Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Trees

Trees

How many postcards? Calendars. Framed Ansel Adams prints.
Documentaries with people strapped to them, willing to die.
The source of our oxygen. The reason lungs breathe in and out.
Habitat of the loftiest and most noble of all the earth's creatures.


And yet…

most susceptible to lightning. Axes. The need for toothpicks.
Not to mention drywall. We make oars from dead bodies to push
ourselves across the very substance they cannot live amidst,
seated in vessels made of the same.

This thing that fire most wants to eat, we write our novels against.
We lick a stamp, and press it on what once lived for centuries --
thanklessly dying that we might wish Uncle Ted a happy birthday.
Some of them throwing shadows when Shakespeare dipped a quill.
 

And yet…

Not one of these have ever even known that they were alive.
We, who are so very much aware, but so less useful in our elements,
who are we to think that not only shall we live on this planet,
but also forever after endure -- endlessly, on another far greater one?

And yet…

we do. Some do think this.

© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

They. Them, You.

They. Them. You.

They say, whoever they are, that you cannot know the girl
until you see her when she does not know you are there.
You will never know who she is. So I gave it a try, tonight.

Halloween night. Halloween party, out with all your friends.
And there I was too, ordering a drink, my back to the bar.
Focused on your table -- everyone there was riveted to you.

Whatever story you were telling, I would have liked to know.
I sipped, I watched, and had brains enough to wait. To wait.
When you were done, I made my way over, as if by accident.

Instead of being shocked, embarrassed or angry, you turned.
That smile to forever haunt every recess of my unworthy life.
Making way for me you asked me to sit down, but I begged off.

And just as I was making my way out, I heard your friend say
above the din, "Is that him? Girl, you weren't telling half of it."

There is a manner of shame that has to be confessed, to end.

This is why, hours later when you have returned home to me 
I am leaving on the table this rhyme-less poem for you to see.
I want you to know the exact type of idiot you are involved with.

I want you to know that the princess costume you were wearing
tonight - as you take it off now - is not telling the half of it.

© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Dickens Again

Dickens Again

Surely there are more momentous things to worry about.
Autism. Attention Deficit Disorder. Tuberculosis. Gayness?
They crept in closer, concerned. Worried. Surf pounding.

All this ocean, what is our son up to. Chronic masturbation?
An opening in the tent revealed him -- in all his fullness.
They had seen that same devilish grin before, in the library.  

Immersed in the page at hand, thumb ready to flip to the next
he turned, saying to them, Do you have nothing better to do?
They didn't. It's Dickens again, Dad said, sighing in the wind.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monkey Bars

Monkey Bars

Who am I, really?
I walked through a park tonight, shadows long before me.
Twice my height, thanks to a lamp-light behind.
In the same exponentiation, oh the tricks my mind played.
For there I was, climbing and tumbling -- as ever I was.
But in my current state of being, I could never achieve this.

I even heard the sounds, those of my childhood.
A different playground -- and that is when I stopped moving.
Swinging like a chimpanzee, with as many cares for tomorrow.
How is it that I can see it -- what database stores such a thing?
I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it.
But I could never do it. I could never do it. I could never do it.

Now.
Who am I, really? An amalgam of memories of who I was?
If so, I could jump up there, and make a circuit of these bars.
But I cannot do so. If time is relative to distance, how can this
apparatus be so near to me and the experience so far off?
So impossible. So improbable. So impossible. So distant.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016
The Stars Help To Express It

Holding hands on the balcony, he looked up at the night sky.
Then, her face.
You know, have you ever considered the fact the the universe is expanding? I mean, the constellations we have observed and named -- the whole thing itself is so… provincial. 

