Remember the cabin among the trees hidden like rabbits resting in nests of autumn leaves? By the window that looks out on the river there is a writer’s desk with printing ink and fresh flowers on the sill, froths of tenderness kissed by the sun.
Can you recall the warm days we shared among redwoods that spoke to us? The memory evokes such nostalgia for that ache, fierce with crushing devotion. I left a heart shaped basket of seeds in the arch of a tree for the birds to scatter. I will always remember you and the cabin by the river, the sultry nights I would dance for you, sheer layers floating to the herringbone floor.
I shower and dress, apply makeup as though I am going to work. I barely recognize my own reflection in the mirror but I am wearing my favorite dress and my hair is the color of rusty nails. I ignore your perplexed expression and questions.
Downtown I meld into the chaotic masses, eyes that are infused with the pain of survival. As the morning wears on relentless chatter becomes an undercurrent of whispers that fade with the crowd. Sweat and strong coffee stings my nostrils, clings to skin. Alien faces are etched behind my eyes.
The familiar girl is propped against the graffiti covered wall that turns golden in the sunset. Her head rests against skeletal arms that wrap around her knees. Jarred by a boot she glances upward from her induced euphoria, fumbles in the pocket of torn jeans fishing out a handful of dollars. Glancing around the man slips it beneath his belt and places a small bag into her weedy fingers that loosen, dropping it between her feet. I wonder how she will sleep in the night cold.
Repelled by the scent of urine, even the pigeons keep their distance and the stray dog lifts his feet. I feel those good intentions rising but they remain contained in my hermit mind. Does it count that I thought of her as she isolates to death?
Making my way back I pass that abandoned garden, pick a flower to playfully slip behind your ear. I rely on distractions these days.
You kiss the back of my neck and once again describe your beloved island and how the sun’s glare bounces off the seas surface and life glides beneath the sparkling blue that spreads over the horizon.
From my deserted garden we share an apple that reminds me of an autumn orchard and a love struck boy whose memory compels me to rub my body against you in search of that trigger, that wild place in my mind that is precious only if it is gone.
The earth glistens with rosettes of snow
the sun still rises in myriad hues
Nightingales seek refuge in barren trees
to mourn February’s last refrain.
Contrails light the wings of birds
that flit beneath lit sills of doors
settle softly into winters chill
shelter in a pale blue bed
Translation by Bernd @ Neues Vom Hutschi
In memory – Father’s Day 2019
His mother named him Carlos, such a strange name for a Welshman. Perhaps she loved Spain.
Summers heavy cloak hung over fields of Goldenrod, their long limbs reaching out to mesh with spiky leaves that sheltered bundles of marmalade florets.Their invasion of the meadow met with merciless machetes that hacked through the unwelcome invaders who hadn’t the courtesy to extend a pleasant fragrance.
The trail led to an arbor by a trickling brook. Nestled in a stand of trees a precarious trellis bowed heavy with never ending appendages that wound and wove through dense clusters of bulbous translucent nipples clinging tenaciously to their host.
The scent of peppery earth stung the nostrils and attracted white tail deer that ravaged the vines of their treasure. The old man once snaked a garden hose through the lattice to frighten them, a guise that worked only to astonish lovers lingering at fertile ground, a sacred rendezvous.
Soon the clammy dragons of summer breathed their fiery breath and the skin of the luminous fruit burst with the sweetest nectar and they were declared ripe and ready to harvest and process by a secret recipe known only to the old man and his son. Ruptured with a pestle and filtered, the grapes were transformed and stored in Bell jars, sweet and crisp, underdeveloped, but heady and pleasant.
Rarely did my father materialize from his travels once I had been delivered for the summer yet somehow the harvesting of the grapes invoked his presence like a lark at dawn.
Excerpt from “Redhead (to Denver) by Brice Maiurro
you are between a rock and a hard place
your face does not illuminate the same as the others
your lights are few and speckled
but i’ve always loved freckles
you are a grid system at first glance
i know they tell you real women have curves
but real women know better than that
sometimes you are cold and the conversation runs dry
but it’s not easy being as high as you are all the time
i love you
i never want to leave you
and i know you don’t believe me
but you are the manic pixie dream girl
who at times is slightly annoying
but i know your heart is too full of
homeless men laying out sleeping bags
on the floor of your rib cage
great tent cities on your shoulders
She wishes to fade away, to be less than nothing, unborn. A leaf on a tree in late October, falling to the shadowy earth, devoured by the mud of the murmuring forest floor.
At dinner she sits across from the smiling man. Later they retreat to a larger room that is flooded by honey-colored light where he reads from the book, moving from life to death, from lead to gold. Light ning strikes the corner of his blinking eye, the twitch of his crooked smile. He warns her of saintly heroes, how she must fight against all temptation, live in his light to hear the angelic chime of bells that summon her to kneel and remain beside his benevolent being.
At dusk he takes her hand and leads her through a wooded path to an arbor where she must undress for she is not pure and he is good and wise and knows all holy things. An invisible cherubim takes her hand and leads her back through the same woods to the house, high on the hill, it’s madness and despair sleeping. The squirrels, birds, and white tail deer know fear and hide away.
In the hushed silence between waves
sighs fill the night as stars come alive
and the breeze is a soft poem.
Nude in the moon light but for drifting
shadows the swirl in your glass keeps
perfect time with far off thunder.
I need to look away from your gun powder eyes
that lethal shot
before the fluttering of a thousand butterflies
I breathe in the circlets of your cigarette and
the honey sweet scent of willing hostages.
As fragile as fireflies we escape to the madness of
our minds where all we have to do is live.