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...Listen
Love Perhaps

A friend asks, "What do you write about in poetry?"
"Anything I damn well please!" I say. "Love perhaps."

Mystics know, but they
speak with tongues that are tangled
like dark-forest undergrowth.

Philosophers know, but they
speak about animals in clouds
that change with every new breeze.

Explorers know, but they
speak of empty places on a map
where only they have ever been.

Writers know, but they
speak an antiquated language
that has been replaced by TV.

Children know and they
speak with animation until
practicality calms them down.

I listen, think, search and read.
Mostly though, I watch the children
and try to live a less practical life.

My friend says, "What does that mean?"
"That's poetry!" I say.

6

...Listen
Damn the Rain

The door is swollen shut.
The cracks are closed.
No bright morning sun,
no floating bits of words
that I can grab and glue together
with dry wit and spit.

My morning toast is soggy.
I pull back the curtain.
The sun is gray mush
and a seamless mist
presses against the window.

The gutter is a flood of brown water.
Water full of limp paper,
leaves, empty cans and words
that tumble one over the other,
all gray like people torn
from their sharp lives.
Rolling over in the brown mud,
over and over in the brown,
brown mud.

7