Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gogyohka 9.29.09

A sweet potato
and the news
I can't pay attention!
Flush with the excitement
of a new acquaintance

You meet some people
and can feel
the strobe light
of their heart
flashing out fascination

and maybe intuition
is just guessing
the best in another
cynicism the error
of putting them on trial

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gogyohka 9.28.09

fills the space
in the place
we formerly forgot
connects us

John Muir at Mt. Rainier
to his wife back home:
"Didn't mean to climb it
but got excited--
and soon found myself on top"

and maybe listening
stands before
the shadows of people
that redefine "me"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gogyohka 9.27.09

Maybe another differently formed Gogyo-sonnet?

all these prisons
an office
your house
the screens
and self-trapped
because the first screen
projecting the iron lock
or a skeleton key
comes with you every day
mobile, building environments
from inside out
obscuring the projectionist's will

all these prisons
or a skeleton key
obscuring the projectionist's will
from unlocking anything

I never thought
I had the ability
to convince someone
life is worth living
Just half a dialogue

hard drinkin
up late
eyes burnt out bulbs
looking for reasons
in the fog

this cool
blowing rain
washing me clean
from the rot
of being sodden

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gogyohka 9.26.09

Loneliness in the Digital Age

in fashionable glasses
her crossed legs
perched like chopsticks
A woman reads Jane Eyre
and eats sushi alone

I no longer yearn
for the sheltered warmth
of mothers and hearths
I want to dance in the naked air
and answer the thunder

The sun came
in the window
low and level
to enlighten the smell
of a rotten tomato

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gogyohka 9.24.09

No use
crying over
a dammed river
but you know what?
I just might

spun around
throw the dart!
And again!
Magic bullseyes

Seeing yellow elm leaves
I can't help but think
of March sap
straining upward
to budge out a bud

The stem's flower
is a risk
Pouring resources into bloom
Standing out
to grow past itself

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gogyohka 9.23.09

Autumn got corked
in a bottle
and shaken
the bubbles just waiting
waiting to POP

the afternoon sun--
just low enough
to catch the steam
swirling up
from my pot of tea

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gogyohka 9.22.09

Apprehension appears
as the freight
of destiny's possibilities
Brickbats swinging
at a sandbag piñata

Stripped to rags
Cut out at the knees
Still convinced
that our blood
flows for love

What makes the loons sing
when the moon
shines on the water?
That high lonesome flutter
the echo of coyote's howl

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gogyohka 9.21.09

The world is built
for power
and tendering
Invested in neither?
Watch out!

Father sits on the train
His lids dozing
With sleep leaning all over him
and in his lap
The sway of a Sunday subway

Rattle the bones!
(the bones?)
Have a dance party
so even the marrow sings

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gogyohka 9.19.09

you don't
sing the blues
because they're in you
you sing the blues
to get them out

I fixed it:

The white teeth of subway tiles
have black marker cavities
"I ♥ Carlos"
And crossword down the stairs

Or maybe a simpler way?

Black marker reads
on white subway tiles
"I ♥ Carlos"
And crossword down the stairs

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gogyohka 9.18.09

What if a memory bank
really existed?
What would be taken out?
What would you deposit?
And what currency?

If time
is memory's currency
then does burning your stash
make you a warm, generous amnesiac
or just cackling alone?

Gather up
the first fallen leaves
and burn them
swirling in the first cool wind
See the crisp fast flames

Sitting in an armchair
in a suburb
in a warm house
with an alarm system
the TV tuned to wild bloodcries of sport

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gogyohka 9.16.09

Today in Union Square

I read Kill Punk Rock Stars
heard a choral group in green robes
and saw a cleric's collared man
shouting into a megaphone
next to a construction cone orange bike

Walking down the parkway
it hit me
The sun warm
on my legs and back
not my bald spot!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gogyohka 9.14.09

the calm dry salty air
and spritzy foam
of errant waves
hides the destruction
behind erosion's lullaby

The waves' lightspeckled ripples
look like a bowl of Jello
being carried by a boy
who just took a turn
playing pin the tail on the donkey

Warm puckering sea air
blowing through the sun
and across the sky stretched thin
carries the haunted sighs
of an Indian Summer

Out on the dock
the waves slapping at the rocks
you can look out
and remember
even New York won't last

The full spread leaves
of two fig trees
peek out from the wooden gate
their fruit still green
begging the sun one last time

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gogyohka Sonnet?

