Nail polish red, the parts of your heart
I can’t see, show them off, a serious
pert cute space above your name.
Sleeping on the beach above the nameless wave,
“duality of nature” in mind, I’ve proclaimed
a twoness in myself as cutting as the space between
your patronymic and familiar name.
“Two lines per person,” surging pull, replace
and shudder as the gravel turns over.
I sit on the heavy bench and see the heavy sea
(surfers call it slop) and contemplate,
not awake all over,
As if our double-chambered heart and brain
Told us we must pair
and procreate with twins.
as if a rhyme as clean as “cut” and “scut”
could be the knife that separates a fish and life.
And in the zone I’ve gone to
I’ve never seen
anyone obey the sign to cast beneath the rim.
Everyone who grew up here knows this bend
the chance to look back and pretend
to float on air.
Those kidney-shaped glands jellyfish have,
they have names, but what are they?
Get up and sit down.
An exercise in writing that becomes as binary
as end-stopped rhyme.
Someone carved my name into the rim.
My name is
“Worn Groove, Worn Groove, Drilled Hole.”
I thought that I’d refer to something cutting,
like the scars in the surface of the cleaning station,
or pungent as guts,
something rich and rusty like a urine stain.
My first memory of coming here
was the day a sideways wave washed over me,
and I’ve dreamed repeatedly
of being here,
the undertows of sleep
changing the ordinary folk into a parade.
Poems are about life,
and this one is about life jutting
from its accustomed place.
The bright empyrean,
why stories often portray angels as terrifying bright.
To jerk life forth in a burst from its berth in the deep
like a list that you keep
in a desk of your friends who have died
like scattered crab carapaces,
bones with open channels, rooms,
wells and snags.
“It’s a quality of light, a smell,”
It’s a murmur and a roar
“What could be more darkly bright
Than truth’s day star?”
The eyes have closed.
The negative exposed,
the lid snapped shut.
In rugose red boots
The lady walks past.
The die is cast,
the fish is caught,
Never to curl itself into a knot of “loose.”
To be cleaned in the gaze of others
Is to be chosen,
Two lines! May they track right,
and guide us through
the raging night,
into a clean day’s break.
written April 14 2012 as a participant in “Fishing for Words,” at the Pacifica Pier, hosted by Toni Mirosevich and Pacifica’s Environmental Family