Until You Forget

Until You Forget

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Setlist from Poetry Feature at Shine Cafe, October 8, 2014

Mystery Sea

Words are but the crest of the wave—
It’s in the tide the secrets ride—
Mystery sea, whispering me,
Letters splatter the sand with foam;
Enscribed until the tide slides home.

Castles, Caves and Graves

Scooping sandfull memories ashore
For castles, caves and graves to explore
As relentlessly the sea tugs at the crags with a jagged hand

The Wounded Horse

You are a wounded horse
On the edge of an abyss.
The holes your hooves enlarge
Galloping so frantically after intangibles
Leave not much of
You left.
I pray for you
Though I have no religion
And hope for you
Though I possess no decision.
Your choices of smoke
Are quickly becoming
An icicle cloak
Behind which freezes
The blood
No longer running.
I pray for you
Though I have no reason
But that something
Has brought us together
For a season.
And somehow the waves
You make as you move
Create in my spirit
A permanent groove.
We are both in danger.

When it Comes to Love

When it comes to love
You know it’s right
If she ends up
With you at night
When it comes to love
It’s meant to be
If you’re together, for even a moment
In all this possibility
When it comes to love
It can only be new
After you release all the strings
Tied inside you
When it comes to love
It can only go on
If the song you sing
Is continually strong
When it comes to love
It can only exist
When the wish to be loved is less
Than the wish to kiss

The Gift of Softness

It is our very softness
Granting the gifts
That eventually destroy us-
An immortality of stone
We’ve traded
For the intensity of a candle-
The limbs of trees
Never bleed
But they cannot handle
The running motion or feel
The smoothing touch of rivers
The backs of rocks
Do not age or suffer
But neither do they weep
Nor sing of the endless time
They witness

Song to the Ocean

I love the ocean
Like I would a person
And feel love in return
So sing a long, living poem
Against the backdrop of our yearnings,
Of the pull toward each end
Of sunset and sunrise—
Of powerful leavings
And endless recurrence—
I have a need to revisit
Every year
As if only at the sea
Can I cry
This specific tear
And every time
We see each other again
It is the reunion of old friend
To friend
Always I receive
Upon the wings of waves
Some new inspiration
To release and remember.
The ocean works on principles
Of intuition and time,
Rewriting the shores
With natural instinct,
One everchanging line,
Each wave the product of thought
Of an immensely blue unrolling mind
Its poetry is tide to music
Because there is a melody of meanings
From the birds whirling
Over its depths
To the balconies swaying
In sunken sunlight
Where fish wing the turbulent sea
To people, standing and listening
For hints of words
In the whispers
Of a million small collisions
A piece of the poem
Is given to me
And I, fished in its net,
Swim the turning space
Until I am wet
With understanding
Of each new outstretched wave
As a simultaneous inner space
No other power I’ve encountered
Pushes with such certainty
To ensure that always my mind
Becomes one with the mind of the sea
And I am driven always
A little mad
With wild feeling
Of what can be
Yet all the while sensing
That somewhere deep
In all this potentiality
There sleeps
A whole unfluxing

For No Good Reason

Depression isn’t so bad, for all clouds finally float away.
Happiness isn’t so great; fairly soon it dissipates.
Pain is unavoidable, though we imperceptibly learn to slough off the changes with grace.
Pleasure is pointless to pursue, for always it is fastened to an unattainable end.
Up goes, down goes, middle goes,
The birds fly away from away.
Even the going will soon be gone.
So, for no good reason, I
Wrote this song.

Capitol Park

I. Entrance
You pass a million souls
And no one knows
The worlds you suffer
So the struggle
To meet their eyes
Passes on
You feel
They haven’t felt it
And so the unintended touch
Of their fingers
Still lingers
II. Bench Laments
You try hard sometimes
Not to write
There’s no point
And yet she looks
At you
With eyes ready
For a dream
Or joint
You try to forgive yourself
Because it’s not quite
Getting dark
And yet the shadows are leaning
Ten times long
In Capitol Park
III.  Shade Adding to Shade
Because I am riven
By a melancholy
That won’t die
Because the birds above
Fly through nothing less
Than the suns
Inside my eye
Because everything breathes
And the breath
Doesn’t have a home
For all of these beatings
I write this poem
Because I have no way else
In the moment to tell
The minutes of heaven
I glisten in hell
Because I posses
No rules for the game
That keep us apart
In all ways the same
Because you share a moment
And yet alone
For all of these
I write this poem
Because your sadness
Leaks on me
Because the happiness
Breeds jealousy
Because our tears
Are dropping stone
On stone
For all of these
I write this poem
IV. Ishmael Bar Song
Get me drunk and I’ll whale
Until it’s white away,
All the while feeling
Of waves I won’t say
Day after day
After day
Song doesn’t end
So when did I start
Coining collections of words
To cash in
These moments of heart
Remembering a reality
That can’t be seen
Perceiving the repetitious
Rhythms of this dream
V. Girl Asks What I’m Writing
To expel cough medicine
So I drank it
“Yet random wizardry
Expresses positive
And so I say
Because it’s the only
Song to sing
That flower seems so unreal
Afar in bar light
And yet lives
Because I have not
The heart to doubt it
VI. Conversation Rewired
“The town of Nowhere
Is a good place to get lost;
I know, because I can
Barely remember the day
I tried to get across.”
VII. Seeing Past the Mirror
Words catch upon words
Like nicks scratch
From the inside of bricks
And soon as I listen
There’s too much to hear
Can you imagine
All the rainbows
That prism
An infant’s ear?

