They aren’t men

For years,

Like a recurring dream,

I’d find myself drunk in a New York City bar,

wishing I’d stayed home,

to build something,

no one would pay for,

in silence.

Even today,

I think of giving it all up,

to drift free in a low rent wilderness,

Where the best women won’t have sex.

These pangs visit at night,

But I still wake up and grind,

for a small piece,

of all the disassembled empires,

chaos has handed down,

since many lines before my Grandfather.

I am running after,

a dying lady,

in a dirty dress.

Friends and enemies,

on either side of me,

nourished by applause.

What does it mean to be a man?

Men arrive when the fleeting longings of their nights,

grow big enough,

to fill their days.

 

A house like this

Tonight I prepare for bed in a southern mansion house,

with a grand staircase, bedroom fireplaces, and absentee Manhattan owners.

I’ve always wanted a house like this.

To live in a house like this,

to die in a house like this.

But what is a house like this?

If not a stage on which to play your little part,

with those closest to you,

who love, support, and shelter you.

To own a house like this is a blessing.

But one that pales in comparison,

to a happy family.

Because in truth,

a happy family is,

a house like this.

The odd flights

I tend to take the odd flights,

the ones with empty seats.

12:55 on a Wednesday,

to some place,

far away,

I’ve imagined as happy for me.

A place I could move,

stay awhile,

then fly away,

somewhere happier.

It’s the corporate flights I avoid,

7:15 on a Friday evening.

The lawyers and bankers,

on their way home,

marching to someone else’s routine.

I never wanted that,

so I fly mid-day.

And yet,

crammed in the middle seat,

on my way from New York to Chicago,

I find myself enjoying the satisfied energy,

of a day fully spent.

A banker on my left,

a lawyer to my right.

Neither want to talk to me.

But they teach me.

Happiness does not equal,

the absence of routine.

My bloody jaw

Just like cats sometimes do,

for their owners,

I leave what I’ve killed,

at her doorstep,

and say,

Look.

Look at me now.

At what I’ve done,

at who I’ve become.

But no matter how intense the hunt,

gifts from cats inspire humor,

never awe.

They end up in the trash,

not on the mantle.

Unwanted,

by a foreign species,

now closed,

to the possibility,

of any lasting value,

springing from the clutches of my bloody jaw.

The safety of time

Time gives safety,

to a poem,

too true,

to send off right away.

Days,

and weeks,

clothe,

the most immediate nakedness.

They wash away,

a little bit of the hurt.

So when you read this,

you no longer know what I feel,

but you can see,

what I felt.

Cynthia

*Read this poem first. *

Let yourself grow attached,

and come to love,

what you are sure to lose.

Drive for miles,

and days,

for a last look.

Write letters,

and poems,

plead into an impossible face.

Surrender.

Now cry.

Give her the pain she wants,

so you’ll finally match.

Become weak like you’d never admit to the street or in a flourescent office room.

Lie about the meaning,

Your meanings keep you from her.

Ignore your intuition,

Your intuition pushes her further away.

Light a candle,

So you can see her in the emerging darkness.

A vigil,

to the dream,

that died right on time…

Me on Tuesday

Our trip.

Our road.

The bright flower valleys we planned to see.

Swimming pools,

strange native faces,

hesitant entries,

kisses behind weak plaster walls.

A few more days left.

That new business,

that dress,

that fucking suit.

Floated promises.

Gone,

all gone.

That was just me on Tuesday.

That palm shadow

Struck by the beauty of an urban California night,

by the power of that palm shadow,

a touch darker than the dark night sky,

– reminds you of your presence in a world great place –

Driving away from a mistake dinner,

if there can be such a thing,

where a bright young girl announced her affiliation with you to the group she leans on for support and identity.

You could see she was proud to be with you,

even though you’re too old to comfortably blend.

It’s sweet to shine for someone,

even as you’ve just emerged from your own unkempt house.

Lovers give us hope,

That the pretty version of ourselves is real.

We spend time with them on special California nights,

with the moon on the ocean,

just up ahead.

We let them shine,

and so do we,

but we don’t see they don’t love us.

We don’t see they don’t see us.

Maybe one day we’ll rest with a Jack,

or a Jill,

or maybe all we’ll ever do is search.

On you go

Stop,

and let your mind listen,

to the sounds of New York City in the snow.

The trucks,

and the men who drive them,

expect nothing from you.

Solo taxis through the slush on Bethune,

making their way to the river,

their small beacon sounds,

float into my kitchen.

The stones,

and the bricks,

and the wood,

no longer speaking hierarchy.

They don’t know.

No one does.

Listen to the streets.

To the snow.

Your stories,

superimposed on it all,

were always a lie.

but you can’t have it back,

so on you go…

The magic of women

Some men fear,

the familiarity of a woman.

Women to them are for “fucking,”

for chasing,

for showing off.

Time wipes away the shine,

which they anticipate,

as the end of their prime.

But some understand,

that familiarity is the magic of women.

They can look on,

satisfied,

as two reunited friends giggle again as girls,

Telling stories about the boys,

who were once on their heels,

barely catching a European train,

remembering always,

that the beauty they were given,

as softer,

more hopeful men,

birthed a duty,

that echoes well beyond,

the waning light of the ego’s fearful campfire.