds my senses

she sighs and looks at me with soft eyes
and i remind myself that she is a reflection
of a reflection, of a reflection
all burning whirring digital transmittal
and faulty sluggish organics
a copy

through one lens, once recorded
paired down to frame rates and pixels
bit codes
forced through void-cold satellites, miles of wires, and endless splicing

the gentle tug of a smile creeping onto her face
at 28 frames per second
and reflecting through the lenses of my eyes
while my optic nerves chitter and jibe to my brain
in the strange language that only synapses speak

i gaze longingly all the same
and find myself bitter all over again
as the tips of my fingers brush the impassively smooth screen
to say nothing of the sonic imperfections inflicted upon me
by ears and equipment that will always
always
be a subpar offering of fading feedback and static

she is shyly smiling at me and i return her smile
i sigh and ask after her activities, her family, her plans
i would rather ask if the stars glitter to her the same way
does the air smell salty or tangy or smoggy
but i would never get any satisfying answers
and i cannot begin to voice how i wonder
if i were, where she is, would it be the same
or would that too, for its observation, and all my trouble
be changed so radically that i could not recognize my dream within it

she sighs again
we are silent
and the image degrades

Idle

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:50 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Idle
the distant but grinding crash of a wave on a beach

the skurl and scar of chisel against wood

beginnings are so easy:
you take the edge between both hands,
you hope that by the time you come to the end,
that you got your line straight.

examine these ragged ends,
these loose fibers and filaments:
they form an alien landscape
hills and valleys; a distant horizon.

consider:
is that not, more or less, half?
and gently, so gently, i pull again.

a second's sound bite of a rocket launching from canaveral

the deep churning of ancient engines through water

destruction and hope -
half, fourth, eighth, sixteenth.
sooner or later i'll have confetti.
what will i celebrate?
each moment, each action is shorter than the last.

a thirty-second and now the whole is smaller than the palm of my hand.
what once was larger than my own head,
at sixty-fourths is too thick to go all at once.

rending is not always such an exact business.
i guess that these are more or less rectangles -
along the line of best fit all things may be made more exact.

i have destroyed a page,
i may yet destroy the world.



hey look, new poetry.
this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Diminish

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:46 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Diminish
you are a dozen rich lines of ink on the page
and i think, half-heartedly, disparagingly,
that i will never finish.

in the thickness, the lines between such things,
i find myself reduced to a haiku
and none the richer for my condensation.

who wants to fold a saga of autumns
into the stark movements of the new Rome.

i seem to be of this aim.
two lines away and i find myself
with nothing to say.

my y's are right rich loopholes;
handholds of prophecy.

so seldom would you have to reach out;
bridge the drift between letters -
only one reason
among many.

smell this ink.
it is the product of this time:
disposable, disreputable; indispensable.
common and by its commonness
if not loved, or otherwise held in high regard,
famous.



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Untitled 3

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:39 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Untitled 3
If i had a gun,
with sixty silver wishes,
i would spend them all on this.
the certainty would deafen the world.

we would all know that secret.



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.
raoin: (on the rail)
Heavy in My Hands
torn between the dailiness of living
and the mantra which says life is adventure and action -
small reptitive actions.
are they really any action at all?
are they change, like magma creeping up through fissures?

i wanted to be and do so many things
but life was a stone in my hands:
a stone in my hands and i could not skip it across the lake.
one chance to see how far my stone would go
and i could not.



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Fording

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:27 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Fording
my toes part the grass
the dew and grit
and the cool slickness
the tickling of bending blades against my arches and ankels
the steady thrum of cicadas and crickets

pervasive

noise against my ear drums, drowning,
my ears ring with the rush of the blood in my veins,
the pounding rythm of my stride,
the overarching crash and rasp
of lung and heart.

i reach the stream.
i feel the pull and suck of mud,
thick and oozing between my toes,
and i step into the water and feel my feet go numb with cold
the water acting like a cool silver sock.

i wade in further, up to my knees
and splash through to the other side.
transgressing.

down by the river where its warm and green
down by the cool cool river
i would have been a pair of ragged claws;
i would have been slender legs slung deep in mud;
i would have been a slick and leathery pipe organ.

in the joy and noise and tumult of a summer night



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Untitled 2

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:19 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Untitled 2
At the ragged edged of this page

i think that's us

why would i want to go back

everything since those first months
has been a culmination of this
a culmination of wishing to stay, asking to go,
and taking without giving.
why then do i yearn for so short a period of time.

court me, damn it,
i just want to believe
that you still think i'm worth striving for.

no longer a lover
you offer me no petals, no grace
you do not seek to impress me

with smooth hard eyes, i am a closed column of granite.
i am a solid foundation
upon which all else is built;
all else seen and heard and used.

and i wonder why -
no i do not wonder.

act like you've only known me a week
and you're hoping against hope
that i'll let you kiss me.