I've been thinking about the form of this for some time now, and when it finally took root with content and inspiration, it spun out into a slightly different shape. But that's science for you, I guess. In any event, I'm hoping to work with the idea of even lined poems with fives and threes buried within them (as in 3 linked five-line poems that add up to a thirteen-line stanza and 1 three-line stanza that add up to 16 lines), so that I can get odd lined Eastern poetry embedded into even lined Western poetry. It's hard to explain, and might be boring. Better to read:

Out on the vast sea
we need a boat
but the boat can spring a leak
What we really need
is a gauge
we can consult
from the inside out
Some internal navigation
that can't be soaked
something we can call
our own
out on the stormy crashing waves

Out on the vast sea
What we really need
Some internal navigation

The last three lines, ideally, are interchangeable. You can read them in any order and they make sense. I don't know how often I can do that, but I'd like to try and find out.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gogyohka 9.12.09

Seems like philanthropy
is being generous
only when you know
you'll be remembered
A petrified forest

I still remember
the sunburned crags
of Utah
Sloping sudden canyons
where the dinosaurs live

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two 9/11 Gogyohka

I wrote this a while back. Figured it made sense to share them now:

Washington Square Park

Under the arch
someone is playing a guitar
so people can sing
and cry
and remember that day

WTC hole in the ground ceremony

I listen to the names
the wandering drone
until I am overwhelmed
and can only hear
the rushing blood in my ears

Gogyohka 9.11.09

I figured out
what it means
to be a man
(at least in Japanese)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gogyohka 9.10.09

I write a word
to lose it
from memory
and feel the mysteries
all around renewed

just sit there
watch the 5PM world go by
taste the dry air of an early fallen leaf
it contains all the whys

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gogyohka 9.9.09

More from yesterday:

This gray day
reminds me
I am just
a sundial
overcast with clouds

Amid the licorice bloom
of fennel
and the musky crush
of dropped piles of pears
a few bumblebees visit roses

The husky, tobaccoed corn stalk
gestures like an elder statesman
arm bent in some grand purview
of all this fallow land
waiting to come under his tasseled top

I wonder
when exchanging emails
with Japanese friends
if they ever see the greeting "Hi"
and hear "Yes," too

And from today:

The meaning of life
is simply to accept life
The wave curls only to crash
broken into pieces
that recede back into the sea

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gogyohka 9.8.09

i was feeling
sort of blue
so i watched
the Price is Right
it didn't help

how can we
move on together
if you don't
remember me?
if you never knew?

I can make my peace with her
as long as I live on unforgotten
what haunts me still
is that she never knew me
to forget or remember

Whitman nourished his soul
with the bread of his mind
and saw his soul in all
so all would be nourished in turn
be with me now

my weakness
my soul
my loneliness
my love
I must decide

The sun of early autumn
sinks lower than ever
and I feel it
rises sooner too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gogyohka 9.6.09

living for a dream
any dream
presupposes a single goal
and one finish line
reminds me too much of death

we prattle on
about growing up
about emerging from cocoons
but look at the cake, the candles
and add it up

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gogyohka 9.5.09

West Indian Day Children's Parade on St. John's Place, where I live

morning parade blast!
marching goose necked dancers
tail feathers, headdresses
organdy costumes the color of the equator
a child on stilts rests under a parasol

The movement of art
like so many brushstrokes
the eyelashes
of our imagination

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gogyohka 9.4.09

the first revelation may be birth
and the next time's passing
but after that
and maybe last
comes how to bear life

For the meaning of revelation is that what is revealed is
true, and must be borne.--James Baldwin, Another Country

This also was inspired by finishing Osamu Dazai's wrenching novel, The Setting Sun.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gogyohka 9.3.09

The creamy mellow slant
of light in a strange September--
Hydrangea blooms
next to the rosebuds
next to me looking both ways

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gogyohka 9.2.09

unlike the cosmos
Earth is not infinite
but how gross
if we think its lifespan
matches ours

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gogyohka 9.1.09

My luck has changed!
After hitting a pedestrian
on my bike
I got swiped by a car
Everyone's OK now

how strange
to hear my parents
tell me "I love you"
only after
they got divorced

Gogyohka bobsleds down the hill
First through slush
then ice, building speed
around a whooshing blind corner--
Zoom! Frozen stand on end hair!!