Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Taking The Cup




Taking The Cup

Love
only comes into being
after it has been aged
in a medium toasted oak
barrel for years and then
bottled into dark glass
with real cork. Prior
to this, it is but a dream
with a clean finish
with an imbalance
of tannins. Skins
to young make love
with a tart finish in the back
of the jaw. Tears mellow out
and complete  the vinatge
allowing it to be serve
at communion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Invention and Necessity


 
Invention and Necessity

You, the first time we danced the mambo,
you, in a new faux faded pale pink print, bought
for the occasion from a store the caters
to poor hip grad students like us, were
incandescent beyond any filiment
or tungsten that Edison could dream
of. What should we speak about the coming
and goings of delicate spins and steps.
The internal metronome of beats
shape loves movement. I learn more
about the proper execution of steps. Our hips,
back and forth through the darken room,
kept beat to the one, two, three four, one...
Others around us, more accomplished,
but not us, move with one eye toward
the audience. But I, I look at our feet,
at the moves recently learned, sweeping
hands meeting, of shoes lifting
form the centripetal forces that turned
us about and centered our pivot point.
Then cumbia played and we raced
at fast as heated hearts on a treadmill.
The water on the table for the serious
dancers. The pity we felt for the others
on the make. Suddenly, and for first time
even after a hundred an fifty-three
years of reading them, I understood the love
poems of Neruda. Seven years later
our son was born of that night.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cooked At A Different Temperatures




Cooked At A Different Temperatures

The topic of love has been left

to the dark yellow hit machines
of the popular movie making magic
and muscle bound music of a marketing
moose going down the street asking
for what everyone wants to hear. We
speak into his left antler that, for all
purposes, looks like an ancient ear.  He chews
on the data and hums the same old
six chords of girl meets boy,
boy meets girl or the loss of one
or the other. Where are the women?
And the men? Are you game, the moose
says. But imagine if the only food
worth eating was malted milk shake
of bubble gum. Would it be worth
the cavities? The body needs
more that the occasional nod to youth.

This is why I sing of my wife.
The slowly rolled sushi has to be
cut into six pieces. Six degrees
of finding the delight in avocado
mixing with crab and jasmine rice
and wrapped tightly. And what of
the roasted meat with its own juices
which simmer in the daily making
of a life together. The drama
of love goes beyond a large
animal meandering down the street.
I mean to celebrate the moments
after yes, and I do and it has
been ten years, really, wow
that was fast. There is more
to love than being game. Like
the time we went to Germany
and tour the Castles of the Mad
King of Bavariam the same Disney
Flattened like corn masa
on the griddle making for easy
on the palette tortillas. Read Galway
Kinnell into a night of caressing. 

The table is being set, the movie
is finished its mass run of theaters,
and the moose’s music melody 
too simple. Well, let us be
an us in our praying bones.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Halo 2 Be Thy Name


Halo 2 Be Thy Name

Today, I write a love poem
about the history of love
poems, both remembered and the greater
majority, forgotten. I do so as an answer to young
girl in love for the first time, pleading
with the boy to stop the electronic
make believe for just a moment
and notice. Notice her and notice his life,
unvirtualized, passing into dust. Flesh aches.
She wants him to notice her eyes
as I did with my wife's, her developing
into a woman. From her breast cries out
the need to find the treasure forgotten
but no one noticed. Her eyes find
the ancient tears of warriors
looking their way back to what once
was. She longs to be filled
with words trying to contain
the uncontainable. Only in the trying
can the sonnets give voice like
a peanut butter to a three year olds.
The first person shooter aims
not for her, but at a covenant
with make believe. He will
not turn aside form his controller 
(from a world unalive to his godlike fantasies)
until her eyes are directed else where,
tragedy of possibilities.

Once, my wife was that little girl.
Waiting around for words
to be brought in those cheap
gift bags for the dollar store.
I, fed on Neruda, the Brownings,
Shakespeare, Miloz , and ...you get
the point, came to her, who suffers
from heartburn, with spicy words
of my own creation. Now,
ten years later, my words still
burn on a grill, tossed in a green
chile sauce and she stays despite
the occasional tummy ache. 
\

 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lifecycles of Love


The Lifecycles of Love

The morning stroll with the child in red jogger
shakes with water forced from sprinklers.
We walk on and our son, who has your strawberry
tinged hair, squeals about the red toy car
he imagines large. The roads teem with garage
sale traffic. People looking to buy a deal and others
selling for space. We continue on the sidewalk.
We mixed our genes into the boy that points
the motorcycle passing with grak, grak, grak.
We nail our selves to lack of sleep and explaining
the world to a growing boy. And yet, love
expressed in gratitude gives life to our morning.
Memory invades. Last spring, we visited a elderly couple
dying, he of cancer, and she of parkinson’s disease
and now a broken heart. He went ahead, as most men.
The day of the visit, and our soon to be two year old
dances and sings ba ba black sheep...one for the boy
who lives down the lane. Lace and I pray for healing,
for gratitude, for love they kept until the end.
The grafting of lives together diverts bees
to a fruit becoming flower. Then we continue walking
in the direction of home.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Market Falls


