Weather Vane

Mornings tend to be gray in fall
But we conversed in colors, some of them in warmth,
Like a collection of words that bore spring-time, once.

*

You proved my heart a weather-vane, capable
Of recognizing direction, assessing heaviness,
Separating distractions in the air.

*

It caught care and let weave through it
The unpredictable-ness of emotion,
In the tangled mess of your drowning, it breathed
As it had to, as it needed; never helped.

*

In the colors of our letters, weathers bathe
The words almost gasping, as if biting wind
In the fluent blither of our myriad thoughts
Expressed too soon, that we choke.

*

And when we choked, we choked in color, too,
But should we have let love bloom, in such muted hues?
The backdrop cold in the gray intercept,
Freezing eager half-smiles in the fading paint.

*

Yet, you proved my heart a weather-vane,
Left as weathered, as stricken by your hands.
You were gone eventually, but I’m still here:
And after years and years I still stand.

*

Mornings tend to be bright in spring
But we conversed in colors, some of them cold,
Like a collection of words that brought winter, once.

— A. P.

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acheilous (lipless)

she secretly shook
hands-to-veins
in her anemious ascent
bloodless and free;
lips snow-balmed in wanderlust,
effigy in flakes,
the crossed-arm treatment.

collections of connections
cramped in minute pockets
of air between neurons;
head lighter than trauma.

grim-reap this belle
from the red chambers;
i seek you, my church,
my prophetic womb.

find me spiritualized
on the corners of sense,
i am aching, aching,
like rivers kissed by frost.

— A. P.

Slowly, January, for I Might Break

You make me write the worst poems.

It’s as effortless as opening window panes, however;
The cold wind you bring through
Still smelling of moonflakes December held close.

I cannot decide what’s worse:
The over-ripening of fruit or the buzzing
Of the fly, hov’ring ‘bove it’s sunburst skin, at wit’s end,
Not knowing what to do —
In certain panic expressing
Through its little wings, its only truth:
That it loves fruit.

You make me write the worst poems.

However, the table is set, and one must eat.
If not me, then my trials, and my missives, sweet
Incarceration of dunes in the thought-wheel spoke,
Meanwhile earnest, the singing of crows outside, screaming,
Slowly, slowly, January,
Do not break me—
Do not break me so soon.

And after you, I was lonely.
Before you, I was, too,
But you made me remember, or perhaps… know
What… love truly felt like, even so.
What did I remember, though?
What did I really know?

(I still hear you whisper) Only the wind, now —
(I still hear you whisper so close) Only the wind.

You make me write the worst poems.

You make me write the best ones, too.

— A. P.

Conundra // Dream Field

Your eyes of smoke in the middle of daydream
ponder still to fly, to even beauty’s comb,
starlight snuffed out of stars, for wish’s womb,
and hair before shoulders wound and re-wound.

I have left your thoughts long ago; you no longer dream of me,
in the fields of sleep, I am alone. No longer the grassland
were as used to your sweet rain as I am. Wildly, I sought,
but bathed only in yearning still, the shallow after-images.

That I have rid the ambience of songs that recall to us
the futility of what seven lifespans may endure,
for the gratifying sweetness of love denied seven-fold,
I have gathered to hold. It dies once more, and mourns deep.

But feet walk and eyes open; they are made for such things,
as in the gratifying folding of skin, I find milder pain, as
clunky and meandering as a verse about dreams, wondering
how it even began or how it will end. Conundrum.

— A. P.

ode to mnemosyne

Ode to Mnemosyne

O Mnemosyne,
you were born when ancient Gaia yearned for mourning,
like folds felt on ageless skin, as skin-deep as memory is,
from the Helicos Pass, seizing Megara and Sparta,
even the Spine of the World, aching.

Not Aeolus nor the Zephyr creased Poseidon’s mirror
like you did, O muse of meaning.
Never shall a witness compare, not even
Clio’s ephemeral disconnect.
Sweet Euterpe has song — even Apollo honors her,
but greatest muse, in you, such melodies lust
for as regal a court as the concept of image,
as a concept of affect,
and as concepts, they must.

And listen: in her darkest,
Polyhymnia cries of you dearly,
and even Melpomene concurs
while Erato and Calliope meander childish flights,
and Urania in arrest, very slightly, stirs.
O Mnemosyne, only you are true:
even Thalia dances her dances because of you.

In such presence that enslaves even great Olympus,
you bring such confidence that everything else convenes denial.
And while godly courts ensure themselves as slaves
unrightly, unsightly, consigned only to sighs,
and mortal graves, dear Memory, dear Memory, you do not lie,
your oracles only challenged slightly
by the burning heart of Delphi.

Encamp in my being, as you did every marrow,
as a meddler in sleep, a preambler of morrow;
how greater you are than my fears growing shallow!
Even Charybdis pales—
to be swallowed by you is a much greater sorrow.

O Mnemosyne,
tell me I have seen.
I have broken words and worlds,
and everything in between, but I
cannot be unbound to you, I always will be—
and with Hecate’s aid you come.

Now, Mnemosyne, I have sung,
as you struck chords in me like none other,
and what Herculean labor that I still breathe.
I have only you, and nothing else—
and with this ode, I humbly confess
as a mortal content.

Should you decide to depart, I am ready,
for the death of my mind,
I believe, is the death of I,
and whatever you take with you when you leave
my personal hell, what must be left
is none other than an empty shell. But Memory,
I beg for you to never leave, or else…

Else? I shall have nothing else;
yet my gratitude shall rival breadths that span
the Dryad-havens to the Pleiades—
and I will end, conflagrated of meaning,
my soul consigned to Hades.

— A. P.