Pain

Francis Bacon

Hurt shutters across
the body as pain shoots
through nerves
arriving at the brain
uninvited, exactly ill-timed.

If there was an ideal time for pain --
during sleep or
while petting a dog --
it would be grand.
There is not. 

Pain comes with severity,
occasionally gradual
severity,                         
almost certainly
with annoyance.

Wade through
the pain.
Laugh at it.
Slightly disrespect it.
Leave it unsatisfied.

.

.

artwork: Francis Bacon (detail) Study After Velasquez's Portrait Of Pope Innocent X

A Bow

A bow will not be untied
until its limbs are pulled,
causing its center to pucker and disappear.

Flattened, bare and vulnerable to other knots,
the trauma and indignities produced
is enough for the bow to run from the pulling --
to not recognize, adjust or believe its bow problems.

The bow may be flattened,
but it will be free to be, better yet,
become something new.

.

.

- artwork by Joel Meyerowitz

Paisley Passing

There is a sense of comfort
knowing someone is alive.
After you listen or read or see
what they have made,
knowing the creator still lives,
still has influence on earth,
it is a comfort.

Then they die.
Although you may not have listened or
     read or seen what they have made recently,
now that they are gone, you drown in loss.
Sometimes, we forget about people.
Then when they die, we remember
how much we were influenced,
how much we were moved.

~

~

- mailed to Utah - 
- artwork by Mary Weatherford -

Venice

I.
A hazy mind
conspires with
a hazy atmosphere.

The soft blur in the air equips the mind with food.

If the hazy mind
is not yet ready
to feast,

the mind looks to retreat to a favorite distant spot --

dropping responsibilities,
as airplanes drop
with heavy severity.

II.
The haze
makes distance
abstract;

allowing figures to appear as they disappear,

permitting
distant shapes to meander
into focus.

The hazy mind wants to know who is friend or foe,

but the haze
blurs the line
just enough to infuriate.

III.
Haze surprises
by descending
from above.

Distant problems are less sharp, rounder.

Haze leaves and
focus returns.
Something changed.

Things have crisped to the point of a breadstick snap.

Haze feels good,
especially when it leaves,
knowing the distance will return.

.

.

- mailed to Arizona - 
- artwork by Milton Avery

Slightly Salty

     If you want phone calls
Make phone calls.

     Friends are friendly
If you are a friendly friend.

     If you want grass
Water it.

     Spouses love
When spouses are loved.

     If you want war
Dismantle lives.

     Pets usually stay
When fed.

     If you want to believe
Ask all the questions.

     Seeking significance?
Notice insignificant moments.

.

.

- mailed to Nevada this week - 
- artwork by Kerry James Marshall

Generator

A generator generates.
Generating good, as easy as
generating bad.
Generating nothing, as easy as
generating something.
Stop.
Generating something generates more,
could be angst,
could be joy,
could also alienate or leave people desiring more.

While generators generate gestures,
an audience concurrently generates opinions.
A good generator generating bad gestures, 
still a good generator?
A bad generator generating good gestures, 
still a bad generator?
Stop.
Generations of generators will keep generating.
Generate what you are today,
for tomorrow you will be someone more.

.

.

- mailed to Idaho this week - 
- artwork by Ellsworth Kelly

Green Phone

The green phone is waiting
it is patient
too old to ring
a generous communicator
with no eyes
only ears and mouth
and no chance to feel
But the green phone is purposeful
heavy where it needs to be
narrow in its tone
a grand tool to communicate
     in its day
today the green phone peers-out
too slow to talk
yet remembers how useful its life was
the green phone did one thing
     just fine enough
I may wish to be the green phone

.

.

- mailed to California -
- artwork by Pablo Picasso -

Not In Theory

Art and entertainment have a relationship
ripe with strife

Art is entertainment. Entertainment is art.
this mess is a thing to bless

Entertainment may mandate popularity
believable or inconceivable

And art may prefer a depth
encouraging discussions with many repercussions

We see these generalities destroyed
by those who speak power, first softly softer then louder

It is plain and clear that art may entertain.
or not, an artist's choice to fire their best shot

And entertainment may most certainly be rooted in art.
not necessarily, but there's always a possibility

Now replace art and entertainment with female and male.
finally finally perform gender equality, not in theory but in honesty

.

.

- mailed to Oregon this week - 
- artwork by Stik - 

I Can't Wait To Go To Bed

I lie
on my back
in bed
in semi-blackness.
Anticipation stirs inside.
A determined sleep-wave
overtakes the eyelids.
All goes dark.

Later
lights go on, off.
Drawers open, close.
Closet doors swing, skate.
I sense the balancing act
of removing clothes, quietly.
Through doorways, construction sounds radiate;
electric brushes and hoses efficiently cleaning, teeth.

I know
you will slip-in soon.
I will then half-wake
during your nighttime routine, or not.
While consciousness fades in, out,
a comfort permeates me
with the expectant arrival
of your warmth.

.

.

- mailed to Washington -
- artwork by Ibrahim El-Salahi -
 

A Cycle

A child takes a first shower
lathers the face with soap
opens eyes before rinsing
screams from the soap stinging
Mom runs in to help and soothe

A 50-year-old takes a shower
lathers the face with soap
rubs eyes letting soap seep in before rinsing
painful stinging of the eyes
no scream so no one comes, it passes

An old person takes a shower
lathers the face with soap
disoriented, opens an eye before rinsing
tries to scream from the stinging
slips falls and dies

Three instances
three ages
one learning moment
one goofy (goof bucket) moment
one death
 

 

- mailed to Maine this week -
- artwork by Katharina Grosse -