The Small Drama of Short Term Debt

Watermelon woman, touched by dirt,
Drink up the heat as a quiet dream.
I leave you each morning, a thousand
Deaths, as you sleep. Did you wake
In a rush as the buzz or the child
Sounded, or in the calm of seeping
Tea? I drink coffee on a city bus.
The sun pushes the a liquid metal
Measuring temperature and I am cold
from air conditioned, compressed, Condensed
liquefied, and finally evaporated
in a marvel of modern man. You and my
son play in the spray of hose water.
Short distant love pains my weekdays.
How my feet ache from sitting under
A desk too far away from my life. Walk 
now and wait in the wake of a morning 
without without work. The dream
of spitting watermelon seeds, black
and pure presses down on me, and the pull
of paychecks cuts too much time.





Thursday, August 25, 2011

Memories Madelienes and Pomegranates


A Literary landmark, Marcel Proust invokes a lost world early in Swann's Way out of a pastry dip in tea. Food and wine, bread and juice, even the smallest of taste can summon a world out of nothing. Food embeds in our stories. Taste, smell, texture all apply both to that comes into our mouths and to the stories we tell about our love. Eat a madeleine, and Marcel starts on a journey of memory and passion. I eat a madeleine and I journey to Proust's Combray, mediating on the little boy waiting for his Mother's good night kiss that will never come. 

Memory, meaning and food also stays at the heart of the Lord's Supper. Taste the wine and remember the blood. Once, as an elder of my Presbyterian church, I grew tried of the cheap communion wine. I resolved to use a better wine for the real presence of God. Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel with its deep blood red color and earthy taste from London families Beauty Ranch fit my need for a better communion wine. A split of the wine could last two weeks worth of communion, except on High Holy Days like Easter and Christmas, which only a full size bottle would cover. The first Easter we switch, there was a request for seconds, and I am still uncertain if it was sincere or a joke, though asking for seconds from the source of life seems to be fitting. Food became part of the story.

My wife and I met in Pasadena and though Pasadena still exists, the Pasadena of our early love is far gone. Though, the right food, avocado, pomegranate, Pad Thai and suddenly that world reappears. These markers are as important as telling the story. One of my aims in writing my love poems is Proustian in making our live story live. I notice how many couples move on without making the telling of their love story part of their life, and as such many forget the food that mark their courtship. Sad. The telling and remembering of the story is the best way of keeping love in a relationship. I know there are many books and articles touting how to spice a marriage. I found that the telling of the unique love story is better than any spicing up by some paint by the numbers ritual. Below is a love poem which I attempt remember the pomegranates that my wife and I shared. Ah the taste of pomegranate ...




Wine from water

Jesus resisted with claims of timing,
Before submitting to his Jewish mom.
Love and weddings to move even God.
I remember the hidden avocados growing
in the backyard of the intention Christian 
home I was living while at seminary.
The sudden song of King Solomon,
and do you remember our night stroll
and the discovery of a lone pomegranate
begging to be eaten? You, the calmer
mind, prevailed and we left it touched
but still hanging on the tree
of the grounds of an old mansion
turn museum. Remember the two store
bought large pomegranates, before the utility
of health and a marketing company transform
them into supermarket superfood, split open
on the old wood dinning room table covered
with lace, the hundreds of juice covered seeds,
creating the proustian habit of a forging
a forgotten world from delectable elegance.
The taste of pomegranates tinged
by your breath, having the color
of your hair. Nip at the tip of the fruit,
then seam opens out the chambers like
from a human heart, and the slow
pulling lose botany’s bounty and the sharing
of the tart sweetness. How it move God,
like the Spanish wedding dress you grace
our “I do” with. The time has come,
the fiesta continues, fathers, sons, mothers
and lovers.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Love cycles


Waters Like Eyelids

Let us come to the well
again. Water falls from
darkness of the sky and flows
underground to feed
aquifer we tap into for drink
we need. Love continues
the path from air to earth
to us and so forth. Lace
moves through lawn,
thinning out the carrots,
part of the garden we planeted
this spring. They grow large
from the water, sun, earth mix
they have flourished under.
Her hands strong, firm
and soft gently brushes
dirt off and hands the sweet
orange vegetable to the waiting
hands of our son. Hold
this moment, I think.
But soon love moves
past us in it cycle
of return.