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Bone Digger

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:13 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Bone Digger
deep down
beneath the leaves and soil
through clay and rock
a muted kaleidoscope made of browns and grays and blacks

deep down
you know
beyond the roots
beyond where up means air
all things are pressure and time

grind against me

bury these moments in layers
calcify

you, with your pick and shovel
i'll fight you tooth and nail



this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.
raoin: (on the rail)
White Noise on the Wire

I am sitting on the far end of the couch from you.
i am not looking at you,
but i am paying full attention.
Silent; i am stripped down to myself.

you fiddle and fuss
with the gadgetry inherent to your existence
in this, the modern era, all your tech clamours for attention:
needy children
with nothing to say
and nothing to do but take.

you acuse and i have no response.
i am mute.
i am blind.
all my words and understanding are stoppered up.

Like a hose with a kink,
my emotions leak,
infecting our day to day.

and you snap back at my silence
this alien sensation, this space where substance should be,
like you could never have caused any of what i am feeling;
any of what you are feeling.
distracted you coset and jiggle the children:
remotes - they are.

are we?
i feel taken for granted.
i feel like i might be taking your for granted.

i assume that there must be something wrong with me
for you to react to me the way you do,
for you to live as you do.

hold me, see me.

be here, be real.

even if you dont like what you hear
and dont want to talk about it.
and a little voice,
from far back within me,
struggles to form the words
and failing, falls silent, ashamed.

so i am sitting, silent, at the other end of the couch
and i shrug at your accusations and try again.
you believe i have just ignored you
although i am paying attention, complete and full attention, to you
and you are still grappling with the digital menagerie of your life.
a snake handler, a lion tamer.
they will eat you, lover.

you begin to make up fantastical reasons
and i shake my head in silence with each one.

behind layers of passive observations
i scrape and burrow, lost;
looking for my words
and wonder if i imagined you feeling angry
a hot memory of your annoyance flashes
and as i push it back at you
you confirm that i imagined it all.



hey look, new poetry.
this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Drowning

Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:05 pm
raoin: (water snakes)
Drowning
Not much fits at the bottom of a glass.
A world full of portholes.
It's like only ever seeing yourself from the waist up in a mirror,
reflections are all smooth and blurry lying bastards,
but then you go and find a full length mirror
so there's nothing to hide behind.
I couldn’t identify who that was if I had all night and pile of flashcards.

Light gets sharp, brightness cuts and shatters.
Squint.
Peering into a mug
the world is a vibrating haze of pilsner and lager.
Through the glass you could say everything you always wanted to say
Being here is like forgetting to breathe.
You ask yourself how hard can it be, I almost never think about it
Should be easy to forget the things you never think about
Like the rest of the soft-edged person frowning into the mirror;
the rest of the person not enveloped in currents of stout and pale.
It’s the portions you never let yourself think about
Always there – they are the hardest thing to forget.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
this week's art theme:

(an excerpt from )
Hand Shadows
by Mary Cornish

"beneath a star that died a little every day,
and from a nebula of light diffused
inside Orion's sword, new stars were born.
My father's hands became two birds, linked
by a thumb, they flew one following the other."


from Red Studio, 2007
Oberlin College Press

feel free to look up the rest of the poem if you want.
as per usual, anyone can join in and you dont have to post your results.
although i will say, i love to see the results of others.
any kind of creative output is acceptable.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
Tidal Breath

I look through slots -
chubby, overexposed rectangles of green and yellow
lead up to angles of blue matted with white.
Increase the saturation - small spots flash and sparkle
and back in the grayscale dimness I ponder:

What if our ceilings were floors?
What if you had to actively climb into rooms?
Would the passing of our lives hold more meaning
if our light came from below, not above?

I spend fifths of a minute, indefinitely, just tracing
the dry rot of mini-blinds and household mold -
those sporangia look like trees to me;
deep within the canyons of these cracks.