In a million or so years from now, those formations will have shifted -- we observe them from an extremely limited vantage point, that is itself shifting. 
[Inspired now, he kicked off his sandals, the lotus position, and touched her face…] 
-- Andromeda, Aquarius, Cygnus -- all of these will not at all look as they do today darling, were you and I to be sitting here a million years from now. Not to mention that our own Earth will most likely not be around to observe any of these from, nor our Sun still shining, having collapsed in upon itself and…
Noticing her glass empty, he grabbed the bottle from the ice bucket --
Darling, she said, tightening her grip. Darling, he said --
[A new train of thought made its way to the last remaining synapses…]
Do you see it, though? It is the naming, the fixing, that is wrong-headed.
If you were one, one bottle of wine, you would have to be un-named. Un-dated.
No one. No sheik, no ten sultans, could afford you. And a million, a million years from now…

She was smiling. Oh, that smile.
Darling, I think it's time we went to bed.

In the tone, in the very tone that the universe would say such a thing.
I followed her. Soon to see constellations that no one, were the Earth to somehow survive its inevitable demise, see.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Camels

Camels

One of those urban myths, without the urban part.
That's got to be what it is
he muttered, cracked lips oozing pus.
Bending low to a dream of grass… no, it was just sand again.
Everywhere. Dunes, mirages, and every oasis a falser fantasy.
The other, hump bent sideways -- knelt for a turbaned rider.
Head turned but reply-choked by his own crushed camel-spirit.

Forced. Off they trotted on their eight scorched two-toed feet.
Hmmm… what's beyond this hill of dust? Look. Yet another one.
Which of us wanted to go anywhere near here in the first place?
[That last part was unspoken by either of them, not unthought].
Just before they reached their thrice-hyphenated destination, #1

gasped Has even one of these things ever asked if we were thirsty?

© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Saturday, May 07, 2016

A Certain Table, A Certain Tree

A Certain Table, A Certain Tree

Remember when we agreed to this.
There is no question mark after that.
Because I am talking to myself here.
Admittedly - it was many years ago.
You are to be excused from the duty.
Time erases many things, even time.
And as any doctor will tell you, every
heartbeat is unequal. Fingerprints --
really. One thing constant, the beating.
Yours has not stopped, nor has mine.
Beating and beating away in darkness.
But we have changed our addresses.
Our lifestyle would not be recognized
by the other. Recalled, but illegible now.

I trained myself to accept the inevitable
while I believed in what I wanted --
which will always be yourself. 
Today, I realize that you have done a
different task with yours, your heart.
You have managed to occlude it.
And I wonder if you should congratulate
yourself. I cannot know that for certain.
I have traveled one thousand miles
to be here at a certain table, under a
certain tree, at a certain hour, to wonder
which of us has been the greater fool.

I am no scientist. I am no pontificate
in these matters. I do know, however,
that if the sun, which has no personality
whatsoever, wanted to be late eight minutes
the world would freeze to death, in the next.
I have waited here beyond that, beyond thirty.
And so I concede your victory in frozenness.
My wish for you is not unhappiness, but glory.
I hope that the reason you are not here is
because you have managed to forget it all.
That you are feeling warmth.
That I have been usurped.
That, in your memory of me, you do not think me an idiot
for sitting here… waiting for what was not meant to b--
…wait.
is…
Is that the red scarf I gave her?
Is that you… running in front of a taxi?


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Conviction

Conviction

What does it mean to stay true to such a word
that should itself be in dire need of a lawyer?
Nowhere else in the dictionary is such lack of
control in evidence. In one sense, your neck
snaps - this entirely upon the opinion of others.

In another, you alone know what is the truth.
Yet you will lay your head on the block for it.
Surely the difference will cause the monarch
to not reach Mexico on time, to not find the tree.
The sun to rise in the west. Rain to fall upwards.

Geese to spell another letter than V flying south?
When you were most sure of yourself, looking up
you saw that the clouds confirmed your resolution.
They formed the very image of your mother's legs
splayed, and you bearing witness upon the world.

None of this will happen when the blade is raised
and with innocence you look down into the bucket.
Justice will never be synonymous, with conviction.
So, to answer the first question, you were justified.
To the second I want you to know - they fly askew.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Our Grand Assumption

Our Grand Assumption

No one alive today is any one thing, even if we examine raccoons.
We know it of ourselves, but how impossible to convince another.
Amazing that the closer we get, other options become preferable.

