Archive for category: Poetry

The Confession

In the silence of this house
there is a frequency humming,
needle sharp. Piercing
electric madness, it sings
from

where?

The refrigerator?
The air conditioner?
The morning stars of all
the universes shining
through these walls?
This mole has tunneled
somewhere past my brain
every morning for three years–
these bone-dry mornings.
There are days, I confess,
I miss the dull thud
of drunk veins throbbing

in my ears.

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Silence

This is a piece for the great-big noisy world, which wants me to believe that validation is found in the effluence of my words and opinions. And that want of the world–if I might opine–is pure bolgna.

***

Silence: the primal memory of amniotic living, of safety, of floated balance; the blue velvet blanket of childhood pulled over the ears, the whirr of nothing but sleep under that blanket; the Cathedral before the wedding, before the vows are said, before the tears, before the candles are lit, before the janitor’s key unbolts the door, before his boots clop down the marble aisle; the labor before the push; the distance between the scooped shell of water and the christening; the bed before the casket, the place where the family whispers that you were a good man, or tells you to go on, or holds your wrist, pumping, pumping, pumping to rest at last.

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To the Saints

It’s All Saints’ Day, the day on which the church celebrates those of the faith who’ve gone on before us. It’s the day of the year when I consider the canonized ones–Mary, Luke, Francis, Mother Teresa, etcetera, etcetera–but it’s also the day I consider the everyday saints who’ve stretched into eternity–Grandpa Ducky, Grandma Ducky, Rich, and Olivia.

In celebration, I’m offering this poem, a piece I wrote this summer. I hope you enjoy it. (And if you do, follow this link to my YouTube channel and click “subscribe.”)

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The Secret of Saints is…

On Saturday, I spoke at an event held in an Catholic church in Minneapolis. The stained glass was pristine, the stuff of much larger cathedrals, and it spurred this piece. Enjoy.

***

The Secret of Saints Is

to be gentle with their histories;
to hold them like crippled birds
fallen from early summer’s nest;
to know nothing but that histories
and wounded birds must go free
to die (this is the earth’s course);
to mourn once the natural finite,
the songs that might have been, maybe,
and to rest ahead into tomorrow’s sun,
shining.

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To My Son, During the Superbowl

To My Son, During the Superbowl
 
My son stretched across the couch,
was pulled into the spectacle of this year’s
feats of strength by men, women—products.
I know some by name, persona, statistics,
not by handshakes, conversations, bedrooms.
They are white gold, chocolate, or coffee
consumed for a season, another season,
until the shells of heroes are nothing more
than the peanut skins of trivia.
 
I try to explain ownership, or power,
the way it masquerades as competition,
progress, prowess, or sport.
It’s only football, he says, hand waiving,
eyes fixed on the goal, on the pompoms.
 
Sure, I say, and could cuss the game
he’s learned to love—but no,
this is not about football.
This is about having the imagination
to see through smoke machines.
 
In my mouth are these words:
The peoples’ power is found in the thigh
that captures a boy’s imagination,
and the heavier a hammer a man can swing
the more rubble he can create, if—
and this is a mighty big if—
he is willing to create rubble.
 
There is a criticism here, but it’s stuck,
and dumb because I know that speaking this
will one day cause a son to call me foolish,
or worse, romantic. But there were days,
I’ve been told, when legends weren’t paid
to be legendary, and the power of a thigh
transformed mortals into goddesses.
I want these days for my son,
but more, I want them for us.

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