Suddenly,
the high tide and low tide compresses a sigh;
I shut the blinds.
raoin: (Default)
The Pendulum Swings

A shot rings out
the sound decays to meaningless echo
the remains are a sudden silence
we all breath in
till there's nothing left to hold

you'll wake
in the soft darkness of a city pre-dawn
in the warmth of your soft bed
amid the scents and sounds of secure slumber
hear the rise and fall of the sleeper next to you

romance the clean silence
the pureness of a field with new-fallen snow
forget the violence that got us here
forget the degradation thereafter
we all breath out
till there's nothing left to give

startled from sleep
in the pregnant velvet darkness you'll perceive hidden dangers
in the smothering tangle of damp sheets and icy air of your room
amid the sweaty fear of uncontrollable dreams
hear the name you once uttered ring through your ears


i'm not as satisfied with this one as i have been with some others.
i think that of the last eleven written, this one needs the most work.
(forget that whole one about procrastination, its embarrassing and ugly)
i dont know if i want to refine this one here though
i think i might use it as meditation for another one to write for this month

i miss having an entire poetry class to workshop my shit for me
its not the same as having others who happen to like poetry read and make comments
when its a crowd of a dozen or so other would-be poets who all have a vested interest in making your work better in exchange for you making their work better
there was a sense of collective fate, not kismet or destiny
both of which are cliche, but a tying together of interests
as Simon and Garfunkel were wont to say, "lets marry out futures together"
like that.

overall, i want to say that many of my best poems, most spontaneous least forced,
were written because i was assigned to write them for a grade
and i wrote them, like i wrote my master's thesis,
by sitting around doing other things, like making money to pay bills, and let ideas stew
and then at some point grabbed some scratch paper and scribbled something passable down
everything after that was polished through the help and effort of others.
raoin: (water snakes)
with acknowledgements to Stephenson's Cryptonomicon

What Keeps Me Up At Night

The soft pressure of your hands in my hands.
My pulse quickens as if I am running as fast as I can towards the horizon.
My thoughts flash to the shoots of bulbs pushing through soil,
Vines climbing up against the sky,
Bright green buds emerging from the bough.
You seem a long way off, my heart is pounding.
The entire world seems bright and sharp.
I wonder if my pupils are pinpricks in a sea of hazel and gray.
And I lean towards you, for I am certain no words could bridge this distance.
My hands within your hands,
As if my every ridge and whorl is interlacing with your every arch and curl.
Your hands are warm and i feel a steady pulse push back at me from your wrists.
As I focus the edges crumple grey and foggy.
My teeth seem to be vibrating in their sockets,
I have had three cups of coffee and nineteen cigarettes.
I have had half a bottle of Benzedrine.
I have been strapped to the nose of a V-1 rocket.
I lean towards you, my lungs might burst from the exertion.
Your hands in my hands,
And closer now, still closer,
the flecks of gold in your green irises are stones among the lilies in this country,
your pupils are the clear stratosphere of a chill October night,
the light around us casts alien constellations against those impenetrable concavities.

Your mouth is smooth like fresh fallen leaves,
I am interred in the wet warm reality of tongue and teeth.
Your lips crinkle as lush grass under my feet as I come running back
And I feel as though I have been swallowed whole into the vastness of space.
raoin: (crossroads)
Fiona Apple's "Never is a Promise" and "Slow Like Honey" and John Doe's "The Golden State"

The Hole in My Head

There are voices calling you
- the washing stumble of rain against the windows.
Just another herald.
Just another moment prolonged – over-extended.

Look to the too-brief too gentle kisses
You drop them subtly into my pond, they barely ripple the surface
They raise my water level and I lie there still and unrumpled, unknowing.
Look to the familiarity of small phrases,
I’m going, I’m going
Temperate calls - the clock chiming the hours - regular and unregarded.
But would you hear me.
Would you see me.

I am losing you in the toothpaste, the grocery lists, the mopping of the floor.
I am losing me among the detergent and the laundry and the recycling.

I do not want our life to be the played out rehashing of chicken leftovers;
The repeated betrayal of day-old steamed vegetables and unimaginative gravies.

Be my cliché.
I am yet still aware of what might be.

Look to the scent of rotting leaves and recent rain,
that chill in the air should mean autumn
but your hands were always warm and sure.
Don’t let them go cold with doubt.
Don’t let routine box you away from me -
we are not Christmas ornaments, pretty paper and wrappings taken out once a year.

My everyday jolt of lightening, stark against the stars of my life and dreams,
I would burn you deep into my retinas, scratch you daily into my skin.
Remind me.

Worn ragged and faint,
beneath deadlines and bills,
amid meeting ends, we have courted finality and let it end us
and the selfishness of separate worries is merely the consequence.

