Europe, Summer 1997

we count first on our fingers
in bundles of five,
the places we have seen
the people we would visit
then we count from memory
the houses whose doors are yellow
standing out against rusted drainpipes
taking a second moment before
becoming grey in the passing view.

We watched the compounding skyline
which began as rooftops but became high-rises;
a wooden rendering of our own jourey,
which began on foot and boarded the railcar.
You, looking at me from behind our father’s glasses,
offer up a sigh of relief–we are moving now.
Moving on to something else.
We were young but I remember a sense of longing
an emptiness only time can fill,
following the footpaths of cobbled alleys
knowing a home-land in a place I’d never been.

–ECW

Draft – Foucault Pendulum

image

someday, when we grow up
this too will be a memory
glowing with all the passion
of a darling age; someplace
elsewhere where we’ve
kept all the dishes pristine
and all the portraits are of young
lovers -us I assume- smiling wide
enough to swallow our medicine
someday, when we are gone
from here, this place will be perfect
and we will remember everything
golden and foil-stamped
like our wedding invitations
which everyone attended,
even the people who got sick
even the people we couldn’t
squeeze in, the record we keep
will be complete, circling the dowel
coming around and around
in tidy lassajous curves.

–ECW

Poem: Quagmire Kinfolk

Quag(mire) kinfolk

the girl in the marsh was me
when I was small and we were lost
I left the hurt there in the marsh
to be cleansed by mists
(to be) wavering weeds
the girl in the marsh was me
and I was younger then but
not                       so young
as to meet dread for the first time
he and I walked alongside
grassy heaps
and ferried our secrets
the girl(in)               the marsh was me
I left her there to wait on my return…
the marsh,  she           knew all
about the low hanging fog
and the weight
of water
in the
quag

–ECW

 

Petit Fours: Tiny Poems with a Bite

Petitfour1

When I was a freshman in high school my best friend didn’t buy me a normal birthday present. Instead she bought me a whole box of petit fours.

I had never seen such delightful little squares. They felt like a bite size dream. I froze most of them and made each and every one last as long as possible.

I stumbled upon some lovely internet poets who are contemporary and nostalgic all at the same time. I tried to emulate their lovely type-writer cool, but my typewriter is oh so broken and the one at work (yes, there is a typewriter at the library, we are awesome) ate my money and laughed in my face!

So I fell back on what I know and made a semi-nostalgic poem-let for sharing.

There are lots more to come; I wrote 24 of these!

Hope you like them!

Please share!

Poem 155

Bridge kids

the ones who feast on left-overs
in upturned bins and grin
through sooty wooden teeth
overpass-crass, the yellow
cuticles of freedom; trust
funds and red lungs
aching for marboros & skunk
we sunk our feet in, ankle deep
and watched the sun set on some
one else’s sunday! Holiday! to be
young and effortlessly cool
in the night, fireside tinder headlines
and crumpled comic strips
make for shadow puppet slumber.

We live vivid in an instant;
don’t make me grow old with employment
let there be sunrises always on my window,
which is open, which is everywhere
and lay me down under the passing lights
of communter busy with deadlines
watching for nothing out the side
view, knowing only that tomorrow
will be the absolute endless same.

 

From the outside, your music is a blues tune
played over and over to a white moon
with a face like a resting doll,
we watch her while you’re sleeping
in your ninetofive daydreams
and keep her secrets from your policies.
We are well paidfor in sensations,
richly alive while we hitch-hike
across roads others dare not go—for fear
of safety. It’s the poor kids who wear
slacks and blazers: shuffling their papers
staplers and budgets, who will die of loans
and live anonymous in their ambitions.  

Someday, when we are all lined up
in a train station awaiting the arrival
of eternity, you might ask who was happy
and neither class will answer,
but one of us will know.

—ECW

Poem 141

We overcame our mothers

when we were sixteen and without child.

I watched the summers flutter on

A luna moth counting myself lucky

to hit the bulb again and again

to fall away unscathed once more—

We overcame our mothers.

In the back truck-beds of red

Pick-up grinds, where we bade

The same prayers and were protected.

Then we grew up—suddenly,

I was tonguing baby names

Out of joy instead of dread.

I am grateful, for us, to be twenty

To be hopeful for our wombs

To be lovely and plump with miracle.

We overcame our mothers; I hardly

felt the triumph, barely knew the ruse

that when we overcame our mothers,

we lost the our sovereign youth

—ECW

Poem 13 Revised

cycles

 

she thought she could be beautiful if only

she could decide

what beauty was and was not

afraid of rabbit holes and conversation lulls

speak more candidly, sharpen your arrow tongue

maybe you’re afraid—so be it so be it

 

she knew she could decide beauty was

if only with a scrap of paper;

water & pigment

—oh—and a brush

but that would be hindering…

a meddlesome fall dries the colors to their leaves…

to paint them why cant they be everything at once

 

isn’t true beauty potential,

the potential to be everything at once

I want all the colors at once I once

knew a girl with an eye full of sun drops and cancer in her bones

cut her canvas with a house key and set

mixing the oils with her fingertips—

if only mixing was enough

like sex to beget the baby, forget the baby or the potential of a maybe

the acting graces are beauty enough keep going, don’t worry keep going.

 

I thought I could be beautiful by watching the sky

and tracking the hurricane negotiations from the shore

close enough to hear the thunder chuckle

opened my eyes to lightening and was blinded by

color—light was everything at once.

 

I tracked the stars in the sand with a walking stick

made their maps dance in the valleys of my footprints

told the truth of their location and nothing more

was that not beauty enough

is said of ideals and most are untrue

the tales of lions dancing in the heaven crest

all the rest is black, like the inner side of a resting eye

with the tide quieting the constellations

the sea is black with possibilities

it may be anything, at once.

—ECW

Poem 13 EditingPoem 13 Original