Man on the Move
POOL OF CANDLES
Here comes Dennis again, rowing himself
across his duck pond and breathing fire.
Even when he wanders, he’s no schmo.
He can play trombone, but he has amnesia
and shakes his demons by reading bones.
He’s that good.
He’s a horse that must not be named.
He’s the Mr. Ed of the marital bed.
There he goes again, wooing the night away
like a fast cat, like a man possessed.
He’s the Lt. Colombo of love.
He’s the patron saint of perpetual motion.
Tonight he’ll know how to grieve,
and he’ll invite whomever he wants
into the pool of his own fragility.
But can he blow out all those candles?
A foghorn’s wail washes ashore
like a bubble bursting.
So why can’t you see it?
Because you want to eye the tigers,
to peer into violins that reveal
the dark chestnuts in your heart.
You want to be the size of a paperback
and sing to a mailbox near you.
No overcrowded ports — just you
and the nuns caressing the shore
with your hair. Bless you!
You’re as crazy as a smashed
ping-pong ball. And you know
you want to kiss the right vacuum!
You survive by barely masking
your cheese library with teddy bears.
It’s telling you to pursue your half
of Satan, but you’re feeling
as fickle as a prom queen.
Your eyes water at the thought
of sleeping in church with cement shoes
on your lap. You’ve got to have
clouds in your heart, taste the scene
of the crime with nary a whimper.
By the time you finish reading this,
you are the color of an envy-inducing coin.
* * *
MAN ON THE MOVE
A man can’t believe
he’s a blue gem,
a conclusion without storms.
He can’t believe he’s
the maze of memory itself.
Tired of all the zigzags
in his head, he turns himself
into a year of uncertainty.
Tired of getting left behind
with the lights on, he places
his soul in a warm bowl of frog eggs
and disappears into his navel.
The man claims to be
the ubiquitous tick of a clock
on a stick of dynamite.
He simply can’t afford to live
forever behind the Groucho mask.
Like a nomad he crawls up
the leaning lighthouse of a grateful nation.
He walks on between travelers,
walks on his hands down this road
filling up fast with Halloween costumes.
* * *
MY THREE WISHES
May the happy sheep of Egypt
sing from the rubble
of a huge pyramid.
May the best chocolate nests
feed off of each other
like pages in a sorcerer’s book.
May the wall of worms
standing alone in a desert
open into this opulent velvet sofa!
* * *
COLLECTING DUST (AS WELL AS MY THOUGHTS)
Over my dead body
is a diamond growing hair.
Every now and then
I allow God to speak through me
like a kick in the gut.
I love my church
of cheese holes and green feet.
I love it more than a tombstone
kissed by the sun. Hey,
I’m just a hopeless romantic
who gets free by flying
the blue flag of surrealism,
who gets free by sparing the spoon.
It’s not about me. It’s about
the dust ringing the moon
and clinging to the pillows,
to a traveler’s lips.
That’s fine with me:
I am nothing if not
this year’s dust.