Your blood, my blood.
Your name, my name.
Count, breathe, and jump with me
that fire, this broom.
Let us be always each instant
Wholly ourselves together.
Be with me
full and flowing.
raoin: (little me)
"where are you going? where do you go? are you looking for answers to questions under the stars?" --Dave Matthews

The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. --Stephen King

I Am My Own Map
I never held my breath.
My faith was strong, like stepping
out into sunlight.
And I always just knew.
So, when I see the endless blue sky, cloudless stretching
over rolling waving rustling wheat fields
the wind of my memory moaning to itself
about the end of summer - the crisp moment of fall -
I know that each breath is my own
an unconscious exhale reaching into oblivion.
And I know when it is time to go.
You are my laughingweeping ache
- my perfect acceptance of truth -
my moment when my sight is as clear and cloudless as the sky above me
and when i wish now
when i inhale and squint out into the world
it is to ask not what road i have taken
but, where do these woods go and how far are those mountains?
raoin: (watersnakes upclose)
Something to Remember Me By

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas." --T.S. Elliot


I waited for you, each moment like holding my breath -
each breath fluttering from me a startled bird returning to its flock.
I've seen these moments take wing and migrate far from my reach
and all the little rituals of my day
the small sigils that mark the paths i have taken or yet to take
are incremental parts of the numberless ways, the numberless breaths, that i have spent looking for you.
If you come you may yet rest your hand against the window pane and feel the warmth from my startled breaths, each longing to return.
If you return, you may yet see the small flocks of trifles and trinkets which make up the well of all my memories of you:
this pebble from that beach
the blurry Polaroids of half dark rooms and dim candles
old ticket stubs and crumpled receipts for places to go and things to eat

I expect i have forgotten you as i forget the exact whorls of my finger prints each time i look away.
I breath out and the next little bird insists i know you in my heart.
My heart aches with the breath i hold, rusts and turns over in its sleeping wait.
my vision is cloudy, fogging this window, and the shape of you is my vision -
an elusive cloud, fading even as it is transgressing the sky.
I concentrate amid the depths of this flotsam and you become essential:
warmth rising up from the ground beneath me
the parabolic trajectory of flight
the wind pushing a hurricane up river
wind in my hair and light on my face and i breath out again
my breath fogs the glass and flutters the candles of my Polaroids
where you are tonight, there too shall i be.
raoin: (dont you look smart)
Along the river bank,
against the Gothic backdrop of church spires and great stone bridges
the artists and the farmers sell their wares.

I stroll amid the clusters of well-dressed locals and tourists:
past women with small woven baskets filled with the makings of dinner,
past young lovers who walk with locked hands,
their heads bent in the private susurrous of gossip shared,
past the jumble of workers seeking sustenance and spectacle.

The early summer day is cool with tiny whispering breezes
pulling scents of cool water, distant oceans, new mown hay -
and the sun seems like an easy and welcome friend playing between the leaves of Poplar trees
glinting off of the steady pace of the river.

I will know it when I see it, I think
as I drink in the heady smell of new bread from a stall I pass by,
the market and the river seem to stretch far into the horizon.

The near palpable flavor of fresh fish rises from another stall
and I pause to admire the rainbow of the scales, the crisp whiteness of the ice,
and the affable patter of the stall owner selling to the crowd.
His jokes about the one that got away are tried but still manage to elicit laughter -
he is glad to be here today, his world is right and true.

I smile, he has teased it from my face like a earnest suitor, and continue walking.
I feel out of time, a star amid planets;
set apart and yet immersed, I am a whole grain lost in the pounded flour.
The people around me could be speaking a hundred different languages,
I feel I would hear only the sine-wave rise and fall of humanity,
their sounds curl around me, I am a stone in the river and they pass me by.

At a soap-maker's stall
jasmine and gardenia hang and flow in the air like kites.
I scent one then the other and more beyond that,
like a flock of birds, I pick one scent out and it is replaced by yet another.

I have felt myself slowly pausing, have felt my legs -my feet-
seem to grow reticent to move on. To root where I stand,
to pull me to the side a tangle of tendrils and vines.
The grass, the patchy cobblestones, the trilling fountains tucked in small garden alcoves
hidden shady patches occupied by benches stone and wood - open and inviting.

Full - all the market is the whole world and I am present to all of it -
known and knowing.
Rich with the time and tempo,
this moment is a storehouse filling with seven times seven years of grain.

I find a stall selling new plums
they shine darkly, their gradations of color
evoking ancient kings and sunsets, death by violent hands and the bleeding force of new life.
I choose the first one my hand lands on.
Paying, I feel as though i have traded a small burden for a great joy.

I continue on, palming the plum from hand to hand. Rolling.
I feel it polish and snag beneath the skin of my thumbs.
My shoes scuff the soft ground beneath me, the ground is going to swallow me one day
and the dust rises languidly as I pass along this path.

my first bite is gentle.
I hear the rip of skin, feel the tear of flesh against my teeth -
the tart tang condensing into smooth swelling sweetness.
The sun shines, I hear a guitar softly tuning up ahead.





I am now only one week behind. this poem-story is based off of the chosen theme:

"And he was rich-- yes, richer than a king--"
from Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

If you want to participate see this entry and this entry. If you are not a friend of [livejournal.com profile] guessthejess you should be.

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