No More Words

No more timeless nights
No more special regard
No more confessionals shared
No more sentences served
No more words, no more words
No more laughter harmonized
To the music cruising between our heads
No more melting into the delicate sounds
Of each other’s bodies in bed
No more softness, no more the heaven
Each of us so dearly deserved
No more words, no more words
No more knowing the light
In your window is on for me,
No more double dates with our fantasies
No more slow dancing beneath the sheets
No more poetry where I could cry freely
And finally feel fully heard
No more words, no more words
Remember you said it isn’t all bad-
I know in time so will I
But right now its all rockdrops in time
And pain making love
To memories in the rain
With an anger that twists me
Into a fist so quietly shaking
From fury so burning
Even in screams it’s barely heard
Like everything I’ll be missing
Beneath the triviality
Of no more words, no more words

I Drink Sometimes

I drink sometimes
For different reasons
Every day
Sometimes the fun
Of stumbling on a run
And sometimes to bleed
The streets of gray
Sometimes keep
My hands from the shakes
Or write a swing
That steadily breaks
Ghost chains from the world
Sometimes to sing
And sometimes cry
Or close eyes’ inner distance
Toward cloth lullaby
Sometimes to believe
And sometimes doubt
A shattered dream
In a broken shout
Sometimes drink
Just to say “I’m drinkin’”
Or knock out a way
To break my thinking
Ticking against the way
We all live and die-
Sometimes for the fact that
It’s all a lie-
Sometimes drunk
To believe it’s true,
Swallow stray brains
And sometimes feel
In the swarm
Sometimes drink
To feel allways warm
And slowly despise
The evil eyes
Glancing down upon me
Sometimes drink
Like a hopeless Nazi
Obeying orders
He never understood
How he learned
And sometimes I drink
Just to watch
Myself and the world
More unmistakably

Anyplace But

There were days, yes
When all I wanted was more so
I could have less of
Everything troubling me when
Reality was too loudly at my door when enough
Overcoats could not be thrown over
The bed I had to lie in when secrets
Were the secret of my disease I
Would not see yes
There were days that took everything just
To keep a standstill when
All my strength was spent so carefully
Not turning my head when
A neverending rain of bullets went
To sleep with me constantly when
I would do anything try
Anything be anything buy anything
Go anywhere anywhere anywhere
Any place but in

Inevitably Fire

We are, all of us, moths
Drawn to flame—
The proof of this
Is the basic fact of birth—
Some of us are afraid of the light
Or try to ignore it
And some so drawn
We go right for it
But whichever case, the destiny is the same: flame
And so, if the answer is inevitably fire in the end,
Fire that draws us
Like planets to the sun and in,
Fire that compels us to rise
From our ashes ever again,
Fire that we communicate
With the intensity of wind,
Perhaps it is unfair
To call either foe or friend
Since it neither discriminates
Nor lets us win
Rather, true to its nature,
It strips us of all possessions
As we are torn asunder
And yet with such a beauty
We give ourselves to it with wonder

Even Then

Talking in poetry
Sounds like a good idea
On paper
But just try it sometime
You’ll be lucky to finish
Two verses.
People really
Don’t want to hear it
No one is ready for it
It’s too much, way
Too much
And they’ll punish you
For it, one way
Or another, even
Worse when
It’s true
Even onstage
It’s only acceptable
When there’s been
Of some sort,
A sign or song,
At the very least
A preliminary scream-
Even then, not
Too much-
And even then, they’ll
Punish you
And even then, I wasn’t

Inside the Flickering Fires

Another unrepeatable day
Is exhausting its flames,
Another night is opening
Thoroughly dark eyes
You would think the accumulation of time
Would finally become so great
Its weight would collapse into itself
But the only place
Static is gathering
Is in our ideas
Nothing has really touched anything
Or gone so deeply
There is no place left not all
Of the same wound
In any event time
Has to follow itself through
Because it started
I’m not sure if so long ago
We didn’t all vote on the matter,
Not realizing then how far
Forever can stretch,
How easy it is
Over centuries, millenia
To forget
But never completely, for nothing can
Ever touch us that deeply, can
Ever entirely erase the face
Inside the flickering fires
Of the changing days

My Muse

My muse
       is a light calling
             with bright silence
           a wind forever about to blow
           a chance
              waiting to be taken
           a dream of awakening
                              we are asleep to
           a truth voice
                       we usually ignore
                                         as long
                                         as we can
           something like the most beautiful woman
                                                                  whose grace is utterly without artifice
                                                                                                                    of seduction
           naked without shame
           brave without pretense
           all-wise with unknowing
           she wears a starry inner smile
                                                  all through
                                                       her wardrobe of tears
                                                                                  that glisten with
                                                                                          the way she listens
           she wants to dance
                                and wrestle
                                and win
                                       as she watches you
                                                  and waves
                                                         to begin


I dare you to be yourself, to let your spirit sing,
to do the thing only you can, and to let it be the right one
even when the rest of the western world has gone wrong,
I dare you to dare yourself, to find out if and when your limits truly end,
to find out if all the can’ts clammering in your consciousness
will continue to keep you from testing the edge,
I dare you to enter the palace of your own existence
and surrender to the splendor and the glory
and the power of what you are,
to stand silently unshaken in your beliefs
amidst the most violent clashes of opinion,
I dare you to know yourself,
not the idea of yourself,
not the way you present yourself to others,
not the way you should or would like to be
but to expose the nitty-grittiest heart-feltiest
most unashamedly naked speck of your soul
to yourself, the universe, and at least
one other person
before it’s too late

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