Exaggerated phrases leap from every closet, ending with always.
Sentences prefaced with You never. Or, Why is it that you never?
Doors are slammed to negotiation and peace talks are only on TV.

Like the majority of the earth that is covered with water, so is this.
This uninhabitable world assumed upon the great majority of lungs.
A pressure. A fissure. A crevice in the ice, wherein we fall endless.

This is why, on this, our anniversary of it all, Our Grand Assumption
I want you to know that only the first line of this poem is about you.
Come nearer -- that I might kiss your bandit rings, garbage stealer.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2016 --

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Opposite of Uncertainty

The Opposite of Uncertainty

Closing our eyes from the glare of too much
said and unspoken, breathing in exhalations.
My God -- we fell together because of gravity.

Feathers from flying doves reach the ground
due to earth-forces that do not rely on thought.
So. What were we thinking when we landed?

Let me speak for myself on this, in retrospect.
We were thinking of the opposite of uncertainty.
Of moons that never wane. And an eternal orbit.

Even in the night, it has always been daylight.
Would you agree? We need not squint today
as the shudder passes through. Everything yes.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Monday, May 25, 2015

Expectations

Expectations

Because she did what was always expected of her
she was well-received by everyone. No doubt.
But then a great flame in her died at a certain point.
She was known as a marvel, a great success early on,
until marrying a man that could stifle bonfires with his words.
In retrospect I regret never declaring my own feelings.
I loved the pilgrim soul in this girl.

I loved the pilgrim soul in this girl.
In retrospect I regret never declaring my own feelings.
Until marrying a man that could stifle bonfires with his words
she was known as a marvel, a great success early on.
But then a great flame in her died at a certain point.
She was well-received by everyone. No doubt
because she did what was always expected of her.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Al Dente

Al Dente

How will it look on a serious envelope. I swear this was my first thought when I moved from the far more respectable sounding Maryanne Avenue, and performed the necessary address changes required. To make matters worse, the number of my flat was 123.
123 Noodle Street.
Who lives at such a place? Curious George?
Clifford the Big Red Dog? Ernie and Bert?
I'm a lawyer, for God's sake!
Still unpacking boxes I received a letter from my mother, in which my greatest fears were realized.
She told me to throw all unrecognized mail at the nearest wall. 

If it sticks, son, open it. If not…. cook it for three more minutes.
I wrote back the same day.
Dear Mom:
Often, in my arduous, sweat be-drenched days of courtroom litigation I comfort myself in the reminder that in this cruel world I have at least one person that will be my protector. My rock. My lighthouse in the storm. Oh, mother -- even you have let me down. Even you, even you, are not quite al dente.
 


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Every Fifth Line

Every Fifth Line

Feeling that you are the only one.
Knowing that no one understands.
You can do life better than others.
One day I will be recognized as me.

Until then --

People, the normal ones, the stupids
will believe the sun revolves the earth.
That if you sail far enough, you fall.
But for the round shape of your head

all is square.

Hey smartypants! Listen to someone!
We all started out as a human zygote
just this side of a swinging chimpanzee.
And from there, we invented Q-Tips.

All the while --

the very atoms looking into the telescope
might as well be on the comet observed.
Slivers in an arrived ship pulled from a finger.
The problem is our need of pronouns.
 

we have no shape at all.

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Saturday, February 21, 2015

All Trains Are Serious

All Trains Are Serious

Have a good look at the ways we get around.
There is almost no limit to the sudden variations.
Hyphens on a highway say next to nothing about veering.
We just listen to the radio and hope everyone pays attention.
What is a mid-Pacific squall, or even the next big wave, to a ship?
Captains pulling their hair out. Drinks and children overboard.
Let's no one even get into an airplane for God's sake.
Because in the clouds there are not even the hyphens.
Truth is, your neighbor stepped out of bounds while jogging
and was struck dead by that out-of-control horse and carriage.

