Love at the End of the World

Today, my stepmom sent me a text, all excited
My stepbrother’s finally engaged: FINALLY
And I’m sure my parents are thinking, as the holidays are nearly here,
Why I’m not hooked up with anyone, engaged, married: something.

I can’t explain to them in terms they’ll understand
That the last guy I kissed was standing there in my martial arts class
And he looked at us all with that deadlight stare, that dead-man gaze
And he’s had brain surgery, some time in his past, and has
One foot here on Earth, and another in the grave—
And that’s what love is like nowadays, here at the end of the world.

You pour your heart out for all the living ghosts,
Because that’s all you can do.
I sent him a text, saying that I’m here if he needs anything,
And then I sent one to my mom, saying happy birthday
And didn’t receive a response from either one.
And that’s what love is like nowadays, here at the end of the world—

Shouting into the void again and again,
With the force of a writer,
Voice of a poet—
That’s love at the end of the world—
The only kind that’s left to us, these days.

A Large Vestment

A large vestment, a long stone to hurl
To throw the line, to warp/twist,
Shape in a mold
Spoon-figured shells, fastened loosely,
Shaken to beat time
One cast away on an unfrequented coast,
One of the artificial divisions of refined soap or
Impressions of statues, the deciding vote
Of a king—
Bring the Castle Fortuitous,
A night in a parish, resulting
In cases of conscience
Or of pertaining to
Equivocal reasoning, a domesticated

The Diner in the Black and White

The diner in the black and white—
Time to review the changes to the menu—
Harry preps the kitchen,
I tie my hair up in a bun
And wonder if the corporate takeovers
That have plagued the other diners
Will eventually subsume this artsy little place as well
This sense of impending destruction/reconstruction
Hangs like a heavy fog
But this morning, we pretend not to notice
And just keep going.

Writing is Easy

“It was a dark and stormy night”—
See, you can write—
It’s not the writing that’ll trip you up, but the doubt—
Is this cliché? Derivative?
Am I sounding too much like Poe?
Writing is easy, like walking, like breathing, like driving
Like the millionth thing you do in a day without thinking
There’s somebody you’re trying to impress
And then those five-dollar words come into play
And you write to say what is contained in that complex lexicon
Full of tenuous, unfettered and yet unrequited expressions
Of your own unremittent heart—
The part you play is creator and created,
The work taking on a life of its own
Until the words on the page either run away with themselves
Leaving the writer alone, again
Or, its meaning is lost like the mind of Prince Hamlet,
And the page is filled with only
“Words, words, words.”