Then there are trains. And no one can blame the environment.
Admittedly, they are as prone to accidents as anything else.
But seriously -- they were perfectly on course when it happened.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Monarch












Monarch

Which came first, the butterfly or human royalty?
What is the etymology of the entomology?
Dictionaries relegate insects to a secondary meaning.
For my money, they should be first.

This -- this one-tenth of an ounce -- this bug
navigates its way to a certain mountain in Mexico
every third generation. From Canada.
Powered by milkweed and true monarchial instinct.

Prince Charles, chauffeur-driven via the best GPS
would end up in New Jersey. Holed up in a five-star.
Exhausted and complaining of the room service.
Not to mention Henry the 8th. Whence did it originate?

Was it an awe-filled scientist, breathlessly declaring:
This -- this is the epitome of what humanity should revere.
Or was it a servant in the shadows of a castle whispering:
Everyone here is as majestic as... those butterflies!

God help us, and be damned all language
if it was that secondary thing.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lava

Lava

It is amazing, the flagrancy we humans will expend
for a momentary thrill. Take a fireworks display.
Have any two people walked away from a night of bursts
and discussed a single one in detail? Evaluated it?

But it was somehow enjoyable en masse.
One will explode in a brilliance of red. The next, white.
And there was the happy face. And then the hearts.
The climactic crescendo -- a conflagration of expenditure.

And we make our way back to the car. Everyone does.
But when you and I get in ours, a certain electricity tells me -
There has never been an invention of man, to match
what happens when you erupt - It is not red, it's crimson.

Lava.

There is no smoke rising from the heat of your body
when I kiss you back down to earth. On our new island.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Smell Of It All

The Smell Of It All

I
recall leaning forward to the envelope. If anything
bought
my suspicion it was that. For all appearances
you
had failed to send it off. I'd every intention of doing
that
for you. But oh, the scent was rising. And then, the
very
name, uttered in your dreams at night appeared, the
fragrance
seeping through. All within me screamed, This is the
last
thing I want to do to you. Invading the privacy of your
Christmas
cards. What kind of a man would do this? I opened it.
And
what did I find, my darling? The unfathomable act of
you
betraying me. The smell was now ugly. Words inside
sent
astray, the last breach of integrity. You love him?
It
is to end this way? Want him to smell my gift to you?
To
"be in his arms, on New Year's Eve"? You wish to be with
him?


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2015 --

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What It Is Not

What It Is Not

For so many nights we stayed up past bedtime discussing
Discussing… discussing, and I was wowed by your cussing
about the idea of what love is. But there was that one night.

We decided to focus on what it was not. And had a revelation.
Sometimes you can get to know a thing better simply by
tag-team cussing about what you do not think it is!

We decided, unanimously, that it cannot be coerced.
That is, it is perhaps the opposite of force. Whatever love is.
Love to us became when two people say Finally… I am free.

I poured another merlot. A sliver of moon shimmer in the glass.
You asked a question that ended in the word remorse.
There and then, we consigned that word also to the depths.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Sad Part Is That I Lived

The Sad Part Is That I Lived

Slitting my wrists would be a bit drastic, perhaps.
But pulling my hair out definitely presented itself.
The foyer of my mind a battlefield of malapropisms.

Just this once I wanted to say the right thing to you.
Houdini could not have engineered a better set-up.
The elevator doors closing in. No viable escape.

Two armies in disarray falling all over their comrades
I pulled the grenade pin -- You smell so soap-scented.
10 -- 9 -- 8… It's merely lime hand lotion, you said.

Fumbled in your purse for something you do not need.
Gave a smile. The doors opened, you were gone again.
Leaving me in no man's land. Between eager and dead.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sonnet 116

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the divorce of failed love
apportion blame. Loss is less loss
when future dreams, today undreamed of
can be fashioned from the former dross.
O no; do not fixate on right and wrong
for each will be each in the great span of time.
A singer stops singing in the middle of the song
yet the melody survives. The verses still rhyme.
Love's not about forever, its time frame is now.
A passing to be grieved, and thus, to be passed.
Thriving best amid promise, it withers in vow
-- arriving bejewelled, in garments made to last.
If this be in error, and upon me charged,
May my heart become shrunken, my prostate enlarged.


© Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Nightmares aside, the worst evils are devised
in full awareness, with spectacles on.
Watch them leaning over the war charts.
Strategizing next moves. No one is snoring.

A sleeping lion means a grazing antelope.
Even arguments require cognizance.
Every psychopath will tell you --
"This thing is going to involve actual movement."

Woman in a coma shoots three neighbours.
There's a headline I want to know more about!
Unconscious man bludgeons four at bus stop.
No. Sadly, all these things take place -- vertically.

Admitted, there are sweet dreams and bad ones.
But this morning, waking from the former type
I wondered -- What keeps me from its realization?
What, indeed, except [hit snooze] wakefulness.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Glass

Glass

For some people the glass is half full. Others, it's empty.
And some will argue there never was a glass to fill.
When it comes to delusion, full glasses can't be beat.

Perfection is not a reasonable ideal.
For one thing, it is 8 minutes and 20 seconds in arrears.
The Egyptians had it best, my friend.

The sun is what we should bury ourselves around.
Without it, glass -- empty, half full, or overflowing
-- There would be no glass. Much less, contents.


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stones

Stones

It has been my experience that mystery often declares itself in the most mundane of things. For instance, stones. You bend down and pick up a stone, or walk by and kick one. Skim a flat one on the rivertop. Hike a trail, tripping on a massive rock, semi-submerged.
But never in any of those moments do you stop to consider how it is that this particular thing got to be in the shape it is in. What forces made it small, somewhat rounded and smooth. Others jagged. This one is too heavy to lift. Another is in your pocket.
Some are re-fashioned to signify lifelong commitment to another person.
Is all sand a broken-up, bigger stone? If so, there is really nothing on earth as fascinating as that.
And yet we, who strut about for seventy or so years, invent so many stories about who we are. Who we were before this. Who we will be afterwards.
Stones, the ones we treasure, pick up, skip, and kick -- smiling, if they could. 

Saying, as an old man mortars the last one into his fireplace hearth: 
If you only knew what I am.

-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Taking Nicholas

Taking Nicholas

Had no idea where I was going in a wintry 1993, much less arriving.
Bit of a rise from the west, where the unknown city comes into view.
That Oldsmobile was groaning with the weight of all I needed, then.
Pushing through, an intrepid whitewater rafter seeking new rapids.
The biggest place I would ever live in twinkled, sparkled -- beckoned.

Little did I know that every sidewalk crack was waiting for my shoe.
Canal trails, wondering when the prairie boy would get on the scene.
My new hometown. Four gargoyles on that Center Tower winked:
This, friend, is England without the bad teeth that goes along with it.
And miracle of it all -- I landed a penthouse suite within sight of them.

Two decades on I have no regrets. Sometimes the past needs to fade.
You can never know what will be until you get in the Cutlass and drive.
Every time I come home nowadays, I hit the signal on a certain exit --
Take that one turn, named for a saint shoving things down a chimney.
And realize anew that where I live is the best gift I've ever been given. 


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Day I Realized She Was Not For Me

The Day I Realized She Was Not For Me

Four hours in an amusement park naturally lends itself
to a certain level of exhaustion.  -------------------- So
we spent our recuperative moments at an oyster bar.
The food I hate most, after olives, slidng into my gullet.
Then I broached the subject:
Asked her if she liked the works of Ian McEwan.
She said he was good as Gandalf, in Lord of the Rings.
But she does know her perfumes. Offset the oyster stench.

I then mentioned The Chronicles of Narnia.
Is C.S. Lewis too theologically-biased in his fiction?
She told me she preferred his Alice in Wonderland.
And then asked me what he had written most recently.
[It was at this moment that my goal changed to finding out
what the hell perfume she wore, so I could buy two jars
and spray it all over a certain homely girl I'd seen recently,
bent intently over Dostoevsky at the local library…
]


-- © Ciprianowords, Inc. 2014 --